We left early this morning to attend a 5K race that my 5th grader has been training for over the past three months. I signed all of us up, though, assuming that, while she ran, the rest of us would walk the race. My 3rd grader, however, announced his intention to run too, despite never having run a race or trained for a long run. His running experience is limited to soccer sprints.
My son therefore left with the runners pack that included my daughter, and my husband and I walked along behind. We assumed that our daughter would end up near-ish the front, because she’s quite a runner, and that we’d collect my son somewhere along near the end. Boy, were we wrong.
Since the race was a loop, we were still heading out as the lead runners were heading back. Imagine our surprise when, after about 20 adults came stampeding back, the first child to appear was — yes, my son! My husband was so excited that he hollered out to him, “You’re the first kid! You’re the lead kid!” Two other boys heard that message, put on their afterburners, and managed to cross the line in front of my son. Still, in his first race ever — indeed, his first run outside of a soccer game — my son came in third in the kid age group!
My daughter finished very respectably in the middle of the pack. True to her nature, she’d been happily trotting along side her friends, chatting away, which killed her speed. We were very proud of her, though, for participating in the race and for running the whole thing.
I suspect that, from this day forward, when I take my dog out for our “hard walks” (since a knee problem prevents me from running), I may have two little companions trotting along ahead of me, and waiting for me impatiently at selected intervals.