An Okotoks mom who is a former participant in the Sheep River Road race won’t be running in the event this year in order to do something that is equally as good for heart.
Her heart is filled with joy when watching her three sons run.
“I am not running the Sheep River Road Race because I like to watch the boys finish,” Jackie Heuver said with smile. “They are now so far ahead of me, I probably couldn’t keep up with them on my bike.”
The Heuver boys, Noah, 13, Nathan, 14, and Josh, 16 are all racing in the 5km division of the 5km/10km Sheep River race on Sept. 18, starting behind the Foothills Centennial Centre.
“It is so great to see them all run together – that doesn’t happen at the school races,” Jackie said. “It’s nice to see the competitiveness in them.
“It’s also nice to see all the other families in Okotoks, right from little kids to people who have done it for years, in this fun event. It’s not so big that you lose track of everybody, it’s a nice community event.”
Nice, but the Heuver lads will have an eye on each other – a sibling rivalry that started when older brother Jacob, now an engineering student at the U of A, ran the race.
“It’s definitely a competition,” Josh said. “Back when Jacob was still here, I was racing to catch him. Now this one, Nathan, is catching up and I have to keep up to keep my spot.
“I don’t think I ever beat Jacob at the Sheep River Road Race, he kept that (family) title.”
Josh should remember the sage advice of the great pitcher Satchel Paige, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”
Nathan has a distant eye on his older brother.
“Maybe I can catch up and beat him one day – this makes me want to push myself a little,” Nathan said. “Watching them (Josh and Jacob) was an inspiration to be just as good as them or maybe better.”
Noah, 13, will run the 5km portion of the Sheep River Road Race for the first time in his young career.
“I have run 5K a few times, mostly in the last year, I am not too concerned about the distance – I am kind of excited,’” Noah said.
He’s proud to be part of the running clan – but it’s different for Noah as he has no younger siblings nipping at his heels.
“It kind of makes me try to beat Nathan, rather than the person behind me,” Noah said.
All three Heuver boys will run cross-country with their respective schools this fall, Noah at Okotoks Junior High School, Nathan and Josh with the Foothills Falcons.
The Heuver family proved it can do good things when it runs together. Nathan, Joshua and Jacob were members of the 10-person Sheep River Racers who finished sixth at the Kananaskis 100-mile relay on Aug. 28.
Okotoks area residents Matt Mundy, Brent Robinson, Jennifer Nelson, Peter Banks and Dean Hudson were also members of the Sheep River Racers.
Proceeds from the Sheep River Road Race will go towards the Big Rock Runners ongoing programs, which includes the Okotoks Track and Cross-country Club, of which the Heuvers are three of the approximately 45 members.
OTCC provides almost year-round coaching for junior high and high school students, at a cost of $90
The Sheep River Road Race is Sept. 18, with the 5km/10km run starting at 9:15 a.m. Both courses are along the scenic Sheep River. There is a 1km run for children under the age of 11 at 8:40 a.m.
For more information about the Sheep River Road Race, the Big Rock Runners and OTCC, go to bigrockrunners.com
The Big Rock Runners have a social run for athletes of various levels every Saturday at 9 a.m. starting at the Okotoks Recreation Centre.