As you all know, the kids joined The Woodlands Running Club's Juniors Program back in September. The goal was to meet with the group at least once per week to run 1 mile. This would continue through February with the intent of training for the Pathfinder 2K that is held in conjunction with The Woodlands Marathon and Half Marathon. In all, the kids would run enough miles, so that with the 2K, they would end their season with 26.2 miles done. The reward? Of course the satisfaction of setting a goal and reaching it....but, these are my kids! They want the bling! When they complete the 2K, not only do they get the cool medal from the 2K, but these kids also receive a medal from the marathon. Yes, this is the same medal that the runners finishing The Woodlands Marathon receive!
So, the big race was last weekend! I had originally planned to run the 1/2 marathon that morning, but with the Hubby's IMTX training ramping up, I decided to keep my distances short and focus on other things. Then, I thought I'd run the 5K. You know, sort of establish a base line, then focus on speed in the shorter distances all summer. Then, I'd run another 5K in the fall and see if I had made any progress. Unfortunately, the crazy allergens in the air had other plans for me - I was a sniffling, coughing mess all week. I decided not to run the 5K. It all worked out, because it gave the Hubs time to get his bike ride in before the kid's race.
The weather was cold - perfect for those running the marathon, but a bit brisk for a bunch of kids running a 2K. And it was windy! Luckily, the Juniors coaches warmed up the kids with some stretching and by the time we all walked to the start, the kids were no longer complaining about being cold!
|Before the race....brrr, we're cold!!!|
|Doing some warm-up and stretching!|
|The whole gang! What a group of cool kids!|
After a little while, we were off! The course was nice and flat. The Hubs ran with the Kiddo, although I think she would have been just fine on her own. He said that she ran pretty much the entire way and even sprinted toward the finish! The Munchkin decided he'd rather balance on the curbs the entire way while holding my hand and that was fine. He was having fun and I was having fun watching him have fun.
We did run a little here and there. He loved getting high-fives from the spectators and would pick up his pace a little after each one. Like mother, like son! We were near the finish in no time and as we were coming down the chute, the Munchkin was speeding up. He gave a volunteer a high five and was so pumped....
And then he tripped.
Ugh, I can't tell you how bad I felt for him. He was lifting his little sweat pants to check his knees. Thankfully, he was okay. After a few minutes of hugging and wiping his tears, he started on his way again...but this time, he was clinging to me. As we approached the finish line, we saw the Hubs and the Kiddo. The Munchkin finished, but I could tell he was a little disappointed. He took a bottle of water and gave me a long hug, complete with his head on my shoulder. He seemed a little better after he got a good look at those cool medals.
|The kids with their bling!|
|Look at my cool medals!|
|All better now! Can we go to the bounce house????|
I just have to say that I am super proud of the kids. They grumbled here and there when we were heading to running club on Saturdays, but they always finished their miles and looked forward to their goal race. I think this type of program helps kids set goals, work to achieve them and instills all kinds of self-confidence. It's a great program! And of course, I couldn't post about this without sending a HUGE thank you to their dedicated coaches - thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Oh and one side story...there was a water stop about 1/2 way through the course. The Munchkin had been saying he was thirsty, so he was beyond thrilled to see people handing out cups of water to him. And to make it even cooler, he instantly recognized the Gatorade logo on the cup. As he drank, I told him that it was the one time where it would be perfectly okay to toss his cup on the ground. I figured he'd like that, but nope - he wanted to keep his cup! When I asked why, he said that he wanted to drink out of it when he got home. I didn't have the heart to tell him then that the cup would only last a little while, since it was made out of paper. He carried the cup all the way until the made it into the finisher's chute of the race - then I held it, so he could get some more high fives. We still have the cup at home....I think the Munchkin likes it more than he likes the medals!
Okay, bragging over. Thanks for letting me gush!