Guest Post from Shawn S. an au pair from South Africa who is matched with a family in New York.
On Sunday 28 April 2013 the school at which my youngest child attends, hosted a family fun run called the West Side Run. I was in attendance with both the two boys I Au Pair as well as my host dad. It had been decided around two months ago that we would be attending the fun run and that both my boys would be running in it. J. the youngest (8) would run in the 1 Mile race whilst T. the oldest (12) would run the 5 Km with me. Once we had decided to run that is when preparations for the race started. We trained on the odd occasion when we found some free time away from the boys schedules. J. was not very keen to train nor run as he found it to be boring but T. on the other hand thrived and I found him to be be very excited about running. The day of the race grew closer and the more nervous I became as I knew T. was going to put up a good challenge for me to stay with him all race long. We registered the night before the race and received our bright orange shirts and race numbers and got an early nights rest so that we would be bright and awake for the run the next morning. We woke on Sunday feeling anxious about the race not knowing how many people would be there or how competitive it would be. We arrived to many other people dressed in Bright orange shirts and ready to run. My host dad and J. had their race first. They completed their mile in a solid 15 minutes and received a medal for their efforts. Next up was T. and me. Our race started at quite a fast pace but T. and I were up to the challenge. We ran together past the first mile marker and then shortly before the second mile marker T. started to pull away from me. Luckily we were towards the front all race long and so my stumbling a little bit meant that even though T. was ahead of me we were still towards the front of the race. T. ended up finishing the race in 25 minutes with me coming in at 29 minutes. we both received a medal on arrival which felt good but what happened next was a surprise to us both. After all the runners had finished a trophy ceremony was conducted and trophies were handed out to the first, second and third place finishers per age category. Unfortunately J. and my host dad did not receive a trophy as the pace at which their 1 Mile race was run was exceptionally fast. Then it came to the handing out of the 11 to 12 age category for the 5 Km race. T. won the first place trophy. We knew he had run fast but not that he had won. He had a great big smile on his face in amazement that he had done so well. It felt great to see him achieve something like that. Then it came to the 20 to 29 age category and I too came first and received a trophy for it. I think my smile must have been bigger then T as I honestly thought I had done terribly. But overall it was a great time of bonding with both boys and experiencing their excitement towards the race was worth more then words can describe.
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