13 February 2010


Am I in line to have wires put in my brain? Not out of the question ... The snow did not fall in Barnard Castle (which once again I am referring to as Barney now), so the Barney Run did take place - and I was there to do it.

Did I breach the dress code? I'm already in fifth place ... Photo by Hilary.

Five is not many to make a race (the senior boys' race set off two minutes after us), but at least I avoided the indignity of finding that my age exceeded the total age of the rest of the field. Two of the others (perhaps more?) were previous winners, whereas my best (and only) result was 52nd. I might have been a little out of my depth.

That wouldn't have mattered, of course, were it not for the fact that to justify the 250 mile trip to Barney I had offered to write a piece for Runner's World - and eventually been commissioned to write a large enough piece to make me feel that (notwithstanding seven law books and innumerable articles) I am finally becoming a Writer. And a celebrity too: I even had my own photographer for the day, to the bemusement of bystanders. They might even have thought I was a famous runner ...

So, no way to keep my performance out of the public domain. The world will know, one day.

I have a great deal of thinking to do about how I write this up - and this is not the place or the time to do it. Just make sure you see June Runner's World ... For now, though, here is the route and my time (and my heartrate!). I reckon my pace was exactly the same as in 1974, which leaves the big question unanswered - or perhaps it provides a very satisfactory answer, I don't know yet. Any suggestions?

As if racing a load of people one-third my age wasn't enough, at tea afterwards one of the masters said to his small children "You know I told you that Granddad used to teach here? Well, this man was one of the people he taught", indicating me. Should that make me feel old? Can't work it out. As for the lady dispensing the tea and coffee, when I proferred my cup: "A refill? Yes, thirsty work watching the running." Luckily for her (like the man in the hotel in Nottingham last Monday with his "jogging" comment - see post below) I was feeling benign ...

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