Runémon GO


Run No. 59 Distance: 4.53 miles (7.3 km) Time: 42’05” (PB 38’ 28”)
Run No. 60 Distance: 4.53 miles (7.3 km) Time: 43’00” (PB 38’ 28”)
Run No. 61 Distance: 4.53 miles (7.3 km) Time: 41’23” (PB 38’ 38”)
Run No. 62 Distance: 4.53 miles (7.3 km) Time: 43’20” (PB 38’ 38”)
Run No. 63 Distance: 4.53 miles (7.3 km) Time: 42’01” (PB 38’ 38”)
Run No. 64 Distance: 4.53 miles (7.3 km) Time: 45’15” (PB 38’ 38”)
Run No. 65 Distance: 4.53 miles (7.3 km) Time: 45’08” (PB 38’ 38”)

I find myself bemused by the current craze that is taking the nation by storm – Pokémon GO.

When I’m out running I see people holding their smartphones at arms length. It looks a  bit like Dr Spock holding his Tricorder analysing an unknown planet.

All these young people, who used to sit at home in front of the PC, or glued to their smartphones, are now outside walking around in the fresh air.

Part of can’t but welcome that as a healthy and positive thing.

However, there is a part of my mind that can’t help but see there is a degree of irony here.

People who were once cut off from the outside world are now out in it but only engaging with a world that isn’t there, whilst possibly/probably ignoring the real world that is.

In a very real sense they are only virtually present in the real world.

Games are by their very nature immersive, the best ones take you into another world. Smartphones are more engaging than books as they involve more of the senses – not only sight but also sound and touch.

I am aware that a counter argument can be made. People are often playing PokémonGO in social groups, I see a lot of lads and dads out Pokémon hunting together. So you could make the case that this is a healthier alternative to indoor, solo gaming.

One thing I am sure about is that when I run I do want to engage with the real world.

As a spiritual act I greet and speak God’s blessing on everyone I pass.

As I see things around me, whether they be good or bad, I try to respond to them in prayer.

I pray blessing on all that is good and give thanks for it.

I ask for forgiveness for all that is bad and pray that attitudes may be challenged/changed and that reparation might be made.

For me this is spiritual running in the real world.