Detroit Lakes 8-year-old checks running a half-marathon off his to-do list

Blayne Smith, 8, from the Detroit Lakes area, looks over his collection of medals after completing the Sanford Fargo half-marathon in the Fargodome on Saturday, May 18, 2019. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — Blayne Smith twice mentioned in his classroom work at Roosevelt Elementary in Detroit Lakes, Minn., that he wanted to run a half-marathon with his mom. He wrote it on a to-do list before he's 12 and on a list for his goals for 2019.

That's exactly what the 8-year-old did Saturday at the Sanford Fargo Marathon.

"He's very motivated, not only in the classroom, but outside the classroom," Smith's second-grade teacher, Susan Jordan, said. "He loves challenges. He's just one of those kids that loves that kind of thing."

Jordan has run seven half-marathons, so Smith would report back to her with his progress the last few months training with his mom.


Blayne Smith
Blayne Smith, 8, had written on a to-do list for his second grade class at Roosevelt Elementary School in Detroit Lakes, Minn., he wanted to run a half-marathon with his mom before he turned 12. He did that Saturday at the Sanford Fargo Marathon. Submitted photo

"He's an absolute gem," Jordan said. "I'm so excited for him."

Running with mom is nothing new to Blayne.

"He's been running with me since he was in the womb," Blayne's mom, Julie, said.

Blayne did the youth run on Thursday, the 5K Friday and the half-marathon on Saturday. Two years ago, his older brother, Tristan, ran the half-marathon in Fargo at the age of 10.

The goal for Julie and Blayne was to do the half-marathon with no walking. That's what they did.

Blayne said after finishing he wanted to do a half-marathon again, but wasn't sure if he was ready to try a full marathon just yet. He can add that to his to-do list, while checking off the half-marathon with mom.

"Everyone kept saying good job," Blayne said. "It was fun."

Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: or 701-241-5548
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