• Tuesday, January 04, 2011
  • 2
the last time i ran up this hill we were racing a rival club, two tribes at war bravehearting towards the summit with primal grunting and sharp splayed elbows. today we approach the hill with less intensity, it is the clubs annual new year run, a light hearted jape through the woodland and 'burbs. before setting off we gather in a loose circle to invoke the running gods, compare new kit and be briefed by richard. i run with jerry in his neon yellow jacket and union jack shorts, a clothing combination that almost saps my will to live. i tough it out and we make the turn into the boggy woods. someone sidles up to my left and asks for my opinion on  mud, as the resident african i am often asked for my views on any number of the splendid things that define britain, today it is the mud and why the brits seem to love running in it. the answer: because there is no alternative, in this country the running certainties are death, taxes and mud. i wish that juan, the clubs other foreign runner is around to field these questions on occasion but he is, as usual, in bed. another figure sidles up to my right to have a discussion about my vibram five fingers and footstrike, why can i run fast down muddy hills in shoes with no grip? answer: because i have big balls/ it is possible with good technique/ it's all about focus and where you place your feet. besides, it is a blast and it gives people a much needed laugh when you fall over. after this we all run in companionable silence,we meander through the mud choosing the route on a whim. gradually however the pack begins to stretch out and the pace increases noticeably as some yahoo scents home, the pack disintegrates as we hurdle two railway bridges and hurtle up dog poo alley, we are urged on by the yahoo's maniacal grin as he tells us we need to run at least another mile "because richard said we were running six and we've only done five" we finally burst free of the trees and run downhill to the finish. richard is there looking cool and relaxed, he hands me a chocolate toffee and i catch a lift home with jerry


  1. Simples:

    I'm in love with mud,
    It's sad, I know, but true.
    I just can't help but splash in it,
    Or stomp a path right through.

    It's sticky and it's dirty,
    And it covers all my clothes.
    But when I see it lying there,
    A voice inside me grows...

    ...You can't resist, you know I'm right,
    It's fun to play in mud!
    Look at it just sitting there,
    I really think you should!

    I splatter in the grimy gloop,
    I can't resist the ooze!
    I run, I jump, I stamp about,
    It drips into my shoes!

  2. Jerry, thanks for the poem, I remember how we used to wait for it to get muddy so we could go out for a run, I still love it!