Reckon she enjoyed that?!
It's not often I post pictures of the kids - I try and keep in mind that the Internet never erases anything - but it's impossible not to be proud of these daughters of ours and share the happiness they got out of IronKids this weekend. We took a gang of five children down to Bolton on Saturday - all kids of Team Bear members - and they ran in their various age categories, having an absolute whale of a time. IronMan UK did them proud - a proper medal, great t-shirts, excellent safeguarding and the whole red carpet, big screen, commentator and finish line experience the adults would get the following day. It was a truly well organised day; everything ran spot on to time despite there being 2,500 kids to wrangle, and every member of staff gave the kids as much respect as they would give to adults. Even when Youngest and I ran just after 12pm, the warm-up people were just as lively and encouraging as they had been when we sent off our first runner at 9am.
Small one grinning her way down the red carpet, with Mummy in Team Bear kit.
The kids themselves got a lot out of the experience. As far as we know they were the only ones from their school who took part this year, so they were delighted to go in on Monday and show off their medals. Eldest, who's run cross-country a few times this year and been dubious about running on grass, has decided she loves road-running. She's now very much looking forward to getting started on our training for Glow In The Park Manchester in October. Youngest had a tough start, rapidly being left behind the pack and struggling with pain in her legs as she started off, but she's a fit little bean really. After some encouragement from me she found her feet and we smiled and ROARED all the way home.
Us grown-ups discovered the joys of cowbelling and just how useful it is to have a pair of Team Bear flags in a crowd. And yes, we took every opportunity to get those flags noticed! I also discovered, idly chatting to a few dads in the warm-up pen, that word of how awful the weather was at Bala has spread. It really is a small community and there were a few open mouths on hearing just where I'd done my 10km. So that was nice. I'm always amused when people are horrified at long swimming distances when they can do such amazing things themselves. Tri people really have such a different experience in the water to distance swimmers.
So that was IronKids. I think we'll be back next year!