Zero kilometres remaining


(note that shepherds are absent)

Feina feta.

Job jobbed.

As I’ve known for a few weeks, the 2016km challenge came to a blustery and extremely chilly end this morning.  Well, obviously I didn’t know exactly what the weather would be like but it would have been a pretty good guess.

Quite happy for it to end on Christmas Eve.  The religious festivities are to celebrate the ultimate Year Zero (though in fact as I now know, this doesn’t actually exist – the timeline goes from Dec 31st, 1BC to Jan 1st, 1AD), the story of which is of course celebrated annually this tinselly (if not snowy) night.

I was up and out shortly after 9, did mine and Sarah’s standard 6km route; along towards Birtley, right at the Barley Mow, up the hill (mega tailwind) and under the motorway to the entrance to Rickleton, back down the hill (guess what, mega headwind and freezation) to the A1 roundabout and up Blind Lane (I think) and back to Mary’s.

A long, boring trip from BCN to NCL yesterday evening.  Lots of delay and some confusion over the assigned seats, though fortunately the luggage was already out by the time our strip search at immigration (I paid extra) was done and the taxi driver was waiting and whisked us to CLS without more ado for a very late night.

This is the last blog entry, at least the last “every day” one (will probably still write entries for longer runs and key castellers events).  I will still run every day – it’s become as much a part of my daily routine as getting up and going to bed.  The Sitges half-marathon is coming up in three weeks so I’ll be building up to that, and otherwise the at-least-5km always alleviates any guilt from my curry, chocolate and beer lifestyle.

Thanks for reading for the last couple of years, have a great Christmas and New Year and best wishes for 2017.

0km remaining.  Zero.  All 2016km done.  All of them.

(1BC: using Dionysius Exiguus’ Anno Domini era, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth on 25th December (conceived on 25th March) – most modern scholars put the actual date several years earlier, which we are ignoring for the purposes of today’s blog; Emperor Augustus sends his stepson Gaius Caesar to make peace with Parthian emperor Phraates V; Ovid writes Ars Amatoria (the Art of Love), the cheeky monkey)


Almost done


Penultimate day of #2016km4aruk, as surely tomorrow I’ll be able to wiggle six kilometres even if my limbs have been bitten off by an army of hungry termites.

Happy to be able to run another Paseo vanilla ice-cream route, an absolutely perfectly blue sky today to go with the headwind as I ran towards the Riera.  Legs weary after yesterday’s speedy Dolce I think.

5km, 24:48.

6km remaining.

(Great Illyrian Revolt in Dalmatia and Pannonia; Quirinius conducts a census in Judea leading to a revolt led by Judas of Galilee and eventually bringing forth the Zealot movement; fire and food shortages in Rome; two-year-old Ruzi Ying becomes Han emperor after 14-year-old Ping Di dies unexpectedly)

Term ending


Great fun yesterday with my first chance ever to see the kids’ school Christmas show (I know, bad daddy) – just brilliant, obviously a lot of extra hard work put in by the children and teachers and it really showed through in their confidence and pride.  Later in the day it was the slightly more chaotic end-of-term skating practice/extravaganza with the surreal sight of fifty or so girls (and one boy) all dressed almost identically (red top, black trousers/tights, santa hat and plaited pigtails), whizzing round the rink (is it still a rink when it’s not ice?) challenging you to spot yours.

This morning came warm and sunny after a few days of cold and rain.  With the 2016 countdown coming to an end, I have to manage the days to make sure I’m not suddenly left with less-than-5 to go.  I had also wanted to do a farewell Dolce run, so that fitted in perfectly with my dwindling itinerary.

Bog standard, no extra lamp-post zigzagging or extra laps down Av Vinyet to make it up to eight, and with this reduction I only hit seven just around the corner so trotted slowly home after stopping the clock on a nice speedy performance with an eye on a good workout for January’s Sitges half-marathon.

