Evie’s Race

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.

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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.

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(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.

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(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.

2013_10_06_9999_45(Yeah, Sara ran a race too or something)

 

Evie’s First Race

In what has become an annual event, Sara once again ran the Comer Classic 5k conveniently located in our neighborhood. However, this year there was an additional participant in the kid’s portion of the race.

We were really prepared for the worst, since the weather called for thunderstorms all day. However, the weather held all morning until just after we got home, it was unseasonably warm, and everybody had a great day. Sara even beat her previous time by an impressive 2 minutes and 11 seconds.

This year, there was again face painting, and the kids took full advantage. I am always stunned by how awesome people are at face paining these days. When I was a kid, you got a rainbow on the side of your face and called it a day.

Evie asked to be an angel:

and Ollie asked to be a “blue monster”. I’d say he fit the bill:

Oliver has never had his face painted before. I wish I would have had a video of him when the lady held up the mirror for him to see his face. Despite feeling her applying makeup all over his face, he was somehow completely unprepared for what he looked like. A slow smile spread across his face, and his eyes positively lit up. He spent most of the day baring his teeth. I’m perhaps a little biased, but he was far and away the cutest monster running around that day.

Finally, came the big moment: Evie’s race.

Evie has been looking forward to this for a year, no kidding. She was so excited to do a race. Just picking out her running clothes that morning was a whole thing. She could hardly wait until all the adult stuff was over to get to her part.

It was a little disorganized, but they finally got underway. Evie was in the youngest age group, and I really don’t think anybody else was quite as determined to give it their all the way she was. As she came whizzing past me, just the look of determination on her face, with just the faintest hint of a smile, told me that it was that perfect moment when you were a kid and you suddenly got everything you wanted.

It was a great moment while it lasted.

Afterwards, Evie was almost in tears. “I’m not even proud of this medal,” she said. It was a heartbreaking moment. I was worried perhaps she was upset that she didn’t “win”, which was something we had discussed before the race. “Why not, honey?” “The race was too short!” she lamented.

Evie has been training for this race, and taking it very seriously. Unfortunately, the race organizers did not take the 4-5 year olds quite as seriously, and just set up a little dash from one side of the field to the other. It wasn’t a real race, any more than someone saying, “I’ll race you to that tree! Go!” is a real race, and Evie knew it.

It was a sad moment, and my heart went out to her. She was right, but nonetheless I wish she could have held on to that one shining moment where she was flying over the grass and her fondest desire was achieved. So sad to see that ruined.

Oh well, I guess that’s life kid. Get used to it.