“I have a dream.”
It is with thanks to Coach Tony, aka Macca Snr, that we are able to bring you this inspirational message from the Chairman and Chief Executive of the McCarkiss Elite Project, Dr Alf Tupper:
As the VLM 2014 approaches, I thought it timely to eventually get off my arse in this highly paid, over expensed position I managed to wangle, to muse over the forthcoming hopes of our two great athletes, and if possible provide a little bit of motivation.
So without any apologies to Dr Martin Luther King or Dr Francis………I HAVE A DREAM…
I have a dream that one day this project will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men must run hard and not be shit.”
I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Kenilworth, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to race together in Park runs alongside well qualified medical parkrunner brothers.
I have a dream that one day even the county of Warwickshire, a county sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of dog shit free tar-macadam paths and mondo tracks (8 lanes).
I have a dream that my two little project athletes will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their mile times.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Kenilworth and Rugby with its vicious racists, with its councillors having their lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right down in Kenilworth little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and teach them how to run 100 metres.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be levelled flat, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made into indoor tracks and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all fell runners will be cast into hell.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the north with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope for the glory of Ron. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling shite race times of our nation into a proper marathon running brotherhood again. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that no longer will it be acceptable to enter races for charity, to wear stupid costumes and to have ‘celebrity runners.’
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “Run hard and don’t be shit. Land where my fathers ran on cinder tracks barefoot, land of the Ghost Runner, from every track side let freedom ring!”
And if England is to be a great marathon nation again, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of Accrington. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of Red Lane.
Let freedom ring from the twisty ever changing slightly annoying course of the Leeds Abbey Dash.
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped hills of all our great cross country courses.
Let freedom ring from the lonely, wet and cold winter nights of pointless training.
But not only that, let freedom ring from Sutton Park, the ‘Wembley’ of proper road racing.
Let freedom ring from that little abandoned petrol station on the A49 often used for a poo on long runs.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Lancashire, and from Ron Hill’s tracksters.
Let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every county and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, fun runners and club athletes, Runners World and Athletics Weekly, and stretching it a bit far Martin Yelling, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, “Run hard and don’t be shit. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”