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First meet in the books

September 6, 2011

So today was Ian’s first cross-country meet.

Okay, technically his second, but his first one was canceled last Thursday do to the heat being equivalent to that of… say… Alderaan’s those last few moments before it evaporated.

It was at Rotary Park, with Lincoln (LMS) apparently being the home school, since Ian’s coach ran the meet. Rotary is a relatively new park here in the Patch, very open, very flat, not much in the way of trees yet. A perfect place for Ian to get his XC feet wet, metaphorically speaking.

It was scheduled to start at 3:30. Being an excited new XC parent (and not knowing any better) I got there about 2:50 or so, and there was nobody there. So I waited. Finally, about 20 minutes later, buses started showing up. There were teams representing Franklin Middle School (a public school on the city’s near southwest side), Washington Middle School (a public school on the northeast side), and Little Flower School (a private school on the southeast side). Finally, the bus arrived which contained the runners representing [insert homer announcer voice] YOUR LINCOLN MAGNET SCHOOL LEOPARDS!

The first thing they did, after the bladder evacuations, was to walk the course. It was a two-mile course- again, very flat. From the start-finish line in the center of the park near the ball diamonds, they would run to the edge of the park along Iles Ave., then run the perimeter of the park twice and run back to the start-finish line.

The girls ran their race first. The girl who finished first was from LMS, and she ran it in 13:12. That’s thirteen minutes, twelve seconds. I’m not completely sure I could drive it that quickly. I was very impressed. A pack of about seven FMS girls finished next, then the rest of the field trickled in, one by one. I was cheering for my neighbor’s daughter Carrie (Carrie is in 8th grade and went to Ian’s grade school), who wound up finishing with a time of 17:38. Yay Carrie!

Then it was the boys’ turn. They got lined up, and I was so busy snapping pictures of the start of the boys’ race that I completely forgot to start the stopwatch around my neck. Dumb ass. So anyway, they took off, and I went around to a place about a quarter of the way around the park to get more pictures of Ian as he went by. When he got there, he was about 3rd from dead last. I got to thinking, he’s not going to be in a good mood after this race if he finishes that far down. He ran past me, so I went to stake a claim at the finish line. After about 10 minutes of waiting- which, honestly, seemed like seconds- the first kid came down the final stretch.

He was a boy from FMS, and he finished with a time of about twelve and a half minutes. Again- most impressive, my young padowan. More kids started rolling in, occasionally two or three at a time, and then I saw Ian. I snapped a picture of him about 50 yards from the finish and then screamed myself hoarse for him. Out of 67 boys in his race, he finished 52nd with a time of 18:32. His base time, which was the time with which he qualified for the team, was 19:38, so he beat his base by over a minute. Granted, Rotary Park is flat, while Lincoln Park, where he qualified, has a pretty good-sized hill, but still.

I was beaming.

I told him before his race started that whether he finished first or dead last, I was extremely proud of him, and I was. For his very first race ever, to finish ahead of nearly 23% of the runners was outstanding. I know he won’t necessarily do that well at every meet, but he has shown himself that A, he can finish a race, and B, he can do it with a respectable time.

And then after the race, he dropped a bomb on me. He chastised me because, when I told him that no matter where he finished, I was proud of him, I apparently did it in front of his buddies, “and some of them were 7th and even 8th graders!” I mean, he is in middle school now, but I honestly wasn’t expecting the “not in front of the guys any more” speech until at least next year. So I have that to deal with now.

But in the mean time, I take great pride in how well my oldest son ran in his first-ever cross-country meet. There is another meet this Thursday, the 8th, at Lincoln Park, so we’ll see how well that time compares with this one. This Saturday, the 10th, is a massive meet up in Normal, IL, with lots and lots of schools from all over the state. The LMS athletic director says it’s just insane. Hundreds of people screaming… he says it’s simply awesome. I don’t think I’ll get to go to that one. Dawn’s work schedule won’t let her see very many meets, thus, I kinda got overruled since she’s off on Saturday. So she’ll be attending that meet, while I take Adam to his soccer game.

Man, did I draw the short straw on THAT deal.

I just hope I didn’t lose the pictures I took today. They’re still in the camera, but my stupid iPhoto program didn’t show any photos to import when I hooked the camera up. So once (if) I figure out that little issue, I will [hopefully] have some pictures to accompany future XC posts.

Great job, Ian!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 10:23 pm

    Well done.

    My oldest is in the 8th grade and his middle school does not do cross country, but i am hopeful that next year he will choose to run for the high school (he has indicated he might do so). I think track, and especially cross country is a tremendous sport for kids. The ability to compete not only against peers, but also yourself is so valuable.

    I never was much of a runner, but have started running a bit and occasionally he and I will go out together and it’s just an awesome time.

    Hope those photos make their way out of the camera at some point!

    Again, well done Ian.

    • Johann permalink*
      September 9, 2011 7:35 am

      I agree with everything you said. I’m really hoping Ian takes cross-country into high school.

      He’s actually managed to get my fat ass off the couch and *attempt* to run with him. I don’t make it very far (bad knees and I’m out of shape) but I’m trying to get out there with him.

      Thanks, PG!

  2. Kristen permalink
    September 7, 2011 7:06 am

    So happy for Ian. I know the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes along with competing in sports. I’m sure he will really excel in whatever he decides to do. Go Ian!

  3. Marjorie Stearns permalink
    September 7, 2011 8:43 am

    Congratulate Ian for me! I hope you’ll continue to blog about his meets. I have hopes of seeing some of them. Go, Ian!

  4. SpringfieldZebra permalink
    September 8, 2011 9:07 am

    Congrats to Ian on his first run. When I hear/read comments from long distance (ie., marathon/cross country) runners, if almost never has to do with what place they come in on any given race. It’s usually having to do with beating his/her previous best time, or not. Granted, since cross country courses can be very different, as you eluded to, it’s probably not wise to compare times from course to another, but times on the same course. As long as Ian’s times keep improving, he should consider that a “win” for himself.

    Anxious to see the pictures.

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