A Week of Sporting Achievements for the Boy

I bring to you a very proud parent post..

The week started off pretty dire for my son. He had spent the weekend not feeling very well and ended up in bed, missing school on Monday due to throwing up the night before.

He was due to race in the Year 7 Essex Cross Country Championships on the Wednesday; something he been looking forward to doing for a long time. He had spent the last couple of months training hard for it and really wanted to enter. Racing and running has been something that he has got into through his Dad and older brother – both compete at competitive levels.

By Tuesday he was back in school and back at training. The training session was really just to test if his fitness was ok to compete in the race, he seemed to be ok and didn’t complain of feeling ill.

Wednesday came and his Dad picked him up from school at midday to take him off to the cross-country race. He was the only boy who had been entered into the race from his school so it was up to us, his parents, to get him to the event.

He was excited but nervous. He really wanted to do well in this race. Back in November he raced for his school in the borough championships and didn’t do as well as he as expected. In my eyes he done brilliantly, but to him he knew he could have raced a quicker time.

When you look forward to something for so long, the nerves take over, especially when you want to do well.

He lined up on the start line, the only child from his school, ready to move at the sound of the start gun.

Doesn’t he look small at that start line?

Growing up watching and supporting his elder brother competing in races for the borough and County just made him very determined to want to do the same. He had looked forward to following his footsteps and couldn’t wait until he was in Senior school so that he was able to do so.

He ran a superb race, crossing the finish line in 6th place  and securing a place to represent the County in the Inter-Counties Cross Country next month.

Safe to say I had a very happy boy. His persistence paid off and he never gave up. He had his sights on something and grabbed at it with all that he had to give.

On Friday he came home from school sporting a new badge on his blazer. He had called me on his way back and I was a little worried as i had missed his call and he wasn’t answering my returned calls. He came straight over to me saying

“Do you notice anything different?”

Of course I did. I noticed it straight away.

A new badge on his lapel. An Achievement Award Badge rewarded from Jack Petchey Foundation.

There was more. He reached into his bag and pulled out a framed certificate and a letter

He had been awarded Outstanding Achiever after being nominated by another child in his year group at school.

I cried.

Sending your child to a school where they had no friends from their junior school and always wondering if they have made friends or if they have fitted in, is a big worry. So, to read how he was nominated by another child for his running achievements in school but also because he is always engaged and focused in all school activities and school work. His peer also said that he is always willing to help others. This makes me well with such pride.

Just look at his little face in the picture above and see how proud of himself he is!

He has also been rewarded £250 to spend in his school, he needs to choose a department to spend it in. Which, he already knows. Without a doubt it is going to be the P.E department as he wants the school to supply children in athletics a vest to wear instead of wearing their PE shirt.

And if that wasn’t enough of his achievements for the week he topped it all off today by competing for a place in the boroughs team to compete in the London Giving Mini Marathon and securing a place.

My only wish for my boys is to have the very best life, to play hard but equally work as hard to achieve the imaginable. My boys are the greatest thing that ever happened to me, there is nothing more than seeing them smile and hear them laugh. I am super proud of all of them and the young men that they are becoming.

I am one very proud parent

 

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Why We Ran Dressed As Santa In March

It’s Easter time which, obviously, means that it’s time to dress up as Santa… Right?

Christmas may have been 3 months ago but that didn’t stop  just over 400 people of all ages and abilities dressing up in their festive Santas outfits and running in the St Frances Hospice’s Annual race, Santathon, in order to raise money.

Mrs Santa with her little Easter Bunny
Mrs Santa with her little Easter Bunny

Santathon was planned for last November 2017, but due to snow and ice on the ground it was postponed to March-one weekend before Easter.

It was our 4th year that we have run the race as a family. Of course, we may all start at the same time but it’s not long before I am left behind and all I can see if a sea of red ahead of me. They are always there at the finish line to cheer me on though.

The boys and their Dad have won it 4 years in a row. Dad being the first male over the line and Jak being the first under 16 to finish.

The boys before the race
The boys before the race

There is nothing quite like getting dressed up and going for a run, especially when you know it’s for a good cause. Not only is it fun, but it is such a fabulous community event with an amazing atmosphere-everyone cheering each other on and giving each other words of encouragement as you run round the streets.

