Thursday 21st June
Is it the sunny weather, a rarity so far this summer? Is it the fact that the Olympics will soon be upon us? Is it the football, which has suddenly made us all athletic? Whatever it is I have never seen so many runners. Quite often in my early morning walk with the dogs I see no-one at all, then there are mornings when all I see are fellow dog-walkers, all out with their little black pooper-scooper bags, at other times there appears to be a surfeit of cyclists cluttering up the pavement – hasn’t anyone told them – ‘This is a pavement, it is for people to walk on, just over there is a road, that is where you should be.’ Yesterday morning I saw runner after runner, and no before you suggest it, they weren’t from some amateur athletics group or a school, in fact that were completely disparate and I might add running in both directions. There were the old men, wiry with silver curly hair and bright yellow tops and baggy white shorts, and elasticated socks that came too high up their calf, doing that strange half run, half walk, waddle that old men do. There were the young city-clickers in the latest Nike matching gear with their fancy water bottle and i-pods, running in pairs. There was the overweight but not too large mid-thirties woman in the tight black lycra shorts that left little to the imagination, and even less to desire. There were the two Chinese girls, early twenties, seriously running in smart new Adidas tracksuits, and there were also the obvious first-timers who kept stopping to rest – fatal, if you are serious about running at all. But where did they all come from? And why do I only see them on some mornings – I, the most regular dog-walker in the world. Just one of life’s little mysteries I suppose. Maybe I will meet a convoy of mobility scooters tomorrow; or an army of pregnant women all striding forward into a new dawn. We’ll see.