Well, today was race day. If you are new to this blog, you can see my original post
In a word, it was AMAZING!!
Yesterday we had gone to the race expo, where we picked up the kids' shirts, bibs, and goodie bags, so they were all ready to go first thing this morning. My first runner was my son, D, who did the half mile. They were running by age groups, and I let him run with the 6 year olds (and his friends) even though he is 5....he will be 6 in 2 days and the organizers said it was okay. This was his very first race, and he was pumped. The parents were allowed to run with the kids, although the kids had to start ahead of the parents. The sounding bell went off, and the kids started running ahead. I ran for a bit, and suddenly came across D walking. He had started out with a sprint, and quickly burned himself out! I was thrilled to find him on the race course so we were able to run the rest together. For a while we even held hands running! At the end, he crossed the finish line, and received a cool medal around his neck. His final chip time was 5:33, meaning he was running an 11 minute mile. I was so proud.
After the 5-and 4-year-olds did their races, it was time for the 3 years olds to do thei 50 yard Toddler Trot. The whole family did it with A. Even A's physical therapist came...after all, she has been working with A for 2 1/2 years now, and said she HAD to be there for A's first race! Because there were so many 3 year olds, they divided them into waves of 10 kids each. When A's wave came, she was off and walking at the sound of the bell. The look on her face was priceless. She had a smile on her face a mile wide, and was obviously having a blast AND was proud of herself. Of course, the 9 other kids finished their race very quickly, and soon all was left on the course was A. There were TONS of spectators on either side of the course, and they were all cheering her on. Toward the end, the announcer on the loud speaker even said her name, both first and last. telling everyone to cheer for her. The funniest part was when she came to the finish line, she stopped short, and didn't want to cross it! The announcer said (on the loudspeaker, of course) that she was having too much fun to cross it! I took her hand and we crossed it together, where she received a medal of her own.
This race meant so much to me, and to my husband, J. To most people, it was something fun for their 3 year olds to do. For us, it was a milestone. A huge milestone. This girl didn't really start walking until 3 months ago, at the age of 42 months (3 1/2 years old). If someone had told me on New Year's Day that a few months later she would be doing this, I would have laughed at them....at that time, her record for walking was about 50 steps. I cried the whole time...tears of happiness, of course. We captured the whole 50 yards on video and with my camera, but I will never forget the feeling I had, watching her, seeing her pride, witnessing this accomplishment.
Next year D will be with the 7 year olds and have to do a full mile. A will be with the 4 year old group, and instead of 50 yards she will do a quarter mile. I have no doubt they will both be able to do it. We will start training tomorrow!