All of the 1st-graders wore blue shirts. (I think 5th-graders were in black, 2nd-graders were in white and kindergartners were in red. Not sure about the others.)
The race took place in the middle of downtown Birmingham, and we arrived a few minutes before Jake's grade was assigned to line up at the Starting Line. (There was a staggered start to accommodate all the runners.)
Once I got him through the chute and headed toward the Starting Line, I looped back around to try to make my way over there, myself.
Even though this was only the 1st-graders -- and they were the second-to-last group to run -- it was still kind of a mob scene. Jake looked so little standing there at the back of the line of 1st-graders.
They moved them up group by group, starting them in waves so there wouldn't be a stampede. (Parents aren't allowed to run with their kids, so there are just a lot of little people running out there.)
After waiting and watching for several minutes as group after group of 1st-graders took off, Jake's wave finally got to move up to the Starting Line. (He's almost in the center of the picture below in the navy and royal striped cap.)
Then the race monitors raised the banner and it was their time to go!
We knew that Jake had been in the last group of 1st-graders to take off, so we knew we had plenty of time ... but we weren't sure exactly how long it would take him to finish.
They just kept coming and coming ... and coming.
The occasional kid would slap fans' hands as he ran by. It was adorable.
Amelia was less than impressed by the entire spectacle ... as it turns out, she was working up to a fever and stomach bug, but we didn't know that at the time.
Nick was really kind, just doing what was asked and cheerfully trying to figure out if and how there were any way he and Jake could possibly earn points in Minecraft in exchange for Jake's participation in the race.
Just when we thought we couldn't wait any longer, the race emcee announced, "And the dogged Jake H____ crosses the Finish Line!"
He waved at us as he chugged by, determined to cross the Finish Line and get a drink as soon as possible.
Immediately afterward, we met Jake at the pickup area where they had funneled the kids out into corrals, sorted by the last digit of their race numbers. He was so excited about his new medal!
Jake signs up to do virtually everything that's available to him. He cracks me up ... I don't know what made him want to run the Mercedes, other than the fact that it exists and someone told him that he could.
Do you have kids? Do they participate or do they lay low?