Racing Line

Two older people and a young lad on a big stage made me think today.

The first was a runner. His movement was restricted, running stiffly. In his seventies, he was warming up for the local Parkrun this morning.

It’s a beautiful early autumn day, no wind, dry and perfect for running. I wished him luck. He then pointed towards a twisty bit in the course. And he laid out his plan.

He said that he felt that he could make up a few seconds if he took the racing line. He explained that he’d been around the entire course working out what line to take. He tapped the side of his head. I think he’ll smash his PB today. I hope he does.

The young lad goes be the name of Raphael Janssens. He’s 13. And he sang a solo at the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup last night. In front of 50,000 people and up to a billion watching around the world.

He gripped the microphone with both hands and he looked scared. But he was pitch perfect. And it occurred to me that this took more guts than anything displayed by the 30 players in the opening match after the ceremony.

And lastly, Sir Alex Ferguson, legendary manager of my two teams Aberdeen and Manchester United. Always quotable. Speaks unarguable truths.

On retirement, he was advised to never put his slippers on. So he puts his shoes on right after breakfast and takes them off just before his bedtime. That way he is ready for anything.

As a runner I want to stay ready, to take responsibility and to take my inspiration from people all around me. If that comes from two elderly gentlemen and a young lad on a big stage, that’s all the better.


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