On Friday, the boys had their last Hamilton CYO Cross Country race at Christie Conservation Area. The weather was great, but a little hot for those running. The boys were all very nervous, but Campbell, being Campbell forged ahead. He ran a great race, and finished 77th, which is a 30 place improvement over his last race in the fall and he was running against boys in Grade 2 too. The coach was telling me that Campbell is her favourite runner. He has a great attitude, and he charges along at one speed. There he is in the light gray shirt.
Damon was beyond nervous. He was nauseous, sweating and most of all WHINING! I was trying to watch for Campbell to come across the finish line and he was hanging off of me whining and saying "I puked, do I still have to race? Please let me go home now." I tried to be reasonable and explained to him that it was just nerves and that Patrick experiences this too and it might actually HELP him perform better. I told him that it was okay if he didn't do well because he was "sick", but that after all of his training, he would regret if he didn't run at all. Matt tried to reassure him too. We asked Patrick to take some time out of his pacing and talk to his brother, he did. Damon wasn't listening any of our explanations, he knew that he was sick and for us to force him to remain at the meet and even suggest that he would still run the race was child abuse. So when they called the boys to the start line, I was a horrid mother. I dragged him by the shirt and handed him over to the teachers. And he ran. He threw up on somebody's shoe. And his shorts kept slipping down and he had to pull them up. But he kept running. He ended up finishing 19th, which is a great finish for a grade 3 (once again he was running against grade 4s too). He was in tears that he hadn't won, but he looked around and saw that his school teammates were still running and that he was the first boy from his school to cross the finish line, and he took some pride in that. Honestly, I think if he hadn't gotten so nervous and if he had listened to me and worn a different pair of shorts, he could have finished about 10th. By the way, he said he was glad that I didn't let him quit.
Patrick felt a lot of pressure to win. Because of his past performances, all of the teachers and students from school assumed that he would, and of course that is the worst kind of pressure. I think that he felt that if he didn't finish first, he would be disappointing them. He didn't have a great start, but he started moving up as they went across the bridge and into the woods. He emerged from the woods, but there was somebody about 15 feet behind him and gaining. We yelled at him not to ease up and he sped up and lost the challenger.
Both Matt and I are so proud of all 3 boys and the way they ran. Now we all look forward to experiencing our first Cross Country meet in Quinte this fall.