Running: 11-year-old phenom in Mission 10 Race

Elliot Daniels has an excellent chance to break the 10-mile record for 11 year olds in the Mission 10 Race in San Juan Bautista on Saturday.

There’s a good chance history will be made in the 33rd annual Mission 10 Race in San Juan Bautista on Saturday. Some of the top runners in the Mission 10 field this year include Amy Johnston and Elliot Daniels, who is an 11-year-old wunderkind.
Daniels has already broken world records in his age group at the Double Road Race in San Juan Bautista and the Oakland Running Festival.
A Campbell resident and sixth-grader at Discovery Charter School in San Jose, Daniels shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.
“If Elliot is in form, he’s going to run 1:04 (1 hour, 4 minutes),” said Brian Daniels, Elliot’s dad. “What we’re hoping is Elliot will break the record on Saturday and then 10 weeks later break his own world record for a 10-mile race at the Foggy Bottom Milk Run in Ferndale.”
Daniels owns world records in the Double Road Race and half-marathon for the 10-year-old age group. Daniels has been so dominant that he often breaks his own records, as was the case for the half-marathon. Daniels went 1:29.14 at the Oakland Running Festival last March before shattering his own mark with a 1:27.28 effort (that’s a 6:41-mile pace) to place third overall at the Zooma Half-Marathon in Napa.
Daniels also owns dozens of other records, but they were not set on certified and record-quality courses.
No matter. Daniels should eventually gobble up every record for the 11-year-old age group this year. The 4-foot-6, 54-pound phenom is clearly a precocious talent. Daniels has some rich running bloodlines in his family—his cousin, Jerome Dino Daniels, owns dozens of world records in the 6 to 15-year-old age group.
“(Dino) owned 250 course records in California by the time he was 15,” Brian said.
Elliot already trains and eats like a professional. He eats healthy, works out everyday and goes to bed at 8:29 p.m. and wakes up at 6:50 a.m.—on the dot. Why 8:29?
“He’s very particular about everything,” Brian said. “When he’s working out on the track, he has to start and end at a particular spot.”
Brian said Elliot is slowly working his way up to the marathon distance. There’s no doubt Elliot has the physical capability to run a marathon in a fast time; however, there is a lot more that goes into running 26.2 miles than the physical component.
“He’s not emotionally ready for that yet,” said Brian, who knew his son could be a special runner when as a fourth-grader he dusted all of the middle school kids during a workout two years ago. “Elliot has tremendous passion and is absolutely dedicated to running. He’s got total discipline in every part of his life. God made him to run.”
Of that, there is no doubt.
Notes: Johnston is a 22-year-old who prepped at Salinas High before running at the University of Alaska. Last fall, Johnston won the Salinas Valley Half-Marathon in 1 hour, 23 minutes. The most accomplished runner who was scheduled to run, Jesus Campos, had to pull out due to injury.
Campos has won the Big Sur, Fresno and Modesto Marathons. His personal-record (PR) in the event came at the 2013 Boston Marathon, when he finished in 2:24.8. The 31-year-old Campos’ PR in the half-marathon is a 1:07.38.
Bill Tiffany, who has been the race director of the Mission 10 since 1990, said the race thrives because of the local support and community involvement. Bruce Eisenman, who is a longtime Hollister resident, has only missed the race a couple of times since its inception.
The 74-year-old Eisenman is still a race-time decision, having experienced a sore right knee for the last couple of years. Eisenman ran cross country and track in high school and community college, and loves the Mission 10.
“It’s a nice race to run, and the people are great,” he said. “If I do run it, it will probably be the 5K. At my age, I’m obviously not going to be one of the top runners. But I still keep myself in shape to be competitive in my age group.”
The Hollister Rotary Club sponsors the Mission 10 race, with all proceeds going to local scholarships and charities. For more information, contact Bill Tiffany at (831) 637-0071, or register online at mission10.racemine.com/. Race fees, which include a long-sleeve T-shirt, are as follows: half-marathon $60, 10-mile $50, 5K $35 and 1-mile Kids Fun Run $5.

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