After seeing a need for a grassroots program in the Mid-South, Micah Branch created the Colts Running Club in the summer of 2019. A Christian-centered year-round club for kindergarteners through eighth graders, the Colts Running Club’s mission is to develop and prepare young runners for high school competition. The club offers intense structured training along with fun activities to ensure the kids enjoy the experience. By participating in competitive 5Ks, 10Ks, and fun runs, members are part of an atmosphere where hard work is celebrated.
The Dream Team
While Coach Micah handles the training aspect, Jamie Wilson Coggins, 47, does much of the behind-the-scenes work. This lifelong Memphian has served as the club’s coordinator since day one. She also owns her own marketing business and volunteers as an event planner for St. Ann Church & School. Coach Micah was her son Avery’s basketball coach when he decided to create the club. Because he and Jamie were already working on a few business ventures together, he asked her to be the club coordinator.
It’s the kids and the parents that keep Jamie excited about the work. Watching the students’ dedication and improvement is nothing short of amazing. Jamie reflects on her own son’s journey, saying, “My son Avery (11), who couldn’t run far at all in the beginning without huffing and puffing, can now run four plus miles with ease.”
While navigating the current COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been challenging for all extracurriculars, Colts Running Club remains strong. Jamie has set up Zoom meetings each week, giving the kids the opportunity to see each other and give updates about their weekly workouts assigned by Coach Micah.
Recently, a local organization that hosts elementary and middle school meets recognized five Colts Running Club members as most improved. This list of the top 20 runners (out of hundreds who participated in the 2020 cross country race series) is the culmination of the time and dedication put into this program.
Another memorable achievement is the club’s recent Virtual 5K Run, done in support of frontline workers. The club organized this event in less than a month and had over 250 registrants from 19 states and two countries. The kids recruited family, friends, and neighbors to support the cause, which made it a huge success!
With all this horsepower, Colts Running Club hopes to expand to other states beyond Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
For more information on Colts Running Club, look for them on Facebook (@coltsrunningclub), Instagram (@colts_running_club), and Twitter (@coltsrunning).
By Halle Griggs
Photo by Tindall Stephens