David Parkin attempts to be a sporting inspiration

FORGET Mo Farah, Chris Froome or Jessica Ennis-Hill, the two dynamic characters in the photo should provide enough inspiration to those looking to achieve sporting greatness.

That’s me and my former boardroom colleague Colin Glass looking delighted to have finished Jane Tomlinson’s Leeds 10km race on Sunday.

Colin, despite just reaching a significant birthday, has more energy than most people in the Yorkshire business community.

He’d probably been to two networking events before the race and I’m sure someone told me they saw him handing out business cards as he crossed the finish line.

The 9,000 runners tackled the course in temperatures which must have topped 80F by the time the race started at 9.30am.

TheBusinessDesk.com was the media partner for the Clarion Corporate Challenge and so a small team of us donned the purple shirts and enjoyed a fantastic atmosphere at a tremendously well organised event which helps put the city on the map.

Hundreds of runners took part in the Corporate Challenge, wearing the purple shirts with the Clarion logo on the front and their company names on the back.

There was even our logo on their sleeves!

It was great branding and exposure for Clarion, the law firm. Their logo was so prominent on the shirts that I heard a couple of lawyers from rival firms even brought their own running shirts rather than face looking like they were supporting a rival.

I managed to get round in under 50 minutes (a full 18 seconds under) and highlights along the way included overtaking Clarion senior partner Roger Hutton.

Given he spends more time “networking” than I do, I felt I had to beat him to preserve my honour.

Another memorable scene along the way was John Booth, partner at accountants Armstrong Watson, straddling a traffic cone after colliding with it while checking his watch at the 5km marker.

His swerve around the cone looked a bit like Mick Jagger in the Dancing in the Streets video he did with David Bowie in the 80s.

I even managed to get a mention when crossing the finish line from ebullient MC John Hammond, the man with a voice so commanding, you’d do whatever he told you to, including hugging fellow runners on the start line.

I bumped into Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan afterwards. He’d completed the course in under an hour – how many council chief execs could do that in this country?

After the race I received an email from a senior figure in the property community who also took part.

It said: “Congrats on your run – can’t believe you beat me – in my mind you were a typical journo, hard drinking, creature of the night, only surfacing during the day to buy more booze and fags, yet you are clearly a finely tuned athlete to boot.”

He’s not wrong with his first assertion, but the latter is pushing it a bit.

I like to call it work-life balance.

Have a nice weekend.