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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CAUTION : very slippery

 

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Icworth House, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and the venue for the first Hoohaah 10k of the year. Beautiful setting and a lovely trail course (in the main) BUT VERY MUDDY.

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In fact there were hundreds and hundreds of metres of mud and easily qualified as the most muddy race I have ever taken part in. To enter the restaurant/cafe, shopping emporium and second hand bookshop, one had to don these blue plastic over bootees! One didn’t look very cool.

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Fair enough. I wasn’t impressed by their bookshop, however. Not a patch on Wimpole Hall’s and I didn’t buy anything. Highly unusual, highly irregular but a memorable experience thanks to the blue bootees.

Still, the race was very enjoyable and later we had coffee at an outside cafe with our chums.

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I found myself inadvertently sitting on the orange side and consequently ruined the symmetry.

Tuesday was running club and we did a “country fartlek” from the University of Cambridge Athletics Club to Grantchester Meadows, along the Cam.

Today, we ran Cambridge parkrun. Cold but a great deal dryer than last week. I couldn’t catch any rivals. I’ll have to choose new and slower rivals.

Tomorrow, it’s the London Marathon. Spectating, not running. It’s not easy devising a training regime for marathon spectating. I’ll know tomorrow when it’s all over.