I Never Saw The Cow Again

Added on 02 May 2011

I can walk today, after a fashion. I can't really use the old Danny Glover line 'I'm too old for this shit', as I'm only 46, and plenty of folk older than me run marathons and a damned sight more quickly 'n all. For example, yesterday I was overtaken by a wee round 55 year-old woman in the final 200 yards. The guy in front of her was like 107 or something.

My official time for the North Dorset Village Marathon was 4hrs 45min 44sec. I know, it almost seems like there are too many fours in that number. I came 257th out of 302 finishers. So it's not the same as coming 257th in London really. The 2012 UK Olympic qualifying time for marathon has been set at 2:12. It's almost as if they've set out to exclude the likes of me.

I have until next spring to knock  2hrs 33mins and 45 secs off my time. That's twelve months or so. How hard can it be?

Yesterday's marathon was a reasonably small affair, certainly by the standards of the big city races. Can't stand the thought of running with 37,000 other people, which was why I'd opted for this rather than London or Paris or Loch Ness. There were only two people dressed up as something other than a runner. There was cow. A one-man cow, not a pantomime cow. And there was Supergirl.

The race began at 8.30 in the morning, bright but not too hot. Supergirl won in a time of 47 seconds.

I started right at the back, thinking that by crossing the starting line last, at worst I wasn't going to drop back any. Apart from at the start, I never saw the cow again. He was off like a shot, running as only a cow can.


I passed about seventy of eighty folk in the first ten miles or so, including Supergirl. As I ran past her I jabbed out my finger and said, 'IN YOUR FACE, Supergirl!' I received my inevitable dose of humility when she re-passed me around the twenty-two mile mark with the words, 'IN YOUR FACE, SlowMovingDweebBoy!'

In the last ten miles I passed one chap and was regularly overtaken. I fulfilled the role of the slow moving guy just in front who serves to give encouragement to runners in the final stages.

Can't walk so well today, but more than likely full movement will be restored to my legs at some point, and then I can set about knocking swathes off that time in an effort to make 2012. Apparently the latest thinking suggests that marathon training is best done whilst sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and eating doughnuts.