Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community


#SGOnTheRun The Big Day: Cakes

Public transport in London can be like a prairie in the Wild West, intervals so empty, arid and desert-like that only the absence of tumbleweed asserts urbanity. The slightly embittered wind whispered a chilly discontent in my ears as I waited at a disconsolate bus stop for the 319 to take me to Clapham Junction. Eventually my big red taxi arrived but a timely start was becoming a thin margin. Yesterday was a ‘Great Day’ with Safe Ground On The Run a resounding success, and now the concern was I would not be able to complement the big event by failing to meet my moment. I was fortunate in that the bus driver was clearly a misanthrope, driving with great haste past nearly every intervening bus stop and persons at those termini. Before I could press send on my second tweet of the day I was in Junction, but not soon enough to catch the 8.57 to Teddington. Of course the next train was at 9.24 and my 10k race start time 10.30am. Fiddlesticks. I did an un-me thing. I had a cup of tea.

The train arrived in Teddington on time and I floundered for a short while before another prospective runner and myself were taken in the right direction by a seasoned veteran. The sky ‘Looks Like Rain’ I thought, but it was the cold that prevailed in the struggle of the elements. As with anything fundamental, struggle is a constant state and so it manifested in my efforts to keep warm and also tweet about my progress. ‘Body Fusion’ was quickly a desirable fantasy superpower, and why not, I was wearing golden wings after all.

Yesterday was such a success and consequently I was thinking of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘We’re A Winner’ and his earlier version with The Impressions as I went through registration and took my place at the start line – for amateurs we did a pretty good job of staging a race. That we got over 100 entrants to run and fundraise for us indicates ‘Strong Love’. At 10.30 the race started and I was off, still sorting out my tunes and trying not to go too fast as advised by every sportive type I have spoken to in the last few months.

Day Twenty Eight - Golden WingsDay Twenty Eight - Happy FeetDay Twenty Eight - Dirty BurgersDay Twenty Eight - The RunnersDay Twenty Eight - The Agony and The Ectasy

The first three to four kilometres were fine. I felt good, I was passing people with ease but by half way I started to feel like I had had enough. The couple that sat across from me on the train up were having the sort of morning I wanted and had craved for months. They sat warmly attired, clearly going out on some jolly jape, probably to watch the rugby, munching on hot meaty burgers at 9.36am! Heaven is a rough hewn bap filled with medium to well done animal carcass – I’ve always loved the gee gees. But there I was in tights, a headband and a luminous orange jacket, running round a deer park when I could have been tucking into some venison.

Still I had committed to ‘Run Hard’ and so I was ‘Keeping Up My Front’. I tried to remember to breathe. I concentrated on music, thinking about the urgency of Emeson’s instrumental track ‘extraSolar*’. I thought about the various ‘Cakes’ I would be allowed to eat from Blueberry Hill Cakes and Bad Boys Bakery, once this was over. It would nice to be ‘So High’…on sugar if not life. ‘Infinity’ seemed to be round each turn, but I was definite that come the start of kilometre 9 I would kick. So I lifted my knees, straightened and pumped my arms high and increased my pace… and kept going…finishing my run in 56 minutes. I had always aimed to run under an hour and I did it. I DID IT – my first 10k run in under an hour. In that way ‘I’m A Winner’.

This video contains poor quality sound

As this particular adventure draws to a close, I want to thank all of you that followed my blog or at the very least didn’t consign it to spam. I would like to thank all those people that contributed songs to the playlists, those that gave their support and those that sponsored me. For those still feeling generous Just Giving pages stay live for three months after the event, so you can still hit me up here:

Thank you.

Here is the eighth and final playlist.

Thanks to all those who contributed tunes and shared your views over the last eight weeks – ‘Hey, It’s Over’



Sign up to our newsletter

Get Involved with Safe Ground

We'd love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. Send us an email,
make your specialist training requests, stay in touch, check out our YouTube channel
and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.