Sunday, 16 March 2014

Wien Energie Half Marathon

This morning I braved the blustery winds and the storm warning* and went to watch my favourite Ethiopian runner take part in the Wien Energie Half Marathon in the Kagran district of Vienna. It was a 3 lap race.

I took this photo of the leaders half way to the first corner. In the end my friend Lema, shown here in the lead, won by more than 5 minutes. There were more than 1,250 runners behind him. A fine  achievement in the challenging weather conditions.

*Sad news that a lady jogger was killed in the woods by falling branch.

Lainzer Tiergarten Wildschwein

Vienna's Lainzer Tiergarten is easily reached with the city's U-4 or S-45 trains.

From Hütteldorf Station it is only 10 minutes walk to the Nikolaitor.

One of the main reasons I introduced my Ethiopian running friend to the Lainzer Tiergarten is that it's a place where you can run safely without any fear of being chased by dogs, a perennial hazard for runners.

The wild pigs are very shy and they won't chase you if you stick to the signed paths and trails. We glimpsed one pig from a safe distance. And later we met this one at the Lainzer Tor Information Centre close up.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Reasons to Run Part 108

Ron Hill . . . 

. . . in Accrington Market Hall 

The seeds of marathon runner Ron Hill's long and illustrious career were sown at a young age when he discovered the tales of that fictional tough of the track Alf Tupper. 

Ron is a member of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers; and I am too as you can see from my running vest in the photo below:

Like Ron I read those athletic tales of mud, rain and meat pies, and was always pleased and delighted when Alf confronted and overcame an obstacle, normally a bully or a cheat or some other unpleasant character placed in his path and went on to win his race. 

Those Tupper tales were all about fair play and being a good sport. Good enough reasons to take up running and to keep on running in my book. Maybe that's why I still do it now, even if my aging body protests shamefully by offering up its various niggles and other 'get out' protocols for my mind's consideration.   

Waiting impatiently for the latest slightly sprained ankle to fully heal I'm jogging my way through Running with the Pack (ISBN 978-1-84708--263-3) by runner/philosopher Mark Rowlands. It's published by Granta Books.  

The back cover blurb contains the quote: From his childhood in rural Wales to runs along the French beaches and up Irish mountains with his beloved wolf Brenin, Rowlands illuminates the joys of running and argues that it may be as good for the mind as it is for the body.