For Logan Graham, 8, the start of the school year also brought new experiences. The grade 3 student was finally old enough to join the school cross country team.
Nearly every day Logan participated in practice at school in advance of the race. Once the big day arrived he proudly donned his school jersey and loaded the bus with approximately 100 other students, ready to run. Being a tyke runner meant his course was 1500 meters so he was partnered with an older student who would help keep him on course. He lined up with the rest of his category and took off, almost dancing with excitement, when the signal was given.
As the runners crossed the finish line you could hear a murmur in the crowd that Logan was in sight. Some of his teammates recognized that perhaps he needed a little extra motivation as he approached the finisher chute. The crowd was cheering him on and many of his teammates went to the course to run the final leg with him, giving him that extra burst of energy to finish strong, and with a smile! Logan said that finishing with everyone cheering gave him energy to go fast at the end.
Logan loved his cross country experience, "having my family and my friends there made me happy to race" he said afterwards. He continued onto the regional race held on a cold and rainy day and still finished his race with a smile. He competed as an adaptive athlete and was over the moon to be recognized with a medal for his efforts. He proudly wore the medal to school the next day to share with all his classmates, telling them all about how fast he ran.
The opportunity to participate alongside his friends, to have spectators cheer him on and be included as part of a team all combined to make for a fantastic experience for this first time cross country runner.
- Miranda and Logan Graham