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For 2019/20, I have set myself a goal of 13 races, from 1 mile to full marathon, on 5 different islands.

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ill titleWhy Do I Run?

ill_1I run for fun. When I say 'run', I'm not talking Olympics. According to my dictionary, running is the art of moving on foot at a rapid pace so that both feet are off the ground for part of each stride. If you concentrate too hard on this definition, you end up bounding along like a demented kangaroo, but I've got photographs of me in action, and there is a clear layer of fresh air between me and the planet. By definition, I am a runner.

Was I born to run? I'm afraid not. I went to extraordinary lengths to avoid running at school. Place a football, a cricket ball or a shuttlecock
in the picture, and now you were talking, but to run from A to B when
there were quicker forms of transport available - well, what was the point?

I stuck to my guns, couch-potatoing well into my fourth decade, but then I let my guard slip. Tired of being breathless at the top of every flight of stairs, I woke one morning and went for a run. One mile and nine minutes later I was back indoors - and back in bed. Only a week passed before I could walk forwards down a staircase again! But the seed had been sown.

ill_2One mile became two. 10Ks grew to half marathons and then to marathons. Local runs spread to London, Edinburgh and Dublin, and then to Paris, New York and Honolulu. Before I knew it, my trainers were carrying me across the Sahara and Gobi deserts, along the Great Wall of China, and through a Siberian winter.

In Jungle Book, Kipling wrote that the motto of the mongoose family was "run, and find out". Perhaps I was a mongoose in a previous existence. Through running, I'm finding out about our world and its many vistas, peoples and customs. I'm also finding out about myself, and realising how much further away my limits are than I thought they were.

Running is fun. I hope you enjoy some of my pictures and tales. Just maybe they might encourage someone out there to take that first stride across the doorstep, and to see where it takes you.