Mini-Mos 2013

Today was the day of the event that I was meant to be running in before injuries led to a late scratching.

The 10km (6.2 miles) race was at 7am this morning and it would have been helpful if Carl and I hadn’t lingered at a dinner party until 1.30am the night before as having to rise at 5.45am wasn’t easy.

Across the line he goes

Across the line he goes

Once out of bed we were moving very slowly as Carl had the hangover from hell (told him not to have those glasses of port) and I was hobbling on the less injured of my two legs.  When we arrived at the event all 800 or so competitors were already in a tightly packed position behind the starting line and it looked like Alfie was going to have to go right to the back of the pack.  But I dragged him by the hand, slipped us under a barricade, went up to the runners in the very front row and said, ‘Excuse me, this little guy is the youngest competitor in this event; could you just move over and find a space for him?’  And they inched a little this way and that giving my little guy all the space he needed.  Sorted.

The crowd at the finish

The crowd at the finish

I was barely out of the way when the race started and off they went.  I tried to follow Alfie on his push bike but the seat was down too low for me and the chain came off the bike so it was a struggle until I found a passerby and asked him to render assistance.  Bike repairs sorted I managed to catch up to Alfie and yelled out words of encouragement before peddling on to the next stage of the race where I’d wait for him to pass by me again.  I have to say he did seem to make jogging look fairly effortless.

Being interviewed after his finish

Being interviewed after his finish

After yelling encouragement at the 9th kilometre where there was a steep incline, I hurried on to the finish line and waited for him.  He crossed the line in 55.58 minutes taking around 10 minutes off his time from when he ran the course with me.

The race announcer seemed very surprised to see such a wee wisp of a lad cross the finish line in under 60 minutes and was super-impressed with Alfie’s effort and interviewed him on the spot.  There’s every chance you might hear an overly-enthusiastic mother yelling out, ‘Well done’.

Nerf Wars

Nerf Wars

After I had recovered from all the excitement, Alfie went on all the rides and activities the event had to offer.  How he had the energy to go up and down the rock climbing wall is beyond me.

Trying the rowing machines

Trying the rowing machines

A runner's reward

A runner’s reward

Climbing high

Climbing high

Then Pat Farmer, ultra-marathon runner, adventurer and ambassador of Mini-Mos 2013 heard that an eight-year old boy had completed the race in less than 60 minutes.  He said he wanted to meet that little boy.  Alfie, with pizza remnants all around his mouth hurried over to where Pat Farmer was.  This incredible man who ran from the North Pole to the South Pole running the equivalent of two marathons a day for the best part of a year, shook Alfie’s hand and congratulated him.  He said, ‘Congratulations.  Well done and I’d like to give you something’.  He presented Alfie with a copy of his book, Pole to Pole and wrote the following inscription in it:  ‘To Alfie, Never ever give up on your dreams.  Best wishes from Pat Farmer’.


Signing a book as a gift for Alfie

And he spent some time showing Alfie some of the pictures in his book like the time his son was able to visit and what the North Pole looks like and the moment he reached the pole at the bottom of the world.  Alfie was mesmerised and then Pat said to him, ‘Alfie, I believe you’re destined for greatness.’  What powerful words to speak into the life of an eight-year old.

With Pat Farmer

With Pat Farmer

We thanked Pat very much then it was time for Alfie to have a few more rides, re-fuel on more food from the stalls, then head home where ever since, he has had his head in Pole to Pole.

A 29 second ride on the bucking bull

A 29 second ride on the bucking bull

It was a wonderful day and I realised Alfie didn’t need me jogging beside him – he’s perfectly capable of running his own race.

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  1. Charlie, this is your best post ever. I was so excited when you posted the clip on Twitter. What a STAR Alfie is, congratulations! I can’t imagine running that fast and he’s only 8 years old! Marathons, here we come! (Note to Alfie: Mum isn’t going to run them with you!). xxx

  2. PS. When he wins his first Olympic marathon, those of us who have read your post today will just smile and nod knowingly.. 🙂

  3. I don’t often tear up reading posts, but hey Charlie, and hey Alfie, you did something special there both of you. Brilliant!!! xxx

  4. That’s fantastic! What a great achievement (and how great he can do it oh his own ;-)). Top effort all round.

  5. Aw, congrats, Alfie! What an amazing little runner he is! Can’t wait to hear about when he wins his first marathon 😉

  6. Danielle says:

    Just simply: awesome! Congratulations to Alfie, what a brilliant achievement and a day he is not likely to forget in a hurry.

