Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Relay Race

By Stanley Kong, age 11, New York, United States


It was a warm May day. I was a boy in fourth grade, enjoying the lack of challenging homework. School was almost over, so the fourth graders all shifted into low gear and enjoyed the moment. Gone were the fearsome physical education tests. In their place was Field Day!

Field Day, or Track and Field Day, as some may call it, is a competition against the two other elementary schools in my school district. It takes place at the high school track. For Track and Field Day, students get to pick two or more sporting events, including tug of war, high jump, accuracy throw, and relay races.

“Whoop whoop!” Dino celebrated by clapping his hands and doing some strange dance. In fourth grade, Dino was one of my best friends.

“What’s the matter, Stan the Man?” he asked me.

“Nothing. It’s just that I was so close to making it into high jump,” I replied forlornly.

“It’s only a try out,” said Dino, in an attempt to assuage my sorrow.

“I was the last person to be disqualified!” I answered. “However, I am grateful that you made it in.”

“You know, I was thinking,” Dino said cheerfully, “since you need another event, and my team needs another member, why don’t you join my potato race team?”

The potato race was a relay race during which a teammate drops beanbags (the potatoes) into three hoops. Then, you or a teammate picks up the bags that had just been dropped and deposits them back to your team’s lane. I, lacking an “iron grip”, was afraid of dropping the bag and ruining it for the whole team. I also worried that the runners on the other team would be faster than me. However, I said yes to my great friend. During the rest of the day, I thought about the bright side. The best part was that I would be on a team with Dino, the fastest kid in my class.

Track and Field Day

The long anticipated wait was over. We piled into the school bus heading for the high school. All I wanted to do was to get through the race without shaming myself. We arrived at the track where my father cheered me on. Surprisingly, Dino made me captain of the team, so I checked my team’s attendance. Okay, Zaeem is absent, but Marvin will substitute for him. Check. Once attendance was over, I saw members of other potato race teams drop the beanbags, losing hope within seconds. There was no more anticipating. It was our time to shine.

We lined up, the two other schools next to us on the track. I stared at the referee as she counted down: 3, 2, 1… go! Dino dashed from the line, overtaking the other two school members. All was looking good, but now it was my turn. I ran like the wind, relieved that I didn’t stagger. I grabbed Dino’s beanbag and placed it back on our team’s side. Now all I had to do was repeat the process two more times. The other team was catching up to me; the other team had passed me. However, the support from my team was evident, as they cheered and chanted my name.

“Stanley! Stanley!”

I started to pick up momentum, catching the other team in the home stretch. We were neck and neck when my part was over; it was time for my classmate to go.

Disaster! Just what I didn’t want to happen! My teammate dropped a beanbag, as the other teams sped ahead. In fact, after Michael collected two of his three beanbags, the other teams collected all of theirs. We had lost.

Fifth Grade

A year had passed and it was that time of the year again – Field Day. All of my teammates bailed from joining a relay team because of our gruesome loss last year. After consideration, I realized that I actually enjoyed last year’s relay race experience. I enjoyed the down-to-the-wire racing and competing against other schools. So, unlike my previous teammates, I went again. In fact, the Denton Avenue team went from worst to first!

Now, I am open to trying new things. Hey, for summer camp I’m thinking about doing tennis. I have to say, I am thankful for not making it into high jump!