Cometh the hour; cometh the Mann

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They say time flies when you’re having fun. It also flies when you’re supposed to be training for a Marathon. And for most normal people, that’s anything but fun…

Pleasure and pain in such close proximity…

In February – just four short months ago – I blogged about my intention to run in the second Moodie Multi-National Marathon, in aid of Hand in Hand for Haiti. Those of you who followed my Blogs last year will know that normally I am to running what Wayne Rooney is to England’s Euro 2012 campaign ie. a non-starter (get me, I can do England football jokes too).

Now this year’s event is almost upon me, and it’s fair to say that most of my training has been imaginary. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen plenty of the gym. But there seems to be some sort of anti-Welsh force-field around the treadmills. As for running outside, forget it. Thanks to the jet stream, I’d need a snorkel and a wetsuit, not trainers and running tights. It’s safe to say the most mileage I’ve done this year has involved trailing around the shops at Heathrow T5, London City and Gatwick South.

It’s not as if there’s been a lack of inspiration either. Chez Mann, my LSS (long-suffering spouse) recently completed his first full Marathon, despite injury and illness, in under four-and-a-half hours. And I’ve been responsible for compiling our awareness-raising Marathon Matters feature series, in which well-known industry executives answer light-hearted questions about their running regime. I should have picked up a ton of useful pointers. Alas, it’s proved counter-productive. Reading about the heroic running feats of Sean Staunton, Alan Edwards, Ryan Hill et al (some of whom I suspect may not even be human) just makes me want to lie in bed and eat lard.

And yet. As much as I loathe running, and as much as I absolutely suck at it, this weekend, run I will. Only an amazingly worthy cause could inspire me to do so – and Hand in Hand for Haiti is exactly that. Last year the charity opened a new, sustainable school that is not only funded but operated by the travel retail community. It needs ongoing support. And if puffing and panting my way through 7.03km, as part of the Moodie in (Slow) Motion team, prompts people to sponsor me for this amazing cause, then puff and pant I shall. It won’t be pretty. There will be tears (from me and, I suspect, anyone forced to watch me). But if that’s what it takes to help give a child a chance of a future, that is what I’ll do.

I will not be alone. Hundreds of my travel retail colleagues have also signed up to run, and already donations have surpassed US$100,000. But there is still time to support me, or the event in general (click here for details). All sponsorship sums, big or small, are greatly appreciated. Every dollar makes a difference. Please donate if you can.

Last year, after some half-hearted training, several bags of frozen peas, and three weeks on the wagon, I managed to run my leg of the inaugural Moodie Multi-National Marathon in 39.48. This year, after virtually no training, no peas, a surfeit of chocolate and a gin-soaked Jubilee weekend, I suspect I’ll be lucky to finish in under four hours. But finish I shall, inspired by the photos of the Lycée Jean Baptiste Point du Sable I shall prop up on my treadmill – and by visualising the obscenely large beer I plan to re-hydrate with.

See you on the other side.

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