A Cold and Icy Cross Country Race 21/365

Today was a big day for the eldest. It was a cold morning, the ground was icy bit with adrenaline pumping though his veins I don’t think he felt a bit of the bitter weather. 

Back in November he was entered into the boroughs school cross country race, representing his school, he came 2nd in his year group. He was picked out to represent the borough (a different borough to what we live in) in the Essex Schools Cross Country Race. 

He has enjoyed running for a while, but normally on road or track. Lately he has really got into his fitness and was totally looking forward to racing in such a big race. 

Although when we got there he was a little overwhelmed by it all and was a little anxious of not doing so well in this race. I gave him a big Mummy cuddle, kissed his cheek and told him to just go for it. Mummy will be cheating him on and that I was proud of him.

The year 8/9 boys were called over to the start line. He lined up with the rest of his team. And they were off. He didn’t have such a great start and after the first lap of the smaller field he was in the last 15 boys. Dad said he was pacing himself, clever boy. 

As they exited the starting field, they went off to run through the trees and through another field before entering back into the smaller field. We didn’t see him again until he came near to the finish line. 

We cheated. We shouted. We jumped up and down. 

We tried to count where he came. You see the top 6 boys go through to represent Essex. The top 29 get selected to represent Essex in the south East counties. 

We found him with his team, sitting on the floor getting dressed. He stood up, put his arms around my neck and held me tight. He was shaking. He whispered in my ear “I don’t it Mum. I done it!” He showed me a card that congratulated him for coming 20. Woah! My boy. 

He was shocked. He was scared. He was happy.

I held him and told him he makes me proud every second he exists. 

Next stop Inter County Race 4th February.

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A day of PBs at the City of London Mile

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On the 14th June, the family travelled into central London to partake in a mile race. The race was sponsored by Amba Hotels and is in its second year. We attended the race last year and enjoyed it enough to enter again this year. One good thing about this running event is that it is absolutely free! All you have to do is register your details on-line and turn up on the day at your given start time.

I registered the whole family to run, Dad in the adult male race, Jak in the youth Mile and the two youngest boys and I in the family race. We was all sent our starts times in an email and was given the choice of collecting our bib numbers and chip a couple of days before the race. As Dad was racing in the first wave, we thought that we would just collect our bibs at the collection point in the runners village.

We arrived in good time. We had decided on driving into the City, as Dad works up there he knows on the best places to park. Dad’s race was starting at 10:30 and we got there at about 9:45. There was no queue in collecting out bib numbers, the volunteers were really helpful and very quick in finding our letters. Although the lady did say that it was huge help that I had written down all of our bib numbers, so she didn’t have to look for our names.

We found a quiet spot in a sheltered area, as the great british weather had decided to show up on the day too! Lucky for us it wasn’t a heavy down pour just a light spray, but it did rain for most of the morning.

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The boys played chase whilst Daddy warmed up. It wasn’t long before Dad had to make his way to the start line.

The race was to start on Canon Street just in front of St Paul’s cathedral. The course passes by some iconic buildings, it’s flat but has some sharp turns in it. Starting at St Paul’s cathedral you head down to the Mansion House Station where you then swoop left to the Bank of England, turning left at Bank Station and heading up Moorgate then taking the first left up towards the Guildhall then a sharp left again to Cheapside and then it’s a slight incline up Cheapside to the finish line.

We was given some inflatable batons to cheer people on in the race. You had two so that you could bang them together and make a lot of noise.

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The boys and I stood along Canon Street, just in front of the Festival Gardens and waited for Daddy to pass. We could hear the starting gun so we knew he would be running by pretty soon, in fact it was so soon that I missed him on the camera!

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We walked through the One New Change (a shopping precinct) as Cheapside was through the other side. We waited along the railings until we saw Daddy in the distance, running up to the finish line. We cheered him on and watched him cross over the finish line in fourth, with a time of 4:29. Daddy was given his medal and we all went over to congratulate him. The boys were so proud of him and couldn’t wait to give him a cuddle. Once Daddy had caught his breath back and got changed into some dry clothes, we sat down and got ourselves ready for the Family Mile.

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Daddy was running again with Joseph and I was going to run along with Oliver, but Jak was running in the Youth Mile race so he was going to watch us. We waited along New Change where a man with a megaphone called us all over so that we could head towards the start line. We was all running in the Family wave 1, so we was the first of many families to run the route that day. I believe there was 6 in total.

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Oliver was so excited, as we waited with other runners at the start line, he didn’t talk much but did say that he was going to run the whole way. Everyone was talking to him and asking me how old he was, they couldn’t believe that a 3 year old would run a mile.

The gun went off and we was running along with  the crowd, I held onto Oliver’s little hand as it was quite busy and everyone was running so fast. We passed by St Paul’s cathedral and it wasn’t long before we saw Jak cheering us on. We gave him a little wave, the fast runners had sped off ahead so we was left with some space on the road. I let go of Oliver’s hand and let him run by himself.

