Too long a road…

No gain without pain on the Isle of Arran. (With audio narration – turn your sound on)

This poem has been re-posted for gothicman who was born on this beautiful Island.

First posted 2006.



I run passed Knockin-Kelly, with a pain in my belly
Well that’s not true, I had pain everywhere.
Then on down the hill, I’d a promise to fill –
If I’d known then – I’d have spoken with care.

Down passed the church and onward I lurch
The pain more intense as I run, I am too old for this
My life should be bliss –
What a fool, just what have I done?

Then it’s round Whiting Bay, now wet through with the spray
My misery getting worse all the time,
When I think back those years as I do through my tears
I should be home with a nice glass of wine.

It was Five years ago when I uttered those words
The words that would cause me such dread,
‘Will you come back when you’re seventy
And run a 10k’? ‘Cause I will – that’s no problem’ I said.

Little did I know what that time would bring
With the toll of each passing year,
I should have thought deeper before I opened my mouth
I just spoke with bravado I fear.

It was three weeks ago when my friend rang me up
‘It’s the race at the end of November’
What’s he talking about I thought to myself?
Then I slowly began to remember.

So I push on round the bay, legs feeling like lead,
When the turning point comes into view.
Just over three miles, and then I can stop
I push on – what else can I do?

Old Doctor McGrath looks over his gate
Attired in sporran and kilt
He looks on with dismay as I run on my way
Cos my legs are beginning to wilt.

Then the church looms again and I know I’m on track
Not long to go now – what a thrill
Then comes great despair as I look ahead –
All I see is that bloody great hill.

Ten minutes later and over the brow.
Kings Cross is just one mile away
Staggering now round those last four bends;
I just hope I can run on the day?

It’s not just the race that I promised to do,
There’s something else I re-call that I did;
I made a large bet all those long years ago –
And I’ll be damned if I’ll lose that five quid.

PS. I ran the ‘Abbey Dash 10k’ in Leeds thirty years ago, aged 50 in 37 mins.  
I ran it in 2003 aged 67 in 51 minutes.
I did it 2007 aged 70 in 55 mins
That was definitely my last competitive run…



© gerry 2021
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All honour to you for running that race even at 3 score years and 10.

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