We did our annual family run yesterday, 12 December. This was the 6th for me and my husband, the 12th for our boys. We started this tradition in 2006 when we first moved as a family to Switzerland but my husband (then my boyfriend) did the run together in 1996. That was my first charity run ever.
Anyway, Zurich Sylvesterlauf is translated into English as Zurich New Year’s Eve run but it actually occurs at the 3rd Advent Sunday each year.
“In this weather?” some people would ask the participants. But for running enthusiasts, there is no bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Still, we were glad that we had a relatively warm week of 4°C and above because all the snow had melted and the streets were not icy. Otherwise, the number of injuries would have been more than usual.
Every year, thousands of runners of all ages participate, from the beginners to the real pros. The activity runs through the whole day, with the kids and the amateurs running early in the day and the fast pros towards the end. Thanks to chip technology, the results are all in by the evening of the same day.
For the kids, they have the possibility to run the 1.4 km stretch with mom or dad or any adult for that matter. But as soon as they turn 6, they could run on their own. This is how our kids started at age 3.5 years but for the 2nd year in a row, they were running on their own. And proud of it.
I am so happy that my kids love to run and participate in these events. And I am glad to see so many other children like them participating. In their category of runners born in 2001 and later, there were almost 400 boys running.
Since ours boys started to run on their own, my husband and I ran the 5 x 1.4 km relay. I do 3 rounds, he does 2.
Every year, I notice how slow I am, people overtaking me all the time. This year, our kids made better time than we did. They averaged 4.3 min per kilometer, finishing in the upper 25% of their category. We elderly averaged 5 min per kilometer, clearly at the bottom of the pack.
It is so fascinating to see who participates in the “He and She Relay” category. While waiting for my second round, I saw a man handing over the running chip to a woman, presumably his wife, who in turn, handed him over a little pink bundle – a little baby. Then she was off to do her round while Daddy watched the baby and waited for his next turn. That was lovely to see. (By the way, buggies and prams are not allowed during the runs for safety reasons). I am pretty sure that in a couple of years’ time, that little girl will be doing the run with her parents.
During the relay, my husband and I also took turns on keeping an eye on my boys, who finished their run 2 hours earlier. Last year, they watched us run but this year they knew it would be so boring especially as their parents are too slow. So they squatted in a corner close by to play with their Dad’s blackberry till their old parents were finally finished with their run.
Other unusual teams I saw at the He and She relay were a Daddy and daughter team and a Mommy and son team.
Again, this is a great family tradition to start and to have.