Andrew is a kindergartner in Highland Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He is the oldest of 3 boys and his favorite sports teams are the Cleveland Indians, Cavaliers, and Browns. He also loves the Ohio State Buckeyes, which drives his Aunt Janene crazy. He shares a birthday with Mickey Mouse and never stops asking his Uncle Mikey to bring him with him when he goes to Walt Disney World.
Hi, my name is Andrew, and I am turning 7 this month, which means that I cannot write my own column for Casual Runner quite yet. BUT, I can have my Uncle Mikey write it out for me. So here goes, this is the story of My First 5k.
My family is pretty awesome. My dad is a runner. For as long as I can remember my dad has always been on the run. Since I was a little (littler?) kid, I would see him going out for runs and I would lay on the floor and do warm up stretches with him even before I could even walk.
When I was 4, my parents took me on my first trip to Walt Disney World, where my little brother Nolan and I cheered on my dad and my Uncle Mikey as they ran the runDisney Princess Half Marathon (Race Review: Part 1 & Part 2) – we even got to go onto the course with daddy.
The next year, my daddy ran his first marathon at Walt Disney World, and on that trip he and my mommy let Nolan and me run our first runDisney Kids races. Daddy took Nolan and Uncle Mikey ran with me. Even though I was told to stay to the right so mommy could take pictures of me, when I saw Mickey Mouse giving out high-fours at the finish line, I immediately ran to him, causing Uncle Mikey to almost trip over a little girl. But hey, its Mickey Mouse, it was worth it, and I get to keep reminding Uncle Mikey of that time he almost tripped over a little girl!
Since then I started playing baseball (my first love), basketball, and soccer, but I always kept running. One day my parents asked me if I wanted to run my first 5k. Even though I had no idea what that was or how far it was, I said yes. I am 7, I will say yes to anything that sounds fun, especially if there are snacks involved.
We live in Cleveland and I was told that my first 5k would be with my daddy, that Uncle Mikey would be running the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Half Marathon, and that I would get a cool shiny metal object – its good being a kid! So I started training, or, well, what I thought was training. I ran, just for fun, like I always do. But this time, when my daddy would finish his training runs, I would join him for a lap or two around the block. We’d run a little, walk a little. Sometimes I would complain and want to go home, but we always had fun spending time together.
The night before the race my parents picked out my cool race outfit and my little brother Nolan kept insisting that he wanted to run the 5k with us too, but daddy and Uncle Mikey kept telling him that he had to wait until he got a little older. He was insistent (big word for a 7 year old, huh?), even the next morning, that he wanted to run.
We drove downtown to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – which is right next door to where the Cleveland Browns play, and down the street from where the Indians and Cavaliers play (I can tell you anything you want to know about Cleveland sports, just ask). We started our stretching to get ready (I just mimicked whatever daddy did and smiled the whole time). Mommy and my little brother Zach took lots of pictures, and Nolan kept saying he was going to run with us.
When it was time, they wished us luck and we went to start the race. I tried to get near the front, but daddy kept holding us towards the back. They counted down and we took off. I ran as fast as I could, but there were lots of people there. My daddy stuck my by side in the crowd the whole time. Since I was running my hardest, I started to get tired, and my daddy said it was OK to walk a little, so we did. Then we would run for a while before taking another walk break.
Did you know that, in races, there are people there handing you cups of water? It is so cool. I got to grab a couple of cups, and even spit on the ground! Then I got to crush my paper cup and throw it away. Funny…why does my family keep telling me that I am “all boy.”
We ran around all of the big buildings in downtown Cleveland and had fun, then turned to head back to the lakefront, where my daddy told me we would finish. He also told me that I was constantly out of breath because I wanted to chat the whole time…I guess it runs in the family.
I saw the finish line and took off as fast as I could – it was awesome! As I crossed the finish I threw my arms up and started yelling. I saw my mom, my brothers, and other members of my family cheering me on. There were so many people and I was so happy.
Then, somebody hung a medal around my neck – it was my first shiny medal object. I have other ones, but they are all rubber and plastic, this one is medal, and shiny! It is so cool, it is shaped like a record. Then, there were more people handing us drinks and snacks – this running thing IS pretty cool!
We found the rest of the family for hugs and even more pictures, then waited for Uncle Mikey and Candace to finish the half marathon. Nolan saw my SMO and wanted one of his own, so daddy gave him his medal to wear, and soon he was telling everyone that he ran a 5k. Ahh, kids.
We saw Uncle Mikey and Candace cross the finish line and cheered loudly for them. Then, we got to get even more free snacks, including ice cream! It was the coolest day ever. We had so much fun and I got a cool medal in the process.
Will I run more races? Absolutely, especially if there are more snacks and shiny medal objects involved. I told Uncle Mikey that, next time, he needs to take me to run a runDisney race with him.
I have have the best family because they love Cleveland, sports, Casual Running and Disney, and that is just perfect for me.
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