This will be a shorter-than-usual race recap, as I have another blog I'm itching to write in the next week or so, and I was super-busy tonight with school work. But I cannot let this race go by without writing something, as it was actually a very special race for me. This was my son Joey's very first race! Joey is ten years old and is a stellar athlete. He's played soccer for six years now, and this is his third year on a select team. He also has played flag football and wrestled. Joey of course has to run for soccer, but he's never ran for more than about two miles straight.
When I mentioned this summer that this race had wings and Dairy Queen at the finish, Joey's eyes lit up. The $5 price tag makes MY eyes light up, so I signed us both up. Joey never really trained for this race, other than his normal 3-4 days a week of soccer practice/games, so I honestly had no clue what to expect from him. I had a race plan in mind, though. I told him we were going to take it very easy for the first two miles, and then I would let him slowly build up his speed. I planned on using the "talk test" with him--as long as he could carry on a conversation with me, I knew he would be fine.
The race was on Labor Day, and Joey wasn't super happy about leaving our house before 8 AM to get to the start. He said he wished that it started later, and I had to laugh. This race has a 9 AM start, which is crazy-late in the running world! I wanted to get there early to get a parking spot and meet up with my friends. Amy (who is one of my best friends) and her daughter Teagan (who is a year younger than Joey but has ran a few races before and is also a great athlete) would be meeting us there. Joey and Teagan get along really well, and we'd planned on sticking together if possible during the race.
|Amy and me, pre-race|
Just like last year, I was super excited to see so many friends at this race! Our Mom's Run This Town chapter was well-represested.
I hung out with Amy and a few other friends while we waited for the race to start, and Joey and Teagan played on the playground.
The race started out on the loop across the street from the Westerville Rec Center, with zero shade at first. Joey did a great job listening to me for the first mile--our split was 11:42 and he was definitely relaxed. He asked if he could go faster but I was still concerned he'd push himself too hard, so I said no. Amy and Teagan went ahead of us at the start but at around mile 2 we caught up to them and went on ahead, as Teagan was having a rough day. Our mile 2 split was 11:34... still definitely in cruise control!
|He feels good!|
After 2 miles, I allowed Joey to push his pace a bit more. He still was able to talk, but our third mile was quite a bit faster (10:42). At this point I myself accelerated a bit. I have to admit, I wanted to see what he could do. With about a half-mile to go, Joey told me that he was "hitting the wall". Not really sure where he heard that phrase before, but I had to laugh! I told him there was no wall in a four-mile race. Joey definitely couldn't talk any more, so I kept up a steady stream of praise for how awesome he was doing. And he really was doing super!
With about 0.1 miles to go, I spied a boy who was about Joey's age around 10 yards ahead of us. I pointed him out to Joey and told him to go get him... and that he did! My son is definitely a sprinter, and he booked it to the finish line. His final mile was at a 9:10 pace, but at the end he was going under an 8-minute mile!
|Oh yeah, racing into the finish!|
The race was short again this year (only 3.74 miles), so his final time of 40:43 is a bit faster than what it would've been if he had actually run 4 miles at his overall pace of 10:53. Joey was happy to get his Dairy Queen Dilly Bar, but bummed there were no wings this year. He loved receiving his first medal! He was tired after the race, but he quickly recovered and enjoyed visiting the different companies that set up tents at this race to give out free things. The best part: he told me that he'd like to run cross country in middle school. Music to this mama-runner's ears!
|Proud mama, happy Joey|
Joey and I are signed up to run the Ohio State 4-miler together in a few weeks. I've been wanting to run this race for the past two years, but it hasn't worked out due to other races/training I had planned. It is going to be super-special to run it with my son, who is a huge Buckeyes fan! I am planning on pushing him just a bit faster in the first two miles to see what he has in him ;)