Why we love running {Interview with Young Parents magazine and Safari Zoo Run 2015}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 14.4.15
in ,

If you've read the April issue of Young Parents magazine, you might have come across our interview where I shared the reasons behind our love for family runs and races. Till date, Angel has taken part in not one, not two but FOUR runs - namely Cold Storage Kids Run 2013 (800m), Cold Storage Kids Run 2014 (800m), Shape Me and Mini Me 2014 (1.8km) and Safari Zoo Run 2015 (2.8km, read more on this below). That's really quite an achievement for a five-year-old, right? Especially if you consider how she made good timings in all of them, how she improved her stamina along the way and how she learnt to be more determined each time.

When I was asked about the biggest motivating factor for taking part in the runs, as well as how I encourage and let my girl know it's not just about winning, here was what I said.

"For us, no matter what happens, it's never about winning. 
It's about believing and pushing yourself beyond your limits.
There is this immense and indescribable sense of achievement
when we cross the finishing line. Before the start of every
run, I will give my girl a pep talk and encourage her to try
her best. During the run, I will cheer for her when she
starts to pant and at times, hold her hand to assure her
that I am right there. When she crosses the finishing line, 
I congratulate her on a job well done, I tell her how proud 
of her I am and together, we will look forward to the next run!"

Our interview in the April issue of Young Parents. I love this pic that they chose!
Am I painting a rosy picture? Well, I do admit that for every run, I have to drag the kids up before the sun rises. We have to squeeze with the crowd and at times, queue for over an hour under the hot sun before our race category flags off. We have to be subjected to bad weather and the risk of running in the rain, or worse, have the race cancelled. We have to ensure that the toddler is kept happy with one parent while the other accompanies the big girl who is still too young to run alone. 

During the shoot, while Mummy gets her makeup and hair done, the kids watch on and eat junk food.
So, do we really, really love runs so much? Well, yes.

Please don't think that we feel obliged to participate because of the sponsors, because you do have to know that I am quite selective and only take on projects that really interest and benefit us. Also, for every sponsored run, I make it a point to arrive early and leave late so that we can take pictures and explore the activities in order to write a more all-rounded blog post. I even run with a camera in hand sometimes so that I can capture the moment instead of savouring the process with my loved one. I am of course deeply thankful for the sponsorship which I give my time and effort to blog in return, but the only real reason for me to continue participating in run after run is because we truly love and learn from these experiences.

For Angel, she has shown a passion for running since young by how she would refuse to sit in the pram when we travelled in Europe and how at the age of two, she could run for a dozen rounds at the playground without stopping. As her mum, I think I should encourage her to pursue her interests in life and so if she had not indicated her keen interest to participate in the runs or if she had told me after the first try that she didn't like the experience, we would not have come so far.

The thing is, she anticipates and enjoys all these runs so much that it's hard for me to say "No". Each time, I see her unwavering determination to run as far and as best she could and honestly, she is the one who motivates me to do a better job time after time. I mean, seriously, how can a five-year-old run 1.8km without stopping? It's either the distance was calculated wrongly or this girl was really been born to run.

I wish for my kids to learn to never give up. Life is like a race, there will be moments when we feel weary, when we doubt ourselves, when our goals and purpose become a blur. However, you can't just throw in the towel and give up on life, or worse, on yourself. So, running becomes a way for me to teach my children about the importance of perseverance and to build up their self-esteem. Sounds a little idealistic? Yes, that's me.

Anyway, back to the interview, I must tell you I didn't know how much effort went into the making of a thin magazine till now! I realised that photoshoots were conducted not just for the cover models, but also for selected articles so that the photos used were professional and of high quality. Seriously, if I were to submit any of our photos taken at the runs, it would have been impossible to achieve this clean, white background, right?

So, as usual, the makeup and hair styling took close to an hour even though they said to let us be as natural as possible. Wait, Angel had no makeup on because the good thing about being a kid is that you have flawless complexion! So, it was just me who required the most time to get ready.

Once the photoshoot started, we were directed for just a few poses before we were free to do it in any way we wanted. *ahem* Just so you know, while I love the shots where we used the medals to cover our facial features, the jumping shot that was eventually used was what we suggested to do. Woohoo! Who can resist doing a victory jump?

Anyway, the shoot lasted for less than 45 minutes before we called it a day. Quite fast, right? Thanks to a big girl who was so very cooperative and easy to direct, as well as a small girl who was so sweet to watch and wait while munching on chocolate biscuits and making friends with the aunties and uncles.

In case you are wondering, all the attire, shoes and medals belong to us. Did we get compensated for doing this? Nope, not even transport to SPH could be reimbursed. But, we did have a truly enjoyable shoot and these pictures of my big girl and I, they are definitely priceless memories.




Thanks to Young Parents for letting us play a part and for giving us this opportunity! Congratulations on your beautiful new look!

P.S. Do you think Angel and I look alike here? Many people say that she resembles Mummy more and she's happy about it (So am I, of course!). I love that these shots are so close up because we hardly get them, since the little sister will usually be part of the action!

******

Safari Zoo Run 2015 - Rise up to the Wildest Dash

Yes, I'm finally sharing more about our most recent, and likely most unique, run experience! In case you don't know, my kids lovvveee animals and as Friends of the Zoo, we frequent this place a lot because they never get tired of saying "Hi" to their friends.

So when we knew that our next run was going to happen right in the place that we love so much, the kids were naturally thrilled! Plus, guess what? Ariel could finally participate! Yes, this was her first run and even though it was to be a stroller run, at least it meant that she didn't have to wave goodbye to us at the starting line and wait eagerly for our return at the finishing line!

