Monday 18 July 2016

Who knows where the time goes......

      Some time in mid 1991 a letter arrived out of the blue from a lady member of Polaris Mountaineering Club asking if I'd like to accompany her to the Lake District to help plan a route around the Scafell area where she was due to lead a walk for members of her club some weeks later.
Making hay while the sun shines
 I'd met the lady on a few previous occasions and, to be honest, was quite terrified of her, but the chance of a free lift to the Lakes and a couple of good days in the mountains was too good to miss. So I complied, albeit reluctantly!
A braw day with fluffy clouds and reflections on Grassington Moor
 "I'll pick you up from Keighley bus station" she said, "we'll be camping in Eskdale, I'll bring all the food, gas and cooking gear, there's more room in the car for them than in than your rucksack, just bring a sleeping bag".  I still remember the look on her face while unpacking the car at the campsite and discovering I'd not brought a tent! But she couldn't blame me, I'd done as I was told...
On our weekend Anniversary run....
That was 25 years ago as of last Sunday, July 17th. That frightening lady morphed into my wonderful partner and we've been camping, walking, climbing and running together ever since that fateful meeting.
Celebrating 25 Happy Years

We'd a celebratory meal in the Clarendon on Sunday evening to celebrate our 25 years of unmarried bliss.....
Me on that Anniversary run
It wasn't intentional, but very fitting, that I ran a total of 25 miles last week and, at times, felt like I was flying. I haven't run so fast in months.
Oystercatchers sharing our anniversary as we ran past on Mossy Mere
Nor has my wonderful partner and I had to feel proud of her as she sped downhill to Grassington with her hair blowing in the wind.
Speeding down to Grassington
Someone said " I don't know how you do it at your age". Well, it's quite simple really. All you have to do is get up off your backside, pull on a pair of trainers, step out the door and start putting one foot in front of the other.
Sticking one 84 year old foot in front of the other on Sundays run
  I was 54 before my mind finally accepted my body was capable of such things, that running is the most natural form of exercise. I only wish someone had convinced me of that 35 years earlier.
The title of this post - Who knows where the time goes - is from one of my all time favourite songs, sung here by Judy Collins.


  1. So it looks like she was stalking you... or were you stalking her by not brining a tent!

    congrats on 25 years, and may there be many more!

    Now as for the late start to running, maybe it's a good thing... if you have been running hard for the 35 years before you started your body could have broken down and maybe you wouldn't be running now into your 80's

    1. Thanks Coach, for your congratulations. There was no stalking, certainly not on my part, it was just fate, a bolt of lightning out of the blue, for both of us.
      Prior to running I was thrashing up and down mountains, climbing to Severe standard, ticking off Scottish Munros, backpacking coast to coast and suchlike stuff. Dunno whether that strengthened or weakened me. My legs crumple now if I jar them too much - as they did during a 6,000ft descent in February. I have to shout at them sometimes!

  2. What a lovely post, and inspirational as ever!
    I agree absolutely with your comments re: running. A good friend (in his 80s) recently had to undergo some fairly serious surgery. Now, 5 weeks later, he's out on decent runs, bike rides and.....walks to pubs.

  3. Thanks JJ, glad you agree that being an octogenarian is no excuse for becoming a couch potato. Your comment takes me back to the day I was discharged after a prostate operation. "When can I start running again?" I asked the surgeon. "Any time you like, but I'd give it 24 hours" he replied. I gave it 27 - just to be on the safe side......

  4. Excellent post! People keep asking me when I'm going to stop running marathons as I'm "getting on a bit now" (I'm 59!) or "you'll damage your knees" (!!!), or "but you've got arthritis" (well, just think how much worse it would be if I stopped being active) my reply is always "when I can no longer put one foot in front of the other". You are both shining examples of mature runners who ignore the rule book in the best possible way. Susie xxx

    1. Thanks for your kind comment Susie. But my mind boggles when I think of the infinite number of times you've 'put one foot in front of the other' during tour 86 marathons. And you always make it seem such a natural, enjoyable and easy thing to do. You're quite incredible - as most people will agree!

  5. What a lovely story. : ) Congratulations on 25 years.

  6. Thanks Karen, it's been wonderful beyond words. We've an awful lot to be thankful for.....

  7. Amazing sir. Glad to see you are still banging out the miles (more than me at the moment). Congrats on enjoying this wonderful chapter and I will lift a pint to the years ahead that are yet to be. Movement is life and we are living it.

    1. Hi there Rich, great to hear from you. How's the running going? How come Old Runningfox is churning out more miles than you? I've no doubt yours are better quality than mine, I just plod around for fitness and pleasure nowadays - much ruled by the weather.
      Good luck with any races you're planning. I'll join you with that pint, Cheers!

  8. Lovely, lovely post.
    Lovely, lovely photo's.

    Many good wishes for your 25yrs, and yes the years do go by so quickly, and many memories are made.

    My good wishes

    All the best Jan

    1. Many thanks for your good wishes Jan. We only wish there could be another 25 years as good as those that have just flown by.
      All the best to you too.... Cheers!