Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kirby Derby

A little over a month ago my students and I were talking about a local race, the Kirby Derby –a 5K or a 10K. I mentioned that I had participated in the past and they asked if I would again. Quickly agreeing, I wrote up a note to send home with all fifth graders suggesting that if anyone was participating, we could meet up. Note, I had not even ran a block since August. Not sure what I was thinking.

The day of the race dawned and it was beautiful out. No rain – which was remarkable considering how wet it has been here lately. I journeyed across town to join my students. Another teacher on my team joined me, as did our principal, and then so many students. My Babymouse shirt was one topic of conversation – I had said they’d know whom I voted for in Mr. Schu’s Road Trip Mascot Contest by what I wore to the race. Go Babymouse!

Some of the group before the race

And too quickly, it was time to go. I told the kids I’d be at the back of the pack, I had run one mile – twice – since signing up. That does not qualify one to actually run the 5K so walking would be my friend. Unfortunately, adrenaline does something to me and I found myself running at the start. I quickly slowed down after about half of a mile, my shins were screaming. Saying that I was, indeed, a fool.
Former students on the right - flying by me!

For the rest of the first mile I happily walked a few blocks, ran a block, talked to some people along the route I knew, listened to some music. I was beginning to think the race would take FOREVER when I heard someone shout my name. Two students, Maya and Piper, came flying up behind me. They ended up joining me for the rest of the race.

There is nothing like eleven-year-old kids to keep your mind off of the pain in your shins.
J The rest of the race route is filled with fun memories – the high school Jazz Band and Drum Line stationed along the route to give us some energy, Maya cartwheeling through the street at one point, seeing so many former students along the way and chatting for a few seconds.

My favorite moment, by far, would be when a runner I didn’t know came along side us. She cracked a joke about Katniss from The Hunger Games. Maya and Piper’s heads whipped towards her and asked her if she’d read it or just seen the movie. She replied that she loved to read books geared towards kids and teens so yes, she’d read it. Holy smokes, these two girls started peppering her with titles to see what else she’d read, reminiscing about their favorites, and so on. She looked at me in bewilderment at one point and I explained I was their reading teacher and they liked to read. She asked if I had any recommendations for her. After finding out that she loved fantasy and dystopian books, I recommended Divergent, book talked it a bit, and we parted ways. The girls laughed – said that only I would find an adult to book talk to on a 5K as I ran. Had to remind them that they had just done the same.

We turned the corner and headed the last half-mile to the finish line. Turning into the park you run through the tunnel of folks cheering. It was awesome to see so many of my students still there, yelling for all of the remaining runners. I glanced up at my time and laughed – 47 minutes. Slow, but not horrid. I had actually trained last year and ran it in 44. Lordy, I am a turtle.

Several kids came up and gave me a hug. Piper got some water and a bagel for me. So kind. Photo op under the tree and then I headed home. For the rest of the day I alternated between smiling while thinking of the morning and this amazing group, and on the verge of tears thinking of this post HERE and what it means. Fortunately, I have so much to look forward to this summer, but it can hold off as long as possible. Until then, I look forward to many more memories such as the race yesterday. It will certainly be one I treasure.
Some of our group, post race