One of the best things I’ve ever heard of is the Grand Rapids Kid’s Marathon. The idea is brilliant. Kids run 3 times a week, 1 mile at a time. By the time that race day rolls around, they have logged 25 miles! The last 1.2 miles is a race for them to complete their 26.2 miles… a marathon! I immediately wanted Emma & Gerrit to do it but thought they were too young last year. This year, is a different story!!! This year, it’s ON!
I did politely ask them if they’d like to do it but really, it was just a formality. I promptly signed them up and we began our runs. The beginning of that first mile was full of their excitement. I tried to coach them on proper pace and form but shockingly a 7 year old almost 6 year old don’t think that they need help. They took off way too fast and as we climbed the hill on our street, they started to sputter. I encouraged them to keep on going. The short term promise of a chocolate milk when we return and the long term goal of finishing our commitment.
It’s been an interesting turn of events. When we first started out, it was Emma that was solid. Gerrit needed a lot of urging. But run after run, it’s become Emma that needs it. Gerrit’s still slower, but he’s committed. Stopping isn’t an option anymore. He’s not a rocket ship but he’s my steady eddy. It’s sweet the things you hear your children repeat to each other when you didn’t realize they had been listening. When Emma was lamenting that she wanted to walk, I heard Gerrit respond “too bad Emma, you made a commitment”. I couldn’t help but giggle.
7 miles deep into this marathon now. We just went to Gazelle’s yesterday to get their 5 mile prize. It was a frisbee and pedometer. The kids think the pedometer is about the awesomest thing they’ve ever gotten. It’s a tiny carrot to dangle in front of them but it’s genius. I love it!