This is Fauja Singh and he is the oldest marathon runner in the world. At aged 92, he ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 5 hours and 40 minutes. The reason I’m telling you about this man is because his was the motivational voice in my head to run a measly 10K in Killarney last Summer. And his will be the annoying, taunting, jibing voice in my head as I prepare to do it again this year.
I mean, after I’ve read that he can do 42K at aged 92 (92!), I can’t unread it, can I? And then can I really look in the mirror every morning and feel good about myself if I don’t muster the energy required to do a quarter of what he does at a quarter his age (give or take)?
I know what you’re thinking. You don’t come here to think about running. You come here because I talk about comfortable things- little t covers the pyjama pants of conversation topics. And now here we are in January and I’ve caved and I’m talking about running like everyone else. I’m sorry, I’m sorry about that.
But you should know that before Mr. Singh’s voice got all up in my head, I was under the impression that I could only run when I was being chased. “If you see me running”, I’d say,” call the police!” When you start (from scratch), it’s slow and it’s hard. It’s dang hard. You won’t like it at first, and if you’re me you won’t like it ever. “I hate running”, I’d declare defiantly to anyone who would listen, “I hate every second of it”. “Then stop doing it!” (came the obvious response), but I’m no quitter and there it was, on my list, so I was going to do it.
It turned out the race was lovely. It’s called the most beautiful road race in the world and I believe it. It was a cold but calm, drizzly day (perfect for running) and the 10K route circled the scenic lakes of Killarney, one of Ireland’s most stunning areas of natural scenery. Most of the loop is off-road and at times, it was quiet enough to hear the steady rhythm of your own breath. No annoying cheer-leader types to deal with until the last kilometre so that’s a bonus. Last year, they had some guys playing steel drums at the 9K mark and free massages and hot tubs at the finish line. Awesome touches in my opinion!
I had thought I was keeping up running out of perseverance to see things through to the end, but then after July 14th (race day) came and went, something weird happened. I didn’t feel like chucking my running shoes into the nearest bin.
The week after the 10K run, I drove to Oak Park in Carlow and ran a 4K loop and possibly for the first time in my life, actually enjoyed it. Instead of listening to Mr. Singh’s voice in my head, I had Jay-Z rapping to me through my ipod about being super-rich and all the ladies that love me. I probably looked really cocky.
Again, apologies for the January motivational speech. I’ve turned into the annoying cheerleader I loath so much. We can talk about peanut butter tomorrow, and they’ll cancel each other out.
On the other hand, if you want to sign up for this year’s race (you can do a marathon, half-marathon or 10K; they are all on the same day), do it here!
€5 has been donated to UNICEF Ireland for the completion of this ‘thing’. Click here if you too would like to donate online.