Athlete Spotlight on Bo Bottenfield

This is Bo Bottenfield, a 5 year old from Bedord, PA. He had his first HKRS experience in the fall of 2014 when our program first came to his family’s area. He only ran in a couple of the races that season but liked it enough that he talked of it often and asked when he could be in another “running race.”

As a runner herself, his mother loved that one of her kids showed a spark of interest. She said that Bo had actually always liked to run and is a very energetic little boy, but due to the way he was positioned in the womb there was an effect on his legs and he developed tibial torsion and femoral anteversion (his leg bones are rotated inward slightly). As a result he spent the first few years of his life tripping and falling any time he got going too fast, because his foot would catch the ground. At the age of one he started wearing a brace on his leg that started out from the toe to the knee and then moved on to one that extended to his upper thigh. Sadly, after a year, there was no change in his condition. They sought out chiropractic care, which he still continues with, to expand his forward and backward range of motion in his hips. (When he goes too long between visits he has a hard time even lifting his legs high enough, while standing, for his shoes to be tied.)

When Bo was 3, he and his family went to see an orthopedic specialist in Pittsburgh who told them that the only way to change it would be to saw his legs and reset them (something all parties agreed was barbaric). The specialist told them that their son would learn to adapt and that after a bit more growing and by the age of 9, his legs would be about as good as they will get. His mother said her biggest concern was how it will affect his hips and knees as he ages, and whether he will be able to play sports without falling over his own feet. Although karate may pose a challenge, the doctor assured her that many famous athletes have had conditions that cause intoeing and have gone on to be active and successful … even sprinters.

When they signed Bo up for this past fall’s Series, the goals were just for him to have fun and get through it without tripping.

“So when the air horn blew and he came across the finish line first, we were stunned and excited. Each week he went as fast as his little legs would carry him, against some great competition. He would say, ‘Mom, did you see that?  I was running like a late model!’ or ‘I was going so fast I almost blew my tires off.’ He was so proud when the series was over and his name was called as the fastest boy in the Pre-K division. His smile was ear to ear holding his very first trophy and I had to hold back tears as I thought of those 50 yards and how to me they are a symbol that he really is a Healthy Kid and he will continue to do big things.”

What is your favorite sport? What do you like about it?
My favorite sport is T-ball.  I like to hit the ball really far!

What is your favorite kind of snack?
My favorite healthy snack is strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. All the kinds of berries!

What did you like about running at Healthy Kids?
My favorite part of running in the HKRS was that I was fast and you could see sparks flying.

What are you looking forward to about your next Healthy Kids Running Series?
The thing I look forward to in the next race series is getting to race with all my new friends.


This story comes to HKRS as a submission from Bo Bottenfield’s Mom about Bo’s participation with us. Thanks for sharing! If you would like to share your own child’s story, please email

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