Last Sunday I ran my 3rd Race for life (I previously ran in 2011 and 2012) and for the first time ever I ran with my daughter Mollie who is 6. Also running with us was my Mum, sister Tamsin, Tara my cousin (you can find her blog here) and her mum Andrea.
I have previously written about why we decided to run the race this year here and I am pleased to announce that we have raised a massive £378! This is amazing as I didn’t do as much fundraising as I’d previously planned so this was all raised by generous donations from family and friends.
The race started at 11am Sunday morning but we were advised to get there early so at 10am Mike, Mollie and I arrived at the nearby Morrison’s car park to meet up with the rest of my family. The weather was not the best and it had started raining before we left the house. Luckily it wasn’t too heavy, just a light drizzle but enough to get us wet. Because of this we held off on putting our race numbers on. One of my favourite things about the race for life is the signs you get for the back of your t-shirts. They say “I am racing for…” and then you fill out the rest. Mollie wrote on hers Aunty Ruth and Bampi and I wrote Bampi on mine as that was who we were running in memory of.
There were lot of things going on at the race for family members including a bouncy castle for children. We put our race signs on and posed for a few photos before taking part in the group warm up. Mollie didn’t seem that keen on joining in until the star jumps started and then she really got into it. If I could star jump half as fast as her I would be proud, she was brilliant.
Even though we knew we probably wouldn’t be running the whole distance we started over in the runners section as experience told us if we started in the walking section we would be waiting for ages to start. When the race started we all broke into a light jog for the first few minutes and then Mollie and my Mum started to flag and slow down to a walk.
Mum had openly admitted she would not be running the race as she has had problems with her ankle lately and I had no expectations of Mollie to run the whole distance. I just wanted her to enjoy it and run as much as she wanted to. Lately Mollie hasn’t been keen to go to Junior Parkrun and I haven’t pushed her to go so she is a little out of practice therefore I wanted her to take it at her own pace and enjoy it. No one runs the race for Life for a PB, the aim if the race for us was to stick together and run it as a family.
I walked with Mum for a while and Mollie ran ahead with the rest of the group until she tired and joined us. Then we started playing a game with her. Tamsin, Tara and I took it in turns to chase her and then getting her to chase us, taunting her with lines like “You can’t catch me” and encouraging her to run. This worked really well and Mollie ran a good distance without even realising it. Mum and Andrea walked together further back and every now and again we would slow down and let them catch us up.
Every time we hit a kilometre marker Mollie would run up to it and hit it and at 4k she slowed right down to a walk. I walked with her and we chatted for a bit, she said she was really enjoying the race but it would be more fun if it was an obstacle race and that is what she wants to do next! I was so proud of her. It was rainy and a long distance but instead of moaning or complaining she was already planning our next race together.
We ran past the boys at one point, we could see where they were stood so we told Mollie to run past them and pretend we had been running the whole time. She sped up as she seen them and when she heard them cheering she shot off into a sprint. We all struggled to keep up with her she was that fast!
The last part of the race took us under a bridge and then the finish line was in sight. We slowed down for Mum and Andrea to catch us up and as we all got closer we sprinted across the finish line, altogether, as a family just like we had planned.
The boys were waiting at the finish line for us once we had collected our goodies (medal, crisps, water and brioche!) and Mollie’s grandparents had turned up and seen her cross the finish line which was so lovely of them
We had an amazing day at the Race for life. It was such a brilliant atmosphere. The starting line was a sea of pink and there were so many people running in memory of loved ones. During the minute silence before the start I read some of the people’s signs and my eyes welled up, it’s always an emotional race as everyone is running for the same cause.
I am so proud of Mollie for running this race with us and so happy she enjoyed the experience of her first race. I just asked her what she thought of it and she said it was awesome and wants to do it again next year. Hopefully this will become an annual thing we do together; it would be lovely to do it every year with her even when we are much older.
Have you ever done the race for life? Or ran any races with your children? Anyone know of any good obstacle races for children? Would love to hear from you in the comments!