Hi. I’m Percy*. I’m 9 years old and I’m just a kid with a dream, you know. I’ve watched my dad get up and run in the morning since forever. He’s run lots of races and he’s beat a ton of people. I want to be just like him. So I’m training for my first marathon too. It’s a pretty big deal in my family. My mom says that the only time she ran as a kid was when they did the timed mile each year in gym class – she said they had to finish under 12 minutes which was a struggle for her. So she’s proud of me and what I’m doing.
I know what you’re thinking – a 9 year old, run a marathon? Seems hard but really it’s not. I just have to run 3-4 miles each week for 7 weeks and then my last mile will be the 1 Mile race at the marathon. I get a shirt and bib just like my dad, and when I finish I will get a finisher medal just like my dad. It’s going to be hard work my mom says, but I can do it. I think I already run a lot – I probably run lots of miles chasing my sister around the house. When training starts, I figure after school when I play at Tommy’s house, I can just run to his house rather than take my bike. Or when my mom takes us to the park, I can do some laps around the jungle-gym. We just have to remember to log the miles.
I’ve already started preparing. My mom says that the actual training starts at the end of September, but I want to be ready for it. I’ve been doing a lot of stretching lately and some sprints. I’ve heard my dad talk about speed work so that’s what I’m doing.
We went to the Greenway the other day and I did some training. I’ve heard my dad sometimes say that he had a great training run that day. I think all my training runs are fun but this trip was really fun. There was this big fountain so I just ran around that while my mom walked – I almost fell in trying to grab a quarter I saw at the bottom. I threw in some cartwheels, mainly to teach my little sister because she can’t do anything yet. That was my cross training. Oh and the other day, I did some push-ups – probably 100 of them. And there was this rock formation that I was leaping on – it was pretty difficult. All in all, I’ve had great training this week!
I can’t wait for my real training to start. My mom told me that I’ll get a training program in a few weeks and there are two coaches that we can talk to during training. One’s a girl so I probably won’t talk to her, but there’s a guy too. And mom says there are going to be two group runs and if she’s able to take me to them, I can run with other kids in the program. I want to see what my competition will be like. I’ll probably beat them.
If you’re a kid reading this, I hope you come out too. If you’re a parent reading this because your kid can’t read yet, they can come too. My mom says a 5K is too much for me right now, but I’ll get there. I just wanted to start. I’m really looking forward to the hard work and to the happiness I’ll feel crossing the finish line race day.
Join Percy, and dozens of other kids in the Chick-fil-A Charlotte Kid’s Marathon Program & 1 Mile Fun Run. Find more information on the program and the 1 Mile Fun Run at runcharlotte.com or you can register online. Registration for the 7-week Marathon Program ends September 22 while registration for the 1 Mile Fun Run will go through the expo.
*Child’s name was changed to protect his identity. Ok, really, he asked if he could be Percy instead because he liked the name. Sure kid, why not!