Saturday I got my 3 children up at 4am and drove them down to Colorado Springs to volunteer at a 10k race. All 3 of them were up easily and bubbling with energy…at 4am. By 4:30 we had gone thru Micky D’s drive-thru and were ready to make the 90min drive to the Sailin Shoes Run for Fun.
Amazingly, the kids stayed wake and chatted happily in the backseat for the whole trip. When we arrived at the start area at 6am, I thought I might have alien children in my car, but I was happy to have those chatty happy children that looked just like my three treasures in the backseat.
After checking in we had half an hour to kill before the truck with the table, water and other things we needed to get set up was scheduled to arrive at our corner. So what to do? How about a round robin! Story to follow at end off post.
By 7am we had set out and filled at least 400 water cups and were feeling ready for the runners. The aid-station we were at supplied water for 2 points- the 3.5ish mile and the 4.5ish mile (or so I was told. I never looked at a course map). The course wasn’t actually an out and back. What we had was a table at one corner and water going from that table to two different cross streets to supply the water. We filled little cups with water using a dip-a-pitcher-into-a-trash-bag-of-water method. Then the filled cups (that were set up on a tray) were carried to the curb and unload onto the curb and street. The main guy of the corner told us that this is how it is to be done. And it worked. I must say, though, my kids were very worried that the water was dirty. Everyone assured them the runner’s don’t care. And I think that that is mostly true. Mostly. True.
Around 7:20 all the volunteers lined up along the street holding cups of water. After about 50 runners came thru, it became clear that the kids would be doing most of the handing out. The children were thrilled with how fast they had to move to keep up with delivering water. I, on the other hand, honestly held out the same cup of water for the whole hour. 🙂 The only complaint we got was from a mid-packer who was unhappy with the fact that we weren’t shouting “water”. Funny, b/c the only thing offered at any station at this race was water.
While we were cleaning up the cups after the sweep came thru, a lady asked if the kids were going to run the kid mile. My children began squealing and jumping and saying, “Yes, yes, yes! Please!!!!”, to me and the lady. I hadn’t known about the mile until then. But I wasn’t about to tell those little runners no!
We quickly packed into the car, drove to the start area, filled out the 3 forms, pinned on the numbers (all #1), and made it to the mile start with about 1 minute to spear.
For all of you who have never had the pleasure of witnessing a Kid’s run, it is HILARIOUS!! First, 99% of children will run with all they have as soon as given the “GO!”. For the few who start at a walk, they will have parents (most likely) trying hard to get them to run. Then, after about .2miles, most of the kids are walking. Here, again, are the parents telling them to run. I heard things like, “Come on and run. Or at least walk faster.”, and “You can run farther then this.” I am not judging these parents, as I found myself trying to convince my daughter to walk faster well before the .5 mark. But it was insightful. I want my kids to enjoy running, walking, or whatever it is they are choosing to do that is good for their bodies. Running all of any race is never necessary. My children should make their own fitness goals. NOT have me make them for them. My part is to encourage them to be active and find a way to ENJOY FITNESS, even if that is walking a kid mile. Next you have the “Mario Go Kart” runners. My son, Ev, was one of these. Every so often he would hit his arrow and ZOOM! I had to work to keep up. It was awesome! But short lived. Only Ev was good at finding his arrow’s. After the race he told me, “I really pushed myself. When my legs were getting tiered, I would just run faster.” Having run the last .4 miles w/ him, I figured instead of walking, he was going over arrows.
I am just so thrilled with all three of my children. They all finished their mile (10:16 for Ev, mid 15’s for Seren and Caed) and all 3 of them feel great about what they did. After, Seren said “I’m really glad my feet are tired. I like feeling like I worked my body.” For me, this truly rocks! I want my kids to know that they are strong beings and capable of accomplishing much, both with their minds and their bodies. Running has shown me how strong I truly am. I know that running isn’t the only way to learn what a person is made of. But I also know running is a way to learn so much. Like how powerful a mind is and how much more our bodies can do then we think they can. For me, that is what being a runner is about. It is a way of living life and choosing to face your life-good and the bad- head on. For me, it isn’t about how fast I can run or my PR’s, even though I am proud of those things, too.
I didn’t become a runner until after having children, even though I ran before then. But now that I am a runner, there is no turning back. I want to give my all in all I do- on the race course and off- and encourage others to do the same. Seeing my children desire to help runner’s achieve their goals and then watching those little guy’s run their own race was better then ice cream. And I can’t even put it into words.
(each sentence is a new person. But I’ll try to type it as a story).
Once upon a time there lived a little boy named Sword. Sword loved to fight.
One day Sword and his cousin Jake were fighting in the garden when they saw a snake climbing up the garden wall. The snake was not a regular snake. It was a Rattle Snake.
“Let’s capture it,” said Sword. Sword did not know it was a Rattle Snake. Neither did Jake.
“Let’s do it,” Said Jake. “That sounds fun!”
Sword and Jake slowly crept toward the snake. The snake saw them and attacked. But the snake missed them and fell to the ground.
Jake didn’t see the snake slithering towards him. The snake bit Jake on the leg.
“Ahhh-Awo,” Said Jake. “Why did you bite me?”
” ‘Cause you were trying to catch me.”
” ‘Cause you were in my garden,” said Sword.
Caedmon got the last sentence….others felt the story should go on, but so goes the round robin.