On the night before the Cold Storage Kids Run 2015, the kids set their alarm clocks and went to bed slightly earlier than usual without complaints. The next morning, their alarm clocks went off at 530am, and they walked into my room quietly. Wow! What independence! No cries, no whining, and on auto-mode, they washed up, ate breakfast and waited happily to get out of the house. For no reason, the toddler woke up earlier than all of us and asked for milk. So, no kids needed to be dragged out of the bed and for once, we left the house on time!
The morning fresh air greeted us on our way to the car and upon reaching the Gardens by the Bay, there was a long queue of cars waiting to enter the car park. So many early risers! Well, if not for the competitive races starting so early, with reporting time at 6:55am, we would not have been able to see the break of dawn and breathe and feel the lovely fresh and revitalising air all over us as we walked to The Meadows where the event was held.
The little one and his siblings were terribly excited and ran along the long way where we had parked about 1km away from the venue. It was a warm up for all of us.
Upon reaching The Meadows on the dot of my girl’s reporting time, the 3 of us (me and 2 elder kids) found our way to the holding area while the hubby brought the toddler to play at the bouncy castle which was part of the many set up of activities along with the kids run.
Then while she waited for her flag off time, I held my boy’s hand and we squeezed through the crowd to the starting line to wait and watch, all the while very mindful of little kids’ feet and bodies. We heard the horn after the countdown and off the girls ran. We caught a glimpse of my girl. Then I held my boy’s hand and walked to the finishing line and waited and watch. And this walk to and fro to hold up area, to start line, to finish line, to kids’ pick up area and then repeat all over again for at least 3 more times for the entire morning. 2 of the times, I had to carry the toddler because of the tight start race times. I tried to endure the heat and humidity that morning and alas, we had not even started the toddler run!
My girl ran without hiccups and everything was smooth. She walked and ran for 1.6km which I think was not too easy for a 10 year old. I was proud of her when I caught her passing through the finishing line.
My boy managed to take the centre spot and I had a good view of him to take photos, all the while with the 13kg toddler sitting on my shoulders. And the toddler at one time, was finding his balance, with his mummy fumbling on the mobile video, and he covered both my eyes with his little hands. Luckily my boy had already passed me by and I had finished my video-taking. It was interesting to see how my boy looked left and right at the other boys while the countdown began. All the kids were so excited that I suspected that they zoomed off faster than the speed of the horn sound! My boy ran all the way of the 800m. Since it was 800m, which was half the sister’s distance, I had to carry the toddler to walk quickly to the finishing line so as not to miss him completing the race.
Then finally it was our turn at Jolly Kiwi parent and child (2-4yo) fun run. We made our way to the start line and stood right in the middle of the line. All the while, the little one was smiling and I wasn’t sure if he knew what was happening. When the horn went off, little YT was hesitant but he ran when he saw the others running ahead of him. The cameraman held the camera right in front of little YT’s face and click many many times. (Oh, could you, the cameraman, please send me his photos, please please??) He really looked very cute with his big smile and diaper bottom wagging left and right. If only I could snap his photos while running with him, which I did after the nervous crowd eased off.
Many parents beside me were happily encouraging their little ones to run, some ran, some walked, some jumped, it was a fun sight. Then guess what? About 100m later, little YT asked me to carry him for the rest of the run. He refused to run anymore! Oh my! I wondered whose race it was! Well, we did have a nice stroll in the end even though I was carrying him for 700m. He was happy to receive his medal when we finished the run and he had an apple too.
Some learnings from this race if you are going to take part in future kids run:
1) Don’t forget the Identification slip
As this was our very first kids run, I left the small slip that identified my girl’s bib number in the car. Without this slip, I could not pick her up from the kids’ pick up area and the organizers were very very strict on this, which was good. You don’t want to risk a child pick up by a stranger. But poor hubby had to walk all the way back to the car 1km away and walk 1km back to the pick up area just to fetch this slip! Luckily I did not leave it at home. So, remember to bring the small slip with you if you have a child’s race.
2) Bring extra clothes
It is amazing how we all perspired under the humidity even though the sun was not too hot yet. The extra clothes are more for the kids to feel more comfortable after the run.
3) Tell your kids where to go if they lose you in the crowd
There were so many kids and parents and most of us were wearing the same run tee-shirt. There were many times I lost track of my elder kids with a blink of an eye and managed to see them again after several shout outs for their names. Hence, it will be good to let them know where is the assembly point should they lose you or you lose them. For toddlers, his hand never left ours and most of the time, we rather carry him if we were walking from one point to the other.
4) Have more people with you to help ferry the kids to and fro
If you have more than 2 kids like me, it helps to have more hands to take care of individual kids especially when the start times are different. I was lucky to be able to be able to catch the start and finish moments of my kids’ races as the timings were back to back. But ferrying more than one child back and forth could be tiring for me and for the kids. And my toddler was tired out due to this, which was the most likely reason he asked to be carried during the race.
Since this is a kids event, there were many many fun things to do at the kids run. There were sponsored milk, Milo, 100 plus, water, apples, flavoured milk straws, etc. It was fun checking out the booths and activities. But due to the humidity and hot sun, we decided to walk back to the car. On our way, we saw many educational information boards on nature plants and creatures.
The kids enjoyed the run and were eager to know their sprint results after the event.
They didn’t win the race to be top 3 of course. There were so many great runners and potential sprinters! It was a good first time run. Most importantly, they had great fun, and we certainly look forward to the next 🙂