A Date with Destiny
Sunday 14th April 2019

Now lets get this straight.

All those of you who said that you knew I would do it sooner or later, who saw it coming from the very first time I put on a pair of running shoes and reluctantly crawled around my first parkrun, who said it was inevitable once I had dragged my aching bones around the Plymouth half and said I sort of liked it, who said it was written in the stars, that it was my destiny ... you were wrong.

Completely wrong.

I was never going to do a marathon. And I think you will find that I went on record saying as much on several occasions. I couldn't have made it clearer. I you asked me. And I gave you my answer. So what makes you think you know me better than I know myself?

I mean, as I have pointed out to the disbelieving, naysayers, who were keen to introduce me to the irrational challenge of unnecessary pain and humiliation that is a 26.2 mile run, the marathon is approximately twice the distance of a half marathon.

Q. E. D. to do a marathon you would have to run a half marathon and then decide, using that thing we call free will to ignore all logic, choose isolated pointless struggle over relaxed knackered reflection and decide to run the damn thing all over again.

Paris Marathon 2019

 Guy will be running the Paris Marathon 2019 to raise funds for Hothouse Theatre.

All 26.2 miles of it! Paris. 14th April 2019. A day that will live in infamy.

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It was as plain as the day is long that this was never going to happen. Any free will that I have left after 13.1 miles is generally focused on the nearest bar and the consumption of far too much there in. Not dragging myself through the nearest thing to purgatory that the human race has invented in the name of leisure, is usually high on my list of things not to do next.

To put it short. It was completely out of the question. And there was an end to it.

Of course now I have decided to enter the Paris marathon, all those people who knew better than me have started to crawl out of the wood work with their, 'I told you so' looks upon their self satisfied faces and gloat that 'I'm saying nothing' gloat, that is designed to really piss a person off.

Don't deny it. You know who you are.

I can't say this clearly enough. You were all wrong. I was never going to do a marathon. It's just that ... like the Brexiteer who doesn't have a vested interest in avoiding the latest EU tax evasion regulations and has spent at least part of the last couple of years rubbing his or her brain cells together ... I have changed my mind.

It's OK. You are allowed to do that.

So what changed my mind?

It is difficult to say. I'm not sure I can actually put my finger on it. There was a brief feeling at the Liverpool Rock and Roll, that half marathon runners are second class citizens in the marathon world (or should that be half citizens) when I found that it was only the marathon runners who got to run through Anfield.

But any urge that might have stirred in the signing up for the 'full' department on that slender basis, was snuffed out by the last 3 miles as the 'you are nearly there' enthusiasm of supporters clashed with the resounding chorus of every joint in my legs, screaming, 'STOP RUNNING!'

I finished the Rock n' Roll half without the slightest desire to turn round and do it all again.

Rock N' Roll Half - Liverpool

Now it is just possible that my resolve began to slip the day after the Liverpool when we decided to miss our train and give the city a chance to show us just what it is made of. 12 hours soaking up the atmosphere, to say nothing of the beer, of Britain's premier Rock n' Roll nostalgia city, may have done some permanent damage to my reasoning.

Seduced by the statue of Cilla, bamboozled by Eleanor Rigby crashed out on a bench and bowled over by the constant rhythm of the Cavern Club, still the beating heart of Beatnik City, I was probably ripe for the planting of any old silly idea in my star struck head.

If that were the case, then luckily, a mid day start, in a heat wave, for the Wales Half Marathon, a month later, rekindled the dying embers of my common sense.

The real damage was probably done by an off the cuff comment made by my other half during an evening in with a bottle or two.

Most of the sentence I probably didn't catch and has certainly been confined to the either of things forgotten, never to be recalled. What I did hear was "... and then we could spend 5 night in Paris in the spring."

Now there is still a part of me that has the attitude that, give or take an incline or 2, a marathon is 26.2 miles no matter where it is. If the suggestion had been the Manchester, Birmingham or Coventry marathon, a simple "Not on your Nelly," would have moved us on to the next bottle of Roche Mazet without another thought and my destiny would have been somewhat different.

But Paris! In the spring!! Now that opened a completely different can of worms.

A can of worms with fine cheese and pate and buckets of post race fine wine.

A can of worms with the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees and the Place de la Concorde. To say nothing of Notre Dame, the Pompidou Centre, Musee d Orsay and the Louvre.

A can of worms with Maurice Chevalier singing Paris Sera Toujours Paris, Picasso and Van Gough and Ernest Hemingway being thrown out of the same bars - at different times. Charles Lawton swinging from the bells and Napoleon, pointedly not getting randy with Josephine in countless 1970's adverts and sketch shows.

Now that is a can of worms that is well worth changing your mind for.

Whether or not my mind remains changed when I reach the 20 mile mark on April 14th with 'only' 2 parkruns to go, and the enthusiastic ones on the sideline are shouting, 'Vous y ĂȘtes presque', remains to be seen.

Guy's Paris training run 2016

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Oh My Nottz is a HotHouse Theatre production. Co. No. 6505843 Charity No. 1154523. Tel 07963020259 email guy@hothousetheatre.com website www.hothousetheatre.com
The views expressed in Oh My Nottz are not necessarily those held by HotHouse Theatre.