I've mentioned my family runs in a five mile race every year. Sometimes there are many of us, sometimes just a handful, but every year you can find tie-dyed Team Kahuna shirts at the start line.
In case you were wondering, for years my dad was affectionately known as the "Big Kahuna." He decided to put teams together for certain races, and we became known as "Team Kahuna." I need to stipulate that we were never serious racers, it was always for sh*ts and giggles. Every race meant a kooky bright shirt with a jingle on the back and a cooler of um, "beverages" at the finish line.
There was a triathlon we used to run every year, and for a few years we had so many members of Team Kahuna the race officials designated a wave (start time) called "Clydesdales." I guess we were getting in the way of the serious triathletes every year and there may or may not have been some complaints.
But hey, we were out there. And yes, some of the team was made up of large men who did swim rather slow. But they were swimming, and that's all that matters.
Over the years our team has evolved to just our family, and in our family we now have some more serious runners and our standard "back of the bus" crew who takes it slow. The one race we always enter is the five mile oceanfront one at the Jersey Shore. My parents live nearby, and it's an annual tradition for as many of us as possible to go down for the weekend and participate.
Two years ago, my oldest two munchkins joined the slow-going crew, and I was so excited to have them on the course. We designated family members to run with each one, and while there may have been whines on the course, all was forgotten once they crossed that finish line.
This year, my third munchkin, known to my blog readers as LLG, joined the crew. He is just seven, but he has an energy about him that can light a room. I knew it would be a long race with his tiny legs, but I also knew he would love to accomplish running five miles.
And I was right.
My dad and I ran alongside him, alternating walking and running and occasionally pulling him out of sprinklers along the course to remind him we are technically in a "race." There were times we were going so slow I was able to Facebook while we ran.
I do wonder what my time would be if I actually was able to run like I normally would, but I don't wonder enough to miss out on this.
No one broke any records, but we all finished with huge smiles and many many cheers. We also proved once again that we may not be fast, but we are faster than everyone on the couch. All it takes is desire and determination, and you can accomplish your goals. The hardest part is getting started. After that first mile, it was all downhill.
Isn't that true with all things?
Our next race is in August, and I'm proud to say that all of my little runners are game to run again. And my older two have even made running goals. My dad, the "Big Kahuna" has also vowed to keep up with the running after feeling like he was hit by a Mack Truck the morning after this race.
Like I said, the hardest part is getting started. And we, my friends, have officially started.