Continuing on from the original post > Pushy Parent? Pushy 4 year old more like! 🙂
So Sam has recently turned four and 15 days later we find ourselves down in Pippingford Park ready for his first race…well apart from his egg and spoon one at nursery school sports day, this was his first race and it was the Junior Spartan.
Now, if you’re not familiar with the Spartan series of races…the idea came from the epic film 300. It’s a very ‘kick-ass’ film and the races match this with lots of warrior type activities, well all apart from the fighting. I will go more into the Spartan race movement in a later blog about my Spartan experience but this post is about the weeman’s race.
Richard Pringle took over the role of Operations Director at Spartan Race UK and wanted the question of do I leave my family at home and race or stay at home with them to be eradicated and wants UK Spartan events to have a family atmosphere so one adult can race in an earlier wave, the kids can do the junior race and the other parent can race in a later wave…brilliant!
So after I’d done the 11am wave I found Sam and his mum and helped him to get ready for his race. He was unusually concerned about getting muddy but this was probably because I was covered in it and letting off a bit of a stench! 😉
My worry with Sam was that he would get stage fright. Sometimes he’ll be great at home but not want to join in with games or songs at playgroup so I kept Sam away from the other older children and hung at the back whilst they did the warm up. He seemed different and was really up for it…even talking about winning! I gave the line of “It’s not about the winning but the taking part” to again hopefully ensure that he enjoyed himself.
When the starter shouted “GO!” I spent the next 11+ minutes completely shocked and in awe of what my boy did. I hadn’t trained him or practised climbing any more than any parent does at the local park but he was off like a shot and in the whole time he was on the course, he only walked once and that was for about 5-10 strides. I could go on about how well he did in the race but I feel that would spoil the videos I took of him on my GoPro. The emotion I experienced when my ‘Little Legend’ crosses the line is evident. I made an edited video which is just over four minutes long which I’d really like you to watch…but I also put up the whole race from start to finish as it truly shows Sam overcoming obstacles that he’s never faced in his life and conquering them! About 10 minutes later he asked if he could do it again…Richie, your Junior Race is not tough enough for my 4 year old! 😉
Sam’s race was on the Saturday when I did the ‘Sprint’ race and when I turned up on the Sunday to do the ‘Super’ race I was stopped by at least 10 people telling me that they loved the video of Sam and what a little legend he was. Alec, my Spartan PR contact said they would look to use the video to encourage parents to involve themselves as well as their kids in the joys of a ‘Spartan Race Day’. I ran in the elite wave on the Sunday and finished in the top 10 and one thing that made me push on was the effort of my 4 year old boy the day before…No Retreat, No Surrender. Sam would not stop wearing his Spartan T-shirt and when I went for a training run in the following week, he asked me “Is there any obstacles on your run Daddy?” 🙂
Spartan Race…you certainly have made a warrior out of my wee boy!