Joining the club

Last week I went for my first ever club run, as member 11119 of the Serpentine Running Club. I am only slightly surprised to find myself writing this, since about a million years ago I told myself I would never join a running club. I forget exactly why this was, but I think it probably had something to do with believing that they nurtured competition over the freedom of the open road. More likely it was because I was a little bit scared of being left in the dust.

Meetings at Speaker’s Corner at 7pm sharp, we ran a 7/8 miles round Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Green Park. The idea being that we’d be back in the club house for a quick shower and then off the pub. As a plan it was executed perfectly, except that I forgot my bicycle lights and had to leave the other runners in the basement drinking white wine out of plastic glasses.

The next day I was back to the usual lunchtime run down by the river, and I realised it was a mistake not to have signed up with the Serpies 2 and 1/2 years ago when I was starting to make real strides with the running. Running is, by its nature, a solipsistic pastime, but what I have realised, perhaps too late, is that you can have your cake and eat it, since there is nothing better than adjourning to the pub after a long run.

I hope I’ll be able to get one more Serpie run in before heading to the US on Sunday, but with the boy’s bath time and boxing up to finally move house, I’ll be pressed for time. Still, I have my t-shirt, which I’ll take with me as a badge of honour and I find out today whether I have got a last-minute place in the Brooklyn half-marathon, and wait to see how many nods of recognition I get when we line up in a couple of weeks.


About Robin Harvie

I have been running marathons for ten years. But when I couldn't around faster than 3 hours 12 minutes, I decided to see how far I could run before I keeled over. Turns out pretty far. In September 2009 I took on the Spartathlon - 152 miles from Athens to Sparta. Non stop. Why We Run is about that journey and about why we run at all.
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3 Responses to Joining the club

  1. Jon says:

    Enjoying the blog, dawg. Enjoyed the book, too – and appreciated the warts-and-all aspect of it. It would have been easy to leave out the loss of your father in law, in a way, regardless of how fundamental it might have been to your actual running, to make you seem more… I don’t know, athletic? Natural? Nice? It’s left me thinking, a lot. Not used to that!
    Anyway, good luck with the book, and keep the blog going. Cheers!

    • Robin Harvie says:

      Very glad you enjoyed the book! I spent a lot time trying to work out how to use the personal story as to avoid it would have been to miss out a large part of the story. Anyhow, very nice to know that it worked!

  2. Jon says:

    Oh, it certainly worked! It left me uncomfortable in some odd ways, and I even shouted at the book once or twice… But your effusive thanks to your wife in the acknowledgments did the job. Great work, fella!
    Not tempted to try the Spartathlon though. Am thinking about doing the Grand Union though, but doing it over five or six days…

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