MY “BEST” TIME by Erik Hoffhacker

My “best” time


I’ve been pondering what that means a lot lately, especially with a handful of big races coming up, after doing the 1 mile TT a little while ago and PR’ing at a 5k recently

And, it just hit me what my best time running was.

Last Thursday at the Wilmington Historic Foundation 5k, I had the honor and joy of running the race with my 10 year old son Brady and one of my 7 year old twin daughters Shea. Brady has run this race with me before and on the way downtown, he was nervous and worried. We talked about the importance of having fun and taking it easy. He’s a competitive kid and since he won his age group last year, wanted to do it again. He also heard about the TT and came to a few practices lately so I know he wanted to do his daddy proud.

This was Shea’s second 5k ever and she loves just being a part of whatever daddy is doing.

As the crowd gathered at the start line, Brady finally cracked a smile when I gave him a high 5 and told him to chill. Right before the gun went off, Shea looked up at me with her smile and said “Daddy, I want to hold your hand.” There’s no way to say no to that so I reached down and grabbed her hand. The gun went off and Brady took off with the pack and Shea and I hustled down Water Street. She was giggling and smiling the whole way. About a half mile into I looked down at my watch to see what we were doing and immediately knew we needed to slow down. We were at a 7:20 pace and I needed to slow her down a bit. Brady was long gone and nowhere in site.

Shea and I hit the Riverwalk, hand in hand, and she asked to walk a bit so we stopped running and she looked up at me still smiling. After a few yards and some random conversation, we were off again heading towards Nun Street. At the base of the hill I finally let go of her hand and heard Coach Tom, only as Coach Tom can, yell at me to bring my knees up and keep good form. Shea turned back at me and laughed as she led me up the hill.

The two of us finally hit Church Street and saw Brady on his way back. I saw one kid ahead of him, had a chance to give him another high 5 and yelled, “Go get ‘em Brady!”

Shea and I carried on and hustled our way back toward the finish line, stopping to walk and talk a few more times and holding hands most of the way. We got to the Hilton and we picked up the pace a bit to finish strong. Standing at the last turn was Brady, waiting for us to finish and cheer us to the line. I did manage to hear him yell out “I got him dad!”

Of course we had to hang around for the results and it turns out Brady came in First again with a time of 25:41 and Shea pulled off a 3rd place in 32:19. It may not have been my best result in a 5k but it certainly was my “best” time ever in a race. I’d do it again in a heartbeat and wish every race was this awesome for me.