Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fairfield St. Patricks Day Race Report

Sunday morning I headed down to the Fairfield 4 mile St. Patricks Day race. My daughter ran the 1/2 mile fun run, my son and my niece and two of my sons friends ran the mile race, my wife, father, sister, nephew, brother in law, and many friends ran the 4 mile race. I didn't race! I was the support crew in this one, keeping an eye on the kids, caring extra clothes, getting water, cheering, waiting at the finish line. it was interesting, being on the other side of the fence so to speak. Some observations:
  • The raw honesty and emotion in kids is something that we adults could learn a lot from - in terms of being honest with ourselves.
  • Girls vs. boys; my daughter was so expressive pre-race. She voiced her concerns about racing and hoping that she did well. She said "boy, I'm so nervous to race!" to which I replied "how come Kate, you have run much further than this before?", and her response was "yeah, I know I can do it, but I've never been a race before. I don't want to come in last Dad. Look how many kids there are, it's a nice day to run though, I'm hungry, are there snacks after we finish, blah, blah, blah, blah..." She has that female Hodska talking gene. My son was nervous also, however I knew this because he gets quiet and focused. He holds it in. My daughter also loves the accolades after the race where Ryan still doesn't discuss it much.
  • The last 100 meters of a neck to neck race will also teach you a hell of a lot. You may not win, but if you gut it out until the end, it shows your competitive nature. There are many who will see that they aren't going to take it and just back off, and then there are those that concede before even starting the sprint. My son was side by side with an 11 year old with 100 meters to go and they both glanced at each other and then sprinted with everything they had. It was so cool to see and had I been racing, I would have missed this.
  • When you learn biomechanics as a kid, it's instilled for life. Sure it takes a bit as we age to resurrect the form we once had, but it's in there somewhere. The best evidence of this is in swimming. Lisa ran track through high school and college and has beautiful running form. She's run maybe once in the past three months and hopped in this race with a cold and ran comfortably 8 minute miles.
  • A friend of mine who's wife was running was there. He was an incredibly accomplished soccer player and he said to me before the race "To me, I know I won't win. If I don't have a chance to win, then why race? I can just go run four miles back home." There are many that probably feel this way. It's hard to explain that most out there are racing against themselves, the clock, personal demons, ... That there is no way you'd push as hard running four miles alone back home as you would in a race situation. And that there is a unity, a common bond that occurs at races regardless of where you place.
  • I saw a few friends and acquaintances who were surprised that I didn't figure out a way to also run. I explained that I was purely there for support and that it was my family's turn.
  • As much as I enjoyed being support that day and seeing my family and friends race, I'd much rather be a participant.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As one of the 100 Hodskas who raced on Sunday, racing isn't always about winning. It is about setting and achieving a goal, testing and pushing yourself, and being part of something bigger than yourself. Plus, it feels great after.

Big Rocks