Friday, 4 July 2014

Running away from the mums' race

It's school sports day season. That anxiety filled time for every headteacher (pray it doesn't rain), every sport hating child and every slow running parent.  

I'm the latter and I'm afraid of the mums' race.

To make it worse, I'm a slow runner with a bit of a competitive streak.This competitive streak doesn't come out very often but recently reared its ugly head at a wedding.

The ladies were asked to discard their stilettos and run towards the camera. I guess the aim was to bring some 'movement' to the picture and get the already-slightly-drunk ladies laughing. It was hot and whilst most of them were wondering if we'd ever get the spindly heels back on to our (already swollen) feet, I seemed to be taking the running request a bit too seriously. The picture is below and I don't think I need to tell you which one is me.

Anyway, back to the sports day.

Last year Dad went, son won one race, Dad exited before the parent's race took place. Dads can get away with that but I'm unable to leave anywhere quietly. So this year I'm going and I decided to test the importance of participating in the Mums' race, by asking my six year old.
It went like this:    

Me: Do you think I should go in the Mums' race on sportsday?
Son: Mummy (giggles) you are a really BAD runner
Me: Yes I know that (!), but would you rather me sit on the side while all the other mummies run, or take part for fun?
Son: Please don't go in the running race Mum.
So I simultaneously jumped for joy and died just a little bit inside. Yes a get-out clause, but damn my child is ALREADY ashamed of me. It's not really the speed he's embarrassed about, it's definitely more the way I run. I play rugby and he doesn't laugh at the scrum cap or the comedy tackling, yet he always laughs at the idea of me trying to run for the line with a ball (so does my coach).

So what to do? Well I can't think of a good enough excuse not to participate (embarrassing my son doesn't count, that's a requirement). So I now need to decide whether I run as fast as I possibly can and risk looking like I'm trying too hard; OR I quash my competitive spirit and just do a slow jog - which is about the same speed as my sprint, but more casual looking.

My only saving grace is that the fastest mum has the same name as me, so if they publish the results,  I'm a winner anyway :)