|Edgehill Running Club|
Glen Doherty Memorial 5K. Doherty grew up in Winchester and, among many other things, served in the military as Navy SEAL. Sadly, he was one of four Americans killed in a terror attack in Benghazi, Libya. The charity was created to aid in providing current and former special operations professionals, from all branches of the government, the means necessary to transition and succeed in civilian life. We explained it to our girls and told them it was something we felt good about being a part and that we wanted to do the race together as a family. Grace grumbled and mumbled about it, telling us she didn't want to do it, that she couldn't run more than a mile, that she didn't even like running. We nodded and told her we understood and that she was going to do it anyway. True to our word, Sunday morning, we all headed downtown to the race....together. Originally, the plan had been for me to run with Rosie and Jeff to walk/run with Grace. When we got down there and started putting on our bibs, Grace decided she was going to run with me instead. Really Grace? You sure you want to do that? Because if you're going with me, we're going to do the whole thing, no complaining. Are you game for that? Yeah, yeah. I'm sure, she claimed. I didn't believe her, but I decided to roll with it, at least for the beginning. We lined up at the start, listened to announcements and a very endearing version of the national anthem and then we took off. Grace grabbed my hand, overwhelmed by the crowd, and started running. It's definitely a bit tricky to hold hands and run, but shortly after the start, she let go and cruised ahead. And then she kept cruising. I didn't have my watch on, but I knew she was going too fast. She was trying to keep up with Rosie and her friend Carly and they, too, had started off pretty fast. Girls, I yelled, do you think you can hold this pace for the whole thing? You might want to ease back a bit. Not surprisingly, they ignored me and kept running. Grace started to ask me when we would get to the first water stop. She probably asked me about 10 times and I continuously told her it was "just up ahead". I had a feeling that once we stopped for water, we'd be walking. I was quietly hoping the complaining wouldn't start up at that point, too. Just after mile 1, she grabbed some water, had a sip and poured the rest on her head and then she raced off again. I was floored. Wow, Grace. You are rocking this. I think you can run the whole thing. Maybe you can even place in your age group. I told her. Now, I know this goes against what I said above about learning to simply love the sport and not focusing on whether you win or lose. But this is a kid who admittedly doesn't like running and didn't want to race, so I thought it might be just the motivator she needed to push on to the finish. She looked up at me with big eyes REALLY?? And then we had the following conversation for the next half mile or so:
Grace: Wait, Mom, have you seen a lot of other 8 yr olds running?
Me: I really haven't, Grace. You are definitely one of the younger ones in the group. You might even get a prize.
Grace: If I win my AG will you buy me a toy giraffe?
Grace: Why not?
Me: Because that is ridiculous.
But a kid is a kid and I didn't want to completely burst her bubble so I offered her ice cream instead and she was happy with the compromise. At this point we're almost to mile 2. We grabbed more water, she took a sip and poured more on her head and then we were off again. Meanwhile, I was thinking, holy crap, Grace has run 2 miles without stopping except for water. And I'm trying very hard not to show how stupidly excited I am for her. This is the home stretch, Grace. We just have to run around the green and back to the town hall and we're golden. You ready to finish strong? To which she replied. I can't be stronger. My legs are too tired. I chuckled. Ok, Grace. Let's just finish. We can do it. Finally, we rounded the corner and we could see the glittery pom poms of the Winchestser cheerleaders at the finish line. Grace picked it up and bee lined it in, crossing the line in just under 30 minutes. It was amazing. I hugged her and told her, again, how fantastic she'd done and how proud I was of her. She was tired, but she was smiling and I could tell she was really excited. Rosie and her friend Carly rolled in shortly after Grace and me and we all grabbed snacks and drinks and then sat and relaxed in the shade, the post-race bagels and granola bars being almost as good as the race itself. The girls were talking all about the race, how hot it had been and how their feet "felt like they were burning at the end". My favorite line of the day came from Carly who claimed, It was so cool. At the end of the race I felt like I was flying. That gave me chills. We eventually learned that Grace took 2nd in her age group which she was very pleased about. We stayed until the end so she could grab her award which happened to be a pint glass. It's a bit of an odd choice for a kid's prize but she didn't care. She'd earned it. Later that evening, during dinner, I asked her whether she was psyched to try racing again. Her response? No, mom. It's way too tiring. That made me smile. But, as she drank her water from her prize winning pint glass, touching it every once in a while just because, I couldn't help but think that this was just the beginning.
Grace, age 8
Final time: 29:25
Listen to this:
Up Up Up - Waters or listen w/