The process and excitement of Assistant Principal Henry Kydd’s long run on his 40th birthday
“What if I ran 40 miles on my 40th birthday?”
This isn’t the typical birthday
celebration, but for assistant principal
Henry Kydd, this question became a
reality on July 30, his 40th birthday.
The run started as just an idea between
Mr. Kydd and his wife, ELHS English teacher
Alexa Kydd. A “what if?” type of thing.
“I remember instantly feeling fear. I was
afraid he would break or permanently injure
something. At the same time all those fears
flooded my brain, I also remember telling
myself, ‘Do not show him you’re afraid. Do
not discourage him. That’s not your job.
Show him you believe in him’,” said Ms. Kydd.
After he began to introduce the idea to more
people, such as his cousin and close friend
from high school, the idea began to take shape.
“When COVID-19 hit and my afternoons
cleared up, I had time to do more running.
The run transformed from a silly thing
we just talked about, to something we
found a training plan for and actually
started trying to do,” said Mr. Kydd.
Mr. Kydd began Googling how to train
for an ultramarathon and stumbled across
an article on the website “Runner’s World.” It
was a 16 week training plan for an individual
looking to run 50 miles. He ran three to
four times a week
with a run on
the weekend, up
30 miles long.
July 30 came
quickly and Mr.
Kydd, his high
and cousin got
up to begin their
big run. They
would run five
loops in New
London, the first
loop starting at
12 miles, until the
40 mile distance
Lasting from 3 a.m. through the late
morning, the trio added important locations
in Mr. Kydd’s life into the route, including
his childhood home and elementary school.
Moments throughout the race got
tough, and he said his leg muscles and
mind were exhausted from all the running.
“A few different times during the run, I
wondered, ‘why am I doing this?’ At the same
time, there was no way I was going to stop with
only six or so miles to go, especially when I had
told everyone that this was something I was
doing. I knew my kids were going to do the last
mile with me, so that kept me motivated too.”
Ms. Kydd joined him for the last four
mile loop, and his two children joined
them to finish out the last mile as a
family. The group arrived at his parent’s
house, the finish line, late in the morning,
and immediately jumped into the pool.
“Waiting at the finish line were all the family
members that he would’ve wished to be there.
I don’t think he expected them all to be there
cheering for him like that. Seeing him be
surrounded by that kind of welcoming love
and support from people that matter most to
him, well, it made me tear up,” said Ms. Kydd.
Though he questioned himself at times
during the race, the experience was complete,
and it was one he would never forget.
“The whole world is going through this
pandemic, and I was just happy to have done
something with the time I was given. It was
a very positive experience, and I was really
just happy to have my friends and family
there, healthy, to support me. In the end,
that’s what matters the most,” said Mr. Kydd.