Sometimes just showing up is enough.
Alastair was exponentially more skeptical of cross than I, so when I told him that his first foray into racing would be on wet grass, he was not thrilled. But since his entry would be free, I gave him no real choice and told him it would just be an opportunity to learn.
Reluctantly, he went along with the program and, while he HATED every pedal stroke, he at least finished the race.
It was good enough for a podium, but because this area doesn't see a lot of competition in the juniors divisions, it was also last place.
We skipped the rest of the season, with me shifting into marathon training and him putting time on the soccer field, but since the season finale was going to be in Richmond, I told him he needed to try again.
As I mentioned from my own race report, it was VERY COLD. And getting a 10 year old to put on lycra to go ride in sub-freezing conditions is not easy, but this time was dry, and he'd been putting in some decent training on Zwift.
He didn't get on the podium this time. Of the 3 other racers out there, one wins just about everything he does, another was the son of the guy who took 2nd in my race, and the third had been to every single race this season. Alastair was outgunned and didn't take it seriously until it was too late.
He showed up.
Series results were posted this morning, and somehow, magically, irrationally, he took 5th place, out of 33! It looks like 27 other kids just did one race, but if he's truly a member of the junior development program on the team, then he got the overall best position on THE WHOLE TEAM for this cross season.