When I registered my daughter and husband for the Mileage Father’s Day race, I had all best intentions. It would be an event the two of them can share and the finisher medal will be a tangible item for my daughter to remember this year’s Father’s Day as a special event she shared with her daddy.
The morning started off well enough; excited and ready, glad we didn’t need to travel far we showed up at Pasir Ris Park with sufficient time to relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere.
When their category started I waved them off for their 3km route around the beautifully manicured park and waited at the finish line, looking forward to their story and some pics.
What we didn’t anticipate was Trinity’s lack of enthusiasm during the race, indicating she was bored and basically giving up from even trying to run the race. It surprised and disappointed both John and I and it took the Jurrasic World movie to get us all out of the funk we were in.
It took us a couple of weeks before the right opportunity came up to quiz Trini who is only 6 with the right kind of questions as to what happened. Interestingly we had some revealing answers which helped us first realise we made a mistake entering her in a 3km race that had little to stimulate her and was small as an event.
First surprise was that she liked the larger races such as the Standard Chartered Kids Dash not only because of the energy such a large crowd draws but also the 800m snaky route. So what we learned here is sprints and stimulating routes are a criteria.
The second surprise is that she’s not opposed to long distances but the constant opportunities to stop and engage with animals makes the 6km Safari Zoo race a thumbs up and “not boring because there’s lots to see”.
Third surprise is that night runs are super fun because they are at night and instead of sleeping she gets to run. This was her explanation of the forthcoming Sundown Fun Run that starts at 8pm. Thankfully she’s a night child and we won’t have to worry too much about her getting too tired.
The final criteria is any race that includes obstacles such as the Energizer Obstacle Race because as Trini explains it they are “totally fun because you get to climb stuff and have lots of challenges as part of the run”.
So the Father’s Day run may have been a disappointment on that day but it was a blessing in disguise as it brought forth our daughter’s interests in certain types of races not just any race that is listed. I guess that’s not that much more different than her own parents. As we participate in more races, it has become more apparent to the types of races we also enjoy. Our criteria is much the same as Trini’s; night races, obstacle races and interesting routes.
The lesson here is not to assume that just because a race or event is available for a child that they will like it, but to ensure that it is the right type of race that stimulates and excites the child to want to keep participating and engaging in these sporting activities.