Junior Parkrun: the rivals

Five minutes before we set off for my daughter’s second Junior Parkrun, we casually asked my younger son if he wanted to go too. He did!

Within five minutes he was dressed (in a rather strange outfit for running) and I had registered him and printed off the all-important barcode (that way your time is recorded officially and you get all the data about the race).

‘Don’t forget,’ my daughter said to him, ‘Don’t try to keep up with me.’

I genuinely had no idea if he would beat her or not. Yes, he’s a boy. And a lot bigger. And nearly two and a half years older. He’s a fast runner on the football pitch and the rugby pitch and one of the fastest sprinters in his year at school, but he has no experience of long distance running.

He set off steadily, keeping pace with his sister, who now has several Parkruns under her belt and has got the hang of long distance running – knocking about eight minutes off her time for running 5k.

Gradually, he edged forward. He was moving towards the front. He was 100 metres ahead of her, 200 metres, half a lap…

He beat her by a long way, but it had taken it out of him and he was tearful. His chest hurt, his head hurt, he felt sick and was desperate for a drink. This was the boy who, only half an hour earlier, had said he didn’t need to take a drink with him. He was NEVER doing it again.

And he wasn’t the only one who was tearful. My daughter was utterly convinced that she would beat her bigger, older brother, because she’s been doing Parkrun for the last few weeks. She’s highly competitive and doesn’t like to be beaten at anything. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell her she is racing a) against herself and b) against girls of her own age. She wants to beat her brother too.

When the results came through, we discovered that my son had come a very respectable ninth out of 132 runners. He was buzzing at that – ninth was a real achievement. Suddenly the pain was forgotten.

My daughter was fifteenth girl, twelfth in the female under 10s category, and had knocked an impressive 26 seconds off her time from the previous week. But it wasn’t good enough. Her brother had beaten her.

Will my younger son try to beat his ninth place? Will my eldest give it a go and try to beat his brother (or risk getting beating by him?). Only time will tell, but I do know that my kids are rivals and will keep pushing themselves and each other to do better.

Junior Parkrun, Parkrun, Son, Daughter, Loud 'n' Proud, Running

“MumofThree

Author: Sarah Mummy

Share This Post On

28 Comments

  1. Well done to them both! I’d never heard of Parkrun until seeing you mention it, what a great idea. Our nearest one is a little way away unfortunately but I think that my son would enjoy giving it a go so thanks for the heads up!

    Post a Reply
    • There’s so many of them around these day! It’s definitely worth giving it a go, although the start is pretty early! I’m glad we don’t have to travel too far for it. I must say the whole family is pretty much hooked on it now.

      Post a Reply
  2. Ah, healthy rivalry. I’m of the opinion that healthy competition is good, however when you live in a house with siblings who compete against each other on everything (who can brush their teeth first is currently one of ours!) it can be a bit draining and involve lots of tears can’t it.
    Both of your children did an amazing job, and to finish 9th without much thought or training for a long distance run is quite something. Also, to continue to improve on your time week after week shows strong determination on your girl’s part. Both are winners, it may just be more difficult to tell them both that!

    Post a Reply
    • Oh yes, it’s amazing what they can fight over! They fight over things that are really not worth fighting over at all.
      I thought they would both be pleased with themselves and with each other, they were definitely both winners in my eyes, but you can’t tell that to siblings, it seems!

      Post a Reply
  3. Well done to them both….They are both amazing and a bit of competition is good. Good luck to them on future runs x

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much! My daughter is well and truly hooked, my son is still not sure whether it’s for him or not! x

      Post a Reply
  4. I LOVE they bring out the competitive spirit in one another. As long as it doesn’t get violent! My kids barely do any sport these days (well the girls don’t anyway) and haven’t got a competitive bone in their body. So different.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks! It wouldn’t get violent with these two, thank goodness! (Although wouldn’t be so sure for any other sibling pairing we could come up with!) My kids are all pretty competitive and my daughter is the most competitive person I know. It’s a great attribute, but it has to be carefully managed!

      Post a Reply
  5. Well done to both of them. They may be rivals but if it spurs them both on to better things, it has to go down as a healthy rivalry. They both have a lot to be proud of, rather than disappointed about. I’d like to get our oldest, Isaac, involved in this too – he’s a natural runner in exactly the way that I’m not …

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much. Hopefully next time they can do it without getting upset! Definitely encourage Isaac – it’s a great thing to do and Junior Parkrun is a nice manageable distance.

      Post a Reply
  6. Well done to both of them, that’s pretty impressive and it sounds like they’ll only get better, especially if they continue to run in the same Parkrun!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much. I was very proud of them both, even if they were a bit stressed by it!

      Post a Reply
  7. Ninth is very impressive for a first parkrun! I’m up and ready for this morning’s run, my son comes along too but my daughter came a couple of times and hated it. Definitely more into swimming. #countrykids

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks! I was very impressed with him. Hope your Parkrun went this morning too.

      Post a Reply
  8. Sibling rivalry is a tough one as a parent isn’t it. They both did extremely well though and I hope they continue to enjoy it, despite the element of family competition added in to the mix.

    Post a Reply
    • It’s a really tough one! They don’t usually compete against each other in sport, but they argue a lot! I thought they did very well and really hope they can continue to improve 🙂

      Post a Reply
    • Ha ha, can totally relate to that! My 9yo daughter beat her 14yo brother in Parkrun last week! 🙂

      Post a Reply
  9. A bit of healthy rivalry is good 🙂 And, well done to them both, really impressive. My guys compete at every silly little thing at the moment, and it often results in tears, grrr!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much! It’s amazing what kids can compete about – we have tears here too over the most stupid things! It’s nice to see them competing in sport instead.

      Post a Reply
  10. They both (and you!) must be proud of their achievements. My twins are always competing against each other but I don’t mind as long as they each try their best and it makes them more determined to improve.

    Post a Reply
    • That’s the best thing about competition! I guess twins must compete non-stop! It’s bad enough with two of different ages, although they rarely get to compete directly like this.

      Post a Reply
  11. They are both doing extremely well. How young can you enter the junior parkrun? I was thinking my youngest could do with doing this!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks! I’m very proud of them! They can take part from 4.

      Post a Reply
  12. Oh dear, sibling rivalry is a funny old thing isn’t it? I think it is great that you are all able to do the runs together though, it sounds like a really positive experience.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks. Sibling rivalry can be a pain, but it has its good points too! I’m glad that we can all run together 🙂

      Post a Reply
  13. What a great achievement for both of the kids, it’s great that your son decided he wanted to give it a go too. I bet he was really chuffed when he found out his overall time was 9th out of the whole group, I’m sure with a time like that he’ll have another go in time, he’ll learn the long distance pacing for less pain each time he gives it a go too. Congrats to your daughter too, knocking 26 seconds off of her overall time isn’t anything to be sniffed at, and 15th girl overall is a fab place to be sitting. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids.

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you! They both did so well. My daughter is determined to keep improving, but my son isn’t so sure! I think he’s scared that he won’t hit the heights of ninth again. I think doing it regularly will help his overall fitness and help improve his football and rugby too.

      Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: