Courtesy Imoh Umoren

2-year-old boy loses race because he wanted to hug his father instead of crossing finish line

February 24, 2017 - 15:02 pm

(LAGOS, Nigeria) -- A 2-year-old boy lost his school's race after he ran over to hug his father instead of crossing the finish line.

Imoh Umoren told ABC News that his son, Imoh Umoren II, likely ran to him in his nursery school's race because that's the way they had been practicing all week.

"I would run along [with] him in the front yard," Umoren, of Lagos, Nigeria, recalled. "Of course I would always let him win and when it got to the main event he assumed it was going to be the same thing."

Instead, however, the independent film director went over to the parents' area to watch the toddlers' race.

Umoren, 34, said that when his son realized he wouldn't be running too he "was upset that I didn't run along with him."

"So spotting me, he was overjoyed and ran to me," the father continued. "Being the hugger that he is, he would usually end most races by running into my arms at home, so for him, it was a natural ending."

Umoren said he didn't mind that his son lost the race because he didn't cross the finish line.

"When he came to hug me, I was immediately teary because it showed me that sometimes love is actually the prize," he said. "As adults ... we need to be reminded that love and friendship are more important than winning trophies."

And his son did go home a winner. In a second competition, Imoh Umoren II came in third place.

For Umoren, his family means everything to him, especially sine he lost both of his parents at the age of 13.

"So I have always craved that relationship with a child and I couldn't wait to have my own family," the father gushed. "And I'm really trying to raise him right to be a gentleman and expressive."

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