You Can’t Spell “Let’s Go Fucking Running, Boys!” Without FUN

7:30am. Too early. Too early by far. My porridge sat uneasily in my oesophagus like Goldilocks sat in that chair that wasn’t juuuust right. I drove to the rendezvous, speeding past the travellers who were out early, setting up in their trading post at Bel Royal. I was in my Ford S-Max and listening to The Breeders. I headed down Victoria Avenue. I was thirsty already. I’d had a bad case of the night sweats last night. I’d woken up soaked.

I saw Faudemer first. From my car. He was over by the sea wall.  James Faudemer. Mid twenties. Tennis coach. Hell of a guy. Women want to be him and men want to be with him. I had to go around the roundabout first and then I parked in the lay-by near the shelter where Faudy and now Steve were engaged in vigorous Grecian stretching of their groins. Mmmm. I parked in one of the slanted parking spots. Got out of the car. Looked At the car. I’d parked badly. I was well over one side and so I got back in and tried again. The second time felt better but it still miles over. I left it. It was Sunday at 7:30 and nobody was going to park next to me.

I was wearing my black UCR vest, black shorts with orange flashing and orange Salming shoes.

Steve Laporte-Hehon-Hehon-Port-Port is possibly a bit older than James and looks like a bad white rapper. He looks good, just that he’d rap bad. His running top was horrible. His presence took our number to 3 which is a lot for one of our group runs and that number which was 3 soon became 4 when Tom Perchard sashayed down the cycle path. If you think Steve’s top was bad you want to see Tom’s. It was like a darts player might wear at the oche. That’s the attractive thing about Tom, though. He just doesn’t care what he wears and to be fair he still looks great. He’s about 30 and has a proper job. You’d let Tom bang your mum. Repeatedly and then you’d make him breakfast. A class act.

So then there were 4. Scenes. What’s this? Gilmour arrived! Mark Gilmour. 40 odd, looks older. Weather-beaten. Also a tennis coach but looks like a fisherman. The 5 of us set off. James picked the route. Up St Peter’s Valley and on the way we picked up the last guy. Last guy is a weird way of describing this guy because he’s usually first! Yeah, only Dan Fucking Romeril. Yes, THAT Dan Romeril. Yesterday’s ParkRun winner in a time of 15 minutes and, like 50 seconds. Awesome. I did it too but wasn’t trying.

Dan is also about 30 but looks like a Love Island contestant. Somehow too perfect. He could be in Hollyoaks and immediately took his top off even though it was only 15 degrees. “I’m hot!” he said, with a wink. Yes you fucking are, I thought but didn’t say anything because even though we were running slowly along the front I was fucked and out of breath. Sometimes I start off feeling fucked and then feel alright after half an hour. I hoped that would happen today. Dan reckons the black UCR vest hurts his nipples. I don’t believe him.

We made our way through the foothills of the Valley of St Peter. A beautiful landscape that cloaked a horror at one end of it. That horror being a bit of a hill. I don’t mind it, actually, it’s only little and I prefer going uphill to downhill, but you’d think it was Kilimanjaro the way Gilmour goes on.

It was more like kill-a-man-Jamie because far from feeling better I felt worse. I’ve ran a lot this week and I think I damaged my heart so I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d collapsed and died.

Tom and James had now taken their tops off and Steve had taken his top and body off and somehow vanished completely into thin air. I suggested we go look for him but I didn’t really mean it. I just wanted a rest. I was still on the verge of collapsing and I started thinking about what would happen. If I fell. How my companions, tops off and glistening with sweat, would take it in turns trying to revive me. Trying more and more extreme methods… oh boy. That thought gave me a rush of blood below my waist. To my legs and I felt better. I was slightly disappointed that I wasn’t going to collapse and I felt okay on the hill. I could hear Dan panting next to me… oh boy.

We got to the top ahead of the others, like Hilary and Tensing, and Dan wanted to continue on, to leave Mark, James and Tom in the dust. It was tempting, it really was. I nearly agreed but instead I pretended to be a bit tired and so we waited. And as we did Dan saw a squirrel. His face lit up. “A squirrel! A squirrel dropped its mushroom!!” he said. I could see he badly wanted to jump into the undergrowth and chase it. I was reminded how simple Dan was. Hey, with those looks you don’t need much brains but that’s another reason I’d pick Tom if we were captured by ISIS and forced to kiss each other as some kind of insane torture.

When we were all back together Dan regaled us with a story about how he’d delayed a bus and all the passengers by trying to get on the bus carrying a boat. We all laughed but I was getting nervous. We’d done the hard part of the run but now came the downhill and I can’t run downhill. Don’t know why. It’s like how a cow can’t go down stairs. I knew I was going to suffer down Beaumont Hill. I was dreading it but then James fucked up. James took us down a road and into an estate. He’d clearly fucked up, the next road was the one he wanted but he’d fucked it. James can’t admit mistakes so instead of just turning around we ran around this estate for a while. Eventually I saw the steeple to the church and headed to it. The others went the other way. They went the wrong way and I was back at the main road by the time they’d found their way out. I went straight down the hill. At my own pace. My achilles was killing me. Particularly the right one and I regretted wearing my orange Salmings. I looked at my feet and saw that I wasn’t. I was wearing my Nikes which also have orange on them. That was weird but at least I was still colour coordinated.

Dan caught me first as we were going along the front. Fuck he’s fast and has a great strong back. I tried to keep up with him but couldn’t. I stopped and rolled down my sock because my socks hurt my achilles. I had my shoe off when James came past. I put it back on and tried to catch him but couldn’t because he’s fucking fast too. With a kilometre to go I heard footsteps approaching. I knew it was Gilmour. He’s quite fast for his age and just to be a bit of a prick I waited until his footsteps were close and then I really ran fast for a bit and then slowed and did it again! Then I stopped and walked to my car. Gilmour was sat on the wall grumbling about erratic pace. Then Tom arrived. He’d been to the toilet for ages. I left them and got in my badly parked car. There was a Pepsi Max! Unopened in the centre console! Result! I drank it while crouching down in the seat so neither Mark nor Tom could see me. In case they wanted me to share it.

 

 

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