Even so, for the third time this year, I today headed for the beach, there to plough through the ‘gritted by God’ safety of the sand dunes before turning around and heading back along the beach.
On the way there, I drove past several brave souls pounding the pavements, albeit fairly gingerly, and thought that they must all be quite, quite mad, to risk running on such icy streets.
And then I got to the beach, which, as you can see, is still covered by several inches of snow, with intermittent ice patches, and after a brief warmup, headed into the sand dunes.
Well, I’d gone no more than 100 yards when I hit a huge patch of ice that was obscured by snow and rabbit poo, resulting in me cartwheeling through the air and landing with an appalling crack, which, being a bloke, I naturally assumed to be at the very least a fractured skull.
(Visually, if you saw the scene in the last Transformers movie where Optimus Prime finally crashes to earth from about 2 miles up, you can pretty much regard yourself as an eye witness to my little mishap today.)
As I lay there trying to catch a breath and working on my epitaph, an old dear who I had passed 20 seconds earlier came scurrying through the dunes, having heard me hitting the ground from around 50 yards away. Naturally, she was quite concerned, but quickly realised that the awful cracking sound we had both heard was me shattering a 2 inch-thick plate of ice with my ribcage.
“Are you alright my dear?” she enquired sympathetically. I have to say, I felt such a burke, having managed to come to grief on essentially the safest running track on earth. All I could think of to say was the oft-quoted (but in this case true) Paul Simon line: “It’s OK, I’ve had first aid. Your dog licked me while I was on the ground…”
Not great, I admit, but the best I could do under the circumstances. And so, to all you fellow runners who are still risking life and limb in the current icy conditions, I have two small suggestions to make:
1. Don’t assume that just because you’re on a beach, there won’t be ice lurking somewhere.
2. Make sure you’re better prepared than I was and at least have a funny line ready for the ambulance crew.
FOOTNOTE: I was fine by the way. Nothing broken. Ran the last five miles quite slowly though. Thanks for asking…