The Saturday just gone was a real experience for my little JJ. His dad is a Parkrun devotee and has been a regular at many of our local parks, Guildford, Frimley, Rushmoor and Alice Holt Forest for the past couple of years. We often go and watch him and cheer him on, especially if the run takes him past a nice little playground or cafe :-). The idea is to do a timed 5K run with other like minded people (lots of families, children, even dogs and kids in buggies being pushed around for the ride of their lives!). Its not a competition but a chance to try and push yourself to a personal best each week. The hubster is, quite frankly, obsessed with the whole thing.
So lately JJ has been doing little pretend ‘parkruns’ up and down the corridor at both our house and my mum and dad’s. We have to shout, cheer and clap each time he comes past. He loves it!
Last weekend his dad finally decided to let him have a go himself. His ten year old step sister has done one or two of the runs in Guildford before but JJ, at just 4 (and 9 months) has always been deemed a bit too young up to now. I have to say I was extremely sceptical because he can be quite lazy at times, complaining that his legs hurt when expected to walk for five minutes, etc., but he was extremely keen and got very excited when his dad registered him on the website and printed him off his own little barcode (which they scan to record your time).
The reason that last Saturday was a greenlight for JJ was because his dad (the crazy nut) was working a night shift the night before and didn’t want to miss a parkrun but at the same time knew that he wouldn’t be up to much speedwise, hence giving him the perfect opportunity to run with his little son at his pace. Excitingly Alice Holt was the perfect venue as they were holding a special run featuring the Gruffalo (see above).
In the event the forecast was not good. As we pulled into the car park the heavens opened and the hubster was seriously contemplating giving up and heading home, feeling extremely tired after two hours sleep. The look on JJ’s little face was enough to convince him to brave the weather though – he was so keen and would have been so disappointed!
The rain quickly eased off and we gathered at the cafe to listen to the announcements. Just then a life size Gruffalo appeared behind the speaker which EJ was absolutely thrilled about! And then it was positions please and they were off!
It felt a bit strange just me and EJ heading to the playground alone but soon we were back out watching the runners as the fastest of the bunch began to speed by. The Gruffalo soon appeared and was making us laugh and EJ clap and cheer with his funny antics and comments! The idea was that any child who beat the Gruffalo would get a packet of sweeties!
After about 20 minutes JJ and the hubster appeared and EJ and I clapped and cheered! JJ sensibly decided to call it quits after the first of the two laps which, under the circumstances seemed like a good idea – a run of over a mile for a four year old is no mean feat and we were all very proud of him. Soon after we waved the hubster off for round 2 the heavens really opened with thunder and lightning and a torrential downpour! JJ definitely made the right decision!
Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as the wet weather had put me off taking my camera and I have had to nick the photo above from another attendee. Instead, just to illustrate, here is a picture of JJ doing a pretend parkrun: