Pure and simple.
Ask any runner.
From the moment your trainers are laced up the spell is cast. Our bodies hypnotised by the rhythmic freedom of a run. The wizardry of a marathon event whose spell was cast months or even years previously, hooks us in. Or the Parkrun – what Saturday mornings were obviously created for – has now spread its magic nationwide. Every weekend there’s an event or group-run whose alchemy subtly draws us in.
It’s all hocus pocus to non-runners.
But magic to us.
Hills and forest trails, riverside towpaths and lakeland fells, all unknown before the running spell was conjured. I wonder if we would have explored and fallen in love with these life-enhancing places without that conjuration?
Along the many routes we meet people full of inspirational, motivating and magical stories of how and why they started to run. Many needed a special kind of sorcery to run despite incredible adversity. Always making it to the end of a race to receive their well deserved magical and spellbinding bling. A talisman to be proudly displayed. They generously pass on their magic moments by telling stories and casting their own spells further afield, touching the hearts and souls of others who soon become entranced. Encouraging non-runners to be part of the secret by putting them under a spell. Before they know it they’ve bought the trainers and joined a group and wonder how they got there. No sleight of hand here. We know how it’s done.
Running magic works on every level. Mentally, physically, spiritually, always enchanting us, even in our adrenaline fuelled post-run dreams. Often changing the colour of our daily moods and always making our lives better. The spell is so strong we don’t even have to make a wish.
Every time we race we pin our numbers (they’re all magic too) on to our chests or belts. The design sorcerers seduced us with their funky visibility kits, waving their magic marketing wands to make us all part of the same magical running world.
Post-run black toenails, aching limbs and blisters are the secret symbols of our magic circle, shared only with other runners who understand the significance. Endorphins sparkle around our heads (only runners can see these by the way, but then if you’re reading this you probably know that). Our feel-good magic potion helps us to fly, light on our feet, through the air, up the hills or splodging through the magic mud, nothing equals the experience or even comes near.
The elements are sent to try us but in our magic bubble we can’t be beaten. Running in all weathers and all distances is in the book of spells. We usually find the right one and battle on, often to be heard muttering metaphysical mantras (special magic spells) to get us through the thunderbolts and lightening sent to try us by the couch potato goblins.
Running magic is contagious.
I believe in it.