Ultra-marathons and state records: Beaufort middle schooler Gavin Moore builds prolific running career

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BEAUFORT S.c. (WSAV) – Gavin Moore’s teammates on Beaufort High School’s track and cross country teams notice a similar reaction whenever the 4-foot-11 runner takes his place on the starting line.

“There’s a lot of whispers “oh my god that kid is so small,'” Moore’s teammate Nash Mills said. “Like, ‘oh my gosh, what the heck, what is he doing here; he’s so tiny.'”

That’s partly because Moore isn’t even supposed to be running in high school yet; he was in seventh grade when he started competing with the Eagles’ squad.

“Gavin’s discipline, dedication and determination is just years ahead of anybody his age,” said track and field coach Howard Mills.

Photo courtesy of Nicole Crumbaker

Before long, though, the competition has a good view of Moore’s back as he pulls away from the pack.

“I think the best part is feeling the finish line,” Moore said.

“I joke with him that I’ve got to keep coaching for the next four to five years just to be able to get him to college or Olympic status,” said Howard Mills.

Lest you think that’s an exaggeration, Gavin holds five South Carolina running records in various age groups: the 5K (17:53 in the 10-11 bracket), the 8K (32:25 in 8-9), the 10-mile (01:07:32 in 10-11), the half marathon (01:21:45 in 12-13) and the marathon (03:52:24 in 10-11). His 5K time is also the best in the country for his age group.

“He would go through phases where he wanted to be the fastest 5K runner or he wanted to run the longest distance,” said his mom, Emily Moore. “We just kind of let him pace himself and set his own goals.”

Gavin is all too happy to tell you what those goals are.

“I want to get a few faster times in and I want to do a 100-miler,” Gavin Moore said.

Yes, you heard correctly; Moore wants to run 100 miles at a time. And lest you think it’s unrealistic, consider that Moore has already completed several ultra-marathons, including a 76-mile run.

“My first reaction is ‘OK, you’re a little young.'” Emily Moore said. “His first ultra was a 10 by 5K loop. And then you pull him after any loop where you start to worry. Or if he wants to quit, he can just quit. And he completed the whole 10 loops for a 50K. He’s just a very active kid.”

“The worst part is definitely when you hit the wall and you’re like struggling to run another mile,” Gavin Moore said. “But once you get out of that wall it’s one of the other best parts. Just getting your groove back.”

Although half a decade separates Gavin Moore from college, much less any professional running dreams, his progress has shown no sign of hitting that wall.

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