Titanium Man

Our mate Chris is an excellent climber, a superb runner, a fearless skier and an all-round nice guy. He is also made from pure titanium. There can be no other explanation for his gnarliness in the Original Mountain Marathon at the weekend.

The OMM is not for the faint-hearted. 69km over two days in the Lake District. Just you, your pack and nature. Oh, and a couple of thousand other competitors. Now the Lake District gets its name from, well, the lakes. And they got there because, well, it rains. A lot. Sometimes it doesn’t know when to stop. Like at the weekend.

Mountain marathon runners are a rare breed. They are hardened to the weather and bad conditions. They are also very sensible when it comes to being safe in an unsafe environment. So when the national news blurted out that the OMM had to be abandoned because of extreme bad weather – and that 44 competitors were missing, I was a little worried about Chris, who I knew was taking part.

James, another superb runner, but who, in Chris’s words, had ‘wussed out’ of the OMM, telling him 'You're not injured, you're just soft' said he was sure Chris was safe, adding that he was made of pure titanium, which I thought was rather apt.

Of course, not only was Chris safe. He was sound. And full of beer and curry.

It turns out he and his running buddy were not far from the finish. They’d been going five-and-a-half hours on day one, but the weather was closing in. They had a choice. Go to the finish line –not too far away – or go the extra mile, or two, or three where there was beer and curry. A no-brainer, really, if you’re made from pure titanium.

They knew they’d have to tell someone they were calling it off – and when they found a marshal were told the race had been abandoned two hours earlier. Damn! They could have been in the pub!

Chris is joining the gang of 12 for the Birthday Ski in January. He’ll be the first out each day. And the last back. Probably fitting in a run over lunch. Respect!

Today’s lovely thing

A snoring, twitching, dreamnig, blissed-out cat enjoying the heat from the wood-burning stove. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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