“Ready, Set, Race!”
Those were the words my 2.5 year old was saying as he raced back and forth across the kitchen a few weeks ago as I was making dinner.
Sometimes you wonder where kids come up with some of the things they say but in this case I had a pretty good idea. Owen sees my husband and me participating in races constantly and he has picked up on what racing is and of course that you get a medal at the end. It’s all about the bling, right??
I want Owen to understand that we race for fun and we race to stay healthy so I was really eager to get him involved in running as early as he wanted to. Since he was showing signs of it I searched for a kids run that I could sign him up for.
My search brought me to the Veteran’s Day Dash 5k held at the Shenendehowa school campus in Clifton Park, my Alma mater! The 5k race started on the track and then proceeded out onto the roads through the campus before looping back and ending with a lap on the track. The kids run was held before the 5k and consisted of either a ½ mile or 1 mile option. I was a little concerned that the ½ mile was even too far for his little legs so I spoke with one of the organizers of the event who informed me that he didn’t have to do 2 laps, he could just do 1 and that would be fine, it was all for fun.
So we planned a day out for racing and since we were in the hometown we also planned a trip to my mom’s house for a visit once the race festivities were over.
Wednesday morning dawned cold and dreary. It wasn’t a hard rain, but it continually misted the entire time we were outside for the race. We got down to the school early so we killed some time in the car playing games on my iPhone before venturing outside to sign up Owen for the kids race and pick up my number and swag. Once that was taken care of we headed out to the track so Owen could stretch his legs and we could move around and get warm.
The kid’s races were held in 2 waves, one for the ½ mile and one for the mile. Promptly at 9AM the little kids were off! Owen was probably the youngest, or close to it. There was one guy pulling his son in a wagon and there was one other little girl who was close in age but the other kids were all much faster. Owen was a champion and only got a little distracted. He ran once around the track, ¼ mile, and earned his medal. Although he might not understand it completely, I was so excited for him to be involved. I hope that he continues to want to be active and involved in the racing community.
Once done there we hunkered down near the bathrooms under shelter from the rain before the 5k start time of 10AM. As it neared 10 we made our way back to the track so Owen could run around before having to get in the stroller for the 5k. There were a bunch of high school students involved in the race who were all warming up on the field so Owen was right there with them running around. As they started the commentary before the race began I packed Owen back up in the stroller and got ready for my race.
I wasn’t really expecting much from this 5k for myself. I really was doing it only because of the kid’s race held before and because it forced me to run fast. My goal was just to finish feeling strong and have a good time.
The start of the race was a little congested with the jogging stroller. As much as I love to see all the students involved in the race some of them don’t quite understand that they need to watch behind them for other runners, especially those with jogging strollers. I nearly took out a few young guys who cut me off. So my first mile was spent dodging other people and trying not to run anyone over. I tried to dodge some of the puddles but I knew I was going to end up with wet feet so I didn’t try too hard. Mile 2 I settled into a good groove and I picked it up in mile 3 to finish strong. Was it my best race, nope, but it was good and I was happy with my outcome since I was pushing 33+lbs of toddler in the jogging stroller and I managed negative splits, go me! It may actually be the first time I had really consistent negative splits, which was pretty cool.
I thought there was a chance that I could have placed in my age group although I realized after the fact that the age groups were 10 years not 5 so there was no way. But I stayed around to find out and then we took off. We didn’t stay for the raffle because of the weather, oh well. We were cold and wet and ready to go see Grammie! We spent a few hours at my mom’s house visiting before heading back north. It was a fun day spent with my favorite boy doing something I love. I hope I pass the passion on to him some day.