Friday, April 03, 2009


Cross Country was run on Wednesday and son's new improved time is 4 minutes 24 seconds. Eighth in his Form. (His time was 5:55 last year but we're not sure if the distance was exactly the same.)

His House came in first overall. Well done!

This was what I wrote for the school bulletin whether it gets published or not:

Cogito ergo sum run (I think, therefore I run)

There’s no [bulletin] for the last week of the Lent Term, but I feel I have to write this, even if it only goes to print in the Trinity Term.

With a few other parents I was at the Cross Country. Overheard:

Mother 1: J was not keen on his breakfast this morning.

Mother 2: Our lot (6+) cannot do the distance.

Me: O yes! They’ll be alright.

They were ALL alright. I believe everyone who started finished, and that is very good.

The small group of parents were cheering every boy on, whether or not we knew their names. By the end of the session we had very painful palms and quite sore throats.

What was heartening was to see the young men stay the course. Not all are Haile Gebrselassie-shaped. Running for a bus/train might be a struggle, let alone the distances some of these young men were doing.

Several stopped after a lap or two and thought they could get away with it, but Mr B coaxed them on and somehow from somewhere deep inside them, they found the reserve to cross the finish line, running.

I think distance-running builds character. Training for such distances requires great discipline and is a lonely business (I know this only too well). Quite often it is a question of mind over matter (ie legs of stone). It gives one time to think, and one must think to finish. When so much of modern life is ‘instant everything’, staying the course when the going gets tough is a lesson that distance-running helps us to learn.

I was less interested to see who finished in medal positions as to observe how those who are not quite 2012 material (or 2016, 2020, etc) completed the course, many in some degree of pain. To these young men: you have done it once, you can do it again. Remember what a certain quiz-master used to say, “I’ve started so I’ll finish.”

One word of advice to the more competitive runners: Pace.

Many thanks to Mr B and other staff for organizing this event. Perhaps we could have a few more parents to join the cheer team next year???

P.S. How does one say ‘run’ in Latin?

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