Friday 29 August 2014

The story so far...

Since the wager was made, a number of things have happened. This should bring you almost completely up to date. First, some background.

It’s fair to say that Mark has always been late to pick up on fads, fashions and hobbies. He often walks a line dangerously close to being deliberately contrary. And that was the case with running. Adrian and Tommy had been taking part in Parkruns for a number of weeks before they finally persuaded habitual nee-sayer Mark to join them. And it was a long way over 20 minutes. In fact, Tommy and Adrian had been finished for some time when they eventually saw Mark giving every last fibre of his being in the finishing straight to narrowly beat an 8 year-old girl.

But that sparked interest in Mark. And a desire to improve. Talking to the others it became clear they had a similar experience. The thrill of beating one’s PB after training hard (and the disappointment of getting slower following a week of over-indulgence), is a drug that is difficult to quit, and all three men had become addicted.

Adrian, Tommy and Mark were all around the age of 30, all in reasonable (but not excellent) shape and all agreed that they wished they had got into running much earlier in their lives.

And perhaps that is the point of this blog: if it can convince others to take up the hobby earlier then it is a success. Or perhaps we are just three blokes with too much time on their hands, and no creative outlet.

It was (by coincidence) exactly 6 months after Mark’s inaugural Parkrun that the bet was made. By that stage it had become something of an addiction (in many cases a Friday night on the town was declined in order to get a good night’s sleep for the next morning).

At the time, Tommy was the quickest and fittest. He opted to cycle to work, whilst the other two spent too much time in their cars. But, he is crippled by that most destructive of injuries for runners: laziness. Many a time he has opted to remain encased within his duvet while the other two have got up and ran.

Adrian was second quickest. Last time competed against Tommy he finished only 5 seconds behind. However, he has recently had a child. This is great news for Adrian, but even better news for the other two, as the sleepless nights and constant fretting has slowed him down.

Mark was, by some measure, the slowest. But, he is by far the most stubborn, belligerent and competitive of the three men, and is training for a half marathon. This has sped him up markedly, to the point where he beat Adrian for the first time last week. More on that from Adrian later.

Looking at the athlete profiles, the winner should be a foregone conclusion, but make no mistake, this will be close. We don’t have any idea who will win, or even when the time will be registered: it could be all done by Christmas, or we could still be talking about this in 2016.

The #RoadToSub20 continues.

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