Ostensibly this is a new post in a new section about a new sport. What the HECK is it doing here then? Well, it’s not entirely unconnected with the Albion for one and, for two, what’s the point in having a blog if you can’t abuse it for a little self publicity in the name of charity now and again?
Thanks to a great deal of alcohol, both on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day I did not go to the Wolves game. Instead I chose to watch snatches of it on telly through an alcoholic haze and the smell of freshly roasting meat. But this wasn’t just any old overindulgence, oh no. What I was doing was removing the evils of booze and red meat from the house. Thereby removing temptation when, a couple of days later, I started serious marathon training (and serious non boozing). “MARATHON training??? YOU???” I hear you thinking and it’s a fair point.
If I was a massively technical genius I could probably refine this even further with specific queries, but to keep this simple for the layman I will make this high level. If you enter the word “beer” in to the search function on the blog you get six different posts just from this season. “Pub” returns eight. “Pie” gives you eleven. THIS SEASON. “Fitness” meanwhile returns four in total, none from this season. Mo Farah I ain’t.
But, to everyone’s general surprise, on 17th April 2016 I will be doing my best to emulate him and actually fulfilling a secret bucket list item from my childhood. I can still remember watching the first London Marathon on television. I was nine years old. I must have been a precocious nine because I recognised Chris Brasher, one of the organisers as an athletics writer for the Observer. I remember hearing about the pasta party and imagining thousands of people in a hotel in dinner jackets tucking in to chicken paprika with tagliatelle with some spag bol for pudding. I can still see Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen crossing the line together holding hands. “I want to do that some day” I remember thinking. Only then, Brighton didn’t exist as a marathon venue. Besides, it’s much easier to enter Brighton than London.
I love our city unashamedly. I love its history, its crazy mix of eclectic people, its pubs, its red and yellow buses, its seafront, its restaurants. I even love the rip-off central that is the pier and the pavilion that I have now been round three hundred and twenty four times. And, since I started running this time last year, to get fit, I love that you can find a fast flat run or a hill sprint, a hard road or a trail almost instantly thanks to its geography. So doing a marathon here became a new bucket list item about two months in to my rediscovering running. I did the BM10k last April and, as I collected my number for that, I was asked if I wanted an early, cheap entry in to this year’s marathon. Saying yes was a no brainer. I was IN. Brighton Marathon 2016 here I come.
So what’s the Albion connection? Quite simple, I am doing this for REMF, the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund. I had always had in mind to run for a Brighton related charity of some kind. Following the Shoreham Air Disaster and the loss of Jacob and Matt I figured the REMF was one fund raiser down. The gap needed filling. And, anyway, a long run was the natural second part to the sponsored walk I did before the Hull game.
As part of the training for the Brighton Marathon I am also running the Brighton Half at the end of February. I have set up a just giving page (link below) for the two runs combined. I’m not going to beg but if you would like to donate just a couple of quid both myself and the REMF would be very grateful. Just in case anything should go wrong injury or illness wise, please consider at least part of that donation towards the run in the Half. Many, many thanks.