The Day I Didn't Want to Run


"Come on, it is time to go out running," Gemma-Rose calls up to me, from the bottom bunk. I groan and roll over in my bed. Maybe if I pretend to be asleep she will go away. No such luck. Gemma-Rose knows I am awake.

I drag myself out of my nice warm bed and over to my chest of drawers to get my running clothes. I am secretly hoping that it will rain like yesterday and we won't be able to go out. Again no luck.

I pull my shoes on to my feet and do up the laces. I am trying not to think of my nice warm bed or my head which is aching.

I pick up my water bottle and head out the door with everyone else. Mum is smiling round at all of us, trying to make us feel better about getting up early to run.

"Shall we run on the main fire trail or shall we run laps of the shorter bush track?" Mum asks. Everyone votes to run on the shorter track. The main fire trail has lots of hills and is much harder work.

We run into the bush and I am in the lead, but I am tired and soon Imogen and Gemma-Rose, who are running together, overtake me.

After three laps I am thinking I would like to stop, but determination keeps me running.

Mum overtakes me, but I tell myself that will never do and I run faster, so that I don't fall too far behind. To my surprise I overtake Mum.

After five laps I think about having a drink break, but I don't stop. I keep running. I pretend I am on the treadmill and I can't stop for drink breaks. It keeps me going for a couple more laps.

At seven laps I start telling myself that I will stop when I get to eight. I am sure I am going to stop once that lap is finished.

But when I finish my eighth lap, I decide to run one more. I am so tired that any walker could overtake me, but I make myself keep running with the thought of breakfast.

As I run out of the trees and over to the bench, where we leave our water bottles, I see everyone else has finished running. Mum is standing at the finish line with her iPod. I wonder what she is doing. It looks like she is filming me or taking photos. I pick up the speed in case she is filming.

I run past Mum and around the trees faster than I thought would be possible. I start to sprint and race the last bit back to the finish where the other girls are waiting. I smile to myself as I pick up my water bottle.

It turns out that everyone had stopped at eight laps, and only I went for the ninth. I am glad I made the extra effort to run the last lap.

We walk off home together. I am still puffing and panting, but happy. I am glad I came, even if I had a head ache and was tired. If I had stayed in bed I would not have been able to beat everyone and make that record. I would not have run 5.4 km!

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