Grand Sam, Liverpool and on the Frontline.....
Apologies for radio silence, I have been up north with the boys in blue (talking to them about media rather than helping them with their inquiries I hasten to add...)
Today, I'm back in the pages of the Telegraph writing about Samantha Morton..... and recovering from the Liverpool half marathon last week (1hr 53 according to my stopwatch personal best know you were dying to ask) . But made me think while I was puffing my way around Sefton Parkto the tune of Christina Aguilera’s Fighter (what is it about running that any sophisticated music taste goes?) and it made me think: how does a place’s culture affect the race?
I’ve run races in London, Newcastle and Liverpool now. Newcastle – the Great North Run – is brash and tough, but with a soft centre; locals stand on the side of the road offering drinks and sweets, determined that no one from Middlesborough will not say that they don’t treat their runners right.
In London when I ran the Nike 10k it seemed full of overachieving young Londoners who were ticking off yet another life experience to put on the CV. But then find yourself in the dippy hippy enclave of Victoria Park for the Rainforest Alliance Run and you splash through the mud in a rather disorganised way to save the planet, no chance of an ecological sound T Shirt.
And then there’s Liverpool, which I’ve run two years now. It falls on the same day as Reading ends up rather like the Tranmere Rovers to Reading’s Everton. Last year it was all the things that I love about Liverpool and simultaneously make me want to bang my head on my desk: great atmosphere, great camaraderie and disorganisation - ie the water ran out, there were no free T shirts and residents whinged that they didn’t want runners passing in front of their houses.
This year they’d sorted the water, the T-Shirts and re-routed the 13.1 miles. Still at the start there was a delay. The Century FM DJ told the thousands assembled that they had to wait as someone had parked their car on the course.
Only in Liverpool.
Finally the Frontline Club in New York held this really interesting event - the News Carers last month that I have just discovered. The video should be downloaded in the next week or so. Glad to hear this is now being debated across the Atlantic as well.