A wry view of life for the world-weary

Enterprise Of The Week


When I feel like taking some exercise I lie down until the feeling has passed. So I find it difficult to understand why people go to the trouble of running 26.2 miles in what is otherwise known as a Marathon. OK, I can understand it if you have some exciting news to impart, like Pheidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens to impart the news of the battle of Marathon to the waiting citizens, but otherwise…

So hats off to 28 year-old Kenyan, Joseph Njogu, who according to reports this week finished second in his country’s Nairobi International Marathon, a finish that would have earned him $7,000 in proze money. Officials, however, were suspicious when the athlete finished showing no sign of fatigue. Alas, this was not an example of the famed East African stamina but rather a piece of nefarious skulduggery. Njogu, it seems, had barely run a kilometre – that’s more than enough in my book – emerging from a crowd of onlookers to join the leading group of runners outside the stadium. Race officials have taken a dim view of his enterprise and he has had his collar felt.

Incidentally, the distance of the first marathon at the 1896 Olympic games was (just) 24.85 miles. The extra mileage was tacked on for the 1908 race which was run from Windsor Castle to the White City Stadium, just so the runners could finish in front of the royal box. Another reason to curse the monarchy, methinks.


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