Monday 3 April 2017


This will be my final running blog before April 23 and the 2017 London Marathon - barring injury or other athletic nightmares. Yesterday was the last long run in the longer and longer Sunday run sequence. The next two Sundays will be run as part of the Tapering Programme before the marathon itself - 120 minutes next week and 70 minutes the week after. Then the 26 miles challenge in London.

First, the tale of Sunday's morning run as told by me yesterday afternoon on the Salvation Army runners website:

'My last long run today (03:06:24 and around 17.5 miles) - congratulations again to Sparky Joseph Holly for the long run and ode - and I was quite chuffed to add the half-mile from Mousehole up to Paul to the distance - and then back down to Mousehole. The emphasis is on the 'up'. I didn't so much run up the never-ending ascent but gently jog. The lone rambler walking ahead of me I took some time to catch up and pass with a friendly greeting - and then there was nothing to motivate me but the thought I could eventually sit in front of this computer and type the words 'I ran from Mousehole up to Paul before turning round at about 92 minutes of continuous running from Marazion.' Next Sunday, 120 minutes ...

From the village of  Paul, half-a-mile up from Mousehole, looking back towards Newlyn and Penzance

I'm really quite proud of having made that ascent from Mousehole to Paul jogging all the way. It is a  very steep hill and the sign in Paul proclaims that Mousehole is half-a-mile away. The pub and the church and the village green all entice me to stay for longer - this is surely a village setting that would have been taken to heart by Jago Stone, the subject of my biography and latest work of literature - see this link here. (I can't resist the author's urge to plug his own work: 'The Road to Corbyn' remains a fine 21st century secular and socialist update of John Bunyan's 17th century Christian classic 'The Pilgrim's Progress' - see another link  here. If you haven't yet got a copy or know someone who

would benefit from a readable socialist primer that also provides a rather good history of our misgovernment between 2010 and 2015, do please part with around a tenner for a copy of my first published book.)

Paul - speaking for itself.

Just as I was rewarded by the views of Paul after the ascent, here are some more images of Paul for you to savour. It's strange to think that what must have been well over thirty years ago, Louise and I - on holiday for the first time in Cornwall -  made that same climb in the relative comfort of an ageing Citroen Diane wondering whether the clutch would survive the endurance test. You never can tell what lies ahead ...

The church in Paul

To return to the theme of this post, the return journey from Paul to Mousehole was of course a delight and just as on my journey out there was scarcely a trace of wind as I made my way back through Newlyn and Penzance to Marazion. The sun was out though, the Spring had sprung - and people  were beginning to fill the path home.

Paul - church tower

At first, I could easily manage social smiles as I passed but for the last four miles or so, my teeth were gritted and my eyes staring, half-closed, straight ahead. My calf muscles were aching and telling me to cease running in no uncertain manner. I ignored  them - you don't get another opportunity such as this to say you've run from Marazion to Paul and back without stopping at 68 years young.           

That's the kind of mind-set I'll be hoping to find in London on April  23 in less than three weeks time. I would love to get closer to a five hours fifteen minutes time for the distance. Here - inevitably - we reach the end of this post with a polite request for online sponsorship. All donations go to the Salvation Army and specifically are allocated to the development of the Gloucester House drug rehabilitation unit outside Swindon where lives are saved and turned around. Use this link here to sponsor my run and to find out more.     

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