‘The Result is What You See Today’: Poems about Running

It’s exciting to have a poem published in this new anthology from Smith/Doorstop, edited by Paul Deaton, Kim Moore and Ben Wilkinson. It’s fascinating to see how many poets have taken inspiration from running – as well as to read in the biographies how many different reasons people have for doing it. There are poems here about every possible aspect of running, from memories of cross country races at school to Parkruns. The neighbour-poem to mine, People Who Go Running by Joe Caldwell, will make an instant connection with any reader who has a runner in their life: ‘If you live with them, they’ll forget to make dinner / as they’re busy signing up for half marathons / in Clowne and Stamford.’

I wrote my poem, Night Run, last October when the nights were drawing in and I was just starting to have to steel myself to run in the dark again. I hate the prospect of running in the dark, especially after a long day at work, but have never yet regretted a night run once I’ve managed to get myself out of the house. The poem tries to capture that movement from reluctance to exhilaration, which I hope is something that other runners might identify with.

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