The weekend just past saw my 10 year old son Jason compete in his first fun run. It was a 3km run as part of the Run Melbourne festival with my wife also running the 10km the next day. The kids event is a family event where parents and guardians can run with the kids. There were kids of all ages being pushed, carried, walking and running, it was fantastic to see such fun being had around a healthy activity. The only danger was being accidently tripped by parents stopping abruptly or walking backwards to take photo's of their kids as they ran.
The kids could nominate a super hero team to be apart of, Captain America, Spiderman, The Hulk or Iron Man, Jason Chose Captain America and the Super Hero's were on hand to rev up the crowd, pose for photo's and sign autographs.
Just Before The Start
The run itself was a loop along the Yarra River, running out of Galoshes Paddock along the path following the Yarra river and it seemed the whole of Melbourne was out. There were other runners, cyclists, rowing and walkers, it was great to see so many people out on a Grey, damp winters day.
At the end of the usual count down and a huge hooray, we started walking slowly towards the kite marking the start, then not too far afterwards we started to slowly run. On Leaving the park the kids and parents then ran for about 1.5 km along the banks of the Yarra river, over the river via a foot bridge and along the river on the other side finishing at Federation Square. My wife and I ran with Jason & it was wonderful to run as a family and be apart of such an upliftingly good event. We felt very proud because not only was Jason doing something we are passionate about, as a kids safe event he could have chosen to run by himself, but he wanted to do this with Mum & Dad.
Everyone was there for the right reasons, everyone had huge smiles on their faces, everyone encouraged and supported kids other than their own. The super hero's took up positions along the course and gave "Power Boosts" to all that wanted one by touching a special "Power Pad" they were carrying. But it wasn't really needed as the positive energy being emitted by the collective running was amazing.
Christina & I were so excited and into the vibe that we forgot to remind Jason to start Christina's Garman he was wearing but he didn't, I remembered, reminding him about 10 minutes into the run with Jason saying "it's ok dad, I did it".
Jason crossed the finish in a shade over 24 minutes at the same place where the 5, 10, 15km, and half Marathon would finish the next day. I know its obvious and doesn't need saying but indulge me, the time of cause didn't matter, not that the kids realised this as their time was important to them, and should be. What's important is the bonding, community spirit, kids and parents participating in a healthy activity and the seeds that may have been sown that help produce healthy, productive and positive people, now and into the future.
Once through the finishing area Jason received his finishers medal and goody bag containing the usual product samples and give a way's.
We then had a look around the runners expo still being set up for the next day before walking to a coffee shop situated in the Fitzroy Gardens feeling very proud indeed.