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The first track meet came with no pictures. It was a conscious choice. Heath never fully enjoys any meets since he sees them through a camera lens. I struggle to find pictures that look different from the last meet. This is Gavin’s third track season. We decided it wasn’t important to create more pictures of running. Please forgive!

This meet was held at the high school. I was excited. It’s nearby and very easy to find. Gavin will attend there next year. Nothing to worry about. Next week’s meet will also be at the high school. Circumstances being as they are, I get to do this meet without Heath. The first meet would be good practice for me.

We still had to get Gwen and Parker out of school early. The buses deliver them home too late. It’s not worth the hassle of after school traffic to not pick them up early. Even with school buses those parking lots still fill up with parents. The buses help though. I get Parker out 15 minutes early. Every time I do it, I’m grateful I can find a parking spot and go in. Parents would haunt the schools where we used to live 30-60 minutes before the final bell. There was no getting your kid 15 minutes early unless you wanted to park in neighboring cities and walk in. I exaggerate but not much!

We go from the middle school to the elementary school to get Gwen out 30 minutes early. There is no sense of urgency in the elementary school! Then we head to the meet venue. This time it was the high school.

We arrived early which contributed to the feeling of being in the wrong place. I have been to many track meets for Gavin. I have never in my life gone to a meet like that. The high school has an all weather track, which Gavin loves. As fun as it is to run in mud … it’s kind of not. There was one small set of metal bleachers. That was it.

The bleachers were so small there wasn’t enough space for a whole team to sit there shoulder to shoulder. We’re talking small bleachers. The host team came and dropped off backpacks and stuff on the ground behind the bleachers. Several students, not in uniform, took up the bottom row to watch the meet.

I looked around and realized that not only was there inadequate seating, but there was quite literally nowhere for spectators to watch. Fans bring camping chairs and set up wherever at cross country meets. There was nowhere for chairs. There was barely any space for people to stand around one corner of the track. The rest of the track was surrounded by a retaining wall or the beginning of a large hill down to the softball field.

Stranger still was seeing football uprights on either side of the track. There was plenty of space for football to be played, although now that I think of it there were no lines in the grass. I couldn’t imagine who would attend a game that was so fan unfriendly. I was already questioning whether or not I was really invited to watch the track meet. To the point that I told Heath several times that I would only go there to pick Gavin up next week. It was just too weird. Plus, it was cloudy and windy so I was freezing.

When Grandma and Grandpa came they said they noticed the lack of seating on Google maps. They explained that most of the events in our school district take place at a different stadium. So really the high school track and field are better for practicing than actual meets, or football games. They also said it’s best to bring a blanket because the bleachers are almost always wet. It is the Northwest after all.

race-time

Gavin raced in the 1600 and the 800. Heath timed him because Gavin has a tendency to not care about his time. He just likes to run! We learned to time him ourselves. This was his time for the mile. He ran the 800 in 2:43.15

He started out in the middle of the pack. Not unusual for Gavin. He didn’t pass as much as I thought he would so he ended up finishing toward the end of the pack. Then Heath told me his time. It seemed like a good mile for Gavin. The other boys must have been faster than I thought if that was Gavin’s time and he was near the end.

I asked him how he felt about his races. He seemed disappointed in himself. He said something about hoping to PR. I reminded him that this was the first meet! There was nothing to PR against. Maybe he meant his California mile times. He also said that the kids here run faster than he’s used to. And he admitted it’s colder here.

The 8th grade boys annihilated the other two teams! We won by a good 60 points. The 8th grade girls tied for second. The 7th grade boys and girls both took second. Not bad. Sixth graders only practice here. They aren’t allowed to participate in games or meets.

This is a good opportunity for Gavin to push himself. He loves running and seems to only really care about competing against himself. He has specific goals he wants to achieve, both long term and short term. I’m sure he will PR next week. That was always the case before. He improved with each meet. He will get used to the cooler temperatures, the soggier weather, and the faster pace. He loves running!

The cross country coach, from our ward, is also a track coach. There are several other coaches as well, each specializing in specific events. Gavin has been practicing with a different coach. The workouts have pushed him further than he thought he could go. That’s a good thing. Sometimes you need a little soreness to realize you’re alive.

The high school runners have also come to help with many practices. They helped with a lot of cross country practices too. Gavin loves running with them. He is very excited to join their team next year.

One meet down, five more to go.

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