Aliveandrunning June 5 2014 Juneathon Day 5

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Oh no! I turn up to compete in the prestigious Kevin Henry 5K series of club runs (this particular one held at Newmarket, the horse racing town, 16 miles from Cambridge) and someone pointed out that I was still wearing my trusty, much loved and comfortable old slippers. How embarrassing. What a crazy, absent minded dude I am! What did I do ? I ran in my bare feet. Did I really run bare footed? No. Did I forget to wear my trainers? No. I made it all up. It’s called artistic licence.

But I did run at Newmarket, on the the Rowley mile where they they train race horses. Five clubs take part and probably around 220 runners came along this evening. The weather was fine and sunny and the course is over one big, flat perimeter circle. You can view the whole 5k with a slight sweep of the head. I ran it in 24 mins 27 secs which was OK for me (the going was soft to firm).

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I listened to Radio 4’s The Life Scientific where leading figures in the scientific community are interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili on podcast this morning. He spoke to Professor Sir Michael Rutter, the UK’s first ever child psychiatrist, about his lifelong specialisation in the field of child development, both as a practising psychiatrist and as an eminent researcher. This was very interesting in itself but I was particularly struck by his description of himself as a non-theist Quaker – that is he wasn’t required to believe in an infallible supernatural  entity and an afterlife. It sounds like a contradiction in terms- rather like UKIP or the BNP/English Defence League shrugging their metaphorical shoulders on hearing that sharia law is going to piloted throughout Essex and EU immigration to the UK is going to be encouraged and funded by the taxpayer. There is a non-theist Quaker website and an organisation for non-theist Christians. I think the emphasis is on the moral guidance and teaching provided by religious bodies rather than an all powerful supernatural being. That’s something those charming Bon Secours nuns in Tuam, Western Ireland, need to consider. A complete absence of feeling and humanity.

The Life Scientific on Radio 4, Tuesdays at 9 am and podcasted, Excellent. You don’t have to be scientifically literate, it’s not technical, it’s not hard or boring, just enjoyable. Listen to it.

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