Also known as The Best Race Ever!!
I got to run a 5K with my 7 year old son! This was something I have been looking forward to for quite a while. Jaden has been doing Kids’ Runs for a couple years, but this year he decided that he was ready to tackle a 5K. As much as I have wanted him to take this step, I knew it had to be his decision.
We decided on the Hewitt Pumpkin Run because it is local, cheap, and he has done the kids run here the past few years. I also knew that my mom would be able to come along to keep an eye on my other son, while Jaden and I ran. This is our pre-race ‘getting ready’ pose.
It was a pretty chilly day. I was worried about him being too cold. I shouldn’t have worried. His super-fast metabolism kept him plenty warm. I was freezing!
Jaden kept changing his mind on how he wanted to handle the run/walk intervals during the race. When we started, we had decided on 5 minutes running/1 minute walking. We did that for the first interval.
Thumbs up during the first mile!
When my watch beeped after mile 1, Jaden couldn’t believe we had already gone a mile. When I told him we ran it in 10:25, his exact words were something like “I think that is a PR for one mile for me!”
After the first mile, he started to slow down. He asked if we could walk for longer sections. And he wanted to run for shorter sections. I encouraged him to run just a little bit further before we stopped to walk. I knew he could do it and I didn’t want him to get into the habit of quitting when things got a little uncomfortable (life lessons being taught here). So, we would run “to that next mailbox” before walking again.
One of his biggest challenges is pacing himself. He seems to have two speeds: sprint or stop! Every time we would start running again, he would take off like a rocket. I tried to remind him to run at a more consistent pace, but he liked sprinting. Who am I to dampen his spirit?!?
I think his favorite part of the race was the water stop. Because this event is a fundraiser for the fire department, the fire engines were along the course. One of them was set up at the water station. As we approached the firefighters who were handing out water, Jaden slowed to a walk. He took a cup and walked a few steps. I told him to take a drink. He did, then he looked at me questioningly. I told him that he could toss the cup. He got a big smile on his face as he tossed the cup to the side of the road. He said he felt like a real runner! It really is the simple things.
The second mile was quite a bit slower than the first. We ran it in 12:05. There was a bit more walking during that second mile. I told Jaden that the second mile of a 5K should be the slowest, so we should try to run the third mile a little bit faster.
A good portion of the last mile was on a crushed gravel trail. He really didn’t like running on the trail.
This picture is about a half mile from the finish line. We took one more walk break before running in to the finish line.
As we approached the finish line, he was high-fiving everyone. They kept telling him to RUN! RUN! but he wanted to make sure that everyone got a high five! I love his enthusiasm.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get just a little choked up watching him cross that finish line. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
He wanted to head straight to the water table, so that he could get some Gatorade. In his mind, that is part of the reward for running.
I think he would probably be able to run more of the race, if I could work with him on his pacing a little bit.
We were able to run that third mile just a little bit faster than the second mile. He he had a very strong finish. I am so proud of him!
I love that they changed up the T-shirt design this year. It has been pretty lame the last few years, and I really like this design more. Jaden loves it!!
*Jaden. I loved running this race with my son. I hope I get to do many more races with him.
*Local. It is about 40 minutes from my house and it doesn’t start super early. So we can actually sleep in and still get there early.
*Inexpensive. This race doesn’t have many frills, but it isn’t exorbitantly priced. And the money goes to the fire department.
*It was cold.
Overall Grade: A
I got to run with Jaden. None of the other stuff really matters.