Monday night for the Trail Hawks usually means a group run at the river trails, but the guy who normally leads this run is also the RD for the upcoming Skyline Shuffle, so he ran another course preview. I ran it last week and thought it would be a great first trail race for Bowie.
Bowie is 9 and has been running road 5Ks since he was 6… but as I mentioned before, Bowie had taken a year off from running and decided a week ago that he wanted to start running again. I was not sure how he would do on the grassy hill course, but I knew he would have fun trying.
There was a large group for the run, with two un-named Hawks (Bowie and another guy named James). It is part of Trail Hawk tradition that dues-paying members receive a “Hawk Name” which is bestowed upon the runner in a special naming ceremony. (Which mostly just consists of the group asking a bunch of questions about the member and by the end of the run, a name is formulated from the information gathered.) So James earned his Hawk Name – everyone welcome Doctor Donut Hawk! And hopefully Bowie, who I refer to as Itty Bitty Hawk, will earn his official Hawk Name.
As I said, it was a large running group. Bowie and I started in the back of the pack as my plan was to keep it slow the first mile. Bowie soon left me in the dust and ran at the back of the pack. I kept an eye on him, worrying as moms do, about if he was doing OK, did he need to go potty, did he need a drink, etc. And I wondered how he was going to maintain his pace since I thought he was going too fast.
Up Bunker Hill we went and then thru the Goodwin Loop, and soon Bowie was in the middle of the pack. I thought… well… this could be bad news. If he gets tired, I will walk with him. Then on the final stretch, we climbed Bunker Hill again for the last time. I was a minute behind the lead group when I looked up at the crest of the hill… And Bowie is charging across the hill, way in front of the group. I guess I didn’t need to worry about Bowie keeping up.
Granted, the other runners were not “racing,” but it was really awesome to see my little guy charging the hills and staying right up with them. I think he will do just fine on race day.