Michael Sheen and my noble stupidity

Michael Sheen and I have a lot in common.

We’re both Welsh, we’re both supporters of UNICEF and Scene & Heard, and we both had promising sports careers as boys (Michael was scouted for Arsenal, I made some waves in the Llanishen Under 16s Second XV).

However, what I was unaware of was that we are both big fans of each other’s work. Whilst I have long admired his nuanced acting on stage and screen, it turns out he thinks me running all these marathons is pretty cool (as opposed to appreciating my use of tracked changes in Word) and has sent the following message to endorse my efforts:

Jim Paterson is attempting something both noble and completely stupid. I fully endorse this combination and still hold both those values as ones we should all aspire to. The organisations he’s trying to raise money for are ones that I am involved with and encourage you to support in whatever way you can. They are both working to make significant changes in the lives of children; for UNICEF, it is a global project, whereas for Scene and Heard, it is specifically for children in a very particular area of London, but both organisations are united in their desire to change the lives of children who need it most. I urge you to support Jim in his foolishness and in doing so, know that you are not only helping to make real changes in the lives of vulnerable children but also waving the flag for noble stupidity everywhere. – Michael Sheen

I think that is the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about me that includes the words stupidity and foolishness.

If you’d like to heed Michael’s call, make your donations for children and noble stupidity here. We’ve only a couple of hundred quid to go!

Trans-Europe Express – Part I

Yesterday I ran my first ‘official’ sub five-hour marathon at the Hans Christian Andersen marathon in Odense, Denmark. Although I did 4h 49m last month for the Jimathon, the fact it was such a big improvement in time (18 minutes) kept making me wonder whether I’d measured the course incorrectly and had in fact only run 25 miles. So to actually do it with the soulless, yet relentlessly accurate, electronic timing chip telling me I had actually, properly, no messing done it felt really good.

Couple of things I noticed yesterday:

Danish marathons are fast
Although there were about 6,000 running yesterday, the standard was much higher than my experiences of a similar-sized British marathon would be. I first worked this out when I was looking around for the pacers’ balloons indicating what time they were measuring. I was stood by the 4h 30m (the slowest I could see) and thought “I wonder where the rest of the pacers are”. About one minute before we started, it finally dawned on me that they weren’t expecting a lot of 5h+ runners and a groaning shiver of terror ran down my spine.

Charity stays at home
With the caveat I’m not that familiar with Danish charities and could be completely wrong, I struggled to see any charity runners on the course – mainly saw running clubs. Saw them from the back of the field, obviously…

A few days off now before next Sunday’s Berlin marathon and the end of the Twelveathon.