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Wakulla XC Team Honors their late coach whose legacy still inspires runners today

Posted at 2:44 PM, Jun 20, 2024
  • For the past 12 years Wakulla High School XC team honors Paul Hoover a former coach who passed away
  • His legacy is still inspiring runners here today
  • Watch the video to find out how he's impacted these runners


Mike Martin has been coaching Cross Country for Wakulla High school for seven years.

They do a run every year in honor of a long time Cross Country coach Paul Hoover who passed away while running.

"This run honors him because he loved coaching because he loved coaching and running so this is something we continue to do in honor of him."

This will be their 12th year doing it.

Martin says Hoover loved helping his runners so they created a scholarship all the proceeds go towards supporting the team.

"All that money we raise for the Paul Hoover Memorial Run goes right back into the Cross Country program."

And the team says that's what Hoover would've wanted.

Emil Bendec is a senior on the team and says Hoover's legacy continues on.

"He definitely set the stones for where we are today, Paul Hoover Is talked about a lot during our races, our track has quotes from him saying "Go the extra mile" is what it says."

Bendec says the support from his coach and being on the team has taught him valuable lessons.

"It teaches even when you don't want to, you have to keep going through life and pushing harder."

And he's right. Those who have run long distances know the strength and determination it takes.

That's why they do it the run each year, Martin says it shows the runners that what they're doing is something to be proud of.

"It shows that there's people out there that love them and support them. They all the local businesses in town and they get sponsors from the local businesses it just shows at the community there to support them as runners and that what they're doing has meaning to it."

The Paul Hoover Memorial Freedom Run is At Wakulla Springs this Saturday at 8 A.M. You can go to EventBrite then put in Paul Hoover you can register.