Riverton City & UPD Honor RHS Cross Country Runner at Holiday Heroes 5K

After an inspiring finish in the 6A state cross country championship, Riverton High School student and Cross Country Team Captain Sean Rausch will be honored during the annual Riverton City and Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake (UPD) Holiday Heroes 5K and 1-Mile run. Sean and his teammate Blake Lewis, who broke his leg during the run and was carried over the finish line by Sean, will be on hand at the race beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 11, at the Riverton City Park, 1452 W. 12600 S. in Riverton, Utah.

Sean and Blake’s story is one that has touched the hearts of everyone who has read it. Blake, a junior, felt a sharp pain in his leg about 400 meters from the finish line. The pain grew more intense and then with only 200 meters left in the race, his left tibia snapped. Soon after, Sean, a senior running in his final state-level race, stopped and picked up his teammate. He carried Blake on his back right up to the finish line then stopped to help Blake hobble across on his own. As per a rule outlawing assisting runners during the race, both runners were disqualified.

“It was an easy decision to make. Me and Blake have been through so much together. He’s always been there for me. This was, honestly, the least I could do for him,” stated Sean.

Today, Sean and Blake’s story has been published more than 100 times, including in all major media outlets in Utah, a growing number of national news and sports stations, and throughout the world in countries such as Australia, Argentina, Korea, Japan, and more. Blake is on his way to a great recovery and looking forward to running again by this summer. Sean is preparing for one more race, the Nike Cross Regionals (NXR) Southwest, coming up in two weeks… and he’ll have an entire community cheering him on!

“I don’t think there could be a better time to honor our own local hero, Sean Rausch,” expressed Mayor Bill Applegarth. “Holiday Heroes is an event that helps kick-start the spirit of goodwill and service within our community. Every participant, from our UPD officers and UFA members, to City staff and volunteers and the many individuals who register to run, all act as humanitarian heroes. Everyone’s donations of time, money, and food will help local families in need during the holiday season.”

Before the Holiday Heroes 5K race, Sean will be honored by Riverton City Mayor Bill Applegarth. Sean and Blake will share personal remarks with the crowd and then Blake will start the race.

Participants are asked to donate non-perishable food the day of the race or monetary donations at Peterson's Fresh Market (1784 W. 12600 S.) during checkout. All donations and proceeds will benefit local families in need.

There is still time to participate in the Holiday Heroes 5K and 1-Mile Run. To register online click here.