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The Running Men (and Women)

The Bath Half Marathon runs past my house, which a) is quite an annoying way to be awoken, and b) makes it rather hard to pop down the shops, at least until they've all gone. Bath is a very small town, you see, so not only are we unfit to have a full marathon, but even our half marathon requires all the runners to go around the circuit twice. Just as you think it's safe to cross the road (ie, there's only the stragglers/walkers left), the front runners come charging along.

Run, Forrest, run!

Perhaps the most irritating thing about the Bath Half is that for the month preceding it you feel unsafe walking along Bath's narrow pavements, because every thirty seconds or so a group of runners bolts past you. And, no, they don't think "hey, maybe the three of us all running in a row upsets people as we nudge them off the pavement." Maybe it's some sort of game for them, like hicks chasing after cats in cars. Quite what magic it is that can turn rotund, spoilt city folk to marathon-quality runners in a month is beyond me, but given that more than half of the runners end up walking by the second lap it's clearly beyond them too.

Stop, Forrest, stop!

Along with the usual crowd of flabby, mid-life crisis white-collars were the usual crowd of fairies...

The best place to come out about your sexuality is at the Bath Half Marathon people...

Faster than a speeding Bathonian

...and dancing monkeys. Dance, monkey, dance!

The Bath Half Marathon is for dancing monkeys

Let's hope a good amount of cash was raised for good causes, because God knows how much of an environmental disater the Bath Half is. Shortly before they reach my house - maybe about a mile after they've actually started running - each runner picks up a bottle of water, takes at most a mouthful from it, then tosses the rest away on the floor. This reminds me of a 12-hour "hunger strike" thing I did for charity when I was 11 or so. By 10am I was busy gobbling down Lucozade energy tablets on the grounds that I "had to keep my strength up", cunningly forgetting that even on a normal day I wouldn't have had any food until lunchtime.

The Bath Half Marathon is an environmentalist's nightmare

People of Bath: you're not fit. Wearing a sweatband and pining after shellsuits will not make you fit. Why don't you just donate the money straight to charity yourself and leave the athletics to the athletes?

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