|Thoughts I'll never know|
As he stares down the race corridor, what is he thinking? Is it a long way? Will I run fast? Will other kids be faster? Why am I still waiting here? Can I go for a ride on Thomas?
On Sunday my little fella participated in his first 'run' run. It was the 3 year old race at the "Run with Thomas" day in Gembrook, Victoria.
"Thomas" is an old steam train on narrow gauge track, with a Thomas the Tank Engine face mounted on the front. My little guy was going to run
against with Thomas the Tank
The little fella loves to run along the trail behind our house as we walk as a family. He will run up and down the street to the neighbours down the road, and as all kids do, round and round the house when we are trying to get organised.
So there we were on Sunday morning, staring down the 150m corridor that was to be his first fun run. As a running dad I was offering all sorts of advice - just have fun, run as fast as you can, don't stop - keep going. Then the parents had to step back and let all of the kids move to the front. It was a strange feeling moving away and letting go of all control. I was nervous for him, excited for him and very proud as well.
He was all smiles - posing for pictures for the photographers, laughing at the clowns doing warm ups - trying to do the warm ups and looking at Thomas who was puffing away about 20m to our left.
The Fat Controller (oops, Sir Top and Tails now) rang the bell and the kids were off! Well, most of them were. My little guy just stood where he was, seemed to take it all in and then decided to run after the field. I couldn't have been prouder, watching those little legs go and the arms kind of half hanging by his side, half pumping away as he took off. Watching little kids run is rather amusing. They all ran in a similar way. When does that moment happen when just running becomes running?
I was incredibly proud to watch him run the whole way, to where mum, his sister, the grandparents and a few of the great-grandparents were waiting for him at the finish.
As I jogged up to the finish his face was beaming. He was barely out of breath and was telling anyone within earshot about his running. He was telling them how he beat Thomas, and can we go for a ride on him, and I'm hungry - what's to eat!
I gave him a high five and scored an enormous cuddle.
Can we go on Thomas dad? I'm hungry - what's to eat?
Maybe that's what he was thinking as we waited at the start about 10 minutes ago. I'll never know.
Earlier I mentioned my wondering about when kids 'run' as we adults would. His sister was in the 5 year older run and she was determined to win. Her age was against her as she had just turned 5 in August. The ages were determined by on the day age so some of the girls were almost 10 months older than her - a big difference in a child's growth and development.
Mum took her down to the start and I was on catching duty at the end. As we all waited for them to round the corner the nerves were high. Suddenly all heads turned as the kids came into view. There were lots of smiles and a few determined faces. With a keen dad eye I managed to spot her out, near the front of the field. She was running well and was clearly second of all the girls. The little lady who won the race had made that transition from a child running to a little athlete with great form. She will be a very strong runner.
My little girl ultimately came second, about 10m behind the winner and about 10m again from the next lot of girls. She now has that natural lean and quick leg turn over, but there is still that natural flaying or not flaying of the arms and her growing legs have a bit of a gangly stride. But you know what? She loves running and that’s something that can’t really be taught. One day it will all come together and then I think dad will have to look out, or at least have a very competitive training partner in about 10 years!
|On the treasure hunt!|
Again the pride displayed on her face was priceless. She was puffing and panting but very pleased with herself. Of course she wanted to win and we thought there may have been tears when she was second, but to her credit she took it very well. It’s amazing what the lure of a Thomas show bag and a picnic in the park can do…. Me, I was as proud as punch for both of them.
To the organisers of the Run with Thomas day in Gembrook, a big big thank you! Our children had an absolute blast.
To them the run was epic, the show bags priceless and searching for Thomas and his friends in the ‘Treasure hunt’ made for a wonderful day.
So, the next time you grab the watch/gps, music player, pack full of gels, ask yourself do you really need them?
Try just going for a run. Run quickly, go far to slow, go and find out what's around the next corner. Be like your kids or nieces and nephews or the little tackers down the street that just seem to run everywhere.
Cheers for now, Lachie