The Perils of the Urban Jungle

It’s usually a good thing when a woman in leopard print stops you dead in your tracks.

Tonight, though, the feelings it evoked were surprise, anger and then incredulity.

I was trotting along High Holborn at a leisurely pace when from nowhere, said small woman in an outfit Pat Butcher would’ve been proud of, stepped out from a dark shop entrance.


There was nothing I could have done to stop, even with a parachute brake at my tortoise-like pace. My hands came up in defence and braced against the rain-matted fake fur.

Being British, my first reaction was obviously to apologise, then I mumbled a bit and kept running.

That’s when I got angry.

The reason she hadn’t seen me was that she was playing around on her phone as she stepped onto the pavement.

I know there isn’t a green cross code for pavements but surely common sense dictates that you would actually take a look to see whether a mobility scooter, blind man or unicyclist heading your way?

Then I was incredulous.

No longer thinking about the Candy Crush-playing, animal impersonating out=stepper, I was fixed on the hundreds of other things trying their hardest to knock me out and slow me down.

Cyclists flying through red lights as I cross, City boys crossing roads without looking while shouting “BUY,BUY,BUY, SELL,SELL,SELL” into their mobiles and in one case the other day, a Police horse obstructing my path.

It’s almost like I am playing my own version of Temple Run as I try to go about my own running business each day, dodging and swerving around suit-clad opposition before jumping over toy-sized dogs and sliding under legs of chuggers who can clearly see I am doing something else.

I am almost thinking that it would be easier to just run forwards and backwards incessantly on the 200m strip next to the canal where I live but even then I’m sure the swans would see their way to taking me out.

So I will just keep running the streets, fighting the crowds and using the hurdles as cross training.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

Day 14

Total words: 4136
Total miles: 72.5 (116.7k)



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