Apr 2, 2014

Cross Country

In year four, Eloise runs a kilometre-long cross-country race on a carnival day where all the children run in their allotted age groups with parents in attendance by the veritable cart-load all cheering on little Tarquin or Atticus or Cremona or whatever.

It's a chance for her to demonstrate her sporting prowess in the Alliterative Arena of Athletic Achievement. It merely requires her to run faster than everybody else, consistently over a kilometre, and the prize could be hers.

It goes like this: the report of the gun echoes across the field, the cheering begins: a high-pitched drone from the stands on the other side. They hare around the oval, and depart on the pavement for a circuit of the school, out of sight.

They approach from the other direction, one by one, then a pack, then the stragglers, then Eloise, then a couple more.

They run, or walk, or stagger back onto the field before crossing the finish line.

Well I always hated cross country when I was a boy.

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