Spectating and Shoe Shopping With A Toddler

Since Cate and I have this little human to take care of…we never get to run in the same races (unless we’re talking about really small 5-10k races that allow strollers).  So, that usually means someone needs to hang out around the Start/Finish area with the niña.  For some people, the thought of keeping a 2 year-old happy for two hours sounds like hell.  However, it’s not really that bad…


First, there is football (soccer for the unenlightened out there).  Ellie has been a big fan of kicking the ball around lately, and she spent a majority of her time at this race either carrying the ball or kicking it…still working out whether she will be a keeper of central midfielder.  Also, she was pretty excited to kick the football around with the Champions League final coming up later in the day.  (Note: you will notice that she has a Chelsea F.C. ball….gotta teach them young)


Second, we were at a running race…so Ellie saw a lot of people running.  By kid logic, that means that she needed to run everywhere…naturally.


Third, never underestimate the wonders that are flags.  Our daughter could spend hours playing with race flags.  Once people start finishing the race, I spend a lot of time keeping her out of the chute…to her, flags are more important than keeping safe.


Once Cate and her friends started to cross the finish line, Ellie had found another pursuit to occupy her mind…food.  The nice thing about Inside Trail Racing (or pretty much any ultra race), is the spread at the finish.  Ellie spent most of her time harassing people for M&M’s and Cheese-Its…the kid has good taste, that whole salty/sweet thing is big right now.


After the race, we drove into Mill Valley for brunch and trail shoe shopping…as you do.  Cate’s friends had been planning the visit to San Francisco Running Company, so we tagged along.  As we walked in the door, the first thing I saw was Victor Ballesteros! (a local running celeb…pictured above with the sweet goatee and the red tank)  I had seen him at the race, but was too scared to approach him…which was crazy, because he is super nice.  (If you enjoy podcasts, HERE is a great place to learn a little more about him.)  After a short chat with him, I had been sold on some new trail shoes…the Altra Lone Peak 1.5…not only is he a great runner, but a great salesman.


Following a great vegan lunch at Cafe Del Soul, and a cup of coffee, we headed home.  Since I had been planning to return my Hoka One One’s (They only go up to 14, and apparently I need a 15 in the Stinson), and Cate was in the market for Hoka’s…we decided to make a stop in at Forward Motion in Danville to make a trade.  By the time we were heading home, Ellie was about done with our shenanigans….and the only thing that kept her happy on the way home was wearing Mom’s new shoes!


At the end of it all, I think Ellie had a good time.  She got a lot of time outside.  Flags.  Football.  Running.  M&M’s and Cheese-Its.  and a lot of attention from Mom and Dad.  I’m sure she would have rather skipped the second running store, but these are the hardships she will have to learn to deal with.

On a totally different note, I have some great pictures to share…even though they have nothing to do with the rest of this post…SQUIRREL!


I saw a great sign at the local farmer’s market…thought I should share.


And, here is my wife trying out stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP)…in a dress and cardigan!  I mean, what better time to give it a whirl.  Then to top it all off, she couldn’t stop saying “Sup” for the rest of the night…I blame you Laird Hamilton.

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