The Day When Running Actually Came In Useful. Running And Nearly Missing The Boat Home From Scotland..
In December 2011 I went on a mini tour of Northern Europe from Stockholm down to Amsterdam via train.
At the time the weather was horrendous all across the continent, which made me even more terrified that usual of my flight back from Amsterdam to Belfast.
In Hamburg I decided enough was enough and booked a boat back and travelled to Brussels from Amsterdam by train and then onwards to London from Brussels via the Eurostar train.
From London I got the train up to Glasgow and then down to the Stranraer to get the boat back from nearby Cairnryan into Belfast.
It all went smoothly enough until I decided to walk what I thought was the short distance from Stranraer to Cairnryan. I’d figured that I’d spent so much more on the trains across into Britain that I had to make some essential savings.
Plus, walking would do me the world of good.
I had around an hour and a half to complete what I thought was a simple 3 mile jaunt.
Geography has never been one of my strong points.
Now I’ve never been a very fast runner, but after about half an hour of walking reasonably quickly and realising that Cairnryan wasn’t getting any closer, I decided to break out into quite a fast jog.
This would have been alright if I’d been dressed for running, but I was not. I was wearing jeans, a duffel coat and my Jack Daniels t-shirt underneath. I was also carrying a 28 pound bag on my back with DC shoes on my feet.
To those who were driving towards me in the opposite direction I must have looked like a special needs Rambo.
It got worse too, my ass was stinging badly after a harrowing experience in my hostel in Camden the night previous.
Bracing Myself For The Worst Type Of Paper Cut
Basically I went to the toilet for a number two and after finishing the job I realised that there was no paper to wipe with.
Sheer wanton panic.
I checked through my pockets to see if I could find any tissues to wipe with.
The only thing available was my Eurostar ticket from Brussels to London. I locked myself into the brace position on the loo preparing for the inevitable paper cut, but it never really came.
Relieved, I flushed the toilet but since the ticket was made of glossy card, the fucking thing got stuck. WITH MY NAME ON THE TICKET POINTING UPWARDS.
I didn’t want to go to reception to explain the situation so instead I just went to bed hoping that this was a usual occurrence for the staff at St Christopher’s.
Back To The Hardest Run
I was running against traffic along the A77 towards Cairnryan with no idea how much further I had to go.
My ring was stinging. I was moving like I’d shit myself and both my ass and my legs felt as if they were on fire.
I wanted to weep.
Eventually the pavement ceased altogether and I had to run on the road. All sorts of freight lorries and travellers where honking their horns at me. I longed to run at the bastards with a permanent V-Sign, but I thought better of it.
No one deserves to see the sight of an unshaven, sweaty, 6 foot man running at their vehicle for seemingly no reason whatsoever. That would definitely leave deep mental scars.
So whenever I seen a car coming I just stopped, kept my head down and waited until they were past me and then picked up into a run again.
I was essentially playing the same game as this ninja cat.
Relief At Least!
With little more than 5 minutes left until check-in closed, the ferry terminal building was in sight. I sprinted the last quarter of a mile and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
I got onto the ferry and went straight for the restaurant and ordered some cheese and ham sandwiches with half a bottle of rosé wine.
I felt really fucking good.
But my ass still throbbed like hell.
The moral of this sad tale is that you’ll never know when running will actually come in handy.
It might actually save your bacon.