Run in the sun

August 24, 2009

Faith Outdoors

It was a beautiful, sunny morning at Blackhawk Park in Eagan Saturday when I arrived there with my oldest son, Joe. We were there to participate in a special run put on by the boys and girls cross country teams of Trinity School, where Joe will be a senior starting this week.

Family members, friends and alums were invited to join the runners for a lap or two around the pond in the park. Folks were given the option of running one, two or three miles. Having trained for a few weeks and having done several three-mile runs, I chose to go the distance.
Before the run, I made my son promise he wouldn’t laugh at me when I crossed the finish line. I figured I probably would be the last person to make it across. That was fine with me. I was just happy to be out there running at all.
Sure enough, the cross country runners left me in the dust pretty quickly. I managed to pass one young boy on the course and that was it. By the time I was finished, I was sore and nearly out of breath. But, I made it just like I said I would.
I thought Joe and the other runners would be there cheering for me at the end, but they decided to go for a cool down run after they finished. Cooling down for me simply meant feasting on the free ice cream stacked in coolers near the parking lot.
That was a nice reward, but the bigger payoff was being able to be there with Joe, even though we didn’t run side by side. He’s way ahead of me in terms of training, plus he’s almost 30 years younger. I just hope to continue running, while he has far loftier goals.
I hope he’s able to keep running long after he graduates in May 2010. I talked another dad who was an avid runner for 25 years before he developed knee trouble. He now does other things like swimming and biking. He said he talked to a doctor who said most people can run for about 25 years before developing knee problems.
That means I have about 24 years and 10 months of running left!
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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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