Run The Blades Half Marathon (Iain)

A few years ago, Andrew and I wrote a book: Jukebox Durie.

It was a collection of stories about football and music e.g. what was the first team to play music at a match, why do Man United sing Glory Glory Man United, and who sings about chip buttys?

We managed to find something interesting (to us) about every football team in England and Scotland. We wrote it originally for a Scottish football blog but when that stopped, we collected all the articles in the book.

You can read some of the original articles here

So, who sings about chip buttys and why am I mentioning it now? Sheffield United fans sing the song. It goes like this:

 “You Fill Up My Senses
Like A Gallon of Magnet
Like A Packet of Woodbines
Like A Good Pinch of Snuff
Like A Night Out in Sheffield
Like A Greasy Chip Butty
Like Sheffield United
Come Fill Me Agaaaaaaaain
Na Na Na Naaa Naaaaa “

I had to google the exact meaning of the lyrics – Magnet refer to a pint of beer (bitter) that’s no longer made, though it used to be widely available in Yorkshire. Woodbines are cigarettes. Snuff is ground tobacco that goes up the nose and, lastly, a chip butty (chips in a roll) is simply delicious – the greasier the better.

Sheffield United are nicknamed ‘the Blades’, which is a tenuous link to last weekend’s race – Race the Blades. Which is not as I first thought a race around Sheffield but instead it’s a race around Whitelee wind farm, the UK’s largest onshore wind-farm.

The race is an off road half marathon. It was my last long run before Norseman so my aim was to do it at a steady pace to finish in 1hr 50min.

There wasn’t much car parking at the start so the organizers had opened up some of the track road for parking. We thought we’d arrived in plenty of time to get a good spot but we ended by over a mile and a half away from the start.

It meant I didn’t need a warm up as the walk from the car did a good job of that.  Registration was quick and easy but like all races there was a massive queue for the loo and no toilet roll.

I was curious about how many toilets a race should have so I checked online and the recommended number is 1 per 10 users. No wonder there’s queues as a 400 person field should have 40 toilets but I I suspect the cost of that would bankrupt the race!

The course was well marked with two water stops. I wore trail shoes which turned out to be a good choice as the toe protection came in useful when I occasionally kicked a big stone.

There’s a couple of hills on the course which are both in the second half. I think a few people ran the first half too quick as I passed a lot of folk on the hills as they dropped to walking rather running pace.

Overall I was happy to finish in 1h 50min. Exactly the time I aimed for. I was even happier when I opened the goody bag at the end and saw a great selection of sweets, fruit, drink and freebies such as a pair of socks and a medal which spins like a wind farm blade.


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