2012 KU Relays

On Saturday, we loaded up and drove 40 minutes to Lawrence, KS. Our goal: to see the most nachos ever accumulated in one place.

No, really. One of the sights at a TRACK MEET — the 2012 KU Relays — was an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the largest serving of nachos. I was there. I saw the 80-foot trough with my own eyes. It was amusing and disgusting and no, none of our party partook of the “scooped from the trough in a semi-gelatinous state” free nachos.

They did, however, break the record. Four thousand six hundred and eighty-nine POUNDS of nachos. Ay, caramba.

The real reason we went to the KU Relays, however, was to watch the running events themselves. In the “invitational” races, there were a number of professional, semi-professional, or just really stinkin’ fast athletes running. I saw Bershawn Jackson in the 400m hurdles, Dee Dee Trotter in the 400m, and AJ Acosta, David Adams, and Nick Symmonds in the mile.

I’m sure there are some that I missed, because I spent a large portion of the meet underneath the stadium, allowing LilRunr to explore to his heart’s content out of the glare and burn of the sun.

Baby Toddler boy enjoyed the free commemorative cowbell:

Look mom, your iPhone! Can I play with it?

And he definitely knows how to use it. More cowbell, anyone? The young man also had a chance to meet some very special people: Jim Ryun and his wife, Anne. Does Jim need an explanation? Non-runners, he was the first high school runner to break 4:00 in the mile. He’s an amazing talent and his is an amazing story. Originally from Kansas and a KU alum, he’s very supportive of track in general and KU Relays in particular. More years than not he is the guest starter for the mile event and devotes several hours to signing autographs. When I was in high school, the “Ryun Running Camp” took place in my hometown, so I had the extreme good fortune of attending it for several years at the “day camper” rate, which was the only one I could afford. I love the entire Ryun family, and my years running (and playing ultimate frisbee) in the summers with them and other campers are some of my favorite memories.

Anne, Jim, LilRunr (and his poker face), and I

And now, they’ve met my LilRunr. So awesome. 🙂

Eventually, LilRunr tired himself out and was persuaded to sleep on my shoulder. If I was a good track mom, I would have remembered to bring his quilt out of the car and I could have made him a little pallet in the bleachers. Instead, I lost feeling in my arm, rear, and feet holding 25 pounds of sleeping toddler weight.

Sleepy time.

Ah, well. An hour later, he awoke fully energized and in time to watch the mile. I know that the world record is well under 4:00 now, but it really is something to watch that minute barrier be broken.

The only thing that made me sad was how few spectators seemed to be in the stands. When I ran at the KU Relays in high school, it was a BIG DEAL. I remember being a bundle of nerves and feeling like the whole world was watching me. Has it changed so much, or was it simply the level of competition that made it seem big? There was a terrific atmosphere, a perfect day, and so much great competition…I wish more people got excited about this sport. I believe it will be a yearly event for our household.



2 responses

  1. The KU Relays are so fun. Then again, you might be partial to the Drake relays as well. I would love to meet Jim Ryun someday! Sigh…sometimes I miss the whole collegiate running scene.

    • Kate, you’re onto me — someday, we’d like to take our little Drake to his namesake relays. Until then, however, the KU Relays are a fun (and much closer!) substitute. I miss the college running days, too. The great thing about these track/cross country meets is that I ALWAYS seem to run into someone from the good ol’ days. Good times!

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