The very first running event I ever remember taking part in was a “shuttle run” in elementary school sometime between 1971 – 75. I don’t remember what year it was. Try as I might to link this with some other event in my early life I just can’t put a date stamp on it. If I had to guess I would say the year was 1975 and I was in the third grade.
What I do remember was that I was attending McKean Elementary school which was just down the street from our home. I assume to burn off some unwanted winter energy, the school held a spring track and field day. Somehow, I don’t remember how, I was signed up to run the shuttle run.
The shuttle run was a foot race where you ran 15 to 20 yards. Opposite the starting line on the floor was an eraser. When the whistle went off you ran as fast as you could torwards the eraser. Then you stopped picked up said eraser and then sprinted back to the starting line, which now was the finishing line. Running this race has remained etched in my brain for over 40 years. Strange. I can still recall the feelings of nervousness before running that race. For competition you were pitted against another runner (classmate) in an elimination format. This was before the days of everyone getting a trophy, the faster runner moved forward.
I also remember that I came in second. I don’t recall any feelings of disappointment, what has remained with me all these years is how happy I felt when I recieved the 2nd place blue ribbon. I could not wait to get home and place that blue ribbon on the refrigerator for my whole family to see. I was so proud, that event left me thinking that maybe I was destined for the Olympics.
I wish I had some pictures to go along with this post…the best I can do is one of me from around the same time period. There were other running related events as a kid. The big race at the school bus stop, 2nd place in a JV track meet and blistering the 40 yard dash in football camp. My running career took some big detours along my lifes path, but I still look back on that first running event with found reflections. I didn’t win. I didn’t make a run for the Olympics. I found running again later in life, but that event will forever hold a special place in my life’s story.
How about you, what was the very first running event you took place in? Post a comment and tell us about it.