Last year, when I turned 30, I made a list of forty things to do before I turn forty. One of them was to run a 5K with my Dad. I was concerned about his health, and he’d run with me when I was in high school, so I thought it would be fun. He was less than enthused when I told him about this list item, but I suggested the 2014 Bridge City Boogie anyway, pointing out that he had over a year to prepare. Months went by without either of us mentioning it again, and I figured this list item would be one that would take a few years to cross off.

Then, early in the winter of 2013, my Dad decided to retire (again). He and my Mom dedicated themselves to improving their health and fitness and became regulars at the Saskatoon Field House. Before long, Dad was texting me several times a week to tell me of his running progress on the Field House track.

After a few months of walk/run intervals, Dad mentioned the Bridge City Boogie. The race took place just a few days after his 65th birthday, so I signed us both up as part of his birthday gift.

The course for the Bridge City Boogie had been changed this year, due to construction at the usual start/finish point. After a half mile or so the race was to move from the street onto the Meewasin Trail. The portion of the trail near Prairieland Park is unpaved, mostly sand and small gravel. I was a little taken aback that a race with 3500 runners in three distances would be run largely on an unpaved trail, but you do what you gotta do.

Race morning dawned warm and sunny, but with a threat of rain moving in in the distance. We met early to debate clothing choices (did I inherit this paranoia of choosing the wrong clothes, or has it rubbed off on him?), avoid porta potty lines and take some pictures.

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A soon to be new 5K runner!

A soon to be new 5K runner!

The 5K had been split into two starting waves to avoid the 2000 5K runners from all hitting that narrow trail at the same time, and we just squeezed into the first wave. It would have been nice to have people seeded by approximate pace at the start line, so the faster runners in the second wave didn’t run into so much traffic as they caught and attempted to pass the first wave runners. As we waited for the start a Zumba instructor led us all in a warm-up, and the rain that had been threatening to fall did just that. It didn’t last long, and was over by the time we were ready to run.

Start line selfie!

Start line selfie!

We set off along the same street we’d started on for the Saskatchewan Marathon just two weeks prior. My friend Glenda was running with her young son and we warned him and my Dad about the potholes we’d experienced previously, but they’d been fixed (kind of)! We passed two other entertainment groups, another Zumba group (this one led by my instructor!), and a singer/dancer group. People were spread out some by the time we went onto the trail, but it was still pretty crowded.

I had promised Dad I’d run at his pace, and I waved to friends I saw along the way. We came to a Dirty Donkey Mud Run sponsored water station, which is sponsored by Powered By Chocolate Milk. They had a PBCM sign on the side of the trail so I stopped for a quick selfie with it, promising Dad I’d catch up to him.

Powered By Chocolate Milk! #pbcm

Powered By Chocolate Milk! #pbcm

About this time, Dad’s heart rate monitor started going off. Again. And again. And again. He said he felt fine, but was worried about the monitor and didn’t want to push it. We walked for a ways up a hill until he got mad that the walking was wrecking his pace. I commented that his heart was likely more important than his pace, but I don’t think that was the answer he was looking for. 😉

We carried on, side by side. I had this vision of those classic finish line pictures of two runners with clasped hands raised in the air in victory, and about ten metres from the finish I started to reach out to grab Dad’s hand to do just that. I was grinning ear to ear and so proud of him – and then he said “I’m going to beat you!” and took off! I was so caught off guard and shocked that he did just that. He turned around and pointed at me and said to the finish line photographer, “I beat her!” Well. I guess all that sportsmanship stuff he taught me in my younger years went out the window. Never mind that I ran with him the whole way like the supportive daughter I am, he was thrilled to be one second faster and therefore ahead of me in the results list.

We visited some of the finish line tents and had some food before heading home.

For Mizuno's #ifeverybodyran campaign.

For Mizuno’s #ifeverybodyran campaign.

“Same place next year!” Dad said enthusiastically. Sure, Dad, but next year I’m going to beat you!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by A Joyce on July 6, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I must comment on this article. I, too, had the image of us finishing the race in the traditional hands clasped joint victory. However, at the last second, I thought that now was a good time for Michyla learn that youth and strength will never overcome age and treachery. It’s a lesson I’m sure her kids, in time, will also learn. The preparation for this race was the highlight of the winter of ’13/’14. I took it as a challenge, and I always like a challenge, they just should not end in a tie. Bud (Dad)


  2. Oh my goodness! Love this! You two have a great relationship. Kudos to you for planting the seeds of healthier living for your parents ~ even if it was taken as a challenge – it’s moving! “highlight of the winter” is proof. Be proud — what an accomplishment together. And, at least your dad got to see you cross the finish line. 🙂

    It reminds me of 5k’s I ran last year with my kiddos. Bucket list items for me. DD was great to hang with mom – to the end. However – DS took it as a challenge – like your dad. I had told him as we lined up at the start line, “It’s hot – so don’t worry or wait for me if you feel you can go on.. I may slow if I get too hot…” The gun went off – and I didn’t see him again until I crossed the line – a few minutes behind him! He took off running & didn’t look back – and beat me! We still talk about it & laugh.

    Cheers from Nova Scotia!


  3. Congratulations to you both. Classic run!


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