National Veterans Day 5K [race report]

About 14 hours after I finished my last leg in the Las Vegas Ragnar Relay, I was at the start line for another race. Aside from still being somewhat sleep deprived (a condition that I’m still feeling today!) I felt really good overall. Better than my Ragnar vanmates, all of them seemed to be injured in some capacity now. Missing toenails, plantar fasciitis, illness… apparently the casualty count was high.

National Veterans Day Run I had told a friend that I would run the National Veterans Day race that day a while back and I figured I’d just go run 3 miles, taking it nice and easy without worrying about pushing the pace. I took the stroller and the kid with me to the park that morning and figured we’d have a nice relaxing morning. I wore the brand new Mizuno Wave Rider 18 shoes. I’ve worn them for a couple of training runs to test them out and have been impressed with them. They’re lightweight neutral shoes. Frequently when I try a new shoe, I find that my cadence is disrupted for a few runs but that wasn’t the case with these ones. Plus they have some nice cushioning so I thought they might be nice for fatigued legs…. fatigued legs that felt surprisingly fresh!

At the @nvdrlasvegas 5k with #AwesomeA

A photo posted by @jillwillrun on

// had a little warm-up pre-race and music was playing. “A” kept saying that she wanted to dance like everyone else was. (And she was dressed to dance, she had insisted that she needed to wear her Elsa Halloween costume to the race.) It was hard to keep her in the stroller before the race. That should have been a sign of what was to come!

  “Let’s do this.” #AwesomeA pre-5k this morning.   A photo posted by @jillwillrun on


I did get her to sit in the stroller just moments before they gave us our Ready…. Set…. Go! but after about .1 mile she said, “I want out. I want to run!” So I stepped off to the side to let her get out, figuring she would run a little bit and then get back in soon.


This kid of mine kept running and walking and running and walking. She would tell me when she wanted to walk and when she wanted to run. When we got to the turnaround she said she wanted to sit in the stroller while she drank her cup of water from the aid station there. But after she finished it she said she was ready to throw it away and run more.

All the people on the course were just ooohing and aaahing over the tiny kid in a princess dress running along the path. The fact that my kid is so little makes everything she does seem even more precocious. (She pulled on a pair of pants the other day that were size 12-months. She is 26-months-old!)

On our way back one of the 11K runners yelled at us, “Keep her close to you, I’ve got a big group of runners that will be coming through soon.” She really was doing a great job of staying near me, but this kind of startled her. So when the runners were coming, she stepped all the way off the course and then clapped and cheered for them as they ran by. I had to tell her that we were in the race too and we need to keep moving forward by running, walking or riding. But I love that she cheers for the runners!

We had to stop at the 2 mile mark to take off her pants. She said she was hot. I don’t blame her, I would have been too! So instead of wearing her dress and the sparkly leggings, we had to strip down to just the dress. She said, “I feel better now. I run more.” after that.

As we got closer to the finish line, she got a bit distracted when she saw the playground equipment. She said she wanted to play on the slide. I told her that we had to run it into the finish line before we could go play on the slide. But I really had to coax her across, she wanted that slide and some water.

The announcer was so great, getting everyone’s attention to look at her. She gave out a couple of high fives at the finish line too. I wish I had photos of her finish line crossing! We may have been the last two runners to cross the line in the 5K, I’m not sure. It took us nearly an hour but I’m in awe of my little girl’s determination.

My two-year-old just ran/walked a 5k on her own two feet! #AwesomeA

A photo posted by @jillwillrun on


At the end of the day, my 2-year-old ran/walked about 2.8 miles on her own. I was stunned. I always thought that her first race would probably be a kids one-mile, but she decided that Sunday was her day to do her first race on her own two feet. I gave her the medal at the finish line, even though I was the registered participant she earned it more than I did!

And yes, we got our bottle of water, banana and then played on the slide for about 30 minutes. And no, she did not nap any longer than she normally would. Her energy knows no limits!


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