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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Mar-17 > MAN DOWN!

MAN DOWN!

Jim Old finds that man’s best friend can, when on a run, turn into anything but

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I’m running along a forest path. I round a bend and see two dogs: an Alsatian and some kind of Doberman cross. Barking aggresively, they bound towards me. I consider my options. I could turn and flee. This is the most immediately appealing idea but I realise it would just make me a more attractive prey and only delay my savaging by seconds. I could dive into the bushes but the same would apply. I decide to face them down – to try to psyche them out with my very humanness. I stick out my chin, quicken my step and up my pace. The distance between us closes rapidly.

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About Men's Running

When I first started at MR – a fresh-faced graduate with fully functioning knees – I ran to keep fit. Did I do it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? No. Fast-forward two years and things are a little different... 2016 saw me run my first marathon, my first ultra and – the natural progression – my first 24-hour track race. People talk of the running bug, but this was a full-scale pandemic. In the months that followed, though, I got lazy. The thought of running elicited a vacant stare, a memory of plodding round a 400m track at three in the morning, and the muttered words, “You weren’t there, man.” So, resolved to refind my running mojo in 2017, I signed up to a race, the Brixton 10K (p94), in the hope that it would spark me back to life. And, along with providing depressing confirmation of just how much slower I’ve got, it certainly did that; the post-race feeling reminding me just why I fell in love with running in the first place. For many, though, running’s true benefit lies not in racing but in the adventures it brings. In our lead feature this issue (p46), photographer James Carnegie leads us on a whistle-stop tour of Northern Ireland to prove that, with just a little planning, a day is all you need to run some of the finest routes the UK has to offer. You may not find me scrambling up the Mourne Mountains any time soon, but you will find me running again. Here’s to getting back on track in 2017.
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