We kicked off the 2012/13 indoor track season with the Armory Youth Holiday Classic on December 22. For both of my boys, it was a meet that they anticipated with excitement and awe, and both had butterflies the day of the meet. How many 11-year old runners would have an opportunity to run in the same beautiful facility that hosts the Millrose Games and on the same fast track as Olympians Bernard Lagat, Nick Symmonds and Duane Solomon? How many high school juniors would compete at the Armory unless they qualified for one of the special invitational meets?
The goal for my younger runner was to compete in a distance event at a high level in an indoor track meet in preparation for the outdoor track season and his ultimate goal of qualifying for the national Junior Olympics. For my older runner, the goal was to rebuild after his cross country season (foregoing his high school indoor track season) in preparation for performing well during his junior outdoor track season.
Both were entered in the 3000m, with my older son used to the 3200/3000m distance and my younger son running his inaugural 3000m on the track. The 3000m was the first event on the Armory program, and my 11-year old ran in the Midget age group hoping to break 12:00. The entire field started fast, with an opening 75 second 400m, and my son ran the first mile in 6:07, and started to pass other runners as the field settled down. He finished his first 3000m in 11:48 (6:19 mile pace). My older runner was hoping to improve on his 11:17 PR from the 3200m. Again, the field opened fast and at the 200m mark my son was about 10m behind. He passed the first mile in 5:28 and improved his PR by 12 seconds, with a 10:20 time for the 3000m.
It was a rewarding day with two wonderful performances, enjoyable learning experiences, and the chance to run at the Armory with its history and tradition of great performances.
Photos below of the Midget 3000m race, my son in the blue singlet, black shorts, and green New Balance spikes.
The Armory Track & Field Facility in New York
Fast 200m track with banked turns and long straights
Waiting minutes before the Midget 3000m race
Start of Midget 3000m with opening 400 in fast 75 seconds
Starting to close the gap on two runners in front
Making a move on the outside
Surging to open a gap
Working on a PR late in the race
Closing on 11:48 for the 3000m