Hi All! Virginia here, proud mom of two awesome Ironkids. IronKIDS Rule! Yes they do!
I returned Monday from my awesome mini-vacation in Haines City, Florida. It’s been crazy. In addition to my first HALF IRONMAN (details to follow in another post), my kids did their first IronKids event. One word: AWESOME!
The event took place on Saturday, and the kids had to be marked and out of transition by 6:45. They had three groups racing, Seniors (12+), Intermediates (9 – 11), and Junior (6 – 8). The juniors went off at 7:00, Intermediates at 8:30, and Juniors at 9:30. So, from 6:45 – 8:30, we just had to wait. At first I was upset about this, but the kids actually had a blast watching the big kids, playing around, and just taking it all in. In addition, we let them play games on our iPhones (a major treat), so they were in kiddie heaven!
At 8:00 my oldest got his chip (big deal since most kids races don’t use them…) and they started to assemble them. The start was one-by-one with 10 seconds between each child. Because he is 9 with the USAT age of 10, he was in the middle of the pack, so even when it started at 8:30, he was another 15 – 20 minutes before he jumped in. Once he got going, he was awesome. His swim was super fast, and then we sprinted over to see him on the bike. It was a two loop course. By the time I got there, he had already passed once, but I didn’t know that. I saw him go by, and waited to see him again. AND WAITED, AND WAITED, AND WAITED. Finally, I started to freak out a bit thinking he might have had a crash. The course was hilly with some sharp turns, so I had seen some kids crash. I was afraid he had crashed out of my sight. I ran over to the finish to see if anyone had any information and found he walking around. HE WAS DONE! I MISSED HIS FINISH! SO….after much apologizing, we sprinted back to the start to watch his younger brother.
My 8 year old was lucky and got to go off for his swim 10th (because he was oldest). He did amazingly well on the swim, passing many of the kids in front of him. Again, we ran over for the bike. Knowing it was only one lap for him, I quickly sprinted off to the finish line. I DIDN’T miss his finish. THANK GOODNESS.
After both boys were finished we waited around for results. We had fun looking at booths, getting food, etc. Once posted, we realized that my oldest had come in 8th in his division, qualifying him for IronKids Nationals. We decided to hang around for the awards ceremony to see if he was top 3 in 10 year olds. It turns out, he was 2nd! Though my 8 year old didn’t place top 10, he was 16th out of 91 in his division, so we were also thrilled with it.
Overall, the whole thing was such an awesome experience. They were both so proud and cute. Both wore their IronKids shirts on their return to school Tuesday. It was really just the best day. I think they are both FIRMLY hooked now.
I realized through this, that I learned so much through my kids. Before Saturday I thought of racing as such a great lesson for them (which it is), but now I know it is a great lesson for me. My kids are strong and determined. It was hot and it was a new experience for them, but they had FUN through it all. They didn’t freak…..over analyze…..etc. THEY HAD FUN! I took that great lesson and was determined to have FUN through my race……and I DID! (more to come).