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Father / Son Races

May 25, 2014

Yesterday my son, Canyon, and I held a series of father/son races.

Who won? Read on to find out.

Canyon, now 12 years old, was on his school’s track team this past year for the first time. Canyon is in 6th grade and his team is made up of 6th through 8th graders. Canyon ran in the 800 and 1600 meter races, as well as the 4×400 relays.  His boys team came in 1st place in their conference.  Here are a couple of photo collages from his meets.


canrun1 canrun2



Recently after their season was over, Canyon and I were sitting watching tv and talking about running and I said to him, “You don’t think you can beat me in a race, do you?” He confidently said, “Yeah. You’re old”. Feeling insulted, I assured him I wasn’t THAT old, and we agreed to our our own private father/son track meet.


I have never been on a track team before like Canyon was this year.  But I did have experience with a father /son race with my own father when I was about 10 years old.  One day my dad, more of an athletic supporter than an athlete, said to me,”I’ll race you to the corner and back for a dollar.”  I had never seen my dad run much, and knowing I was pretty fast, I accepted the challenge.  He said “On your marks…get set…go!”.  And I did, sprinting like the wind to the corner and back, as I saw my dad moving at a snail’s pace toward the corner on my way back.  I watched him as he strolled leisurely down to the corner and then back to the house. When he got back I said “Where’s my dollar?”  He responded by asking me “Where’s MY dollar?”.  I was annoyed because I had clearly beaten him to the corner and back.  It looked like he hadn’t even taken the race seriously.  He then said, “I didn’t say I’d beat you, I just said I’d RACE you to the corner and back for a dollar.  I raced you. So where’s my dollar?”  That was my dad for you.  He was a such a smarty pants.


Now, I was pretty sure I could still run faster than the my son, but not so sure I could run longer than him. I theorized I would beat him in the sprints, but may fade and get beaten in the longer runs. Yesterday we put that theory to the test.

It was a beautiful day for running. It was sunny and the temperature was in the upper 60s. We went to the track near Canyon’s school that he trained on this past year, so he had home track advantage (if there is such a thing).

When we arrived at the track we started with warm-up and stretching exercises. It took me quite a bit longer to warm up and stretch out than my younger opponent.

We started with the 100 meter sprint.

I won!  I beat him by many strides. I still had it.  And Canyon took his defeat well.

Then we ran a 200 meter sprint.

I won again!  I beat him by an even larger margin.  Still, Canyon was exhibiting great sportsmanship.

We got some water and had a short break. I snapped this photo as a keepsake to remember the event.

Ed and Canyon

Ed and Canyon


Then we ran a 400 meter race. That is one full lap around the track; approximately 1/4 mile.

I won yet again!  I beat him by a pretty good margin, but honestly, was a little worried on the home stretch as I was exhausted and slowing as I wondered if he might catch me if he still had a little kick in him. I crossed the finish line and collapsed in exhaustion into the grass to catch my breath. This is what I saw seconds after the race.




As I gazed upward at the beautiful and peaceful blue and white sky, I sweated profusely and gasped desparately for air hoping I would survive.




After recovering and having more water, next was the 800 meter race — that is two (2)  full laps around the track and is approximately 1/2 mile.

I knew I would have to run a smarter race if I was going to win, so I let Canyon set the pace, thinking I could catch him down the stretch if I needed to.

I was wrong. Canyon set a pace I couldn’t keep up with and I had nothing left in me down the stretch. He smoked me. Here is a photo of him sitting in the infield grass at the finish line as I turned the corner down the final stretch. Yes, that little distant spot is him.  I had been left in his dust.



Youth had finally prevailed.

I finished the race and collapsed again in the grass in even more anguish and desperation than I had the first time.



And Canyon still demonstrated good sportsmanship, even in the trouncing.

It may be another couple of years before Canyon can beat me in the sprints, but I know it will happen. On that day our individual races will become a relay race of sorts, as the baton of manhood will be passed from father to son in the inevitable progression of life. I imagine I will be proud of Canyon on that day, as the boy becomes a man, but no more so than I was in yesterday’s father /son races. He’s already well on his way.




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