23 Nov

Bah Humbug

PresentIt’s just over a month to go now and I can see it coming already, writes Chris “Grinch” Broadbent. Santa’s already started to wrap the running gifts coming my way.

I hate to sound ungrateful, but I don’t really want them. To be honest, if I need something for running, like shorts, compression socks, running jacket, trainers – definitely trainers – I’d much prefer to go and choose my own.

I realise Christmas present buying is a minefield. Some people I know – male relatives in particular – can be a nightmare to buy for. Me? I’m sure it’s not easy. But everyone knows I am into running. So they seize upon it.

“A pack of white sport socks? Lovely... just what I wanted, Auntie!” I’ve got it down to a tee now. One year someone who drew me in the work’s Secret Santa got me some wristbands and a headband. Not in an ironic way either! All I needed was a 118 vest and it would have completed the look.

I can also virtually guarantee that if a famous runner has released a book, it’ll find its way into my stocking. Paula Radcliffe’s and Mo Farah’s autobiographies were - almost inevitably - bought for me at Christmastime. Both fantastic athletes, both lovely people. But that doesn’t guarantee great books.

If, like me, you prefer drugs and debauchery in your tell-alls, then Mo and Paula’s life stories are probably not for you either. I’m also not one for running gadgets either. I like to keep the whole running experience simple.

So, I’m ready for the drawer fillers coming my way and I’ll have my own trusty kit close at hand. Sometimes that Christmas Day run is the best part of the day.