Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- From Dubai to Switzerland and Saudi Arabia with a fond farewell to Julián Díaz along the way - May 18, 2022
- Around the world in 80 (or so) days - May 15, 2022
- Cannes on steroids and gobsmacked in an airport wonderland - May 11, 2022
My fateful decision to participate in the 10k ‘Miles for Smiles’ run in Dubai on 22 November is looking more foolhardy every day.
The Moodie Blog has banned the use of the term ‘fun run’ because in our experience the two words simply do not belong in the same universe, let alone event. To survive this experience and retain any modicum of self-respect come November, a rigorous training regime is called for – one which involves a great deal of pain and absolutely no pleasure.
Certainly the former was in the ascendency over the weekend as an overly zealous starting burst led to sharp shooting pains around my ankle just 10 minutes into a planned 30-minute outing. Stoically – sorry, make that stupidly – I decided to soldier on, and in classic long-time rugby player’s style “run it off”.
On such moments of folly is disaster forged. 24 hours later and I am down to a painful hobble – pehaps indicative of my likely pace come November. The training regime has been shelved for at least a week (at least there is an upside to all this discomfort) and from now the brain will be engaged as much as the legs when it comes to a sensible build-up (I have promised to write out 100 times “I will not ridicule Miles for Smiles’ running guru Dan Kongsted’s training advice ever again”).
So had Ivo Favotto (pictured), The Nuance Group’s Executive Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, been tipped off about my condition, when he made an unusual sponsorship offer the day after the training mishap?
For instead of simply pledging a set amount of sponsorship, Ivo indulged in a spot of hedging of which any airline buyer of jet fuel would be proud. “The Nuance Group,” he said, “would like to sponsor you £100 for each km of the run you complete.”
Forget the Italian name, Ivo is as Aussie as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and he’s also familiar with the tricks utilised by canny Kiwi sportsmen from across the Tasman. Therefore he added the rider that completion must be “by running and not in or on an animal [that’s the sheep-towed chariot idea scuppered – Ed] or in a car or any other mechanical, solar, or wind-powered device.”
He added: “In theory, this should be £1,000. But I want evidence of you having completed the run.”
No self-respecting Kiwi, of course, can resist that sort of challenge from an Aussie. So achilles heel* or not, I plan to cross that finishing line and claim the £1,000 Nuance pot – enough to fund 8 life-changing cleft operations on children in emergent countries.
And the evidence of completion? Probably, on the evidence to date, a hospital admission form…
[*The legend of Achilles has it that he was dipped into the river Styx by his mother Thetis in order to make him invulnerable. His heel wasn’t covered by the water and he was later killed by an arrow wound to his heel.]