bore da bigmoose ffrindiau, 

which is good morning bigmoose friends in welsh, which as england got beaten in the rugby by my hosts for the last twenty five years, and are now out of the rugby world cup, i probably owe them some space in recognition in my blog.

last saturday i had a gaggle of english mates come down to stay as we prepped for sundays cardiff half marathon, and i decided, foolishly some would say, to have a carbohydrate party for all of our bigmoose runners.

this consisted of zero alcohol, jacket potatoes, stir fried chicken and rice, chilli, and garlic bread, all designed to fuel our bodies up sufficiently to sustain a 13.1 mile race the following day.

the reason it could have been a foolish idea was that the gaffer was away grafting in scotland, and the feeding of the team bigmoose runners was going to be down to me and chloe.

for those of you who don't know chloe, she is my 20 year old daughter, and she is tenacious to a t.

now i don't think i've told this story in my blog, but if i have just skip over it, but i love it as it personifies her character very well.

when chloe was three years old and at nursery tania and i had one of those super proud moments as the nursery school teacher pulled us to one side one frosty december morning, and proceeded to inform us that they had chosen chloe to play mary in the nursery nativity play this year.

now fellow parents will know, this was a biggy, you only get one shot at this one, and i physically felt my chest puffing out with pride.

i knew it, chloe was totally 'mary material'

'but there's a problem', said mrs pinches, her nursery school teacher with a rather unfortunate name for the position i always thought.

'a problem?' tania and i said unrehearsed.

'yes, unfortunately she won't wear the blue dress'

the blue dress, bigmoose friend and confidante, was the dress that traditionally this nursery school gave to the mary in their play, and chloe wasn't going to wear it.

'she just won't wear it, said mrs p, and we can't change the rules just for chloe'

inside i laughed, which probably wasn't very mature of me, but the thought of little chloe having a standoff with this quinquagenarian implementer of education made me chuckle.

'leave it to me mrs pinches, i will have a word', i confidently said, as i saw the look of despair of a woman beaten standing in front of me.

tania and i walked to the car, with if i'm really honest a mixture of pride, and amazement as this offspring of ours, who at three knew her mind more than most adults we knew.

'now chloe, you are going to have to give in on this one baby', i said, as we discussed the situation man to three year old.

mrs pinches tradition is to have mary wear the blue dress, and it's a really pretty dress anyway, and you'll look great, and we will be so proud of you' i waffled on.

chloe was having none of it, 'dad, you haven't even seen the dress it's horrible, and i'm not wearing it'.

after much negotiating we concluded we were not going to win this one, she was not wearing the blue dress, and believe me we tried all tactics known to us, but chloe stood steadfast, and being a mere angel with a bit part in a white dress would be a burden she would have to carry for the rest of her life.

'i'm really sorry mrs pinches, she won't wear the dress, we tried, but she just won't', i admitted rasher ashamedly that i had no control over this child aged three's decision making process, and as mrs pinches talked of how they 'just couldn't allow her to win this one. it was a matter of principal', i was thinking of these consequences could affect the whole of chloe's life.

as we filed into the nursery with all the other proud parents for the festive play, it was with a heavy heart that we saw chloe shuffle in behind mary, looking beautiful in her white dress and doing a cheeky subtle wave when she saw us in the audience.

we waved back, proud of our baby, and we watched as the acting feast was laid before us.

unfortunately, mary had a few issues with her lines, and the prompter was kept quite busy, but nobody cared, as this was a three year olds nativity play for goodness sake, and the audience stood to give their ovation, as all parents should at school plays i think.

we collected chloe, and walked into the crisp winter air we showering her with kisses as we told her how proud of her we were and how pretty she had looked, and it was only mid journey she decided to, just for old times sake it seemed, remind us of how many times poor mary had forgotten her lines, and i still don't know if she was playing us as she said it was 'such shame that they hadn't let her wear the white dress' and as i looked in my rear view mirror i felt sure i saw her wink at me.

'chloe, i've invited about thirty people over for a pre race party'.

'have you now, and mum's away?'

'yeah'

what am i cooking then'

'thanks chloe', and i winked at her.

the food was amazing, obviously, and drew comments and superlatives from one and all as they devoured their pre run fuel, and bonded with each other, in a way i had dreamed would happen, and with the help of chloe's bezzie beth they catered for all my chums brilliantly.

everybody was fired up for the race, and left quite early. suitably nourished, and to get to bed early.

as we approached the start line we sneaked into shot where gareth thomas aka alfie, a reknowned ex welsh international rugby player was shooting a documentary.

alfies angels were a group of women, mostly overweight, who were running the half as a journey, where the documentary had followed them in a similar fashion to our path with rory.

we photobombed them, and hopefully will be on tonights tv show, very subtly obviously!

i ran the race with the shy retiring young lady with her arms in the air, nadine, who herself was on a personal journey of discovery, as her schooldays had left her mentally scarred when it came to sport, but she rocked it, and finished the race running all the way not walking one single step.

at around mile 9 donna, who i have mentioned before was my inspiration to have a team in this race, caught us up, and i ran the last few miles as nads sped off into the distance.

donna was finding it tough, but totally ground out the last miles, again not stopping and being very proud of running every step as she crossed the finish line.

our team consisted of some amazingly strong individuals, and some great runners, and pb's tumbled as the rory factor came into play, and here is a video of one of our guys nick semmens before he started training with rory.

unfortunately nick didn't achieve 1:29:30, but fortunately he achieved 1:24:35, how flipping amazing is that!!!

so the race finished and the feedback has been that running as a team was great, so we may well do it again next year if you fancy a challenge drop us a line.

so what's next?

well, we have just announced our supertri 2 which take place on 20th december, and i will write more about that next week, but for now if you would like details please contact chloe@bigmoose.co as i have decided to let chloe run this whole event, there is this something that tells me she will make a brilliant job of it :)

so until next week, i'm outta here, have a great week, and i hope some of the team bigmoose crew have inspired you in some way.

blue skies,

jeff



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