In the name of Mo Farah, and of Steve Cram, and of the Holy Ovett. Amen. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession.

Go ahead, my son. Say your piece. The Lord Coe almighty will understand.

Father, I have coveted my neighbour’s arse. We were out on our run today and stopped at Parkside Pool for a loo break. There is a bronze statue there of a diver entering the water and he has a very rounded bottom. So we started talking about cute bottoms. And I found myself thinking too much about runners’ derrieres.

That’s not so terrible, my son. It can be hard to follow the True Path.

But I don’t always follow the True Path, father. I sometimes follow a really nice arse. It makes things easier in a hard race if there is a nice bottom to follow.

I see. Anything else?

Yes, father. I find myself thinking unkind thoughts.


Yes, unkind. When I am tired and I’ve given everything to a training session or a race and I read that someone is very pleased because they’d run three miles in three-quarters of a mile. Or when people don’t push as hard as I think they can. Or when they don’t really do much of anything and seem really pleased with themselves.

That does seem unkind. What do you think then?

I think they should stop feeling so smug and self-satisfied. I think they should man the fuck up and push themselves even just a wee bit harder.

And that’s unkind?

It is when they’re already giving it their all. I forget that we all run for different reasons. I run because I have delusions of adequacy. I like to think I can be not completely terrible at it if I work hard and do things like 16 x 400m and mile reps and make my legs hurt lots. I forget that other people just want to go out and run with their friends at the same time as I go out and run with friends and really enjoy myself doing it.

Ah, my son. That is a terrible thing to admit.

Father, I have a question.

Yes, my son?

Is it a sin to think that Mo Farah’s Quorn advert is just a bit shit?

No, my son. It really is just a bit shit.

And why does nobody remember Peter Elliott when he was completely awesome and able to even the Lord Coe Almighty?

That’s easy, my son. It’s because he’s a bit of a ginger and who wants to remember that? You should say fifteen Hail Paulas and stop being unkind to people who are giving it their all. Run in peace and sin no more. Git.

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