Aliveandrunning2013 November 14

Out running with the club based at Cambridge and Coleridge AC on November 12. We meet up on Tuesdays around 6.35 pm, have a jog around the athletics track, do a series of warm up exercises and then split into two groups, one to use the track and the other to run on the road. I usually go out on the road. This time of year we run in the dark. The street lights give a reasonable light on most routes but there are plenty of spots where the light is obscured by trees or the street lamps are spaced too far apart to illuminate the path in its entirety. That means you can’t always see where you are placing your feet and thus each of these strides can produce EXISTENTIAL ANXIETY. Each step forward is a leap of faith (if a step can be a leap) into the unknown. You could be putting your rapidly moving foot down on wet leaves, pot holes, dog poo and very uneven surfaces. The name of the game is survival ! Survival of the fittest. The weak or unlucky fall by the wayside. Leave them there. You must succeed at all costs and pass your winning gene pool to the next generation. Running in the dark is so Darwinian. We become an elite, unstoppable force, disregarding the poor visibility and triumphantly overcoming any impediment ( including those irritating pedestrians who persistently dawdle and get in my way). Don’t they recognize a group of Greek gods and goddesses when they see them ?

I like running in the dark. I don’t worry about falling over and therefore my body is not tensing up. It can be exhilarating  running past shoppers, ancient Cambridge buildings, alongside the river and along the old, short roads and open space paths. We numbered about 25. Nobody met with an accident. We enjoyed it.

Last night we went to the Cambridge Union debating hall and listened to an interview with Donna Tartt, the author of The Secret History. My Little Friend and The Goldfinch. Despite her stylized Gothic appearance, which I presume she maintains each and every day because I have never seen a photo where she has deviated from this dress code, I found her warm,responsive and smiley in conversation. There was a long queue for book signing which I joined and was eventually rewarded with a few friendly words and her signature. Thank you Ms Tartt.

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