Son finishes Fifth Third River Bank Run in memory of father

The race held special meaning for 14-year-old Jake Kinzler, who vowed to run in honor of his father.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Jake Kinzler fulfilled his promise Saturday afternoon after he vowed to run the 25k River Bank Run in honor of his father.

Six years ago on Sunday, a healthy Jason Kinzler died of a heart attack while running in the race near the 14-mile mark. His 14-year-old son, Jake decided to finish the run for him -- in his father's shoes.

A little ways away from the 14 mile mark, Jake's mother was waiting for him to swap sneakers. He'd trade in his running shoes for his father's, the same ones he wore during the race in 2011.

Photos: Son finishes Fifth Third River Bank Run in memory of father

"I was thinking about him just running there next to me and what it was like for him running in these shoes, and what it would have been like if he would have been able to continue," Jake Kinzler said.

"He was so in his zone, and so ready to have those on his feet and when he put them on, he just flew and I'm sure that his dad carried him," Kristi Kinzler said. "I'm sure he did."

Jake's older sister, Hannah, also ran alongside him wearing Team Kinzler shirts.

After Jason's death, the family started the Jason Kinzler First Family Foundation to provide guidance, support and financial assistance to other families with young children who unexpectedly lose a primary caregiver.

►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

© 2017 WZZM-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment