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Joseph’s first 5K

Joseph is a 9 year old kid that I have been friends with for several years. His dad died several years ago, due to cancer. I support him, when needed. He is a great kid!
He is very into sports in general and has developed a fondness for running. You don’t see many kids his age that are willing to run even close to a 5k distance. He has recently joined his elementary school’s running club, so he was practiced up to over 2 miles.
We had been talking about him doing a 5K soon. The Jingle Bell 5k was coming up in downtown Roanoke, just before Christmas. The Jingle Bell is a fund raiser for arthritis. He has a relative that had arthritis issues, so it was a no brainer.
Race day was cold and festive! I was very proud of how he performed. I paced him the whole way and cheered him on. He slowed down at mile 1.5 or so with stomach cramps and walked some. He ran hard all the way back for a 34 min plus time. He pushed very hard at the end.
We were all excited for him. It was a great experience.