'Yardage Counts'

a poem by Richard Gildea, UK - poetry writer, author, poet

Weeks of training pounded out, body honed in tune with mind
Registration forms filled in, awaiting 'numbered chip' secure
Charity emblazoned on the shirt, where folks are sure to find
Gracious hearts so generous, give of themselves intentions pure

Carbohydrate loading, should withdrawal mileage bank to make
Deposit built on daily runs, throughout the long hard winter's chill
Mind games play their part, imagined injuries so hard to take
Shin splints, strained of calf and stomach cramps to make me feel so ill

Big day fast approaches, training down so not to 'Peak' too soon
Intake mirrors desperation, making fine adjustments late
Cutting back on sticky buns and chocolate cake to make you swoon
Encouragement from friends and family, then abandoned to your fate

Klaxon signals headlong dash, flamed chariots in 'Greenwich Park'
Elite and runners fun alike, briefly each in others shade
Charging down through 'Woolwich Arsenal' on toward old 'Cutty Sark'
Headed for 'Jamaica Road' with 'Tower Bridge' our target made

'Docklands Road' past half-way house, churning out the distant sights
Bedraggled in our sweat filled garb of 'King Kong' suits and 'Rhinos Horn'
'Isle of Dogs' with glass filled towers of offices, reflect our plight
Hope filled smiling faces at the start, now drained to look forlorn

Cobbled stones of 'London Tower' tearing at our muscles taught
Multitude of crowd roar out, good natured banter to impart
They look so fresh not out of breath, as we that tummy bug hath caught
To lift our spirits one last time and give us strength renewed of heart

'Embankment Pier', 'Big 'Ben' draws near and 'Parliament' with square of shape
'Buck Pal' now, 'The Mall's' long straight, never thought would be so hard
Line to cross; I stagger forth, with arms outstretched to greet the tape
Pre race plan to fulfil dream, was concentrate on every yard


Note: (26m 385 yds) (42.195km)
(Forty Six Thousand, One Hundred and Forty Five Yards)

(Believe me every yard counts)!

Sponsored for Charity @10p per yard = £4,614.50p "Every penny counts too"

As the 'London Marathon' approaches on April 17th 2011
My recollections of running the 'Millennium Marathon'
"The Tower" cobbles were circumvented that year and since.

"Imminent Danger"
Natural Existence
"How Do You Do"
"No Net Accord"
Sporting Arena
"Lateral Thinking"

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