I’m a former track star. I ran in middle and high school. However, I stopped running in the 12th grade when I fell hard for this boy.
I could’ve had a scholarship or went to the Olympics, if it weren’t for this boy! Okay, I’m really exaggerating, but still, the quick lesson here is don’t stop doing what you love for a boy. Let them wait or tell them to come cheer you on.
Anyway, being that I was a track star and loved track, I’ve never paid attention to how long track meets were.
As a youth, I ran, chatted with my friends and had a ball. I enjoyed looking into the stands to see my mom and brothers scream for me as I rounded that corner in the 200-meter dash. Pure Bliss!
Fast forward umpteen years, now I’m the mom and could only imagine what my mom was going through.
My two oldest children have run track for the last 4 years. This year my son finally confessed his heart wasn’t into track anymore and has left the sport for soccer (which he is amazing at btw).
My daughter still loves the sport and although I love to watch her, she’s on the field for a total of about 2 to 3 minutes, which is the total sum of 3 races.
It’s those 8 to 9 hours that she’s not on the field that I do not like.
You read right, these Georgia and Florida track meets last 8 to 9 hours and it’s exhausting. The first track meet of this season actually lasted 12 hours, which prompted me to write this post!!
My daughter’s first track meet of this season started at 8 a.m. but they wanted her there at 7 a.m. for warmups. She did not run her first race until 1:13pm.
Her 1st race was 6 hours later than the start of the meet!! Her second race was two hours later and her third race was two hours after that. We left that field after 8 p.m and she was on the field for a total of maybe 3 to 4 minutes the entire day.
Like I said, she is having a ball with her crew, but me, not so much. I’m also here with an 11 & 4 year old that I have to entertain during this time.
If you’re like me or thinking about getting your child into track or any sport that last all day here are 8 tips to keep your mind sane while waiting.
- Bring food. Concession stand food is not healthy, which is ironic because we’re at a sporting event and many of the athletes are eating that food. 12 hours is a very long time, so pack fruits, vegetables, water and anything you would like to snack on.
- Bring Electronics. LikeI said, I have a 11 & 4 year old and although they make friends and will play with the other kids, they are just some times that they want to watch or play on my iPad. I might want to read something on my Kindle, or look on social media.
- Extra batteries. You already know that your phone will not last 12 hours, so charge up your extra batteries for your tablet, computers, or any electronic device so you are not caught off guard if you want to entertain yourself or just talk on the phone.
- Bring books and games. Sure electronics are fun but books and games can be just as entertaining, especially if you don’t want to have your child sit in front of the tablet for another 8 to 9 hours. They can have their little toys, crossword puzzles, and coloring books. There are so many options.
- Bring comfortable chairs. If you plan on sitting in the stands, with no cushion you butt will hate you at the end of the day. If you’re sitting on the ground, bring the tent and bring comfortable chairs. You might even want to bring an umbrella if you don’t have a tent, because the Sun is hot as it beams down on you.
- Comfortable clothes. A track meet is not a place for heels and your best dress suit. You’ll want to have something where you can walk around comfortably in. You might have to jump around and cheer for your child. A comfortable jogging suit or a comfy pair of jeans because you’re going to be there for a long time.
- Be ready to talk. 8 – 9 hours is a long time to just sit there and talk to your child. Be ready to talk to the other parents. Get to know them, talk to the other children and the coaches. It’s like a party all day you and don’t want to be antisocial. Being in your own little world, reading your book or head in the phone for eight and nine hours will isolate you. Talking also makes the time go by faster with good laughs and stories.
- Bring Extra cash. I know that I said the concession stand is unhealthy but sometimes you just want a slushy or sometimes your kids just want to order french fries. 8 to 12 hours at a track meet makes you do some crazy things, so you never know when you’re going to need extra cash for unexpected things.
As a parent I love seeing my baby run and be happy. It just sucks that people or the powers-that-be haven’t figured out a way to make a 12-hour day just a 4 hour event at the maximum.
Is there any other sport that goes this long? Maybe baseball? Please tell me how you parents deal with that!
Don’t get me wrong, I know the title was being a track mom sucks and it just mainly sucks because of the time it takes to be there. My daughter is on the field probably a total of 3 minutes and I’m there 8 to 9 hours to watch her 3 minutes.
I just wish you was a quicker way to see her perform, but in the meantime I will always be there cheering her on, screaming at the top of my lungs for the 30 seconds she’s running the 50 yard dash!
I will always be there but I pray that one day before her track career is over they find a quicker way.
Again, Is there any other sport that goes this long? Please tell me how you parents deal with that!