On Saturday morning, at 8:01 a.m., Aydan Child, 17, was the first finisher of the 37th annual 7 Mile Bridge Run. He is the first local to win it, the first teenager to win it, and his family history is inextricably intertwined with the race, too.
“My aunt Denis Pankow directed the race for 23 years,” said Aydan. Because of his family’s continued involvement with the race — about the entire clan was there to meet him at the finish line.
“I’ve worked the finish line since 1983,” said Denise, adding that Aydan’s mom, Amy Sollie, was standing at her side when Aydan crossed the line first with a time of 40:01. His uncle Chris Pankow and father Dana Child were in the pace car just ahead of Aydan.
Of course, Aydan is no stranger to running. In 2016, he was one of the leaders of Marathon High School track team that placed second in the state. That year he had personal best of 17:24 in the cross country 5k. In 2017, the team made it to state competition again (they placed sixth) and he PR’d with a time of 16:54. At last year’s 7 Mile Bridge Run he was fifth overall with a time of 42:54.
“We are so proud of him,” said MHS Athletic Director Teresa Konrath.
“It was a great moment,” said race director Ginger Sayer.
How did you feel at the start of the race? I felt confident. I had a done a bunch of training and I’m in great shape. I knew I only had to beat a couple of guys like last year’s winner Josh Peterson of Boca Raton.
What were you thinking about during the run? I thought about keeping my pace and continuing to keep the lead. I was excited. In fact, when I hit the 10k mark I was just grinning from ear to ear.
What shoes did you race in? My Nike Zoom Pegasus 33’s.
What’s the significance of the shirt? The mother of one of my track teammate’s just passed away. Purple was her favorite color.
Race day nutrition? I had a Cliff bar and a banana. The day before I drank about a gallon and a half of water.
From the City of Marathon and the Keys Weekly, congratulations to Aydan Child!