Modern tribes: the sports day parent – The Guardian

Oh my goodness, me? Run? You are joking, aren’t you? No, honestly, I’m so unfit, look at the state of me, practically expired getting here from the car park, no, I think I’ll sit this one out, thanks very much. God, look at her doing stretches in her leggings and everything, anyone would think it actually mattered. The last competitive sport I did was the egg and spoon when I was about six, put me off for life. You know, I’m not even sure mothers’ races actually set a good example for the kids, all the coming first and body shaming that goes on. No, darling, Mummy is absolutely not running – well I know I did last year, got talked into it, came first, amazingly, didn’t I, darling, but I’m sure I’ve gained a couple of pounds since then.

Are you sure all the other mothers are? Well, if you absolutely insist, and you don’t mind me coming last, I suppose it looks a bit mean not to. Go on then. Where’s my basket, it’s got my trainers in it – you’re lucky I was at the gym this morning, still have my sports stuff under my dress, actually, there we go – and my sweatband? I’m sorry, I know it looks completely ridiculous, if I’d planned to race, I’d just be in jeans and Birkenstocks like anyone else, and run barefoot, but since I’ve got the trainers and everything, seems silly not to.

OK, just a few stretches, ouch, I’m so stiff these days, God knows why I’m doing this. OK, wish Mummy luck – oh, sorry, was that your foot, ouch, no need to push, it’s all in fun … YAY! God knows how I did that, seriously thought I was going to trip when Rose collapsed in front of me. I don’t know what Tricia thought she was doing at the end, excuse me, it was her who shoved me, yes, she totally did, I’m going to be bruised for weeks, still, no harm done – well, I’m sure she can’t be seriously hurt, no, I was definitely ahead all the way, look, does it matter anyway, it’s just a bit of fun, for heaven’s sake. God I hate competitive sport.

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