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“Running to stand still”

Marathons. Not Snickers. Marathons. Damn Pheidippides. Never trust a Greek bearing gifts, particularly when it’s a hundred hands high horse (or Hattori Hanzō sword), or an offer of a comes-up-peanuts-slice-after-slice  enduring endurance event.  Incidentally who, in the name of all that is 30%-cocoa-solid holy, slices a peanut-packed, nougat nosh?  Slice after slice?  It’s not a loaf of bread.  For good reason, Jesus (I’m not taking his name in vain here, I’m introducing him into the narrative; keep up) did not feed the five thousand with a multipack of chocolate bars and two fishes, because they would have starved!  You try slicing five Snickers amongst five thousand people.  Someone will be left out and they’ll probably complain about it too.  And those that do get a morsel, well the slice would be so thin, and what with the high day time temperatures in the Holy Land, a meltdown would be inevitable (because I’m sure as creme eggs is creme eggs He didn’t think to bring a cool box to the party).  Should have brought Minstrels, mate!  Now, those He could have shared out much more easily, but I suspect more than five bags would have been required.

Anyway, I’m currently training for my 98th Marathon, although I have to confess that 94 of these may have involved no more effort than a trip to the newsagent, an entry fee of circa 50p and the arduous task of peeling off a cellophane wrapper.  Dammit, I’ve wandered off topic, back down the confectionery route.  These things are so easily confused.  I do wish Pheidippides had not run to a place with the same name as one of the more popular 1970s chocolate bars.  If he’d run to Mile End say, it would have been much easier to remember and I think the Virgin London Mile would have been somewhat easier to complete too.

Incidentally, chocolate-trivia fans, in 2008, Mars revived the name Marathon to brand a new range of energy/protein bars; “powered by Snickers” they said.  No, I don’t know what that means either.

In truth (or in Wikipedia, which passes for truth in the pot-holed information supermilkyhighway of the 21st century) Pheidippides ran an ultra, not a marathon.  He ran 150 miles in two days and then ran 25 miles from Snickers (sorry, Marathon) to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia.  Then he dropped dead.  Ran to a stand still, if you will.  That’s not part of my plan, not part of my schedule, not an element in my 16-week, Runners World-endorsed, training programme.  Nowhere in the plan does it say run 26.2 miles, cross finish line, keel over, draw one final breath, sigh, say something memorable like “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do” or “You’re my wife now, Dave” and then shuffle off this mortal coil accompanied by a heavenly host of angels (as opposed to “Angels” because if that’s playing I’m off to meet Robert Johnson at the crossroads and get me the number of the dude down below).  So I don’t intend to.  If it’s not on the schedule it’s not going to happen.  Kapeesh?

Okay, my Mizunos are calling me, the tarmac beckons.  One more long, long, long run, a bit of tapering, one killer Sunday morning and then I can stand still.  And I will. For a little bit, at least.

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