Thinking of taking up running in the New Year? Milton Lindsay did just that in 2016 and has seen the weight drop off and has completed 20 park runs at Eaton Park. Here he looks back at those first steps and how he is looking forward to further progress in 2017.
Inspiration came like a bolt out of the clear blue sky that spring afternoon.
I had just turned 55 and was sitting on the sofa taking stock when the drudgery of daytime TV was pierced by a Machiavellian inner voice nagging me to revisit the cross country exploits of my youth.
This random craving defied all logical explanation. After all, my last long-distance running effort, some 40 years previously, had ended in abject failure and humiliation.
At the annual fifth form cross country championship in a Luton park a teacher, in a rare act of mercy decided to put the race stragglers out of their misery.
Rather than allowing them to sully the event, he ordered the no-hopers back to their classrooms. As I traipsed through the school gates one of the younger pupils asked why I had returned early. I lied that I had won the event with plenty in hand – a guilty secret I have harboured for years.
Perhaps my lowest point came at the school sports one year, when after a worthy effort in the 100 and 200 metres events I was coerced into taking part in the 1500 metres to make up the numbers.
Protests of incompetence fell on deaf ears and inevitably, I trailed in last by some considerable distance after running the last of the four laps in splendid isolation. Watched by an audience of hundreds, I collapsed gasping like a fish out of water after the finishing line. One of my classmates, no doubt delighted to see his house captain get his comeuppance, later said how amusing he found it to see me taking it easy during the race on such a hot day. I would have hit him had I been able to summon the energy.
For years, I had kidded myself that I was suited only to sprint distances, rather like a racehorse bred for the purpose. Put me in the Nunthorpe and I’ll take my chance but the Derby – no thanks, I’ll leave that to the stayers. My pedigree simply was not suited to the extended tests, I reasoned.
But despite a distance running CV that was beyond embellishment I found myself donning kit and trainers and heading out to nearby Earlham Park in Norwich. Continue reading “It’s 20 parkruns and counting for Milton as he notches up 100km in eight months”