Our plan was to start slow and continue on a manageable pace the whole time. It was our goal to run the entire time without stopping to walk. I volunteered at her school’s jog-a-thon this past year, and it was evident that she needed some work on pacing (like father, like daughter). Clearly this is a “do as dad says, not as dad does” moment, but she doesn’t need to know that. We started off on the gravel path for a good stretch before veering off and onto some grass paths underneath a large tree canopy. We spent our time commenting on the surroundings, chatting about silly things that I have done during races, and laughing at how hard it was to run on the frozen dirt.
At the halfway point, she had made it running the whole time and grabbed a quick cup of water. After I asked her how she was doing, she said that she didn’t want to walk. Right on! We continued our pace through my favorite part – running through the Filbert orchard, and closed out back at the start.
After the race, I partook in some warm stew and Great Harvest Bread, while my little one warmed up with a couple of cups of hot chocolate. Despite our pace, I still won my age division (I was the only one in it, but I’ll take it), and took home a bottle of Seven Brides Brewery beer. We warmed up under the portable heaters and listened to music, all with a chocolate moustached smiles on our faces. It was definitely a race I will never forget. She was so excited for the rest of the day…and conked out for 2.5 hours after we got home (“running makes me tired dad”).
It seemed that there were a few other kids who were running in their first races as well, and I recommend it as a great starting point to get kids energized and excited about running/racing. Results can be found here.