Oh dear. I’ve been able to avoid exercise for so long with the excuse, “sports aren’t punk.” Now I’m not entirely sure how I’ll defend my slothly blogger physique. It appears Joe Strummer was quite the athlete. The photo above is from the 1983 London Marathon, where Strummer ran for leukemia with a team from The Sun newspaper(???). He even purportedly finished with a time of four hours and 13 minutes! (I know that’s impressive because I Googled it.)
Strummer also claimed to have ran in the Paris Marathon, but there seems to be some doubt as to whether he was just pulling our leg. When ticket sales to support Combat Rock were faltering, he “disappeared” to Paris to up the publicity of the album. Below is a clip from the documentary, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, where he casually mentions running the Paris Marathon, in passing. I tend to believe he ran it, but I also don’t fault anyone else for being skeptical—the man was known to stretch the truth. A journalist once asked about his training regimen and he balked until finally offering this questionable advice:
Okay, you want it, here it is: Drink 10 pints of beer the night before the race. Ya got that? And don’t run a single step at least four weeks before the race … But make sure you put a warning in this article, ‘Do not try this at home.’ I mean, it works for me and Hunter Thompson, but it might not work for others. I can only tell you what I do.
Maybe he didn’t think sports were too punk either? Don’t worry all you punk athlete kids out there, they can call you a jock, but they can’t take away your leather jacket! Keep running, I’ll be cheering you on from the couch!