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 2023
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I second everything Trevor said and would also like to say that the poem itself lulls the reader into a lovely state of being. I have to tell you that I’m hugely impressed with your running the race at any age, that you did it relatively late in life is even more impressive and makes me feel like I should have done something as challenging, myself. Me, I opted for drag racing and other crazy stuff, which I still enjoy. But I digress, I very much enjoyed your poem, your reading of it and learning of your impressive feats. blessings,… Read more »


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

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