Have you ever listened to yourself on tape/video? It’s embarrassing isn’t it? But have you ever seen yourself running? I’m pleased to say I haven’t because I’ve a feeling that I might run funnily. Have you noticed how many people seem to run with an amusing or unfortunate style? And because jogging’s so popular over here, it’s becoming one of my favourite sports – spotting people who run like Disney’s Goofy.
Every morning after taking C to work I pass this really tall guy running fully dressed and clutching a carrier bag which I assume contains a change of clothes. He’s got this really lazy loping style of running like a giraffe with just two legs – a bit of an odd image I admit, but that’s what I’m reminded of. Yesterday a guy passed our place several times on his jogging circuit almost bent double as he ran as if he were about to puke up. Then the other day we passed a woman jogging on the riverbank who had her two hands clenched tightly to her tummy. Motionless hands whilst running – very odd. The same day I spotted a variation on this style – a guy running with one hand clutched to his stomach with his other hand and arm swinging wildly.
I don’t wish to sound sexist but very often it’s the female runners who attract most of my attention. No change there you’re probably thinking but what I mean is that the majority of women seem to have an ungainly scuttling style of running with hardly any movement of the knees. Come on it can’t be just me who’s noticed this? It’s endearing but not the least athletic. Conversely when I see a woman running with total athleticism it’s like watching a graceful gazelle.
My other favourites are old people; I mean a lot older than us. They often have all the right gear but they seem to take the tiniest steps as they run. And they take thousands of them quite slowly. It’s like they’re running at 1.5 mph. Walking, even at old folks’ pace, would actually be almost twice as quick but they’re on a mission …if only they could remember what it was. Sorry that’s not funny.
Where was I?
Oh yeh. There have of course been some corking famous funny runners. Have you noticed Paula Radcliffe’s nodding head style; what’s that all about? And do you remember Michael Johnson the Olympic athlete with the very upright style? It was like watching a Sarn’t Major monitoring his protege around the track…’ Stand up straight you ‘orrible little man’. And my personal favourite was always Robert Pires, the ex-Arsenal player, who seemed to run with his feet pointing at 10 to 2. I wonder if that explained why he always fell over in the penalty area seemingly untouched by other players, and maybe how he scored the odd fantastic goal like this one below:
If you’ve got any other favourite odd-ball sprinters let me know. If you’ve got video evidence too, your passage into heaven is assured. Just post them in the comment box below.