Last year, Ty and Shawn ran the “Kids K” at the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer. This year, they’ve got a surprise for their mom.
Shawn was nine years old last year when he and his eleven-year-old brother Ty ran their first AF Canyon Run Against Cancer. At the starting line, Shawn says, “I was so nervous.” But that nervousness didn’t make Shawn move to the back of the starting line.
Just the opposite, in fact. “I was pushing my way to the front of the line,” says Shawn. Then the race began.
Ty describes his recollection of the cheering crowds at the race — somethingthat will give any runner a boost of confidence and adrenaline: “I remember a lot of people on the side [of the road], just cheering me on. And that gave me the confidence to finish the race and not quit.”
“I was reallyout of breath when I finished,” Ty says. He hangs his head, sticks out his tongue, and breathes out, “I was like, ‘give me my medal.’”
“I was sotired,” agrees Shawn.
Bigger, Better, Faster, Farther
Last year, both Ty and Shawn executed a very simple race-day strategy: run as fast as you can right out of the gate, then keep going as fast as you can right to the end. Which is a not-bad strategy for a 1K race.
During this interview, they revealed their plans are a little different. “I think I’m going to run the 5K instead of the 1K distance this year,” they both say, essentially in unison.
They both understand, however, that this will require a more sophisticated running plan. “I'm planning to pace myself better this time. That will help me run a longer distance,” Shawn says.
“And a little bit more training,” says Ty.
A Little Help From Mom & Dad
Rachel — Ty and Shawn’s mom — is a little surprised by the boys’ interest in stepping up from the Kids K to the 5K distance for this year’s race — she raised her eyebrows and smiled as they revealed their plan — but takes it in stride. Training is a good chance to spend time with them.
“I love it,” Rachel (who has run the half-marathon version of the event) says. “It becomes more of a family activity instead of just a race that I'm doing myself. I love running and it's fun to share that with my kids and see them enjoying it.”
Asked about what it’s like to go on a five mile run — their longest training run last year — with his mom, Shawn says, “I just kept pushing and then about four and a half miles was just like, ‘I'm going to wait for her to finish and then come back.’”
Race day — and the day before — is busy for the whole family. Rachel gets to wrangle the kids solo, because her husband — who works in PR for Intermountain Healthcare — is working through the night as a volunteer, setting up the course.
No matter what distance — or what age — you’re doing the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer, crossing the finish line is still a big deal. Says Shawn, “It feels like you just did something really great. It feels huge.”
“Yeah,” agrees Ty. “When you get the medal, you're like, “YES. I really actually accomplished this.”
Which, in fact, more or less exactly describes what every person feels as they cross the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer finish line.