My girls and I ran the Race for Life this weekend in Milton Keynes, in my usual manner, I knew it was sometime in June, but hadn’t really thought about it, until Emily came home from school and mentioned the fact that a friend of hers was doing it the next day…panic set in! I checked the email and yes, it really was the next morning! Eek…the race was 11.30am but, I also had the three children performing in the village school fete starting at 1pm…now, here was a dilemma, the kids really wanted to perform, but the girls also wanted to do the run…So, we decided between ourselves, we would leg it round the course, take the various costumes with us and change en route back to school. Therefore, hopefully keeping everyone happy….
So, we got up, got organised and set off for MK, and we managed to arrive on time! But, in the hurry to leave the house, we had left our race numbers and pins on top of the piano! So, we found the relevant tent, and were re-issued our numbers, but alas, no pins to pin them on with…Now, I would love to say at this point that I am such a great mother, and in my back pocket I had an emergency sewing kit, but, that would be lying, so, instead, we headed over to the various stalls around and asked if anyone possibly had a pin or two…no luck, then, I spotted the First Aid tent…surely they would have a few pins, they didn’t, but they had some tape, so we set to, taping our numbers to our tops, hoping the tape would last for the 5km!
The weather was gorgeous, and we set off to find the start line…the girls kept asking me if it was anything like the London marathon, yes, in some ways it was, the atmosphere was fantastic, but it was so much more relaxed! There was a huge warm up session going on; there were bouncy castles and stalls selling a variety of odds and ends…and yes! I did end up treating the girls to some pink fairy wings and a sparkly pink cowgirl hat each! For me, it was just so lovely, to be sharing this experience with my girls…they didn’t know what to expect, and where totally enthralled by the whole experience. We saw some familiar faces from Buckingham, and giggled at some of the outfits some people were wearing.
The hardest bit before the start was writing on the sign we would wear on our backs which would show everyone why we were running….Emily, chose to simply write “Alec xxxxxxxx” Sophie wanted “Alec, my buddy” and although I had a million words I wanted to put on mine, I simply stuck with “Alec, the little man with stars in his head”…that was hard, and between us, we did have a moment and shared a cuddle. The girls at this point started to read other signs, the messages some people had were really tear jerking, when you see a little girl the same sort of size as your 8 year old with “for my mum” on their back…well, it sort of hits home really. All I could do at this stage was hold on to my girls tight and tell them I loved them.
We knew we were on a time limit, so there was no messing around at the start, and we made sure we got as near to the front as we possibly could…we followed the crowd round to the start, counted down from 10 and then we were off! Sophie “little legs” was keen to start with a sprint, having absolutely no idea about starting off slowly and working up to a constant speed!! Bless her, she kept saying, “come on you two, I have to get back”, but half a km in, she slowed down admitting she was tired!!! We plodded on, admiring the sights, reading the messages of the people in front, all the while, discussing the weather (there was no shade and it was really hot at this stage) and deciding what to have for supper, anything to keep distracted and keep going!
We spurred each other on, holding hands at times, it was a lovely experience, having seven children, although I do try my hardest to spend time with each of them individually, it is not always that easy, but, doing something with just my girls, for me, selfishly, I cherished every moment…I am so proud of them both…I really am. When we got to the 6oo metre mark, unlike in London, I had the energy to really go for it and get to the finish line, we all sprinted the last bit and over the line…and Sophie did get an extra special cheer from the crowd as she is so small…we fell into a huge hug and congratulated ourselves for managing to do it in 41 minutes and 36 seconds… we were given our medals and goodie bags, and then dashed off to find the boys and get to the car for the next bit!!
We didn’t make the dancing, but the children had a ball at the school fete, so they didn’t really mind too much, I think the girls were so proud of themselves and the boys, well, boys are boys aren’t they? An ice cream, a stick-on tattoo and some new books and toys from the bric a brac stall…they were happy enough!
We left the fete and dashed back to Mk to do some shopping, and then back home again for pizza and a chill out, at which point I did sneak off to have a bath, during which Sophie appeared in the bathroom and simply said, “Mum can we do it again next year, but because I will be a bit bigger and stronger, can we do the 10k instead?…I will admit now…its tempting!