Friday, 28 March 2014

Getting The Children Up And Running

Originally the kids began running at the same time I did (see previous post How The Running Bug Bit Me). I already knew how much my eldest son, Sam, who was then aged 5 (now 7yrs), enjoyed running. Most of the time not in the direction we wanted though! My youngest, William, was 3 when we took part in our first disability fun run and I found out then how much he enjoyed it. Even more so with the promise of a medal at the finish line! It was also lovely to see straight away his understanding that it wasn't a race and that everyone who finished the run would 'win'.

A few more opportunities over the course of 2013 meant they did a little more running. They took part in all 3 Max Inspiration runs that were held in Barrow Park, including the Grand National fancy dress run where Sam won best boy's costume for his horse outfit and William won the sweepstakes! I love the fact that running is not always just about running, but having a good time as well!

In September 2013 we entered the boys in the Walney Fun Run 1 mile disability run and also the Pennington Puddle Dash which was also 1 mile. They both managed them beautifully. William especially took the running part quite seriously!

After he turned 4 at the end of October, I started thinking about how William could keep running in between fun runs. I discovered that parkrun had no age restrictions (although children under 11 must run with an adult to supervise them). Would he want to try? Would he be able to do it? We soon had our answers as I registered him, printed off his barcode and took him for his first parkrun in Barrow. We had no expectations other than to let him run for as long as he wanted to and at his own pace. Turns out he was fab! 15 parkruns later and he's still going. He's immensely proud of his well earned 10 club t-shirt and is now working toward his 50 shirt! We made him a special parkrun chart where he can tick off his parkruns as he completes them.

William's first parkrun.
Showing off that 10 t-shirt!

We took a little more time discussing whether or not to try Sam with parkrun. We knew he was capable of the running but it was whether or not he would want to, have the concentration to finish and be able to get past the playground without wanting to go in! Sam's autism means he requires more support to get round the course, but as always he has amazed us and completed it 11 times now! The parkrunners and volunteers have all been amazing in supporting both boys and we look forward to parkrun family time now.

William waves his big brother across the finish line at Sam's 10th parkrun.

After Sport Relief last weekend we have lots of running planned for this year including the Walney Fun Run, the Grasmere Gallop and more!

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