Yesterday marked my greatest sporting achievement since the Sutton Y6 girls’ corner spry team destroyed the opposition in the 1995 John Batty School sports day. Yes, I completed the 10k MoRun in Manchester – my first race since taking up running back in March. The day did not get off to the most promising of starts: a freezing fog had descended overnight, and this proved enough to cripple the public transport system (apparently the overhead tram wires had frozen), so our journey to Heaton Park was a long and cold one. When we eventually reached our destination, the paths through the park were glistening with frost and everyone called out warnings to fellow racers about the slippery spots.
When we finally got underway, the race was hilly, cold, muddy and occasionally icy – but I enjoyed it immensely. Besides the uphill slogs, it was actually easier than I’d expected and I’m feeling highly motivated to keep up the running. Of course, my main motivation as I dragged myself onwards was the thought of a slice of this banana bread, baked on Saturday and saved for the post-race afternoon tea. Between this and my medal, all my rewards were covered!
Boozy Banana Bread
50ml rum (although it mightn’t hurt to throw in another tablespoon)
3 bananas, mashed
100g light brown muscovado sugar
75ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp mixed spice
50g chopped walnuts
1 tbsp demerera sugar
1. Put the sultanas in a bowl, pour over the rum and leave to soak for an hour or two.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C, and grease and line a loaf tin.
3. Use an electric whisk to combine the bananas, sugar, oil and vanilla.
4. Sift in the flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix until just combined.
5. Fold in the walnuts and the boozy raisins, along with any excess rum from the bowl.
6. Carefully pour into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the demerera sugar on the top.
7. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
8. Leave to cool in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.