If you looked at my race schedule (before today) you won’t see the Las Vegas Veteran’s Day 5k run scheduled. I’ve been sick for the past 2 weeks (which has totally put a damper on my half marathon training), and I hadn’t planned to do another race until my first half marathon Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas. However, my 5 year old son has been BEGGING me to let him run a race with me, so when I saw the living social deal of an $18 entry for this run I couldn’t pass it up.
I bought the living social entry on Tuesday night, and while I wasn’t feeling great yet I thought I was on the mend from the sticky crappy horrible head cold I had been dealing with. I was still planning to get at least 8 miles in on Saturday, so I thought we’d walk most of this race and let my son enjoy his first race experience. The Veteran’s Day run was a perfect race for this, as my husband (who is currently overseas as an aviation defense contractor) is a Veteran and served 2 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a nice way to honor him and all the others who have given service to our country.
Saturday rolled around and instead of feeling better I was feeling worse. After getting on the treadmill and attempting to get my training miles in, it became very clear I was a lot worse. My sinuses, head, ears… All hurt bad! I got a slow 3.1 miles done before calling it quits and deciding I had better go to the urgent care. I ended up with antibiotics and steroids for a sinus infection AND an ear infection.
I wanted to cancel the run on Sunday, but I had already told my son about it and he was SO EXCITED. So from the urgent care we headed over to the packet pick up. For some reason our registrations weren’t showing (I had registered both boys for free in the 12 and under category). The Race Director was super nice, and after seeing the confirmation on my phone, she gave us all our numbers and finisher pins. K was so excited to get the pin.
Thankfully we’d just gotten the new BOB Revolution Flex Duallie jogging stroller (aka a double jogger) to review. I was so excited to bring it to the race. With my husband overseas I knew that with a double jogger I’d have no excuses not to get in training miles, but also that it would be perfect for family races. K is 5, but still under the weight limit for the stroller so I knew he could run, and when he got tired he would have a place to sit.
We got to the park where the Las Vegas Veteran’s Day 5k, 11k, and 1 mile fun run was being held, took out the BOB Flex Duallie. Even with both boys in it, I was surprised at how maneuverable it was. You can hold up to 100lbs inside, and my boys combined weigh 83 lbs so we were putting it to a good test. There was no way I could tell that I was pushing a total of 117 lbs around, although I wish I had stopped and added air to the tires because with both boys inside they were a little flat.
After the national anthem was played, the color guard presented the flag, and we thanked all the running Veteran’s and those currently serving it was time to run. I have to admit I got pretty emotional during the beautiful ceremony. Like so many there I know those who have lost their lives, and I also know the toll that service can take on a family. It truly is a sacrifice we should all be more grateful for.
The race was an 11k/5k/1m fun run. The 11k’s went first. Both boys started the race in the stroller. I tried to get K out, but I think he was feeling a little overwhelmed with the crowds. Once we’d run around the corner he realized other kids were running and he wanted out and he took off.
I’d planned to walk most of this race as I was still not feeling very well, but that was out the door. Turns out K kept us on a pretty good slow and steady pace. He ran the first 1.5 miles with no problems. He’d sprint ahead of me and then sit on the park benches as I caught up – LOL! (I’m a slow runner with a jogger on a good day.)
Every time we were passed by the return runners (some serious runners on this course) they would cheer him on with a kind words. It was a very friendly group of families and it was cool for him to have so many people encouraging him.
At the turnaround he was asking to get back into the stroller. I told him we could walk, but he wanted to get back in – so we did. This also happened to be the main incline of the run. Once we got done with all the inclines, he decided he was ready to get out and run again! He kept asking where the finish line was and was ready for it to be over with until he saw the finish line. I had thought we’d hold hands and all cross together – but he had a different idea!
He took off for that finish line. Threw his hands up in the air when he crossed it, got his medal (VERY cool that they gave him one), and asked me when we could race again.
Baby D loved the jogger, but was not happy when the race was over.
Since he was registered he too got a medal, and once he was free to play in the grass he was happy again.
I am so proud of my 5 year old. I can’t believe he pretty much ran almost the whole 5k. (I’m guessing he ran about 2.5 miles). This was his first race, and he did great. He’s so proud of his medal. He even took it to show and tell this week at school.
The race was one we will for sure run again. Although, we will have to register way earlier. I don’t know if it’s because we weren’t in the computer at the packet pickup, but when I went to check our times we weren’t in the results field at all. I think we crossed at just over 46 minutes. I didn’t even remember to stop my watch I was so caught up in taking my son’s first finish line picture!
As we left, K went over to the soldier who was emceeing the event and thanked him for his service. He was super kind to my son and told him he did a great job. K was beaming.
When we got home, I tucked my son in for his nap (yes, I know I’m lucky he still naps…) and I asked him if he’d like to do a weekly fun run with me. He smiled huge, and asked if we could go do one after his nap. I foresee lots of family fun 5ks in our future!
Check out this site for more information on this run here in Las Vegas, as well as many other cities and they even have a virtual run! Proceeds from the 2014 races went to Operation Gratitude.
Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of support, to Veterans, New Recruits, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1.1 Million Care Packages.
Happy Veteran’s Day. Thank you to all families and military members for your time, sacrifice, and service.
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