Guest Post -- My 9 Year Old's Race Report

After reading that chapter in Freakonomics about how kids' brains turn to oatmeal over the summer unless they are intellectually stimulated just a little bit, I have been gently encouraging (read: flat out bribing) my daughter to read and write over her vacation. I get that summers are for play, days at the beach or the pool, and some vegetative down-time before school starts again, and my kids definitely get enough of that; I just figured writing a little and reading a few pages a day won't kill them (contrary to the scientific studies I used to cite to my parents when I was a kid...thank God the internet wasn't around for fact-checking back then).

I told my daughter that I am going to be her editor, and if she writes stories for me, I'll decide how much to buy them for (up to $5, which is a lot in the news business these days). She ran a 4th of July fun run with my wife and I asked her to write about it. She came up with a race report that I thought was pretty good, in fact probably better than most of mine and a lot of others that I have read, though not quite as detailed as some. I wanted to share it with you all (the exclamation points, underlines, and emoticons are all hers)...

My Race

Waking up at 6:00 AM was the hardest part. My mom came into my room as quiet as a cat, trying not to wake my sister. "Come on," she said. I got out of my room as saw my things laid out for me, a tank top, my running skirt, my socks, and my running shoes. I ate a piece of toast, got in the car, and then we were off for the hour drive to the YMCA in Laguna Niguel.

My mom and I picked up our bibs. Our bibs were white with the number in the middle (of course), but behind the number was an American flag because it was Independence Day. And of course there was the name of the race on the top and the bottom, "Run in the Parks." The people who organized the race held six races: a 10K, 5K, 1 mile, 1/2 mile, 1/4 mile, and a 25 yard dash. My mom ran the 10K and I ran the 1/2 mile.

After we pinned our bibs on our shirts, my mom and I watched the 5K start and finish. I stared in awe at how fast the 5K winner ran. A 15 minute 5K. Wow. Finally, the 10Kers started. Oh, how loud I cheered for my mom. I waited for half an hour and then I saw the winners come in. I cheered for the first woman and she smiled and said hi to me (my mom told me later that she was a really fast runner named Michelle Barton). I watched my mom finish. She made it in the top 40 women. I counted :).

"Finally!!!" I thought. My race was about to start. My heart was pounding. This was my 2nd race ever! The 1/2 mile was a sprint, so it was really tough. I ran as fast as I could and after the first lap I got a side stitch. And at lap 2, a group of boys cut halfway across the field, so that really put me behind. When that happened, my mom's friend, who had stayed to watch me, cheered hard for me. That put me in such a good mood that I went from running kind of slow to as fast as I could go. I lost a lot of people.

My place was top 10 thanks to those boys :(, but 3rd girl. I was really unhappy with it at first, but then I realized there were 40-60 people running, so now I am proud.

It was a great race. I loved it, but next year I will do the 1 mile or the 5K.


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