They say horse racing is the sport of kings. They’re wrong, horse racing is for Irish billionaires and English deadbeats. Jesus Christ, you seen them stumbling out of bookies? Not even looking out for traffic as they reel across the road? Thinking about how they’re going to explain their latest loss? No, horse racing is shit and so is golf. Not much better is tennis. The worst thing about tennis isn’t Rafa Nadal picking his pants out of his bum before every shot. The worst thing about tennis is the way the players throw the sweaty towels back at the poor kids stood there in the baking heat. They don’t even say thanks! You have to be a special kind of wanker to be a tennis player. Actually, that’s not even the worst thing about tennis. The worst thing about tennis is Mark Gilmour.
Running is a cool sport, so is cycling. I’ve done both and on Sunday it was a real pleasure to be stood on the start line of the inaugural Mind Harbour View 5k race. That pleasure was only tempered by the presence of not one but two tennis players. Yeah, Gilmour was there and his hateful sidekick James Faudemer. Those two, along with Ibbo, Tom, Dan Romeril, Steve Lebanon-BlackPanther and myself make up UCR and it was the first time we’d all been at a race for some years. Actually Steve Linguine-Postlethwaite wasn’t there. He was in London having a terrible time doing the London Marathon in record breaking heat. The tit. Everybody else was there. Oh yeah, there’s a new member to UCR. Ryan Poingdestre or something, he’s called. He was also on the start line. But he was on the other side of the start line because he was organising the whole shebang. Ryan is meticulous with his planning. He’d worked for months on organising this event and was keen to deliver a clear race briefing so nothing could go wrong. The route was fairly straightforward apart from the first roundabout. Ryan hammered home the point that we must all go around the roundabout to the left.
Although Gilmour had trained hard for this event it was obvious the winner was either going to be James Faudemer or Dan Romeril. Well, it was obviously going to be Dan Romeril. I hoped, anyway. Gilmour would be even more of a nightmare if he won. He’s bad enough now.
After the briefing the race began. Around the waterfront and soon we were at the first roundabout. James was leading and for some unknown reason decided to ignore fucking everything and go to the right around the roundabout, the very roundabout Ryan had explicitly told us not to go right on just moments before! Everybody, of course, followed him and in doing so it undid all those months of work put in by Ryan. By going to wrong way James ensured that the result wouldn’t be official. He really fucked everything up. Big time. That’s tennis players for you! He didn’t even say sorry. Just threw a metaphorical shit covered towel in Ryan’s face.
To be honest I was happy to still be able to see the leaders at the roundabout. I haven’t been running much but even at 2K I was still feeling good. Gilmour wasn’t that far ahead and then my legs stopped working properly and 3k never seemed to arrive and I wasn’t having much fun. There was a guy in front of me. I somehow caught him and gave him some encouragement to keep going. He took my advice and disappeared into the distance and then more people came past me and a lot of them didn’t look like they’d ever run before. That was disappointing.
I had to dig deep to get to the finish line. I’d dug deep in the past. One time was during the Jersey Cycling Road Race Championships – an event much harder than any 5K. It was miles long and went up Jubilee Hill a bunch of times. The weather that day had been appalling. And I’d been in an breakaway which lasted most of the race, only for me and my breakaway companion to be caught with a lap to go. Paying for this effort I was dropped on the last time up the climb and over the top the lead group were nowhere to be seen. And so I dug in. With a monumental effort I used all my remaining strength to try to catch them. And they weren’t hanging around. after a few miles of incredible effort, grit and determination and handsome I caught sight of them and then, digging in like I’ve never digged in before, I closed the gap. But now we were approaching to finish line with little time to recover. It was over! No way could I win. There was no chance a normal mortal could win from there but with a couple of hundred metres to go and into a furious headwind I launched a devastating sprint which nobody could match and I won and everybody clapped and the winner’s name? Well it was me. I just said. But what was most interesting about that day was that I had orange hair. My sister had bleached my hair and it was orange. There used to be a ginger nut in UCR. Phil MacGuire but he hated all the knobs in UCR and left. I don’t blame him. They are all knobs. Apart from me and I wasn’t running back then.
Actually Tom is great too. He’s lovely. He’s an architect and he makes you wish you had a big plot of land so you could invite him around and get him to design a house with a big bedroom that you could wake up in with Tom every morning. And a gym so you could work out with him. And a sauna where you could relax your weary muscles. Just you and Tom. Only your towels stopping you from rubbing your genitals on him.
Oh Tom, I wonder what you’re doing now?
Oh yeah, we’re getting yellow running vests for the group because we look a fucking mess. Gilmour’s organising it so expect a massive fuck up.
Anyway, that’s how I won the Jersey Road Race Championships. Not sure who won the 5K, I was fucking miles back.