HomeRunningIn Reminiscence of British Ultrarunner and Orienteer, Ed Catmur – iRunFar

In Reminiscence of British Ultrarunner and Orienteer, Ed Catmur – iRunFar

The British ultrarunning neighborhood was shocked over the New 12 months’s Day interval to study of the passing of Ed Catmur, on the age of 41. The beloved runner tragically misplaced his life on a coaching run on the Pennine Method in Northern England.

Ed had been staying within the space over the vacation. Early on December 31, 2023, he launched into a deliberate out-and-back run, from the village of Dufton over Cross Fell alongside the Pennine Method. The path is a extremely popular route with hikers and runners and the situation for the annual Backbone Race.

When he did not return, police have been alerted, and an intensive search carried out with the native Mountain Rescue groups and different companies alongside his deliberate route. The search continued the following day, assisted by canine, drones, and helicopters.

Later, on January 1, 2024, the Cumbria Police introduced the unhappy information {that a} physique had been discovered. When information finally filtered out, confirming that it was that of Ed Catmur, a way of shock set in amongst those that knew him.

Ed Catmur - Centurion Running Autumn 100 Mile

Ed Catmur competing in Centurion Working’a Autumn 100 Mile. Photograph: Centurion Working

Cross Fell is the very best mountain within the Pennines, and the very best level in England, outdoors the Lake District. At a top of two,929 ft, or 983 meters, it isn’t excessive by Alpine requirements, however the terrain may be very uncovered. The route has delicate technical sections and, like all hill and mountain areas, the climate can change quickly, particularly in winter.

We should emphasize Ed was an extremely skilled runner, used to the terrain, and would have been ready for the situations and recognized the dangers concerned.

Ed was from London and was a widely known face, not simply on the ultrarunning scene, but in addition within the orienteering neighborhood. He was a prolific and competent racer, from quick orienteering occasions to difficult 100-mile races. He had a highway marathon private greatest of two:32:20, and the day earlier than his dying, ran the native 5-kilometer Penrith Parkrun, near the place he was staying.

The Latest American Connection

For the final 12 months or so of his life, Ed’s work had taken him to the U.S., and to Chicago, Illinois, particularly. In 2023, he competed in a number of ultras within the U.S., together with the 2023 Silver Rush 50 Mile in July, the Shawnee Hills 100k in August, the place he completed second, and in early December, he ran what his final 100 miler on the Daytona 100 Mile, ending seventh. He had additionally managed to squeeze in his ninth Comrades Marathon in June of 2023.

Ed had introduced his love of orienteering to the U.S., becoming a member of in with the native orienteering neighborhood in Chicago. A number of the individuals he met left condolences on the Attackpoint orienteer neighborhood dialogue group:

“So unhappy to listen to this. For the previous 12 months Ed has been an everyday at Chicago orienteering occasions and was nice to get to know. Pleasant, enthusiastic, and at all times able to help. Condolences to his household.”

“A intestine punch to his fellow orienteers right here in Chicago, such a pleasant man. He would trip out on his bike, run a course, after which assist choose up the controls. I keep in mind the final dialog I had with him on the final fall meet he attended prefer it was yesterday.”

He was somebody who simply cherished operating, and appeared to dwell his life to the fullest irrespective of the place he was.

From Ed’s London Athletic Membership, Thames Hare and Hounds

Ed’s athletic membership in London, the well-known Thames Hare and Hounds, posted a tribute on the membership’s web site. Right here’s an extract of this:

Ed Catmur - Thames Hare and Hounds

Ed Catmur (second from the proper) operating together with his membership. Photograph: Thames Hare and Hounds

“Ed grew up regionally in Hinchley Wooden and joined Thames earlier than going as much as Jesus Faculty, Oxford, in 2001. Whereas at Oxford, he represented [the university] a number of occasions at cross nation in opposition to Cambridge. He additionally excelled at orienteering at Oxford, profitable 4 Blues [the second shortest of four distance grades in British orienteering] between 2002 and 2005.

“He represented Nice Britain on the Junior World Orienteering Championships in 2001, and in addition to Thames Hare and Hounds, was a member of South London Orienteers.

“… Nevertheless, it was in marathon and ultrarunning that Ed really excelled. His successes are too quite a few to say in full. Nevertheless, to select just a few, he received the London to Brighton Path Race in 2012, the Thames Path 100 Mile in 2014, the Milton Keynes Marathon in 2013, and the North Downs Method 100 Mile in 2013. He ran the legendary Comrades Marathon 9 occasions, and achieved a greatest end of 6 hours, 49 minutes, 50 seconds in 2015. Ed was a much-loved and revered member of the membership, and his dying will go away an enormous void. We ship our deepest condolences to his household.”

From South London Orienteers, Ed’s Longtime Orienteering Membership

The South London Orienteers additionally posted a tribute on their web site, once more illustrating how enmeshed he was within the orienteering scene, together with being a greater than competent ultrarunner:

“Within the house of 5 weeks in the summertime of 2013, he received the Saunders Mountain Marathon, the Extremely Tour of the Peak District (62 miles), and the North Downs Method 100 Mile.

