In the Los Angeles area, there are many opportunities for athletes to participate in races of all kinds, ranging from 5K’s to marathons all for a variety of causes. Until recently, it had never crossed my mind to take part in one. This past weekend, though, Sonny and I participated in the Kids 4 Kids 5K Run/Walk. The run/walk and its beneficiary, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, were both founded by a past parent at Sonny’s school so current families are always strongly encouraged to participate. We seized the opportunity to try something new and at the same time do some good for the community and signed up with other school friends.
I assumed we’d be doing more walking than running during the 5K. I have been running regularly and knew that I could run 5K without too much of a problem, but we’ve never thought of Sonny as a kid with much endurance. He’s never run anywhere near 5K. When Sonny and a friend sprinted off at the beginning, dodging people as they sped ahead, I figured for sure we’d be walking in a few hundred yards. At one point, they slowed down. His friend started walking, but Sonny kept running, and running, and running. I totally lost him ahead of me, despite his bright orange shirt. He was ahead of me the whole time. I caught a glimpse of him and cheered him on as he passed me after turning at the half-way point.
When we neared the 3-mile mark, I caught up to him. He thought I had cheated and cut the course. He was still running but complained his legs hurt. I said we could walk if he really needed to but that we were really close to the end now. At this point, though, I didn’t want to walk since I had made it this far, but I had to remember this was supposed to be fun for him and it wasn’t supposed to be about me. He didn’t start walking. He said he couldn’t walk because his legs couldn’t stop running. So we continued running, but he wanted to hold my hand.
As we neared the end, our school’s cheer squad cheered us on. Then Sonny heard them cheering on a friend and his family right behind us, so Sonny picked up the pace and he and his friend had a race to the end. Sonny was proud to beat him by 8 seconds. He deserved that super large Laffy Taffy candy that was in his finish line goody bag.
Daddy and Doobie met us at the finish line and joined us for the carnival fun afterwards. There were games and rides and live music. In every direction we turned, we saw families from our school, along with many more families from all over the area. It truly was a kids for kids event.
Leading up to the race, we were able to raise $1015 from friends and family for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. The money goes to pediatric cancer research and arts and crafts supplies for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camps for children with serious illnesses. It felt really special to know that so many people were supporting us in this endeavor to help raise money for such a good cause. It was a very fulfilling and exciting experience and might even have inspired us to participate in other such events.