Archive for the ‘nonsense’ Category


Cast your minds back… way back. Further than that. I’m talking almost a full year here people.

I’m talking back when we initiated what is sure to become a long-standing and well-supported tradition within our humble running group.

The Rowheath Beermile.

On Wednesday we added chapter two to the growing legacy…

Our running numbers had increased by 50%, meaning there were now three of us competing. Whoop whoop. (There had been promise of greater numbers, but due to various circumstances which can be summarised as “I’m soft”; three had to pull out at the 11th hour… I won’t name Rob, Martin or Tim. I mean, what would that achieve?)

So defending champion Gracie, debutant Harry, and myself all lined up on a lovely summer’s evening sometime between 8 and 9pm.

Harry chose an understated single-colour t-shirt for his race attire, Gracie opted for a red vest with “Gracie” written across the front in big black letters. Hey, it can be tricky to remember names when you’re three pints to the good and running in treacle. I was sporting the colours of the Mighty Golden Lions, bringing a bit of Joburg to the Birmingham summer night, and tipping my hat to the twin cities (fact).

What happened next? Who the hell knows. That’s why this footage is here. Enjoy our pain at your leisure.


Official results can be viewed at the official Beermile site here.





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Press the button

What do distance runners know about upper body strength? That’s right, very bloody little… up until now.

Inspired by an idea aired on the MarathonTalk podcast , three of us decided to give it a go.

The premise is this: You do three sets of press-ups each day, starting with 1 per set, i.e. 3×1 and increasing each set by 1 press-up each day. So, day 2 is 3×2, day 3 is 3×3, day 4 is 3×4 and so on until, after 100 days, you reach 3×100.

The idea is that Joe Average couldn’t drop to the floor and produce 3 x 100 press-ups at the drop of a hat (sorry) but that he could if he followed this simple incremental process, thereby proving – in practice – the “training” principle.

That’s the theory.

Turns out I’m a wimp, and I didn’t make it past 3 x 21. (I conjured up a watered down version of the plan, suitable for lesser athletes, which worked well in my case – I dropped the 3 sets down to 1 set. But that’s not what this is about).

This is about Niceguy Eddie and Gracie, who both stuck to the task and pressed their way all the way to 3 x 100.

I filmed the culmination of the challenge. For your viewing pleasure, a badly edited version of said video footage is below.

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Simple thing really. Drink a beer, run a lap. Repeat 4 times. Wa-lah. Beermile.

On Wednesday evening, somewhere between 9pm and 10pm, Gracie and yours truly entered into this most hallowed of clubs, for distance runners the world over. We joined a group who can, justifiably and proudly, announce “yes, we are stupid enough to have run a beermile”.

 Being in the UK, we adopted the UK rules, which basically means a pint before each lap, instead of a can before each lap. Rudimentary arithmetic told us there would be a lot more beer this way, so it was an easy decision. The other variation in US/UK rules is the penalty lap. In US rules, throwing up at any point results in an additional penalty lap being run (only 1 lap mind, no matter how many times you upchuck). No such nonsense in UK rules. Chunder at will without fear of recrimination. Sums it up really.

So it was, that on the evening of the 30th of June 2010, the first (that we know of) Rowheath Chunder Mile took place. We christened it the 2010 Rowheath Chunder Mile Trial 1.

(An official website – although it must be said arguably the worst-designed website you’ll ever have the misfortune of stumbling across – actually exists for the documenting of these feats of endurance and bravado and our race has now been added to the annals. The results can be viewed at: http://www.beermile.com/display/event_1380

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; let’s get back to the racing.

Conditions were darn near perfect. We set up our recording equipment and poured the pints, taking care not to position the cups too close together for fear that in our haste to grab one, we knock another over. Unthinkable. Luckily our shrewdness allowed us to foresee and avoid this possible tragedy. No beers were spilt!

Everything set up and chomping at the bit, we got the whole messy affair underway.

It went downhill from there really.

The first pint seemed to take ages to finish. I was already queasy as I gulped down the last few sips of pint number one. Finally I was away! Slightly behind seasoned-drinker and self-proclaimed “specialist subject: beer” Gracie, but I thought he looked catchable. Nope, he wasn’t. Turns out, running with a pint sloshing around somewhere between the back of your throat and your belly is not easy. This is not a good sign I thought to myself. Where am I going to fit the next three pints?

