Last weekend I found myself at work alone with Wifey away in the North-East.
While I worked my fingers to the bone, she was there acting as logistics and transportation support management for our younger daughter, who was in Newcastle to participate in the local half marathon, better known as the Great North Run.
This is a perennially popular event and I believe 57,000 people took part this year, all packed into vast blocks of runners along the central motorway. Naively, I thought I might just spot my baby girl amid this vast sea of people, as I tried to catch a glimpse on the web cams. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
I did consider taking part myself, having previously driven most of the route in my car, and I wasn’t out of breath once, but decided not to give Mo too much competition and let him have his day. Who knows, perhaps next year?
There is of course, the small matter of advancing years, creaking knees, accumulated body lard and sheer lack of running talent or stamina to consider. I get out of breath jogging my memory these days. And besides I find myself presently in training for the cycling tour. No not the Tour of Britain which started this week but the Naughty Tour.
Now in its umpteenth year Norton’s Annual Unruly Guinness Hunting Trip Year 2014 continues to go from strength to strength, as does the necessary tensile strength of the lycra required to contain aged and ever larger waistlines. Brutally handsome young athletes we are not. Beer supping mammals who should know better is more accurate.
This year we return to North Yorkshire and where more obvious than Masham, the cycling, sorry, the brewing capital of the Dales. The dangers to significant mileage achievement are obvious in the venue, but with a chance of dry weather next week, perhaps we will turn our pedals at least a little.
I will report back in due course but don’t confuse our tours with The Tour de France lightweights though, like Cavendish, our Johnnie did fall off his bike once in Harrogate.
Back to Newcastle, I watched as the millionth runner crossed the line hotly pursued by my baby girl who pursues an entirely different training regime to myself. So she has started the count towards the second million. A lovely achievement and a proud moment for any dad and more amazing because in a crowd like that I wondered if I’d ever see her again, never mind spot her on the telly!