Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.
Last week I focused very much on marathons in the the lead up to Sunday’s 35th London Marathon. Having a bad case of London Envy didn’t stop me joining the millions who watched tv coverage of the biggest marathon in the UK (after I’d been out on my bike, that is) and I certainly felt emotional watching the great Paula Radcliffe completing her final marathon, taking time to thank as many people as she could. The London Marathon never fails to inspire people to have a go themselves, and according to this article in The Telegraph, it seems that next year we may see a Hollywood heartthrob toeing the line in Greenwich. I wonder if “Swooney Clooney” will still look dashing after 26.2 miles? (And I wonder how many will enter the ballot in the hope of getting a sneaky selfie with “Gorgeous George”!)
Still on the theme of marathons, if you’ve already taken on a 26.2 then you’ll be familiar with the increasing difficulty in thinking clearly that tends to occur as the miles tick by and the brain becomes more and more addled (working out mile splits and projected finish times can become a real challenge). Usually all I can focus on by the end is making sure I get my medal and remembering where I’m meeting Steve! Spare a thought, then, for this poor chap who had great difficulty finding his car after running the recent Manchester Marathon. The last thing you want to be doing after all those miles is wandering around looking for your car in an unfamiliar city, but that’s exactly what he had to do. Fortunately, he has since found his car thanks to the help of a local good samaritan. Hopefully it wasn’t covered in parking tickets – ouch!
I was also interested to see this story in The Guardian about a new initiative in Birmingham to help tackle obesity by encouraging people to take up running. As runners, we already know the incredible health benefits gained from lacing up our trainers and heading out, and I’m quite sure we’ve all tried to convert someone else to love our favourite sport too. Now Birmingham City Council and Sport England are looking to encourage those who are inactive, especially in deprived communities, to start running, as well as to inspire sporadic exercisers to participate more regularly. An admirable aim and it will be interesting to see if the funding provided helps to break down some of the barriers to regular exercising. It would be good to see updates on this in the coming months to see if it has an impact on participation in sport across different demographics.
A more unusual idea to get people running comes from the designers of the new terminal at Tokyo International Airport. I’ve often wondered what sort of distance we actually cover as we weave through sprawling airport terminals, but I confess I would never have come up with an idea like this. Rather than using automated walkways, budding Olympians can take a much more active route through the terminal, leaving no excuses for missing a training session. I’m not sure how this will work during crowded peak times, but I can’t wait to see the photo ops ahead of the 2020 Olympics! And if we’re very lucky, Tomatan might even make an appearance!
And finally, if you’re anything like me then when you’re not out running, you probably enjoy reading about running. I’m always looking for recommendations for my next book and have a seemingly never-ending list of titles that I want to read. In this column from The Independent, Alexandra Heminsley (author of Running Like a Girl) provides a breakdown of some of the more popular titles currently available. If you need some inspiration, then it’s not a bad starting point. Now I’m off to update my list…
The Running Princess