After a good night's sleep, Aleena was excited for her first race. She knew the odds were stacked against her since she had yet to actually crawl. However, she had done plenty of visualization and hoped it would carry her through the big race. Since she was one of the younger participants in the event, her heat started off the Baby Crawl event at 1 pm this afternoon. Prior to the race, Aleena decided to go watch her brother swim as a form of pre-race relaxation. It seemed to work as she had another little cat nap before the big race.
After the trip to the swimming pool, we went to the Northgate Mall and checked in at the race registration desk. Aleena received her lane assignment: Lane 5 out of 8. Naturally, we assumed this lane assignment meant she was one of the top seeds in the heat. She gave us a big smile to show her approval.
We had a few minutes before the race so we rushed off to get her older brother some lunch to keep him occupied during the big race. We were a bit rushed taking our place at the race position but it didn't seem to affect her mood. The announcers were local TV and radio personalities: Greg Morgan and Twyla West. They introduced the racers in each lane. We took our position in Lane 5 and waited for the official race start.
We were reminded of the rules:
- No touching the baby during the race.
- You may use lures to encourage the baby but nothing can be placed on the mats.
- Babies were allowed to cross into other lanes.
- Babies were not allowed to stand or walk as this would result in disqualification.
We reminded Aleena of these rules, particularly that she was absolutely not allowed to stand or walk. She looked at us with what seemed to be a deep level of understanding.
It wasn't long before the babies took their place on the starting line.
"On your mark...get set...go!"
Aleena pushed up on the mat and stared ahead with a look of determination......for 5 minutes. That's right. She managed to push up and look forward quite happily for the 5 minute duration of the race. She was in good company. Only one of the eight babies in the race actually crawled across the mat. The most action that happened in her lane was when the winning baby decided to crawl into it and rest for a moment before scooting to the end of the mat.
The first and second place babies were to continue onto the next heat. Since no other babies actually moved, Aleena was in good shape. Her long arm reach was almost enough to push her through to the next heat. One judge was giving it to her but they were over ruled by the announcer. Jeremy felt this was rather unfair and that Aleena should have advanced based on her ending position. The baby that was awarded second place had more forward progress but crawled backward before the race ended. Either way, we are very proud of our baby girl for her efforts. She stayed awake, didn't cry and seemed quite interested in what was going on. Furthermore, if there had been an award for most drool, she was clearly the winner!
Unfortunately, I don't have any race photos to post as of yet. The camera has taken a trip to Penzance for the evening where Jeremy is helping his family get started on an addition to their house. I promise to post some evidence of this monumental race very soon. Until then, here are some pre- and post-race photos of our blossoming athlete.
Pre-Race Photo - Excited and ready to go!