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Running to Beat the Chickens

On mile 23 of the London Marathon I was overtaken by a giant chicken. Let’s just say, it was a low point…

Looking back on my London Marathon ‘success’ I can only assume it was someone dressed up in a costume or perhaps some kind of hallucination. The lactic acid build up that far into the race was certainly affecting my legs, vision and mental capacity. However, in spite of being slower than a fat, grounded bird, I’ve always loved running and it’s something I’ve enjoyed involving my kids in since becoming a dad.

I have many happy memories running and pushing a buggy containing my baby sons around our local neighbourhood. In fact, being pushed while I was running seemed to be the only way my second son would ever fall asleep… I’m pretty sure I even nodded off on a few of the longer runs… we were very sleep deprived.

Now they’re older, they often come on runs with me and I’ve always been surprised at their ability to ask a constant stream of questions about everything and nothing in particular and not break stride. Running has been a time to get to know my boys and I love it… most of the time.

My love of running is now tested every Saturday morning, as I’m woken up by my eldest son asking, “Can we do park run today?”

At that point, I don’t really want to: it’s early, it’s cold and it’s Saturday.

But then I hear ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ music in my head, remember who I want to be, and roll out of bed.  

Our local park run is brilliant and my whole family have fallen in love with it since our first outing about a year ago. I still push my youngest son around, but my seven-year-old is a pretty serious runner – each week he’s determined to catch up his mum and set a new PB, it won’t be long before I’m the target.

I’ve not seen any giant chicken hallucinations at our park run. Though I’m pretty sure my son gets to the stage where he might most weeks.

He leaves nothing out on the track, giving it everything he’s got. At times, he says he can’t feel his legs, which I think might be serious and I promise he’s allowed to stop… but he doesn’t want to. He’s determined to finish, even if his legs won’t. But, every week he finishes. Getting a bit faster every time. And once, we even beat Mum…

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