Bear Bait,now a 4th Grader, told me back in March that he’d like to join the school’s running club. Twice a week, for about an hour after school, somewhere near 150 or so kids would meet at the track by the playground to prepare for an upcoming race. I joined him for as many of the running club runs as work allowed. We had the option of doing a 1 mile fun-run or the full 5k.
Bear Bait opted for the 5k. He’s never run any kind of race before.
On Friday, after school, we headed home and geared up for the race. Something like 3000 people signed up for this race and we ended up starting near the front. He looked around and leaned in and said, “Dad, I want you to stay close to me.” I promised him we’d cross the line together.
He did real good. I’m proud of him. He jogged for most of the first mile, then he began to struggle. We set little goals . . . run to the next yellow sign. Walk to the next big tree. We jogged about half of it and probably walked the other half. Off and on.
Crossed the line running, though.
A few days before the race, he told me he didn’t think we’d make 1st place. I nodded, said probably not. The trick is to just finish. We’ll work on a time to beat next time.
Not sure our official time, but we were 43:ish when we crossed the line.
I couldn’t help my people-watching, though. There were some serious folks out there, serious running costumes, serious gear. Personally, 3.1 miles never felt so easy. . . no pack, no mountains, and folks standing there to give you cold and already treated water every mile or so? If it weren’t for the crowds, I’d have to rethink my favorite activity.