So, I hate running. Have to get that out there first. I love most sports, biking, swimming, even sports that involve constant running, like football. But running for the sake of running is pure masochism.
And yet, every year I do this damn 20K. And at the end of it, I vow never to do it again. And then I eat the post-race banana and have a couple of beers and the endorphins start to flow and I realise that I could actually just eat a banana and drink some beer and enjoy them just as much without having to suffer through 2 hours of pain.
I could pretend I do it to raise money for a good cause. Every year I’ve raised money and no doubt that has done a lot of good in the hands of wonderful organisations like MSF. But I’d be deluding myself if I believed this was the reason.
Ultimately, it’s just a mix of stubbornness and stupidity – two qualities I’m lucky enough to possess in abundance – that drives me on every year. The stubbornness to refuse to listen to the common-sense reasons why I shouldn’t run, and the stupidity to have started in the first place, 20 years ago now, and to be unable to think of a valid reason to stop. I’ve run this in the morning after a late wedding the night before – that was horrible. I’ve run it at times without any training runs at all. Worst of all, since they’ve moved it to the morning, I’ve even stopped going out drinking on the Saturday night before the race – although this year that’s less of an imposition than in pre-pandemic times.
This year, I may finally break this curse. Not through my own willpower or wisdom, but through the instructions of a physio who will decide whether my stupid back-injury is sufficiently recovered for me to run 20K – obviously without training, since I can’t train due to this injury. Although, in fairness, I only got it 2 weeks ago, and I hadn’t done any training before that either … the thing is, training involves running, and .. well see the first paragraph above.
But if I get sufficient sponsorship, then I promise that, if I can’t run on the actual day, I will go out and run the 20 K at some point and post the result on strava or one of those apps that I don’t have yet. So in a very tangible sense, your sponsorship can cause me great suffering that, unlike previous years, I could otherwise avoid – and it will help a lot of people in need. What’s not to love about that combination?
Add to that that if you donate 40 euros or more, you will get half or more of it back as a tax rebate. If you don’t pay enough taxes to get the rebate, ask someone who does to make the donation on your behalf and split the benefits.
So please donate. If not to me, then to one of the other runners – surprise a total stranger with a donation, tell them that you were impressed by how their text counterpoints the surrealism of the underlying metaphor. Just donate!