The most impressive 1/4 mile you’ll ever hear about… Ok, so I’m a bit biased. My three year old son just ran his first race today and he did an incredible job!
We arrived at the start a bit early so Joseph could go through his pre-race rituals (climbing trees and talking with other racers). It was hot, but he had hydrated on the way over and he felt good. At a little before 9, we got the notice to line up and we shuffled forward with the other racers. I was pacing Joseph and it was evident that, in the 6 and under category, more than a few runners had pacers as well.
Our plan was to run to the turnaround point and run back. I’ve found simple plans usually work best.
The horn went off and we got moving. It was a little congested at first, and Joseph wasn’t really able to hit his stride until we had gone about 50 feet or so. Then it opened up and he started to feel out a sustainable pace. We kept on for the next few hundred feet when potential disaster struck. A collision with another runner sent Joseph to the pavement. He was distraught and had a small contusion on his knee, but after a brief inspection and kiss, he was ready to go again. As we neared the halfway point, however two more obstacles lay in our path.
The first was the Children’s Hospital mascot. He was unfortunately extremely lovable, so we had to give him a hug. This may have cost us some time, but Joseph felt energized after the hug- for about 20 seconds. Then, obstacle two- the Missouri State University Bear, Boomer, was lying in wait around the corner. He also required a hug and then with a very polite, “thank you” and “good bye”, we were off again.
It was hot, and my son soon demonstrated a passion for trail running as we left the road and ran in the grass for a little while. We soon saw mommy, and then it was back on the street and a sprint to her. With only a few feet to go, we picked up the pace and crossed the finish line, receiving a ribbon and a well deserved drink from the volunteers.