We woke up early like you do on race day. The kids had to be pried out of bed, as usual. I’m pretty sure I slept a lot as a teenager, but now that I’m a parent, the amount of sleep these teens seem to crave and require is ridiculous to me.
Antoni, our Spanish exchange student, grabbed his typical breakfast of toast with olive oil and lots of salt. Then I did the motherly ritual that my kids have grown to know so well..I pinned his race bib on his shirt. To him, it was just a necessity. To me it felt like a rite of passage.
There was nothing routine about this race for Antoni as this was his first race ever. I got to explain the timing chip that was part of his bib, the fact that there would be water on the course for him, and the certainty that there would be lots of food after. I got to observe him as he took in the crazy race day energy that is a turkey trot in a small town.
I loved that I got to be part of his first race and expose him to a ritual our family does every year. I don’t force my kids to run, but if you are part of our family, you probably do 1-2 10Ks or 5Ks per year, even if my kids don’t run a step between. It’s our tradition.
Antoni and my daughter Emma opted for the 2 mile run while Ken and I ran the 10K. Sam, age 17, volunteered at one of the aid stations.
I loved this morning. Not just because I got a PR (my fastest 10K by 2 whole minutes – 47:27!), or that the sun shone with such determination before the impending cold front, or that the snow capped mountains looked particularly majestic against the blue sky.
What I loved most about this morning was the sheer act of running in my community, surrounded by those who love the sport as much as I do. What I loved most was knowing my whole family was on the course. What I loved most was the act of running and how it brings us all together regardless of age or culture.
And, Antoni? His olive oil and toast fueled him well for a 19 minute 2 miler. I saw him at the finish with a big smile on his face and a bottle of water in his hand. It was his first race, but I have a feeling (and hope) it won’t be his last.
What was the first race you ever ran? Mine was the Bolder Boulder 10K in 2000 (1:10). I had never run before and decided to do this. I don’t think I really ran again until 2008.
Do you have plans for a Turkey Trot this year?