It was so cute. There really aren’t enough of them. This past weekend my boys participated in a kids only racing event. This event, dubbed a Kids’ Marathon and Half Marathon, was for children 12 years old and under only. Parents could run with their children free of cost after completing a waiver or simply watch and cheer (which is what I did!). All finishers were presented medals – huge medals, to be envious of kind of medals. The day consisted of two races, a 1.31 mile “mini-half” followed by a 2.62 mile “mini-marathon”. Kids could even run both races and get a very special Double Dog Dare medal. The event was sponsored by a local chain, Long Doggers a radically relaxed grill and brews destination, and benefitted The M.O.R.G.A.N Project. The M.O.R.G.A.N Project is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to promote awareness and facilitate support of parents caring for their children with special health care needs, and to enhance the Quality-of-Life for these special families.
Often times all the practices, all the games, all the birthday parties, and all the playdates all, all about my children can get to be too much. Selfishly, as a mom, I sometimes want it to be a little less about the littles all the time. However, this racing event was not one of those times. I loved cheering for all the under 12-year-old as they raced. Just like adult races, some runners rocked the events, some runners were very serious, some runners were clearly just there to have a good time, and some runners struggled and need extra encouragement. Fans cheered for every last runner to finish – you could feel the sense of pride and accomplishment in the air mixed with the Florida humidity of the morning.
Later at my boys’ baseball game, they gushed on about their finisher medals and their race times, a little girl about three years old asked, “If I ran would they give me a medal too?” Upon being assured, “yes” she would get a medal, the little girl turned to her mother asking if she could go race now and get her medal (sorry for the begging fellow mom). So precious to see and hear kids excited about running, especially in this age of childhood obesity. The verdict unanimously from our family is, the event was so cute, there should be more kid only races, and we’ll definitely do it again next year. Fun, fitness, good cause, and medals – what more could we ask for?