Connecting, Giving Back and The Love of Running
Although Derek works full time as a regional support technician for Cabela’s, the hunting and fishing gear retailer, he updates his Facebook community page with pictures of those he’s met, run with and inspired along the way.
“Originally, I started this for myself because I needed to get healthy,” Mitchell said. “But it’s amazing the way you can inspire people to get up and get moving just by doing something simple like finishing a 5K,” he recently told the Butler County [Kansas] Times-Gazette.
Derek enjoys doing the races and seeing his progress:
“I love 5K’s now,” he said. “Just the atmosphere and the encouragement and everything. I love doing 5K’s. If I could afford it I’d do one every weekend,”he told the Gazette.
What’s the reaction he’s received from folks watching him race?
The support was unlike anything he expected either.
“I thought the response was probably going to be 75 percent positive and 25 percent negative,” he said. “It’s really about 97-3.”
As the Gazette reported:
His support group has grown exponentially and as part of Team Red, White and Blue, an exercise group whose vision is to connect veterans and people in their communities, he has gotten a lot of help along his journey. Some even came out to walk with him during the 10K, even though they didn’t sign up themselves.
Mitchell is far from done, though. He intends to keep working hard to stay healthy and active, increasing his distances to one day get to the point where he takes place in a marathon or half marathon.
Derek finished 5K #12 — the Royals Charities 5K — on August 22nd, in Kansas City, and Lucky #13 on August 23rd.
You can follow Derek at The Derek Mitchell Story on Facebook and visit his GoFundMe page for more info.
Many thanks to the Butler County News-Gazette and Runners World Newswire for their original stories.
(Images courtesy Derek Mitchell Facebook page.)
Check out other inspiring and amazing stories:
111 Pounds Lighter, She’s Gone From “5X to 5K!”
(Short Video) Runner With Cerebral Palsy Gets Surprise Help
(Short Video) Runner Carries Competitor Across The Finish Line
(Video) Teen Runner’s Grit And Grace: ‘Catching Kayla’