Let’s do diaries!

First up, Bob Foulkes would probably like me to mention the club’s Presentation Night which happens next year on 9th February at Horsforth Golf Club.

People ask me “Ian, is this for me?” The answer is, of course, if you are member of the club – “yes, of course it is”. It is mainly a social event anyway, with the annual trophies handed out beforehand to the great, the good and the rather quick. And on occasion, the persistent.

You can also bring a significant other or two, even if they are not club members, providing they pay, like you, the £5.00 entry fee which is a covering cost because when it was free, people went ‘yes, I’ll come’ and then didn’t. We aren’t doing food this year so have a bite before you come out, unless you are on one of those weird ‘nil by mouth’ running diets (not recommended). I gather we have a disco this year and also a rocking beat combo (live band to you) who are, as I believe the youngsters have it, ‘dope’ or maybe even ‘sick’.

Tickets from Bob or your group leaders who are possibly under instructions to make your regular Tuesday night runs even more unpleasant than usual until you buy a ticket or two.

Before that, the PECO cross country league kicks off (November 26th at Nostell Priory) and I hope you’ve all registered to run by the time you read this. If not please see or maybe Facebook Kelly Squires who may be able to register you for races 2-5 for the princely sum of £3.00 (plus £3.00-£5.00 per race).

People ask me “Ian, is this for me?” The answer is, of course, if you are member of the club – “yes, of course it is”. And put it like this, I’ve registered, in yet another triumph of optimism over experience. I fully expect to be bringing up the rear of the field and wouldn’t be surprised (but maybe a little disappointed) if they were dismantling the course around me even as I plodded towards the finish – which is a thing that happened to me at the National Cross Country races some years ago when I was a rather younger, fitter, but not much slimmer, man.

As I’m sure your group leaders and coaches will tell you cross country is the perfect way to gain strength over the winter months which can be put to good use when the weather improves and the nights get lighter. They are right of course.

You’ll need a couple of things – a club vest, some safety pins and grippy shoes (trail shoes would probably do it or studded fell shoes) and maybe access to a hosepipe, because it can be a bit of a mud fest. I actually like it to be VERY muddy as I believe it’s a great leveller. It’s certainly levelled a few runners each race by the look of them. I would recommend running in shorts too. Shirley Walker once told me she tried running in tracksters/tights at one cross country and ended up trying to hold the things up throughout the run, which were doing their level best to fall off, the water and mud having increased the weight of them several fold. She’s not tried that again. I reckon ‘capris’ are the best you can hope to get away with.

See you at the Ian and Keith Park Memorial Temple of Fun otherwise known as the club tent.

In other news, I have discovered Hoka One One running shoes (not the biggest discovery ever as they were out there all along) and having put aside my fears about needing oxygen because of their elevation, or worse falling off the things (never was good with platform shoes) and most of all looking like a bigger pillock than usual, I invested in a pair (they do look a bit like clown shoes, which is why I avoided the red and yellow ones).

To my delight they seem to have enough cushioning to allow me to run with less hip pain than my trusty Saucony’s (will never diss the Saucony’s!). Of course it may be their newness, or it may be that the ton and a half of Glucosamine Sulphate I’ve taken (it’s legal folks!) has finally kicked in. But I think it’s the shoes even if they do make me a bit taller and I do look an even bigger pillock as feared.

On another aches and pains note, I was delighted to hear that webmeister Jamie Stewart is almost ready to resume hostilities at the club following a foot/ankle problem. Let’s hope she has time to post this before lacing up her trainers again though. If you are struggling with injury I wish you good luck with your recovery – if it’s persistent do see a sports professional for advice, even if it costs a couple of quid. It might be the difference between getting going again and waiting an extraordinary amount of time before you can get back running again and more importantly it will hopefully allow you to fix the problem without you suffering a relapse or worse, doing more damage. Wishing all current ‘hors de combat’ Harriers a speedy return to action!

The Fat Bloke

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