Monday, May 20, 2013

Race Recap: Over the Edge 5K (with Kids!)

A couple of months ago my husband and I ran a very small local 5K that included a one mile fun run for kids.  My 7 year old son won that race, and decided that he was ready to graduate to a full 5K.  So, we started some light training with him and his 6 year old sister and I researched races to find one I thought might be appropriate for their first.

I decided on the "Over the Edge Family, Fun and Fitness 5K Run/Walk Event" in Jacksonville, Florida.
I picked this race because:

  1. Only $15 per person.
  2. No t-shirts, they gave out medals to all participants instead.
  3. From website: " After you finish the race stay and enjoy the thrill and excitement of watching more than 100 participants as they fulfill their quest to rappel 450 feet from the top of the EverBank Center building."
Friday night I got all the clothes laid out and sent the kids to bed early so that they would survive the 5am wakeup call.  Then I rechecked the website to get the address, only to discover that the race started at 9am!!  I had been certain it started at 7am.  Who in their right mind schedules a race in Florida - in May- that late in the morning?  I checked The Weather Channel.  73 degrees at the start.  Oh My!

The good news is that we had plenty of time to get up and get ready, and ended up arriving about 1 hour before the start.

 That's when we got the "bad" news.  No repelling!  That had happened the day before.  And then the worse news: the race course included two pretty steep bridges!  

Oh well!
We were here for the kids and they didn't care.  So we lined up.  Brian was running with our 7 year old son, Levi, and I was running with 6 year old Gracie.  At first she was excited and running fast, but then quickly started to fade.  I had anticipated this, but I also knew Gracie was more capable than she knew, so I kept encouraging her.  She did fall down about 1/4 mile in.  For a millisecond I foresaw an end to the race right then and there, but in totally un-Gracie-like fashion, she hopped up and kept going.  I think she was more embarrassed than anything else. 

 After that, she would not let go of my hand.  In fact, I'd say I mostly dragged her throughout the race!  We walked on the uphill parts and tried to run on the downhill - although if I had let her she  probably would have walked those as well.

I do have to say that for me, this whole race was an exercise in humility.  I mean, we were being passed by  women walking and pushing strollers!  I knew I should not feel this way.  After all, this was about Gracie, not me.  And I used to be one of those women!  But maybe that was the point.  I have worked so hard to become a "middle-of-the-pack" runner that it felt like a failure to be back among the walkers.  Yes, I obviously have issues!

On top of all that, there was a little 6 year old boy and his grandma ("I've survived 5 brain surgeries") that we kept leap-frogging.  She was wonderfully encouraging to Gracie - but every time they passed us I'd lean down and say: "Gracie, we cannot let that boy beat you!"  Apparently, I did not pass down my competitive gene to my daughter since she just looked at me like "why not?"

At last we turned the corner for the final stretch home.  Brian and Levi were there (wearing their medals) cheering us on.  As soon as Gracie saw the finish line she let go of my hand and flew like the wind!  There were a bunch of people clapping and cheering for her, and I saw this girl transform from defeated to victorious in the blink of an eye!
Gracie and I crossed the finish line in 41:45!  Not too shabby for a 6 year old's first 5k ever!

Levi had finished in 34:03

We got our finisher's medals and waited for the results.

To our utter shock both kids and my husband placed 2nd in their age groups!  Granted - there were only 2 in Gracie's age group - but she didn't know that and they were so proud of themselves!

In conclusion, I felt that this race was a perfect introduction to competitive running for my children.  It was nicely staffed, there were medals instead of shirts, and the field was small enough that they were able to place.  Let me tell you - they are mega-proud of those plaques!
Afterwards, there were cold water bottles and plenty of post-race snacks (bananas, bagels, granola bars)  And they handed out awards promptly at 10 AM.

Would I run with my children again?  Well, as Gracie put it: "It was fun, Mommy, but I don't want to do another 5K till I'm 7 or 8!"  I couldn't agree more!

Have you ever run a race with your children?
Did you enjoy it or just feel like they were holding you back?

1 comment:

  1. Aww what an awesome experience for your entire family! I've run Color Me Rad with my was fun but we walked almost the whole race...and that was super difficult for competitive me! But they had fun and that was the point!