The SSJ Pre-K Jogathon 2016 – or How Nettie the Noob Learned Her Lesson

This year was our family’s first opportunity to participate in what we have discovered is a Really Big Deal around the Ss. Simon and Jude School – the annual Jogathon fundraiser. Now, anyone who’s been around this block before knows how these types of fundraisers work. All the children participate at whatever level they are able, and they each try to get pledges toward their run – either a flat pledge amount, or an amount per lap.

So anyway, at SSJ, the Pre-K kiddies have their own special little track to run, on the green lawn outside their classroom, and they have a 30 minute timer on their run. The bigger kids, K-8, all have to run around the baseball field – a significantly bigger challenge, but they also get an hour and a half to get their laps in.

Being a noob, I didn’t know much about this going into it, only that they littles would be on a separate course. We got some pledges from family and friends, all flat amounts, and they were wonderful pledges too. But I figured, if nobody pledges a per-lap amount, where’s the motivation to run, right? So I threw down a $5/lap pledge, thinking he might go as high as 20 laps, and that would be ok, I could afford it.

We had to get up pretty bright and pretty early to get everyone on the road and delivered to their respective schools in time. We brought the little girls and baby Ruben, and even Oma joined us on our morning run. Grandma and Grandpa drove up from Sun Lakes to be there for the big event as well, and although Megan wasn’t working that morning (officially), she was along and wearing her Jogathon shirt, so we had a merry band of Heidmanns there to cheer our boy and his classmates on.

I failed utterly in anticipating that telling this child he has to run for 30 minutes straight is like telling a nightingale it has to sing. There is no “has to” in this equation. Running, for Efrain “Flash” Heidmann, is pure, unadulterated joy – it is what he was born to do. The first couple of times around the course he actually ran with his hands folded in front of him, visibly trying to hold back and “pace himself” as the teachers were coaching them. But before long he just gave up and ran like he meant it. 20 laps went by in a flash, and he was just getting warmed up. He surpassed the 60 lap mark and just kept running because nobody said stop yet. I don’t even know how many over 60 he went by the time they called it, but at least I only have to pay for 60.

Aiyiyi. You live and you learn. I hope they will take it in payments, though! Next year, I’m taking Coach Keebler’s advice and moving that decimal over one space.

Pics of our fun below, with captions (full screen is the best view; click on the i in the upper right corner to read captions).

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