The event was started by Sir Trevor Brooking, who was made a patron of St Frances Hospice, after a big warm up in the stands of Dagenham and Redbridge Football ground

Courtesy of Time 107.5
Courtesy of Time 107.5

Hands on watches and. with squeeze of a horn they were off

Courtesy of Romford Recorder
My boys up front    Courtesy of Romford Recorder

We certainly raised a few eyebrows. Can you imagine seeing hundreds of Santas: babies in prams, children, adults and even dogs pounding the streets, what a sight we must have been! Families came out of their houses to wave us on, Cars bibbed as they passed by and children banged on the windows of their homes to say hello.

You don’t have to run, many people walk the route. It’s a time to enjoy the event with friends and family.

A Rabbit amongst the santas Courtesy fo Romford Recorder
A Rabbit amongst the santas
Courtesy fo Romford Recorder

Dad and Jak were competing for the first place. Unfortunately for Jak, the stewards didn’t point him the correct route and he didn’t do the full course ( he attempted to make it up at the end after he realised that he hadn’t done the full 5k, but it wasn’t enough) He finished first, and to be honest he still would have won, if he had done the correct route but he passed the medal over to the first person that ran the whole route and that was his younger brother, Joseph. What an honourable young man my boy is.

Dad and Joseph with their trophies
Dad and Joseph with their trophies

Joseph was over the moon to be the first child under 16 to win the race, something he has been dreaming of doing. Of course, it’s not about winning but rasing money, but it means a lot to my little fella. Last year I was in hospital and couldn’t run with them, so this year he said he was doing it for me. My boy has a heart of gold.

Joseph collecting his trophy
Joseph collecting his trophy

I think that they should rethink about when the race will be next year. I’m thinking that Santathon at Easter was much more enjoyable and we certainly got the attention from the public.

St Frances Hospice is one of the largest adult hospices in the UK. They provide care and support to local people affected by a life-limiting illness, as well as their families, completely free of charge. They are an independent charity and rely on voluntary income and volunteers.

 

 

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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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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 weekend of achievements and Personal Bests

Living in a London borough gives the children a very good chance of competing in the London Mini Marathon for their borough. Children that live else where in GB have to be within the top four runners of their region/nation.

Each London borough, region and home nation has a team manager who is responsible for selecting a team to take part in the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon, which also doubles as the British Athletics three-mile road championship race. Boys and girls race in 3 age categories and there are 6 races in total.

We are lucky to live in a London Borough and back in February my eldest boy who is 13 years old, attended the trials for a chance to win a place on the boroughs team. For the third year in a row, he managed to get through.

Unlike previous years, he has tried hard with his training. He hasn’t managed to run every evening but attended the training sessions each week that was run by a local running club and went out for local runs after school. Not only has he been running but he has also been attending his swimming sessions at his club three times a week. This has really helped with his stamina. He had more drive this year wanting to achieve and try his hardest.

He was dropped off early Sunday morning, along with his other team mates, to catch the coach into the City. He wasn’t nervous but eager to get running. Not long after dropping him off, we set off ourselves as a family to go and cheer him on.

I was in pain from an op I had the day before but i needed to see him. I needed him to know that I was there supporting and cheering him on.

It wasn’t long before we saw him running past us along the embankment, he was looking strong and doing so well. As we called out his name, he got a burst of energy and it must have spurred him along. He looked over to us and smiled and carried on running.

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The boy in red shorts

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Dad and little brother went off to collect him from the finish, whilst I found a cafe to sit in and wait for my big hero to come.

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He was so proud of himself .

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When the results come through he was in complete shock. Couldn’t believe the time that he had got. Said it must have been a fluke. I say that it was determination. I have always told him that if he puts effort and time into something he will acheive.

Jaks time 17:56 Placed 23rd for the borough challenge.

Now, I have 3 boys and they all run. On Saturday saw my middle boy who is 8 years old run in a local 5k parkrun.

He had asked his big brother to take him along to the park to join in with adults and other children to run 5k. His brother ran along his side all the way, they didn’t stop and he managed to pass over the finish line in an amazing 25:47. A personal best for him.

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I love to see my boys enjoying the outdoors and feeling the freedom of running.

I love watching them grow with determination and dedication.

Little brother can not wait to follow in his big brothers footsteps and compete in the London Mini Marathon himself. I am sure big brother will be cheering him along all the way.

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