Today was the day when lots of local children aged between 11 and 17 took over the local park, running through mud, puddles and shed tears of pain to compete for a place to represent the borough in the Virgin Money London Mini Marathon.
Jak is now 13 and has run in the mini marathon for the past two years. Each year he turns up to the park, along with other young eager runners and puts in his all so that he can qualify for a place in the team.
Registration starts at 9.30 in the morning and the race takes part at 11am.
The children all race together. They start in the running arena. They run three-quarters of the way round before exiting the track and entering the park. They run twice round the pond and then back into the long stretch of the track to the finish line.
Today, just like the past two years, it rained. It wasn’t great conditions for a run in the park but that didn’t stop those children from running their little bots off. I saw dedication. I saw tears of pain and delight as they neared the finish line. I saw the children of our future.
Jak was a little worried this year as more children turned up to the trials than last year, so he knew he had to try his best for that place.
Running isn’t his passion at the moment, it is swimming but he does like to run still and it helps with his fitness.
The youngest and I watched and cheered all the children on with extra louder cheers for Jak of course. As we saw him pass us by after the first lap of the lake we made our way back into the stadium to wait for him to finish. The first Boy came into the track and we cheered him on, not long after he was followed by a few more children. Then there was a long empty gap, I was sure Jak would be coming through pretty soon. A couple of seconds went by and then we saw Jak heading on to the track. We was sure that he had made it through to the Marathon.
After all the children had finished, we all made our way into the building where we awaited the news of entrants. Did our children make it to the team?
They called out the under 13s girls first, then the boys. No Jak. We waited. Maybe he had a place in the under 15s. Still No Jak. Poor Jak, I could tell by his face that he was confused and upset. As all the children were called up to receive their letters of places, Jak was left standing without an envelope. Everyone started to leave but we was sure that Jak had won a place on the team. So we went over to the event organisers. They had Jak’s number down but the name was down wrong. He had come second in his category, he was now smiling.
He now has a training schedule to keep to. Training sessions once a week with his team down at the track, starting in 2 weeks time.
All children that race have the chance to raise money for the mayors charity, which this year is Sycamore Trust. A charity based in Barking and Dagenham which supports parents, carers and individuals affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorders and/or Learning Difficulties.
I am proud of my boy for setting a goal and going for it 🙂