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Cross Country

Landsharks Run Fast

***The photos suck. It was cloudy and rainy. My lens has a dark spot in the middle that I can’t remove. My battery was dying.***

Yesterday was Princess’s first LandShark meet – and please do NOT confuse this with track or cross country – it is LANDSHARKS! Just ask her.

What (pause for dramatic effect) EVER! It is cross country for elementary kids . . . and can I say that I haven’t seen many things cuter than 75 2nd and 3rd grade boys and girls take off running a 1 mile cross country race! OMG! The boys . . . all serious – black shorts, white socks, and tennies – sprinting off the line determined to be the first one around the first turn. The girls . . . all HILARIOUS – orange shirt, whatever color shorts/skirt/skort/capris/leggings they picked out that day, whatever color socks/leg warmers/knee highs they picked out that day, whatever color of sparkly, flashing tennies they could convince mom to purchase at the store, and any variety of pigtail/pony tail/bob/head band/hair band/hair pretty/all of the above they decide to put in their hair that day – jogging leisurely while bopping their heads side to side chatting with their friends about OMG I have no idea what but your rainbow colored knee-highs match your purple flashing shoes and orange LandSharks shirt perfectly!


A gaggle of kiddos :-) The boys start first, then the girls start 1 minute later.


Princess is in 3rd grade, so of course she ran in the 2nd and 3rd grade group. She did WAY better than I thought she would. Not to undersell her abilities, but watching her at practice did not give me high hopes that my little Princess had found her calling as a cross country runner! She is, afterall, my child. I run only when chased.


My Princess enjoying her first cross country – er LandSharks – meet. Floppy pigtails and all.



She did AWESOME! She finished fourth in her school’s group out of about 15 girls and she finished in the top 20 of all the girls from all the schools, probably about 75 kiddos. So not bad at all :-) She was even smiling and SPRINTING when she crossed the finish line – she ran about a 9-minute mile :-)



She got her snack and bottle of water, and of course participation ribbon (grrrrrrrrr . . . that’s a whole other post!).


Queen Taunya and I were chatting with her about how she did awesome! Then we teased her a little because she had ASSURED us that she was the 3rd fastest girl runner. I did not believe her. Turns out, she was the 4th fastest girl runner, so I had to poke her a bit. She said “Well, I wasn’t running my FASTEST!” Queen Taunya asked her why not, and Princess said “I dunno. It’s not like it’s a RACE or something!”

Um, ya it is, Princess :-) When there’s a start line, a finish line, and a ginormous digital clock timer thing, I’m pretty sure it’s a race. Turns out she was just setting a baseline, so she could show improvement over the next 2 meets 😉 OK – ya – sure – I believe ya.

So all in all, Princess had an awesome first LandSharks meet, and we had a fun time watching her.

Dude, on the other hand, had a TOTALLY different experience at her meet. He’s working on his Athletics merit badge for Boy Scouts. Since he’s just started cross country this year, he chose that as his sport, and one of the requirments is that he organize a cross country race or officiate at a meet. So he volunteered to be a rabbit at Princess’s LandSharks meet. One thing he hadn’t thought through before volunteering for that on the previous Wednesday was that her meet was 30 minutes after his cross country practice got over. Turns out, his practice yesterday was one of the hardest they’ve had – needless to say, he was TIRED!

He got to rabbit for Keira’s group – so he got a good 30 yard head start and had to run another mile, leading the kids around the track. He made it, but he sure was tired! I can’t imagine that he was thinking anything other than “What the HELL was I thinking to volunteer for this!” :-)


Then he got to rabbit the 4th-6th grade kids on their race. They had to do 2 laps, and he was tired and didn’t want to get beat, since he’s supposed to be leading and all, so he rode his bike for that one. Turns out, his seat was loose and had fallen way down, so he couldn’t even sit and pedal well – he tried standing, but that got too tiring on the bumpy field grass. At one point, we were certain the lead runner was going to pass him! But Dude picked up the pace the 2nd lap and finished just far enough ahead of the first runner to not be embarrassed :-) Again, I see the look on his face asking what the hell he was thinking!


He was so exhausted that one of the high school kids was the rabbit for the kids who were running the long  last race. Later he said “After I got done riding my bike, I kinda felt like I wanted to throw up a little.” Ahhhhhhhh – to have worked out so hard for the first time in your life to feel like you wanted to hurl! Just wait until you make a coach mad with a bad team effort and you all get to run sprints for an hour to show him that “Yes! I do want to play! I will put forth the effort I am capable of!” :-)

So he gets a checkmark in the merit badge box, and a mental checkmark to never, ever volunteer to be the rabbit again, especially after a hard 2-hour practice!