My mom flew in from Oregon to attend my cousin's wedding with us in Newport. Before she headed home, I thought it would be nice to join in a fun run in downtown Boston. She knows how much I love to run, and she's enjoyed a jog here or there on her own, so we signed up. She was excited about the jaunt and didn't even mind the rain that started coming down two hours prior.

We chose the Bill Rodger's Jingle Bell Run because the registration site stated:

"This fun run will be held at jogging pace, and will be run between 10 and 13 minutes per mile at a controlled pace."

No problem for my mom... until we arrived at the start, where an announcement was made that the pace would now be set at 8:00-8:30 mile. This immediately intimidated her. She was scared to the point of wanting to drop out before we even started because she'd never tried to run that fast before, and wasn't about to start tonight. We made it about 1/3 of a mile with the now faster group, then had to pull off to the side because a cop car tried to drive around us. Yep, we were in the rear. She was disappointed in herself and I was upset that she felt that way because of something I thought would be "fun."

I understand that most of the runners participating found the 8:00 mile pace very comfortable or easy, but this was marketed as a much slower race. My mom was unprepared for anything more. This was her first organized running event and I never would have signed her up had I known the pace would change at the last minute. I wanted her to enjoy it and feel great crossing the finish line. I didn't want her jogging along with a cop car right on her tail.

So instead we ran all the way home (3.5 miles) at the pace we originally intended. We ran farther than the "fun run" (2.4 miles) and had a lot more fun doing it. I just hope she'll trust me when I encourage her to run a different event with me one day.


12/14/2009 06:43

That's too bad...Bill should send your Mom an autographed 8X10 with his apologies!

12/14/2009 13:59

Quick update: Wrote to Bill Rodger's Running Center about last night's event and received a nice response. The rain may have played a part in speeding up the run, which makes sense. More importantly he acknowledged all of my comments, which is really all I wanted. I don't mean to be down on a holiday run - I'm sure everyone else found it really fun! Just can't help being protective of my mom.

07/31/2016 01:00

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