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Monday 27 July 2015

14 Reasons To Take a 5yo to a 24hr Event: When Running An Ultra Isn’t Enough Stress

Running a 24hr event? Why not take your small child along to add additional challenges! Unable to find your bra? The 5 year old will be running around the field wearing it! Want to nap? No – it’s time to play ‘Tigers’ in the trees instead! Want some peace? Unlucky! You’ll have to negotiate peace between 2 warring 5 year olds because one fell out of the tree onto the other ‘on purpose’.  Who wants to JUST run long distance and camp in fields anyway?

1. You get to play games such as ‘Who Lost My Shoe And Why Is The Other One On The Wrong Foot’ and ‘Why Isn’t The Sun Shining, Mummy? Mummy? Mummy?’ and ‘Why Can’t I Play With The Stove? That’s Not FAIR!’ instead of having to eat your meals in the gaps between laps, toilet trips and sleeping.

2. You get to help them nap on your airbag AND sleeping bag by lying sideways on them both. Not using them, just stopping YOU using them.

3. You get to share all your snacks. They share the pick n mix, the chocolate, the flapjacks and the pudding. But you get to do the washing up all by yourself. 

4. You get to pretend to be a tiger instead of relaxing. You shouldn’t be relaxing at a running event anyway, right?

5. You get to arbitrate arguments between 5 year olds and should you ever need to talk down a suicide bomber standing next to a fireworks factory you will find it a piece of cake after this. “I’m sorry you have a sore bit because your friend fell out of the tree onto you. It was an accident and I’m sure she has sore bits from falling onto YOU. Let’s give you both some more of Mummy’s snacks. No you both have EXACTLY the same amount of snacks. And yes you’ve eaten ALL of them.”

6. You get to do an exciting game of ‘Find All Your Underwear Around The Camping Field’ because you let the 5 year olds play in the tent, they’ve tried all your clothes on and discarded your bras all around the campsite. 

Ooh! Is that my bra ... (This is an ACTUAL race pic from Endure 24)

7. Your map memory gets hugely improved due to having to find the quickest way to the portaloos after having to take them “urgently!” to the loo 509 times. “It’s ok Mummy. I don’t need to go any more now!” 

8. You get to test your middle-of-the-night-foot-sensitivity after your nighttime-dash-to-the-portaloos-wellies get filled with magnetic letters, grass, stones and tiny action figures. 

9. You get to attempt the flooding technique to cure your hayfever as grass gets in the tent, in your clothes, your sleeping bag and in your coffee. Everywhere. There is grass EVERYWHERE. Carried in on tiny size 10 feet. HOW DO SUCH TINY FEET CARRY SO MUCH GRASS??

10. You get to practise the no-sleep you’ve been meaning to try for your long distance ultra runs. But in a tent between laps. Camping 5 year olds do not sleep. Ever. 

11. Your night vision improves dramatically in a short space of time due to a previously fully charged head torch having a flat battery as someone has been playing ‘lighthouses’ with it. It’s amazing how quickly your eyes can adapt when you’re running in a dark wood full of strange noises at 2am and your headtorch fails. 

12. You get to improve your explaining skills as the 5 year old gets the good sleeping bag. And the old sleeping bag. And the warm blanket. And you have to roll yourself in coats to stay warm in a freezing cold tent in the middle of the night. And get evil looks when 5 year old tells people “I couldn't have my coat when it was cold last night because Mummy was wearing it.”

13. You get to practise your herding skills when they keep running off to find their friends who are approximately 2 fields and 500 tents away and you have to work out the best way to cut them off before they cross the road / get lost in a massive sea of tents / lock themselves in a portaloo. Sheepdogs? Pah.

14. You develop your upper body strength by working out a way to hold them above a race portaloo without letting any part of their body touch the seat, the walls or the floor. And then improve your washing skills as you attempt to find a way to get pee off your running kit.

She's happy when she's not tired, hungry or on fire ...

Reasons NOT to take 35 year old friend Loz to a 24 hour event:
1. She gets grumpy when she’s tired.
2. She gets grumpy when she’s hungry.
3. She sets herself on fire trying to light the stove, then attempts to kill everyone by flailing bits of burning Loz around and setting the stove on fire. 

Reasons TO take 35 year old friend Loz to a 24 hour event:
1. Entertainment.
Note: Do not allow to use stoves.

Team More Endure (Pic by Cath)

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