Last summer, my wife, Laura, did what any red-blooded American woman would do when staring down her 40th birthday: she started training for a half marathon. To get motivated, she opted for a destination race in a beautiful setting and paid for the first night of the condo right away so we would be on the hook financially as well. No turning back! After months of training, the moment of truth finally arrived this past weekend. We packed up the whole family Friday afternoon after school and headed out to Kiawah Island, SC to cheer her on. It was supposed to rain all day the day of the race, but we got lucky with the weather and were able to see Laura cross the finish line without getting wet.
During the weekend, I observed that most runners didn’t bring their entire families. Here are my top six reasons why that might be:
1. They didn’t want to arrive at 10:30 the night before the big race after making four potty stops over the course of a four-hour drive. Again? Seriously?! Please just watch the movie and you’ll forget about it! Oh, now you’re stomach hurts and you’re carsick? Stop the car!
2. They would rather not sleep next to a preschooler who pops up out of bed every hour cheerfully announcing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!” Yes, it’s a beautiful neighborhood, but it’s NOT daytime!
3. Husbands waiting at the finish line didn’t feel like listening to 45 minutes of nonstop “Is that mom? Is that mom? When’s mom coming?…” Try not to go insane…remember Smarty Cheryl says “Life as a ‘YES’ dad is a vacation”; ; just give the kid the iPhone!
4. Post-race group shots look better without a tear-stained face from a melting kid. Is it really that hard to smile at the camera now? You just took fifty smiling selfies!
6. They wanted to put their feet up for all or any of the rest of the day. You want mom to WALK with us to get ice cream? Good luck with that. Wow, she’s a trooper!
But although those other runners/spectators probably didn’t have the logistical/mental challenges we did, they also didn’t have the four three smiling faces of our kids cheering them across finish line like Laura did. I don’t know if we’ll all be invited to Laura’s next race (I have a feeling we won’t), but we had a great time sharing this first one as a family. Congratulations Laura, we’re proud of you!
Have you ever brought your children to a destination race? If so, would you do it again? Any good stories?