The publicity tour for Why We Run began this weekend, even though the book is not out until next Thursday (14th, April). First there was a talk at the excellent Saffron Walden Festival which ended up being a free-for-all discussion about everyone’s different running experiences. There seemed to be unanimous agreement about most of what we discussed, except for where the idea to take on epic distances comes from in the first place. In any case, we started at 8pm, finished at 10pm and I was home in time to pack my bags for the flight the following morning up to the Scotsman’s Outdoor Pursuits Show in Edinburgh.
It was only the second night that I had been away since the boy was born. (The first, in November, I was grateful for, since it was the first chance to get a full night’s sleep). This time, though, I was homesick almost the moment the plane landed. It was a beautiful day in Edinburgh, but what I really wanted was to be at home changing nappies.
After talking to another excellent audience – many of whom were ultra-distance runners of some pedigree – I sold a few books and got chatting to one visitor who waited for the queue to die down before coming forward. ‘I’ve got a project going that you might be interested in. Seven marathons, seven days, seven continents. You know, the race that Ranulph Fiennes and Mike Stroud did.’ I knew it well, but quite what Mrs H would make of it was another matter.
We exchanged email addresses and then I headed off to change into my running kit and got in the first of two lung-busting runs up in the hills to the West of the city. The following day it was back to the Pursuits Show for another talk and then to the airport and home, not without having first found a few more people willing to join me at Big Ben for the Double London Marathon at 4am, a week on Sunday.
I had been marveling to myself last week that I had escaped the obligatory illness and injury this year, but got home with a stonking head cold – the perils of running in wet training gear combined with the travel, I expect. All in all though a very successful weekend, and now it is time to put the feet up, get some rest and await the alarm clock on the 17th.