My energetic, thrill-seeking son, Jake, got his first taste of DINO racing today.
And I tried to keep up.
Jake and I ran a 5K trail race at Fort Harrison State Park, the final event of the year in the DINO Series.
Jake, age 11, loves to run and stay active. He just wrapped up a season of cross country with his middle school. And he’s done plenty of short road races.
So I thought he might enjoy running in the woods , and testing himself on challenging hills. When I mentioned it to him yesterday, he jumped at it.
The weather was beautiful for a trail race: clear skies, 50 degrees, with sights of fall everywhere.
We headed out to the park early this morning and arrived in plenty of time to buy our numbers and do a one-mile warm-up loop.
Then we trotted over to the starting area to watch the 15K get started. I’ve run the 15K twice previously. It’s a tougher race, not only because it’s three times as long as the 5K, but has several steep hills and two creek crossings.
But today was a day for introducing Jake to trail racing, and 5K was plenty long enough. Even that distance would take us into the woods, up and down hillsides and through plenty of dirt.
At about five minutes before 9 a.m., the runners began gathering for the 15K.
A few minutes later, the starting horn sounded, and the runners took off…
…and crested the nearby sledding hill and ran down the side.
At this point, I saw an old running buddy, Terry Fletcher (in orange shirt, below), and watched him run by in a blur. Terry hosts the Indiana Trail Running web site, a very cool social network for trail runners.
Finally, 10 minutes after the 15K race got under way, it was time for the 5K to start. Jake and I and a few hundred others lined up.
Then our race started. We ran 100 yards or so down a road to the Lawrence Creek Trail and began climbing the long, steep trailhead.
Jake is no stranger to work. And he kept that message in a visible place, as he began passing runners.
I ran at Jake’s pace, and told him several times not to let me push him too hard or slow him down. He nodded and kept plugging away. Soon he was 10 steps ahead of me. Then 15.
Finally, we hit the last straightaway. I told Jake to give his final kick. He turned on his rockets and passed three other runners.
He crossed the finish line in about 27:55. I came in about 20 seconds later.
We got some water, then hung around to watch the 15K finishers come in.
Here’s a friend of mine, Jon (yellow shirt, below), who finished strong. He told me later this was his first run since the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon last Saturday.
Then it was time to eat lunch, provided by Qdoba, the title sponsor of the DINO series.
We chowed down on rice, chicken, steak, beans and chips.
Now that’s a taste of DINO!
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