All this summer, hundreds of kids and their parents have been watching one little runner on the track at the Apex Center in Arvada. Little Lily Schatz is the "star" among the mini-tracksters.
More than 10 years ago, the Blazers running group got their start with a few moms, their children and a few friends. Now, close to 450 children run in this program designed for kids ages 3 to 16. The moms that started it all are still coaching, along with a few of their own children who have graduated to the role of coach.
Another former runner who serves as coach, Cody Schatz, has two children participating. Her youngest, Lily, is the youngest in the 3 to 6-year-old group.
"It's never a challenge to bring her, she wants to come. She wants to be here. I think when parents see her and see how small she is, how little she is, they think to themselves if they have a younger child, that they could do this next year," Schatz said.