September 1, 2021 | ESPN.com
BECKY PEPPER-JACKSON slides her toes into her running shoes as the sun sets behind the Appalachian Mountains. She likes to run at the end of the day, when the summer heat has broken and she’s done with her chores. The 11-year-old and her family live on three acres of land outside Bridgeport, West Virginia, a town with fewer than 10,000 people about halfway between Charleston, the state’s capital, and Pittsburgh.
Every morning, Becky has to let the chickens out and fill up the water bucket. “Which half the time ends in a hose fight, by the way,” Becky’s mother, Heather, says.
On this particular July evening, Becky climbs into the family car with her mom, her dad and an older brother to drive to their favorite running spot. The road they live on is too busy, so they drive to a cross street where the cows far outnumber the cars.
“The cars that do come, they can see you from a mile away,” Heather says. “Literally.”