The Longest 5k

This past Saturday my family and I ran/walked the Superhero Foundation’s local 5k race.  Thankfull, it was an absolutely gorgeous day.  Since all six of us were in the race, we asked my in-laws to come watch.  The big kids (10, 6, and newly 5) were all very excited to participate and we wanted to be sure to get some photos for the memories. 

I had cut up some t-shirts to make capes for everyone, and my 10 year old created a logo. The kids each got a mask and superhero cuffs (boasters) from entering the race.  We were all dressed up.  The 5 year old even wore a Buzz Lightyear costume.  The pre-race festivities included a barbell lift, cookie decorating, a bounce house, a smash the building activity, and several other fun activities for the kids to be able to earn an “official superhero certificate”. 

They held a 1k run/walk first, then we were off.  The park this race was in is my favorite place to run.  I ran my latest half marathon, a 15 mile race, a 10k, and several 5ks at this park, but this was the first time I ran this specific course.  I was in charge of our daughter (6), my husband was in charge of two of our sons (5 and 23 month), and our 10 year old was largely on his own.  He’d run the whole way, or most of it, and be done first (another reason I asked the in-laws to come). 

Our oldest took a place near the front of the runners, while the rest of us lined up near the back.  At the starting “gun”, our daughter quickly ran ahead and I dashed off to keep track of her. My husband walked with our 5 year old while pushing the stroller.
To complete this 5k, we had to complete the loop two times. Around mile 1, the serious runners began to lap us. I knew our 10 year old would finish around 30 minutes in, so I began to watch for him. At around 15 minutes in, my husband caught up with us. He was pushing both little boys in the stroller and running. Our daughter then decided that if she couldn’t beat him, she would begin to fall behind. By 22 minutes, he had moved on and ran ahead.

At 30 minutes, we passed the finish area to begin our second loop. There were still plenty of people behind us, but she was loosing steam. The final mile was tough. There were times that I know she wanted to quit.

At just under an hour, we were in the final stretch, and it was all downhill. Her daddy and little brothers were on the side of the road cheering her on. She ran. Once past them, she slowed again. Then we saw it, the finishing mat and the clock. It was just over an hour when we heard the jeeps signifying a finished race. For her, it was a huge achievement. For me, it was a huge achievement that I didn’t bully or yell at her, that I didn’t let my competitive nature squash her spirit, that I didn’t care that we were 5th from last coming in, that I was the second to last in my age division, that the little twerp ran the last few steps so she could beat me. I’m proud of her, for not quitting, not throwing a fit, for keeping a pace under a 20 minute mile overall. I’m proud that she wanted to try what makes me so happy to do, that maybe she learned a little about perseverance.

I hope that we’ll make this an annual event for us. The Superhero Foundation and Superhero Run benefit children of abuse and informing the public about child abuse in America. Next year though, the littler kids will stick to the 1k.

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