Monday, 6 October 2008

Sony Ericsson's Run to the Beat

"Run to the Beat? The beat of what precisely? The beat of my own heart reminding me that, on some level, I am alive?" As the rain pelted down, I wondered what had made me think that stewarding at a half-marathon was such a good idea. It seemed one of my fellow Marshalls was pondering the same question as she phoned me every hour, on the hour.

“This is horrific” she wailed.
“I know” I agreed. There was a dangerous pause.
“I have Anadil Extra in my bag”
“Please keep calling me” I replied.

As I stood outside an industrial estate near the O2, soaked to the bone by 8.00am (we Marshalls all met up at 7.00am), I lamented there was very little I would rather do less on a Sunday morning. Except perhaps actually running the race, that is.

There were apparently 16 bands playing at different stations around the course. I was nowhere near any of them.

Fortunately, my bleak mood lifted when runners started to enter my sector. The first batch looked great: awesomely fit like sinewy horses. I tried to cheer them, I really did, but coming from a lone Marshall, my single ‘whoop’ sounded weak and slightly forced. For the two men wearing Borat-inspired lime ‘Mankinis’ I managed a cheer. If there is one thing that would raise a smile from the crowd it was them. I tried to get a picture but they were running too fast! A couple of bananas and a beer bottle were some of the other fashion moments.

Many people ran for charity causes, making me feel most guilty for being a misery-guts! Leukaemia Research (, and Cancer Reseach ( showed an especially impressive presence.
Altogether, I was impressed by the efforts of others and their determination, even if I personally would rather have remained in my duvet that morning!

Sony Ericsson Run to the Beat is London’s first Half Marathon event. The route starts and finishes at The O2 and winds through the streets of Greenwich. A main stage will be located next to the start/finish line and bands will play at 16 stations strategically positioned along the route.

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