Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Our days are numbered!

...and today's number is 30.

I remember being 30. That was the year I ran my first marathon. 1985. When I say 'ran' that's a bit of an exaggeration. I ran 16 miles, walked 4 because my legs would no longer co-operate with my ever-willing mind, then I ran the last 6 miles and 385 yards.

It took a long time - 5 hours and 11 minutes, to be precise -  but I did it, and raised a lot of money for The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths. I had three young children at the time so it was a subject close to my heart.

 I've just registered for my 2nd marathon. The Brighton Marathon, April 2012. I'm no longer 30...

This time, I'm running for The Bhopal Medical Appeal

On Saturday, 3rd December it's the 27th anniversary of the 1984 Union Carbide Gas Disaster which has to date, killed 25,000 in Bhopal, India. Today the site remains uncleaned and highly toxic.

I wasn't even 30 when it happened. I remember being mildly outraged at the time in a rather detached way. Then I forgot about it. Until now.

My friend Tara, my fitness trainer, who keeps her horse at the same yard as Alfie and Poppy, reminded me, with her talk of the marathon.

Her father, Indra Sinha, was Booker-nominated for his novel based on the Bhopal disaster and he still campaigns passionately to raise awareness of the injustice that has not yet been righted .

So...I'll train for this marathon. I'll bitch and moan when I'm feeling tired and not much like putting in the effort because it's raining...or cold...or a little bit windy.

It's really an awful indulgence, this running marathon thing, for our privileged society. The very least I can do is make it worthwhile for a community which has been denied a healthy life by the very people who run marathons in their smart Nike trainers and feel oh so good about themselves.

I promise not to feel even the slightest bit good.

Our days are numbered?

Yes, but those numbers are so much bigger than the numbers in Bhopal.