I’m finding it hard right now to focus on running and my upcoming races. There’s this thing on in Brazil called the World Cup, you see, and it’s taking the last of whatever little sense I had.
I’ve got the match schedule, the newspaper supplements, even the sticker book. I’ve been jumping down YouTube holes of classic World Cup videos. Naturally, this cornucopia of World Cup paraphernalia is spilling over onto my running.
For instance, Saturday 14 June in Dublin sees the first Tymon parkrun – I’ll be there, as Tymon will become my local parkrun, but I’m already planning it from the perspective of: “How energetic will I be that morning after staying up until 1 a.m. the night before to watch Chile v. Australia?”
Thankfully, the Irish Runner 5 Mile race in the Phoenix Park takes place the day after a World Cup rest day.
My Dublin Marathon training, starting in week 2 of the World Cup, will also have to accommodate the football schedule. I’ll have to make sure my weekday evening runs are done before the evening games start.
And I may have to juggle my schedule so that I’m, ahem, ‘recovering’ whenever any important games are kicking off at 5 p.m. Irish time. With terrific serendipity, Germany v. Portugal is at 5 p.m. on a Monday, my usual rest day.
Ireland won’t be at the World Cup – an absence not unconnected to our former manager’s solitary tactic of kicking the ball straight back to the opposition during the qualifying games. A recent regime change has seen Ireland adopt revolutionary strategies such as passing and attacking, but too late, alas, for us to figure in Brazil this summer.
In Ireland’s absence I’ll just be hoping for adventurous football and dramatic games – there hasn’t been a great World Cup since the 1990s, but I’m optimistic for this one.
And it’s Brazil for the win – Argentina may have the better team but the Brazilian players dare not lose another ‘home’ World Cup. This is a country where footballers’ relatives are kidnapped, remember.
Let’s get in the spirit of things with this smorgasbord of World Cup goals: