Running together as a family at Westminster Mile

A family that runs together stays fit together

With three very active boys we are always looking for ways to keep them active but also for us all to be together. It’s not easy when you have three lots of sports clubs to get to all at the same time. We have tried football, swimming and athletics clubs and the boys even went to drama club but these type of clubs take up a lot of family time, especially when you’re a working family and just want to spend the weekends together doing fun stuff.

We found that going out running, jogging together ticks all the boxes. The boys are keeping active and letting off steam, as a family we are keeping healthy and spending quality time together.

Running is an activity that the whole family can get involved in and enjoy, no matter what your ability or age is. And what’s best is it requires very little equipment, meaning it’s not heavy on the purse/wallet.

The children partake in a 2k timed Jumior Parkrun every Sunday morning, Dad runs every evening at a club and also enters races for cross country and track and I just jog at my own pace. Since my surgery I have being trying to increase my stamina and to get my muscles working again in my abdomen.

For the past few years the family have entered into family waves in Westminster Mile. It’s just a short distance around St James Park – Starting on The Mall, going around the edge of the park and down Birdcage Walk and finally finishing on Spur Road, just in front of Buckingham Palace.

The eldest races in the Junior Athletics One Mile Road Championships, Dad races in the first wave and the younger ones and I race in the family wave.

Last year I ran along with the youngest, just 3 weeks into my chemo-radiotherapy treatment. This year I ran 6 months after having two major surgeries.

Even though the eldest and Dad compete in other races they also run along with us as family. I can’t tell you how proud i am of all of them and how warm i feel when i am running along with them close to me.

I wouldn’t class myself as a runner, not like the rest of my family (especially Dad and Jak who race at competitive levels) I just jog along at a slow pace or i get dragged along by the youngest. I still enjoy the feeling and we are all spending quality time together.

First up was Dad in the first adult wave, we cheered him on as he was the first person to cross over the finish line with an impressive time of 4.31

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It was then time for the family wave. We made our way to the start line, where many other families were.

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The boys sped off as soon as the gun fired and left me behind, they were eager to get a fast time. I could still see them up ahead of me.

Joseph finished first with a time of 6.50

Then came Oliver with a time of 8.10

And lastly, Mummy with a time of 9.53

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After picking up our goodie bags with our medals in them, we made our way to Green Park where there were plenty of fun activities to keep us busy in the wellness vitality festival whilst we waited until the eldest ran in his race.

The youngest got his face painted at one of the stalls, he chose to be Batman20170528_120704

Then we found a spot on the grass where we sat down and had a little picnic.

There were many other fun child-friendly activities to try like target football, basketball, a range of demonstrations, zumba and yoga sessions.

Dad and Joseph tried the tumbleator. Which was a giant conveyor belt that they controlled the speed of, varying from 0-8m/sec Mo farah world 10,000m champion pace. Dad took on the challenge to get to 21mph on the Canning Conveyor Tumbleator, he made it look so easy! He said he wanted to carry on until he tumbled but they stopped him at 21mph. The machine is capable of in excess of 25mph

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Joseph was up next, he managed to stay running at a speed of 13mph for 60 seconds. What a star!

Joseph getting ready on the tumbleator
Joseph getting ready on the tumbleator

It was soon Jak’s turn to race in the road championships. He went off to the start line and we found a spot near the finish line to cheer him on

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It was his first time in the under 15s race and he done really well. Finishing with a time of 5.10, he even had enough energy to finish with a sprint.

I may not be in the same league as the rest of my family but I still enjoy to race along with them. It makes us all feel good, as well as being in each others company.

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Running through the town dressed as Santa

Every year in our home town, hundreds of people gather together at the local football ground dressed in Santa outfits and run in the boroughs annual Santathon. Young and old, people run or walk 5k to raise money for St Francis Hospice. A local independent charity who provide care and support to individuals with a life-limiting illness, as well as their carers and family members.

Last year the eldest boy and Dad ran and we supported them, they were the first male and boy child over the finish line. This year the eldest wasn’t very well due to a having sickness bug a couple of days earlier so he didn’t run, but instead the two youngest, Dad and I ran. I had been out to the shops over the weekend to buy some festive outfits. Dad wanted to go in a sexy santa outfit and Oliver a Reindeer. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, buying a santa outfit. I visited all the pound shops and superstores, but no where sold the outfits only santa hats. After traipsing round the shops for an hour I eventually found a store that sold a female and boys outfit.

The event was taking place on Sunday at 11am. Up and dressed, we arrived at 10.30 to register and pay our entry fee. All payments going to charity and any that they received on the day were going to be double by Barclays bank.

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posing before the race
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all ready to run

My boys looked so cute!

As time was nearing to the start of the race we was all called outside into the football stadium and gathered in the terrace for a little warm up by the Mayor and Diags from Towie. Dad and Joseph were down at the front with the other fast runners. Oliver and I were towards the back.

It took a while for us to get out of the stadium as there were so many of us but as we exited the gates and the crowds of santas began to filter out, Oliver saw a gap and began to run. I couldn’t keep up with him. He is used to running a 2k but this was his first 5k run, so I explained to him that it was longer and that if he wanted to stop he just had to tell me. That wasn’t going to stop him, he was in the running mood and just kept on running. We slowed our pace and enjoyed running along. Cars were bibbing us and people were waving, it was such a lovely, happy moment. Oliver held my hand and we ran together.

I felt so proud of my little man running along the streets, he didn’t stop once! We had to slow at some points to get passed other santas or because cars were parked on the pavement and there were no room but his little legs just kept on running. Just like Forest Gump!

As we neared the finish, Daddy (who had already finished) came to help us along

IMG_20151213_123038My little man was so proud of himself when he crossed the finish line. He was presented with a medal and he ran off to find his brothers to show them.

DSC_3073_optDaddy was the first male over the finish line so he was awarded a trophy

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We all had a fun day, there were lots of laughter and brilliant achievements. Joseph ran it in just over 22 minutes and Oliver just over 34. I’m so proud of my boys!

Can’t wait until next year when we can all run as a family again. Hopefully the eldest won’t be ill and he can join in too.