The Park Run in the UK

The Park Run in the UK
The weather here is amazing. Just chilly enough to be called winter and yet not that cold which I hate and sit morosely indoors nursing endless cups of tea.

So come Sunday and my son and family set off to the park to enjoy a Park Run. It’s a run that everyone enjoys in the UK on a Sunday morning. Hundreds of families with kids come out and are all at the starting line at the exact 9am as planned. “ Come on Mum!” said my son David. “ You too can run with Natalie and help her on.”

Ofcourse I could but we had Arthur in his pram who would have slowed us all down, so I decided to stand and watch. We had reached just in time and David and Nat ran towards the start with barely a minute to go. If it’s 9am in the UK the start is at 9am. Not like us in India, where the start is supposed to be at 6am and we are still waiting for others at 6:10am, start our warm ups at 6:15 maybe and then take off for the 5k or the 7 k as charted out.

As I stood at a corner a pair of grandparents came upto me with concern and said --” Better pull the pram up on the grass ‘cause they are going to come running here like bats out of hell and knock you down.” Glad I took their advice and dragged Arthurs pram up with their help because in seconds the runners had come towards me full pelt.

Little ones, big ones, the crowd was mixed and ofcourse like David and Nat -- a parent running with a child. Once they passed us the grandparents advised me to walk across with them and stand at the 500 metre mark where they would run past and we could yell out encouragement.

So Arthur and me raced across and stood watching till David and Nat came racing by. Nats lovely shiny hair was slipping so she was trying to tighten her top knot. Arthur and I yelled “‘ Come on Nat, come on Dave” and they ran past with huge smiles across their faces.

Then as they ran past we about- turned and went back to the point where the race first began. Parents whipped out cams like me taking pictures and the little ones did not seem to be tired at all. The weather was wonderful, I would feel the same running in such great weather.

At the third point Nat wanted a sip of water, so they had to stop and grab the water from under the pram. That definitely slowed her down and I tried to explain later to her that a water stop was not an option if she wanted to cut on her timing.

The final run was upto the pavilion in the centre of the lawns where their timing was recorded and they all got to know if they had cut on last Sundays run timing. Nat was so excited as she had --” I got my personal best, my personal best,” she chortled with joy with her Dad.

I had promised her a dosa breakfast if she ran well and so we all jumped into the car and headed home. In minutes she had her shower and she and Arthur and her Dad were at the dining table waiting for their hot and crispy dosas which I made from the MTR mix I brought from Bangalore.

Arthur ate his with Tennessee honey that I had brought the previous time I had come and Natalie and David ate theirs with channa that I had cooked the previous day. How excited she was that she had done her ‘personal best’ in her timing while I was secretly thrilled that my son who had been a champion when younger is back to running and turning healthier and losing all his excess fat.

Natalie too is thrilled to come from a back ground where her Great grandfather was Mysore State champion and her Grand mother a Delhi State Champion and her Dad an Asian level and Karnataka State champion. “ It’s in your DNA Nat,” I said. “ You can easily run and do much better next time.”

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