Monday, July 20, 2009
5K Race Report...Quality Father-Daughter Time
I've run races with my 27 year old daughter before. Races where I've driven in my car with her and spent quality time together. Races where we've both wandered around beforehand, just talking and enjoying the pre-race atmosphere and freebies. We always go to the start line together, and nervously wait for the race to begin. Once or twice I even said that we would run together the entire race, only to have her tell me to "go ahead" because she couldn't keep up with me and knew I wanted to run faster. I always finished those races about 4 minutes before she did, but at least I was always at the finish line to cheer her on. OK, MOST of the time I was at the finish line cheering her on. Other times I would be stuffing my face with post-race food, or at the porta-potty as she finished. We always had a meeting place for after the race, so at least I never lost her! All of that changed yesterday. I wasn't going to enter the "GE Petit Family Foundation Road Race." It's for a great cause, which I mentioned in an earlier blog post. You can also "Google" it to find out the details. It's difficult for me to write about it again, so if you want to know my connection to it all, go back and read my post from May 31. So anyhow, my daughter laid the guilt trip on me last week about entering it: It was the second year, so the glitches from last year would be solved; there's great freebies; and most maybe the free race shirt wouldn't be so feminine looking (Side note: My wife loves the shirt). Of course she also played the "We can go together" card also. She didn't bother to ask if we could actually run together. So I entered the race, obviously. The past week I thought about the race, and the reasons for the race. To use the motto for the race, Yesterday was going to "Be the change." I was going to run the entire 5K race with my daughter. I was going to be a father, a companion, a friend, a running buddy to my daughter. I was going to let my daughter know how much I love her, appreciate her, and enjoy running with her. So I did. I ran the entire race with her. Sometimes we talked, sometimes we ran through sprinklers together to cool off, but mostly we just ran. I taught her the art of dodging "obstacles," or slower runners. I taught her to use the sidewalk for the first mile if necessary to get around the obstacles. At one point she told me to "get away." I thought she was telling me to leave her alone. Turns out there was "smelly guy" in front of her, and she needed to hurry up and get around him! The last half mile to the finish is a slight uphill, on a wide road. About 50 yards from the finish line she suddenly went into an all out sprint. I thought she was trying to beat me, so I stayed with her and asked her to grab my hand, so that we could finish together, holding hands. She did, and we did. She officially finished in a personal best time of 26:36, while I finished in 26:37. She had never finished a race in under 27 minutes before, so she was happy. I also found out why she was running so fast at the finish. As we were near the finish line, she spied her ex-boyfriend catching up to us. She wasn't going to let him beat us, and he didn't. He finished in 26:38, 2 seconds behind my daughter. Nice to know my usually non-competitive daughter has it in her to kick some ex-boyfriend's ass at the finish line. Overall, it was one of the slowest 5K times I have ever run, but it was also the most enjoyable race I have ever run. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, beats quality father-daughter time together. Giveaway update: Details later, or tomorrow. Fundraising update: I've raised $1503.20. SWEET!