Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Nudists, Emus, Elephants and Other Runners in the News!

RUNNING is a more newsworthy activity than you might think.

This week I dug out my little reporter’s notebook, brushed up on my Pitman shorthand, and sniffed out some true stories involving runners, all of which hit the news in this one average week of December. 

So, in time-honoured ITV style, here's today’s ‘Running News at Ten’:

Nude runner wins appeal as judge rejects claims of ‘penile terrorism’!
Emu volunteers to be a runner’s new training partner!
Running in towns makes you stupid, says bonkers Daily Mail story!
Policeman runner makes an arrest during training session!
Marathon girl Morag gives lung cancer a run for its money!
Drunken elephants go for a quick run in Siberia!
Meet the man who’s a cross between Bear Grylls and Forrest Gump!
Essex girl’s hamstrings are refusing to talk to her!

Good evening everyone……………

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND: The right to go running in the nude has been upheld by a New Zealand court. Andrew Pointon was wearing only shoes on an early morning run in a forest when spotted by a woman walking her dog. She called police and Pointon was convicted of offensive behavior. He lodged an appeal, claiming: “If it was offensive, God wouldn't have given us genitals.” He said women were allowed to ride naked in a busy town during the recent ‘Boobs on Bikes’ event, but he’d been nabbed while naked in a remote area. The High Court judge sympathised and quashed his conviction. 

VIRGINIA, USA: A runner got more than he bargained for when setting off last week for a leisurely few miles in a quiet neighbourhood of Virginia Beach.  After a couple of miles he was suddenly joined by an emu, which ran happily alongside. The worried runner kept quiet and kept going, but passers-by became alarmed and called police. Animal control officers were called in and revealed that the emu was the pet of a local person and had drifted away from its home.

LONDON, UK:  Running in towns can make you go senile, according to university research highlighted in the Daily Mail. Studies showed people who exercise in urban areas have higher levels of mental decline and inflammation in their brains. Traffic pollution could significantly age the brains of over-50s. We must therefore conclude that running in towns can make you stupid - especially if you’re a Daily Mail reader!

GEORGIA, USA: The City of Dalton's Chief of Police Jason Parker set off for an enjoyable steady run recently, but it turned into an unplanned speed session when he found himself chasing a suspect. Chief Parker saw a man acting suspiciously and carrying items away from a residential premises. As he approached, the suspect began running, and when Parker shouted that he was a police officer, the man picked up the pace. It turned into quite a race, but eventually the officer’s fitness from regular running won the day. Fair cop, guv.

EAST SUSSEX, UK:  Last Christmas, Morag Murray was told she had lung cancer and 40% of her right lung had to be removed. A year later she is raising a glass with clubmates at Hastings Runners Club to toast many miles run and charity pounds raised since her major surgery. The 54-year-old was back up and running within months, completing the Hastings Half-Marathon. a 50-mile bike ride in Liverpool, traversing the three highest peaks in Yorkshire and the Great North Run. She puts her recovery down to the basic fitness achieved from her years of marathon running.

SIBERIA, RUSSIA:  Glugging down vast quantities of vodka and then going for a jog is not recommended procedure for serious runners, but it seems to have saved the lives of two Indian circus elephants. The truck in which they were being transported caught fire and was left stranded on a highway in the middle of freezing Siberia. Their handlers did the only thing they could think of, which was to give them two cases of vodka mixed with water and get them to run around a bit. Eventually help arrived and all have now arrived safely at their Omsk destination.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA:  These days your Clapped-Out Runner rarely runs for longer than 60 minutes – but Aussie Richard Bowles this week got back from a run lasting 60 days! Bowles became the first person to run the 3,054-kilometre Te Araroa Trail, which spans the entire length of New Zealand. It was no flash in the pan either, for earlier this year he was first to run the world’s longest marked trail, the rugged National Trail of Australia. The equivalent of 127 marathons, it took him 23 weeks.

And finally…………

ESSEX, UK: “My hamstrings are not speaking to me,” was the verdict of Harwich Runners’ star Becky McCorquodale at the end of the Waveney Valley Turkey Trot 10-miler in Beccles last weekend. Becky is on the comeback trail after a year out with a foot injury - and although her hamstrings are in a strop, she’s pleased to be “best buddies with the foot” this week!  Becky is sometimes known by the nickname ‘TomTom’, which was given to her after she got lost during one of the most straightforward cross-country routes known to mankind (“Someone mentioned cake”, was her only excuse!). 

Rob Hadgraft’s five books on running are now also available as e-books for Kindle at just £4.99 each.   Use this link:   Rob Hadgraft's running books on Amazon
or  www.robhadgraft.com

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