11 Year-Old Arman Patel Leads the Next Generation of RUNegades
At our final Tuesdays in the Park Summer Series 5K, 11 year-old Arman Patel finished first in his 12 & Under age-group. His time of 21:55 placed him 5th overall, just six seconds behind the fastest 20-29 year old.
In early October, he ran our Shoes 'N Brews 26.2 KM "metric marathon" (16.3 miles) in 2:25:12, an 8:50/mile pace. He won the 19 & Under age group and finished 26th overall.
He again took home top-honors in his age group at our post-Thanksgiving Leftovers Run, finishing the half marathon in 1:49:58, an 8:24 pace.
We sat down with Arman to find out just what makes the next generation of RUNegades tick.
What first got you interested in running?
I am swimmer and many people tell me that swimming and running go hand in hand, so I kind of wanted to see for myself if it held true! My journey as a runner started at age 10, when I ran a mile at the Healthy Kids Running Series. My mile time made me think that that this could be one of my sports,
How long have you been running competitively?
I started in the fall of 2020. I joined the Phoenixville Track Club and ran the 400 and 800 meter. One day I asked my mother to sign me up for a 5K. Gradually, I moved up to 10Ks and when the RUNegades announced the 16.3 mile metric marathon, I asked my mother to register me. I was curious to see if I could finish it!
You certainly did finish it, in an amazing time! What’s your secret?
Hard work is the key. When I run, I don’t always focus on my speed, but I’m always focused on maintaining proper form.
What are some of your running accomplishments that make you the most proud?
Finishing the 26.2 km, and my current personal best 5K time of 20:40. I’ve also had the privilege to be on the Middle School Cross Country Team this fall season.
What do you enjoy the most/least about running?
The thing I enjoy most is meeting so many amazing runners of all ages. The thing I enjoy least about running are porta potties
What do you think about when you’re on a long run? Do you ever get bored out there?
No, I never get bored as it is my passion now! When I’m running, my curiosity takes over and it's like: what will be my finish time? I also think about just finishing so that I can move on to another activity like reading a book, or shooting hoops, or simply spending time with my little cousin
Do you have a most memorable running experience/story you'd like to share with us?
My cousin accompanies me to some of the 5K and 10K races, so when I finish 1st in my age category, my cousin would give me tight hugs and would be jumping for joy & try to run the course a bit on the sideline to cheer. It makes me happy that I put smile on his face
Who have been the most influential people in your running story?
My parents. They are not athletes, but they have so much appreciation and willingness for me to try something new. If it clicks and they see that I have the drive + fire they are 1000% devoted to those activities, & a zillion times devoted to me
Do you have an ultimate running goal, something that you'd like to achieve one day?
For now, I want to compete in a few more 1/2 marathons and run a few full marathons. One day, I hope to represent a Division 1 school as a runner or run at the Olympics
What is your favorite post-run activity?
Going to Wawa
We hear that you're teaching yourself Spanish and calculus. When do you sleep?
I like to keep my mind and body active 24/7 Sleeping is my least favorite part of the day.
(Arman receives a finisher's medal for the Leftover Run half marathon from his mom) Photo: Patrick Rodio