Saturday, November 20, 2010
Second, but still first
This day was sure to come as it was an event in the making from our first run together; a quarter-mile jog through a park. Harrison was four-years-old then and I was 44. That was six years ago and with each race he entered - starting with half-milers, then a mile, then 5k’s and one 10k - he was getting faster with each race and at the pace he was improving, and at the pace I was aging, there would come a day when he would beat me in a foot race.
Today is that day.
A new tradition
Racing the Gobble Hobble 5k is now an official father-son tradition. That is, if two years in-a-row qualifies as a tradition. Let’s call it our official start of the holidays. Last year he ran a personal best time of 25 minutes, 36 seconds, placing him in the top 10 in his age division. I, on the other hand, didn’t run for a personal best time but instead ran to pace a friend wanting to set her own record. Which to me, by the way, was a more rewarding endeavor.
For the record
When we crossed the starting line this morning we were both in it for personal efforts. Although there weren’t any race predictions between us there was an unspoken expectation I would cross the finish line first.
Harrison finished in 24 minutes, and 28 seconds, a personal record for him and 14 seconds ahead of me.
So much for expectations.
He beat me. I gave it my all and he flat out won.
The good sport
When I crossed the line gasping for air and holding a side stitch the first person to welcome me was Harrison. He said, “Dad, good race. You were like flying at the end. Good job.” [knuckle bump]
For a brief moment I felt so good I forgot my aching side and didn't care that spit was still hanging onto my chin. That was proof getting whipped by a 4th grader isn't so bad. Watching him give his best effort is highly satisfying, but not as satisfying as being a witness to his sportsmanship and camaraderie.
Call me second fastest in the household but I’m still first in fatherly pride.