My Son’s First “Race” and Long Run Success

A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent my husband and I the website for a local kids race, the Kids Running Obstacle Course (ROC). The youngest category was 4-5 years old, so we decided to sign our oldest son up up (he’ll be 4 in January). He has shown an interest in running and he’s a big fan of climbing, jumping, rolling, etc (like any young child!) so it seemed like a perfect first race for him.


Pre-race…LOVE that every child was “#1”!

The race not disappoint. My son never stopped smiling throughout the entire 10-15 minutes it took to run over, under or through the obstacles.


Some he was able to maneuver on his own and then either myself or Jenn (who was with her daughter) were there to help him over those that were a bit outside his comfort zone.




I’ve wanted to sign him up for several kids races earlier this year, but I’ve been hesitant b/c I never want running to be something I force on him. My husband and I decided that the obstacle course aspect of it would be a good introduction into racing/running.

And my youngest also got to participate – he ran about half of it with my husband and had an absolute blast trying to keep up with the older kids!


It was also really nice to see some local runners who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at previous races as well as meeting a few new ones!


I haven’t posted my training updates here lately because I’ve taken the last couple of weeks off from official training. I’ve been running but haven’t followed a plan nor have I gone on any long runs. There are a handful of reasons for it but mostly I just wanted/needed to reset. The important thing is that after a pretty successful 15 miler this past weekend, I feel like I am mentally and physically ready to start training again.

I set out with hopes of running between 12-16 miles. The longest I had run in about three weeks was 10 miles, so I didn’t want to go any more than 16. It was one of the stickiest mornings all summer. I started at 530am and it was already 76 with a 75 dew point and 96% humidity. All pace expectations went out the window and I told myself to just worry about distance.

Splits: 8:17, 8:02, 7:56, 7:54, 8:02, 7;57, 7;58, 8:01, 7:58, 7:55, 7:56, 7;59, 7;55, 7;51, 7:41. Nothing fancy, but I felt strong and consistent which is a HUGE change from how I felt the last couple of months. 

So I’m back to a training plan again this week. And on the heels of a good couple of weeks of running, I registered for the Potomac River Run Marathon. After looking at other late fall options, I just felt that this was the race for me for so many reasons:

  • Small race – which I kind of love. I’ve run Boston, NY, Philly – all large races but am finding that I much prefer the laid-back, hassle-free environment of smaller races like Rehoboth and NJ.
  • Flat – I wanted a flat and fast course. This fit the bill.
  • Accessibility – Richmond was right at the top of my short-list as well, but it would either be a 5 hour drive (UGH) or a plane ride – neither of which I was really too keen on. Potomac River Run is 3 1/2 hours away – so definitely within driving distance for me and the boys
  • Friends – Leah, one of my (super speedy!) close friends from college and the Army lives outside DC – we are going to get to see her and her family…and she will be pacing me for a portion of the race. Pretty awesome.

How old was your child for their first race?

Have you ever had a friend pace you for a marathon?



I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    14 thoughts on “My Son’s First “Race” and Long Run Success

    1. Pingback: Recovery + Weekend Fun |

    2. ohmygosh your boys are the cutest!! Love their smiles and it looks like you all had a great time. I’ve wanted my boys to go a kids race but they have been somewhat hesitant about running so I don’t want to push them. But my oldest has started to do Mighty Milers at school (his choice and without my prompting!) which I’m excited about. So happy for you and your great long run!
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..High Five (or 11) Friday!My Profile

    3. I love kids races and get really excited that kids WANT to do it! We see so much now on how kids just want to sit and watch video games or TV and its so great that your kids are so active and excited about those kinds of things. You are giving them such a great example of a healthy, active life!

      Congrats on a great long run, I couldn’t have done that pace, especially with the temp/humidity!
      Sarah @ KS Runner recently posted..Fall RunningMy Profile

    4. Your boys are precious!! My 5 year old ran a glow run 5k with me when she was not yet 4.5. She loved it so much, she ran the whole thing. She has done a color run with me and it was hot and she walked and whined her way through it. She is going to do the Disney Avengers 5k through disneyland in November with her Dad. She doesn’t do practice runs all that often. Usually we only go a mile. Now her little sis, who is about to turn 2 at the end of the month, is getting into it. She insists on wearing her running shoes and getting out of the BOB and running the last bit home (about .10 mile). I bet she’d be up for a dash of some sort. :) I don’t really push it so much either – but daddy and I both run and do triathlons so they just think it’s what you do. And I love that.

    5. He is so freaking adorable!!! I really hope when I have kids someday, I can bounce back to running like you have, and have kids that are as excited as I am about running. Especially as Steve is a collegiate coach, we are gonna be in trouble if our kids do not 😛

      As for your long run, yay! Glad it is finally clicking into place. I don’t feel like I am there yet, each day is up and down, and I am constantly doubting if I am ready to run in the elite field for chicago, it really scares me, and I wonder where I am at. Hard not to compare to previous seasons isn’t it? But I am gonna keep chugging along, and trust it will work. Having your friend pace will be a HUGE help, it will mean you can take your mind off things and just follow :)
      Tina Muir recently posted..International Chocolate Day GIVEAWAY with Balance BarMy Profile

    6. Awesome! A runner I coach is doing this race too and set her PR on the same course but another similar one run in May. If I can, I’ll try to be out there too. It’s a no frills race, but very simple course. Good luck with the rest of the training – glad you’re feeling back on track!
      LesserIsMore recently posted..Race Report: Firecracker 5kMy Profile