Parkrun with a stroller


Proud moment
I woke up at 6:40 this morning, trying to sneak out of the flat before anyone woke up, dreading the thought of cycling all the way to the East Coast for the race. But La Serpiente had other ideas, coming out of her room and demanding cuddles, and there was no way I was going to get to the run without having her scream the place down.

I gave in to the ineitable and rushed and panicked to get La Serpiente stuffed into her clothes, get dressed, get the running stroller ready, and call a taxi, then got downstairs with fifteen minutes to make it to East Coast Park before the race started.

On the way down, La Serpiente was very talkative, going on about when dinosaurs used to be real and how the mummy dinosaurs had boobies. She seemed rather disappointed when I told her that dinosaurs didn’t lactate so they didn’t have boobies, but it didn’t affect her spirits too much. I think she was astounded by the novelty of her father being awake and active before 9am. She didn’t even complain when I strapped her into the stroller.

My goal for today was to get round in less than half an hour: I had no major hopes, based on my late night and booze last night, and the beginnings of a cough, and the thought of pushing a stroller all the way around the course. I started off pretty quickly though, and although a bunch of people went out a lot faster, I managed to keep up for the first few kilometres; I’m not even sure if the stroller was an advantage or a disadvantage today.

Likewise, it’s debateable whether La Serpiente was a net benefit or a debit in the running department. I couldn’t get her to shout out warnings to people as we approached, and when I encouraged her to applaud people who overtook us, she waited until they were well past us before clapping in the most desultory, contemptuous way possible.

But on the other hand, she did come out with some fantastically random commentary. At about a mile from the start there are sometimes some chickens wandering about, and La Serpiente either remembered that from a year ago or saw some, because she started shouting “the tickens! the tickens!” something I could make no sense of until she bagan to yell “cockadoodledoo” at the top of her voice.

I encouraged her to say “go faster” but she alternated that with “slow down, Daddy” and “hurry up, Daddy” which really isn’t so motivating when you’re sweating buckets and falling apart after the first four k. I really need to equip her with a bell or a whistle: we almsot wiped out a seven year old boy walking along, not looking where he was going (possibly Pokemon Go could have claimed another victim…)

Sweaty and wrecked, I came in under 24 minutes, amazed and startled that I’d made it round so fast. I don’t think I’d have gone much quicker without a stroller. So perhaps that was mechanical assistance.

La Serpiente, bribed by the prospect of a babycinno, was well behaved throughout, never trying to clamber out of a machine moving at 14 km/h. The only worrying prospect is that today is our first day without sugar. I haven’t tried to kill my wife yet.


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