What most people don't realize is how long Holden had been preparing for this. Or, how we'd consulted with his doctors and his allergist (who also manages his asthma) to be assured that he was up to this enormous task and that he was healthy and in shape and was properly prepared. It's not every day that a youngster will run this distance, though he certainly wasn't the youngest or first, and won't be the last.
The most important fact for everyone to know and realize though, is this is something Holden himself wanted, not something we pushed on him. He had decided last summer he wanted to try and start running longer distances, as in 10-miles or so. What this means is, he started preparing in September of 2013 for the Surf-n-Santa 10-miler in early December. He prepared for over 3 months to get ready for that race and had a time goal in mind. 1:30:00! An incredible 9:00/mile pace. While he didn't quite make his goal, he did run a very impressive 1:35:26, considering the rainy, cold, and very windy conditions, he had nothing to be ashamed of.
A few days after that race, he said he was ready to sign up for his first half-marathon, he chose the Dismal Swamp Stomp 1/2 Marathon held in April on the beautiful Dismal Swamp Canal trail. He/we chose this one as his first half as we'd heard it was a very flat and fast course, a very good first half-marathon for anybody, let alone a youngster.
To run the half-marathon in two hours!
As I told you previously, he beat his goal time by ten minutes!
He ran an astonishing 1:50:06!
I later heard that he had a mild panic attack and started to hyperventilate about 12.5 miles into the race. I think he had realized at that point that he was going to accomplish his goal and he got excited and a little nervous. When I saw him nearing the finish line, he looked as though he'd just begun, not like he was just finishing up 13.1 miles! Easy-going, amazing form and just ready to get it done. He didn't even look exhausted or anything! I was so proud of him, and I know he was proud of himself too, as he should have been.
So.... to wrap up what had already been a fantastic day with his race, he got honored as the 2014 Inspirational Story of the race! The video below is from the race, and his story was also featured on the race's website at http://dismalswampstomp.mettleevents.com/race-info.html.
(he decided the morning of the race to wear a different s/s shirt instead of the one picturedLOL)
|This is the shirt he decided to wear :)|
Supporting his IR4 buddy, Calder
spreading Spina Bifida Awareness!
Now for the EXCITING part........ Holden's race results/splits!
We can't forget - the adorable, amazing and most inspirational tiny buddy ever, Calder!
For more information on I Run for Michael, go to: http://www.whoirun4.com/
There are currently over 2900 runners waiting for their special buddy match. If you are the parent or caregiver of a special needs child or adult, please consider joining this amazing group. As the mother of both a special buddy and a runner (typically the runners are adults but there are a few children who are amazing enough to have their own buddies, Holden being one of them), I love this group.
The family it allows everyone to be a part of and the premise behind it; to support and love everyone, without hesitation.