The XT Memorial Mile

Can I tell you a story?

Once upon a time, there was a black and white dog with very big ears.

He was a very good dog.

His name was XT, because he liked to run alongside my husband and his friends when they went mountain biking (and XT is a type of mountain bike component).

He had big ears. And he was a good dog.

He had a bad start in life, but made up for it later on. He liked running.

And playing rope.

And going for long walks.

One day, when he was about 10 years old, he felt a bit funny in the head. He ate his dinner, played a game of rope and then lay down for a sleep.

He didn’t wake up again.

That was on July 12th last year. With a broken heart, the following day I did the only thing I could think of which would hurt my legs and lungs enough to match. I ran the inaugural XT Memorial Mile at our local running track. It was pouring down with rain and all I could see was black and white: the painted hurdles, the lines of the track, a magpie. With my husband on the stopwatch, I ran until I thought I’d throw up. I told myself that, if I ran under 6:30, the vet would call and tell us it had all been a silly mistake. I ran 6:30, and the vet didn’t call.

Today, I ran this year’s XT Memorial Mile. It’s actually the most important race of the season for me. This year there were no other entrants, no time-keeper and the only spectators were a young boy practising his sprint starts and a woman doing something funny with a skipping rope in the outside lane. But I had all the motivation I needed.

I ran 6:36, then sat on the grass and got a bit sad.

Then I got over it and went home: after all, there’s a brown stripey dog here who was waiting for his game of football.

Perhaps next year you could run (or walk) the XT Memorial Mile with me? It will be on 13th July. It doesn’t matter what time you do it in, or where you do it. Will you join me? Let me know by leaving a comment…

18 Responses to The XT Memorial Mile

  1. Just Jj says:

    Oh Nic. :’o(



  2. Jon says:

    For Sir Widdly Wee, count me in 🙂


  3. sam jones says:

    Im in Nic, remember Matt used to take him for walks while we were channel swim training, kept him happy for hours…ill get the kids to do the mile with me!!


  4. Sista says:

    ah sista, that was a lovely story. If the terrain is pram proof Henry and I will come up and walk it next year : ) xxx


    • thefitwriter says:

      Sissie! 😀 Well I run my XT Memorial Mile on the running track which is pram-proof, but people can do their own mile anywhere. But you’d be very welcome to come up here and do it with me! XXX PS Wow just imagine in a few years Henry will be able to run it himself! 😀


  5. Lo says:

    I’ll be there for sure! x


  6. Maria Musty says:

    Count me in, I think it’s a lovely idea. x


  7. Brian says:

    I put it in the diary for next year, but I’ll walk it!


  8. James Carr says:

    Hi Nic. It’s in the diary and I’ll do mine at Tooting Bec running track. Not sure I’ll be able to compete with your time though!


  9. Wendy says:

    Late to the date but will be there none the less, if I can I’ll come to the XT Stadium but if not I shall walk a mile wherever I am.

    Assuming that I have to fall over – remember we were walking XT and he bounded past me and I fell. Gentleman that he was, he came back to check I was OK.



  10. […] and I’ll most definitely be doing the XT Memorial Mile, even if my quads are so sore I have to walk it. I suggest you join […]


  11. […] Ohhh I’m a bad blogger. I hold my hands up and admit that I forgot about the most important event in the athletics calendar: the XT Memorial Mile. […]


  12. […] Well, my initial plan was to go to track, where I ran the 2009 and 2010 XT Memorial Miles by myself. But it was absolutely lashing with rain here all day, and my husband had the car, so I […]


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