Last week’s worth of running was a real treat. My son and I took a little trip out of town to Omaha, Nebraska, primarily to see the zoo and to catch a minor league baseball game. I checked and while we were scheduled to be up there, I found a 5k (well, actually 5.8k) that we could run. My son is nearing the end of the Couch to 5k program, so I thought it might be a good way to keep him interested in running.
Our trip was made a little more difficult from the fact that northern Missouri, western Iowa, and eastern Nebraska have been experiencing problems with flooding along the Missouri River. Because of this, sections of our main route, Interstate 29, were closed. This meant that we had to take some back roads to get to our destination. This added a little over an hour more to our drive up. I became concerned that because of this, we might miss out on a race t-shirt. Not a huge deal, but this was my son’s first run so I thought if at all possible we should make an effort to get there early for packet pickup. While I registered for this race super early, we were told that we couldn’t be guaranteed a t-shirt unless we got to packet pickup on Friday.
So we rushed up there (obeying all speed limits) to make it in time on Friday for packet pickup. We arrived with about one hour to spare. The packet person advised that they only had one large shirt left (they had about 50 mediums and smalls; why so many?). That’ll work for the boy. I’ll just take a medium and, well, I don’t know what I’ll do with it.
The race was called “Kiliismycasa,” a benefit for CASA in Omaha (court advocates for children). The race director had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro the previous year (a 5.8k climb) to also benefit CASA. That explains the unusual distance.
Being in an unfamiliar town, the next morning we got to the race site pretty early. It was a lot of standing around for about 45 minutes, swatting an inordinate number of gnats (close to the river, I guess)? We talked it over and he said he was going to do a run/walk, while I was confident I could run all of it (or close). I told him I’d loop back around and help him to the finish, and the plan was established.
The horn was sounded and we were off. We ran together at the start and it was awesome! I was so glad that we were able to share this experience together. After the first half mile or so, he slipped back into his pace. It was a pleasant morning for a run.
After the first mile, we encountered some pretty challenging hills. Actually, they were quite challenging. When I hit the third significant hill, I decided I’d power walk up it. I was surprised that Omaha had such beasts. I was able to get through and hit the finish line at 38:10.
I looped back around and looked for my son, and a little later saw him coming down a hill. I jumped in with him and we went the last quarter mile together toward the finish line. It was really cool! High fives finished the day for us, and he seemed to really love the run. All around, it was awesome.
We then spent the day celebrating and eating like kings; we deserved it! Omaha is a neat town with a great zoo, and the minor league baseball game was a lot of fun. The only sad note of the trip: he left his t-shirt in the hotel room! Argh!
I’ll never forget the weekend. Hopefully it won’t be our last race together, but you can’t ever duplicate the first.
Enjoy your progress!