Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Rocking Up at Suzi Q's

Suzi does a bit of post-run stretching in her Essex mansion's boudoir.......

WAS that really a famous face peering out at 164 windswept runners as we streamed past a 17
th century mansion deep in the Essex countryside last weekend?

Now, of course, it might be my imagination running away with me, but I could have sworn I spotted the pop legend Suzi Quatro lurking behind one of those upper floor leaded windows as we ran past on Friday evening.  

We were midway through Springfield Striders’ annual five-mile race north of Chelmsford at the time, and it transpires that this was indeed Hyde Hall, the impressive country house purchased by Suzi Q at the height of her fame more than 30 years ago.

And if it was her looking on, Ms Quatro could certainly be forgiven for putting on a glum and envious face.  This lively 62-year-old former chart-topper normally “goes for a run every day” we are told, but is currently out of action as she is nursing a smashed kneecap and broken wrist – and going through painful and lengthy rehab.

I am reliably informed her injuries are nothing to do with her running or rock’n’rolling, but the result of a spectacular and embarrassing tumble down the steps of an aircraft in Kiev a few weeks ago. Some of the gruesome details were posted on her fan club website and include references to bones sticking out, an operation to re-break a fracture and massive plaster casts being put on various limbs.

Perhaps the sight of us Springfield five-milers trotting past the house may have inspired her, or maybe it was just coincidence, but within hours of the race there was good news emanating from within Hyde Hall. Suzi joyously reported taking her first steps without the aid of crutches, and she also broadcast a Youtube message for her fans recorded from her garden. In fact (rather spookily) at exactly the same moment your Clapped Out Runner started writing this blog, Suzi popped up Facebook with the message: “Took my first steps today unaided around the kitchen, wow, wow, wow! Next stop rock and roll!”

Seems to me it’s high time Suzi gave up her solo jogging and joined one of her local running clubs! After all, despite the Detroit accent, she’s a true Essex girl these days. She moved into Hyde Hall way back in 1980 after spotting it for sale at £120,000 in the pages of Country Life magazine. A year or two ago, suffering from “empty nest syndrome” after the kids moved out, she put the house on the market for £2.3 million, but evidently no sale took place.

If her recovery continues to go well, we demand to see the plucky little rock’n’roller taking part in next year’s five-mile event – or, failing that, how about manning a drinks station in the front garden of the house? There are certain runners I know who would much prefer a glass of Champagne (like the one in the Youtube video) instead of the usual water or electrolyte drinks.

It would also give us the chance to stop and ask what on earth was going on with those baffling lyrics in Can the Can, and all that stuff about a “silk sash bash” in 48 Crash too.

* Check out Rob Hadgraft’s books on running: Visit www.robhadgraft.com

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