Today was my second attempt at the Grand Rapids Mud Run. Last year my husband and I ran it with some friends for fun, this year he decided he was going to go all out competitive and see how well he could do at it. But even better, our 4.5 year old decided he was up for the kid’s run. Racing is relatively new to my family. My husband has been a runner since he was in school, but really only ran here and there for fun. I started running two years ago just to train for a race that my friends were all running in, but I found quickly that I was hooked. I guess while it’s new to us, we’ve been doing it half of my son’s life and probably as long as he can remember. He’s run a couple little kid races here and there when they’ve put on little events after a 5K, but this was the first time for him where he got a number and there was some anticipation and a big start. Not to mention the first event he’s done that required he work REALLY hard to push to the finish.
I had just finished the full 5K myself and knew I had to hustle back to the start line if I hoped to run with my son, Graydon, and my husband. While it’s played off as a fun little run, that Grand Rapids Mud Run course will kick your butt. It’s not even close to your typical 5K. In fact at one point I heard myself saying to my friend “MAN! The Riverbank Run 25K was easier than this.” So by the time I got back to the start line for the kid run, I was TIRED! I was banged up, bruised, worn out and my shoes clothes weighed at least 10 to 15 pounds heavier than when I’d started to begin with. I said to my husband (who is quite the competitive one), “Just remember to let him set the pace and go with it.” Little did I know that little preschooler would take off like a shot. I jogged along, then I was running, then I was doing all I could to keep them in my sight. I’m not exactly a fast runner, but I’m not too slow either. That little boy was running so fast I could barely keep up and I kept thinking he’d slow down from a sprint any minute when he realized the finish line wasn’t just around the corner. . .NOPE!
Sadly he lost both his shoes in the very first mud pit. I grabbed them, but no point in trying to get them back on. He finished the rest of that 1 mile race through gross, nasty, foot grabbing mud in nothing but his stocking feet. He worked hard through every pit and over every hill/obstacle, even though sometimes the mud was up to his chest. He had fun and he was so proud of himself in the end.
There are a lot of things I’m proud of when it comes to my kids. One of the things I’m most proud of is watching my sons have fun doing things that make them healthy. I’m proud of the example that my husband & I are setting for them and thrilled they want to be part of this. Sadly I realized he’s growing so fast that it won’t be long before he does his first full 5K and he runs it faster than me even though his legs are less than half the length of mine. But I know this kid, he’ll finish hard and then he’ll turn around to cheer me on behind him.