TORONTO. April 12th. Digital Champion Christopher Doyle is back for a second year as a #TYS10K Digital Champion. Christopher is a Dad of four (two girls, two boys) ages 9, 7, 4 and 2, who he interviewed for this blog post. A 15-year sports marketing executive, he lives with his young family in Whitby, but still manages to find time to run at least four times a week. Connect with Chris on Twitter @ChrisDoyle.
The Not So Ultimate Runner’s Panel. By Christopher Doyle.
We live in an age of panel experts. They often grace our television screens, giving us insight and opinion on everything from news and sports to health and politics. At conferences of all kinds, hundreds gather in halls as a moderator facilitates discussion amongst the leading experts in any particular field. Panelists of running experts, marathon coaches or fitness enthusiasts are regular fixtures at pre-race symposiums everywhere, delivering great insights for the attending runner.
An article dedicated to their insights, tips and tricks would have been amazing. But as a Dad to four loving children, without any time available to research such an enlightening article, it was time to assemble a panel of a different kind. It was time to see how my recent devotion to running road races was boring and/or inspiring the next generation. Who knows, perhaps I’m raising the next Lanni Marchant or Reid Coolsaet? It was time to find out.
Moderator (me): Thanks for assembling here today and taking time out of your busy schedules for this. Today we have my 9 and 7-year-old daughters, as well as my 4 and 2-year-old boys. (These are actual responses transcribed by the moderator. Full disclosure: Panelists were encouraged to not always simply repeat their sibling’s response.)
Moderator: So, let’s start off by asking you, why does Dad run these races anyway?
9: “Because you like to do them.”
7: “Because…umm…you want to get energy and stay healthy and stuff.”
4: “I don’t know.”
2: “What? Aaaaaaa…” (Followed by unintelligible; laughing from fellow panelists)
Moderator: What do you think Dad’s chances are of winning the Toronto Yonge St. 10K?
9: “Ok, because you’re really good at running. But some other people might be faster than you, and that’s Ok.”
7: “Your chances are…good.”
4: “No. You are not winning.”
2: “Yes, Daddy is going win the race!”
Moderator: Thanks. Ok, two-part question. Are you going to be a runner? What do you think of running?
9: “First, no, I’m not going to be a runner. I’m going to be a famous fashion designer or a famous artist. Sometimes when I run, I get a stomachache or it hurts my leg. Usually when I’m running I’m playing tag. Famous, famous. Make sure you say ‘famous’ there.”
7: “I don’t think I’m going to be a runner. I’m going to be a baker. But I think running is awesome.”
4: “Yes. I want to be runner. Because I love racin’.”
2: “No I’m not gunna be a runner. Yes. I like it. I like it lots.”
Moderator: Ok. What do you suppose Dad thinks about when he’s out training on those really long runs?
9: “Us. You are thinking about us and about getting back home where it’s warm.”
7: “Food. You are thinking about food aren’t you Daddy?”
4: “I don’t know. Me probably.”
2: “Don’t know.” (Hits oldest sister, saying: “Don’t tell me what to say. You can’t be Daddy’s trainer!” Ok. Noted.)
Moderator: Stop bugging your brother. Please? Can we just finish this? Ok, thanks. What do you think about people who run marathons or really long races?
9: “They must have a lot of energy to run so long.”
7: “They are crazy.”
4: “I like them.”
2: Long blank stare. Attempts to pick nose. Sister stops him. A second blank stare. No response.
Moderator: Do you like to watch Dad run these races?
9: “I like watching you run, but I would like it even more if you won first place.”
7: “Sometimes, although most of the time we can’t see you.”
4: “Yeah. I love you!”
2: Exits the panel. Runs away saying “wheee!” as sister chases him.
Moderator: Ok, thanks everyone. I think that’s the end of our panel today.
Are you a running Mom or Dad? What do your kids think about your running adventures? Let us know in the comments below!