Saturday, May 29, 2010

Zoom Through the Zoo

Thursday, we left our house at 7:30 AM for a day trip to Memphis. We began by visiting my youngest brother, Rhett the dentist, for our dental check-ups. We stayed at his office until lunchtime! Then we ate lunch and shopped for a little while. We ended up at Starbucks where we hung out for at least an hour, drinking various coffee drinks, reading, and visiting. We also changed into our running clothes there. Our next stop was the Zoom Through the Zoo 4 Mile Race. Rhett and one of his friends was running the race too, so I decided to run with them. I have discovered that I really like running with someone during races. Since all of the other runners in my immediate family are way too fast for me, it is always nice to find someone to run with! My sister-in-law, Amanda, watched Leah and Sam as well as her two little ones while the rest of us ran. Thanks Amanda!

The race began at 6:30 PM just outside of the zoo. It ran through the zoo (we saw the elephants) for a mile or two, and then the course travelled around the outside of the zoo for the second half of the race. The finish line was inside the zoo entrance. As soon as you enter the zoo, there is a fairly large wading pool. This is where Leah and Sam spent most of their time both before and after the race.

Here are Leah and Sam before they began wading.

Still pretty should have seen them by 8:30!

Our family enjoying the post race refreshments--BBQ. Yes, BBQ. After running 4 miles in the 90 degree heat and humidity. I couldn't eat until about an hour after I finished running!

The Zoom Through the Zoo race had over 1000 participants! Rhett, his friend, and I lined up about midway in the starting crowd. That was a big mistake! When they sounded the starting siren, it was 18 seconds before we even got to the starting line! We still couldn't begin running by then, because the racers were so crowded together, and quite a few walkers participated. We spent the first 1.5 miles dodging walkers and slower runners. We even ran on sidewalks and grass, trying to get around all of those people. It reminded me of the Peachtree 10K that our family ran last year in Atlanta. People everywhere! By mile 2, the runners had spread out more, and the rest of the race was great. I think that since we had to run the first mile so slowly, that it helped our overall time. We didn't make the mistake of starting out too fast.

As with all races, sometimes my children are thrilled by their race times, sometimes they are disappointed, and sometimes they are just somewhere in between. Olivia was happy with her race time, Julie was discouraged, and Clay was just ok. As their mother, I am proud of them whether they are first place or last place! I am so happy that they are healthy and can run. I just hug them and tell them how great they are at the end of every matter their race time or their perception of how they did. They are all winners to me! Anyway, even with the heat, the humidity, the 1000 runners, and their feelings after the race, they all won a medal! Olivia won 1st, Julie won 1st, and Clay won 3rd!

Julie, Olivia, and Clay with their medals

By the time we left, Leah and Sam were wet from head to toe!

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