Let’s be honest: Even though my active #2 son often is on the run, he doesn’t like having to go from the start to the finish in a long-distance race. Specifically, a cross-country race.
#2 suffered through his first cross-country season last year on the freshmen team. Now he’s moaning and groaning through yet another sentence (as imposed by his track coach, because he’s a distance runner . . . even though it’s only 800 meters), which started last week.
Our high school’s cross-country team isn’t very big, but there are enough boys that not all of them can run on the junior varsity or varsity. That’s where the “extras” race comes in. Designed for the overflow of boys and girls, it gives the additional runners a venue for competition . . . except it doesn’t count.
The best part of the extras race, as far as my younger son was concerned? It’s only two miles instead of the JV’s three. So let’s just say he wasn’t disappointed when he found out he was going to literally be with the also-rans instead of on the JV at this meet.
During 95 percent of the steamy two-miler, #2 seemed content to lope along at a pitiful seven-minute-mile pace and allow our team’s freshmen to outrun him.
Until he got near the finish line.
Suddenly, as if he had been shot out of a cannon, #2 literally stepped it up a couple notches in an attempt to catch Chad, a freshman who was leading our team’s runners. #2 might not be the fastest runner, but he is able to kick it into gear and get to top speed very quickly.
None of our guys were close to the race’s top finishers, but they waged a spirited battle for first place and bragging rights on our team . . . .
. . . which went to my younger son! #2 was able to nip Chad right before the finish line (which was past where I was shooting). He was able to save face and show his competitive nature to his coach and his teammates.
Maybe he’ll be able to do that on the JV team at Friday’s meet!