Skip to main content

Keep On Running

In March and April of this year respectively, I ran the Sheffield Varsity 10K and the Sheffield Half Marathon to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity. Below is the email I scribbled, after months of hard training and completing both events, to those friends, family and acquaintances who were kind enough to dig deep and sponsor me. If, after reading, you're able to do the same, or just want to make a donation to Mind, you can check out the link to the charity's website here, or else visit my JustGiving page. Cheers.




Hi all,

This'll be the last of these mail-outs - just wanted to let you all know how I got on in both the Sheffield Varsity 10K (23 March) and the Sheffield Half Marathon (6 April), all to raise money for the excellent charity Mind.
The Varsity 10K was a great little event - 352 runners took part on a sunny Sunday morning, the whole thing organised by a great team of University and Hallam students. Three laps of an undulating course (this is Sheffield after all) around two of the city's leafy parks. I finished in #37 with a not-too-shabby time of 41:37, which I was more than happy with (not least since I was recovering from a bout of man flu). That's me setting off from the start line, No. 373.

Inline images 1

 As you'll doubtless have seen from the news reports that went national, the Sheffield Half was a very different affair. Viva la People's Republic of South Yorkshire! And what a race. Proud to say myself and Helen Mort were among the "rebel runners" near the front who decided to kick on anyway, darting through police roadblocks. No way I wasn't going to do it after all the training I'd put in, and for Mind and all the people like your good selves who've already sponsored me. Out of a field of 4,172 runners I finished #164 with a time of 1:32:11, which under the circumstances I was totally chuffed with. Massive thanks should go to the people of Sheffield, who managed in half-an-hour what the race organisers couldn't with weeks of preparation. Amazing scenes.



But the real point of my writing is to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you who've dug deep and given generously. You kept me resolved to finish both races, and encouraged me to push my running to the limit.

If you haven't given yet and you'd like to, don't worry - there's still time! The link to my JustGiving page is right here. You don't need a PayPal account or anything, just a credit or debit card to make a totally secure payment.
I'll leave the last words to Bill Bowerman, running coach to the legendary Steve Prefontaine, which seem particularly apt:


 
"Running, one might say, is basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the kind of running you do, chances are you will be able to find meaning in another absurd pastime - Life."


all good wishes, and thank you again,

BW




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land , to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement , who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood th

Michael Hofmann - Changes

Changes Birds singing in the rain, in the dawn chorus, on power lines. Birds knocking on the lawn, and poor mistaken worms answering them ... They take no thought for the morrow, not like you in your new job. - It paid for my flowers, now already stricken in years. The stiff cornflowers bleach, their blue rinse grows out. The marigolds develop a stoop and go bald, orange clowns, straw polls, their petals coming out in fistfuls ... Hard to take you in your new professional pride - a salary, place of work, colleagues, corporate spirit - your new femme d'affaires haircut, hard as nails. Say I must be repressive, afraid of castration, loving the quest better than its fulfilment. - What became of you, bright sparrow, featherhead? poem by Michael Hofmann republished with permission of the author first published in The New Yorker from Acrimony (Faber, 1986) I've loved Hofmann's poetry since I first came across an old copy of what I still think hi

Louis MacNeice

‘World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural’. Even if you’re not that well-versed in modern British and Irish poetry, chances are you’ll still know ‘Snow’, or a line or two from the poem will seem naggingly familiar. While still in his twenties, Louis MacNeice wrote it in 1935, and since then, it’s been a favourite with readers, writers and editors, cropping up in every kind of poetry anthology. Weird, then, that MacNeice’s work has often been seen as a footnote to that of his illustrious pal W.H. Auden, when he’s so clearly a hugely original poet in his own right. And when, among more recent generations, the likes of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Don Paterson and Conor O’Callaghan have all cited him as a major influence in their own writing. It’s not like ‘Snow’ was a one hit wonder, either. Despite some of the less exciting – and often lengthy – stuff he wrote in the early 50s, MacNeice only got better, perfecting his moving, atmospheric an