Back in January, my son set a goal to lose some weight, start running and to actually run a 5K. He does not love running like I do but he made the commitment and on April 4, 2015, he accomplished his goal. My son ran the Santa Anita Derby 5k which was his first timed 5K.
We chose this race because it seemed like a fun course. The runners go through the LA County Arboretum and Botanical Garden and the race ends on the Santa Anita Race Track.
The event offered runners the option to pick up their bibs on race morning which was perfect for us. The parking and bib pick up was right near the starting line which was very convenient.
The race started at 8:00 a.m. and I waited with my son in the starting corral until it was time for him to go. The weather was a cool 64 degrees but the sun was out and the course did not have a lot of shade. I felt confident that he could run a 12:00 pace but I knew he was capable of a little bit more so he decided that 11:00 pace corral was good for him. We talked about not going out to fast and slowing down if he started to feel tired and he said he was ready but nervous.
I bought him a Garmin 220 for his race which has the live track function. This allowed us to track him on the course to see how he was doing and to allow him to watch his distance and pace to make sure he stuck to his plan. He waited for him around Mile 2.4 and were able to cheer him on. He was looking pretty good when we saw him. We headed closer to the final stretch of the race to see him finish. I was cheering for him and when he saw me he sprinted to the finish at a 5:53 pace! He did not walk at all and that was something he did not want to do.
We did not get a finish line picture because is it was really hard to get into that area. He finished in 32:41 and kept his pace pretty consistent. He told me that he felt good at Mile 3 so he decided to pick up his pace a bit for the last mile. He knows that his race times are not important to me but his effort is what matters most. The purpose of the Garmin I bought for him was to help him stick to his pace and he likes to know his distance.
The medal was really nice and all finishers received a medal. That was important to me when we decided on a race for him. I think the medal really meant something to him.
After the race he collected some post-race goodies and then he asked for some Dippin Dots on the way out. Of course I said yes to ice cream at 9:00 a.m. I think he earned it for meeting his goals.
He wants to improve his running times but I told him that for right now we are focusing on completing the race. He already set his next goal which is to complete a duathlon. It is amazing how motivating and encouraging your children makes them want to achieve bigger things.
We are really proud of him to say the least!