My mate talks to a banana!


I’ve told Mike before that talking to a banana does his street cred no good at all, even a fast one. I informed him there was a Doyenne Du Comice pear and an Egremont Russet apple in the vicinity and a stem of asparagus was doing some warm up exercises but he insisted on chatting to a common banana. I don’t even know whether  he was fair trade!

This occasion was the second Hoohaah 10k of the season at Wimpole Estate. The weather was lovely, the course was excellent and loads of our friends and acquaintances were taking part. Unfortunately, I picked up a silly injury at Cambridge parkrun yesterday. Milton country park, where it’s held, is in the process of laying a new path leading to the finish straight and I trod on a sharp stone which went between the gap in the thick part of the tread. It felt like it had pierced the sole but after exclaiming “Oh bother” I soldiered on. Cut to today, despite my sole feeling bruised, I thought my metatarsals had escaped injury. Until around 8k  I felt fine with only a little foot discomfort but thereafter it quickly got very painful and I suffered the ignominy of being forced to walk/limp to the finish. To make matters worse, the banana came in 5th out of 750!


Here I am, face etched with pain, just about to limp over the finish line. Ripping off my sock expecting to find a highly visual injury with which to impress my friends, I found healthy looking, unblemished skin. Is there no justice?

This series of runs, so far, has raised over £6000 for The MindEd Trust, a mental health charity which focusses on the prevention of mental illness in young people and early intervention strategies for  those experiencing trauma. It has been set to address the woefully inadequate mental health support for young people.

Parkrun etiquette. It’s so easy to impress fellow runners. First tip : if you are a fast runner, consistently start at the back and pass slower runners at speed, particularly when the path is congested. Second tip : pal up with another runner and chat loudly in a normal voice while others are struggling around you. To enhance this behaviour, overtake at the same time. Third tip : bemoan your time to others who have done 5-15 minutes slower to you.

Cambridge parkrun has a record attendance of 534 and yesterday the field was just over 500. It’s getting very busy.


A hot weekend of running. I felt like an upmarket crisp.


I didn’t run for nine days because of a minor back injury then ran three races this weekend. Actually I thought it was a back problem but after a further chat with myself I reached the conclusion that it was a hip problem after all. Anyway the rest seemed to have done the trick because I didn’t experience any difficulties after a total of around 23k.

The first pic shows me doing parkrun in my new 250 top. I was just able to beat my mate Eric immediately in front of me but came nowhere near Margaret (leading and eventually beating me by 2 minutes). Is there no justice?


After parkrun, I whizzed over to another village and did 7k fun run with my chums in the picture. I whizzed so quickly I was able to buy a load of plants from the horticulture society plant stall and pick them up after the race. It was moderately hot, around 24-24c. I don’t mind running in these temperatures and much prefer it to running below 5c.


The following day I ran in the Wings for Life event, sponsored by Red Bull, in aid of spinal cord research and treatment. It started in Cambridge on Parker’s Piece and the route potentially ran for 100k. The idea was to run as far as you could and outrun the catcher car, driven by David Coulthard, which sets off at a steady pace 30 minutes after the last runner had crossed the start line. When cruel David catches up with you, your electronic chip is deactivated and you stop running. Your race is over and buses take you back to Cambridge. Steve Way was top runner with 63k covered. I managed just under 14k, Lorna did 7.63k. It was a pretty hot day (up to 26-27 in the fairly constant sun) and I stopped three times to drink. A fleet of buses returned us back to Cambridge. About 2500 took part and it’s scheduled to take place in Cambridge again next year.

Contrary to my expectations, the race was very well organised and successful. There was plenty of free Red Bull to drink including at the actual drink stations on route but I was too frightened to try it! You can’t beat plain water for most occasions, can you?


More fine marathon runners. Respect!

London marathon April 2016 : courage and pathos. It wasn’t easy spectating, either!


Is this normal? Yes, actually, at least for the London marathon. I deserved my own bravery medal for spectating above and beyond the call of duty. It was very cold around the Canary Wharf area and I felt the harsh wind very keenly. These two seem unaffected but a significant number of people were visibly suffering.




Now the bare facts. We arrived at Canary Wharf around 9am, had coffee in the warmth, saw the wheelchair athletes first, then the runners with physical disabilities (which was humbling) followed by the elite women, elite men, fast club runners and then the mass of runners, many in inventive and spectacular fancy dress. We stayed until the official sweeper car went by around 4pm and immediately behind it were a convoy of clean up vehicles. Threading their way through these hazards, marathoners were still coming through, having been on the start line st 10am and running/walking for 6 hours. They still had 8 miles to complete the course and were obviously struggling. I took 1400 pictures and nearly froze to death. Who is the hero? Me, obviously.




These last two pics are typical of people gritting their teeth and carrying on.

I’ve successfully injured myself again and it’s stopped me running. I seem to specialise in picking up a heavy weight but swivelling awkwardly at the same time. The result is I’ve hurt my back in a similar fashion to previously. Actually I can run on it but decided, wisely, that perhaps this wasn’t a good idea after I did an inter club 5k last week (Kevin Henry series). The problem is getting up after I’ve sat down for more than 10 minutes. It takes a long time. I can’t put my socks on, either. It’s getting better and I’ll be doing parkrun on the weekend.

Ken Livingstone must have had a stupid moment in his attempt to support of Naz Shah, Bradford West MP, who was suspended by the Labour party for a historical post on Facebook suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the US. She stands accused of antisemitism. Ken used Adolf Hitler in defence of his argument, stating that Hitler once supported Zionism. Unfortunately, Ken has got some previous on the topic of antisemitism. This is Labours dark side.