Dutch Pea Soup

My Mum does a great Dutch pea soup. It’s thick to the point of chewy and is filled with innumerable ingredients, most of which you could never prove were in there because they’ve been cooked into a merger. It has a sneaky heat about it…Which brings me more neatly than you’d think to the 2015 Cayman Islands Half-Marathon.

Renaming the [coughs] Half Marathon

The marathon is essentially an arbitrary distance anyway (26 miles, 385 yards). Some dude called Pheidippides ran that distance from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to deliver a victory message…and promptly DIED. Doesn’t that tell you something?

Singer Island Half-Marathon

A trip to the US requires me to combine the original purpose of the trip with either a half-marathon, attendance at a baseball game, or both. During April’s trip I went to see the Clearwater Threshers and Palm Beach Cardinals play home games in the Florida State League, and I had a great view for…

The Doldrums

This was galling: 15 months previously anything over a few hundred yards was a major achievement, and here I was giving a half-marathon the big shrug. Someone’s really got to lead the charge in changing the name to something energising. Something that sounds like a completion rather than the…y’know…half completion of something.

Cayman Half-Marathon, December 2014

I made sure to suck in my stomach, don my mask of supreme confidence and speed up a tad as I passed them…and I just about resisted shouting “I’M KICKING YOUR DAD’S BUTT!” at one of them.

Race Strategy for the Cayman Half, December 2014

But I don’t WANT an indication of my marathon fitness, Coach, because it might not be very good, and I don’t WANT to use my time in the McMillan Running Calculator because it will tell me that I’m rubbish and that I should run (more) slowly in training which will be discouraging and I don’t need that right now.

Ocean City (NJ) Half-Marathon, September 2014

The bridge was also where I mercifully passed for good the man doing a passable impression of an asthmatic buffalo running for its life. Every breath a defiant snort of inhuman volume.

Canterbury Half-Marathon, August 2014

Painfully steep hills, pouring rain, narrow country roads. My third half-marathon was as different to the previous two as they were from each other but the start-line was wonderfully claustrophobic, with hundreds of runners huddled in a country lane at the top of a hill waiting for what, in the end, was more starter’s suggestion…

Rumspringa Half-Marathon, April 2014

“Unfortunately the start of today’s race is delayed because I miscalculated the speed of Amish horse and carts.”
A sentence like that could only have been unwelcome if I was standing still, wearing only the thinnest clothes, in freezing conditions with a wind chill of minus 10 degrees centigrade. Which it was…

The Cayman Islands Half-Marathon 2013

Rational people do not get up at 3.30am to go running. Not unless there is a bear that has chosen that round-numbered moment of the night to come crashing through your bedroom wall. And even then, you’d want to weigh up whether being ripped to shreds by a grizzly was really that much worse than all…