After last year’s Gobble Gait race, The Kiddo said he wanted to do the 8k next time because the 2k wasn’t far enough.
Fast forward to this year, when he started talking about doing the 8k. He declared that because he runs a lot at his sports, he should be fine. When he was still talking about wanting to do the race just a few days beforehand, we went ahead and registered.
Fast forward to race morning. The Kiddo donned his new running outfit and was super excited. All morning, he talked about all of the people who would be proud of him for running; especially his gym teacher.
We arrived downtown Hastings about 30 minutes before race time. He was anxious, so as soon as the announcer called for the 8k participants to line up, we HAD to line up. Nevermind that it was still fifteen minutes to race time. Someone was excited! Unfortunately, the race was delayed a few minutes for a train crossing the race route.
Once we were released, we shuffled across the start line and started at a nice, slow jog. The route was pretty crowded for the first mile because of the narrow trail, so we didn’t have to worry about going too fast; it was hard enough to focus on dodging all of the walkers.
As we ran, Kiddo talked almost non-stop, which told me we were at a good pace. We were running, but neither of us felt out of breath or like we were struggling, which is exactly what I wanted to get him through five miles.
The first mile was uneventful, except for getting passed by Kiddo’s cousin. Shortly after she passed us, though, she slowed to a walk and we passed her again. We took our first short walk break just after mile 1 so Kiddo could have a sip of the water I was carrying for him.
The first water stop was around mile 2, where they were playing music by LMFAO and cheering runners on. As we approached the water table, we discussed proper etiquette and I was happy with Kiddo thanked the volunteers without being prompted to! He’s such a polite kid!
We took another walk break right around 2.5 miles and Kiddo couldn’t believe we were already halfway done. I knew the next stretch of the race was the uphill portion, so we talked about how to approach the hills.
Once we got to the hill, we chugged along up it, passing all of those who had slowed to a walk. I could tell Kiddo enjoyed passing that many people. When the course leveled off, we took a short walk break and ran up the next hill. We did this for the entire uphill portion of the course. At the top of the big hill, Nate was there to give encouragement and take pictures. Kiddo smiled, waved and was ready to get going again.
The next water stop was around 3.5 miles and again, Kiddo thanked the volunteers when they handed him water. He was very concerned about where to throw his cup, until he saw the garbage bin. How cute is it that he didn’t want to litter?
Shortly before mile 4, we saw Nate again and had to stop to fix Kiddo’s shoe that had gotten too tight. While we made our pit stop, his cousin passed us again. Once the shoe was fixed, we got going again and were able to catch up to the cousin and pass her. She slowed to walk again and we kept going. She wasn’t able to pass us again.
From mile 4 on, we didn’t take another walk break. Kiddo said his shoes were bothering him but that he could last for the distance we had left. When we had three blocks before the finish, Kiddo said he wouldn’t do the 8k next year. I told him I’d said the same thing last year, to which is said, “But you did!”
When we rounded the corner and could see the finish line, I told him to beat me to the finish. He took off and finished a few strides ahead of me, exactly as I’d hoped. He was grinning from ear to ear as we high-fived. Then he said he had to sit down. When we found a spot on the curb, I learned he didn’t sit down because he was winded, but because he had to scratch his itchy leg!
Nate found us and we headed home to replenish our calories. As Kiddo started walking, he was hobbling a little from his feet being sore. I told him he looked like a real runner and he smiled. He started talking again how proud people (mom, grandma, aunt, gym teacher, etc.) would be. I know Nate and I are super proud of him, which we’ve told him about 50 times! He did a fantastic job and finished his longest distance yet; his previous longest distance was 2k, so this was quite a jump for him!
After Thanksgiving with Nate’s family, as we were taking him to his mom’s house, he told us that if he trained by doing a few 5Ks this year, he would be able to run the 8k faster next year. I think he caught the running bug.