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Chasing School Buses: An Unexpected Benefit of Being a Running Dad

The tops of many school buses.Image via Wikipedia

I had no intention of writing a second post this soon after the one I wrote this morning, but sometimes you’ve got a story that needs to be told. On the first day of my summer break, I had the pleasure of going for a nice long walk with my wife, daughter, and newborn son. My 6yo was at school, so the plan was to swing by and pick him up on the way home, thus avoiding the need for him to ride the bus home.

Well, we got a bit absorbed in conversation along the way (which was very nice!), had to pause to extract a mound of unidentifiable animal poop from Jack’s mouth (didn’t know that’s what it was until I pulled my nicely coated hand from his maw), missed a turn, and were about 3/4 of a mile from school with only 5 minutes to go until my son’s schoolbus would depart with him on it. As a runner, naturally I was prepared for the situation by having my tech gear on underneath my warmer clothes, my Nike Free 3.0 v2’s on my feet (they’re great for walking as well as running), and my Garmin on my wrist (don’t ask!). I shed my outer clothes Clark Kent style, and became Super(Running)Dad.

Since I knew roughly how far away we were, I calculated that I would need to run about a 6:00-7:00 pace to get to the school before the bus left. That was within my capability, so I took off with the dog in tow and settled into the appropriate pace as indicated on the Garmin. We stopped briefly to pick up a poop bag I had deposited earlier next to a tree (Jack’s, not mine) so I could throw it in the trash, and got to the school just in time…or so I thought. I pulled up to his classroom heaving from the effort, only to have his teacher tell me that the bus just left.

“No problem,” I thought, half mile to home, and there’s no way he’ll beat me there on the bus given that they have other stops to make before our house. Just to be sure, I sped off again at a low 6:00 pace, dipping into the 5:00’s for a small stretch, and probably wiped out Jack in the process. End result – managed to get home with 10 minutes or so to spare, so this story has a very happy ending.

Total mileage on the day so far = about 5.5, mostly walking, final 1.5 on the chase.

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Recent Posts By Category: Running Shoe Reviews | Running Gear Reviews | Running Science
About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. tedbeveridge says:

    Rock on! Way to go SuperDad!! Pure awesome. And nice to hear you’re back on the podcast. Thanks for going out with me on my run.

  2. paulakiger says:

    Great story, Pete! When are you going to add Baby Ben to your web page graphic header?!

  3. Kris (your sister) says:

    I was just about to comment on the need to update your header, but then saw that Paula beat me to it here. Maybe you can put ben crawling behind emma…just an idea.

  4. That’s awesome. I always keep a spare set of running shoes in my trunk, maybe someday I can use them for just such an emergency.

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