A Record of Sorts

My mum rang recently to tell me about a long-standing school cross-country record that had been broken in my home town. I was interested, because if she was ringing to tell me, it was likely one of my peers’ records. I was therefore a little thrown when she said it was 23 years old – because that would be more like my Dad’s era… right?

As Mum was setting the scene I did some rapid calculations on that ‘23’ and was startled (and alarmed) to find it was NOT my Dad’s era at all – but mine! How did I age so fast?!?! (I really am NOT that old – it just sounds like it.)

At the same time my mind was running away, trying to imagine whose record it was. I was more than a little impressed. Twenty-three years is a long time for a record to stand.

And so I was caught unawares when Mum read the excerpt from the paper naming the long-time record holder…. naming me.

Yes… ME!

I who would have loved to break a record… used to wish and dream I broke a record… never knowingly broke a record…that same me… broke a record! And then held that record for the next 23 years. (That still sounds like an awfully long time.) And not for one moment of those years did I know that I held the Yr 9 Girl’s Cross-Country record at the Gayndah High School.

But the day that I find out I have a record to my name… it isn’t even mine to claim! I’ve been written out of the record books. (I think that’s kind of funny – for a writer.)

At the time I was caught between conflicting emotions – though I did give an instantaneous yelp and screech of excitement, just for a moment transported back 23 years to that High School Self…

I want to tell everyone… It’s so amazing/exciting.

Eeek! 23 years… What sort of admission of age is THAT!… Shhhh… Don’t tell anyone.

But 23 years… What a time to hold a record for… ME!

But it isn’t the record anymore …

But it was… and I held it… and it is still exciting…

Hmmm... Pick the tallest girl in the school.

As you can see, excitement won out. I’m still amazed – and a little bit sad to have never known. But mostly I’m laughing, because I love it. And it is a thrill.



  1. How come they didn’t tell you you had the record? All these years it could have been a fantastic conversation starter!
    “Did you know I have the record for the school’s cross country?”
    “Yes, it’s true, I have a lot of stamina.”

    I really wanted to win the Championship Race when I was in Grade 6. I didn’t. It could have been me and Gary Noitz standing there together, as champions. *sigh*


    • I’m not sure why I never knew… Only thing I can think is that it was the time where I was spinning out afterwards (I did one year) and was sent to lie down… and from there, I just never caught up with ‘the news’…

      Wish I could have kept my eyes open for the photo though!

      I bet Gary Noitz wished you’d won it too. 😉


  2. Hey Kat

    Firstly, congratulations for breaking that record 23 years ago. ( Even if you didn’t know – the school obviously kept a record! Wahooo!!!!)

    Second – go to the school and have you photie taken ( in colour) with the new record breaker!

    Third – I see the tallest girl in school was already a looker 23 years ago – wow – But I know the beautiful, intelligent women she has become today and I’m proud to call her my friend!

    Lastly – have a celebration party that your record lasted so long and then write about the whole thing – there has to be another picture book in this story somewhere!

    Hugs for both the record and the breaking of it.

    Bye 4 now


  3. What a very cool story. I’m in awe, as the one time I ran the 100-yard dash in middle school, my brother suggested that I “unstrap the piano off my back” the next time.

    Me? I was the geek that won the oratorical contest in sixth grade. 🙂


    • Brothers are so affirming – don’t you think? I have never looked at your posts or your pic and thought you were a geek. I always think you look stylish and ‘together’. But congrats on your oratoical success just the same, Miss Style Queen. 🙂


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