Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Run Kids Marathon

It has been almost a month since my last post.  I have been so busy I just didn't have time.  I still owe you all a Race Report on the ET Full Moon Midnight Marathon and I will get to that soon.  But first, a refresher on the I Run Kids Marathon.

As I mentioned before, we decided to change the name of the Kids Marathon to the I Run Kids Marathon.  The idea was to attract more kids/more schools to the program.  The only problem is that I was so busy this spring, I wasn't able to go after the schools like I had in past years.  None-the-less, we still had 280 kids sign up for the event.  All summer long, the kids ran 25.2 miles and read either 26 books of for 26 hours.  We even still did the Ultimate Challenge which had some kids DOUBLE the miles and books.  One of those kids happen to be my oldest daughter who finished her 53 hour of reading only 3 days before the Final Mile but was able to get in over 80 miles of running.

Planning and preparing was a challenge this year as at the last second, my main sponsor pulled out with no time to get a new main sponsor.  We has to do with what we had.  The Final Mile of the event was last Saturday held at Wisconsin Lutheran College's Football/Track stadium.  It was a beautiful evening and lots of kids were able to attend.  We, once broke the kids into 2 groups for 2 races, the first for kids 4th grade and under, and the second for 5th grade and up.  This split my daughters into both races.

The Start of the First Race for Kids 4th Grade and Under.

I was there early enough so as the time approached for people to arrive, everything was already set up and ready.  I was still nervous that I forgot something but nothing came up.  20 minutes before the first race, the warm up leader got the kids ready and the announcer was already in his stride with updates and even interviewing the kids.  He was so funny and everyone seemed to love it.

Megan, a 1/4 mile into her race leaving the stadium.

In the first race, there was quite a surprise for me.  I have always told you about my oldest daughter and her running.  Well, my middle daughter, Megan, isn't much into sports.  She prefers doing art and acting.  She is in 3rd grade this year.  At all the races, I watch the kids run the first lap of the track before they leave into the parking lot before returning.  Then I make my way to the finish line and give out "High-5's" to everyone at the finish line.  Suddenly to my shock, Megan crosses the finish line as the 2nd girl!  She ran under 9:00 with no practice, no training, no nothing!  I would have expected my youngest to run faster than her any day but no.  She had so much fun, she is now on the Cross Country team at her school.

Katelynn crossing the finish line in her 3rd Kids Marathon.

The second race had some faster kids but Melissa still finished in something like 6th place for girls.  I do not know her time at all but I told her just to have fun and not necessarily race it.  

Melissa finishing with her long stride.

After all the kids ran, we had an Adults Charity Mile where all entry fees went to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin which was the charity of choice for the kids marathon as well.  Not too many adults ran but there were quite a few kids who decided they wanted to run a 2nd mile.  It was fun to watch.

Lots of the Finisher Medals waiting to be put around the necks of kids any moment.

After the races, the kids settled in for door prizes.  And something we started last year, every kids who won a door prize was also given a banana.  It was really fun seeing all the kids win prizes.

 Scott, our announcer asking what this girls favorite book was that she read over the summer.

 All the kids waiting for their name to be called and given a door prize.
So another successful Kids Marathon is in the books.  Now only the paperwork to do, getting the check to the Hospital, and sending out the Thank You note to the sponsors.  It was a tough year but well worth it seeing the kids finish. I received a lot of Thank you's from parents and that makes me want to go again for our 5th year.  I may even make a prize for the kids who have done it all 5 years next year.  Maybe 5 bananas, LOL

Keep on Running!!!