Sunday, 13 May 2012

Active Kids Weekend: ACT Zone Cross Country

Previously I have written about how my girls Flash (9) and Muscles (7) qualified to compete for their school at the zone (district) cross-country carnival.

The zone carnival was held at a beautiful, and purpose built cross country running track called Stromlo Forest Park….There is quite an interesting history to this running track. It was designed by the Australian Marathon Champion, Robert De Castella (‘Deek’), After the Canberra bushfires in 2003 ( the year flash was born). The fire  destroyed over 500 homes and took four lives. Deek’s house was one of those destroyed in the fire.

Previously, Stromlo forest park was covered in majestic pine trees and reminded me of a scene from a Canadian tourism brochure. It was a glorious location for walking, running and mountain biking. After the fires, a group of us mountain bike riders tried to ride on our old trail. I will never forget what I saw….the devastation was absolutely mind-blowing…it was a grey luna-liker landscape as the forest had been razed to the ground by the horrific fire-storm.

Flash’s race was first. She and her two team mates lined up nervously at the start with the other girls and were off and running. Flash hit the bottom of the hill loop in about 3rd place as the pack ran out of sight.

….As a mum, these events are hard to watch…my heart is in my throat and my hands shake so that it’s difficult for my poor little camera to focus…..

Straining my neck, I managed to catch a few glimpses of that tell tale red pony-tail in the lead around the back of the course. Flash came into the finishing straight in the lead and even managed to find her way (she actually started running in the wrong direction) to the finishing line in first place! Flash’s teammate was in 3rd place too!! Flash had won her zone!

After a nervous wait, it was muscles turn…Muscles displayed a brave smile as her teacher led my baby girl to the start line of her first zone cross-country. The younger age groups treat the cross country like an extended sprint event and the pack took off like a rocket….

my little one reached the bend in first place as they ran out of site. I was wondering if she would last the distance!

Muscles reached the final turn in the lead and we could see by the look on her face that she was giving it everything she had! Muscles reached the finishing line in first place! 

 With wobbly legs and a red face she fell into my arms as she tried desperately to get her breath back…This was another moment I’ll never forget as we stood still together, mother supporting her daughter, amidst the moving crown of spectators.

I carried my little girl back to our school tent and you should have seen the look on her face….the look she gave us when we told her that her prize for winning, was to do the race AGAIN next month for the ACT School Championships…I thought she might have been about to cry….

…but now, she and Flash are counting down the days until the ACT cross country carnival next month…

One of the aims I have for this SportyMummy blog is to create a community of parents interested in sport and a healthy lifestyle for their children.

If your kids have participated in a sport or a fun energetic activity this week, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. You can also comment on the SportyMummy Facebook page. If you have written a blog post about a sport or activity your children have participated in this week, you can add it to the linky tool at the end of this post. It is my hope to create a supportive community that will also motivate others to get involved with an active lifestyle.


  1. Congratulations!! I love cross country, although every year i've gone out to Stromlo for trials, North Canberra, ACT finals, it's been the coldest day & windiest blizzard on earth. Very handy when you have 3 or 4 children running, bless my runners. My primary schoolers missed the trials as we were interstate so i was off the hook this year, but my high schooler will go, so i haven't escaped Stromlo entirely. As we're only in our 5th year in Canberra, Stromlo has always looked like new growth to us, it's certainly coming along & those massive homes as you drive into the entrance, are really coming along. Well done, see you at the ACT finals, pretty sure from memory they do primary & high school on the same day. Last year they ran the ASC (private high school trials) at Yarralumla - it was so beautiful. Love Posie

  2. I am constantly amazed at your gorgeous family everytime I visit your blog. Future Olympians I'm thinking :) xx

  3. Oh great news! loved my cross friend Jacki has told me about the exact tracks you explained. Now that your daughter has run it she will get her head around doing it again I am sure.x