Nuts in May

A poem celebrating the Wessex 100 (May 2009)



When I was younger, I used to run,
It kept me fit and was lots of fun.
With injured legs the joy diminished,
Until at last it had to be finished.
What could I find to replace this passion,
walking’s like running - well, after a fashion.

And so it was, that in May 08,
I slowed my pace and changed my gait.
Having joined a group, walking twenty miles,
I found them happy and full of smiles.
Beginning to wonder - could I walk fifty,
or how about twice that - now that’s nifty.

And so it was that the seed was sown,
before I became a further year grown -
I might walk a hundred --- and that meant,
doing it soon, before this month’s spent.
With much to learn, I needed to know -
which shoes, which socks, how fast or slow.

Should I use sandals, boots or shoes,
I’ve tried them all, well nothing to lose.
My feet were a problem, and not just for me,
I bored everyone with them, so now let them be.
All they need do is to keep on going,
left right, left right - heeling and toeing.

The training began, putting in miles,
through woods and fields, and one or two stiles!
The challenge walks beckoned, I had a good go,
at some in the sun, some rain, some ice and snow.

I walked a fifty, for the hundred qualified,
but felt so spent, it left me terrified -
That it was too far, I just couldn’t do it,
but with more training I’m coming through it.

With two weeks to go, the training’s all done,
It’s hard and it’s tiring (that adds to the fun!).
Now is the time to relax and to rest,
get myself ready for this big test.

Just one week to go, I’ve injured a leg,
reduced to hobbling, peg-leg - peg-leg.
Intensive treatment, remember the RICE,
In the nick of time, all feeling nice.

And so to the day, and what a day beckons,
glorious sun, blue sky - too warm some reckons.
I’m trained, I’m rested, I’m feeling ready,
to set off strongly, confident and steady.

As the miles tick by, I’m still feeling good,
at mile forty- five, I can make it, I should.
By mile forty - eight I’m feeling the pace,
all of a sudden, I don’t feel so ace.
Make it to breakfast, a short term aim,
rest and regroup, try to raise my game.

At mile fifty - one I am all but done,
reduced to plodding, end of the fun.
Reach the next checkpoint at 54.9,
call it a day, not feeling fine.

I’m sick and exhausted but gave it a go,
and despite all the training, it just goes to show -
That whilst the sun shines and you’re making hay,
you still can’t be sure of success on the day.

Kevin Knight