Sunday, July 6, 2014

The sporting life

Like most families, our life seems to be organized around the kids school and sport.  Both boys join any team they are asked to join and do a few things outside of school as well.  They both excel at different things -- but both do athletics (track + field), field hockey, football/soccer, swimming, volleyball and cross country for the school teams.  They play on soccer teams outside of school as well.  O this year shocked us all by doing the 'Ultra' triathlon on his own while little brother stuck with a shorter race and also raced for a team.  

Some highlights as the kids wrapped up the school year.

O and I after he finished his cross country race. He takes XC pretty seriously but really doesn't have much opportunity to train before the two or three big races that the school team competes on.  (This could change next year when our friends return to Zambia after a year in the US...and after a year of proper XC and long distance running, training and coaching.  This is going to be an exciting new thing for us!)

The little brother competed in his first XC race this year as well, I think the race was one mile.  He ran well and took the even very very very seriously (which is to say, NOT AT ALL serisously -- see his pre-race routine, below...wrestling with his buddy and eating popcorn). But that at age 8 he can line up and run a new race course and finish well (and a-hem, SPRINTING) says something about him.

Next in line is hockey:  the boys LOVE hockey.  We know next to nothing about it still.  The rules are complicated and it looks dangerous.  (In fact it IS dangerous!)

The annual triathlon in Apil is always a highlight of the sporting season for the whole family.  This year, because of a glitch in the signing-up system three boys, including O, signed up for the adults-only "ULTRA" distance triathlon. The race organizers thought to exclude them (and have them do the shorter race instead) but thought again because they know each of these three boys.  It ended up being a real highlight of the year for the kids: a genuine challenge...something that really pushed them mentally and physically.

 800m swim.  In a pool!  This is unusual for a triathlon but when every open water swim possibility would involve the genuine added "loss of limbs" and "loss of life" challenge, a pool swim is positively the only way to go.  No crocs, no hippos, nothing else that a can kill you.

 20km cycle.  The bike course is also unusual (off-road, in-the-bush, technical mountain bike course) and makes up for the swim-in-your-own-lane-pool-swim in technical challenges -- with the added danger of being eaten by a python or attacked by rabid dogs.

The run is also cross-country/off road.  He's the big guy crossing the finish line.  He sprinted the last 400 was a pretty darn awesome finish.  HE WAS TIRED.  (but what did the kids all do when they got home?  played soccer and swam for hours)

Above: 2/3 of the Love&Toast team waiting for our cyclist...I swam (slowly) and TS ran (WITH her purse....she couldn't find the iPod holder) and Anna cycled - with a satin cape. Because, you know, we're so cool like that. Below (Love & Toast post-race w/ our support team.)

Serious athletes, waiting to swim.

Team THUNDER cleaned up in their team and individual races! 
"What are we going to do with all these medals??"

Then there's FIELD HOCKEY!  It's the favourite sport that the parents know next to nothing about.  It's really difficult to get a good photo of field hockey.

The Boys Under-10 team won this particular tournament...maybe they won the whole league.  We don't know...we don't understand this sport but we do know that alll the tournaments count toward one final score for the year...and we think they "won it all."

 You just TRY to get a good photo of a boy running after a ball with a stick and a black mouth guard!  I dare you!

Back to team swimming  This was a fun gala out at Martin House, a boarding school in Chisamba.
 BUTTERFLY!  What a rock star.

aren't you tired just looking at the photos?

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