Aliveandrunning June 8 2014 Juneathon Day 8


Meet my two long legged friends, Ethel and Reginald. As befits literate spiders, they can’t wait to scamper over the book shelves. They have oodles of fun, they tell me. They are voracious readers but tend to confine  themselves to the text on the book spines because, obviously, they can’t turn the pages. Additionally, the font size is large  and it takes time to scan, so progress is slow. They are terrible copycats! Every Saturday at 9 am, they have bookrun while I’m at parkrun so I never get to see them in any great number. So far, no pics on Facebook. I still live in hope. I like spiders running over my books.



Rather warm today. I intended to go for a short run (around 2 miles) because I’m still feeling tired. I ended up doing 1o k. I parked in the country park where we do parkrun, pootled around there for a bit then headed for the river. Plenty of people walking along the riverbank, some runners (avoiding eye contact with me), and cyclists, including trainers on bikes, coaching the rowing eights as they move at speed in the water.

In the above pic, an eight and a narrow boat pass in opposite directions. Next week the May Bumps begin and culminate on Saturday when the successful eights race against each other. The tow path will be full of people spectating and picnicking  on the banks and coaches will be whizzing along the path shouting out instructions to their own crews.

A number of eights wait in staggered positions and, at the firing of a small cannon, set off and attempt to catch up with the boat in front, “bumping them”, that is making contact with their boat or oar. Both eights then pull over. It’s not permitted  to sink another competitor or swipe at them with cutlasses. The crews are mainly Cambridge University colleges with a few affiliated clubs taking part (I think). What do class warriors think of this? Do they move seamlessly among the wicker hampers, jugs of Pyms and bottles of champers cluttering the banks, furiously stroking their chins in wonderment? Or shrug their shoulders? Or kick the picnics into the water? Or, like us, sit on the fence? We’ll enjoy the races but drink fair trade tea, brewed on a portable gas cooking stove, using water drawn straight from the river.

Anyway, no such dilemmas today. Just a lovely run along the river bank. I felt less tired following the run. Only my jaw muscle still ached, a consequence of excessive social intercourse yesterday at parkrun and elsewhere.