Watch the Olympics ? “I’d sooner run a mile!”
Posted by Big John on April 14, 2008
I see that a lady with the good old German name of Mikitenko won yesterday’s London Marathon, and some old boy who is supposed to be 101 years old completed the course, although some reporters believe that he is only ninetyfour. Perhaps he was spurred on by the spears of those Masai warriors, even if the blades of these deadly weapons were sheathed for the sake of ‘elf and safety’.
I must say that I admire all those thousands of people who take part in this and other similar events to raise money for charity, although I have never been able to understand what motivates the likes of Ms. Mikitenko.
Running has always been an anathema to me ever since my schooldays, when dressed in vest and shorts, I was forced to run around the small park adjacent to my school in all kinds of weather, encouraged by the bullying shouts of some warmly dressed teacher. I was similarly attired a few years later when running through the villages and countryside near my RAF training camp. It always gave the locals a good laugh to see a bunch of sweating young men ‘pounding’ along the high street wearing baggy shorts and with heavy black hobnailed boots at the end of their skinny white legs.
Whenever I go for a walk along the seashore near my home, I am usually passed by panting people who look like they are about to drop dead from exhaustion or a heart attack at any moment, and I wonder why they torture themselves in such a way ? Pushing yourself to this sort of limit seems such a weird thing to do.
I did once know a ‘top class’ athlete, who ran for Great Britain alongside such ‘greats’ as Chris Chatterway and Roger Bannister (the 1st man to run the ’4 minute mile’). I shared an RAF billet with this bloke, and he was seriously ‘weird’. When he wasn’t sleeping in his stinking bed he was running. He seemed to live in smelly sweat stained tracksuits, apart from when he went on leave wearing his Great Britain team blazer. He hardly ever spoke to anyone and avoided contact with us ‘lesser mortals’, who were enjoying ourselves with the then normal pursuits of smoking, drinking and chasing young women, while he was running along the muddy country lanes, stopwatch in hand, pursuing some new record or other. He was totally dedicated and totally bonkers !
I am sure that I am not in the minority in this country when I say that I couldn’t care less if one person can run faster than another, and yet it has been estimated that £20 billion could be spent on the 2012 London Olympics. Much of this money will come from the National Lottery which means that many charities will lose out. It makes me angry to think that so much money can be wasted when so much is needed by so many ‘good causes’.
Wouldn’t it be nice if just 5% of that £20 billion could be diverted to all those charities featured in the London Marathon, so that next year all those ’fun runners’ would be able to stay at home and put their feet up …
… just like me !