Thursday, 1 March 2012

Odds and sods

I thought I’d write a post on the various things I’ve come across in running or in reading for this blog that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. They might even make their way into the hallowed category of the Quite Interesting.

* There’s a man who runs in the cross-country league I used to take part in. Luckily he’s a lot slower than me – I say luckily because it means I don’t have to run races alongside him as he out-grunts any tennis player, and does so via his instantly recognizable, divinely-inspired mantra: ‘Oh God, oh God, oh God…’ (repeat for duration of race).

* Rosie Ruiz won the 1980 Boston marathon by taking the metro. She was later disqualified.

* The 118 runners ad campaign was sued by 1970s runner David Bedford.

* Paper chase is not only a stationery seller but also an old-fashioned running game where a ‘hare’ leaves a trail of paper and is chased by the pack of ‘hounds’. The names of several running clubs refer to this game - Thames Valley Hare and Hounds, Cambridge University Hare and Hounds, etc.

* This and other running games are practised by the Hash House Harriers. Formed by British colonials in 1930s Malaysia (the name comes from the hash or dull food they were served), it is still most popular in southeast Asia and Australia, though they exist all over the world – I once saw them in Paris! Described as ‘drinking groups with a running problem’, they have their own system of calls and esoteric language, not least in the fact that each chapter is run by the ‘mismanagement’. Traditions include a run every 29th February leaving from beneath Big Ben in London. Which is next week…

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