2017 Sports Day has come and gone, and so have my legs.
I really didn't fancy the Dads race this year, especially after last year's exhaustion, and I tried to convince my 8 year old Son that it wouldn't be a good idea.
"What if I come last?" I asked. "Won't you be embarresed?"
"Of course not," he replied. "It's the taking part that counts!"
So at roughly 12 noon last Friday I found myself lined up with around 25 other Dads at the bottom of a 100 metre track. Most of the other Dads looked younger and fitter. The reigning champion, an ex Rugby Union winger, was there smiling and chatting together with a Dad in full running gear, a current Premier League footballer and other dads who looked like they embarked on a daily fitness regime.
Two races were to be held. Thinking the keenest and fittest would run first, I stood back and waited for the second race. It meant I avoided the reigning champ and the footballer, but there were some seriously fit looking Dads left to compete against.
As I took my place in Lane 1 I heard my son and his classmates chanting my name. He was delighted I was running and, as there were no other Dads from his class competing, I got their full support. From the other side of the track I heard plenty of shouts of "Come On Jason!" from class parents and friends.
And it was at that point I knew I'd done the right thing.
The whistle blew and off we went. I don't know where I came, it was towards the back but not last (as the photo shows).
Immediately after the race we parents had to collect our kids for a picnic lunch.
My son was beaming. "Never mind Daddy, at least you participated," he joked as he patted my back.
And so that was it for another year. The champ retained his title and I had "participated".
Hopefully my legs will have recovered by next summer!