Monday, November 26, 2012

155 to go

I had a fantasy when I started the '2012 in 2012' that by this stage of the year I would be so fit that I'd be sailing through marathons like jogs in the park. And maybe 20 years ago I would have been - maybe. Not now, old man, not now.

What I'd not reckoned on was the cumulative fatigue of relentless marathon and ultra running, more or less every week, and the effort (and at times lack of sleep) involved in travelling to and from all those various events. An unwillingness to give up other aspects of an active life (I play my 100th game of 5-a-side in 2012 this evening - sponsor me, anyone?) has also no doubt had its effect.

Anyway, November has been a hard slog running-wise. Since New York, I've done the 25-mile Six Dales Circuit in the White Peak, one of David Bayley's 'Fox@40' marathons round the lake at Milton Keynes, the Dirt half marathon along the canal at Leighton Buzzard, the LDWA'S Sundon Saunter and the Gatliff marathon in Kent. The last two were about as muddy as it gets short of swimming in a slurry tank and I found them as hard as anything I've ever done. My legs felt as tired this morning as they did earlier in the year after events of twice the distance.

I have 155 miles to do. That's one less than the Trans Britain, and I won't be carrying a pack. But I think I'm going to find these final miles far harder.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Running anyway in New York

I've just finished the unofficial RunAnyway New York Marathon 2012. Four and a half times round Central Park on the route of the original New York marathon before it outgrew its birthplace, this was organised through social media in less than 36 hours after the official marathon was cancelled in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A good few thousand people took part, with everyone doing what they could to help out by bringing along drinks and other supplies to share. A collection was organised for the hurricane relief operation and many locals turned out to give their support.

All in all, it was a heartwarming experience, not least for all the charity runners who turned out, determined to complete their 26.2-mile challenge so that they could go home to the people who'd supported them and say 'I did it!' With no prize money, no big commercial sponsors and no profits to be  made, it felt good to get closer to the original spirit of marathon running - even if it took the destruction and human cost of a hurricane to force it upon us.