Yesterday the kids did a little kids Duathlon in Coeur d' Alene, ID. A duathlon is run/bike/run, so we thought this could be something easy that both the kids could enjoy and feel some success! Yaks was pretty nervous all week to participate, even though he was originally pretty excited. At one point he told me, "It's okay, Mom. I'll just stay home wiff you." When I told him I was going too, he asked if Dad could race it with him. When I told him Dads weren't allowed, Boo quickly piped up rather nonchalantly, "I'll be there with ya, Yaks. Don't even worry about it." As though she's done soooooo many of these! I stressed maybe 500 times that this was just for fun, and that we were just going to have FUN. And did I mention the FUN!?!?
We made the trip up there and the kids got checked in with their goodie bags, bib numbers, time chips, bike tags and their numbers marked on their arms.
They were able to watch the heat of 8/9-yr-olds to see how it was done. One loop running, (pick up your bike and helmet) then a mile loop biking, then run the first loop again to the finish. We had a bit of lunch, and before we knew it, it was time to line up!
win. You could tell these dads and kids meant business. They scored prime spots on the pack lineup, and they weren't messing around. Wait, where are our kids? Oh, they're at the back. We're just having fun, remember?
They counted down from 20, and they were off! Oh mercy, I was so nervous! I felt like I was sending my babies out to run with the bulls in Pamplona!
We cheered them as they passed, and little Yaks looked positively terrified. The boy was almost in tears, and the race was just starting. It was just completely overwhelming for him. He was dead last; just kind of plodding along watching the pack get smaller and smaller in front of him. Oh, my heart was just breaking, and I wasn't sure if he was going to finish it!
Then the following chain of events happened (I'm SO grateful for our awesome lens that let me capture this scene)!
Boo notices Yaks is struggling.
At first she kindof shouts "c'mon, Yaks!" and waves him to come along. Then she slows down, lets her brother catch up and HOLDS HIS HAND to run along with him.
It was one of the most tender, sweet moments I've ever witnessed as a mom. Talk about PAY DAYS!? This is what they are talking about, friends. I started crying. The other parents watching all started commenting, "Oh! Oh, look at that little girl helping that boy! Oh, she's slowing down and holding his hand!"
After the end of the 1st leg run, the kids were all finishing at different paces, so the field appeared a little more even.
Josh said Yaks was biking along like it was just a leisurely ride around town. "La-la-la-la-laaaaa." The tailer volunteer said to him, "Hey, have you got super jets on that bike?"
The finishers were starting to come back from the bike loop, dump their bikes and their helmets and finish their run. You could tell the pros from the kids who had never done it before. If someone didn't help them with their bike, the first-timers would slowly walk their bike over to a rack, take off their helmet, carefully hanging it on their handlebars, while their crazy parents would yell, "RUN ABBY! RUUUUUUNNNNN!"
The final run was fun to watch. The kids would speed through the finish line to their cheering families. One kid grabbed a cup of water on the final stretch, took a sip, dumped the rest over his head, and then tossed the cup on the ground over his shoulder for good measure. It was hysterical.
Josh went to grab some pictures of the kids, so I was watching for Boo to come in, while at the same time keeping my other eye on the meandering Diddles, who had no sense of boundaries. Boo finished strong and had a fun time. She was pleased with her grape popsicle and medal. After several minutes of silence, here came Yaks bringing up the rear. Everyone knew his name by then, and they all started cheering for him. "Yay Yaks! Go, Yaks!" The cute boy was exhausted, but I've never been so proud of a last-place finisher. Just look at me (I'm there in the purple cheering my recovering lungs out, waving my arms in the air like the proudest mom on the planet, which I was)!
A nice woman offered to take our picture at the end of the event. Then she said, "Isn't this the girl who held her brother's hand during the race?" Yes, yes it is.
Last night as I was tucking each one into bed, I asked them, "What was your favorite part about today?" Yaks said, "I like my medal." I told him I was so proud of him for finishing his race. Boo said her favorite part was the race - the whole thing. I told her how proud I was of her for helping her brother; that she didn't HAVE to do it, but that it surely meant a lot to Yaks. Then I said, "Do you know who else is really happy that you did that? Jesus. I bet Jesus would have slowed down and held His little brother's hand just like that." She nodded her head and smiled. Then she asked, "Mom, did I come in first place for the second race (she meant the 2nd leg run)?" I said, "Boo, you were a WINNER."
And that's the truth.