Friday, September 6, 2013

Elena's A-maize-ing Race

*This was from August 2013*

There is a farm about 30 minutes away that has a 5K race through a corn maze.

Elena's longest race has been one mile.  We were looking for a new challenge...but 5K (3.1 miles) is too long for E right now.  There was a walk option, so I emailed the farm and asked how long that portion would be.

They said it was about a mile, but that's if you explored every part of the maze.  That option was mainly for little kids, and more of a maze exploration feature than a race.

We were a little bit bummed...Elena wanted to race, not explore.

So, I explained our situation and I asked if there was a way to have us exit the race portion of the maze somewhere close to a mile.  They agreed--and asked if we wanted to come out and check out the terrain some weekend before the race to make sure it was a good fit.

My thoughts on the maze were several fold; one, we had to be in the last wave of runners, b/c the maze can fit maybe two runners side-by-side, and I didn't want anyone passing Elena and clipping her crutches.  Two, I didn't expect the path to be smooth--but it was pretty rough.  And there were considerable hills, too.  Farmers Kent and Evie tried to assure us that we could figure out where we were in the maze by the shape of our running path--no way.  I wondered if we should tether a balloon to us so they could see where we were...they promised they wouldn't let us get lost.

The day before the race it rained.  A LOT.  But we were committed, mud or no mud.

Ready to Race!

Running up the hill

We didn't have any runners around us--we were passed right from the start (in the last wave of runners).  But that was okay.  Our goals were to have fun, try to run as much as we could, while being safe.

Corn Star

The course was difficult!  Very hilly, a little slippery, and it seemed to take forever.  E slipped and fell once--and by the tracks we saw, she wasn't the only one.  I knew E wouldn't be able to keep her normal pace, but I didn't realize how much harder this field would be to run than on smooth pavement.  It was a LOT harder. We walked a few times, and had a few water breaks.


We finished in about 36 minutes.  Our portion of the course was 1.1 miles, E's longest to date.

Arial Maze shot

The 5K race course--we exited at the bottom of the lower left balloon (near the maze entrance/exit)

E and Farmer Kent

At the end of the race, there was an awards ceremony where the fastest runners from each age category received a medal. or special shirt, or special pear gourd.  But before any of that, Elena actually got a special award from Kent and Evie.  They presented her with an apple gourd, for being the "most inspiring runner"!  

Proud Apple Girl

Huge thanks to Liberty Mills Farm, and Evie and Kent and their family for helping us have a successful race and a really fun time around the farm.  We'll be back for the Fall Festival!  

1 comment:

Kerith Stull said...

What a fun event! How wonderful that they were willing to accommodate Elena's needs! My 19yo "typical" daughter recently told me she wished she had something (an activity) that connected her to her 17yo sister with moderate cerebral palsy (walks with a limp). I wish they had started this years ago!