It was June 14th, at the Edale Country Day. We’d done with the Edale Fell Race (Round 3 of the Gritstone Series) and had been busy helping people with all kinds of running related queries, as well as kitting up a few opportunist runners who’d spotted something useful among the bits we’d brought from the Store.
This was my fourth time at the show. Fourth time I’d manned the stall and not taken part of the race itself. So what’s weird about that?
Well – each and every time this exact scenario has occurred, I’ve seen the same fella, dressed as a clown, going round the show making balloon animals for kids. He also provided a Punch and Judy show sometime during the day. Lots of fun.
The thing is, he seemed familiar. He had a distinctive look about him. I’m talking of his thick mustache and bushy eyebrows, not the long shoes and stripey trousers. I was more convinced than ever that this clown out in the middle of Edale Valley was non other than Dronfield Junior School’s Math teacher, Mr. Allen.
He hadn’t actually taught me any maths, but he’d taught friends of mine and my brother at some point. The more I studied this clown, the more I thought it must be him. Is it possible that I’d go another Edale Day without satisfying my curiosity? Nope.
I finally marched over to him and excused myself for the intrusion. “Aren’t you Mr. Allen from Dronfield Junior School?”.
“Yes I am” he replied. Then he explained that he recognised me.
I then asked if he was still teaching, to which he replied “Do you know how old I am?”. Turns out he’s 79 yrs old!
In another slightly amusing moment, this time from just last night, during my run home – I was about to cross Rutland Rd and enter Parkwood Springs when a young boy began to shout at me. It was nothing new, loudly yelling “Goo on son!” and similar nonsense. On paper it would seem very supportive and encouraging, but when delivered in the same tone usually associated with the phrase “Come ‘n’ ‘ave a go if ya think yer ‘ard enough!”, I tend to feel as if I’m being not too subtly mocked. But on he went.
“Keep going mate”.
“You can do it”.
and my personal favourite…
“He’s just like Mo Farah!”.
I smirked a little. Not because I shared his ‘opinion’, but because Mo Farah is a tall skinny black man. And I am……………not.