|happy girls with well-deserved medals|
Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Forgotten trainers, lost Oyster cards, ill-timed cricket match with wildly inconvenient pick-up time, forgotten race number, missed train, unusually warm weather....we rushed across the park to the start line. Barely made the start. But start we did. And what a pace those little girls set.
I was concered at first that given the weather, they wouldn't be able to maintain the gallop at which they were running. I should not have worried one bit. They did beautifully. Triumphantly. Chattering the whole way and giving high-fives to spectators and marshals alike. No surprise that they got lots of attention. I looked like wonder-Mum with these two tiny gazelles running just to my left, passing the majority of other women easily.
But as this is a female-only race for Cancer Research UK many of the women had names of loved ones pinned to their backs. "For Mum," and "I will always love you Dad," and "Emily, forever in our hearts." Katherine and Lexi couldn't help but read them all outloud. I admit to wiping more than one tear away as I heard these angelic voices catalogue heartbreak. And then I thought, "wouldn't it be wonderful if by the time Kat and Lexi are my age, there won't have to be things like Race for Life and Cancer Research UK, that cancer will just be one of those olden time diseases." Hey, I can dream can't I.
Dream and run. Run and dream. A perfect combination. And with two beautiful, healthy little girls by my side, we had a dream, sprint finish. Medals, water and smiling, red faces. Challenge #11 was very special. Very special indeed.