Simon Keller

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and all that. It tends to involve Christmas songs, however, and when you hear them over and over, they can become quite annoying. Growing up in Melbourne, we used to make Christmas songs more interesting by singing them with a New Zealand accent. (Jungle all the way.) This year I have tried to cope by imagining every Christmas song as a song about running. It hasn’t been very successful, but here’s what I’ve got. Maybe it will make your Christmas a little more tolerable too.

Last Christmas: “I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away…” That feeling when you run a PB at Christchurch and then find out that the course was short.

God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen: Addressed to the Men’s 50s road relay team when they’ve sung “We are the Champions” a few too many times in the road relays van.

Pop, Bang, Crack: Also about the Men’s 50s, obviously.

2000 Miles: A good year’s running. It’s very far.

Snoopy’s Christmas: Bitter rivals find that they have something in common. Beers with WHAC after the Dorne Cup.

All I Want for Christmas: Mariah Carey serenades a pair of Vaporflys. (This really does improve the song.)

Santa Claus is Coming to Town: “He knows if you’ve been bad or good.” It’s about Strava.

Baby it’s Cold Outside: If someone talks to you like this, you should run.

Do you Hear What I Hear?: That feeling when you think you’re running well, and then you realise you’re about to get lapped.

Jingle Bells: Someone needs to buy some compression shorts.

Christmas in July: Absolute nonsense. No better than homeopathy and five-fingered shoes. Christmas is in December. It’s science.

Santa Wear Your Shorts: You probably don’t know this one, but it’s obviously relevant for runners and a good piece of general life advice.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: No matter how cold the wind feels, you’re running in a Wellington summer. Remember to use sunscreen.

How to Make Gravy: This one isn’t about running, but as an Australian I’d like to take the chance to apologise.

Little Donkey: Remember the van driver.

Mary’s Boy Child: I didn’t like being called a “Junior” when I was a 16-year-old runner, but it’s better than being called a “Boy Child”.

Little Drummer Boy: “Pa rum pum pum pum, Ra pum pum pum, Ra pum pum pum.” That guy who won’t let you have a moment of pre-race peace in the portaloo.

I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Somehow this makes me think of PEDs.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?: This song could be about running, but to find out I would need to listen to it again: not happening.

Fairytale of New York: I don’t really know what this song is about, but if it’s about starting on Staten Island, accelerating over the Queensboro Bridge, and finishing fast in Central Park – well, that’s a fairytale I can get excited about.