7km, 31:29.

11 (yes, that’s eleven) km to go.

(Emperor Augustus abandons plans for a defensive border at the Elbe, instead choosing to add to the defenses at the Danube and Rhine;  astrology and other divinatory practices are banned in the Roman Empire, especially concerned with inquiries into anyone’s death; Satakarni becomes Andhra Emperor)


Prom lights still on


Christmas shows splatter the schedule for today, so the easiest option for logistics was to get up early and out into the pre-dawn chill.  A standard Paseo run with just a couple of runners and a few walkers for company.

5km, 25:43.

18km remaining.

(Yellow River farmers rebel after flooding, triggering Emperor Wang Mang to send 100,000 men to quash the rebellion; German chieftain Arminius destroys the Marcomanni; Germanicus Caesar concludes a peace treaty with Artabanus III of Parthia)

Much ado about goretex


The weather continued to be vile for the rest of yesterday – cold and rainy and generally bleah.  When Sarah got home I went out to check in her car for my raincoat.  Nowhere to be seen so I thought I may have left it in the fencing school in Badalona or even that it may have just slipped out of the hatchback when we got out Alexander’s sabre.  A real shame as it was a lovely jacket and a present from Sarah, but hey these things happen in the first world.

This morning I went to get something out of my little day bag and of course the bloody thing had been in there all along.  Tssssh.  The prodigal jacket.

Yes, it’s a quiet news day folks.  I went out into an overcast but, for now, dry morning to run after dropping the children at school.  Av Sofia and along to the mermaid, up the steps as you can see, dodging the waves that were crashing over the rocks.  Down to San Sebastian and up past the cemetery and around the loop before the Melia, back through town (Jesús and Parellades), down past the Santa Maria and up Calle Valencia.

5km, 23:30.

23km remaining.

(Emperor Tiberius starts to lose interest in governing after the death of his son Drusus; Lucius Aelius Sejanus begins to dominate the Senate and the emperor himself;  Liu Xui’s 19,000 insurgents defeat 450,000 of Wang Mang’s (obviously seriously dodgy) troops at the battle of Kunyang, ushering in the restoration of the Han dynasty; the only surviving work covering the world known to the Romans and Greeks at the time of Augustus, Geography, is published by Greek geographer Strabo)


Old age raincoat

A wet and chilly day in “paradise”.  I put the run off due to work and weather, eventually going out mid-afternoon without the rain having abated.  Joy was multiplied one hundredfold when I realised that my Nike running rain jacket is lying redundantly and uselessly in the boot of Sarah’s car.  I found a 15-year-old (at least) alternative that creaked a bit when I pulled it over my head but it did the job.

Up and down the Paseo, in no mood for adventure.

5km, 24:13.

28km remaining.

(The Frisians negotiate a treaty with the Romans and are not conquered; ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus may have started in this year (but more likely ’29) according to Luke’s Gospel)



Up unfairly early on a Sitges Sunday, dropping Rebecca off for a sunny walk into el Garraf with friends from the canalla, and taking Alexander to a 10am fencing competition in Badalona.  We had thought that he’d have a good chance of progressing further than before, but there was quite an enthusiastic turnout meaning a last-minute revision of the age split and once again he ended up as one of the younger beans in his jar.  However he still did well and put up a good performance, going in the right direction and winning half his duels.  Most importantly of course, he had a great time.

Back in Sitges and ravenous, I went out and ran along a Paseo crowded with Sitgetans taking advantage of the incredible weather while Sarah made the dinner. A little chilly (no it wasn’t, it was Shepherd’s Pie, arf arf) but the sun absolutely belting down.

5km, 24:31.

33km remaining.

(April 3rd one of the two possible dates of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth agreed upon by most scholars (the other being 7/4/30); financial crisis hits Rome, ruining many aristocratic families; rebellion of Gongsun Shu in Sichuan against Han emperor Guangwu)