After finishing all five seasons of ‘The Wire’ and an end to the long cycle of weddings and numerous preceding stag does, I have found there is a void in the ‘hobby’ section of my life. The highly personal goal that everyone apparently needs to keep them fulfilled as a functioning human being, or at least to have something to lord it up over acquaintances and homeless people alike. So what have I found to keep me off a life of violent crime, the Tour de France? The Gloucester cheese rolling competition? Speed balling? Close but no cigar, I’ve enlisted in the most prestigious sporting event of our generation, the 2009 Birmingham Half Marathon.
In case you were wondering, that’s thirteen whole English miles, 21 European kilometres or a staggering 42,000 half metres. In essence, it’s quite far. To make life more difficult for myself I’ve also set a target of finishing the race in under two hours (the duration of around two episodes of the wire). This seemed to make complete sense at the time, until I signed up that is and I was struck by the sheer insignificance of my task when put into the context of human existence. Moments of soul searching followed and resulted in a serious rethink of my strategy in which I found my motivation; I have to win it.
You heard me right, I’m going to win the EDF Birmingham half-marathon 2009 on the eleventh of October. Apart from the glorious kudos one would receive from the small Birmingham based papers for winning, the champion also walks (or runs!) away with a handsome sum of pocket wedge, in the region of £30,000. For a man who’s strapped for cash that’s a hell of a lot of mullah, so it therefore stands to reason that my ambition to win far outstretches those doing it for reasons of health, charity or professional competition. I want thirty grand ergo I will run faster, it really is that simple. Just look at Paula Radcliffe, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t just piss in the street for the fun of it.
I also have an ace up my sleeve, surprise! If you were to think of runners you would usually conjure up images of tall and slender individuals who can run for days with their veloceraptor like strides. I on the other hand am short, wide and indifferent. However I intend to flip reverse this disadvantage that nature has given me and turn it into an… good thing, by using my stature to nudge the more waif-like competitors out of contention in a Ben Hur chariot race sort of style. I’m unsure as to the rules on the use of physical contact/violence in long distance running, but I figure that a moderate/severe jostling of fellow runners may escape the glare of the dreaded marathon police.
So there you have it, physically, mentally and logistically I am prepared for victory (Disappointment training features later on). I shall update regularly with my progress, thoughts and running related paraphernalia. Wish me luck.