Aliveandrunning March 10 2014


Mea culpa! I’m on the naughty step. Here is a picture of me powering my way, discreetly, to the finish line in the Cambridge half  marathon. I’m focussed and in the zone. Or maybe I’m worrying about the the plight of the hard working tax payer, brought to our attention by the altruistic Tory government. Anyway the temperature was around 17-18c in a cloudless sky and a lot of people were uncomfortable in the warm conditions. I find the heat OK to run in, and having drunk a reasonable amount of fluid before the race, I didn’t feel thirsty. I decided I didn’t need any available water or gels as I went around the course. I was pleased with my time  and failed to drink sufficiently for over an hour while I met up with incoming friends and family.

As we left Cambridge’s Midsummer Common to return to the car, I started to feel very nauseous  and couldn’t continue walking. I managed to get over to a stack of concrete fencing equipment to lean on for support and simply felt ill and on the verge of being sick. Lorna was with me and I resisted her suggestion of drinking water or seeking help from the volunteer medics. But I failed to feel better and remained too nauseous to move so I agreed I needed help which Lorna immediately organised. A passing first aider advised me to drink water and I gave it a try. Within a short space of time I felt a bit better and was able to clamber into the nice Land Rover Defender which raced over the Common, blue light twinkling, to take me to the medical tent. I was able to give Lorna a cheery wave as I passed her, walking, to same tent. The diagnosis : dehydration, unbelievably caused by me not drinking enough! I drank around 300 mls of water while they were ministering to me and I quickly felt a great deal better. They were happy to discharge me and I tottered off trying to avoid Lorna’s glare which reflected her dismay at my failure to sensibly take on water during the race. Well, lessons have now been learned. I don’t want others to suffer as I did. If I can prevent just one person from being hydrated then it was all worth it (please add your own cliches).

Apart from this interlude, it was a very successful day. My three daughters and son all ran very well indeed and Lorna took some lovely pictures. I managed to beat four arch rivals, three of whom are much faster than me in 5 and 10k races. The weather was excellent and the atmosphere was great.

New running resolutions for this year (and subsequent years) : ensure adequate hydration when running and particularly when it’s warm or hot : have much more consideration for Lorna who worries about my health and thinks I don’t take myself seriously enough.

                                                            Family half marathon

Unfortunately I couldn’t be in this picture of my family since I was trapped on the other side of the fenced in course, collecting my baggage, before I felt ill. Still I recovered relatively quickly and we all went for an Indian meal in the evening. I had plenty to drink and ate humble pie.


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