From the archive, 8

Various diaries came to light while I was office-clearing last Christmas, most notably a diary I kept for five months, from December 1986 to May 1987. I had just started work at Queen Mary College (as it was then), and celebrated my new job by applying for a place in the London Marathon; the diary begins on the day the acceptance arrived, and ends the day after the race, in which I ran 2hrs 46mins 59secs and came 957th out of a field of over 20000.

I have just typed it up (it runs to 105 pages, so nobody wants to read it). I found the experience very evocative; apart from the training, and the new job, I was facing commuting from Oxford to London (four hours travel every workday), and doing my share of childminding (the children were 11, 9, and 7 in the time, and all sang in choirs).

The diary records day to day events, running and other injuries, reflections on my running on the past and comparisons with the present, etc.

I ran the London Marathon again the following year; the year after that, I sat on the sofa and watched it on television, and was thoroughly put in my place when I saw Gareth Jones (who was a student with me in Oxford, and at the time did no sport while I ran in the University cross-country team and earned a Full Blue) finish in a time of somewhere round 2hrs 25mins.

The exercise of typing up the diary might inspire me to start running again when I am back in St Andrews; it is in many ways a more attractive place for running than London.


About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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