Last year, right as I was about to start the race, Thatkid started crying because he wanted to run with me. And so we started the race together, and he ran about 3/4 of a mile before Thatboy had to come fetch him. He joined me for the last quarter mile, and after crossing the finish line, made me promise to sign him up for the race next year.
And so this year I signed him up, to run the race with him. He was so excited to have his own swag bag, filled with things for him, instead of begging me for whatever I usually brought home. He was also very excited about getting a race shirt, insisting on wearing it to the race.
When they announced it was time for runners to line up, we wave goodbye to Thatbaby and Thatboy and he dragged me to the startline. We put on our game faces, and we were off!
Thatkid started out strong, like he always does. And faded quickly, like he always does. The first mile is down the main street and back, turning to go up toward the residential area. As we turned, we spotted Thatboy and Thatbaby. That's when Thatkid decided he was too tired and didn't want to go anymore.
I pulled out my earphones and prepared to do the rest of the race alone, when I heard my name. Turning I saw Thatkid running towards me.
And we did the rest of the race together. There was a lot of walking, and spurts of running. But we made it mile 2.
And the finish.
Which makes the whole race worth it for me, even when it takes twice as long. I'll have plenty of time in the future to improve my race times. And one of these days I'll be struggling to keep up with him.
My running buddy and I headed for celebratory drinks after the race. Hot chocolate for him, beer for me. We have very different vices. We brought along our non-running partners. One of the perks of Thatkid registering for the race is that he had a voucher for a free beer at the beer garden. But with his hot chocolate, he was happy to pass it over to Thatboy.