  7. “Destined for greatness…” what wonderful encouraging words. Well done, Alfie. And well done, Mom, for realizing Alfie could manage on his own.

  8. Terrific post! Congrats to Alfie. And to you and Carl for raising such a wonderful kid.

  9. Congratulations to Alfie!! That run was quite the accomplishment, I wish I was a mere wisp of a lass so I could run like the wind too!

  10. Congratulations, Alfie. You’re a champion … never give up your dreams whatever they may be. And, Alfie, give a big hug to your mum who hauled her old bones out early in the morning for those practice runs. 🙂

    I listened to the video for a second time cause I wanted to hear that enthusiastic ‘well done’. Charlie, even at the very last moment, you were there for Alfie getting him into a good post position to start the race. That’s a mark of a terrifically supportive mum. Well done to you too.

  11. Congratulations Alfie! What powerful words there were there! I’m sure he is destined to greatness!

  12. Congratulations Alfie, that is wonderful!
    He is going to go so far!

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. How fabulous! Hip, hip, hooray for Alfie and I hope he has found a hero to inspire his dreams…well actually, two heroes…you and Pat! 😉

  14. Wonderful job Alfie! Lucky you didn’t run too Charlie, you would only have held him back! 🙂 How lovely of Pat Farmer to take the time to speak into Alfie’s world. That type of positive reinforcement from a hero is something that will stick with him for ever. Great job xox

  15. You must be so proud and Alfie, well, it looks like he is destined for great things. How amazing to be sought out for such great encouragement, he must be feeling fantastic. What great kids you have Charlie. GG xx

  16. He is such the biggest champ. GO ALFIE!!

  17. Well done to Mr. Alfie! You must be so proud, Charlie 🙂

  18. He is a chip off the old block! How proud you must be. What a special young man – but he probably took it all in his stride. Special words like Pat Farmer’s he will remember forever. I will look forward to watching his career into the future. But there is more often than not a good mum and dad behind special children. Well done mum. (Would have loved to have seen you on that bike! you needed a medal for that too.)

  19. Great interview!

  20. What an utterly delightful post! I was so excited to be able to hear Alfie speak, and was happy with two words. Just a joy to see him. What a lovely, happy story. Hope your injuries heal quickly!

  21. Aww well done!! What a fantastic achievement Alfie! 😀 I hope your injuries heal quickly Charlie. Is it really painful just to walk still?

  22. Wow what a proud moment for mum and dad, I felt proud and don’t even know you lol. Well done Alfie 🙂

  23. Hooray for Alfie! He IS destined for greatness. What a wonderful day for you all!

  24. Well done Alfie! You have A LOT to be proud of and a great read today too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  25. Pat Farmer is my hero for what he said to Alfie. My god.. that will stick in the back of his mind forever. What an incredible win for a child who did the 10k in under an hour.

    You two must be so proud.. even with a hangover. 🙂

  26. Late as usual!! What can I say? I was scrolling and laughing until I came to the interview and the book and really realized what your son had accomplished . . . kudos to son and to the parents . . . just geart!

  27. Wow!! What an amazing morning, and congratulations to Alfie on what is really a very impressive effort for someone so young. I am so glad Pat Farmer took the time to congratulate him too. Hopefully the festivities even made you forget (a bit?!) your ankle and Carl his head!

  28. Congratulations Alfie!
    Hope that mum and dad are feeling better!
    Charlie, you made me tear up at breakfast! Good writing… I hope to one write with as much clarity and passion as you do.

  29. Your day sounded like it started out kind of rocky but in the end. “You have to believe Alfie that you destined to greatness.” was a strong finish!

  30. Well done Alife – you are a super star and marathon runner in the making!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  31. Congratulations! What a beautiful post, this should be very proud of moments and memories for you all. Blessing and Happiness, Thank you, love, nia

  32. What a little champion!!
    You should be so proud, let him know I think he will be a future Olympian!

  33. Congratulations Alfie, what an amazing day. You must have been beaming from ear to ear Charlie. I’m so happy for you, surely worth the pain and agony you had to endure.

