The Shakespeare half marathon (Stratford Upon Avon) or The Race that never was…
Oh yes, it was ill-fated all right. I ran along by the graveyard, the final resting place of the Bard, down to the river, along and across a foot-bridge, thinking that the race would be quite pretty, regardless of the weather (it was a little chilly). And then it happened, TWANG! Right in the middle of my thigh.
|Right in the Futu!|
I was in a lot of pain deep in the centre of my thigh and limped back to the hotel for ice, rest, ibuprofen and prayer.
I woke able to walk but not run. The sheer geography of the race itself (starting right under my bedroom window) rubbing my nose in it. DEATH BEFORE DNF! proclaim some runners’ shirts. What about DEATH BEFORE DNS?
I went back to bed and got ready for breakfast, as outside the runners had gone, and the barriers were being put onto lorries.
At breakfast itself, the Rotary Club marshals walked in and took up the table next to us, as I tucked into my Full English Breakfast. They did not throw me as much as a cursory look. Why would they? I was not a runner, running the half or full, I was just a tourist.
Having eaten we took a walk through the city, and a market, and saw a few things. Shops were ventured into. Things were bought. Postcards even, to send to the kids back in the US, were purchased from one shop or another, and all the time, in the back of my mind, and out of my peripheral vision, a race was going on.
It reminded me of Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and how someone could park their spaceship in broad daylight in front of hundreds of people without it being seen. It was a cloaking device, it was a SEP Field, a Someone Else’s Problem Field. If it is someone else’s problem, you ignore it. Simple.
I did want to write this review though, so I walked though the crowds leaving the finish, in search of a well earned beer, and a cheese burger, and I felt like a tourist. It was weird.
It was odd, standing at the finish, after walking against the tide of people with their medals and bananas limping home. I was not part of them, and I wouldn’t be when I sat at the Garrick (Stratford’s Oldest Pub) for a beer later. I saw them all, of course, medals around the neck, glad to tuck into cheese burgers and ale. Their reward. I had no reward, I did not deserve it. The camaraderie I seek post-race was not offered or sought out by me, an outsider. I am not sure I could just watch again.