This is Old Town in Stockholm. It’s a beautiful, tranquil and, most importantly, steep bit of the city. The steep bit is the important part here.
In 2009 I visited my daughter, Sarah, who was living and working in Stockholm at the time. The Stockholm Half Marathon would be my first on foreign soil, so I prepared really well.
I’d trained well, following a pretty good regime. Being a great believer in “you must run the distance” and also being from Yorkshire “I’m not going all that way and not finishing because the weather’s lousy and wasting mi brass” the distance run was going to be a bit serious.
The wettest, most squalid, windy horrible day during August 2009 saw me laying my three pounds down at Saffron Lane to use the track. 53 laps of a bl**dy running track. In the belting rain. “if I can do this, I can do owt” was the mantra for the day. I changed direction every 10 laps otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do a right turn on the day.
Well, I figured if Saffron Lane as good enough for this lot, it was good enough for me!
Cometh the day, cometh the man. 19km going well.
This lot clearly had never run the distance, because I pasted loads of them between 19km and 20km.
If anyone ever tells you “It’s less than a mile then you’ve done” try running 1.1km through Old Town in Stockholm when you are absolutely, totally cream crackered.