Inspire a Younger

22 November 2013, 12:48

While visiting family in Virginia last week, I did the majority of my weekday runs in my parents’ local park, but for my Saturday long run, I wanted to go somewhere different since I had a two hour run in my Plan and doing 5km laps over and over didn’t sound like much fun.

My nephew just turned 12 that week, and said he wanted to come running with me, so the whole family drove down to the Great Dismal Swamp Tail for a bit of dog walking while we ran. Despite being so young, he plays (American) football and lacrosse, and runs around his neighbourhood occasionally, but everyone was still very skeptical that he’d last the entire two hours.

Great Dismal Swamp

You know what? He was a total champ. I slowed down considerably but he kept up with me the entire time, and only complained that his legs hurt once or twice. It was nice that we were running next to the old canal, so there was plenty to look at, and we even went off exploring a side trail at one point.

We also had lots of running-based conversation! Everything from “Why do you run on your tippytoes, Aunt Melissa?” to “Why are Kenyans so fast?” to “Have you ever won a race?” to pacing techniques and even a comparison of plank positions!

Two hour Medal

When we got back to the meeting point, I led him through a serious of stretches and presented him with a little medal for running “a whole two hours”! He was clearly knackered, but was absolutely fine the next day – no soreness at all he said.

Post run stretching

I’m trying to convince him to go out for cross country when he gets to high school in a few years, but right now his love is with lacrosse, and they unfortunately conflict. But who knows, maybe after this session he’ll realise how good he is at longer distances and change his mind! He was really fired up to run further and go all the way to the North Carolina border, but that would’ve required a pick-up from my parents further down along the trail, and I didn’t have mobile reception to arrange it. But next time, we promised – next time we run to North Carolina!

This was one of the most enjoyable long runs I’ve had in a long, long time, and it’s all because I got to share it with my nephew that I don’t get to see very often, and inspire him to run more.



  1. I.need.those.tights. Love ‘em!

    And how great is it that he went with you? Two hours? That is amazing. Plus, he got a medal from his auntie! That was pretty thoughtful.

    Tina @ Average For Bend    22 November 2013, 16:15    #
  2. I was going to enthuse about what a cool story and how fab to have such a great experience with your nephew! Such a mean feat for most people, let alone a 12 year old- what a star!! And then I saw the earlier comment and have to concur – tights envy!

    Scruffy badger    22 November 2013, 19:58    #

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