Jason Kinzler died of a heart attack just one mile from the finish line of the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 14, 2011.
Six years later, his 14-year-old son Jake finished the race for him — while wearing his late father’s shoes.
“When he passed away I told my mom… someday I want to finish the race in his shoes and I remember she told me she said, ‘I kept the shoes because I knew you would say that someday,'” Jake told WXMI.
Sure enough, Jake’s mother, Kristi Kinzler, was waiting for him by the 14 mile mark so he could trade his running shoes for his father’s, the exact same pair the late Kinzler wore during the tragic race in 2011.
See photos from the race: