In our day there was no cross country running until we got to High School. I still remember wondering why anyone would think it was a good idea to make an entire school run around a muddy paddock in the name of fun but it was yet another of those British traditions like standing to sing “God Save the Queen” that we once wholeheartedly embraced but I thought it too would perish for lack of participent buy-in. How wrong I was. School cross country running has grown to encompass even younger children and today just happened to be the annual event at Bribie Island State School and I was excited. Sophie was the most invested with a pair of new shoes and a special racing ponytail but I was next down the list. I wanted to see their school and I wanted to see them with their friends. Keith was not quite at my level though he did bring the video camera and didn’t want to be late, and Ruby was philosophically opposed to the whole thing because she knew in that bold knowing of a 9 year old, that she was build for speed not endurance. We arrived too late for the good parks which was reassuring because I’d been a bit worried we’d stick out in a thin crowd. Hah! Stick out? Amongst Australians? The prize for the loudest shouting went to the ‘Go Lila!” granny who despite a good, well rounded and very loud bass tone, wasn’t able to make Lila go any fast than she already was. One poor child had her mother run with her and one of the boys was almost-but-not-quite, called a sook by the bossy head of games – not for falling over and hurting his knee but for electing to limp to the side-line. This was the same man who insisted on calling the girls to order by saying, “Listen up Ladies.” I feel there are some areas of his personal development that fell by the wayside 20 years ago and will need to be addressed should he wish to advance into management. We watched our girls run and I am pleased to report the shoes and the ponytail stayed the distance and the sprinter came 5th.