This Run Santa Run is a great little race that I found two years ago and absolutely fell in love with. It's the only race I've been able to run every year since its start, and it's great to see how the race has grown. The first year the race was held, there was this tremendous and unexpected outpouring of support by the local community that lines to pick up the bibs took about a half hour longer to clear than originally expected.
This year, the lines to grab bibs were fast and smooth, and my son and I were ready to go in no time.
As we lined up, it was a great sight to see so many other parents there running with their kids that were somewhat close to my son's age. As I was taking some pictures of the crowd, I noticed people were starting to move forward quickly. The race had started and I had totally missed them saying "Go!". Whoops!
My son took off like a bullet. Trying to rope him in to get him to pace himself was no easy task, until the cold air hit his lungs. I can't stand running in the cold for that very reason, and I had to talk him through breathing slower so as not to let the cold overcome him.
He found a great pace that was very comfortable for him, and started chatting with some people along the way.
As we came into the first mile, he asked if we could walk, but as I dropped my pace down to a walk, he just kept on jogging. In fact, every time during the race that he asked to walk he was still able to keep a jogging pace.
The course was an out and back, and as we headed down the street, the first place runner was making his way towards us. I told my son to give him a cheer to encourage him on, something my son did for every single runner we passed from that point on. It was great seeing him showing so much genuine encouragement for others out there, and even better to see others cheering him on. He'd get this amazing smile on his face when other runners would cheer him on by his number.
We hit the turnaround, and he stopped for a quick water break. As we made our way back to the starting line, a little girl just around my son's age took a walking break in front of us. My son must have been a bit taken with her as he asked if we could walk too. For the next half mile when she'd run, he'd run. Eventually my son got a little bored with it and decided to just keep running as we saw the field with the finish line ahead.
My son told me to run ahead so I could take his picture as he crossed the finish line.
He did such an amazing job, and finished with a great time. I couldn't be prouder of my son and the fact that no matter how tired he got or how much his legs were burning, quitting was never something he wanted to do. Seeing how proud he was of himself at the finish totally made me happy. And then he told me he wanted to run a six mile race next!