Good Vegetarian Runner

I was thinking of titling this blog post ‘Too Great for My Own Good’, but I think the time for over-the-top self-publicising has passed, partly because I have achieved my original ambitions, and it’s therefore not funny any more; partly because I have reached my limits, and seen my limitations; partly because skim readers of the social media age tend to take everything at face value, not getting any ironic parody; and partly because it gets in the way of any serious message, such as in the last blog post.

Remembering Carla Lane and Muhammad Ali and My Media Studies

Firstly, Carla Lane and Muhammad Ali passed away this week. Carla Lane was a white British writer of gentle prime-time comedy, while Muhammad Ali was a brown American Muslim-convert brilliant boxer and controversial speaker.

Ali’s passing has received much more media coverage than Lane in Britain. I don’t know if it is justified compared to Lane’s, but I think it shows that the British media is not racist and Islamophobic as the liberal left likes to accuse. Why? Because a racist and Islamophobic media would have focused much more on Lane than Ali, if you can imagine that.

Also, it shows that although the British media seems to love its political correctness, it doesn’t always reward the ‘nice’ above the ‘polemical’, as it sometimes seems to do, with the British white working-class anyway; which was one of the subjects on The Big Questions this morning.

My writing is probably more like Ali’s speaking than Lane’s scriptwriting, but the liberal left don’t like my writing, or the speaking of Tyson Fury, who is also similar to Ali in being an outspoken defender of his demographic. I think it is another case of the British media liking other people’s rebels, while persecuting their own: as the establishment did in history with people like Thomas Paine, Byron and Shelley. Not that I agree with all they said, with Fury and Byron’s views of course at opposite ends of the spectrum; just their right to say it.

My Achievement in Perspective

About thirteen years ago I started long-distance running, mostly inspired by Jane Tomlinson in society, and Paula Radcliffe in athletics. I’d followed athletics since childhood, but hadn’t done much running in adulthood. After completing my first marathon in 2004 I set the ambition of running one every three years until I was 50 in 2016. On May 15th in Riga, Latvia I achieved that ambition.

I was about ten minutes slower than my target, finishing in 4.34, over twice as long as the Kenyan winner, Dominic Kangor, who set a course record of 2.11.45. It was good to finish and complete the ambition, but I was a bit disappointed with the time; my legs could have still been tired from the ultra last year; or it’s just old age!

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Looking on the bright side, I did slow the decline, after my 4th marathon was 17 minutes slower than my 3rd, and this one was only 7 minutes slower than the 4th. Moreover, it also hopefully proved the negatives wrong, as they’d have accused me of blood doping if I’d been fast! Or that I was doing it for white supremacist reasons! I could blame the negatives, but in truth it was just down to my tired old legs.

Thanks to the marathon organisers, volunteers and spectators for a great day, and everybody else who helped make my Baltic holiday continuing to Estonia and Finland enjoyable. The marathon weekend had the only rain I saw all holiday, with the marathon mostly run in good conditions of dry, cool, light cloud, with the sun visible at times: like rebranded greenYgrey! It did start raining towards the end of my run, and bucketed it down afterwards.

While achieving my personal ambition is good for me, and hopefully for all great greenYgreyliens, in the wider world of sport it is insignificant. Marathons were still quite rare back in 2004; as far as I remember; but now people are running multiple marathons, and a man from my demographic, Tony Morrison, was doing them with a fridge on his back.

Another reason for me doing them was my vegetarianism, but now veganism has taken over, with an Everest climber recently passing away while trying to prove vegans can do any endurance event. Many others have succeeded, running and bodybuilding to international standards. There are also many top vegan sportspeople, such as the Williams sisters in tennis; now that they’ve started losing it’s probably safe for me to mention them, without being blamed for ruining their careers!

Yes, even though I’ve achieved most of my ambitions, and had great weather on my holiday, there are those who still try and connect me with anything negative in their lives! Even Jane Tomlinson had her trolls while completing her endurance events, so I can’t complain.

I’m still collecting for her legacy appeal on Just Giving, with a 10km run she initiated finishing off my running events for this year next month. I ran the first one ten years ago, and also ran it five years ago. I hope my legs have recovered by then, and I can run a fast time!

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