They had to show up 20 minutes before the race to do stretches and warmups. This picture was taken right after the warmups. The kids were sent back to their parents for one last kiss and drink of water before the race.
Doing exactly as she's told. Ahem.
Before the race I was chatting with a couple of my friends whose daughters also attended camp. I asked if their girls were excited about the race. One says, "Oh yeah! Mine says she's gonna win!." We giggle appreciatively at her enthusiasm. The other mom, "Mine was really worried that she may come in last." We felt bad for her nervousness. What did Solana say? Well, when Dave and I told her to do a good job she replied, "It doesn't matter who wins or loses. It's all about having fun! As long as we have fun it's ok and it doesn't matter what place we come in." There's Solana for you. I'm pretty sure she was just regurgitating what the coach told them in preparation for the race but she definitely took it to heart. I think she has the right attitude. Nobody is ever going to pressure this kid to be more competitive than she wants! I guess I need to give up my hopes of being a super stage mom, huh? Just kidding.
To tell the truth I kind of worried she might just forget the whole running thing and stroll along the path ready to tell-off anyone who tried to make her run. I could just picture it....Solana's happily strolling along the race route looking at birds in the trees. We're trying to cheer her on, "Come on Solana! You can do it! It's just a little bit farther. Come on and run. Yay Solana!" And her just smiling at us. "Oh Mommy and Daddy. It's OK. As long as I'm having fun I don't mind coming in last. It doesn't matter."
Fortunately, my little scenario did not play out. The race began and all the kids took off. My first thought, "Oh my. They're running so FAST!" I wondered how many of them would poop out halfway. As the kids ran past I was trying to keep my camera pointed and also look for Solana. I worried I'd missed her but then I caught her. She and her friend, Sophia were pulling up the rear right behind her other friend, Anna. They were running their little hearts out and Solana had a big ol' smile on her face! It was so cool!
The race course was in the figure 8. They started on the right side of the bottom of the 8 and finished the bottom loop first. As they crossed the middle they headed up a steep hill. Then they did the loop at the top. Here's a picture of Solana finishing up the top loop. She was still smiling!
As she crossed the center for the second time she had to go back down the steep hill. This is where everything almost fell apart. She picked up too much speed on the way down and hit the ground hard right at the bottom. I was videotaping and caught it on tape. I wanted to stay back so as not to create more drama but it was obvious she had no intention of getting up. Just as I ran over to talk to her some of the high school helpers got to her and offered to run the rest of the race with her. She wasn't hurt and she got up (still upset) but they were just what she needed. She started running again!
She was still on the verge of tears at the end but I was so glad she finished and I think she was too.