I must say this run received such an overwhelming and unexpected response that the organisers ran out of kids size shirts very early (or they printed too few)! So when we were given adult sized shirts for all four of us during the goodie bag collection and the shirts could sweep the floor when the kids tried them on, I went through much hassle of checking and following up before we managed to get hold of the last remaining two pieces of kids sized shirts. These had animals printed on the front and totally delighted the kids. Yippee! We do wear these shirts from time to time when we go exercise instead of just chucking them after the run, okay?

Before the run started, we found a good way for the kids to warm up. Bounce in the bouncy castle!

By a stroke of luck, timing and coincidence, it happened that we were allowed to all run together since we were going to be in the same 2.8km course! Yes, how absolutely wonderful it was to run as a family, thanks to the organisers for giving us permission to do so! As we waved goodbye to the cute Nestle KoKo Krunch mascot at the starting line, we were feeling thankful for how things were going and glad that the weather was so perfect that day.

Then, it was time to run, run, RUN! It was definitely a heartening sight to see that so many fellow Singaporeans were also keen to take part in this as parent and child! Isn't sports just a great way to bond and keep fit at the same time?

Now, I must tell you that for us, there are pros and cons of having a run in the zoo. See how our girl was distracted by all her animal friends? Yes, she was ecstatic when she spotted them and would run up to them, saying "Look! Giraffe!", "Here! Rhino!" and we would have no choice but to stop a little, while encouraging her to keep running on the spot. The good thing was, the kids were definitely excited to keep going!

As for me, I was a little distracted by the beautiful scenery too. Well, the zoo was where the hubby and I held our pre-wedding photoshoot back in 2008 and this place just brought back so much fond memories for me.

Another thing that fascinated, and distracted, the kids was the drink stations set up along the way! They were delighted to find isotonic drinks and couldn't help but sip away. Considering that the whole route was 2.8km. I guess it was okay to make two quick stops to quench our thirst.

However, for the second half of the race, we motivated Angel and told her to keep running till we got to the finishing line. We had to conquer tough slopes and it was evident that she started to pant heavily at the last 400 metres or so. The hubby was the one pushing the stroller with the toddler sitting inside, so I was the one who was free to sprint. I remember him telling me "Slow down, Angel is tired already" and so I did, feeling a little guilty that I didn't keep running alongside her. Nonetheless, I could see that she had a look of determination in her eyes and she was really pushing it. So, we slowed down a little but we never stopped.

When we ran up the last slope and round the bend where the finishing line was in view, everyone was in high spirits and we cheered each other on by saying "C'mon! Almost there!", "加油, 加油!" and "We can do it!" Together, as a family of four, we crossed the finishing line and gave each another a congratulatory hug.

See this medal? It's probably the most special, biggest and prettiest one in our collection so far. We really loved the design, don't you?

However, to me, it wasn't the medal that mattered. It was that experience of having been there and done that as a family that I would treasure for the rest of my life. Kudos to the big girl for completing her longest run ever and to the little one for accomplishing her first! You girls rock!

After the run, the girls decided to go for more jumps in the bouncy castle (where does the energy come from, I wonder?) before we proceeded to the Safari Square for the carnival. I was surprised to see that there were only few people there but was extremely glad that we came.

Why? The kids had lots of fun doing sand art, make bricklets for charity, bought amigurumi dolls and even did standing broad jumps as they learnt about animals who could leap!

But the most fun part of it all was at the games booth where kids could fish, throw balls, shoot bullets and toss hoops! The good thing about the place not being crowded was that there was no need to queue and in fact, the girls played at each station twice! Seeing how Angel scored 0 in her first basketball attempt followed by a perfect 3 out of 3 and how it made her over the moon, I reminded myself that happiness can be found in the simplest things in life, not just when you are a kid but even as an adult.

Even more so when you are a mum. Because it takes a little to make your child happy, and your child being happy is all it takes to make you happy.

Thanks to Safari Zoo Run 2015 for the awesome and memorable run experience as a family! We will definitely be back for more!

******

If you are looking for runs to take part, do note that Cold Storage Kids Run 2015 is happening on 17 May 2015 at The Meadows, Gardens by The Bay! Here are the categories available for sign-up!

Speedy Orange Sprint (Boys/Girls) 
11-12 Years Old Boys/Girls
Individual Competitive (1.6km)

Sporty Apple Sprint (Boys/Girls) 
9-10 Years Old Boys/Girls
Individual Competitive (1.6km)

Boogey Banana Sprint (Boys/Girls) 
7-8 Years Old Boys/Girls
Individual Competitive (800m)

Happy Grapes Family Fun (7-8YO/9-10YO/11-12YO) 
7-8/9-10/11-12 Years Old Child
Parent + Child Fun Run (800m)

Merry Berry Family Fun (5-6YO) 
5-6 Years Old Child
Parent + Child Fun Run (800m)

Jolly Kiwi Family Fun (2-4YO) 
2-4 Years Old Child
Parent + Child Fun Run (800m)
 
Stroller Family Fun (6-23MTHO) 
6 months-23 months Old Child
Parent + Child (in Pram) Fun Run (800m)

Do you know what this run means for us? It's going to be Ariel's FIRST proper run (no strollers!) and we are really excited for her! While that means the hubby and I will each have to accompany one kid in a different race category, we are looking forward to it and you bet I'll be back to share with you more about our experience! Till then, let's keep running!!!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post. I had no obligation to write on any of the above but I thought it would be nice to share our experiences and hopefully we can inspire more parents out there to run with their children!

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