Tuesday evening at the club

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

The mist has barely lifted all day. You wouldn’t call it fog; it’s too light for that. Just enough that washing hung out wouldn’t dry, and a dog’s shaggy coat might feel damp to the touch, but no more.

The floodlights are still beating down above the four corners of the track, despite the last runners having struggled off to the changing room a good twenty minutes ago.

It was the talk of the club when they got the new track, three or four years ago now. It was in all the magazines – state-of-the-art, they said, international standard – and of course memberships went up. All the people with memories of running on sunny summer days back at school, or the carved limbs of Olympians on the telly. No thought at the truth of slow jogging through suburban streets, or track sessions that could push even the strong men to nausea.

On a late February night the new year’s resolution lot have already given up, the fair-weather folk are busy defining futility on their town centre gym treadmills, and only the serious few turned out for tonight’s speedwork session.

They’re all back in the changing rooms now, washing off the sweat and that mist, and meanwhile the lights are shining down on the brick-red surface, as if to say “Look! Isn’t it beautiful? Can’t we tempt you just this once?”


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