Munchkin has been training for the ING Kids Marathon since February. When she heard about it she was a little hesitant but then decided to jump in and run. When she found out two of her friends from school were going to do it too that made her even happier. This was a cumulative marathon so over the course of the training the kids ran 25 miles and ran the last mile of the marathon with 7000 other kids the night before the County Music Marathon.
On Friday I picked my kiddos up early from school. The fourth graders have been taking the standardized tests but they were over in the morning. We met up with Bobby for lunch downtown and then walked to the marathon expo. There were so many people packed into the convention center you could hardly walk. And I have never in my life seen so many shapely calves...of course you could tell who the people were that were there with the runners...that includes me....
We walked around and picked up samples of things like Gu and coconut water. Munchkin even won a giant stuffed shoe on her first try to throw a ping pong ball into a tennis shoe.
Once we were done at the convention center I decided we should head over to LP field. I am so glad we left when we did because it was CRAZY. I am not sure if the planning commission thought much about 7000 kids coming downtown to start a race at 5PM on Friday but as you can imagine traffic was a mess. It took me 45 minutes to go the 2.2 miles from downtown to the stadium.
Once we were finally parked at the stadium we were able to walk around for a little bit before heading to the designated starting area. Our school only had about 30 kids running so we were a little lost in the crowd. I was so thankful for our school t shirts though because we could at least pick each other out. There was at least one school there with over 400 kids. We finally met up with our group and let the kids head to where they needed to be. One mom ran with our 3 fourth grade girls. It made me feel a little better to let Munchkin out of my sight in the madness with another mom running. We were pretty close to the starting line so once the kids passed us we started toward the finish line.
I as so happy to see Munchkin come running with her friends and friends mom. The four of them were holding hands as they raced to the finish line. To get pictures at the finish line I was standing on tiptoe next to a guy who was probably 6'2" and behind another guy who was taller than me (I know, that is not much of a feat). I was glad to see the absolute excitement on Munchkins face when she and her friends crossed the finish line!
After the race was over the girls got their medals, a bunch of snacks, and a bag to carry it all in. To celebrate we took Munchkin to dinner at Rafferty's...away from the downtown madness. Then she crashed hard on the way home. I didn't have to carry her in but she did go straight to bed when we walked in the door. Over all this was a fantastic experience for her and I hope it will instill a love of being active in her and that she will want to do it again! :)