Friday, February 12, 2010

Great North Dummy

Well, I've finally succumbed...

The week before last, alarmed by my ever-growing gut, feelings of sloth, and under pressure from two siblings who have been bitten by the fitness bug, I entered the ballot for the Great North Run, the world's biggest half-marathon, through the once smog-soaked streets of Newcastle in September. It's a big event, second only to the London Marathon in stature, with around 52,000 participants.. It's even shown live on TV. Pah, I thought, submitting my application online, hundreds of thousands of fanatical joggers will be entering. My thinking was, 'Entering will make me look like I'm keen to get fit, but, when my name doesn't come out of the hat I can shrug manfully and say 'Oh well' and get stuck in to the nearest Cornish Pasty.'

Of course, I was chosen. I still got stuck into the nearest Cornish pasty, but as I wiped the last crumb from my cheek, I also fished out an old pair of running shoes, underused, coated in dust. At least they still fit, my feet being one of the few places not to have grown and spread over recent times. Now I just need a training regime. I haven't got one yet but I did load lots of tunes on to my MP3 player so I'm halfway there. Next on my list of priorities is a quiet, uninhabited part of west London where no one knows me, and my ruddy-cheeked wheezing can remain a shameful secret.

I promise not to bore you with my progress, like some other writers I know ('What I Talk I About When I Talk About Running?' Leave it out, Haruki. First of all I won't be able to talk when I'm running, unless it's to beg for medical help Jim Fixx style. Secondly, when I do get my breath back, the first thing I'll talk about is what's for supper. Then how I'm never going to run again once I've done this marathon.) However, I will let you know how the race goes, with maybe some nice pictures of blistered feet, though maybe that's part of secret London that should forever remain hidden.

This craziness will be for a higher purpose though. I will be running to raise money for Breast Cancer research. A subject close to my heart. This article explains why


Dan - Friday


  1. Dan - I am glad that you and Dougie are recovering from such a loss.

    One of my brothers died suddenly when he was 37. His kids were 10, 9, 7(all boys) and an 18 month-old daughter. The adults in the family weren't processing the death. How could he be there one minute and then gone? How much less so could the kids?

    The thing that helped the kids and my other brothers the most was telling the stories of the things he did, or got up to, to be more exact. The stories were funny and the kids couldn't hear them often enough.

    His daughter, of course, has no memory of him but she thinks she does. She has absorbed the stories and created for herself the father she didn't get to know.

  2. I think the reasoning behind the run itself is a noble and wonderous one. After reading how you explained things to your son after the loss of his mother, I can't help but commend you on helping him adjust so well. Not an easy task. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. Thanks for the comments as always. Sorry to be delayed in responding but it's half term school holidays and we've been away.

    beth, so sorry to hear of your brother. Stories are always the best way of commemorating and remembering the dead. As for your niece, Dougie is the same. I think much of what he recounts he has been told rather than experienced. It is always my biggest regret that he never got to know his mum properly. She was a remarkable woman and he would have benefited immensely from her love, as I did.

    Indigo, thanks.