We did the Big Bunny Fun Run today!
This is sort of a sentimental event to me, since it's what got me started running in 2007. This year, Gabriel ran the 5K with me, while Julian walked the 1K course with Laura and Lance. (Meantime, Dave took Katrina to her first gymnastics class, which went predictably: she refused to participate.)
I figured there was a good chance Gabriel and I would get separated on the course, but he's old enough now it's not a problem -- he can follow the people and the signs no problem. I figured he'd probably start off running fast and poop himself out and walk, so I warned him that I would ditch him if he did -- I'm in this to run it!
But once he heard that it's a real race, he talked a lot about trying to actually win it. "Nope!" I informed him. "You're not going to win it." If a 7-year-old wins a 5K, it's not a very competitive one. But, I told him, you can try to win your division, which was Boys 6-8.
And he came in second!!!
First, the requisite photo with the Big Bunny as we were checking in. Julian is still afraid of the Big Bunny, even though I assured him that it's just a person in a costume.
Me and my dear boys, before the race.
My camera's battery died right as the race started, so I didn't get a photo of Gabriel actually running. Not that I had much chance -- he ditched me within seconds, and I didn't see him until we reunited at the end. He finished minutes before I did, at a time of 27:46. That's just under a 9-minute mile, faster than I've ever run the few 5Ks and 10Ks I did. (Though, that's not saying much; whatever strengths I had as a runner didn't include speed.)
After the race, we endured a late-running half-hour raffle, and then incomplete results, to finally hear the awards for the Boys 6-8 division. Competition wasn't stiff; the 3rd place finish was 32 minutes, but the first-place in his division came in at 25 minutes (wow). Gabriel will have to work very hard in two years to place: the third-place boy in the 9-12 age group came in at 21 minutes. The first-place boy in the 9-12 age group finished in under 18 minutes!
Still, I was very proud for Gabriel's moment on the podium accepting his trophy. And so was he!
I should know better by now not to underestimate this child. He was absolutely determined to win. He said later that when his body told him to walk, he didn't, because he was going to win. I told him I was very proud of how hard he tried today -- that I'm very happy for him that he placed second, but I'm most proud of his effort and his focus. I know it sounds hokey to kids -- they want the trophy -- but it really is true. His focus and persistence are what make him so remarkable.
And his patience. Katrina insisted on combing his hair tonight, and he sweetly begrudged her. This makes him even more of a winner to me. (Sorry for the corn.)
Well, I'd hoped to stave off my sons being faster than me for a little longer, but, today proved the torch has been passed!