Sunday seemed like a long time in the future. My 9 year old son and I decided a mere 6 weeks ago to sign up for the mile event at the 2011 Nutmeg State Open Track & Field in Veteran’s Stadium, New Britain in Connecticut. Meet organizers postponed the track & field meet on the morning of August 7 (the original date) because of inclement weather to August 14, which was a good decision, until we woke up Sunday morning and it was raining again. No postponing this time, the show must go on.
My son’s emotions the night before and the morning of the race ran the gamut from excited to nervous to anxious to thrilled. He had prepared well, both physically and mentally, and showed an amazing calmness and determination before and during the race. His previous PR was 6:51 (in late May, with me pacing him), and I thought given the less than ideal weather conditions, he would run marginally sub-7 pace. He started out in the back of the pack in the first heat, and like Secretariat worked his way to the front, showing great form, running nice even splits and a smart race, and “emptying the tank” on the final lap.
He crossed the finish line in 6:35, good for 2nd place and a silver medal, an unbelievable achievement (ok, as his Dad and coach, I’m slightly biased) for a 9 year old running his first competitive track event (and in bad weather). We had to wait a while for the official race results to be posted and the medals to be awarded. With a huge grin on his face, my son asked my wife and me, “are you ready to go to Five Guys restaurant to celebrate?” That was his wish, and we were happy to oblige.
First heat of the boys mile race ready to go, with race official giving final instructions
Showing relaxed form, settling into the race, not bothered by the steady downpour
Running nice even splits, coming from the back and moving to the front
Top 3 finish within reach, how about a PR? Can he do it?
Silver medal and PR of 6:35 (in not so great conditions), dreams do come true!
Front of silver medal…
and back showing the Connecticut state seal