Surprises Of The Week (2)


It’s enough to make you give up exercise!

In April I reported that the Bournemouth half marathon turned out to be three miles longer than it should have been and now news reaches me that the Shrewsbury half-marathon run a couple of weeks ago was half a mile short. Suspicions were alerted when a large proportion of the participants reported personal bests. If there was only one thing they were going to get right, you would think it would be the length of the course.

Still, the disappointed runners robbed of their personal bests by a monumental cock-up should thank their lucky stars they weren’t competing in the Levens Mud Day race held in la belle France the same weekend. More than 1,000 of the 8,400 participants in this rather extreme event have reported  symptoms of acute gastroenteritis similar to that caused by norovirus. Judging by the photos the competitors had to get down and dirty with the mud.

As some of the sufferers hadn’t eaten any food on site the investigators are ruling out a dodgy meal as the cause. Some runners reported that sections of the course had a distinct smell of horse manure and it is possible that the runners ingested mud contaminated with the virus along the way.


And, finally, news reached me this week that Arkansas teenager, Grant Botti, woke up with earache and discovered a four centimetre centipede crawling inside his eardrum. Showing remarkable presence of mind he yanked it out and put it in a plastic bag.

Despite small abrasions on his eardrum the teenager was otherwise none the worse for his ordeal although it is not known what happened to the centipede.

How it got there is unclear – you know teenagers with their hygiene standards – but he did go swimming outside sometime earlier.

As I said, it’s enough to give exercise a miss.

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