Valley Harvest Kids Run Recap ’17

WHAT A BEA-U-TI-FUL WEEKEND! We had summer like temperatures over Thanksgiving weekend – what more could you ask for!

We started off our weekend by moving a cord of word…yeah…all four of us. Though I’m sure it might have been more productive if it was just 1 or 2 of us big people moving it but the girls wanted to help. PSA – playing the soundtrack of “SING” can make your kids enjoy outdoor chores that much better. And it can provide entertainment when they start randomly dancing and singing.

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After that, the girls and I grabbed a quick lunch and left for the Valley Harvest Kids run while my husband stayed back and finished cleaning up the last bits of wood. It was HOT; like 27c but felt like 34c! They got their race shirts and bibs and we hung out with some friends.

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There were a few age categories before us (under 5 girls/boys A-M, N-Z), then Hilary ran 800m (5-6 yrs) and Lilly ran 1200m (7-9 yrs). Hilary wasn’t too sure she wanted to run it by herself so her and her friend B started the race and I joined them. They both had smiles on their faces and were just LOVING it! They were the happiest runners I’ve seen in a while!

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This would be Lilly’s first time running 1200m; around the track, outside the stadium, around another field and back into the stadium to finish. Again, she had a smile on her face that you couldn’t wash off. She walked a little around the field but said she felt good and just kept going when she was ready.

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Once all the kids in our little group finished we quickly went inside to hide from the heat, get a snack. After sorting out a little meltdown with Hilary, we decided to head home for the day so Mommy could go carb load for her race the next day 😉

It was such a great event. SO MANY KIDS running! Though for parents it might be a crazy and busy time waiting for your child’s race to start in the heat but it’s so worth it. To see your kid run and enjoy it (hopefully) is a pretty awesome thing! Whatever sport or activity my girls participate in, I love watching them. I like to see the joy on their faces, see them making decisions on their own and coming up with their own strategies to navigate through those decisions.

Fun medals!

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It was also so much fun watching other kids run (and some parents too). They ran so fast, so hard, so happy and there were a few tears here and there. I greatly appreciate the time and energy that goes into a running even and even more so when it’s a FREE kids event! Yeah, it was free for all kids! Great job Valley Harvest Marathon!

Anyone’s kids run at the VHM?

Do you enjoy watching your kids (nieces/nephews) at races?

Can you believe the weather we had on {Canadian} Thanksgiving Weekend?

 

Parenting Edition:What’s In A Race Photo?

With race season wrapping up in our area, race photo’s are starting to pop up on Facebook news feeds and emails. The anticipation of seeing your photo can be thrilling or scary then to see the photo and think, oh shit, I looked horrible (or great). They are fun because it brings you back to that moment in time when you may have been struggling or you nailed a new PB.

As a parent, if your kids are in sports you get to watch them over and over AND over again. Soccer games, rugby matches, cross country meets or swimming lesson. Growing up I played multiple sports and my parents were always at my games/siblings games. Soccer games, volleyball games, badminton games etc. They sat and watched over and over again all three of us play. They drove us to games, wiped our tears when we lost an important game, played with us, coached us; they were our biggest cheerleaders.

For me and my husband (Saï), as parents of an almost 4 year old and 6 year old, we now get to watch them play sports. It’s all introductory lessons and practices of soccer, swimming and now gymnastics.

I believe that since Saï and I both run, the girls like to run. You know monkey see monkey do. They genuinely love to run but have different running styles. Lilly is calm and collected like her father and Hilary has fast feet…not like her mother.

So why am I writing this post? Well, all because of this photo:

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{Thank you Valley Harvest Marathon for the free photos, it’s much appreciated!)

This wasn’t her first kids run, she’s done a handful of them over the last three years. She run twice around the beautiful Acadia University track with other six year old’s at the Valley Harvest Marathon Kids Run.

BUT, this photo…the face of focus, I’m hoping not pain. Her hair bouncing to the side from her body gliding over the track, her posture and form pushing her forward, her outfit that she picked out to run in. I also love the other girls in the photo, all doing their own thing and enjoying it. Oh, I love this photo of my daughter.

I’m sure there will be more sports over the years and, I so look forward to watching and capturing moments like this.

So what’s the value of a race photo as a parent – SO MUCH HAPPINESS 🙂

Happy Friday Folks!

What are your weekend plans?

What are your thoughts on race photos?

Last – for those that commented on Wednesday’s post – thank you.

Valley Harvest Marathon Kids Run 2016 Recap

It seems each year the weekend of Valley Harvest Marathon (Canadian Thanksgiving weekend) the weather is different. In 2014 it was super wet, last year it was the windiest and this year probably the warmest in a few years. With the bright sun-shining down on over 1000 kids, it was a great day!

We actually started the day off with swimming lessons at 8:30 and were amazed that it went so well. We were expecting Hilary have a meltdown since she dislikes water and didn’t want to do swimming lessons. Lilly swam in the deep end for the first time unassisted and Hilary was in the water the whole time with an instructor! Big win!

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After an early lunch we headed off to Wolfville to pick up our race kits and meet up with friends. Race kit pick up with kids can be a bit hectic but they had some activities for the kids to do which was great. We ran into lots of people we knew which is always fun.

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We waited outside from 1:30 until the 2 pm start time which for our three-almost four year old, was too long of a wait (parenting lesson learned).  At 2 pm the under 5 girls went, which meant it was Hilary’s turn to run one lap around the Acadia track. Last year she did it all by herself so we expected her to do it again by herself. That was not the case.

