In honor of Father’s day I thought I’d do a race recap for the one race that I ran with my father. This was a small local race in my hometown and since my sisters’s kids attend the school district they knew about the race. 2014 was the year my father turned 70 and so in honor of his birthday our family decided to participate. Both my sisters and their spouses elected to do the 5K as a walk and my dad and I decided we’d try running the 5K together. I hadn’t done a 5K in awhile but was looking to run with my dad and not for a specific time. The fact that he was running (not walking) a 5K at 70 tells you something about him.
My father has always been an active man. As a kid, he and I would play tennis quite often. He also used to go play tennis with his friends in the early morning hours on the weekends. During high school and beyond, he became very interested in hiking and so I was often his hiking partner and we spent countless hours on the various mountains around the LA area. One of the highlights of my time with him involved hiking Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States. Luckily this is in our home state and only a few hours drive away. A few years after that, I was happy that he was able to travel to Nepal with his friends and do some hiking by Mt. Everest. I believe they even hiked up to Base Camp (or near it), which is amazing. I drank the Kool-Aid and became very interested in Everest after reading Into Thin Air and watching other documentaries about the region.
After he retired, he only seemed to be more and more active. He would swim and run regularly and also do a lot of yard work. He’s stayed very active through his older years and I am amazed and proud of what he’s accomplished.
This race runs through the small enclave of Rossmoor, an unincorporated area of OC situated in Los Alamitos. I am very familiar with this area. Packet pickup was simple in a little community center in one of the parks in the neighborhood. Since this was a Halloween race, the race t-shirts were a bright halloween orange.
Race morning we walked over from my folk’s house to the starting area (the same park as packet pickup). There were a number of people out. The 10K race started about 45 minutes before the 5K so by the time we arrived there were people making their way to the 10K finish. Eventually it was time for the 5K to start and we lined up and were off. My dad, who didn’t train for this, and I took off on a leisurely jogging pace (what I’d consider just a little slower than my usual pace). We ran through the residential neighborhood lined with houses and spectators towards the largest park (aptly named Rossmoor Park) and bisected the park (running right through the middle of it). At this point we turned around and started to make our way back to the start/smaller park. This is when I really had to pee but decided since this was such a short race I could hold it. Around this time my dad also said he needed to take a walk break so we grabbed some water and walked for a few minutes. He said I could go on ahead as he knew I could keep running if I really wanted to. However since this race was in honor of his 70th birthday I said I’d stay with him.
He then said he was ready to go and off we went again. On the way back we passed my sisters who were walking the race with their family (they each had strollers and their little ones in them). We arrived back at the park and crossed the finish line in 36:11. It was the slowest 5K I’ve run but the most memorable because of my running partner. Even though it was a tiny race, they had finisher medals for everyone, which I thought was neat. After my sisters made it back they started the kids’s races and my nieces participated in that. It was fun to watch the kids run. They just do it by instinct and aren’t trying to follow all the “rules of running” that us adults try to do while we’re going off on our run (thinking about gait, form, pace, etc).
Anyway that’s my father’s day story!