It is, as the BBC keeps reminding us, marathon week. But one heavyweight of Fleet Street sports desks has already run their race.
Any regular reader of Charlie Sale’s column in the Daily Mail who is wondering about his absence from the sports pages this week will be delighted to know that the former SJA Sports Diarist of the Year has spent the week recovering after having run the Paris Marathon last weekend.
It is the second year in succession that “Charles”, now in his 50s, has completed the 26-mile, 385-yard challenge.
At least one of Charlie’s tabloid mates decalred on hearing the news: “He must be in-Seine!”
A graduate of Loughborough University, where he was a contemporary in the mid-1970s of Sebastian Coe, Sale was never… how can we say? … quite as speedy as his better known college colleague. Indeed, Sale’s Paris Marathon experience last year was a little troublesome, as according to sources close to Sale, after a visit to one of the French capital’s finest restaurants, he was affected by an attack of food poisoning the night before the race.
Undeterred, Sale gamely completed the course then and this week he returned to have another go, this time covering the route in 5hr 16min 37sec (that’s a touch over 12min per mile pace; the race winners were clicking through each mile in almost a third of the time).
Sale was not available for comment last night, but a source close to the sports journalist said, “Charlie found it very hard going. He got to halfway in 2hr 21min, but in the unseasonally hot weather, he struggled in the later stages.”
To see Charlie’s results, and even check out video from the event, click here.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Contact Paul Trow for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates