Posted by: Karen | February 26, 2007

XC 4k with the Little Runner

I’m still fiddling with photos and a summary of our Florida holiday, but in the meantime I’ll tell you about my 11 y.o. Little Runner’s cross country race this weekend.

Saturday morning we picked up Dawn and headed down to the Glenmore Sailing Clubhouse. I hadn’t taken time to bake up something for the dessert table, so we contributed a box of McVities Penguin bars I’d found at Costco.

I registered Little Runner and I for the 4k route with a slight twinge of regret. This course is my favourite in terms of beauty, challenge, and just sheer fun, with the undulating roller-coaster type hills. I wanted to do the long route. I also need exactly one more 8k distance in this series to qualify for Grand Prix standings. Running the 4k would keep me in the running for an Ironperson (perfect attendance) award, but if I want to place in the standings, I’ll need a minimum of 6 x 8k distances. We’ll get to that later – I’m getting sidetracked from the munchkin’s race, here.

The sun shone, there was no wind, and we all started the race like a herd of turtles. Little Runner started out excitedly fast with the pack and I let her enjoy the rush. I knew she was going out too fast, but she would have to learn that on her own. When the pack left and she was out of breath, we took a few walk breaks and talked about running a little easier, to keep going longer. She found a trot that worked for her, and I followed along.

Dawn pulled ahead of us in that first stretch and kept a steady pace. She was good motivation for us, because the munchkin liked having someone in sight. When LR was tired of trotting, we’d pick a flag at which to walk, and run to it. Then we’d pick another flag at which to begin running again, and it worked almost every time. Sometimes we’d walk for two or three flags and sometimes we’d run past “walk” flags because there would be a downslope just beyond it.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen LR run so consistently before. Whee-ee-ee-ee down the hills we zipped! We got closer to Dawn on those, but couldn’t catch her on the ascents.

In the final stretch LR found her sprint and zipped right in. Dawn is notorious for her killer final sprint, but she had worked really hard out on that course, and the shifty snow underfoot held her back. I think LR was too light to sink in.

We cheered in some other runners and went back to the clubhouse for soup and goodies. Our Penguin bars disappeared quickly and we browsed over the standings for the series so far. I WILL be running the 8k distance next race, come hell or high water. The next one is a) the last chance in the series to qualify, and b) my age group is very thin on qualifiers. I could possibly place in the overall standings!



  1. Go, Little Runner! Tell her for me that she did awesome, OK?

    “Started out like a herd of turtles,” LOL! 😆

  2. Right on…I had forgotten that LR sometimes went with you. What a great thing to do together! Love the run/walk flags. Great motivation for her. Putting me to shame, she is! 🙄

  3. That’s my girls! XOX, Grandma!

  4. It was fun being in front of you …. while it lasted…lol.


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