If you recall, last year at this time Evie was preparing for her first race. As you also may recall, Evie was intensely disappointed with her first race. She had taken the race preparation very seriously, and the race organizers very obviously had not, and Evie is not one to miss something like that.
Well, Evie obviously wasn’t the only one who felt that way, because this year they introduced a “real” race for kids, and Evie was much obliged.
It was a one mile race and it was for real. There was a course laid out, and a biker in front to clear the path. The kids had timing chips in their numbers, and entire legions of fans cheering at the finish line. In other words, it was everything Evie hoped for. After all, these are kids of runners, and they know what a real race should look like.
(Look at that runner’s stride…she’s a natural!)
Unfortunately, Evie wiped out on the final turn, skinning her knees and hands. I hadn’t seen her fall. Right at the finish line she was all grins and I was hugging her and telling her how proud of her I was. “I fell down, but I got right back up and finished the race!” she proclaimed. I gave her another big hug, but slowly her face crumpled and she started crying. “It huuurts!” she said. She was just feeling all the feelings – pride, pain, happiness, adrenaline – and it was just too much for her little 6 year old body to contain.
(She made me take this picture)
This was the race I was hoping for last year. I have to admit, I got a little teary eyed seeing her recognize that this was the real deal, and seeing how proud she was. She finished her mile in 11:08 (about the same as the average 12 year old according to some chart Sara found online). She looked so grown up drinking her after-race water with her medal around her neck and her number pinned to her shirt (you know, despite the Monarch butterfly on her face).
She did so great, and it was a great moment in her life. I’m glad I could share it with her.