Yesterday, my partner Lorna completed her 50th parkrun at Cambridge. Very well done indeed! It’s wonderful that both of us are running and have so many good running friends. Our running styles and mindsets are so different and tend to conform to male/female stereotypes. I run as fast as I can, don’t talk because of the supreme effort I’m making, can only wave acknowledgement to the marshals, knock slow people and children into the nettles if they get in my way and double up when I pass the the finish line, completely out of breath and exhausted. I do recover quickly, however. In contrast, Lorna frequently chats her way round, always verbally thanks the marshals, does take a big interest in her time but friendliness and sociability take precedence and often runs with or supports newer runners. After the run we usually have a coffee with friends in the park cafe which helps to acclimatise me to normal and healthy social interactions. The men seem to be in a more supportive role while the women talk animatedly and continually. It’s all good fun and a powerful antidote to feeling down. That’s the benefit of running with others of mixed ability and particularly women. You take your performance less seriously and enjoy yourself more. Men tend to be more fixated with performance, times, distances and superlatives. Anything to help us achieve a healthier perspective must be a good thing.
WE have been talking about Peter Tatchell, the human rights and gay rights activist. His lifestyle is rather less than luxurious and is completely commensurate with his ethical beliefs and values. He has created the Peter Tatchell Foundation ( PTF ) which is well worth looking at online. We’ll probably make a monthly donation. The man should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.