I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Running stuff, ‘Three swift lads’, by Stevie Haston.

Just chatting about running sometimes seems to be running. Anyway ain't done much jogging, slow shuffling, or running but keep thinking about it, which isn’t the same either. I am a bit crook, have a gammy abductor which I have made worse by climbing at my favourite crag. I have in fact worked with my injury, doing building work, run up my hill, gone swimming and diving, caving too, and they all hurt. Cycling is ok which shows you the value of having a pushbike. Anyway was thinking about three of my running heroes this week so I thought I’d talk a bit about them and my injury will magically heal.
Steve Jones a South Wales likely lad had the world record marathon time for a while and reportedly showed very little mercy in his training. It was a bit of a shock for people at the time as Steve enjoyed a pint or three and seemed to have came out of nowhere. He came of course from being a tough lad who wasn’t scared of getting stuck in. Anyway he brought up the fact (or some one did) that in 1984 there were 25 sub 2hrs 15mins marathons, and in 2009 there was just 1! That’s pretty funny, or sick, or indicative, or something! 1984 Orwell’s year! So another lad I was thinking about was Kenny Stuart, I saw this lad run a record Snowdon race which I think still stands to this day. I had pretensions as an aspirant runner in those days but Kenny  payed put to them, I basically gave up. He was astounding, I mean it, his speed going up was murderous, him and another guy but when he turned around it was a hurricane. A few years later he did a 2hr 11mins marathon without of course to days benefits and easy options. He retired shortly after because he got sick one of my Lake District buddies told me. Kenny was from the Lakes like my other inspiration and shows you what little mountains and quite village life can turn out. Anyway what can you say about Billy Bland! The strongest of the Blands, our Billy always springs into my mind on a long run, especially when I am flagging, I see him scrutinising my weakness, and then he kindly says ‘come along now, get a move on’, it never fails. Billy is the course record holder for Britain’s best little round the Bob Grahame and again it was done along time ago. I often wonder what he could do in the Tor de Geants or could’ve done, I should say. Billy had a 2hr 15 marathon I think. Kenny Stuart weighed I think 50 kg for 5 foot five and Billy weighed nothing at all. They weren’t white Russians, they were white Kenyans. There you go Float like butterfly, fly like a swift.