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New Jersey 5-Year-Old Sets U.S. Half-Marathon Record

Anthony Russo Trains 5 Days A Week With His Mother

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JACKSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Anthony Russo isn’t your typical 5-year-old.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported Tuesday, the Jackson kindergartner loves running so much that he trains five days a week with his mother. Last weekend, he competed in Trenton’s 13.1-mile half marathon.

“It made me feel happy,” Anthony said of crossing the finishing line.

He broke the national record held by the only other 5-year-old to run a half marathon. Anthony ran the race in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 25 seconds — 40 minutes faster the original record.

A home video shows his father in tears as Anthony crosses the finishing line, falling into his dad’s arms.

“The proudest moment of my life, hands down,” said Anthony’s father, Nick.

Nick Russo said his son’s passion for running started last year.

“My wife took him,” Nick Russo said. “He did a mile and a half. Then he did two miles, three miles. And it just kept going.”

While it seems Anthony was born to run, Sloan asked a doctor if it’s safe for a child to run such long distances. She was told there are some risks.

“Damage to the growth plates from increased pounding could be a risk for stress fractures,” said Dr. Richard M. Bochner, an orthopedist at North Shore-LIJ Health System on Long Island.

Anthony’s mother, Olivia, said she took the boy to a pediatric podiatrist before he became serious about running.

Anthony said he wants more medals, but most American half marathons have age restrictions.

“The other one we saw was in the Bahamas, so I told his dad I would be happy to go and do that one with him,” Olivia said with a laugh.

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