Thursday, 8 September 2016
Prancing in the dark
Despite my every-increasing list of crippling injuries, I have accepted another challenge.
A friend of mine got in touch a couple of nights ago to ask if I fancied joining him in running around the streets of Belfast under pitch black skies.
This might once have sounded foolhardy. But not any longer. Plus, it's not quite as random as that.
The event in question is called Run in the Dark and, before Tuesday, I'd never heard of it. So let me explain.
At various hours of darkness on Wednesday 16 November, thousands of runners wearing flashing red armbands will huddle together in 50 cities around the world. They will then set off on either a 5k or 10k night time run, "becoming part of a living light show through the streets like lava." (Major Tim Peake will be gutted that he'll have to watch from ground level).
And it's all in aid of raising a bit of cash to speed up a cure for paralysis. Sounds like a mighty fine idea to me.
Alongside a growing number of "pop up" venues, there are five official Run in the Dark Cities across the British Isles: Manchester and London on this side of the Irish Sea; and Cork, Dublin and Belfast over the water.
To add to the novelty, the Belfast event starts and ends in the grounds of Parliament Buildings, Stormont. In fact, right on the self-same stretch of steep tarmac I trained on 20 years ago when I played rugby for the Northern Ireland Civil Service before tearing my leg up and being forced to retire. Happy times - perversely, I grant you.
But it sounds like a laugh so my flights are booked and I'm officially registered to run. All I need now are my flashing armbands, a little bit of training and the guarantee of a few pints afterwards.
If you fancy joining me and my pal in the run, you can sign up HERE.
Or if you just think you might also be thirsty that night and expect to be in or around the city a little later on, you'll probably know how to get in touch with me.
I eagerly await your excuses.