She fell in love with cross country when she started running for Coach Larry Turner and Coach Bradley McLester at the Parks and Recreation Department a few years ago. She has watched me over the years do the road race, and she also knows how important running is to me in my life.
In 1983, when I was 12, I ran my first Peachtree Road Race and I loved it. I have done the race over 20 times, and each year I do it I see something that I have never seen before. I have raced at the front of the pack with a qualified time, and I have run in the back with the masses (which I like a whole lot more). Truthfully, I rarely do road races anymore except for the Peachtree Road Race, and I will run it four years in a row and then maybe take a year or two off and then do it again. I think I ran so many races in junior high, high school, college, and in my early 20s that I just burned out on the whole race thing which is why I rarely run races these days.
That being said, I love to run. It relaxes my soul, and makes all the stresses of life disappear. Typically, I like to run alone, because I like to solve all my world problems pounding the pavement and thinking things through with no one to answer to while I’m jogging around Carrollton.
I told Maddie Grace if she wants to run the Peachtree then we are going to start in January and build our endurance slowly, and so she will not get injured. She agreed, and she has been doing wonderfully.
As for me, it has been a really cool experience. The first couple of times we went out she talked, and talked, and talked so much so that I do not even think I got a word in the whole time. I know more about Carrollton Middle School than Principal Jason Mundorf does, and I know who likes whom in the sixth grade, and which boys talk too much, and which girls are sweet and nice to hang out with.
The first couple of times I got home, and looked at my wife like what have I gotten myself into to, but the more we do it the more I enjoy these special moments.
Keep your fingers crossed that we get the coveted Peachtree Road Race numbers for the fourth, and that my Maddie Grace enjoys the moment as much as I did when I first did it in 1983.
Maierhofer is director of the Carrollton Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.