I so adore doing races with my kids. In the past if they run, I become the spectator and keep track of everyone – necessary with 8-12 kids participating, especially when they were younger. We’ve done several races however Reno 5000 was immediately our favorite. Will – our fearless race director – does such an amazing job. I appreciate so many qualities about him- his organization, his drive, his foresight, his ability to listen to what the racers want, his enthusiasm to name just a few. I’m the runner who wants more local races but doesn’t want to actually manage one and I realize it’s an opportunity for the kids and me to volunteer for the races we’re not actually participating in.
My enthusiasm for packet pickup has worn off on the kids to the point that our day before the race revolves around going to collect our race bibs, chips, shirts and goodie bags. This time around Chris and I decided to race at the same time as the kids instead of being spectators. With our youngest at 9 years old and an event where we know several people we felt completely comfortable being able to do this which is so fantastic.
Nicolas and Samuel ran the 1 mile fun run first and the rest of us – Chris, myself and 7 kids ran the 5K. We had a spot for the two boys to wait for us and they had a “job” to do for the race while they waited. Nicolas finished in ten minutes and Samuel in eleven. Regardless of their times what I liked most is that they both really enjoyed themselves. I certainly can’t say thank you enough for that!!
The course was all trail, not super difficult but challenging. The weather was perfect in temperature but the winds were pretty bad. It didn’t stop the race from being a blast! It’s so well organized that regardless of the wind everything went off without a hitch. We all start together, but I think it’s important for the kids to learn to run their own race. Some of them do stay together, but since it’s well marked with many participants I don’t worry about them being “alone”. They’re very confident in their ability to finish the distance, the rest is just about what their time is compared to other 5K races they’ve completed. This time around, Kezia ran her first 5K and her excitement was contagious.
Chris, Nicolas and Samuel didn’t place in the top three but all of them had a good run and loved the event. Brianna stayed with three of the girls so her time was slower than normal but she still placed 4th as did Taylor. It’s hard when you’re so close to the podium!!! Olivia and I placed 3rd in our age divisions and Kezia placed 2nd in hers. The other 3 girls are in the same age division, all 3 crossed the finish line together and all 3 placed!! By the time my age division was announced, the announcer said our family had dominated the race! How awesome!!! I’ve always tried to express to the kids that it’s not about winning – it’s about running your own race and feeling good about what you’ve accomplished, but I’ll admit it is fun to win.
For me, being able to afford to do a couple family races a year, to train together and participate together is a blessing. It’s time well spent with each other and teaches my kids a healthy lifestyle that will hopefully last throughout their lives. The memories though, are priceless.