School held its inter-house cross country competition last week. We are a small school (130 boys) and the only school on the island to do this. We all went up to l'Ancresse Common in the north of the island, on the edge of the beach.
The course was short - less than a kilometre - with a gentle upward slope, then a steep downhill and up again before heading for home and hundreds of adoring parents. The excitement was palpable as the boys swarmed over the common like multicoloured rabbits in their red, blue, yellow and green house colours.
I was a marshall at the bottom of the steep hill. This job definitely had a downside: I had no view at all of the sparkling blue sea on the other side of it. My job: to pick up any pieces of small boy which might come a cropper and to encourage them to keep going up the other side - by this stage many had given up running.
Result: one lost shoe on the downward slide; one refusal to run at all - even downhill (the boy kept up the same walking pace all the way round the course); one tumble, quickly up again; and one slightly twisted ankle. The boy who hurt his ankle has the lowest pain threshold I have ever come across, spending more time in the first aid room at school than anyone else, so this was a huge drama. However, by the time he had continued to limp round the course, as to carry on was the shortest way to get back to the start, he was almost completely better.
The best bit of the day: cycling home along the coast path and through the lanes in the brilliant sunshine.