I know I say it all the time, but my kids are amazing. Going into Across the Years they all had different goals, the littlest Littles mostly just being excited for cookies. Tea had hopes of finishing 100 miles in less then 72 hours since she “played too much” ( her words) last year. So I settled in to help as I could and roll with whatever happened.
Tea finished 25 the first day and was a little upset with herself. She wasn’t focused and when I broke down the numbers she was upset with herself. With a promise from me to help push her more the next couple of days she was able to sleep well that first night. The next day the goal was rough, 40 miles. I knew I had to call in reinforcements to help her along the way. My poor sisters boyfriend got roped in and ran more miles (and more time) then he ever had before. Fifteen miles with a 9-year-old that was in pure heaven watching him suffer! She can be a little evil at times… Tea joined other friends along the course and we even did a family loop. She stopped at 39 for the day knowing she had one more big day ahead…. 36 miles before dark. While most of the finally day she cruised with big people friends (thank you all for the help!), at times she was alone and that was rough. I was able to join her for the last couple and we held on to each other while we walked through the cold evening. She wanted to be finished so badly at miles 97 and 98 (who doesn’t) and there were tears. The morning was not an option for her to finish (I didn’t have them in the morning) so we had to keep pushing on if she wanted to finish. She sat before her last loop and suddenly she was alive! Tajh and +1 joined us on the last loop and Tea spent time making fun of them both and slapping Tajh with her long sleeves, because at mile 99 you can hit your brother as long as you are both laughing! And she finished. 100 miles in 61 hours and 45 minutes WITH at least 18 hours of sleeping. This girl… How awesome is she? Her goofy “100 mile I’m a crazy little girl” attitude always makes me smile. She pushed through the rough moments and as always finished with a smile on her face. True badass.
Little Tay loves being free to run off into the desert at this race. The kids found the perfect area and had their own little fort. They were gone doing their thing and every so often came in to get food and run a lap. He had no real goal along the way, but when he realized a 50k was possible over the 72 hours he got a little more serious. He’s my fast kid and has just recently started showing interest in racing. His little feet were pounded and painful, but every now and then he set out to add some miles. I’m somewhat sad I did have a GPS on him to know how many extra miles he did while playing! My very proud Little Buddy finished his first 50k in 3 days (And he may have eaten more then his fair share of cookies along the way).
Tenny wanted to race, she wanted to go alone on loops from the get go! She ran with whoever she could each day (never enough for her) and played the rest of the time. Cookies were exciting for her, but she probably would have ran just to run. Competition is a big motivator for her and she was happy to run ahead then stop and wait for Tru and I to catch up while doing hand stands in the grass. Tenny finished with 13 miles over the 3 days. A PR for her for sure.
Tru was stoked to run. If you remember, the last time he had a bib on the refused to move from the starting line and gave me a stern “NO” when I even suggested it. This was the perfect race for him, no pressure, no time he actually had to start, and all his siblings were out there somewhere. The race began and he was moving! and then he stopped, threw his hat, and yelled “NO”….. Thanks Tru. We walked that loop and he played the rest of the day. The next day he asked to run again and this time seemed much more motivated, he’s getting it! The final day we walked most the loop together but as we came into the finish he told me he wanted to run. I began trotting along and he stopped dead in his tracks, told me I wasn’t allowed to run, and sprinted to the finish. JERK! Fine, I let him win… Tru finished 3 miles, I’m very proud of my Little Bug.
Tajh may have made me the most proud at the race. He told me he didn’t want to race and I offered having him help me with the Littles so I could be there for those that needed me. Surprisingly he agreed and even promised to run with some if they needed it. He was a great babysitter, I love watching him play with little Tenny and Tru and I know how special that time is for all of them. At some point Tru came up to me and I noticed cookie on his face… “hey buddy did you steal a cookie” “No Tajhie gave it to me”… umm…. Apparently, like any good babysitter, he was using cookies to get them to behave. Well played Tajh… well played… I couldn’t be angry and just asked that we slow down on the bribery for a while. While it warmed my heart to just see him play with his siblings, I was truly impressed with how caring he was to Tea. Multiple times he asked if he could run with her (to which she adamantly refused since apparently he talks too much as a pacer and only talks about minecraft) and on day 3 I kept finding him with food and drinks for her. I told him how proud I was and asked why he was trying to help her so much “well because I’ve run 100 miles over 6 days and know how much it hurt, I can’t imagine how much she hurts right now” AWWWW!! I am beyond proud of Tajh. His kind heart is hard to find some days, and his nose is always so deep in a book he can’t hear his siblings, but when he comes back to the real world I am thankful.
Between the pride in my heart, the long days with my Littles outside and their little rosy cheeks from days of sun, my world is pretty awesome. I do have to say how insanely excited I was to see so many kids out there. So many people telling us how my Little inspired theirs, so many kids pushing their limits with a smile on their face, how rad is that? To top it off getting to spend so much time with all our Big People friends? Man did my Littles and I have a great time!