Blue Spots on Parade

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The discussion went something like this:

'Dave, are you running the Horton Park ten mile race on Sunday?'


'Oh, go on. It's for charity.'


'There's a bottle of wine for the first three finishers.'

'Is Steve the Snake running?'

'No, he's injured.'

'What about Dickie the Dart?'

'Injured too.'

'Fred the Flash?'


'Brian the Bullet?'

'He died two years ago.'

'What percentage is this wine?'

And that's pretty much how I got talked into running a ten mile race two weeks after running sixty miles on the West Highland Way. Artistic licence has been taken with the names above (you don't say!!) but it was an examination of a relatively small field of 58 runners and the lure of a bottle of Vino Collapso that made me don my Royal Tank Regiment running vest on Sunday and go out the door at a stupid time to run around Horton Park.

So I arrive at the race registration and immediately think that I'm fucked as I see some serious looking, lean runners around me. The preponderance of Garmin GPS's always makes me feel technologically inferior and like a fella that's woken up after a night on the wine and decided to do something he's clearly not prepared for.

Probably because that's exactly what I am.

Anyway, the race starts and true to form I hare off like George Michael after hearing a new public toilet has been opened on Hampstead Heath. For a short while I'm leading the pack and I can smell the demolition of my recent ignominy in failing at the West Highland Way Race. Even before I've reached the first mile marker (bags of ambition....fuck all ability).

Then the familiar sound of footsteps behind me increase in volume and I feel like a floundering fish being reeled in by some eager angler.

I look over my shoulder and see some fella I recognise by sight just hanging on to my pace. For a moment I compare my frustration to that of Jez Bragg in his battle with Stuart Mills in this year's Highland Fling. Then I realise it's a bit like Del Boy Trotter likening 79 Nelson Mandela House to Kensington Palace.   

Anyway, I ease off the gas a bit and engage my shadow in conversation.

'Alright mate, what time are you looking for?'

'Don't know....I've never done a ten mile race before, only half marathons.'

'What's your PB for a half?'


'I'm gonna stop for a piss, mate.'

So off he trots and I slot into second place. The rest of the race is run at bastard threshold level as the sun rises in the sky and the morning gets hotter. I'm in such a serious, Paula Radcliffe style zone, that when I really needed a piss I have a quick look about and then get my willy out and piss on the move. You know that way that leaves a zig-zag trail down the road.

Somehow the Gods smile upon me and inflict everyone behind me with feelings of inadequacy. A 44 year old fella with wine stained lips breaks the tape in second place in 1:17 on a course that was actually measured at eleven miles.

So what now?

Well, I didn't get my wine because I bugged out before the prize giving as Mason (dog) needed a walk. The wine cannot now be located (probably because some other fucker has drunk it) but I also have a free one hour session with a physiotherapist.

This quite excited me, particularly when the race organiser identified said physio as a she. Then he pointed her out and I realised that I've 'won' an hour with a Jo Brand lookalike.

This all goes to prove that it matters not how high and mighty you can convince yourself you are, in a big willy contest, John Holmes is just around the corner.

Or on parade, when you've decided to use Klear floor polish on your shoes, there's always an unexpected rain cloud on the horizon (only squaddies will get spots).



Anonymous said...

The header should have been:

Closet Competitive Runner "Comes Out"

Better start dusting down the mantelpiece in readiness for the next trophy



Davie said...

From my training days I can assure you Mr Sheen leaves white spots. Congratulations on your 2nd place. You must be an athlete! Pity about the wine.....

Anonymous said...

Hello Do not quite understand what is at stake.

Debs M-C said...

What was the percentage that sealed the deal? Well done. I'm impressed! x