Well, it’s the end of September, and I’m just one of 120,000 people who have applied for a ballot place in next year’s Flora London Marathon. Obviously, having been accepted by the ballot previously, I’m in all probability going to be rejected again, just like last year and the year before that. Just like roughly 90,000 other people.
It’s a damning admission for a grown man to make, but if I don’t get in this year, I’m almost certain to sink, once again, into the slough of despondency known in our house anyway as ‘Rejection Dejection.’
This condition traditionally renders me monosyllabic with disappointment for several weeks, and ensures that even when running along the beach, my desolate body language is eloquent enough to send even the local seagulls into a pit of despair. So you can imagine how much fun I am to live with in early October every year.
This condition isn’t to be confused with ‘Pre-Race Injury Angst’ by the way, which involves just as much sighing and moping, but which is generally performed with the aid of crutches, plaster or similar medical props, as supplied by my local A & E department.
(Just as an aside, does anyone else find their local hospital fairly unsympathetic about sporting injuries? I’ve heard the ‘self-inflicted injury’ line from doctors there a few times. You’d think they’d have a little respect for those of us who avoid obesity and cigarettes in favour of a healthy lifestyle, but I’ve yet to see any sign of it.)
I don’t wish to seem like too much of an old grouch, but I’m also getting pretty hacked off at getting an email entitled FLM Email Update on a weekly basis, which always fails to be either confirmation or rejection.
I’m also being besieged by emails from charities offering me the chance to apply for their Golden Bond places if and when I’m rejected by the ballot. Do they know something I don’t? They do, don’t they?
And more importantly, how paranoid do you have to be to suspect Britain’s most respected charities of plotting behind your back?
So please, FLM, in the name of humanity, stop sending me the email wind-ups, which are currently even less welcome than the endless offers of Vigara (sic) and ‘male enhancement products’ from the world’s leading spammers. (Who the hell are these people anyway, and how do they know so much about my personal problems?)
Instead, please just send me the traditional magazine, bearing the world’s two most beautiful words (if you’re a middle-aged marathon-obsessive, obviously).
But please don’t send them as an email. My spam filter is pretty much guaranteed to reject anything with the words ‘You’re In!’ anywhere in the subject line…