The Magic Runners


What is the Magic Run?

Who are the Magic Runners?

We’ll come to the first question in a moment. But let’s answer the second question first.

The Magic Runners
For the purposes of this post, the Magic Runners are a selection of excellent people who are currently pushing themselves past the parameters of anything they’ve done before – or who have just done so.

Three of them are just about to run marathons. One has just completed a triathlon. All are doing so for charity.

I’d love it if anyone reading this post would be so kind as to consider sponsoring one or all of them in these excellent endeavours.

So who are the Magic Runners? In my view, these lovely people are the Magic Runners:


  • As I write this, Alison Chisnell and Flora Marriott are gearing up to run the Brighton Marathon tomorrow (Sunday 6 April 2014). Please wish them the very best of luck, and sponsor Alison and Flora here.
  • Specialist Employment Law Silk Sean Jones is perhaps the wittiest gent on Twitter, in my view. Sean is running the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 13 April 2014. Sponsor Sean here.
  • The great Pia Sanchez and a team of her colleagues at Lewis Silkin took part in yesterday’s (Friday 4 April 2014) Alternative Oxford Triathlon – and in superhero guise no less (Pictorial evidence here). You can still sponsor Pia and her superheroic colleagues here.

Please do give serious thought to sponsoring these lovely folks. And if you want to tweet them some words of moral support, you can follow all four of them on Twitter, via this Twitter list: The Magic Runners.

Murakami, Mizunos, Ultramarathons: My running advice
Running is not for everyone.

But if it is for you, you already know just how much you love running.

I love running. I’ve run regularly since 2002. I run on my own. I don’t keep track of my running times. I have no ambitions to increase the distance I run, or ever to run a marathon, triathlon or ultramarathon*. But I have the utmost respect for anyone who chooses to do so.

I’ve picked up two pieces of invaluable running advice over the years:

  • Use Mizuno running shoes. I came across this recommendation via the fantastic book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (also where I learnt of ultramarathons*. Which exist.). I now swear by Mizuno Wave Alchemy running shoes (But I must point out that you need to find the running shoes that work best for you; see next point.).
  • Get professional advice on your running style and running footwear choice. Some years back, my excellent friend Charlie Duff admonished me for running in clapped-out old trainers (= sneakers, for any non-UK readers), rather than running shoes. Charlie had a point. I took her sage advice to go to the Run & Become shop to get my running style checked out. I have never regretted it. Go to Run & Become, or your nearest running shop. This advice applies doubly if you’ve never heard of the word “pronation.” And I’m pleased to report that Run & Become concurred with Mr Murakami on the aptness of Mizunos.

So why do I love running?

I love running to keep myself ticking over and to release stress. Most of the time, running is enjoyable. And I love it when the Magic Run comes around. But you never know when that might be.

The Magic Run
So what is the Magic Run?

The Magic Run is something that everyone who runs at all regularly gets to experience from time to time.

The Magic Run “is getting lucky, getting that sweet spot in the training diary when for some reason, the running feels easy and joyful,” as Flora Marriott recently put it, in a tremendous blog post entitled The Magic Run. She says:

“The Magic Run has its equivalent Magic Bike Ride, Magic Walk, etc.  Whatever you do, it’s worth persisting with the training, in order to experience The Magic Run every now and again.”

Amen, Flora.

UPDATE (Sunday 6 April 2014): Paul Taylor is a Magic Runner!
Friends, let me please add one more outstanding personage to this selection fo Magic Runners. Paul Taylor (aka @NHSE_PaulT on Twitter) is, as I write, just about to participate in the Manchester marathon (his first of four marathons in a short space of time. All the very best with this, sir, and remember these words of heroic inspiration: “I got the bronze.”

And just in case you were wondering how Paul got to Manchester so fast


* Yes, ultramarathons exist – Google the term if you want to hear about the truly stunning achievements of which a select few runners are capable.


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