It was all go on Sunday 18 April when 32,101 runners lined up in and around Greenwich Park for the start of the London Marathon.
The huge crowd was made up of people of all ages, fitness levels and walks of life. And lawyers. Secreted anonymously among the throng, cannily disguised as runners, were dozens of legal types, male and female, young and ancient.
Herbies partner Richard Forsdyke, for example, was there, running for the British Heart Foundation. Forsdyke, who claims to have raised £6,000, is believed to have placed a bet with ex-Herbies blueblood turned DLA commoner David Taylor that he would finish the course in under four hours. He actually completed the 26 miles 385 yards six minutes quicker. “I’m delighted to go under four hours, but things were put into perspective when I was overtaken after 20 miles by a telephone box called Andy,” said Forsdyke in true, humble, post-Marathon style.
And humble he should be, the slacker, seeing as he crossed the line only four minutes ahead of surely the oldest lawyer in the crowd, 70-year-old Jeffrey Gordon. Gordon, a criminal defence solicitor in South London, was running his 24th London Marathon as a fundraiser for educational charity Legal Action Group (LAG). He finished the race in just three hours and 58 minutes and was apparently closing on Forsdyke as he sprinted up the Mall.
LAG director Alison Hannah said: “I doubt there are many criminal practitioners of any age, let alone 70, who can run the Marathon in a better time. He said he’d run it in just under four hours and so he did.”
As Gordon himself said: “My time for this race is only 15 minutes more than it was when I first ran a marathon 26 years ago.”
Well, frankly, now he’s just showing off. Tulkinghorn’s only exercise is getting in and out of cabs. And coughing a lot. Tulkinghorn believes Gordon has just blown it on the line and has decided to cheer for Forsdyke next year, assuming he is crazy enough to want to put himself through all that pain again. Does he not know there’s a bus from Greenwich to Buck Pal?