Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Earning Chipolatas – Advent Running

November 24, 2015 by Richard Wright in Getting Fitter, Journal, Running

Advent RunningI have turned into dough. Squishy, podgy, dough. Not the nice sort, that turns into brilliant, fluffy, intensely aromatic bread if exposed to the correct amount of heat.

I am the other sort. The slobberdiferous kind. Actually a word now, even though I obviously made it up. Say it aloud. Listen to it flow. Tell me that’s not an actual word now. You can’t, can you? Put it to the test if you doubt. Tell your loved one how slobberdiferous they look. Sneer while you do so. I bet you get punched, even though it didn’t mean anything five minutes ago. It does now, because words have meaning whether you want them to or not.

Anyway, I am dough. I haven’t done any substantial running since I had to pull out of the Loch Ness marathon in September to nurse an ITB injury*. I’ve been out for a couple of brief runs in the last couple of weeks, and I’m not convinced it’s fully healed, but I’m going to try and earn my chipolatas anyway.

I’m going Advent Running. You can come too, if you like. It’s a simple idea. Every day from 1st December to Christmas, you run for thirty minutes. You don’t have to go fast. You don’t have to go far. If it takes you thirty minutes to get to the end of the street and back (and after a couple of weeks, it might), it’s all good. The only thing that matters is the time.

I had a go last year, wrote this blog on day eight, then had to wind it up after day eleven. I didn’t appreciate at the time quite how difficult it was going to be, and was using my run to work to get it done most days. My run to work is on average about fifty minutes long, carrying a pack full of clothes, shoes, and so on. By day two of the challenge I’d done three days work. By day four I’d done six days. By day eight I’d done twelve days. And so on. I won’t be making that mistake again. Instead I’ll try and find the time in the morning or evening, and do as close to thirty minutes as I can, pack-free. I may not make it all the way to Xmas (though I’ll do my best), but I’ll find out how close I can get.

Worth noting if you’re considering it – loads of people have to take a day or two off during the twenty-five. Nobody minds. I decided I wanted to see how long a streak I could manage, and when I had to break decided to leave it there. There aren’t really any rules though, just a vast number of people chipping in, doing their best, and sharing good cheer. That’s almost the best thing about it – if you sign up on Facebook you get a wall full of strangers cheering you on.

The point? A little bit of freedom. The chance to face the winter while everybody else is hiding from it. A quick test for your body and soul. The enormous satisfaction each day when it’s done**. Also? Chipolatas. Oh my god, you feel smug about eating chipolatas. You can fill your pie hole with them, over and again, safe in the knowledge that you are advent running and need the fuel to keep you alive. You gain absolute authority over EVERYBODY who is looking at you and judging you for the chipolatas.

I like chipolatas is what I’m saying. If I come to your house, ever, I expect there to be chipolatas. If there are no chipolatas then there will be an incident.

It’s a whole pig in one bite sized snack! Who doesn’t love chipolatas?

Also, advent running!

Anybody fancy joining me? If so, hop along to Facebook and join the group. James or Claudia, the inventors of the whole mad project, will let you in, don’t worry. Once there, you’ll be part of a massive pool of people all earning their mince pies, one slow step at a time, all over the world.

I can’t wait, and I hope you’ll join me.


*aka ‘hurty knee’

**and an excellent excuse to buy another new pair of running shoes, for those of its with a running retail problem…


As well as doing silly running things, I write strange, dark fictions. None of them are Xmas stories, but there’s something strangely seasonal about The Flesh Market. Probably the gaslit Nineteenth Century Edinburgh backdrop and the gothic tone. Probably not the walking dead revenants or the murders or the mad science or the riots, but who am I to say? Judge for yourself.

You can get the paperback or Kindle version on Amazon, and it’s also available for the Kobo and Apple iBooks.

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