Born Runners, This Father and Son Team Seal Their Bond Between Finish Lines

Many runners will drop the phrase “born to run” when describing their love of the sport. However, it seems that some people were truly made more specifically for that purpose. When a little boy starts giving up morning cartoons at age 5 to go run with his daddy, it seems arguable that maybe he really was born with it.

Jeremiah Herrman and his son Brayden have shared the love of running for most of Brayden’s young life. Brayden is 7 and has had a hefty running career already. Jeremiah is a runner and triathlete and explained how Brayden began his love of running by simply attending races to watch his dad. Afterward he’d imitate dad at home.

“He showed interest by playing at home like a runner. ‘Watch me dad, see how fast I am?!’ We encouraged him. ‘Yes B, you’re so fast! Show us again!’ He would zoom across the yard with his little uncoordinated legs pumping as fast as possible,” said Herrman.

Brayden participated in small tot races beginning at the age of three. These short runs weren’t enough to satisfy the little runner building on the inside though. “By five, I would come home from a long training run to find him waiting for me at the door in his running garb, and we would run a half to full mile cool down together,” said Herrman.

Again, these distances and paces didn’t settle Brayden for long, he wanted faster and longer runs. Brayden joined a youth running team and found his love of competition. Herrman explained how Brayden is a fantastic sport, giving others praise for their efforts, but he also loves to beat older kids and push himself very hard. This proved to be true in one of Brayden’s latest 5ks in Chandler, Arizona. When Brayden saw a girl ahead of him that looked to be in his age group, he asked his dad if it was too soon to put in the final kick. Herrman explained that he barely gave the OK before Brayden was out of his sight at a speed too fast for him to keep up with. Herrman said, “I was so proud as I ‘tried’ to keep up, because adults were making comments about the unbelievable little boy that just whizzed past them.”

Brayden has started a decent collection of medals as he seems to place at nearly every event he enters. While Herrman is so proud of his son’s success, he admits that the wins are not the real prize of running together. “…my biggest benefit is one on one time with Brayden, the connection between father and son… when we run, he never shuts up! He tells me everything that happened to him at school, about his friends, the toys he wants, blah, blah, blah. He never shuts up, and I LOVE it!”

Running has offered the Herrman’s some very bittersweet memories. Herrman retold his favorite race memory.

“Historically, my favorite memory is Brayden’s first 5K race September last year at the Wild Wind Cross Country Festival in Wichita, KS, because it was the last race his Grandma Herrman watched before passing from pancreatic cancer on Christmas Day. He raced his very first 5k in the morning, then raced the 2 mile that afternoon. He was the only one on his team to race both of them, and still captured fourth place in the two mile. He was six years old at the time, and Grandma was his biggest fan.”

Running has offered so much for this family: bonding, health, challenge, and memories. Brayden surely has a bright future ahead of him and a fantastic family to keep him encouraged. While it seems little Brayden may have been born to be a runner, his dad made sure to mention that Brayden has a little brother. Evan, age 4, is following right along in his big brother’s footsteps, literally. Evan runs alongside Brayden’s races and shows the same interest to get out there as Brayden once did.

Must be something in their blood, those Herrman boys were clearly born to run.

Read more Parent-Child Running Stories here at in our July feature series.

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