The day finally arrived. All Jared's training was meant for this day. We have run the distance of a marathon in the last 2 1/2 months. Marathon day was yesterday.
Over the last three weeks, Jared has been running without me and doing well. I am still running, just far enough back that I am not breathing down his neck. He followed the rules for the most part and when he didn't and got overly tired, he didn't collapse in frustration. These are successes.
We discussed the possibility of letting Jared run on his own, but that option was put to rest once we got there. There were about 500 kids running and a lot of excitement in the air. Jared's focus and calm soon evaporated like water on Las Vegas concrete in the summer.
I managed to coax him to the back of the group of runners in his age group. I knew the kids in front would go blasting off the starting line and I didn't want Jared falling for that. We needed to stick to the rules.
Indeed the kids did blast out of the gate and the first casualty with cramps writhed in our dust in the first 100 meters. Jared was near the back and we just discussed pacing and that soon we would pass all the kids who would be walking because they started out too fast. Jared maintained his pace for the whole 2km and he passed many kids who were walking or slowed down. He finished the race in a sprint in about 12 minutes, which was 4 minutes faster than his first few mile runs.
He got his t-shirt and his medal. That's what he wanted when we started this whole thing. Now he knows the race route and we will train for next year so he can run on his own. We are also talking triathlon next year. We want the other boys to get off their collective video gaming butts to join in on that goal. Hopefully we can entice them.