Written by Mike Maranzano
(Reflections on a real tough 'track'(Don't we know it! Ed.))
Many a day I have stopped and pondered to ask myself ?why??
Why does Joe Bloggs gesture wildly with his hands when giving directions down the phone?
Why do birds have to doo doo on your car when it's parked in the middle of an empty car park on a Sunday morning?
And more often than not, why do I always wake up early in the morning to find my ?better? (she thinks she is!) half has stolen the duvet?
?Why?? is a very powerful word! So Why on Gods earth did I not ask this most prolific of questions before dragging this body of mine round the hardest (too many hills to count with both hands!), longest (9.3miles), muddiest (You could have tracked me by following the trail of mud left behind as I made my way home through the Underground!), biggest, coldest, slipperiest, wettest, gut wrenchiness (My stomach has yet to recover fully and it's still Sunday night!), have I said muddiest? Cross country in the country?
Don?t know? Haven?t a clue? ?Computer says No!?
What?s more frightening is that six other dastardly musketeer companions in the form of Andy, Ant, Ray, Bob, Dina and Geoff ?the Godfather? Reed from the club decided to join me! There must be more than a few screws loose rattling round our craniums!
However one of the merry band failed to make it!?! Was this treachery of the highest order at the last second? The result of an incorrectly set watch? Or the failure to read an A-Z? Me thinks a certain Mr Allen needs Map reading lessons! Top Tip No: 1 mate: Make sure the map is the right way up! Helps avoid terrible errors, don?t you know!
With Bob sidelined (recovering from injury) in prep for the marathon, it was left to Dina to start the ball running with his first ever attempt at this level at U17. A hard run 155th place in 30:50 proved to everyone just how demanding the course was to become for the senior men as successive other races churned up the course!
Just under 1000 turned up for the mens race and when you take into consideration that over 3000 had entered it was obvious that many had either entered just for the national place or had succumbed to the ?Why?? question, safe in the knowledge that it would hurt too much! Wimps!
The successful quartet of myself 136th, Andy 176th, Ant 202nd and Geoff 808th ably supported by Bob who seemed to be everywhere! And Geoff who took the opportunity to cheer us on wherever the course came back on itself (obviously Geoff had far to much left in the bank if he could find the energy to shout the rest of us on as we whizzed past in the other direction!).
Why do we do it? I dunno! Why do I subject my stomach to gut wrenching torture, wind and pain? Couldn?t tell you! Why did I pass the most horrible wind on the tube on the way home to the disgust of all the passengers? Because its better out than in as my Pappy always says! Pong!
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