A 12-year-old White Sands Middle School student outran all of the males who participated in the Biggest Loser 5K in Las Cruces this past January. Conner McDonald received the first place trophy and a medal for coming in at 17 minutes and 23 seconds in the 3.1 mile race.
McDonald was not the only person from White Sands School to participate in the race. His sister, Kaitlyn, and White Sands School Music director Autumn Haeker also took part in the 5K. McDonald and Kaitlyn said they always used to participate in the races when they lived in Germany. The brother and sister said their mom saw the advertisement for the race on television and signed up the entire family.
“It’s just fun to run,” McDonald said.
Since the Biggest Loser race McDonald has participated in a Race for a Cure 5K, also in Las Cruces, where he placed second in his age division. McDonald said he would have been able to achieve a better time had he not been experiencing pain in his back throughout the race. For fun, McDonald raced with another middle school student on a treadmill for the distance of a 5K at 5 a.m. during a sleepover held at the Youth Center.
Haeker has participated in a couple of other 5Ks prior to the Biggest Loser race. She’s participated in races like the Color Run and a race that benefited the Mayfield High School Orchestra and averages a time from 30 to 40 minutes. She said she enjoys participating in events like these. She said it’s important to participate in physically trying events like these to develop physical agility that will be essential for daily activities at an older age.
“It’s 40 minutes of your life, that’s all it is,” Haeker said.