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NFE Athlete Spotlight: Drew Thompson, San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

On December 27, 10-year-old Drew will be running the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon in honor of his younger brother, Preston, who has NF1.

Drew is a hard-working, focused, smart, kind, and has a huge heart (according to his proud aunt!). He excels in school and, together with his twin brother Quinton, co-leads the school’s Confidence Club, where teaching kids to love themselves and be kind to others is key! Drew plays soccer several times a week, and, most mornings before school, wakes up early with his brothers for running club, where they each average running 2 miles! On top of his already busy schedule Drew has taken on training for the half marathon, increasing his pre-school morning runs to 3-6 miles!

While he always strives to push himself, joining the NF Endurance team for this race has given him a whole new focus. He knows that his brother and best friend has limitations because of NF1, and he is going to use the physical ability he was given to help raise awareness and fund research to find a cure for neurofibromatosis. Drew decided to join the NF Endurance team because, “My little brother is great at many things, but there are things that are hard for him like focusing, learning, and making friends. I don’t believe that’s fair because, to me, he is smart, nice, caring, and funny. So I’m running a half marathon and I’m hoping to raise as much money as I possibly can for a cure for NF1.

What has training been like?
Some days of training feel really good and some days feel really brutal. I have to do a long run one day a week and sometimes it’s after I’ve had two soccer games that weekend. My legs are really sore afterwards.

What are you most looking forward to during the race?
I’m most looking forward to crossing the finish line and also seeing if I can run at my goal pace of 7:15/ mile.

What do you think about when running gets really hard or you’re really tired?
When running gets really hard and I’m tired I try and think about how I feel after I finish a long run. I feel really proud of myself when I’m done. Sometimes I have to fight back tears but I do then I feel good that I didn’t quit. (Photo, from left: Quinton, Preston and Drew)

Why did you join the NF Endurance team?
I joined the NF Endurance team because I want to raise money for my brother and other kids with neurofibromatosis. Sometimes I get really sad when I see my brother Preston struggle. I’m happy I get to raise awareness for NF while running.

Do you have any advice for other NF Endurance athletes?
My advice for other NF endurance athletes is to try and be prepared and keep a positive attitude. The most important thing is to have fun running.

How does it feel knowing you raised so much money for CTF and NF research?
I’ve had a lot of support from my family and brothers. When I run in races I get lots of encouragement from grownups and It really pushes me to keep running hard.


Drew is raising money in honor of his brother through the Choose Your Own Event option from the NF Endurance team.
Join us in 2016 and Be The One to raise money to fund NF research!