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The Greatest Day
Do you remember the last great day you experienced? Maybe it was the birth of a child, a wedding, the first time you met our significant other. Yesterday was one of those days. My son and daughter both run cross-country. My son is a senior and my daughter a sophomore. Both excel at this sport, which is funny because when I was a kid I could not image anyone running on purpose.
We’ve had a good season, but yesterday we ran to go to semi state. To qualify, the top 15 runners to individually and the top 5 teams go as well. My son was expected to be in the top ten, but there was a question as to if the team could qualify. The boy’s team based their entire season on this as a goal. The girls knew this would be their last race with only one qualifying for semi state, but next year, they should go as well.
Before the race I was speaking to my son and noticed he had something written on his fingers. I took a quick picture and he had the numbers 1 6 5 9 written. When I asked him what that was for, he replied, that’s going to be my time today. Tanner’s best time ever was 17 minutes and 20 seconds for the 3.2-mile course, so that was quite a prediction.
Before the girls race the coach came over to me and said, “you know Quincy is hurt”. I didn’t know that, my daughter had pulled a muscle at practice on Thursday and was going to run injured. While visiting with my daughter before the race she confirmed she was hurt, but stated “Dad, I’ll just run through it…”
At the end of the girl’s race our lead runner placed 8th and thus qualified for semi state. Quincy scored a personal best time of 21 minutes and 30 seconds. Another parent approached me and told me the doctors office called them yesterday and advised their daughter who had been our number 2 runner, but had slipped to 4th the last 2 races had been diagnosed with MONO. They let her run and only after the race told her the reason for her “slower pace’. The girl’s team will be cocked and ready to go next year in that no player is leaving, all are returning.
The boy’s race started and I thought, this might be my son’s last race ever. I’m not an emotional person, I never cry, but that thought did get me a little emotional. The boys ran a great race with my son’s friend coming in 3rd with a personal best time of 16 minutes and 52 seconds. Tanner of course crossed the finish line at 16 minutes and 59 seconds placing him 7th out of 100 of East Central Indiana’s better runners.
After the race there were smiles and congratulations. Every boy ran his personal best. The only unknown was if we qualified as a team or if Chase and Tanner would be going to semi state alone. As the results were read, our team placed 5th earning our boy’s team their 2nd trip to Semi State in school history.
My partner and I had purchased a higher end camera the day before the race and thus I was taking photos like a mad man. Last night I cropped the photos and posted them online. You can see the collection here.
When the race was over, we all connected at the local BW 3’s for some wings and beverages. After that, we drove to our small town where the fire engine was waiting and the kids all jumped on top for the ride of their life. Sirens, horns, and a parade of proud parents followed these 20 kids around town letting the world know they did “something”.
As I sit here today, I am pretty confident that yesterday was one of the top 5 days of my life. I’ll never forget the day my son ran 16:59.
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