Ruth Runs for Mind – Edinburgh Half Marathon Playlist

One day to go before The Big Day, and I have to say this, first of all:

You lot bloody well did it, didn’t you?

New Picture (3) cropped
Thank you so much!


More than £200 raised for the mental health charity Mind, plus another £46.25 in Gift Aid. And that’s with payday donations still to be added. Thank you everyone, so, so much for supporting me and Mind. This donation is going to make such a difference to people’s lives, truly.


You know what? I wonder if we could make it £300…

If you can, and you’d still like to give, here’s the link to donate:

https://www.justgiving.com/ruthruns-edinburgh


So, on to the other fundraising for this Half Marathon – the Playlist. I’d already put together about an hour’s worth of music to run to this Sunday, but I was still in need of another hour plus if I wanted variety all the way round. So I’ve been inviting song suggestions from you lot, with the motivation that for each suggestion I ended up putting on the final playlist, I’d donate £3 to Mind. Some of you suggested the odd song; some came up with entire playlists of tracks to try out. Each song counted as one suggestion.

Last weekend, I sat down with 74, SEVENTY-FOUR, different tracks from you brilliant folks, to see which of them might be good to run to. You weren’t going to make it easy, were you? Some tracks eliminated themselves by being too slow, too fast, or not particularly motivating when taken together. Others proved to be a bit more insidious – great to listen to, but when they faced a running trial slightly the wrong speed, or ambience. Take, for example Rush‘s ‘Marathon‘ – a seemingly brilliant suggestion, but it proved too weighty, and dragged horribly when put to the training test. I may have committed spreadsheet, so if enough people’d comment or tweet to see why I selected particular tracks, I can bung up copy of that on here later. Sound good?

Just before my final test run on Friday. Well, that's the outfit sorted. Thanks Mind!
Just before the final test run on Friday. That’s the outfit sorted. Thanks Mind!


Earlier this week, I managed to narrow it down the tracks I needed, gave them one last test this morning, and ended up with the tracks listed below. In addition to the 16 suggestions here, three other folks made suggestions that didn’t make it onto the playlist. I might as well through another £9 on there for those. So that’s £63 extra I’ll be sticking on the total for Mind. This’ll make all the difference to the final total – and not least to the two hours of great tunes I’ve now got waiting for me on Sunday. Thanks all!

So below, here’s a breakdown of what made the final list – with extra notes on a few of the tracks you suggested that stood out for me, plus my full playlist for the run.

Meantime, I’ve got my number, I’ve got my vest, I’ve got some good music. I think I’m set. I’ll see you on the other side of the finish line!

Ruth Runs for Mind – Edinburgh 2014 – Your Playlist


1) Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
Suggested by Lynn

We all like a bit of Jon Bon, don’t we? Lynn originally suggested ‘It’s My Life‘, but for that full on wah-wah guitar, that tiny cymbal percussion – that triumphant, fist-punching, hitting-the-finish-line sound – it’s gotta be ‘Livin’ On A Prayer‘. Plus the title accurately describes how I’ll be feeling by halfway round. Thanks Lynn!



2) Pharrell Williams – Happy
Suggested by M.

It was great to hear from M. on this one, someone who’s benefitted from the great work that Mind do. M. suggested this one, her favourite song. because “I think it’ll cheer you up when (if) you’re struggling at all during the run”. Frankly, I have to agree. I mean, all these driven running tracks are great, but if it’s going to be as beautiful a day as we’ve been having the last few, then this’ll be the perfect soundtrack to it. Thank you, M.!



3) Sonata Arctica – Half a Marathon Man
Suggested by Tom Dare

As Dare rightly points out, you can’t have a half marathon playlist without this track on here. Great melody, cheesy synth solo, lyrics about 89 year-old men being ten times fitter than you. Brilliant. Thanks Tom!



4) Imelda May – Mayhem
Suggested by Rob Adams

Rob’s initial and best suggestion for this playlist. Aside from being the best song/album title in the universe for anyone whose name contains the word “May”, there’s some hip-swinging rockabilly bass and a lollypop-pout raucous chorus. Excellent choice, Rob. Cheers!



5) Seth Lakeman – Kitty Jay
Suggested by Brian Milton | Full Spotify Playlist

When I started compiling my playlist, I was adamant everything had to have a good solid percussion part to it. This was the song that broke the rules. The string part is not only terribly beautiful in its driven desperation, it’s great for running to. On it goes! Thanks Brian!



6) Spray – Run With Us
Suggested by Brian Milton | Full Spotify Playlist

It’s a cover of the theme tune to hit eighties cartoon show, The Raccoons. Of course it’s going on.



7) Animal Noise – Run Loose
Suggested by Neil Williamson | Full Spotify Playlist



8) The Commodores – Machine Gun
Suggested by Neil Williamson | Full Spotify Playlist

I maintain I’m still not funky enough (nor have enough sequins on my Mind running vest) to pull this off, but since I’m the only one listening, I can pretend, right? Thanks to Neil for this one!



9) Ben Folds Five – Do It Anyway
Suggested by Neil Williamson | Full Spotify Playlist

That this song is on here is as much down to the sentiment as the beat. November was the month of saying yes to things. Yes to joining a pact with friends to sell two short stories before August. Yes to singing with Durham County Youth Choir at Durham Cathedral in April. And yes to the Edinburgh Half Marathon. Sitting in my friend Rhiannon’s flat, in the middle of the Galloway countryside, she turned to me, and said, “Would you like to do the Edinburgh Half Marathon with me? Here’s how you enter. Here’s the training schedule. If we start now, we’ll have a few weeks spare in case we get injured. What do you say?” I’d been saying I’d like to see if I could do one of these for years. I finally was out of excuses. ‘Do It Anyway‘ sums up that spirit entirely. And, y’know, Fraggle Rock.



10) Shearwater – You As You Were
Suggested by Rob Adams | Full Spotify Playlist



11) Malcolm Middleton – A Brighter Beat
Suggested by Rob Adams | Full Spotify Playlist



12) The Doobie Brothers – Long Train Runnin”
Suggested by David

Continuing the seventies kick on the album, ‘Long Train Runnin” was one of a number of brilliant 70s / proggish suggestions made by David. Out of those, this made it on by virtue of both nostalgia and the fact I am a giant hippy. Thanks David!



13) Afro Celt Sound System – Whirl-Y-Reel (Part 1)
Suggested by David



14) Pure Reason Revolution – Deus Ex Machina
Suggested by David



15) Andrew WK – Party Hard
Suggested by Jon

Jon actually suggested the entirety of Get Wet as a running playlist, but in the spirit of letting everyone have a go, I picked this. ‘Party Hard‘ boasts the most metal one chord piano solo in history – and frankly, when I listen to the rest of the songs on that album, I wish they were all this song. Cheers Jon!



16) Raging Speedhorn – F**k The Voodoman
Suggested by Jon



17) Ministry – Breathe
Suggested by Peter Morrison

I was a bit sceptical about the idea that Ministry had a tune you might be able to run to, but whaddaya know? Thanks Peter!



18) Jimmyeatworld – A Praise Chorus
Suggested by Me (sort of…)

Martin Longstaff (aka Lake Poets) recently reminded me of what a wonderful album Bleed American is. So, as a playlist closer, this will do very nicely. Thanks Martin!



So here’s the full playlist I’ll be running to:

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