Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Twelve Hours

Carlisle Castle

I’m at an exhausted looking hotel in Carlisle, which is a much more twisty and interesting sort of city than I thought it would be. I wish I had opportunity to explore it, but I have locked myself in my room and am forcing myself to rest. A hot bath may happen, and then as much sleep as I can fit in. Tomorrow I’m running Hadrian’s Wall from one side of England to the other. I feel oddly calm.

In twelve hours, at seven in the morning, it will start. I’ll be inside the walls of Carlisle Castle, and somebody will make some sort of ‘race starting’ noise, and then I will jog through those gates, turn east, and keep going until I get to the other side of the UK.

It doesn’t quite feel real, even though I’ve now been down and registered (they checked through all of my stuff to make sure I had the mandatory kit – first aid stuff, head torch, waterproofs, emergency blanket, whistle, food, etc – and I felt as though I had passed a complicated exam and should get a special certificate when they told me all was good). My imagination keeps bouncing off the sixty-nine miles ahead of me. I’ve no frame of reference for them.

This is going to be a steep learning curve.

For now I’ve kit to organise and reorganise endlessly, then I’ll probably watch an episode of Spooks to wind down. The story will be that there is an insidious plot and those spooky Spooks foil it, but not before some interesting twists and a BETRAYAL. That is what happened in every episode of Spooks, and I ask nothing more from it.

And when we next meet I’ll have run The Wall, probably.

Wish me luck (or give me money, below). See you on the far side.

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