Ready, Set, Go!
The night before the race, we made sure to go to bed early knowing we had five kilometers to run in the morning. While it would be one of several I had run, it was my sons’ very first.
The morning of the race we slept late. We had a nice pancake and bacon breakfast at home, and then made our way to the starting line at about 10 o’clock.
Our starting line, that is. We chose to start the run where we parked the car. Just as we were doing some last minute stretches, another family took off from about the same spot.
“Good luck!” we said to them.
The race course was through one of most beautiful parts of town. The area is more like real estate porn with its picturesque craftsman homes, perfect gardens, and tranquil, uncrowded streets.
With the race course in hand, we enjoyed our private tour of the neighborhood we hope to call home one day.
It was adorable to watch my sons run then walk, then run again, holding hands while carefully crossing streets.
But there were no cars. No one was out, really. Just a few Sunday morning cyclists, the occasional dog walker. And, oh yeah, the other family running the race. We saw them mid-course and cheered for them, and they for us, on opposite sides of the street.
Nearing the finish line, we saw one of our friends. He honked his horn and slowed down to cheer us on.
“Good job, guys!” he said.
“Are you running today?” I asked him.
“Yeah!,” he said. “We’ll be out there soon!”
It was about noon by then.
My sons and I finished the race, which ended by the local elementary school. We stood for pictures my wife took in front of the official race backdrop the organizers had set up.
And that was it. The 5K-Our-Way.
The real race, scheduled for March, had been cancelled, obviously. But the event went forward. Bib and goody bag pickup was the Saturday before the race, and then participants had two weeks to run the course. Any time, any pace. No officials, no timers, no stress (well, aside from the obvious pandemic).
While I wished my sons could have had the excitement of competing against other runners, having cheering spectators, and music and water stations, experiencing our own event was a new level of special.
These are the kinds of memories I want to make—simple, intimate moments, no crowds required.
Photo Courtesy of Author