Ten miles this morning, out to Blackrock and back. A grim old Dublin day with glowering skies and a brisk southerly to boot. Crap splits but at least I’m happy that I’m getting the runs in which maybe is as much as I can hope for these days. Next Sunday I’m entered for the Adamstown 8k which offers €10,000 for breaking the Irish record of 22 something. I’ll be very happy if I can get anywhere near the 41min I ran for the Bandon 5 in December, but frankly I’m looking at nearer 45. Anyway that’s 22 miles on the week, pretty ordinary really.

But what are we to make of Steve Runner, the voice of the podcast Phedippidations? I am a long-time fan having downloaded most (though not quite all) of his episodes. First of all, if you are not a listener, I urge you to subscribe for free via iTunes. At least give it a go. Fdip is a great companion when doing your weekend long runs. Steve is a converted runner, having been a couch potato for a number of his post-college years. He has now run – I forget, 20+ full marathons, and still maintains a goal of a sub four-hour. Uniquely (or it was so at one time) much of his material is recorded during his long runs, or even races – and edited back at his studio. Most recently we followed him with fascination as he completed yet another Boston Marathon off inadequate training, having received a late wild card.

But Steve’s show has evolved to much more than just following his training and running. The podcast would long since have died a death had this been the case. Instead it is now hugely popular and, though Steve tirelessly promotes other running podcasts, he is still the Daddy. We hear of many things, and I for one am astonished at how one guy can speak with authority on so many subjects. Where does he find the time to cover the ground that he does? If I have a heavy week at work (unusual) then my running suffers and little else gets done other than my tri-weekly coaching sessions. But here is a guy with a demanding job in IT and a family life. But he is able to successfully compartmentalise these and still find time for his running and his other various interests – wine, astronomy, the American Civil War, baseball etc.

Steve puts himself across the ‘good guy’ but he is not afraid to go off on one when he feels like it. In his two most recent episodes for example he totally trashes (1) anyone who is opposed to the MMR vaccine on the grounds that it is linked to autism and (2) the practice of homeopathy. This latter seemed to be grounded in one particular and horrific case where a child suffered and died through her parents rejecting conventional medicine. Now I don’t know enough about these subjects to be authoritative, but you can bet your life Steve has done his research. Again, where does he conjure up the time? I regularly take positions and defend them on basic evidence, but I’m open to being proved wrong by those that have taken the time to examine the evidence. Steve will already have the evidence marshalled.

Steve is one of the few guys I’d like to spend a beery evening with. Who else might be there? Ian Hunter for sure, Dick Beardsley, Stephen King. Sad that they’re all male and American residents. So for balance let’s add Carol Decker, Mary Peters (one of the loveliest ladies I’ve ever met) and Goldie Hawn. And it’ll be Guinness for the lads and whatever the girls are having.

Edit – good idea this! I’m creating a drinks party list on the left.

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