Ready to go
My son, Logan, had been asking me when he could go to a race with me. I happened to see this one on a mailing I get with upcoming races. So, I signed us up. It is a 2 member team race of about a mile with obstacles and it was not too far from our house. It is also promotes the NFL’s Play 60 program. The web site also said some have professional athletes present. Well, not surprisingly, ours didn’t.
We left our house shortly before 2 and arrived at Pineville Lark Park about 2:15. They were set up in the picnic pavilion. We easily parked in the main lot and headed over to check in. They found us on their list and sent us over to the sign in. They put Logan in charge of making a team name. I also gave him the choice of competitive or casual. He chose competitive. My son is 5 and in Kindergarten, but he’s super competitive so his choice didn’t surprise me. I had been warning him all along that we would probably not be close to winning. On the sign-up sheet, he chose The Lions as our name. We still had about 30 min until the start, so we went back to the car to store everything but my key and phone. Then we walked to the stage area to use the bathroom. I told Logan we should walk around a little and get familiar with things. I hate not knowing where everything is placed. Well, he didn’t want to get too far from the start. A few minutes later, we ran into our friends. My friend Jen, who ran Princess with me, ran with her older daughter and her husband ran with the younger one. We hung out with them and let the kids play until the whistle was blown.
We got some quick instructions and then they called out each team name to retrieve their numbered card. We ended up being team number 123. They put us in 3 waves. We were in the first wave which I believe was all the competitive runners. Jen and her family were in wave 2. Once everyone had their cards, we (wave 1) lined up at the start. When the whistle blew, we all ran across the grass to the first task. I had to wait since we were one of the later teams arriving and I could not see the instruction sheet. Once I saw it, the first task was to use 2 laundry baskets and move your team around a curved track without touching the ground outside the baskets. We did pretty well. The only tough part was if Logan did not move all the way to the front when he stepped in. I had to step in sideways and it was hard fitting. Once we completed that, we raced to the other side of the lake to the next task.
This time, we had to use 5 cloth strips and wrap a team member from ankle to knees, elbow to wrists, and eyes up on the head. I decided to wrap Logan because it would be difficult for him to reach me. That was one of the easiest tasks and we actually jumped ahead of some teams there. Once done, you have to unwrap the team member and run around just short of the start line to the next task. The whole race would take you around the lake twice.
The next task was casting a fishing line. It had to be done by the youngest member. For Logan’s age, there was a different area than the older ones. It took a few tries, but he finally cast it and actually went so far it went over some guy’s hat that was walking beside the area. We got the green light to continue and off we went. We pass the pavilion at this point and they have water. We opted to get one before the start and carry it with us. So, we ran passed the pavilion and back next to the first task where the 4th task was located.
In this one, one team member was blindfolded and the other team member had to tell them how to get around and touch all 3 bases and home plate. This was not an actual ball field, just the bases in a scaled down version of the infield. I was afraid Logan wouldn’t know how to tell me to move, so I blindfolded him. In hind sight, I should have put on the blindfold. The person giving directions is supposed to stay outside the roped area, but I saw several violating this that did not have to repeat. Logan started well and got to first base. He got a little confused trying to get to second and had a little meltdown. I finally got him to keep moving and he rounded the other bases with only minor difficulty. The hardest part was when a big group of people caught us. He had trouble hearing me. Once we got his blindfold off, we continued around the lake. Logan told me he did not like this race, but changed his story when I told him we only had 2 tasks left.
The next task was more physical. I had to carry him piggyback while he first took a dog bowl and then a sponge with water to fill up the water bowl across a marked area. He did very well at that one. We managed to get it full in only 2 sponge trips. Then we had to walk the bowl and sponge back to the start before moving on. We knew it was the last obstacle, so we were eager to get there. We ran and walked as needed around the rest of the lake and finally arrived at the task.
This one was another one I chose poorly on. One team member had to write down letters on a paper grid. The other member had to run to a board with the grid on a paper corresponding to the youngest member. Our grid was 4×5. I was afraid Logan might not remember how to write a letter, so I had him be the runner. We spent a lot of time on this task. He fell down a couple times on the run. I was also confused about the grid originally and had it backwards. Jen’s whole family caught us and passed us as they chose to have the kids write. We did finally get everything correct and ran to the finish. We gave them our card and got a time of one hour and 43 minutes.
We did it!
I know in 2 tasks we could have done better if we would have switched. I’ll take that responsibility. However, I’m very proud of my son. He kept going and we did finish. In the end, he had a good time. The winners in our division finished in about 30 minutes. All the kids got ribbons. I’m glad they did that because Logan was getting a little upset about not winning at that point. They did say they would be back in the spring. Assuming it works out, I might take Logan back to the race just to see how much better we can do.
The concept of this race is great and I love the program they are supporting. The judges did allow a lot of rule breaking from what I saw. I know Logan doesn’t know any better, but that bothered me a little. Also, the communication was lacking. Jen and her family ended up leaving before the ribbons were given out to the younger kids. If they can fix the communication and rule breaking, this would be a great family friendly event.