On this year’s Sport Relief medal it says I did myself proud for Sport Relief, which is appropriate, because I couldn’t have been more proud of my kids for what they achieved in this year’s Sport Relief.
When we signed up for my daughter, younger son and I to run 3 miles and my eldest to run 6 miles, I had concerns about both of my boys.
My younger son is not a long distance runner. He runs a mean 100m and can go up and down a football and rugby pitch like a rocket, but running longer distances doesn’t agree with him and he is often nursing ankle, hamstring or achilles injuries. I was also worried that it would interfere with his football that afternoon, as he would have very little time to recover. I expected my husband (the coach) to say he shouldn’t run. I actually woke up on several occasions worrying about it (stupid, I know). My eldest should have trained for his 6 miles, but he didn’t. He generally runs a Parkrun (3 miles) about every other week and can walk a really long way, but he’s never run anything like 6 miles.
Could they do it?
On the morning of the run, my younger son woke up injury-free. He wasn’t going to wear proper running clothes though. He didn’t even want his run number on (he ended up having it on his back).
We’d agreed the four of us would run the first 3 miles together, so that my son could pace himself for the uncharted territory of 4, 5 and 6 miles. I thought he might have to walk some of the second half of the run and felt there was no shame in that.
The run took place in the same place as our Parkrun, following a slightly different (more uphill) route. Parkrun is non-competitive and with a real mix of people, but this was even more so. There were toddlers running and people who had chosen to walk rather than even attempt to run. The atmosphere rubbed off on my daughter and she decided she didn’t need to run as fast as she does for Parkrun. So my eldest took off on his own and it wasn’t long before my younger son did too.
My younger son was using a sprint and walk technique, that seemed to work well for him. I could usually spot my eldest some way in front of us as he was dressed so brightly. He was running well and gradually opening the gap without going too fast.
My younger son, the boy I’d worried about, finished the run free from injury and a couple of minutes ahead of his sister and I. We did it in about 35 minutes and her competitive spirit kicked in at the end – she had to overtake a few people and she had to cross the line before me!
And then I just had to wait for my eldest to finish.
He had a couple of sips of water as he ran past and insisted I take a photo on my phone for his Instagram (priorities!). He was running well, although looked rather tired. And he just kept going.
My son finished 6 miles in just over an hour, without walking once, despite his lack of training. He looked a bit pale and his legs were a bit stiff, but he’d done it!
I was so proud of all of my kids for what they’d achieved. I really shouldn’t have worried about any of them!