Everyone seems to be running marathons these days. I'm starting to feel a bit left behind.
Almost everyone, with the notable exception of Rob Sloan. He was stripped of his third place in the Kielder Marathon near Newcastle last weekend after it emerged that he caught a spectators' bus to the finish line with six miles to go.
Surely he knew the authorities would catch up with him in the long run?
The passengers were apparently bemused when he jumped off the bus with half a mile to go and hid behind a tree until the runners appeared. But in the end he was nicked by a policeman, Steven Cairns, who came in fourth and insisted he had not seen Sloan go past him.
The long legs of the law, eh?
That's right, although initially Sloan denied everything, saying: "I'm upset and angry that someone wants to cast these aspersions. It's laughable, is what it is." But he later admitted his guilt, and unlike most wrong-doers – and Paolo Di Canio – at least he knew when to stop.
Di Canio? He was always up to no good. What has he done now?
He's done a good turn, actually. Now manager of Swindon Town, the Italian was taking part in a two-mile fun run for charity in the town but he took a wrong turning and ended up running a half-marathon instead.
For a change he was pushing himself rather than the referees, then.
Yes, very clever, but he wasn't pushing as hard as Amber Miller of Westchester, Illinois, who was 39 weeks' pregnant when she ran the Chicago Marathon. She began to have contractions towards the end of the race, went to hospital after she had crossed the finish line and gave birth some seven hours later. Miller managed to finish the race quicker, but not by much: six hours 25 minutes.
Surely she shouldn't have been taking such exercise in her condition?
Doctors had told her it was fine if she ran two miles, then walked two. "The race was definitely easier than labour," said the 27-year-old, who has now run seven marathons, three while pregnant.
So marathons must run in the family?
Right, that's enough comedy. This running joke has gone too far.
Bike makes you king of the track
Clever-clogs in Holland have come up with a bike which can play vinyl as it goes along. This invention, known as Feats Per Minute (fiets is Dutch for bicycle), was unveiled at the London Design Festival by Merel Slootheer, Pieter Frank de Jong and Liat Azulay. They started from the notion that a wheel and dynamo work in the same way as a record player, then used the mechanics of vertical turntables. To allow you to change records (it could get a bit dull otherwise), they used a "lefty" bike, with only one fork on the front wheel. See: featsperminute.com
Hungry for success
Elliot Saltman won his body weight in cured ham at the Madrid Masters last weekend after the Scottish golfer hit a hole in one. Since he weighs 240lb, that's an awful lot of sand wedges. Here are some more food-related sports trophies:
Ding Junhui won his body weight in pies when he took the title at the Pukka Pies UK Snooker Championship in Telford in 2009: 152lb, or 276 pies.
Roger Federer was given an 800lb cow called Juliette at the Swiss Open in Gstaad in 2003 after he became the first Swiss to win a Grand Slam.
David Steele was given a lamb chop for every run he scored during his benefit year in 1975 by a Northampton butcher. He made 1,756 runs.
Wife-carrying championship winners take away their other half's body weight in beer in Finland.
Thin edges: 1-0 to almost everyone in a binary world
Officials in the Telford Junior Football League in Shropshire changed the results of games for Under-9s all the way up to Under-16s to either 1-0 or 1-1 in order to spare the children the embarrassment of heavy defeats. The league claim they have been following guidelines laid down by the Football Association's National Youth Review. But the FA have decreed that this should only apply to Under-7s and Under-8s. Meanwhile Ainsdale FC in Southport have been warned by the Liverpool County FA because they did publish full scores and match reports for these youngest teams. It seems you can't win, but just don't tell anyone about it.
Rugby fans going to watch Bayonne take on Montpellier on Friday night were admitted for half-price if they had a moustache. This was in honour of the France coach, Marc Lièvremont, who has been growing a 'tache at the World Cup after losing a bet – Bayonne's forwards coach is Lièvremont's brother, Thomas. The soup-strainers did not have to be real, which means the offer was open to women too.
Screens erected in new bus shelters in Weymouth, Dorset, to advertise the town as the venue for Olympic sailing events have been turned off after residents complained about the noise of the fans that kept them cool. The seven new shelters cost £35,000 each. Locals said the fans sounded "like a jet getting ready for take-off".
Do ya think I'm English?
Liam Stewart, son of rock legend Rod, has been cleared to play ice hockey for Great Britain Under-18s at the World Championships in Holland next March. The 17-year-old grew up in the United States and plays for Spokane Chiefs in the Western League. Some guys have all the puck.Reuse content