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I stayed close to him and constantly asked him if he was ok and if he wanted to carry on running, he just nodded his head and carried on. People were cheering him on and shouting ‘Come on Superman!’ I think it helped as each time he heard someone cheering him he had an urge of energy and his speed had a little burst in it. We had no idea where Daddy and Joseph were as they had gone off ahead at the start, they are much faster than us. Although Jak did get a photo if them near the finish line

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As we turned the corner onto Cheapside and could see the finish line up ahead, Daddy and Joseph joined us for the last 200 hundred metres

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We all held hands and ran together, we let go as we neared the finish and let Oliver cross over by himself.

Oliver finished with a time of 10:47 and Joseph in 7:47, smashing their times from last year by 3-5 minutes. We collected our medals and goody bags, which had water and sweets in for the children and an energy bar for the adults.

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We found a spot opposite the Amba Steel Band and watched the other milers run towards the finish line, we cheered everyone and even had a little dance to the music. The atmosphere was alive and fun.

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After watching all of the family waves pass by, it was time for the Youth Mile. The future athletes. Jak made his way to the start and we waited eagerly at the finish line for him. We knew he wouldn’t be up with the first children to be crossing the line but was hoping he would make it in 6 minutes. We could see him as he steered the corner onto Cheapside, was he going to make it?

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With his brothers cheering him on and his parents shouting out his name, Jak crossed over the line in 6:06. After collecting his medal he made his way over to us, he didn’t look happy! Jak had a tough month with quite a few late nights and no time to train due to his part in a theatre show and his acting in a film, so I had explained to him that he shouldn’t be upset and mad with himself for and to look at what he had achieved so far. He didn’t get the time that he wanted but he did have fun and enjoyed the day. After a little rest and a bite to eat, whilst we watched the Elite Athletes race, he was soon back to his smiling and cheery self.

We had a lovely family day at the City of London Mile, which is sponsored by Amba Hotels and can not wait until next year to enter. The city Mile for us, is about Family time and having fun. We danced to music, we got sore throats from cheering, we got tired legs from running, we raced with some lovely people and had a lovely enjoyable day. We came back with some lovely memories of our mile experience. The children have taken their medals into school to show all of their friends and teachers. The youngest wears his all of the time.

Thank you Amba Hotels for sponsoring such a lovely event! See you next year!

 

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A Proud Mini Marathon Day

My children make me proud everyday, there is always something that either one of them has done that makes me take a deep breath and well up inside. I am proud of all 3 of my boys. But yesterday was a very special day where the whole family was proud of the eldest boy. We watched him compete in the London Mini Marathon.

It was the second time that he has had this amazing experience. He first ran it last year when he was 11 years old, read about the post here . He is not the best runner but he tries really hard to achieve his best. This year was a struggle for him as he had lost his running mojo and as much as I get telling him to go out training he just kept saying ‘yeah, tomorrow’. It wasn’t until the last three weeks that he actually began to put the time in to his training and then he started to get a little worried. On Saturday he got bit by a gnat/horsefly and straight away he had a bad reaction to it. Unlucky for Jak, the bite was on his ankle. It wasn’t long before it was swollen, inflamed and blistered. I gave him piriton and rubbed cream on the bite but it was too late to stop it from swelling, the poison had already got into the blood stream. By Sunday morning the swelling had gone down a little but it was still blistered.

Sunday morning had arrived, Jak had to be at the coach for 6:45. He was going to be travelling with the rest of the boroughs team. As I waved him goodbye amongst his friends, a tear welled up in my eye. My baby wasn’t a baby anymore but instead a young lad. I am proud of him everyday for who he is and who he has turned out to be. Running in races, achieving goals in school and his acting are just those little extra moments that make me more proud of him (if it’s even possible).

The coach pulled away, the next time I will see him will be running down Birdcage Walk, on towards The Mall to the finish line.

Jak’s race was starting at 9:09. We left at 8 to catch the train into to London, dressed up in layers to keep us warm and armed with umbrellas incase it rained we was ready to get a spot along route.

We found (what we thought to be a perfect place) along Birdcage walk, propped against the railings we waited for the under 13’s to arrive. We watched and cheered on the other boys that was passing, recognising the odd boy from our boroughs team and shouting their name to cheer them on.

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The first past us was the under 17 boys in black t-shirts, then it was the under 15 boys in blue t-shirts. Up ahead we spotted the first red t short to come along, it was the under 13 boys. We wasn’t expecting to see Jak within the first lot of boys, so we cheered the boys on and waited a couple of minutes. It is so hard to spot your child as they are all in the same colour t-shirts and about the same height. It wasn’t long before we spotted him. We shouted out his name, but he just kept on running. He looked good. He had a good stride.

I never got to see him pass over the finish line as we had a little trouble trying to cross the road. We had positioned ourselves on the wrong side of the road to the finishing line, and had to wait for a gap in the runners to get across. When we eventually crossed over, Jak was already waiting at the borough’s coach for us to pick him up. Once I had signed to say that I had collected him, we was ready to take him off for a well-earned breakfast.

One other thing that made so proud that day was how his little siblings cheered him on and the look on their little cherub faces as they saw him pass by. My two youngest boys look up to their older brother. As soon as they saw him after the race had finished, they ran up to him and gave him a huge hug.

Proudly showing off his medal
Proudly showing off his medal

Jak is a little upset with his time and was hoping that he would have done better, but to me he was the winner as all I saw out on that big wide road was him. Jak. My big boy. The boy that makes me proud every day.

Well Done Jak!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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