For the thirdyear in a row, Shark Boy has participated in this Fall tradition of doing a Kids' Duathlon down at Ashbridges Bay. He's getting to be a veteran of multisport, but he still seems to want me pacing him for re-assurance. I don't mind the exercise... Saturday was a jam-packed day, as after the duathlon my wife and I attended training run by the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto, and Shark Boy would be going to a birthday party. I'm happy to say we got it all done, but let's just focus on the exercise and activity - that's what we do in this blog.
Thanks to a public address system hooked up to loud speakers, we all knew how much time we had to get the bike and helmet set up in transition. Shark Boy was running in the second heat (which didn't help our schedule much). I could see he was nervous before the start, and yet eager to go, but he still did a great job of keeping the excitement in check so that we could have a good time.
He's been talking a lot lately about being "the fastest" and while I don't want these events to become high-pressure and competitive, I did let him know that if he wanted to be the fastest, he was going to have to lead the pack a little and tried to coach him on how to do that.
Running, he really put the pedal to the metal - he was gasping for air after the first run leg (50m) heading into transition. We'd reviewed the important safety steps about putting on the helmet and walking the bike to the mount line before the race, and he nailed it. As usual, the bike course made it look like he was on a motorcycle compared to the other kids - his focus did start to wander a little on the middle part of the bike course when you can look out at the lake; I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree after all! I do the same thing... The bike course is 600m long, and ends with an uphill climb, and he got up it by himself (except for my constant cheering). Again we executed a good transition, and then we got to see him run like I've never seen before. He had his mouth wide open gasping for air, and though the last 25m (of a 100m run leg) started to lag a little, all it took was a reminder that "drinks and cookies" were at the finish line and he started to sprint. It's what we call in German "Endspurt".
The Need for Speed... and anonymity.
Apparently the Lightning Kid did a great job of cheering "Go, go, go" to everyone and also enjoyed pretending to take pictures. We looked up the race stats later that evening and found out Shark Boy was 4th overall, and 2nd place boy (the girls took the top 2 spots!). We're really proud of him; I hope he's enjoying the sport for itself, and not just the fatherly bonding and approval, though.