20 May 2009

Sports Day

"I desperately wanted to have a go. Internally I think I am a white Asafa Powell!...It would be like Metallica making a hip hop album!"

A couple of days ago it was my daughters school sports day. It would be the first time in three years that the event had been held as on the previous two years rain had caused them to be cancelled. Prior to the big day everyone was praying for a nice dry and sunny day. It looked as if our prayers had been answered as the day was indeed dry, sunny and not too hot. Definitely perfect weather for a sports day.

I had volunteered to help out and was assigned the very important role of being a 100 metres Marshall. My role was to help ensure that everyone knew what was expected and did not start running before the whistle went off to signify the start if the sprint. We did have a starters gun but thought a whistle would be better especially for the younger children.

I arrived early and looked at the running track. My excitement levels rose (yes it doesn't take much for this to happen). I hadn't been on a proper running track for many years. I was itching to have a run and relive my younger years. Even though I had not done much fitness activity in the past few months I desperately wanted to have a go. Internally I think I am a white Asafa Powell!

Anyway, I looked at the 100 metres part of the track and noticed that it didn't seem that long. The sports teacher agreed. So being a part-time nerd I got out a measuring reel and measured it! I was correct the finishing line was only 90 metres from the starting line. The starting markers were then put back another 10 metres.

The games begun. There was a rotation of events so during the day we would have classes from Kindergarten to Year 6 doing the 100 metres. For the older children there was an 800 and 400 metres race as well.

My marshalling went well as I was ably assisted by another volunteer. It was interesting to see the children run. Most of them false started as all they wanted to do was run, run and erm run! Also, for a few of them staying in their lanes was a hard thing for them to work out too. Lunging at the finish line was popular too.

My oldest daughter had her 100 metre race just before fruit break. Now I am not being mean but running is definitely not her forte. It would be like Metallica making a hip hop album! Her race started and she was in last place. However, she must have started running faster as she eventually finished a credible fourth. I was a happy father indeed!

My youngest daughter had her 100 metre race later that day. Now she loves running. In fact I think she could easily outrun that Duracell bunny that always appears in those advertisements!

Her race started and she was equal first. Then all of a sudden she seemed to slow down as her hat was falling off her head and she concentrated on keeping it on rather than running fast. Despite this she too came fourth. At least there would be no arguments in the household as they had both done equally as well.

Finally, it was time for the relay race and parents were allowed to run with the children. My big moment had come. I was finally going to get to run on the track. I started focusing on the track and could feel the adrenalin pumping through my veins. This was my Olympic Games moment. Would I be able to run okay? Would I make an idiot of myself? There was only one was to find out.

There were four teams (blue, red, gold and green). I was in the red team and each team consisted of children and parents. The parents were the last to run. Our team set off and before we knew it we were last at least 50 metres behind the third placed team. I remarked to one of my co-parental runners that it would take a herculean effort to win this one.

Gradually we started to catch up and by the time I had the baton we were in front. I took off as fast as I could. My legs were pumping faster that a steam train. I felt good. I don't know how fast I was running but I did increase the lead for the red team. As I handed over the baton I was elated. I still had my running skills intact. After a couple more relay runners we had won the race by nearly 100 metres!

I felt like I had won a gold medal at an Olympic Games. In reality we won the race but didn't even get a winners ribbon! It didn't matter. I had taken on the track and beaten it. Mind you, the next day my ankles were sore as a result of my effort the previous day!

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