Runners

Sunday was the Lagos mini marathon. A run of five kilometres, which started just behind the restaurant block at the marina and finished just before the swing bridge after a long loop round the town. There had been a few preparations for it, part of the pontoon had been carpeted and a few advertising hoardings were strung along a rough barrier of scaffold planks. Red and white plastic tape was deployed to hold back the crowds. The race set off just after ten, to a roar of approval, from a modest crush of onlookers. The front runners whipped by followed by the power walkers and then the plain walkers, some with pushchairs to lean on. We went to have breakfast sat outside the Oasis café and watched the bright line of runners jiggle across the bridge to string out along the opposite bank. After breakfast we headed back to the boat to gather our stuff for a day on the beach. By the time we were heading back out the winning entrants were coming in, along the carpeted jetty and on to the finish with the easy lope of accomplished runners. The various marshals called out words of encouragement, folk sat on benches along the route clapped politely and there was loud shouting from those thronged at the finish line as each man approached.

As we continued along the footpath to the beach other runners, travelling along the road making for the final loop, overtook us. Most of them were still going well, but they looked hot and exhausted. On leaving the runners behind John noticed a classic car, a Standard Triumph Mayflower. It had old fashioned indicator levers and reminded me of my Uncle Jim’s old Ford Popular, which kept on going as long as he did.

We arrived at the beach and collapsed onto a couple of loungers under a grass parasol, where we read and watched the world go by. Eventually we did stir ourselves to have a paddle and enjoyed watching the antics of a small sandpiper, darting in and out of the ripples, its legs a blur, before finally taking wing.

 

Monday morning there was no sign of movement from the dredger. We took the fire extinguishers over to Sopromar, to be certified fit by the fire brigade and decided to do our laundry. We were sat in the bar waiting for the wash cycle to finish when John‘s mobile rang. It was the marina asking us to move berth as the dredger was worried about hitting us. We were the hold up. Off we set laden with bags of soggy laundry, gathering our wits. As it happened we had offers of help from boats all around. I cast John off and walked along to our new mooring with one kind ex- neighbour and we were soon tied back up in our new slot, which is now closer to the gate and so we have less far to walk each day, which will be a boon when the fire extinguishers need to be shlepped back.

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