Mike and Zach got to the lake right towards the end, so this is the only picture Mike got of me, as I passed him just before the finish line. I'm the runner on the left in the black and blue shirt with a black hat and black pants on. I was close behind that guy in the blue sweatshirt for most of the race, and I heard at about the 3.5 mile marker that it was his 49th birthday, and I decided right then that I HAD to beat him, because he is 18 years older than I am. Stupid, I know, but whatever it takes to motivate you, right?
At about the 2 mile mark, this little kid passed me. I watched him go by and thought, "Yeah, he's a kid; he's running way faster than he should be and there's no way he can keep up this pace for the whole race." Well, he had to stop and tie his shoe, and then he caught up and passed me again at about mile 3. I stayed close behind him and actually passed him right towards the end. I looked up his time on the race website, and he finished about 9 seconds after me, for a time of 39:52, which is an 8:01 pace. He is 9 years-old. When I taught 5th grade, I found that many of my 10 and 11 year-old students could not run one mile in 8 minutes. This 9 year-old ran FIVE miles at that pace. Wow. Impressive.
The whole reason I signed up for this race was because Zach really wanted to do a kids race. On Friday we went down to pick up our race packets, and Zach was very excited. He said to me, "I'll have to pace myself in my race tomorrow. I hope I finish before all the other kids!" So I had to have the standard it's-ok-if-you-don't-win talk. I told Mike about this discussion, and he said that it didn't matter, because in Zach's mind, he'd be the winner no matter what. That night before bed Zach said, "I need to get some good sleep so I can run a good race tomorrow!" Well, race day comes, and Zach was geared up.
Here are Zach and I talking strategy before the race. Once they said that all kids 6 and under should line up there, I knew that Zach's dreams of winning were shot.
The guy said go and Zach was off! (He's in the blue and orange.)
Just look at how happy those kids are. Isn't that just how running a race should feel? Exhilarating and exciting and so fun. I wonder if they'll all like running this much in 10 years?
You can see Zach and I are both having a ball in this picture.
That guy looks like he got a great picture of Zach running.
Almost at the finish line!
Zach ran hard the whole run (all 100 meters of it) and crossed the finish line, which was what I told him was the most important part (that and trying his hardest).
All the kids received a blue ribbon for finishing the race. We had a brief moment where Mike lost the ribbon, but thankfully he went back and found it on the ground. Whew! Disaster averted! Good thing, because Zach is so proud of his blue ribbon. He has the sharing bag for preschool right now, so on Tuesday he is going to take his blue ribbon as his item for show-and-tell. He is very excited about it.
What a fun day it was. I am so glad that we signed Zach up for this race. As we left the race site, Zach was already saying, "I want to do another race here!" So, I think we'll be looking for the next adult race that has a kids race associated with it, and Zach and I will get signed up. I think this will keep me running, too!