Saturday, 2 June 2012
Don't Stop One Now...
This weekend, Brits up and down the country are celebrating sixty years since the coronation of Freddie Mercury and the creation of one of the finest bands this country has ever produced - Queen. Even today, their first ever hit, God Save The Queen, (I think It got to number 5 in the hit parade), is played at many public functions and when BBC1 goes off air at midnight.
As we know, Freddie passed away in 1991, but since then, his legacy has lived on. I always thought it was some perm-haired man who took over lead-singing duties, but I have noticed that a little old lady called Elizabeth seems to be the new face of the band. Having seen her on the tele recently, I consider her a most unlikely spokesperson, but Elizabeth Regina (or HRH to her fans) seems to be taking it all in her stride.
She is a remarkably fit pop star with a range of other talents. This afternoon she’ll be riding in the Derby, before rowing up the Thames tomorrow. I am also led to believe that she is giving a pop concert at Buck House on Monday, duetting with Gary Barlow.
At parkrun this weekend we were encouraged to come in red, white, or blue to celebrate the utter britishness of Queen. Regrettably, the only running-related colour I had was red and white shoes and a bit of blue on the heel of my sock.
However, there was no need for me to wear these colours, as people have said that one is a spitting image cross between Freddie and HRH - what say you? I’m not convinced.
Nevertheless, one does thinks one might well be from royal stock. My people keep looking at me, pointing and saying, there goes that queen again.
Anyhow, one rocks up regally at Shinewater Park 10 minutes before the start of the run. I gently remove my robe and crown, pop them in my matching clutch bag and pass it to a footman. One puts on one’s running headscarf and beckons a couple of corgis to heel. We climb aboard our carriage and are horse-drawn over to the starting area.
It is muggy with a swirling wind and one figures a fast time might be difficult to come by. Lord Stuart of Pelling (Event Director), gives his state opening of parkrun speech and, on the bang of a 60 gun salute and whoosh of the Red Arrows display, we are ‘orf’.
One is not very good at negative splitting on a parkrun and today was no exception. One tends to run a comfortably fast first mile, a steady, becoming tiring, second mile, a hanging on for dear life and don’t you dare stop third mile and a strangely exhilarating sprint in the last 100m.
One didn’t feel under pressure in the first part of the run, settling comfortably into a 7:30ish minute mile. It was quick, but nothing too taxing at that point. After a mile, we turn into the long back-straight, lasting almost a mile in itself. As usual, the fatigue begins to come on here, dropping to a 7:46 minute mile. By the end of that mile, all I’m thinking is that I want to break free from the agony.
I side-saddle under the road bridge and a huge swirling headwind brings one to a virtual halt. However, one girds ones royal loins and, thinking I’m going slightly mad, I press on with stately determination for the final mile.
I have been slipstreaming one of my public for about a mile and, slowly, thoughts emerge that one may be able to pick him orf, towards the end.
With 100 metres to go, we switch from gravel to grass and that was it; I'm off like a flash, as if it's a kind of magic. Churning up the grass, I focus one vision, running headlong towards the finishing chute. I can hear ‘great sprint, Queen Freddie’ coming from the sides, just as one floats one's majestic body through the finish and graciously accepts a finishing tag and a posy of flowers from a shy little girl. But, then, it was one step, two steps and another one bites the dust, as one collapses (with noble dignity!) to the ground.
One didn’t quite breakthru the 24 minute barrier, but, still very happy with one’s overall performance. Of course, one will be back next week as the show must go on.
What about the corgis, you say? Oh, the corgis were fine . My ladies-in-waiting, a couple of fat-bottomed girls, were running with them somewhere behind. I do hope they finish soon, as one’s brow needs mopping.
It’s a hard life being Queen Freddie, but, occasionally one likes to play the game. I thought, perhaps, that you, my public, might wish to share in that game.....
So, how many of Queen’s hits did you spot in my blog today?