Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shanghai running and Sports Day

Ok, dinner is done, dishes cleared away, kitchen counters wiped down, Manasi is in bed, Ajey is in a meeting - pretty standard for us this time of day! Perfect time to sit down with my computer, and get that new post rolling - but today, Sunny has a different idea. He's insisting on sitting on my lap, demanding to be cuddled, digging his claws into my jeans when I tried to push him off - I guess he's not moving anytime soon!! So while he purrs contentedly, I have my computer set at a weird angle, I'm typing with one hand - cats!!!

Last month, we had the opportunity to participate in a 5K fun race organized by Shanghai Running - well, I say 'we' - it was actually Manasi and Ajey who ran, I just went along for the ride! Our friend, CW runs about a zillion marathons a year - and he had signed up his younger daughter for the 5K kids race. He wasn't planning to compete - but just to accompany her along the course. That sounded like a great idea - and would be perfect for Manasi and Ajey!! So we registered online, and Manasi was ready for her first ever 5K!! A few of her friends were running as well - which made her quite amenable to the whole thing!!

The biggest drawback of any event in Shanghai - the very early start! To get to the race venue by 8am, we had to leave home by 5:45am - and since my 2 athletes needed a good breakfast, I had to set my alarm for an ungodly 4:50am - which meant that I didn't sleep a wink, worrying that the alarm wouldn't go off!! Luckily, our driver is never late - so that's one less thing to worry about, and we set off as planned, and made it to Gucun Park with time to spare!!

I had never even heard of Gucun Park - so was quite surprised to see this huge complex - we walked past what looked like a dinosaur themed amusement park, a large number of stalls busy with breakfast customers, even little cottages for rent - it was about 2km from the entrance to the registration desk! Quite the warm-up for the runners!! The registration desk, as we lined up for Manasi's T-shirt and number, was a bit of chaos - I think the organizers had not expected such a large number to turn up, and were a bit overwhelmed!!!

The event kicked-off with a warm-up session. Now this was not some gentle stretching as can be expected, but instead a rousing, full-blown aerobic work-out!! Manasi and her friends joined in with gusto - and so did Ajey - hope they have enough energy to actually run the race!!! The race itself was done quite quickly!! Manasi and her friend, SW came in at a decent time, with Ajey not too far behind - the real surprise was little AW who ran like the wind, and just missed out on a trophy!! Manasi was exhausted, but ecstatic that she had run her first 'marathon'!!!

Enjoying the aerobics!

And they're off!!

Finishing strong!!


Within a week, was Sports Day at school - and the successful 5K certainly put Manasi in the right frame of mind for the 800m race. This year, the format for Sports Day was different - unlike previous years, when kids were assigned specific events - this year, everyone would participate in everything - with a couple of exceptions - the 800m races, and the 4x100m relays. Now running is one thing that Manasi is good at - she has consistently won events both at earlier Sports Days and at Fobisia - so imagine my surprise when she came home, quite crestfallen, that she had been selected neither for the relays nor the 800m!!

In my opinion, Sports is like Maths - no grey area, you either got it or not - and I was so baffled by Manasi's exclusion, that I actually wrote to the Sports Teacher to ask for an explanation - something I've never done before! What I heard was even more confusing - Manasi's times were not good enough, and anyway it was too late to add her to the relay team, but they would still consider adding her to the 800m!!! Does that make any sense at all?? She just won a medal at the 800m at Fobisia in May - what timings were they looking at??!! And she has a perfect track record in the relays - last 3 years, every relay she has run, the team has won!!!

Anyway, she was finally added to the 800m event, and was quite excited about it. On the day, I had to leave home a little late, and as I walked to the stadium, I saw some kids running already - looks like the events have started. A little closer, I was startled to see Manasi running with another girl right behind her - almost missed it, this must be the 2nd lap of the 800m - oh no, don't see the other kids, Manasi is last!!! - and then I looked behind her, and saw the posse following her - she wasn't last, far from it, she was actually leading!!!

I was so excited that I almost forgot to go to the finish line - almost missed seeing her power her way to gold - what a sweet, sweet win!!! She was just happy to win, I was happy for a whole another reason - my reaction not really good sportsmanship, but hey, couldn't help but feel that I was justify this one time!!! Way to go, Manasi - seriously, I've never been more proud of her!!! The rest of Sports Day was a blur - she went on to win a bunch of other events - the 100m, 60m, 3-springs jump - but the 800m win, was the absolute high point of the day for me!!

For the school, too, the new format worked really well! Yes, the transitions took a little longer than expected, and things could have been a little more streamlined - but parents were happy to see their kids on the field, watching them compete rather than just sitting in the tents!! A lot of Manasi's friends won ribbons too, and the icing on the cake was Manasi's house - Shackleton - winning the House Cup!!

Go Shackelton!!

Another last - Sports Day at Dulwich!! Glad to go out on a high!! Well done, Manasi!!

1 comment:

  1. Manasi, this time did you hear: Manasi....Manasi....Manasi....? Congrats again.