School Sports Day — and the mother of all challenges

May 14, 2008

sample.jpg“Come on!” the man yells through the megaphone. “Your children need to see you taking part. They need to see you running”.

That dreaded time has come. The School Sports Day season is upon us —  and with it comes the mother of all challanges — the Mums’ Race.

When I say challenge, it’s not so much the distance, or speed, but the ludicrous array of dilemmas it throws up.

Should you do it at all? Are you setting a bad example by racing against others, or does the lesson of taking part override any question about the morality of trying to beat fellow human beings to the finish line?

Or should you politely ignore Megaphone Man’s  invitation, despite having enjoyed watching your own and other people’s children gamefully and un-selfconsciously crawling through tunnels, racing around cones and leaping over obstacles for the past two hours.

Should you win, and embarrass yourself and your child? Or should you lose, and embarrass yourself and your child? 

Should you run in sandals, a strappy top and a floaty skirt, and risk what Janet Jackson once described as a “wardrobe malfunction”, or slip on the running spikes and lycra and shrug off the sneers of those less well-prepared?

Well, it’s summer, and the children are only young. So the best strategy is probably to go barefoot, in the middle of the pack, balancing a bean bag on your head and laughing all the way.

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