One thing that helps us maintain the facade of being a ‘normal’ family, is having things to focus on. Back in May, Ross decided to sign Imogen up for a Aquathlon called the Duck N Dash. It’s organised by a local Triathlon club, and involves a swim in the outdoor pool and then a run round the common. Ross has done the adult version before, and given how active Imogen is, thought she’d enjoy it too.
Unfortunately for Imogen, she picked up an ear infection and perforated ear drum in June which meant she was unable to swim. She missed weeks of swimming lessons and wasn’t even allowed to get her ear wet when she washed her hair. Finally on the 14th August, she was given the all clear to swim again. Her ear had healed, the infection was gone, and she was good to go! Then another spanner in the works, rugby training started on the same day! She’s moving into the Under 9 age group which involves contact and tackling. She’s the only girl on the team, so we wanted to make sure she was there at the very start of the season so she could get the most out of the training sessions so she was confident enough to play.
At this point, due to the lack of swimming, and because of rugby, we decided she wasn’t going to do it. She was a bit disappointed, but understood why.
On Friday evening, Ross got an email with the start times. Because everyone has their own individual start time, Imogen was due to start at 9:02am. She had to swim one length of a 50m pool, and then do a 600m run. I know how fast she can swim, and I know how fast she can run 600m as we’d practiced that distance during the holidays, so reckoned she’d be finished by 9:15am and have enough time to get changed and to rugby for the start of training. It was all back on!
On Saturday afternoon, Ross and Imogen went to the outdoor pool to register, pick up her number, her chip she had to wear around her ankle and have the number ‘13’ written in permanent marker on her arm and leg. The people from Freedom Tri were on hand to give her some information on the transition and also where she’d have to run. This was really helpful.
That evening she practiced putting her shoes and socks on quickly and got herself prepared.
On Sunday morning, we were up early and all had a fortifying breakfast. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day for it. We got there early and Imogen went to set up her transition gear. I realised at this point, we’d forgotten her goggles! Panic! A quick dash home to collect them and she was ready to go.
At 9:00am, the first competitor started, Imogen’s friend Freddie from school. Also taking part was Jenson from the Gin Club, and Daniel from her rugby squad. There were 16 in total in her age group. They all looked really confident, and it was great to see them competing.
At 9:02am, she was in and got off to a great start. She overtook a couple on the swim and was out and putting her shoes and t-shirt on before I knew it. I have to admit to being a bit shouty at this point. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I can be quite loud. I think I drew a few funny looks as I stood on the opposite side of the pool, shouting like a Fish Wife “Hurry up Imogen!”.
She ran out the pool onto the common where Ross was waiting to cheer her on. I raced round and got to the end just in time to see her cross the line. I was so proud. She did so well.
We waited for Daniel and Jenson to cross the line so we could cheer them on, and then raced to get changed and off to rugby. We didn’t hang around to find out her time, its the old saying, it’s the taking part that counts.
Rugby training went really well for both Imogen and Felix. Felix slotted straight back in with his friends and spent an hour and a half running around, chasing balls, and having fun. Imogen listened carefully to her coaches as the started giving instructions on how to tackle safely and confidently. They both got registered for the new season and wore their new Letchworth Rugby Club t-shirts with pride.
Once training was over we had to go back to the outdoor pool to collect Imogen’s towel and goggles. We still didn’t know what time she’d done it in, and couldn’t find anyone to ask, so we just went home, and Imogen went to Katy’s pamper party for a bit of girly time.
We all went to bed exhausted that night, and I’d just dropped off when Ross’s phone beeped with an email telling us the times had been published. We had a quick look and were delighted to find Imogen had won her category! Girls Under 8 Duck N Dash champion. We were so proud. She did it in 6 minutes and 6 seconds! What a girl.