The race was the Howard Aslinger 12/24-hour race, and it was going to be my son Logan’s first ultra event. His longest run previous to this was just over 10 miles, but his goal was a marathon.
The day started off chilly, and we walked and ran together for almost 5 miles before I left him to go run a few laps of my own. The day gradually warmed, and the sun was bright and beautiful. Logan kept on the .98-mile paved loop independently. He ate and drank and socialized with the other runners.
He took a break at 10 miles and changed shoes and had some donuts. We walked more laps, talked about almost everything and laughed about silly stuff. The mantra was left, right, hop, repeat. Hopping is not easy. But it’s funny to see Mommy try.
We hung out for several more laps, watching the amazing performances going on by the Sri Chinmoy racing team. Their team was amazing in crewing and care of their runners.
Logan kept on going. He was patient and cheerful even after the aches and pains began. I caught up with him on a lap just in time to see him eat slice number two of pizza. He ate well all day, and seeing him carrying his water bottle was awesome. He ate and drank and kept moving.
As the marathon distance approached, his legs hurt, but he was determined. He even found company near his age and chatted about the secrets of Mind Craft as I ran some.
The marathon came and went with a kind announcement from the race director, Bryan Kelpe, as he passed by. Logan took a small break, as his feet and legs ached. He came out and walked another lap with me as the race was nearing the end. He joined me for the out-and-backs and we chatted about how concrete makes the miles tough.
At the finish we ate cake and celebrated with all the other runners. This race is more than just a race. It’s a gathering of friends and family. Bryan and Kim Kelpe put on a wonderful event. The volunteers are dedicated and so kind. Having this time with Logan was a blessing and truly inspiring.
In the end ran 27.55 miles, and in his own words, “It was hard, but that’s what makes it fun.”
Author: Laura Range lives in Oakville, Mo. Ultrarunner, mom and defender of the universe.