In 2008, my son Ethan, begged for one of us to run the Festival of Lights 5k with him. He was eleven. I took him up on it, and immediately knew this activity was for me. 10 years later, and I have another son who wants to run, and begged me to pace him to his first race(not just a fun 1 mile run). Why? The boy wanted a pumpkin. I signed him up for the October 28th Evergreen Cemetery Pumpkin Run 5k. Then training. We had 3 weeks! Not going to recommend that training plan anytime soon.
Here are some pictorial evidence of how it went.
1 mile beginning run. All smiles.
I hate running, I hate running, by the way I really hate running 2nd training run.
2 miles. I love running and you mom!
We of course ran/walk/ran during training. He was comfortable with 30/30, so that’s what we did. We got him some comfortable shorts that were wicking and a wicking running shirt, and running shoes with no holes and that actually fit. He has big feet, must get this from my Dad(papa). So this morning, we headed out for the 5k(I was doing the 10 miler anyway). I let him know I would stay with him to help pace him. I think he was relieved he wasn’t running alone. The 5k was sold out, so lots of people. We lined up at the 12:00 pace flag(I was here for him not me), and at 8:05 we were off! The first 3-4 cycles of 30/30 we had to run because the course was so clogged full of runners and we were afraid of getting run down. Footing is iffy with brick paved walkways, tree root broken asphalt, and people vying for space. We did our best and stuck to our race strategy. We picked up another Galloway runner Jack and he ran with us until the last half mile. 1st mile: 14:00! Nice job. Of course he was asking when we would get to 2. We enjoyed looking at the costumes and pumpkins along the way. He was planning on getting a big one after the race. Mile 2: 14:38! Not bad. He was worried about the last mile and began to walk a lot more. I told Jack to go ahead and I doubled back to get David and pace him to the finish. Finish line-41:36!
David has proudly worn his finisher/race shirt all day , and best of all he wants to train and race another 5k and the Gate River Run 15k! Starting in November, he will begin training for a December 5k and the GRR. He is excited and confident and he felt good all day. That reminds me of his older brother, Ethan. Hopefully he’ll develop a life long love of running, like mom and Dad. Encourage, don’t push. Be there for him, be a cheerleader. Gradual and slow, no burn out. The Smith running family legacy continues!
Stay tuned to more fun running adventures with me and my young runner.
Remember it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey,