Running Is All In the Family for Young Bridge Run Participant | Health
When Ansley Wood of St. Simons Island, Ga. won the 18-and-under age group and placed second in the women's division of the 2011 Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run, she was tickled pink to receive $500.
That was a lot of money for a 12-year-old.
"We didn't even know they were offering prize money," says her mother, Catherine. "We did it for fun."
The 2011 event confirmed that running is in the Wood family genes. In addition to Ansley's success, her sisters Jessica, then 14, came in third, and Kendal, 9, placed fourth in their age groups. Catherine won the 40-44 age group and the girls' dad, Todd, ran along side Kendall to help her with the pace.
Ansley's interest in running started around age 8, when she began entering and winning her elementary school's yearly fundraiser, a 1-mile run and a 5-K run—the Super Dolphin, benefiting St. Simons and Oglethorpe Elementary schools. Eventually, she moved along to local races, and is now running cross-country at Frederica Academy.
"She doesn't train for races, but she is built to run," says Catherine about her thin, long-legged daughter.
Ansley likes the Health System Bridge Run, because she feels rewarded when she runs downhill. "Because you just ran up so much, it feels like you are floating," she says. "Going up is hard. I try to run really fast. Then I sprint downhill. You have to be careful, through, because it feels like you are going to fall on your face."
Last year was Ansley's second Bridge Run, but the first time she completed the entire course. In 2009, she ran only half the race. "I picked her up on the other side of the bridge, because she had a soccer game," her mother says.
This year, just like last year, the Bridge Run will be a Wood family affair, with the entire family participating.
With a sharp increase in the number of runners anticipated, Ansley is not expecting to win any money this year. That's okay with her. "I haven't done anything yet with my money from last year," she says.