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After see most of the kids pass around the track, Hilary was nowhere to be seen. I made my way over to the other side of the field to see her walking with a sad face. I tried to cheer her up and her response was “I just want to run with you”. With no hesitation, I grabbed her hand that was reaching out to me and took off in my Birkenstock. She cruised around the track to the finish her lap. She’s actually a fast runner so it was funny trying to keep up with her in birks. Afterwards she was so happy to “have won the race”!

Next up was under 5 boys and then it was supposed to be 5 & 6 year olds girls. I’m not sure if they changed it last minute but as Lilly was waiting with the other 5 & 6 year old girls they announced it was only 5 year olds going. Six year olds had to go back and wait with their parents so Lilly stepped to the side of the track. Lilly was fine but it was a little chaotic for some parents and kids. It was 5 year old girls who then did two laps followed by the 5 year old boys who did two laps, then it was Lilly’s turn with the 6 year olds. We waited in shade near the start to watch all the runners finish.

Finally it was Lilly’s turn and she was so excited. We talked a lot about pacing herself as sometimes she goes too fast and then get’s a stitch in her side. She did a great job running and had a happy face as she passed us on her first lap. The best part was watching her get her medal and run over to me with excitement all over her face. So worth it.

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We played on the field with friends and took in the Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel equipment that a friend was facilitating. We got to practice throwing a pretend javelin on a rope which was really cool.

Though it was a bit chaotic for some parents it was a great day to have kids out running and cheering each other on. There was lots of traffic delays due to highway and road construction that you can’t really do anything about. We had typical wait times getting out of Acadia University where the run was held but that to be expected when you go to an event like that.

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I love having such a great event so close to home to watch not only our girls run but their friends run too. Sometimes we parents feel like we run around with our heads cut off when taking your kids to fun events like this but in the end it’s all worth it. The girls had a blast and that’s what really matters.

Big thanks to Valley Harvest Marathon committee for the Kids Run – 1000’s kids registered – that’s awesome!

Do your kids run in kids events?

Anyone’s kids run in the Valley Harvest Marathon?

Do you plan for traffic delays when going to a race?

Valley Harvest Marathon 10k Recap to come…it was great!

Bluenose Kids Run 2016 Recap

One of the things I love about the Bluenose Marathon is the race expo. Race info, products, prizes to be won, meeting friends and race directors. It’s that side of the running community that is motivating and inspiring. You meet people you would have never met before and then want to follow up with them on how their race went!

Last Friday, Saï and I drove into the city to pick up my (and the girls) races kits, we also hit up Costco (deadly) and went out to lunch together (bonus!).

It’s always great seeing the BEST.RACE.DIRECTOR ever! Michelle has been the race director for Maritime Race Weekend (September) for the past 5 years. I’m starting to get excited for this double race (5k & Half) but nervous about the massive hills! We also dreamed about places we’d like to run: Me – Hawaii and Saï – Nepal!

Best Race Director May 21

Youth Run

Saturday morning the kids run was supposed to start at 11 am so we made it downtown, found great parking, our friends and then walked over to the start area. It was such a HOT day, I think it got up to +24 c. Around 10:40 am an announcement was made that the race would start late but we didn’t know what time. Parents weren’t too happy about that and the poor kids where beside themselves.

In the end, it started at 11:15, so we spent a lot of time standing around in the crowd ready to go. I forgot their water bottles in the car but figured it would be okay since we were so close to start time…NOPE! Poor Hilary had a meltdown while Lilly was just so happy to be there. Thankfully, I ran into a friend that had an extra water bottle and we showered hair/next with it. Some parents were extremely upset about the late start. We tried to make the best of it.

Once we got started, Hilary didn’t want to run. Lilly had gone with her friend Teghan and Krystol, while I took Braegha with us. We caught up to them as well but there was 4,300 kids running (aged 3 months to 15 years) PLUS roughly 1 parent per child. IT.WAS.NUTS!  There was no way we’d run the whole 2 km but walk most of it because it was so crowded. Just when Hilary was feeling comfortable and started to run on her own, she felt flat on her face on the pavement. I felt so bad but she got up, cried and kept walking.

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A few hours after the race, the girls loved it. Too many people may have cramped their comfort during the run but they were happy. They got some food after running and we sat on the cold floor in the Scotiabank Centre before they got tattoo’s.

I’m really hoping they make some changes to the run next year so it’s not as crazy. They delayed the start because they were still having people register and get their kit bags. I get that and amazing numbers for the youth BUT!!!!! YES, BUT….how many months did people have to sign up? And how many emails/notices when out about kit pick up????

My suggestions:

  • Have three waves. One – grade school kids that can run the distance on their own (2k and 4k). Two – grade school kids with parents. Three – Anyone in strollers. (We almost got hit but a few strollers which made Hilary pretty upset). If we are out growing the space, it’s time to start thinking about corrals for the kids…yes for the kids. I’m okay with crowds but not all parents or kids are.
  • Have water at the start when they know it’s going to be super HOT and DELAYED.

That’s it. I hope that wasn’t too much like a rant but it’s how I feel.

The girls had a blast, we were active, we cheered on others, we were outside. It was a great morning!

Ever run with your kids in a race?

Ever have a race delayed due to registrations/kit pick up not going fast enough?

Anyone else run the kids run at Bluenose?