30 July 2014

The Streak

Mercifully, I had forgotten this piece of music - perhaps 'entertainment' is a better word, though you need to have a strange idea of what is entertaining to enjoy it. But it is definitely the most appropriate clip to append to this story of what I was doing yesterday after work: listening to, and running with, the legendary Ron Hill, who will on 21 December complete 50 years of running every day (the runner's, but not Ray Stevens's, definition of a streak, and in Ron's case the longest one on record).

As you might have noticed from the lack of postings in this blog, I have not been running much lately, let alone every day. Having missed Barefoot Ted and other events at my favourite running shop (sorry, Hugh, but it used to be very handy for the office too) I made certain I booked a place for Ron's talk-and-run session, and set off from the office (now some three miles distant) in good time to get there. As a precaution, having suffered from a very painful knee for several weeks now (following a session crouching down to clean car wheels, my right knee crunching every time I straightened it), I used my knee support, but had no problem with it: what did cause problems were my feet, unaccustomed to the huaraches and the hard work they had to do to absorb the forces generated by landing on them - which might be another way of saying that I need to lose weight: about a stone would be nice.

An audience of about 25 to 30 - as many as Run and Become can hold - heard a description of Ron's running career (summarised on Wikipedia here), and marvelled at his ability to remember his time in races over 40 years ago. He did complain rather a lot about being obliged to run in trials before selection for various events, and if you're a Marathoner that's understandable: a trial too soon before the race can really affect your performance.

Ron Hill at Run & Become
The talk, however, I thought lacked any sort of inspirational quality. It was more inspirational to go for a very gentle run (I almost used the J-word) round St James's Park, and of course it's good to be able to say I stayed ahead of such a successful athlete (though even at the age of 75 I don't doubt he'd have beaten me comfortably, had we been racing). It wasn't even 5k: when we returned to the shop, Ron went off round the block to bring up the desired distance (I think he completed three miles - and he mentioned that he'd run two miles earlier in the day).

But he didn't have to say anything inspirational: merely showing us how to do it was quite enough.