This year we had five runners in the first cross country race. I was so proud of every one of them. They each made and met their individual goals. Ben has been getting his dad up at 6:30 every morning for the past few months to train for the race. His goal was to get in the top ten for this first race of three. Philip promised me he would persevere in running the whole race and not stop or walk. Betsy and John Michael were attempting the run for the first time and just wanted to get to the finish line. JT was just going out to see how hard and fast he could run. He's great at the short sprints up and down the soccer field (in fact his soccer coach and his son were at the race as well) but he has struggled in the past to get the pacing of a longer distance run without wearing himself down.
John Michael ran in the first race which was a 1/4 mile for the 5 and unders. He made it all the way. I got some great video of some other kid in a red shirt for the first 100 yards....sigh...He was so pleased with himself and added another notch to his developing sense of himself as one of the "big boys".
Betsy, having just turned 6 a few weeks ago, had to run the 1/2 mile. It was a long way for her but she persevered and was able to finish 54th out of 87 6 and 7 year old runners. We thought that was a fantastic job for her first time out.
Ben ran next and we were all pumped up for him. He has worked so hard these past months and we all wanted to see him finish well. He ran well, paced himself well and came in 4th place overall. The first place winner was a girl with a gift for running and, since the girls and boys are ranked separately, Ben received a 3rd place bronze medal. We couldn't have been more thrilled and he really enjoyed himself.
JT and Philip also ran the 1/2 mile but they ran with the 10/11 year olds. JT came in 15th with a time just tenths of a second behind Ben's time which pleased him. He was well ahead of the rest of the pack and just a couple of places behind his good friend Patrick. Philip ran the whole way, didn't stop or walk and made it to the end with 4 runners behind him. This was an accomplishment no smaller than any of the others for him and we were really proud to see him run up to the finish line.
There are two more races to go in this series. I'll keep you posted.