Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Great Candy Run

A couple of weekends ago, our kids took part in The Great Candy Run in downtown Jacksonville. It was E.J.'s first race!

The race was sponsored by Sweet Pete's Candy Shop and held in and around Hemming Park. My mom was in town that weekend, so that Saturday morning we all dragged ourselves out of bed early and headed downtown. The Tot Trot was free, so we picked up numbers for the kids when we arrived and tried to stay out of the drizzling rain while we waited for things to begin.

They're looking ready to run, aren't they?

Soon, it was time to run. Everybody lined up, and they did a little warm-up exercise with the kids before getting started. Then, Sweet Pete himself and the emcee set the pace!

Pre-race pep talk from Grammy

The emcee really went for it.

Eric ran with the kids while my mom and I hung out and watched. In time the crowds parted and we could see our runners! Naturally, prior to the race I had talked it up to Ellie that she was going to run next to Daddy and Daddy was going to hold E.J.'s hand, because he's little. Well, silly me, because E.J. came dashing on down the road, thinking it was the coolest thing in the world, with no need for hand-holding. Meanwhile, Ellie stayed close to Eric. That's my kids, man.

Here they come!

Go, E.J., go!

Of course, E.J. did need a little hand-holding when it came time to turn back around to return to the start/finish line. He wanted to keep going!

Crossing the finish line!

VIDEO: Our racing kids!

When they crossed the finish line, they were awarded their medals—E.J.'s first one! Big moment!

Terrible picture of the big moment

He just wants to keep running! Enough pomp and circumstance!

Yay, E.J.!

In addition to medals, the kids each got a little plastic container that they could fill with candy at Sweet Pete's, so we headed over there to check it out. After surveying the spread, Ellie opted to trade in her container for a chocolate bar, but we filled E.J.'s up with other goodies.

Checking out the candy selection

The kids and the spoils of victory

We spent some time in the candy shop. Ellie made a chocolate covered pretzel, and E.J. had his first taste of a chocolate bar (and immediately signed for "more!"). We also had some fun with the merchandise (the puppets in particular!).

Decorating a pretzel rod

E.J. wants more chocolate!

Fun with puppets

Ellie's turn!

After our time in the candy shop, we went back over to Hemming Park and ran off some more energy at the festival for a while.

Looking so fancy!

Having a great time!

Then, we packed it in and headed back home. The run was a great success!

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