Saturday, 12 June 2010

Our weekend of sport

Well, there is no doubt this is a very big sporting weekend for us.  No, not the Canadian Grand Prix.  Not the tennis championship, at Queen's Club, either.  Not even one of those football matches happening in South Africa at the moment (Graham claimed it was totally necessary that he watch the tantalising match that was France v Uruguay last night, and then fell asleep on the sofa after 10 minutes.  I felt horribly righteous.).

No; for us, this big sporting weekend is all about running and triathlons. 

A while ago Graham and I found out about the parkrun organisation, and last month Graham went along to their inaugural run at Hackney Marshes, on the edge of the Olympic site, just a mile or so from where we live.  Parkrun is a wonderful organisation that arranges and hosts free, timed 5km runs every Saturday morning around the country (you can find your closest one here).  The races are truly open to everybody of all ages and abilities, from complete beginners to Olympians, and everyone in between.

This morning Cam ran his first ever 5km race at the third Hackney Marshes parkrun.  He is not a fan of PE at school, and hates football with a passion, but has been hankering after doing something sporty out of school for a while.  He asked if he could have a go at this after hearing G and I talking about it. 

So Graham bought him some proper running shoes.

And he had a little practise in the sitting room, wearing his pyjamas.

I printed off his race barcode and laminated it.  The barcode is effectively your entry ticket and it enables you to get an official time for your race.

And that was all the preparation we needed to do. 

This morning we all headed over to Hackney Marshes. Graham to help out with the marshalling, me, Livvy and Uncle David to be cheerleaders, and Cam to race.  Cam borrowed Graham's sat nav watch, so that he cold see how far he'd gone at any point and how fast he was running.  It looked so big on his skinny little ten-year old wrist!

There was a quick briefing from the race organiser, and off they all went.  Uncle David and I looked at each other with a little trepidation and wondered how Cam would get on.  How far can 10 year olds run? we wondered, not entirely sure.  Hopefully at least 5km.

Pre-race briefing; Cam at the back wearing a red top, blue shorts & looking very small.

And of course, as is always the case when children decide for themselves that they are ready to do something, it all turned out very well indeed.  Cam ran the race in just under 35 minutes, much faster than he expected to.  He had a great time, he didn't get lost, he didn't get a stitch, and he finished ahead of several of the adults.  He didn't even mind me squealing with excitement as he came up to the finish line.

You'd think after all that early morning activity we'd all head back home and have a nice cup of tea and a sit down.  But instead our race excitement then switched to Graham who left from the parkrun to drive to Snowdonia, where he is competing in a half ironman triathlon tomorrow morning.  In all the understandable excitement about Cam's first race, we've all completely taken for granted Graham's entry into only his second ever half-ironman race (you can see photos of his first one here).

And we really shouldn't be taking such a ridiculously long, involved race for granted.  Apart from anything else, just look at all the clobber he has to take with him.

Here are just some of the things he packed:
  • running shoes
  • wetsuit
  • trisuit
  • bike shoes
  • bike
  • spare inner tubes (lightweight - makes all the difference)
  • bike pump
  • a great deal of carb and protein laden food
  • posh sunglasses
  • a woolly hat
  • at least three water bottles
  • a blanket to keep the bike snug while it is in the back of the car
He will start off with a 2km swim in Bala lake, then a 90km bike ride through the foothills of Snowdonia, and then finish with a half-marathon run (21km) back to Bala.  He is aiming to do the whole race in around five and a half hours.  I won't be there to squeal with excitement when he finishes, as I did for Cam's race, but I've promised Graham that as a gesture of solidarity I'll be up tomorrow morning by the time he starts on the bike section of the race.  Abut 10am.  And I'm planning on baking him some coffee and walnut buns for when he gets back on Monday.

I think both of them have earned a few slices of cake this weekend.

After Cam finished his race. Very proud Dad, very tired son.


  1. Well done Cam and good luck Graham.

  2. Ooh, I feel so proud of both the boys!

  3. oh how wonderful! clever boys. Love that last photo, it's one for the mantelpiece. And not a football strip in sight. Hurrah!

  4. Well done cam, that was truly fantastic. Good luck too to your dad, hope he does just as well.

  5. Way to go, Cam!!!!! And Graham, will be rooting for you in your race tomorrow; wish we could be in Snowdonia cheering you on! :)


  6. So very impressed! Big congratulations to Cam and good luck and lots of cheers to Graham! K x

  7. Blimey! Very sporty lot you have - must be something in the cake...

    Hooray for both of them.

  8. Congratsb and good luck respectively to your two sporty boys!


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