I spent part of my Saturday at Burger Center with thousands of Marathon Kids. And I don't know how it could be any better.
This is the 10th year I've been involved with Marathon Kids, and the first few were just as a Dad. When Brandon was in kindergarten, we went to our first Marathon Kids and I don't know if I've missed one since. I made the treks around the track with Brandon, including at least once with his little sister on my shoulders. And Taylor kept up the tradition when she got to school, usually going with Brandon while a cheered them on with the microphone as the emcee.
We usually have the opening lap at the end of September and the final lap in February, which means we can have a wide variety of weather days. It's been hot. It's been cold. It's been wet. It's been windy. But it's always... fun.
Especially at the finish line in the spring semester of the school year. I asked the crowd on Saturday how many of the kids were going to wear their medals to school on Monday. You would not believe how loud they could all say "ME!"
I've seen my kids wear those medals so proudly. I've seen them want to put their new bumper stickers on the car. To get their t-shirt that shows they finished the 26.2 miles. To get autographs and rubber bracelets. And most importantly, a smile on the face.
And some kids went out their way to be their on Saturday. I saw some in uniform, ready to go to a ballgame after they ran. I saw more than one on crutches. And they weren't there to watch. They were there to take one final, slow lap, around the track. And get that great feeling of completing something they started almost six months ago.
They have all finished marathons. They're all young and active and staying healthy. Now they have medals and frisbees and bumper stickers and bracelets.
And they all have the satisfaction of knowing they are Marathon Kids winners.
See you all again at the next Marathon Kids opening lap next September 29th!