I haven't just attended as a random observer all these years. I have gone as a mom. And for the first time this year, not just one, but both of my adult children participated. The purpose of the run was to raise funds for charity. The recipient will be the "Refuge" for homeless youth in the area...an admirable cause, a fun day of building community spirit, and good exercise.
I arrived at the start line twenty minutes before the run. Despite the crowds, my two youngins were conspicuous and I found them quickly. My daughter, the seasoned athlete was dressed in her promotional Lululemon garb. My son, the joker, shared that when he updated his facebook status saying that he would be running in the DQM, his friends all wrote "LOL" in disbelief.
The runners were ready and eager to begin.
I returned to my car quickly, drove to the finish line and parked, eager to get a prime picture taking position. The sun was shining brightly, the sky was blue and the lake was rippling in the background as I took my place at the rail. Imagine my surprise when the first runners, *professional athletes, arrived not a minute later.
Last years' champion arrived in third place and in fourth place, hurrayyyyyyyyy, was a female competitor. The announcer said, "Now we'll have to wait at least another ten minutes before everyone else starts to show up."
He was correct. Slowly, others began to trickle across the finish line. Some were in pairs, some in clumps and some made a last minute surge to the end. I waited, looking for signs of someone familiar. Then, as I stared into the morning sun, I glimpsed a splash of pink.
My first born had arrived...excellent time. As she came closer, I eyed my second born, first time participant, not far behind. They had both completed the distance one minute apart from each other.
Then they caught their breaths, took advantage of some free food and drinks and socialized with friends.
A short time later, I asked my son, "Would you do this again?"
"Sure", he responded "but next time I plan to beat my sister".
Perhaps, next year will be the year that I join them. I wonder what the weather will be like.
*Professional runners often have well defined muscles and flourescent shoes.