“… Ed was additionally a frequent and useful helper at our occasions. He took on the planning for the 2017 and 2018 London Metropolis Race, making visits to potential management websites from his work. Like his personal orienteering, he was extraordinarily good at that, with the programs being very effectively acquired each years.

“He received the 18-mile course at our Surrey Hills Race twice. He received the U.Okay. City League in 2010. And when he turned [a member of the] M35 [age group], a flood of championship wins have been taken. He most frequently traveled by bicycle too, leaving him the problem of what to do with the trophies.

“… Within the 2021 Veteran House Worldwide we placed on, Ed ran on the England staff. He received the longest class on Saturday after which “the extra-long leg” within the relay on the Sunday. As typical, he was up for accumulating controls after his run earlier than heading off on his bike. He was an important man; we have been lucky to have him in our membership.”

Ed Catmur - 2021 Veteran Home International orienteering relay

Ed Catmur representing England on the 2021 Veteran House Worldwide orienteering relay. Photograph: South London Orienteers

A Tribute from James Elson, of Centurion Working

James Elson, race director of the Centurion Working extremely races within the U.Okay., which incorporates an annual sequence of 50- and 100-mile path occasions within the southeast of England, was pal of Ed. Talking to iRunFar, he provided the next tribute:

“What a loss to the neighborhood. Ed ran the primary occasion we ever organized, ending second on the North Downs Method 50 Mile in 2011. That was his first extremely. Between at times, he ran and completed 30 of our 100-mile races.

“Within the early years, he received the North Downs Method 100 Mile, the Thames Path 100 Mile, and the Winter 100 Mile. He was probably the most prolific and arguably the very best 100 miler we had on the scene on the time, between 2011 and 2015. He received the North Downs Method 100 Mile in 2013 in 15:44:39, a time that has solely been overwhelmed as soon as since by one in every of our present greatest 100-mile runners, Mark Darbyshire.

“These have been the years when he was on the peak of his powers. That North Downs 100 Mile efficiency remains to be among the finest runs we’ve got ever seen. He appeared to be on cruise management, however then put his head down and charged away to victory.

“He had some harm points. He drifted out and in for some time, getting just a little slower whereas coping with being injured, however nonetheless desirous to compete.

“Extra lately, he had come again to kind once more. In 2020, he completed second on the Autumn 100 Mile, in what was his 100-mile private greatest on the paths, 15 hours, 38 minutes.

“… It’s such a loss for us all, as he was such an enormous presence at our races. He usually volunteered too, when he wasn’t operating.

“… There’s a lot shock that he has turn out to be tragically unstuck, primarily as he was such an skilled runner.”

Ed Catmur - Centurion Running Thames Path 100 Mile

Ed Catmur throughout Centurion Working’s Thames Path 100 Mile. Photograph: Centurion Working

Security within the Mountains

Ed Catmur’s dying as soon as once more highlights the continuing must steadiness having fun with ourselves in great out of doors places with preserving protected.

For a lot of British runners, it introduced again reminiscences of the same tragic occasion the place British mountain runner Chris Smith misplaced his life in 2020. Smith was additionally a really skilled mountain runner, additionally failing to return from what began as a easy coaching run, whereas on a break within the Scottish Highlands.

The coroner, in that case, concluded that hypothermia was the reason for dying — when the climate deteriorated abruptly, leading to a windchill of minus 11 levels Celsius on the summits within the space the place Smith was discovered.

I believe again alone adventures and tales shared with mates. All of us admit that there have been occasions once we decided that in all probability pushed us out of our consolation zone to some extent that was doubtlessly unsafe. Generally it could possibly be on a winter run when the climate turned, or a summer time run once we badly deliberate a route, that ended up being far longer or tougher than anticipated.

Whereas it’s pure to push our boundaries, we owe it to our mates and our household to take no less than primary security precautions, particularly in winter. No matter our chosen sport, we are able to by no means get rid of threat, however we are able to no less than cowl our bases.

Many people who’re lifelong runners have discovered out of doors abilities rising up, by college or school, on organized journeys. Within the U.Okay., the wonderful community of operating and athletic golf equipment has a wealth of skilled and clever coaches and runners, who’re glad to information and mentor runners with their expertise to maintain protected within the hills at any time of 12 months.

For these of us who come to operating later in life, and develop that spirit of journey, there are a lot of alternatives to seek out recommendation or take a easy course to enhance our out of doors abilities and consciousness.

Within the U.Okay., the Fell Runners Affiliation and Scottish Hill Runners can advise on appropriate navigation and security programs in your space. Your native specialist out of doors retailer also needs to have contacts. This piece on iRunFar about security in dangerous climate and troublesome terrain is effectively price a learn, and this wonderful quick video from Path Working Scotland can be effectively price 10 minutes of your time.

Ed’s accident and that of Chris Smith train us that even probably the most skilled runners can get into bother, typically for causes outdoors their management. We are able to take some consolation in figuring out that they died doing one of many actions they loved most.

Go discover, however keep protected.

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