Heroes of Running

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All over the world, millions of people run. Some do it to keep fit. Some do it for medals and adulation. Some do it because of bears. Of those millions, there are a few who have risen to the status of legend, due either to their amazing physical prowess or the fact they’ve got quite a funny name.

They deserve to be lauded for all time in the running hall of fame. I’m not sure if there is a running hall of fame though, so how about we remember them on the pages of a tawdry little blog?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:

Born to Plod’s Totally Not Made Up Heroes of Running


1. Brian Hopscotch


Brian came very close to winning gold at the Seattle Olympics. His hope were dashed, however, when the Olympic committee ruled that his event, the 10,000 metre piano-juggle, was neither

A)     An event, or

B)      Physically possible


2. Pascal de Bonbon


Often referred to as “the nice guy of ultra-running” and probably best known for his legendary finish at the 2004 Kyoto Ultra. Despite maintaining a comfortable lead throughout the race, he stopped just half a mile short of the finish line when he spotted a turtle at the side of the road with a badly sprained flipper. He spent the next 17 hours nursing it back to health before eventually crossing the line, in last place but to riotous applause.


3. Alice Banananananana


Captured the imagination of runners everywhere when she took first place in the East Anglian cross country league every year from 1972 to 1986, despite not being born until 1988.

4. Sven Svensen


Sometimes referred to as “the laughing Swede”, this larger-than-life sprinter from the 1980’s was famous for his booming voice and his insistence on carrying a rotisserie with him in every race.


5. Dave Goodybag


Although he came last in pretty much every race he ever entered, Dave will always be remembered as the epitome of sportsmanship. After every race he would approach all of his fellow runners in turn, giving each and every one of them a congratulatory handful of nuts, discount coupons and muesli bars. The tradition caught on, and today race organisers often give out bags of free stuff in his memory.


6. Wendell Sideways

This plucky 2:45 marathoner from Runcorne never went anywhere without his beloved pet scorpion, “Mr Pip”. He went on to set up a charity raising much-needed funds for runners mysteriously crippled by scorpion venom.


7. Tommy “the Pigeon” McCrone

Famously won the London Marathon in 1992 when, in an unbelievable twist, nobody else remembered to enter the race.



I think I probably have too much time on my hands.


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3 thoughts on “Heroes of Running

  1. Dave Goodybag is indeed a legend. I have an original Goodybag in my collection and, I believe, a few nuts hanging out at the bottom. His death from an unfortunate asphyxiation incident meant that he left us all far too early. I’m hoping to auction it off for a good cause one day.

    • You’ve taken it to the next level, sir.
      I’ve been guilty of that too. I once created an entire 1980’s regional detective show in my head, complete with merchandise. Go to runnersforum.co.uk and type “broadbeans” into the search thingy.

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