  34. What a great post and what a fantastic achievement. Alfie has always had fans here, but he’s won us all over again. Well done!

  35. What a fantastic day for Alfie and how cool was his meeting with Pat Farmer? I’d never heard of the gentleman before this and now I think the world of him. Charlie, while it’s true he may be perfectly capable of running his own race, he’ll never not need his Mum. 😉

  36. I’m so excited for him and as proud as an Aunty, can I be a digital Aunty ? Hope you recuperate soon. Well done the wee speedie.

  37. Rough having to get up that early, wow!! He looks so adorable in his running outfit! Congratulations! 🙂

  38. Charlie what a wonderful achievement for young Alfie and what a memorable encounter for him. I think anyone who has the perseverance to do that run is indeed destined for something pretty special.

  39. This made me really teary Charlie. How beautiful was Pat Farmer and hopefully how prophetic. Alfie does seem to take things in his stride, he is a wonderful boy Charlie x ( PS when is Rent?)

  40. Cheers for Alfie!!!!! …. but I would have enjoyed some port with Carl.

  41. What an amazing day for the lad, I agree that he is destined for greatness. Hope your legs are healing.

  42. How great is that, Charlie! How exciting for Alfie to do so well and to be so recognized for it. He’ll never forget that day! Tell him that a lady in Minnesota, USA, thinks he’s terrific! (Though tell him that he’d be terrific no matter if he’d done so well or not…I don’t want him feeling like his worth depends on how fast he can run!!!) 🙂

  43. Congratulations to Alfie and also Congratulations to Mom and Dad. You both did a superb job raising your 3 kids.
    Alfie is a very determined kid, knows what he wants and works towards his goal. He will “Never ever give up on your dreams”.
    I am so happy for you.

  44. OMG Alfie has his future secured in the Iron man competition 🙂
    Congratulations to him and his proud parents, this was a real achievement!

  45. Well Done Alfie! So proud of him! I don’t think I could ever run any marathon let alone a 10km and still have the energy to climb the mountain but pizza is definitely a good reward did he get any sweets as well?? 🙂 I hope you’ve recovered Charlie and not overworking your legs again!

  46. Charlie you must be so proud of the little guy. That is absolutely fantastic! And absolutely wonderful of Pat Farmer to talk with him and give him his book. It’s moments like that really do breathe inspiration into people.

    Ps. Alfie is looking very much like big brother isn’t he 🙂

  47. sigh…my long comment just got eaten.

    A big congratulations to the little guy and to the proudest Mum 🙂
    That’s such a wonderful accomplishment.

  48. Congratulations Alfie…what an achievement…you must be very proud of him 😀
    Hope your legs are better…
    Enjoy your week my dear 🙂

  49. What an absolute champion and I believe Pat Farmer. Watch this space. How very exciting and I bet he remembers that day for the rest of his life.

  50. this is such a lovely post! congrats alfie and pat farmer is such an inspiration!

  51. Congratulations! What a wonderful achievement!
    I too believe he is destined for greatness and he has a wonderful mom to support him along that journey

  52. i cannot tell you how much I LOVE this post Charlie. You must have been absolutely bursting with pride xx

  53. Oh goodness! And now you do have me crying. I’m just so proud of Alfie! That is quite an accomplishment for his age. He’s a natural. And what a fabulous thing for Mr. Farmer to say to him. He is certainly destined for greatness. Off to dry these tears now. 😉

  54. Congrats Alfie! Wow, I’m so proud of him! Reading your stories on your blog, I feel like all of your children are destined for greatness! This kind of great accomplishment will be remembered and give lots of confidence in the future. Great job to parents and Alfie!

  55. Great last sentence – he is more than capable of running his own race. What a special boy and what a great experience for him from go to whoa with Pat Farmer.

  56. Well done, lucky the weather was good. Better than this weekend, and Carl!!! does it again


  1. […] in pain, just pull out of the race’. I looked at him like he was mad.  I said, ‘I had to pull out of this race last year; I’m not pulling out this year’. And he said, ‘Better to pull out than cripple […]

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