A Very Sober Night Out – #marafun

In #marafun, Features, HOME, LIFE by Sam Prance

#marafun is a feature in which novice marathon runner, Ellie Smith, will open your eyes to the trials and tribulations of long distance running. A word of caution – this feature will be prone to mood swings and short outbursts of intense self loathing. However, it will also cover the joys of exercise and whatever the weather, Ellie will still be running and writing…

One week to go and I am starting to freak out. I’ve had a cortisone injection in my knee but I still haven’t run in over 6 weeks but this should be fine? RIGHT?!

I’ve started to dream obsessively about the marathon and worryingly I haven’t pictured myself crossing over the finish line yet. I really hope that this is not some sort of a Freudian psychoanalytical sign that I am destined to fail. Instead, I have dreamt that I slept through my alarm and missed the marathon and that I tried to run it with my shoelaces tied together. Neither are conducive to what I am hoping to achieve.

But, alas, it shall be done. My cousin has even offered to carry me and whilst all I can picture is a desperate comic sketch of me as Andy and him as Lou from Little Britain, it is reassuring to know that he will be there with me.

_59620534_jex_1376668_de27-1The marathon has taken over my life. I spent a mind numbing 12 hours in the gym this week and I fear if I ever hear Katy Perry’s Dark Horse again the world may be in danger. I am constantly tired and I have seen the gym staff more than my flatmates. So they convinced me to come out with them on Monday night. Unfortunately, alcohol and marathon running do not mix so I decided to boldly go where no man has gone before. To one of Edinburgh’s many fine night clubs: WhyNot…sober. If you are fortunate enough not to know this establishment personally then I will give you a brief lowdown of why this is a very rogue move.

WhyNot attracts hordes of thrill seeking students week in week out. For a mere £10 you can bag yourself a bottle of their finest vintage ‘champagne’ whilst the resident DJ will take you through all of the lows and some of the highs of last year’s top 40. It would be deemed highly necessary, if not essential to leave your dignity at home and to numb yourself via an inappropriate consumption of appropriately cheap liquid courage.

Once I had stepped over the threshold I knew there was no turning back. I was greeted by a pungent aroma of sweat and tequila and a sea of people gyrating wildly to Avicii’s Hey Brother. Time check: 23.46. HELP.

I winced when I observed two girls being violently ejected from the dance floor at precisely 00.08. Someone had clearly gone a little too hard at their pre-drinks.

DocumentsWhilst my fellow clubbers were thrilled by the DJ’s incessant fist pumping tunes, I was only far too aware that people were encroaching upon my personal space. I am of such a height that I unfortunately find myself level with many people’s armpits. The smell was beyond offensive and in homage to Cascada I had to temporarily ‘evacuate the dance floor’ in order to breathe.

I greatly enjoyed witnessing my flatmate being chatted up by a modern day pirate and I must applaud the earnest attempt of a guy who hovered around my other flatmate for a full 30 minutes before finally throwing in the towel and lunging upon the girl behind him.

Pandemonium broke out when the DJ played Wheatus’ iconic Teenage Dirtbag and I genuinely feared for my life when Fountains of Wayne’s Stacey’s Mom came blaring out of the speakers and my fellow clubbers transmuted into manic, fist-pumping, shrieking banshees.

However, there are many benefits to a sober night out. I swapped my beer goggles for a refined pair of night vision goggles and dodged a few ‘grenades’. I did not lose a single possession, I made it to my 9am tutorial the following morning, I did not feel the need to sit on Facebook for the whole of Tuesday afternoon, desperately trying to de-tag myself in an array of unflattering photos and I found out a lot of information. People are pretty willing to divulge when they are drunk and for once I could remember what they had said the next morning.

Why I still ended up at Pizza Paradise at 3am is still a mystery to me. I guess some things don’t change. Alcohol or no alcohol or no alcohol.

It was a unique experience and I think I will keep it that way. Back to the running and this week I have been listening to:

1. Route 94 – My Love

2. Sigma – Nobody to Love

3. Kanye West – Touch The Sky

4. Ella Eyre – Deeper

5. Foster the People – Call it What You Want

If you have enjoyed my blogs and can spare a little money then I would be eternally grateful. £5 honestly makes me feel like I have just won the lottery. £10 and I am a jackpot millionaire.  Breakthrough Breast Cancer is a wonderful charity which I know is very close to a lot of people’s hearts. I lost my mummy to breast cancer in 2005 and I have decided to take on the London Marathon this year in her memory. She would think I am absolutely barmy for doing this- her idea of exercise was a gentle stroll around the park. But I am absolutely counting on her to provide me with that extra bit of inspiration to power me through those 26.2 miles.

Thank you so much for all your support, I honestly couldn’t do it without you.


This time next week, I will have officially completed the London Marathon. To sum up my mood in 3 words I am terrified, excited and panicking. I’ll see you all on the other side.

‘26.2 miles….because 26.3 would be crazy.’ – Anonymous

Ellie Smith

Ellie Smith is 20 years old and she is currently studying French and Spanish at the University of Edinburgh. Ellie has a sense of humour similar to that of an immature ten year old boy and sites Blades of Glory as one of the best films ever made. She is obsessed with Russia, Mini Eggs and Ryan Gosling. The Holy Trinity in her eyes.

If you’re interested in getting involved with PTL – drop us an email on prancingthroughlife@live.com.

(Image sourced from: www.bbc.co.uk)