A Typical Jogle Session

Colin writes: After the successful completion of the 1982 relay, I wrote a short essay trying to describe what a typical Jogle session actually felt like.   (This was later slightly fictionalised in my book ‘Running Shorts’.   [This might be reproduced in full later on.   BMcA] It focused on a section Don Ritchie and I did over Shap in the middle of the night.   Here we are bashing on towards the top.

“Last half hour of our stint, past Shap village, and the real hills have appeared – long relentless drags winding over the fells.   The temperature has dropped with the gain in altitude and a cutting Arctic wind whistles into us, piercing our sweat- stained tee-shirts.   A grey cheerless place and an insane time to be running.   There is an air of unreality about it all – the pool of light sliding along the tarmac behind the floodlit vehicle, the lone figure struggling to keep up, pursued by the shadows of night.   Tiredness eats insidiously into your whole body but can be ignored if the incentive is sufficient – and we really want to reach ‘Halfway’ before handing over.    Every five minutes is a flat out effort – thirty seconds to loosen up and get into full stride behind the van, and then fighting uphill at maximum tempo, fists punching rhythmically, oxygen sucked hard from the icy air until ‘three minutes gone’ is called; then an attempt to maintain pace until ‘Thirty seconds’, when the comfort of the windbreak is brusquely removed as the van accelerates, leaving the runner alone to stride out of the darkness to his team-mate before bouncing up the step and crashing heavily on to the bed.   Purr of engine, reek of exhaust fumes, gasping for breath, throbbing in the head, dryness of throat, sour smell of perspiration – these are the sensations of a leaden-legged Jogle runner nearing the end of the session.”