Poor old Paula. I’m not sure which she will find harder to live down – her Olympic drop-outs, or having to “relieve” herself in front of thousands of people on the street and a worldwide audience of millions. There has been more coverage of her needing to go than her race time – which is the second or third fastest time ever or something, depending if you count pacemakers / mixed mens-womens fields etc. <br />
So. What should we do about it? Force her to wear a nappy? Given her figure, we might notice. It should be pointed out this has <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/athletics/2324737.stm”>nearly happened to Paula before</a>, in Chicago, at the 22 mile mark as well. But she is not alone. Several other leading runners have been known to “shit all over the place” during marathons as my dad put it so delicately yesterday.<br />
In fact, running such long distances is a classic recipe for a complete lack of bowel control. We either need to recognise this and get over it, or turn this into a more interesting aspect of the race. Perhaps runners could be given two medals – one for finishing, one for a dirty protest. Or bookies could take bets on which mile the “unscheduled toilet stop” might take place. We could even get clock timers on the screen like they do for pitstops in Formula 1.<br />
And commentators could be a little less delicate. “Yes, that’s it, textbook stuff. She just shat in a drain. And she’s off again. Brendan, a relatively quick poo?” That kind of thing.