One of the great things about growing up in a family of five is getting to experience different kinds of bonds with every single member. If I want to share a baseball-sized beef steak with someone I know will enjoy it as much as me, I call my dad. If I want validation that Anastasia was, in fact, the best princess movie of the 1990s despite what BuzzFeed says, I call my sister. If my lenses are smudged and I left my glasses cleaner in the car, I call my niece.
If I realize a 5K road race is taking place during the same 42 hour period that I’m planning on being home in Baltimore, I call my mother, and if I’m invited to an 80s themed dance party, I call my brother.
Today, I got to do two of those things at once. No, I didn’t ingest a quarter cow with my father and sister while watching Hank Azaria voice the best darn sidekick bat villain an animated movie has ever seen; I ran an 80s themed 5K with my mother and brother.
The race was the Junior League of Baltimore’s Flaskback 5K, and I stumbled across it in a news digest email from lovely Maryland running store Charm City Run. Advertised as a small-scale 80s and 90s themed race on a paved, college campus loop less than two miles from my childhood home, I knew I couldn’t pass it up during my brief visit south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Luckily, my mother and brother felt the same way.
Undeterred by the foot of snow on the ground or the cruelty of spring daylight savings time, we donned our best neon heat gear this morning and made our way to Goucher College for the 9 am (ahem, 8 am) start time. Within minutes, all 92 (!) registered runners were lined up at the starting line, and with a blast of the airhorn, we were off.
And it was glorious. Just as I’d hoped when I’d shelled out the registration fee, the course was wide and paved, the temperature was just the right level of crisp, and the crowd of runners was so thin I didn’t have to weave once. In November, I’ll be crossing the Verrazano Bridge with nearly 50,000 of my closest friends. Today, I crossed the finish line 11th.
And my family wasn’t far behind. Although my mom had just run 7 miles the previous day for half marathon training and my brother was racing in combat boots and a weighted backpack like the Marine he is, they came bolting across the finish line just minutes after me, barely breaking a sweat. We got our water bottles, got our bananas, and then make a beeline for Starbucks because, you know, priorities.
We then looped back for the awards ceremony, hoping that in a field of less than 100 runners at least one of us might have a chance of placing. And what do you know?
We ALL placed second in our respective age groups! I guess that’s something else we have in common.
That, and not believing something is really metal until we bite it.
How do you mix family time with workouts?