I have this rather demoralizing memory of a race with my son when he was about 8 years old. Maybe he was younger, but I refuse to admit to it. We lived in a village with houses arranged in an oval. One day, as a joke I challenged Jon to a race around the village. What was I thinking?
We started out together for maybe 10 seconds and then he disappeared. By the time I came huffing and puffing back home, he was lying on the grass and asked, "What kept you?"
Art thought that was rather funny.
In April 1990, Jon was in middle school (12 years old). His coach wanted him to compete in a district 800 meter race. Art decided to take Jon out to the track to get him ready for the race. Art was ahead for a good part of the race, but as they neared the finish Jon suddenly darted ahead and crossed the finish before his dad.
I thought at first that Art had allowed Jon to beat him to give him some encouragement. However, seeing Art struggling a little to catch his breath made me realize that indeed Jon could hold his own.
In June we were at Northwestern University watching Jon compete in the District Track and Field Competition. Art had his video recorder ready and started filming when the race began.
Jon was behind for the first lap. We assumed the runners from the other schools were much faster and that Jon was running out of steam when the gap widened. Then, as they ran the last part of their laps Jon suddenly took off and won handily. We could hardly believe it! Art was so excited that he pressed the button on the video recorder incorrectly and turned the machine off. Therefore, to this day (much to Jon's chagrin) we only have a recording where Jon was behind. This is a photo of Jon receiving his 1st place ribbon.
I guess it was rather disconcerting for Art to have his young son surpass him. We knew Jon was a fast swimmer, but running was Art's domain at the time. We got used to the kids surpassing us in many areas rather quickly and were proud and happy that they could. Still...
Art now has that challenge for Jon again. He's run the marathon at age 66 and 67. Let's see if Jon can surpass that.