After a leg-numbing 15 miles of Yorkshire hills and mud, with slippery stones, nettles and barking dogs thrown in, here I am eating lukewarm stew with a plastic spoon declaring it to be the best in the world. Even though it contains sweetcorn and I hate sweetcorn. But this is the best, the best ever.
It occurs to me that the mud-spattered runners sharing this banquet fit for royalty are the most wonderful people in the world and I’m filled with love for them all. Noel brings me cake, which I conclude cannot be bettered, even by Mary Berry and an entire tent full of Bake-Off contestants. In a flash of inspiration, I decide that the cake could be eaten after stew, then followed by stew and that would be the most sublime food combination on this earth. I try it. I’m right.
Recoiling in horror after watching the stew follow the cake, Noel decided he had to do something about this wave of euphoria. While he’s partial to mild excitement, he doesn’t do euphoria.
“It’s the endorphins talking,” he declared to one of my new best friends and then to me.
“Endorphins can make me like this?” I asked, spooning in another mouthful of delicious sweetcorn and battenburg.
Noel shrugged. He was unaffected by the endorphins, the feel-good chemicals released by the brain after strenuous exercise.
“So how come you’re not high as a kite?” I asked, wondering how well my tea would mix with the gravy.
It turned out his energies had been diverted to figuring out al-fresco toiletage, with runners’ tummy kicking in three times. This required something a little more practical than endorphins, it’s no good feeling joyous about the need to go, you just haveto GO! Still, his three-stop strategy worked and he fairly roared home a few kilos lighter!
My high lasted well into the evening, everyone and everything were given a massive dollop of love and and considered to be the best EVER. I even agreed to sign up for next year’s Half Yorkshireman, hey, what the hell, let’s do the full marathon. Now, where’s the sweetcorn?