A Mother’s Day running tale

Here’s a cracker of a Mother’s Day race report from Aussie Up & Runner Jo, in which she said… “Happy Mother’s Day Mum – we’re going for a run!”

About a month ago I informed my mother that I’d entered us into a fun run together on Mother’s Day. The distance was 4km and the event was specifically for runners, there being a separate 4km walk event later the same day. She bravely didn’t protest (much) and today was the big day.

Jo and her Mum
Jo and her Mum

Mum is only 60, despite her silvery white hair, and is quite fit in a functional, “I’m just going out to dig holes for a couple of hours to plant some trees” sort of way. She’s never done any sort of running or sport though. She had a few questions about the run, and I could tell she was a bit nervous about whether or not she’d manage it. I had no doubt that we’d get around the course somehow at a slightly-faster-than-walking pace, and I wasn’t bothered by the idea of being dead last.

As we drove to the race she said, “If I collapse halfway then you’ll go on and finish without me, won’t you, so you’re not embarrassed?”

“Not a chance!” I replied.

Really, I just wanted to introduce her to a little of my running world – she’s never been to one of my races and I wanted her to experience it. Which meant I was glad that today’s was pretty typical in the leadup… about a 1km walk from the car park area to the start, a long wait in line for bibs and timing chips, a (thankfully shorter) wait in another line for a last-minute loo stop, and a crazy mass warm up.

I convinced her to start from near the back of the hundreds of people (Were those kids over there going to be faster than us? Uh, yes!). The run began around an athletics track before heading off down a closed road, around in a loop then back to the track to finish. I’m confused about the timing chips as I didn’t see an official start line/pad, but whatever. I started my Garmin at some point round the track and we were off.

Mum ran for a few hundred metres and then we got to a hill… and she kept running… and running!
We took breaks here and there after a while, though I found it easier to do a slow run alongside her as she walked bloody fast, and we were making great time. I’d told her we should walk on the big hill leading back to the finish line but she was still adding in running intervals. She was astonished by her own efforts, too!

Volunteers were all encouraging, and so were the people around us who we kept leapfrogging as we slowed and sped up. We were definitely not last.

I told mum as we went that we were running “with” Up & Runners Bella and Alex and Jilanna and Ianthe and Marci, which she was impressed by.

My Garmin hit 4km at 29:55, which is a helluva lot faster than I could do 4km when I first began, and for 4.2km to the finish line my Garmin time is 31:05. Pretty darn impressive!

Mum grabbed my hand going down the finish straight and was cheering with arms raised as we crossed the line… then muttered, “God Jo, find me something to hang onto, quick!”.

She was on quite a high, proudly informing a volunteer at the gate when we left that she’d “never run 4km before in her life”. We managed the ten minute walk back to the car without complaint, then back to the hotel for showers before the couple of hours drive home.

I had so much fun doing the race with mum. She loves that she’s done it but says “Never again”… except perhaps next year!

Many thanks to Jo and her Mum for letting us share her forum race report on the blog!

Do these awesome ladies make you want to give running a crack yourself? Let us help you get started – our next 5K Beginners Course starts 10 June!

  1. SaraL
    One of my favorite race reports ever! How cool is to still be doing things for the first time at 60?
  2. Minna
    My favourite part is actually when she was cheering on the finish line. One should never forget to celebrate an achievement!