Review: Not Knowing What That ‘Running’ 50 Pence Piece is Supposed to be About

50 pence coin Mark Brady

pictured: the celebration of thighs before clocks or something.

What’s being tested?

The potential misinterpretation of the limited-issue fifty pence piece commemorating something to do with a pair of running legs and a giant stopwatch.

What we found

Pros: Our testers found that not knowing what that ‘Running’ 50p is all about helped lend an air of mystique to what was generally considered to be a dull and uncomfortable pursuit. While the benefits of a regime of regular exercise, with either running or jogging being part of that regime, are well documented, it was generally agreed that it would not warrant commemorating on any of the Queen’s silver, and certainly not with precedence over other sports like fast-walking, horsing or showboating.

We also found that the confusion surrounding the image helped stoke a degree of interest in both the history of running and in the technological advances made in the sport. The satisfaction felt on discovering a temporary and superficial interest in something was only bolstered on realising how limited the history of running was, and how few technological advances have actually been made in the sport.

Finally, it was found that the most common misinterpretation of the image was that the act of running somewhere had only been discovered in the last 50 years. We felt this misinterpretation could help fool more transient individuals into taking up the sport with that characteristic degree of reckless over-enthusiasm. This could in turn serve to put their physical wellbeing in jeopardy, as they put their bodies under unexpected stress, running to unfamiliar places they can’t get back from.

Cons: We felt that the easily misinterpreted fifty pence was a dangerous thing to have in circulation, what with it still considered a legitimate pocket-money value by older sections of the populace. Exposing young children to the aberration could cause them to call into question the exact process of running, with many coming to believe that the arms are an unnecessary part of the act. We found that not knowing what your arms do while you run not only makes it harder to run, it also makes you look unusual and disturbing.

The image could also prove dangerous to younger intellects as the exact nature of the message is largely unclear, save for the idea that the event depicted is a cause for celebration. This could lead to a generation of individuals inclined to celebrate abstract concepts, like timed shorts, the time of a long thigh, or a clock within a clock. While some of our testers felt that a few extra holidays would be no bad thing, the majority did not welcome the prospect of having to buy their relatives cards for a celebration of timed thighs.

Verdict: Ultimately, our testers found that, if they thought about it, they could probably think of a few plausible interpretations for the celebratory coin. However, the general consensus remains that discovering the exact nature of the message would be an act, like so many, deferred ‘to Google’, exacerbating our reliance on easy information and powers-beyond-our-control by another small, almost intangible step. This was found by most to a price worth paying, as it’s really quite sunny outside, and our testers don’t want to spend all day inside thinking about a bloody coin.