First lap completed, time for pint number two. Now it started getting messy. A few sips in and the beer was going nowhere. My body decided it was time to raise the drawbridge and call in the gatekeepers for the night. I vomited. Gracie had, a few seconds earlier, done so in far more impressive fashion. We stuttered through the second pint. Somehow I got away before him. The running was now light relief by comparison. I didn’t want the lap to end. But it did and it was time for pint number three.

Details get a bit blurry around this point; I remember the third pint going more or less the same way as the second. Two steps forward one step back if you will. Gracie looked to be in the same boat. At some point between this pint, the lap, and the final pint he overtook me. I was in no condition to defend the position, nevermind attempt to reclaim it.

On the final pint I tried a different technique, taking many small sips, instead of big gulps. It seemed to work better. Or not. Who knows. The final lap was a mixture of blessed relief knowing I wouldn’t have to ingest any more fluid until *I* decided I wanted to, which could be two, maybe three, years from now, and the nagging feeling that I had made a bit of a hash of the whole thing. My imaginary report card could have said: “Beermiling: Mark is enthusiastic but can do better. He thinks.”

Gracie crossed the line in 12:03 and I joined him some time later in 12:49. A fair whack away from the 8 to 9 minutes we expected…

We engaged in some embarrassingly uncool post-race foolishness, pretending to interview each other (bad enough..) while not realising the camera was about waist height (getting worse..). So we looked like two talking torsos. Gracie was ill again, I think, and then we packed up the kit and went home, talking about how un-drunk we were (hah!) and how much fun (hah!) the whole thing was.

No actually that last part was true – it was a lot of fun. I just wish we hadn’t been so useless at it. Next time eh?

If all of that wasn’t enough for you, the whole bitching mess was badly filmed and will be available for viewing displeasure just as soon I manage to locate the damn firewire cable.

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Yesterday I found a £5 note on my jog home from work.

It brings the total for “money found whilst running” in the past two months to £35. I found a tenner about 6 weeks ago, followed by a nice crisp £20 note about a month ago, and then yesterday, the fiver.

By contrast, in the past 12 months I have managed to secure a paltry £39 worth of prize vouchers from races (£15 for second, £12 for third, twice).

I’m no mathematician but it seems from a “financial returns” perspective, my time may be better spent scouring the countryside for loose change; rather than driving the countryside to far flung races.

Or perhaps I should run faster and stop staring at the ground ahead of me.

You think this is a barrel-scraper of a blog post? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

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This just in.

In an unexpected turn of events, long time residents of Runville have formed vigilante groups, scouring the streets in search of evil gangs of cushioned supportive running shoes.

Jeremy Spoken, a spokesperson for the group “Shoes are Shit” had this to say:

“For years these gangs of ruthless running shoes have controlled our lives, our health and our foot strikes. We’re tired of this. Its time to take the power back.”

Another who preferred not to be named said, “I’ve been imprisoned by my running shoes for nearly two decades. I’ve been forced to run in ways that are unnatural to me, my feet and my consciousness. I have taken personal offence to this. I feel I cannot move freely even within my own house. The shoes track me everywhere, toilet, shower, you name it. I tried to lose them a few years ago, but they found me and beat me nearly senseless as punishment.”

Petition groups have long been campaigning local government watchdog groups asking for more powerful measures to be put in place, restricting what it is the shoes are allowed to do. “At the moment, they rule the neighbourhood. You can’t go out for a walk with the kids, or the dog, without being bullied, harassed, verbally abused and intimidated by the gangs of running shoes now found on most street corners.” Jeremy said.

The reporter covering this story managed to track down a running shoe to get their side of the story. He had this to say. “We are battling with an element of human nature called fickleness. It is inherent in most human beings and is hard for us, as inanimate objects, to understand or deal with. For years we have done our best to do what was asked of us and to help humans do what they enjoy doing, but now we are being pushed out.” He went on to say “this particular conflict has been exacerbated by a virulent strain of the virus that can infect thousands or even millions of humans at a time, known as Hype. Once Hype has infiltrated a group, it spreads quickly and we are powerless to stem the tide. In today’s modern age, Hype can jump cities, countries and even continents in a single day. How can we compete with that?”

When asked what they believed to be the cause of the latest strain of Hype, the shoe responded as follows: “A piece of propaganda, a book called Born to Run, was released a few years ago, citing shoes as the root of running evil. From then on we’ve been on the back foot. Or even on the back of the foot.”

The reporter attempted to contact the author of the book, but was unsuccessful, with the author’s PR manager saying he was “unreachable as he was holidaying in Monte Carlo – with close friends the founders of an anti-shoe shoe company called Vibram”.

*This article is all bullshit. Please don’t take it seriously

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