Every year, for as long as I can remember, my family has run a five mile race at the Jersey Shore. Some years we all run, some years most of us run. But every year my family can be seen wogging along Ocean Avenue in our tie dye shirts as we struggle through mile 3.
My dad is even easier to find, because he wears his cowboy hat.
Last year, because two of us were already paid and couldn't run, I encouraged my two oldest munchkins to run in their place. While they were both fit, five miles is a long way. Very long when you have tiny legs. I believe that when they agreed to run with us they were imagining a few laps on the track.
Since there are some of us who run very slow, and some who run very fast, I was confident they would do well. There would be an aunt, uncle or grandparent alongside them the entire way.
And there was.
This year, both my munchkins knew how long five miles is, and they were excited to give it another go.
They were definitely ecstatic to be part of the crazy person club that runs five mile races for fun. They also officially graduated from the corner where they spent years cheering us on.
This is the same corner my brother takes pictures from, such as this man. This year he wanted us to know who was beating us. My brother is nothing if not entertaining.
Well excuuuuuuse us. I told her to go for it, and then I looked at my sister-in-law and told her to stay with speedy gonzolus. She happily accepted the challenge.
I felt it was necessary to stick with my dad for a few miles.
Although I did ditch him after mile 2. But after I caught my daughter and sister in law, we passed my brother who was already finished. He runs fairly well compared to the rest of us.
We sent him back to run with my amazing dad, logging my brother in at 6.5 miles instead of 5 like the rest of us. We leave no man behind.
We also run the last family member in, regardless of how long ago we finished.
Another year, another run.
And two amazing kids who once again took my breath away.