José Latchinian stands with Jaiden Claassen.

Runner is mom’s ‘inspiration’

White Rock run marks accomplishment for Chilliwack youth.

For Jaiden Claassen, crossing the finish line of White Rock’s Canada Day Rock 5km run last month meant much more than just completing a race.

The 11-year-old Chilliwack youth had decided to take on the annual trek after setting his sights on becoming a better and stronger football player.

According to mom, Alana, who laced up her runners to participate in the race as well, Jordan had trained every Tuesday and Thursday at school since September to prepare.

“He was just determined,” she said.

Alana said for Jaiden, who has anxiety and dyslexia, the training wasn’t just to become better, but the best he could be, Alana said.

“Because of Jaiden, I began to run. He is my inspiration,” Alana said in an email, noting that the Canada Day Rock 2013 was the first five-kilometre run they had ever completed. “He stayed with me because we were doing this together, and he ‘really didn’t mind dragging me along.’”

After the race, Jaiden was named the winner of a random draw, and received a maple leaf pendant from José & Co. Custom Jewellers.

“It felt really good,” Jaiden said. “It meant a lot because it was my first race and I completed it,” he said.Chi


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