No indulgences for Denmark

A WORKING CHRISTMAS II: Self-denial and even a portion of hard work are the watchwords for the professional

Rob Denmark, Britain's Commonwealth 5,000 metres champion, maintains that he will not be making any sacrifices at Christmas because, as he says, "it's not an important part of the season" writes Mike Rowbottom.

But when you establish what his no-sacrifices Yuletide actually consists of, you also realise something about the compulsive nature of top athletes.

So here it is - the Denmark guide to a free and easy Christmas: On Christmas Eve, he will go for a run of 12-15 miles. In the evening, he and his wife Vicky plan to go to a party. Denmark, however, will not be drinking.

When they return home - which Denmark estimates will be in the early hours - he will set his alarm for a five o'clock call. At 5.30, he will set out for a 12-mile run.

The reason for this early rise, admittedly, is non-sporting. "It's because my wife gets so excited about opening the presents," he said.

On Boxing Day, as the nation picks desultorily at turkey fragments, Denmark will set out for Church Hill, near his home in Basildon. It is a very steep hill, and he will run up it very often - 20 times, jogging down in between. "I hate it," he said. "Butit's got to be done."

Really? On Boxing Day it's got to be done? Why?

"Because," he said, "I doubt whether people like Dieter Baumann or Khalid Skah will be saying to themselves, `It's Boxing Day, I think I'll give it a miss'. You have a schedule, and you've just got to keep things going."

Amid the rigorous training, though, Denmark has focused himself on a major seasonal event - mum's Christmas lunch. The family will gather on Canvey Island as usual to consume turkey with all the traditional trimmings, and Denmark intends to scoff for Britain.

"I won't be sitting back and watching other people eat," he said. "I'm one of those lucky people that doesn't put on much weight."

One of those lucky, 10-miles-a-day people.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz