I has asked my dad for the chance to run a race for years. It felt like each year the answer was the same, no. Or maybe later. One year he was running in a race in San Luis Obispo. I remember after the road race he had a huge smile on his face. He had won his age group and set a personal record for his own 10k time. His new PR was 33:47. As we were eating dinner I asked him if he was happy and he said yes. So i told him i wanted to have that same experience. It was after that moment he decided to let me run my first race.
My first race wasn’t a 10k obviously as a kid I wasn’t able to run that far. My first race was a 200 meter sprint, or half a lap around the track. I laugh because now that I am older longer races are not my strength, but as a kid 200 meters was kind of a lot. My second race I increased the distance up to a full rood race mile.
But I moved on too fast. It was my very first race. It was the moment I had been asking my dad about for what seemed like my entire life. And wow, was I nervous. My stomach felt like it was in knots. I had eaten the same race day breakfast my dad used to always eat, a banana and a big cup of water. But my stomach was upset and I did not like.
Just then the starter called us over to the starting line and shortly after we were off. I took off running, but the other kids all seemed so fast. I remember my dad telling me to keep running as hard as I could for the whole race, and so that is what I did. As the race progressed I started to catch up until I was in first place and winning my first ever race. It was such a fun experience and one I have never forgotten.
I have run in hundreds of races since, but that first race still is a fond memory. Now that I have my own kids I hope to teach them a love for running just like my dad taught me.