I now better appreciate the loneliness of the long distance runner. Going for a lengthy jog with just your internal monologue for company is one of the few precious moments of peace and quiet one is likely to get from the hectic chaos of modern life. Head down, switch off, think about how to start that Turrican review. Bliss!
The reason for this appreciation of the lonesome jogger follows my participation in the British 10k run last Sunday. Here, as one small human amoeba amongst many, the internal monologue suffers from way too much interference to enjoy said run, particular when it turns into a never-ending game of dodgems. The pre-race pack highlighted keep to the right if you were likely to pootle around the course like a well-fed buffalo, but obviously some people lack the ability to read. Or are just morons! Stopping to walk in the middle of the course forcing other runners into immediate action to avoid a collision is a little like that bit in Jedi when Lando recognises the Death Star shields are still up. Fucking annoying! Get out of the way you great galoot!
So, instead of a nice enjoyable run taking in the sites of central London, this 10k was more an exasperating affair of having to take constant action to avoid slower runners and walkers. Worst of all most of these drongos were wearing headphones (I still don’t understand why people do this – does it not play hell with your natural running movements and breathing?) minimising the chance they’ll be able to hear the herd of elephants behind them and skip politely out of the way. My elbows are bruised from all the near-misses. On two occasions my ankles were almost wrapped around the metal fences keeping the watching punters out. And between the 6k mark and 8k mark it absolutely chucked it down. I presume this is what hell is probably like.
Still, despite the frequent side-stepping and speeding up to get through tiny gaps before they were swallowed up by a mass of large sweaty bodies, I got round in 50 minutes 36 seconds and have raised just under £200 so far for Independent Age. Not bad for only two and half weeks training (that’s six runs starting with a three miler) after the missus signed me up for it. And the main perk is the little beer gut has receded slightly and I’m looking more buff than I have done since 2003. So I’m off out for a run tonight – come October this year there’s the possibility of a half marathon and running the gauntlet through another bunch of inconsiderate berks messing with my karma. The loneliness of the longest distance runner is certainly the calm before the storm…
I’m still looking for donations following the British 10k (my target was £350), so if you want to give a little to a worthy charity fighting the good fight for older people against a ruthless government of millionaire public school twonks that don’t give a shit, do it at the following link: