The Four Goblet Challenge

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Well, it's true that we haven't been here for some time, folks. I suppose the creative activity of the written blog has been taken over by the soundbite simplicity of the micro-blog. Facebook, with its meandering posts, photo albums and quizzes- the other day, after allowing a Facebook app access to all my photographs, I discovered that the Hollywood actor I most resemble is Charlie Sheen (WINNING!). After smugly posting a self indulgent, soft focus picture of myself taken seven years ago alongside one of Charlie before he really smashed the granny out of cocaine and prostitutes, I discovered that a few of my mates were similarly compared to Charlie. Even my Jamaican pal, Radcliffe, my auntie Joan and my dog, Mason.

Anyway, in this rapidly changing landscape of the blog, Facebook was quickly relegated to second division by its limited-symbol, express-yourself-succinctly, bastard child Twitter. And just as I started to get the hang of that particular medium, and the reasons why perfectly sane individuals would post fuck all except a string of loosely associated words all preceded by a hashtag, along comes Snapchat. If you've yet to encounter this most modern phenomenon of the blog world, allow me to explain: it quite simply allows you to send a photograph from your mobile phone to a selected recipient, which is then viewable by that recipient for up to ten seconds before it disappears from existence like a politician's promise.

So, if you're following my rambling logic here, my blog has been out of action because the once creative art of sitting in front of a PC and developing a considered, word processed account of an important life event, then posting it to Blogger or Wordpress, has been rendered redundant by the ability to send a soon-to-expire picture of your cock to your burd.

But why this revival of Subversive Running? I hear you ask. 

Well, going back to its beginnings, the reason for the birth of Subversive Running was to diarise my 2006 journey toward the West Highland Way Race- a 35 hour, 95 mile expedition on foot from Milngavie to Fort William. It was also meant to be a foil to the plethora of boring, rather-gently-poach- my-testicles-in-simmering-vinegar-than-read -your- time-and-splits-obsessed-bollocks. In fact, my blog very quickly became nothing more than a rambling record of alcohol consumption, fighting with police dogs and of being verbally abused by horse riders on Epsom Downs, with zip about running. But its revival is to enable a return to its raison d'ĂȘtre....yes, that's right, I'm running the West Highland Way Race again.

I had a quick scan back to the blog report I wrote following my failed attempt of the race in 2013 and it's a sorry tale of pain, exhaustion and the violent expulsion of fecal matter in a field in Dumgoyne. Indeed, following that race I went on record to swear I would never run it again. 

If you care to look back at that report, entitled 'Bodily Movements in the West Highland Way Race,' and you access the comments section, some of those that contributed their thoughts said things like: 'Yeah, yeah..whatever. See you in 2015.'

Well, they were a year too early but they were right. I'm back.

I've tried to keep away from public statements of my intention to race, preferring to use Facebook to record pictures of baked goods and fanciful ideas that I have a passing resemblance to Charlie Sheen...viewed through the eyes of a partially sighted drunken geezer in a darkened room fifteen miles away. 

That policy came really good in April when I tore my left calf while running up a hill in a weight vest. It appeared then that the race was off and June would see me supporting my big, numb-skulled pal Martin Antoninus Horatio Hooper instead- and assisting him to acquire his fourth finisher's goblet so that he could Lord it all over me for at least the next twelve months.

But the God of calf repair smiled on me and said 'Son, if you're a good lad and you sit on your arse for five weeks I'll place you on the start line alongside your mate, Hooper.' And so he did.

So, I've managed a clutch of 20+ mile runs with two 70 mile weeks since early May and I've done everything I can to ensure as good a chance I can of a finish. But, Dear Reader, this is about more than just a finish. This is the Four Goblet Challenge.

Both Hooper and I have three finisher's goblets sitting on our shelves at home (well, I have two and a half. One of mine was involved in a red-wine-meets-the-sound-of-breaking-crystal event a couple of years ago) and this is the quest for goblet number four.

Before I go off to stretch my hamstrings, bake some bread and do a quiz that tells me I resemble Brad Pitt (or maybe that should be Brad Pitt's arse) I'll leave you with a discussion Hooper and I had while running together last week:

'Here, Mart, you see if we're running this year's race and we've battled valiantly over Conic Hill, scrambled along Loch Lomond and suffered over Rannoch Moor?'

'Yeah, what about it?'

'And then we've stomped together up the Devil's Staircase, seen the sun rise on the Lairig Mhor and then hit the road into Fort Wiliam?'

'Yeah,' replies Hooper, warming to the romantic notion of shared pain and suffering and impending brotherly glory.

'Well, in instances such as that I've seen athletes join hands over the final yards and finish together in a beautiful, sporting display of togetherness.'

'Lovely idea, Dave, I can picture it now,' says Hooper, dreamily.

'Well, the thing is, I can sprint faster than you so you can fuck right off if you think that's happening.'



Helen said...

Can't wait to see you both come sprinting through the car park x

Peter Duggan said...

Facebook etc. has more than half killed blogs, club forums, even whole sites, but I still prefer to keep my stuff under my own control even if no-one comments on site any more. And I've already got four goblets, but can't sprint. And you've spelled 'testicles' wrong (no 'a', even when pickled)! :-)

Subversive Runner said...

Thanks Helen, don't doze off or look away because we'll be shifting :-)

Thanks Pete, I've made corrections. I have no excuse for my poor spelling.

Unknown said...

Oh how i have missed your ramblings DW x

Subversive Runner said...

Thank you Pip...don't suppose you're available to support run for me? ;-) x

Subversive Runner said...

Thank you Pip...don't suppose you're available to support run for me? ;-) x