I went to the track for the first time in 5 months today. That isn't to say that I ran on the track. It's school sports season in Wellington. This means—one rubber track in the city—that occasionally the track is occupied by high school students doing track and field events. I had a premonition this was going to be the case as I jogged up there, seeing a lot of girls in colorful outfits heading up to the park.
So I did my workout on the soccer field above the track. This was less than ideal, with some tight turns; but first interval workout in 5 months it was probably OK not to know I was a couple of seconds off the pace. The long side of a soccer field is 100m, so you can check your pace. As I jogged around in between my 5 x 1000m and 4 x 400m repeats I got to watch the Wellington East Girls sports get started. Nowadays, befitting its location "East" is a very multi-cultural school with Maori, Pacific Island, Asian, Somali, and European students. But it also has "houses," which American readers may or may not be familiar with. Houses are vertical divisions of a school (as opposed to horizontal grade/age divisions), sometimes reflecting literally where the students slept, if it was a boarding school. But for most purposes "houses" in schools were to organize competitive sports and culture. Few modern schools in New Zealand have houses. The high school I attended, started well into the 1950s, didn't have them. But any school originating before World War II probably did, and maybe still does, like Wellington East. Well, the funny thing, after all that explanation, is that East is very multicultural, but the house names commemorate long-deceased, British-born governors of New Zealand. So, as I ambled around the soccer field I got to hear a diversity of accents screaming "Go Onslow," "Go Bledisloe," "Go Jellicoe! The girls were really getting into the spirit of things, and as they started the 60m sprint the gun fired, and then the gun fired again. False start, I knew, even from the top field. But not most of the girls in the race, who tore off down to the finish, while one girl stopped, and waited for the others to stop. The girls in the stands just kept on cheering for the dead Lords and Governors. This commotion caused the announcer to cry out "Girls, girls, girls, you have to be quiet when the races are starting!!!" And then they ran the race again ...Posted by eroberts at February 27, 2008 6:54 PM | TrackBack