400 m, Super 8, Get in the Game

In the summer of third grade I ran the 400. Our city held community track meets at one of the high schools. My younger sister and I ran several events. She excelled at short bursts, like the 50 and 100 m dash. And I preferred longer events. At school I also liked the hurdles and high jump and once tied an older boy for best high jump.

The 400 drew a mix of kids, boys and girls ages 9-12. My dad gave me a pep talk pre-race suggesting I run a steady lap vs. starting off too fast and then burning out. So when the pack pulled away, I stayed steady, determined to run the race correctly. My dad filmed the race with 8mm. He zoomed out, panning between the race leaders and me, running on my own in last place. The gap grew and Dad's camerawork was unsteady, likely due to laughing (in a good way.)

  • I didn't fall.

  • I didn't pull a hamstring.

But there I was in last place -- and I chose to keep running following the plan. I caught and passed someone in the final stretch.

The 400 is one of my favorite life moments. There are so many races worth running, experiences worth having. If you're curious about a sport, get up and go. Stop waiting for the perfect moment -- it's not coming. Instead, give yourself permission to be a beginner and go. Get in the game.

The film is a family favorite at holidays. It makes me laugh too. I asked Dad to help me transfer it to digital format, even if it means filming the screen and then uploading. 8mm transfer is tricky with audio and super old equipment.

Questions for You:
- What track event is your favorite to watch or compete in?
- Have you seen Super 8? I loved it. I miss making movies as a kid.

Favorite Track Moments
Bonnie Richardson, a girl from Texas, wins the state team track title by herself. Twice.

Eric Liddell's
1924 Olympic 400. Watch the Chariots of Fire clip.


Derek Redmond's 1992 Olympic 400 semifinal.

Heather Doriden's 600 M race at Big 10 Indoor Track Championships

No comments: