Boris has spoken and the only reasons people are allowed to leave their house are for groceries, medical/care needs, work and exercise. Considering the first three are not a lot of fun (especially when the first leads to a scrap in the pasta aisle over the last pack of tagliatelle), it seems every fucker on earth has suddenly taken up running.
You can recognise a new runner easily. They can be any size, shape, age or level of fitness but they almost always do the following:
- They wear far too many clothes for the weather.
- They may even have a bumbag or rucksack and look as if they are ready for trekking in the arctic as opposed to a lap of Tottenham Marshes.
- They carry water.
- They run much too fast and look as if they are being chased by a rabid dog or sprinting for the 158 bus. They overtake me at great speed, and then five minutes later I overtake them again because they have started walking.
I have absolutely no objection to new runners doing these things, in fact I find it quite endearing and fully admit I did every single one of them myself. What does worry me is that there are so many people about that Boris might decide letting us exercise outdoors isn’t such a good idea after all and that we should be confined to the great indoors. With this in mind, I ordered a treadmill from our work salary sacrifice scheme but there’s such a demand for treadmills at the moment I’m rather worried that I will get a message any day to say they are out of stock. I won’t rest until it is clogging up my living room.
During these horrible times for small businesses and the self employed it is really important that those of us who aren’t affected financially help those that are. Financial help from the government isn’t coming until June, and being from bloody Boris bloody Johnson and associated Tory wankers it’s bound to be full of catches and loopholes. If you’re okay for money and you’ve been using a service or company for a while and they’ve been good to you, please keep giving them your money! Keep up your subscriptions, buy their merchandise, enter the virtual events, and ask for deferrals instead of refunds. I’m hoping that the rapport Runthrough have built up with their customers will serve them well here. Previously, they’ve been very good at allowing people to defer races and giving more than adequate compensation when they’ve had to cancel a race – but with 40+ events cancelled I worried how they would survive if they had to refund everyone. Fortunately, it seems that most people have been quite happy to accept a virtual medal (run the required distance wherever/whenever and they will post it to you) and a 50% off coupon for future races. I’m not usually one for virtual medals (it seems a bit pointless to earn a medal for a training run) but when the goal is helping Runthrough to still be there when we come out of the epidemic I’m quite happy to receive them – and in fact, with absolutely nothing else to look forward to, I am actually eagerly awaiting the day when they start plopping through my letterbox. The only problem is what to do with at least eight 50% off vouchers. Enter more virtual races, I guess!
To give myself something to look forward to and aim for, I decided to sign up for the “Wimbledon Common Half Marathon” virtual. I really like the medal because it has wombles playing tennis on it but I do not like Wimbledon Common itself therefore I have never entered this race. So I have renamed it the “Womblestow Half” and on my 43rd birthday (which is in twenty-four days time) I will be running 21.1km all on my own round Tottenham/Walthamstow/Hackney Marshes. There will be no womble to cheer me on, but I’m guaranteed to be first finisher and not to even set sight on the sweep up coach. I don’t know what I am going to aim for after that. We had better pray we won’t be locked down for too long, otherwise I might end up training for a marathon just because I have nothing better to do, and everyone knows that won’t end well.