I’ve a confession. The shirt I’m wearing (in the permanent picture above) isn’t mine. It belongs to my friend, Derek.
Derek’s always good for a bit of training advice. On my first Mighty Deerstalker, he came round to our tent before the start of the race. I was ready to go. Headtorch, plenty layers plus windproof jacket, waterbottle, waterproof bag (containing whistle, spare batteries, Ibuprofen, Deep Heat, jellybeans, foil survival bag, plasters etc), and I also had a pound coin tucked into a tiny pocket in my running tights. Yes, a pound coin, like I was going to flag down a bus if I got into trouble!
With the Deerstalker moments from starting, Derek stood like a sergeant casting a critical eye over a footsoldier. Then he set about removing non-essential items.
“Right, you won’t need this, or that, or that. This, this is useless. Eh, don’t bother with that either mate.” Thankfully he never found the pound coin. But educated and lighter, I was ready, armed with 12 jellybeans wrapped in clingfilm.
Another weekend and I am outside Derek’s front door waiting for a lift to the BMF 10k in the Pentland hills & I’m ready for inspection, a vision in navy blue skin-tight lycra.
He opens the door and quickly decides I need a layering system, or at least something to cover up the sheen! “Borrow this mate” and hands me his Reebok technical shirt.
I had promised to return it, but it keeps finding its way into my kitbag. It’s brilliant, and it’s gossamer soft from weathering. It’s now been on two Mighty Deerstalkers, up Ben Lui, to the northern Serra mountains of Majorca, and twice round Lewis & Harris.
And I know I really should return it, but with all the triathlon training Derek’s putting himself through just now, chances are he’d probably ruin it.