Monday, September 16, 2013

The Ultimate Fun Run

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Yesterday I had the most fun I have ever experienced in a 5K race…and I came in second-last. I finished in 46:14 with a pace of 14:48 per mile. It was a blast though, because of my running mates…

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Posing Pre-Race with the Junior Cheap Running Team

I told Kennedy the other week that I would run the MEC 5K with her if she wanted to do it and Jackson quickly chimed in that he wanted to race too…keep in mind, he is 4 years old. I thought about it and figured why not? It was only 5K and I thought that worst case scenario I could just give him a piggyback ride.

We got to Fanshawe Conservation Area around 8:30 which gave us plenty of time to get ready for the 9:00 start. Jackson was rarin' to go, trying to race his sister while we were just waiting around. I tried to get him to conserve some of his energy as I was not looking forward to carrying him on my back since I did 20 miles the day before. I got him to stay still(ish) by snapping some pictures.

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Smiling with Nana
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The CheapRunner Family (minus Rhoda)

Jackson was very proud of his race outfit…he wore the shirt that he got last year at his Kids of Steel Triathlon with his track pants and Saucony's, as well as his piece de resistance, his "Running" watch (you think kid's notice what their parents do at all???)

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Jackson with his Shrek Running Watch

The race start went about as I had expected; I had rounded the kids up and had us take our spot at the back of the pack, but Jackson couldn't really go slow. I tried to hold him to a slow pace but he insisted on going fast. In fairness, he kept up a good pace for the entire first kilometre, even passing numerous people along the way. Kennedy did a great job of pacing though and kept very steady, not trying to race with her brother. Unfortunately this meant that I was kind of caught between the two of them trying to make sure they were both okay…okay, if I'm honest I was basically making sure Jackson didn't run into anyone. He is a crazy all over the place runner! You know, the kind I usually can't stand. Check the video for proof.

Kennedy was running like a boss, holding her steady pace and never stopping. As we got going and were starting to sweat a bit she wanted her sleeves rolled up, but her watch was getting caught so I helped her. She tried to keep running but I told her to just wait a minute…so she just ran on the spot like the trooper she is :)

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Kennedy after rolling up her sleeves (and pants!)

We ended up making it all the way to the turnaround/water station before we stopped, which was almost 3K into the run. I made the kids stop to get a water break and we were back under way, but Jackson was starting to fade quickly at that point. I tried my best to encourage him along, but he just wanted to walk for a bit.

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Full of energy at the start
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The Pure Joy of Running

Kennedy didn't want any part of walking though, so she took off ahead of us…it didn't take long and she was out of sight! I really couldn't believe how well she was doing this far into the race, and without any complaints at all. She had mentioned at one point that she had a bit of a side stitch, but she just powered through it. I can't tell you enough how proud I was of her today!

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See you at the finish line Kennedy!

Jackson and I kept pushing along through the final stretch of the race with a combination of slow slow running (I have a hard time calling it 'jogging'), some quicker bursts where he would hold onto the back of my shirt and I would effectively pull him along, some walking, and even a couple really short stretches where I actually did run while carrying him. We got near the finish though and I made him run it on his own. He really didn't want to, but as soon as we turned the last corner and we could see the finish line he perked up and found his legs…he sprinted down the hill and ran away from me over the last 100 yards.

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My little champ, beating out Dad at the finish

We finished up, met up with Kennedy (who finished a few minutes before us) and went to grab some snacks and refreshments. Then we went back to the finish chute to cheer on the other runners, including Rhoda, Michelle and my Mum who all ran the 10K (there was also a 15K race).

Everyone at the race, from the other runners to all of the volunteers, were amazing with their encouragement towards the kids. They were cheering them on like crazy and offering support throughout the race…they were a big boost to both the kids and myself. They even had some special 'prizes' for the kids after they finished; a Clif Bar, some Ritter chocolates and a neat little flashlight. The kids had a great time and so did I…this was without question the most fun I have ever had in a race. Thanks to Emily at MEC for organizing the race, to all the wonderful volunteers that made it such a great day for my kids, as well as my fellow runners that made my kids feel like they were a welcome part of this awesome community. And a huge thanks to Jackson and Kennedy for letting me run with them and seeing the simple joy that running can bring instead of being obsessed with placing, times and PR's.

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Have you done any races with your kids?



  1. Mary Cain watch out!! And Jackson has some hard NASCAR moves going there, blocking off other runners from making the pass! You taught him well!
    a 14 minute pace is fine after you run 20 miles!

    No races yet with my tot, we just chase each other the kitchen island

  2. The kitchen loop is where my kids honed their skills...I get dizzy watching them go round and round.
    My legs actually felt fantastic after the 20 miles, I probably could have handled a 12 minute pace.

  3. I don't have kids, but If/when I do I can't wait to run with them! Such a great fun/healthy thing you were able to do as a family!

  4. It was a blast, and extra special because the kids wanted to do it and asked to do it...Michelle and I never want to force running on them, they need to enjoy it for themselves.

  5. WooHoo!!! What fun! Great job to both kids!! So cool that the whole family can do races!

  6. Sugar Coated SheridanSeptember 16, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Oh my goodness this is the most precious thing ever!! My little 2 (almost 3) year old LOVES to run all over the yard/driveway/field (basically anywhere) and I can't wait to do some races with him. I have NO DOUBT that he will beat me probably at age 5, but I don't even care :)

  7. My favorite race recap ever!! Love all the pictures. Michelle looks super cute in her running outfit!!

  8. It sure makes for a good time when the kids are involved

  9. Oh I'm sure Rylnn will be joining you at the races in no time! A lot of races will have Kiddie Trots, Fun Runs etc which are a great way to get the little ones introduced to racing. Our kids love doing them!

  10. My favourite race, your favourite recap :) It was a tonne of fun for sure

  11. Cutest family ever! This looks like such a fun day!!!!