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Around The Sun: Running Man

Steve Harrison presents the philosophical thoughts of a running man.

For more of Steve’s columns please click on Around The Sun in the menu on this page.

I don’t know when I started running, but one thing is for certain, by the time I was in my late teens I was sprinting full speed ahead.

When I started secondary school I used to run to school every day, a mile across the fields, to save the 4 pence bus fare so that I could spend it on an iced bun. I’d wait at the bus stop with the rest of the kids. When the bus appeared I set off running at breakneck pace. More often than not I arrived at school before the kids who had travelled on the bus – and boy, those iced buns were delicious!

While at school I was recognised as a good long distance endurance runner. Five miles, eight miles…across open fields and pastures…out in all kinds of weather… I took it in my stride. I enjoyed the freedom of being alone, the sense of going somewhere even though I had no idea where.

I ran through my twenties and thirties, never knowing exactly where I was going, but always keen to put as much distance between myself and where I was at that moment as I could.

In my forties I was sill running, but now in places far from my Yorkshire home. The Middle East, South East Asia, Australia… I was the odd one out, a stranger, a foreigner.

And today I am still running. Still trying to get somewhere. I have been around the world several times, staying in places whose names I could not pronounce, living in countries whose existence I did not know of until I arrived in them.

I’m 54 years old, married to the most beautiful woman I have ever seen who is not much more than half my age. She has just given birth to our baby girl who is going to be a beauty queen.

And I’m still running.

That’s not quite true. Actually I am now walking, but at a very fast pace. I am still searching though. Still wondering what is around the next corner. Lured on by something shiny, just out of reach.

Yes I like this slightly slower pace. But I am still as puzzled as I was when I left school. What career should I pursue? What will I be when I grow up?

I get the idea that this Earth is not my home. I’m just passing through. I’m still a stranger in a strange land.

And I’m running.

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