Quest Crothers is all smiles after winning a race Saturday.
Quest Crothers is all smiles after winning a race Saturday.
A Madison Avenue first grader took first place in his age group and eleventh overall in a race designed to get young kids moving and competing at Renaissance at Colony Park this past Saturday.

Instead of eating cereal and watching cartoons in their pajamas, over 1,440 kids from kindergarten to fifth grade lined up Saturday morning for the Get Ready to Run one-mile fun run sponsored by BlueCross & BlueShield of Mississippi.

Quest Crothers, 6, was one of those kids standing in the below-40 degree cold getting ready for his first race.

“He kept saying ‘I want to do it, I want to do it’ and we thought ‘OK’ and he did it and it was just amazing,” his father Kevin said. “I was very impressed by his performance and it was a well-run professional event.”

In his first organized competition, Quest finished a 7:39 mile and finished well before anyone else in his age group. The overall top finishing time was under six minutes. He said his secret to success was perseverance.

“I lost my breath a few times but I never slowed down to walk,” Crothers said proudly.

His mom, Kim, and grandfather, Ridgeland Alderman-at-Large and healthy lifestyle advocate D.I. Smith, went to the end of the race to wait for him.

Each age group was given a color coded shirt. Crothers wore yellow and each group started 30 seconds apart.

“We were at the finish line and as we expected we were seeing mostly older kids but then out of nowhere comes this yellow shirt. It was Quest,” Kim Crothers said.

Smith said he enjoyed being in the crowd on Saturday.

“First I just want to say that that was a first-class event on Saturday sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield,” Smith said. “It was amazing to see some 1,400 students get out there on a Saturday morning when it was 38 degrees. Those children were so motivated, it has to be the biggest event I have seen out there recently.”

He said that seeing his grandson compete made it even more special.

“You know it’s always exciting to see a turnout like that and it happened to be especially exciting for this grandfather,” Smith said.

He said that his grandson had one of “the best coaches in the world” in his father.

Kevin Crothers was an All-District and All-State track runner in his days at Pearl High School. He said injuries kept him from pursuing a career any further, but he was happy to see his son picking up the sport.

“I don’t really know what I like about it, I just want to run,” Quest said. “I don’t want to grow up and not run.”

Quest said he wanted to continue to get faster, have fun and win awards, particularly “While I am the smallest one out there.”

When Quest Crothers is not running he likes to play video games, soccer and throw the football with his dad.