In another life time I ran the London Marathon and the Great North run. I really put in the hours training for both events and was very focused on recording my weekly mileage and tracked my average speed per mile etc. I hadn’t carried on with the serious running since having twins. Doing a running event as a family was a world away from serious meticulously planned long distance running.
I did our village 5km fun run last year with my daughter and had really good fun. I love seeing everyone come together for village events and it is lovely to see the roads car free. Chatting to Sofia we had the brainwave of doing it again this year but this time doing it as a family of five. When I registered the organisers agreed that we could run with a pushchair as long as we started at the back and didn’t get in the way of the serious runners.
At the last minute we got an extra member of our family team when my daughter’s friend joined us (her mum was comparing the race and she didn’t want to miss out on taking part). On the spur of the moment Rolando and the kids decided they needed some kind of theme so opted for wearing Ecuador Football shirts (my husband is from there and we got the shirts sent over for the World Cup). Sofia insisted on bringing her Rapunzel doll along too.
Running pushing two toddlers proved to be a little bit harder than I’d anticipated. We split it between us – I did the first half and Rolando took over for the second part. The girls didn’t really get the idea of pacing yourself and wanted to sprint off at the beginning, not the best race strategy but I loved their uncontained enthusiasm. We did our best cheerleading to keep them going when they were getting tired. The safety car that marked the back of the race was behind us the whole way. There was a tricky moment when the girls decided they needed the toilet at 3km so we had to quickly nip into a pub. The safety car had to wait outside for us.
Our little team got lots of attention. Lots of people did a double take when they saw us running with the twins in the double pushchair. The spectators were very kind and clapped and cheered us on and we had lots of funny comments. We gave the boys snacks along the way and they were entertained waving at people.
We were starting to flag a little bit towards the end. 5km is quite a long way for 7 year old legs (not to mention for over 30/40 year old legs that have done zero training!) Promises of ice cream kept Sofia and her buddy going for the last kilometre. We saw some people with race numbers already walking home having finished long before us.
We got a massive cheer when we ran down the home straight. The girls sprinted ahead and took in the applause as they crossed the finish line. We came second last – there was a dad with his little girl behind us – but finishing and having fun was always our aim. I was really proud that we had taken part and that we got to include the twins.
The organisers were very good sports and gave Sam and Leo finishers medals as well. Sam was proudly showing his off saying “I’m a winner.” I think he captured the mood perfectly!