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The Great South Mini Run


I am an extremely proud father. At 8 years old, Jack took part in the Great South Mini Run, a distance of 1.5 km, and ran the entire distance wearing an extremely cumbersome and challenging Darth Vader costume.

Given that it was Jack’s obsession with Star Wars which spurred me to don the Stormtrooper costume for my charity runs, it was probably only fair that he had a go himself. We had a long think about whether he wanted to go as Darth Vader or a Stormtrooper. (I did try suggesting he could go as Princess Leia, but he didn’t take too kindly to the idea.) In the end he decided he wanted to be my boss, and so Darth Vader it was.

The Great South Mini Run took place on the Saturday before the Great South Run, and starts from the same point. Jack was extremely excited – but so professional! He knows that when I’m in costume I never take the helmet off, and remain in character the whole time. He did exactly the same. The helmet stayed on before the run, and all the way through it. Even though the helmet was extremely uncomfortable, hurt his nose, made it very hard to see anything, made it difficult to breathe, was hot, noisy, uncofrtable and generally a real pain! What a trooper.

He enjoyed himself, and the crowds were so supportive, cheering him on and applauding, which I am sure helped spur him along.

As he crossed the finishing line one of the organisers of the race approached him and handed him an envelope. He had been chosen as the winner of that year’s Fancy Dress competition! Each year they award a prize to the child who wears the best costume for the race. The prize was a free entry into next year’s race (worth about £25).

However – next year he will be 9, and so he will be too old for the Mini Run. Instead he’ll be doing the Great South Junior Run, a distance of 2.5km, and he will have to do it all without me running with him!

Well done again Jack – you were a real hero, and certainly made a lot of people smile, and really stood out. Here’s to next year!

Some photographs of him in costume before, during and after the race are below:

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