The height of my running career came when I beat the thencetofore fastest kid in school, Charlie Horton. We were in fourth grade. Maybe he was having an off day, and the fact that I was the tallest kid in the class certainly couldn't have hurt. Then came the school track meet. All I remember about that 100-yard dash was that, when we took off, a nickel rolled down my lane in front of me. I watched it roll, then tripped, reflecting the true nature of my running prowess. The following summer I joined the swim club and, except as an assignment or punishment in p.e., I didn't bother with running for more than a quarter century.
In 2008, I spotted the State Street Mile, a straight, downhill, single-mile run in downtown Santa Barbara, just an hour's drive south of our house. The event includes heats divided by age group, novice versus elite, and a fun run. V, who most wanted to run, was only 6 and, with her dad running along the sidelines for support, ran in the early heat of youngsters. After she and her dad had walked back up the mile, she was pooped. Then it was time for the fun run. We all jogged at the girls' pace for a short distance before Mr. B hefted V onto his shoulders. She rode, like a cowgirl on her pony, the rest of the race, her hair flying in the breeze made by her daddy's speed.
Today, while looking up the dates for this year's State Street Mile, I found this video. If you don't have time (or desire) to watch it all, fast forward to 2:35 to see one happy little girl on her trusty Daddy Steed. She's also shown ( at :30) before hear early morning start, red-hoody up, eyes staring into the distance - is she visualizing her race? And in the kids' start, way off to the side (:35-:39).
State Street Mile 2009 from Brent Cappello on Vimeo.