Sunday Conversation with Lizzy and Charlie Westrip

Racing siblings set world records while having fun with parents

What started out as a way to spend more time with their military dad has quickly, very quickly, turned into an embarrassment of world records and medals. As it turns out, 7-year-old Lizzy Westrip and her 6-year-old brother, Charlie, are great at running, which they picked up going to the track with their dad.

Since Lizzy entered her first race in April, the dynamic duo has set a combined nine world records in their respective age groups. And we’re not just talking about little fun runs. Charlie holds the world record in the half marathon (2:06:45), while Lizzy holds the record in the 15K (1:22:35).

Meanwhile, their parents, Charles and Holly Westrip, also runners, make sure the kids are eating enough protein and healthy calories, training properly and managing their time between race-hopping and school and other activities.

“The praise, support and encouragement that the kids have received from the running community continue to excite them and make them want to do more,” their mom said. “A lot of times as they are running along, and even after the races, people come up and tell them how awesome they did, giving them high-fives and wanting to take pictures with them. We’ve had people come up and tell them that they were trying to catch up with them the whole race. Some could. Some couldn’t.”

Q: Other than running, what do you like to do?

Lizzy: Soccer, piano, art, cycling.

Charlie: Baseball, taekwondo, cycling and kayaking.

Q: How did you get into running?

Lizzy: Daddy. We liked to run with him at the park.

Charlie: Daddy runs with us.

Q: Did you like running right away?

Lizzy: Yes.

Charlie: I liked it more when I won a race.

Q: Do you just run races or do you train, too?

Lizzy: We train, too. We run a few times a week, plus races.

Charlie: We do practice runs a lot.

Q: Do you do a lot of stretches before you run?

Lizzy: Yes, we stretch and jog.

Charlie: We do exercises.

Q: What is your best time?

Lizzy: 6:54 minutes per mile.

Charlie: 7:29 minutes per mile.

Q: A lot of grownups would love to run that fast. How do you do it?

Lizzy: I really want to do my best so I try to think about working hard and going fast.

Charlie: I train a lot, which makes me stronger.

Q: Your parents have taken you to different races in Alabama, Florida, Virginia and Georgia. Do you like traveling all over to run?

Lizzy: I like to see different places that I have never seen before.

Charlie: I like traveling to different states to run.

Q: What has been your favorite race so far?

Lizzy: The Bascomb Bobcat Boogie 5K (Woodstock). It was my fastest 5K to date with a time of 22:03.

Charlie: The Halloween Half Marathon (Atlanta). It was fun and a lot of people dressed up in costumes.

Q: You have set a lot of records. Do you think you would run even if you had a snail’s pace?

Lizzy: Yes, but I would want to run faster.

Charlie: Yes, but it's more fun to be fast and win medals.

Q: You run some long races. What do you think about when you are running?

Lizzy: I like to picture the finish line in my head. Then, when you get close to the finish, you can hear the music and people cheering.

Charlie: I think about running fast to get a medal. And also about the rewards like cheeseburgers and Blizzards from Dairy Queen that our parents get us when we have tried our best.

Q: What is the best thing about running?

Lizzy: I like winning. It's fun to win medals and run with daddy.

Charlie: I like to beat world record times.

Q: Do you have any other running goals?

Lizzy: I want to do a marathon.

Charlie: I want to try for a world record in a 15K and do a marathon.

Q: Are you competitive with each other?

Lizzy: Yes! I want to beat my brother every time.

Charlie: I like to try to run faster than Lizzy.

To check out racing records, visit the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, at