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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Marathon Madness

This time next Sunday I will not be sat complacently at the PC in my dressing gown. Oh no. I will be fearlessly traversing the Docklands Light Railway to find my vantage point for J's 19th marathon here in London.

Of all the marathons he's done - and they include the world's top 10 - London ranks as My Worst One.

Last year he attempted to install me and R (his daughter) at an elite runners' drinks station, courtesy of his running club. The logic was that we'd only have to hand out a few elite drinks at the start of the marathon and then we'd get to see him twice and have a great vantage point for pictures.

Problem was, I was vaguely pointed in the direction of the drinks station and I never found it. We found many other drinks stations but not this particular one. And by then it was time for the marathon so it was too late. From my POV we had an excellent situation near a pub, which meant there were Quavers and Facilities on tap.

But J was furious and still brings it up to this day. So next week I fear we will set off at 5am just so he can deposit us at the drinks station. And then I will be terrified that I'll drop the special drink for Paula Radcliff or the other elite runners.

After we've done the elite drinks bit, we're under strict instructions to make our way to the finish, where we've very little chance of seeing anything, and then to meet him in the "family reunion area," which you can find easily because of a strong prevailing smell of embrocation.

We go through a curious ritual where I have to wrest his clothes off and force feed him bananas and Gatorade, and depending on his time, he will either smile and do a little dance or bark at me "hurry up! Stop messing around!" when I take the traditional photo of him with his medal.

I've often contemplated doing the marathon myself just to get revenge. Let J find out how tiring it is skimming thousands of runners to identify him as he trundles by for a fleeting second! And then to make sure he takes a perfectly focused picture. And not just once, but in several locations!

But after two jogging sorties in the past fortnight, I am now nursing Runner's Knee (which made J snort with laughter) so I'm unlikely to be challenging him in the marathon stakes.

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