Friday evening we attended an annual track event that is designed to honour Roger Bannister, the man who broke the four-minute mile in 1954. On a replicated cinder track, runners of all ages gave their best attempt at matching Bannister's record. From elementary school-aged children to an octogenarian; with a few local Olympians added to the mix, each runner did their part in making for an exciting and inspirational night. Not only was our own Daughter1 covering the event in her journalistic capacity, but she also ran the mile - very impressively, I might add. She will tell you, though, that the best part of the evening was getting first-hand advice from fellow marathoners, Olympian Eric Gillis and 82- year-old, Ed Whitlock.
|Everyone is cheering as 82 year-old Whitlock comes down the stretch|
|Olympian Nate Brannen speaks with reporters after finishing in 4:05. Although not able to go sub-four this time, Nate has accomplished the feat before.|
On Saturday it was Mr. Fun's turn, as he competed in his first triathlon. Weather-wise, it was a perfect day for a swim, bike, run with a group of friends. I don't think I will ever stop being amazed by the congenial, positive spirit that lives at events like this. I saw one athlete, a young man with apparent Down Syndrome. The joy on his face was wonderful to witness. The buddy who was running with him, stepped aside in the final approach to the Finish Line, and let this young man have his moment in the spotlight. The announcer gave his name and hometown amid thunderous applause. I am an experienced cheerleader at running and triathlon events. I try to say something to each individual or group that goes past me. I don't expect a reply, but it is so heartwarming when an athlete smiles and says "Thank you." I wish life could always be like that. That we could compete mostly with ourselves and our own goals, and that we could all cheer each other on with a smile and a kind word.
I am often asked about books for boys. If you have a boy, 8-12, who is on the sporty side, you may want to steer him in the direction of books by Matt Christopher. Christopher has written more than a hundred books, mostly about baseball, but also about basketball, football, hockey, running, lacrosse, golf, swimming, and extreme sports. The stories are usually well-received by this group. They are action-packed adventures that are suspenseful and deal with relationships too. Girls enjoy Christopher's novels as well, and he has many books with girls as the main character. But sporty boys have always been my go-to audience. His official website is excellent and can be accessed through the link above.
For now, I am going to take a well-deserved rest after all this sportiness. Cheerleading is a really tough job!