Running and Riding

One week ago we headed to the mountains so that James could torture, I mean, challenge himself physically. The weekend was all about his races and we - Luke, Wil, Timothy and me - were his support team. Getting him to his races and cheering him across the finish line. The first race was the Rock2Rock, a challenging run up, over, and down a mountain. The race begins and ends at a beautiful camp for boys called Camp Rockmont. A camp we hope our boys will attend one day.

It was a grueling race, just as James remembered, but he finished in good time improving on is time last year by several minutes. He placed 38th out of the 130 or so that ran. And this is the best picture I got of him crossing the line - a certain 20 month old kept pulling on my shirt tail.

Wil and Timothy enjoyed cheering as the runners crossed the finish line. Luke on the other hand was completely uninterested because the runners wouldn't stop to talk to him, so he found someone that would. Pretending to be a bull with horseshoes is much more interesting than watching a bunch of people run.

James talked a fellow pastor from our fair city into driving up for the race. He was smiling at the end even though he predicted he would be limping for two days following. He also enjoys torturing, I mean challenging, himself athletically. I am glad James has friends like this as I have no interest in breaking a sweat.

After the race we joined our friends, who graciously allowed us to invade their home for a little homemade spaghetti, good conversation and a good nights sleep (Thanks Renda and Doug). James, however, had to delay his meal because I left the stroller in the parking lot of the camp. Yup, just drove off and left it behind the van where I had intended to fold it up and put it away - with James's wallet and a few other less valuable items in it. We really like to complicate our lives and find ways to do so no matter where we are. Thankfully the stroller and wallet were right where I left them.

The next morning we were off to the bike race. A metric century covering 67.9 miles of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The race started and finished at Carrier Park in Asheville.


There is James in red as they head out to the two lane road that starts the course. And as I watched them ride away I wondered if I would see James again. Just kidding, kind of. I was a little worried that his muscles would fail him after the run the evening before. And then there is the fact that he had never ridden 67 miles, or any miles for that matter, at this elevation. But he did great and came rolling back into the park around 4 hours eight minutes later.

The boys were happy to see him. Not for the same reason I was, they just wanted his food. You gotta love the "me" world of toddlers. Dad is famished from a long, grueling bike ride and they want to eat his food. And you gotta love a dad who shares it with them. They did work hard in supporting him throughout both his races. And Luke? Again, no interest. He stayed back with our friends where he had a captive audience and learned to flip coins.

So it was a whirlwind 24 hours but James got a great bike race under his belt before the big one coming up in a few weeks. And hopefully exposing the boys to the rigors and fun of training and competing will instill a love of the outdoors and athletics in them. And hopefully one day Luke will understand that these races are not all about winning. When asked about his quick trip to the mountains he replies, "Weeeell, dad lost both his races!"

1 comments:

Ctina said...

Good for James! Its impressive...if we go up there Greg will be so excited that James is cycling now! I've started running 5Ks but nothing like that mountain death run thing James did!

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