Monday, 30 March 2015

Now is certain. Tomorrow is not.

At races you get to meet really lovely people; and more so during small-field staged races where you spend days together. And very often it is the people that make these races more than the race, location and scenery.

In March 2013 I had the most wonderful opportunity to run in the five-day Namib Desert Challenge for a second time, having run the inaugural event a few years before.

One of the guys that I spent a lot of time with was Dave Gunner, who was out here from the UK with his brother Paul to participate. We ran all of stages 3, 4 and 5 together and as such he is pictured in many of my photographs -  a fine model to showcase the route and scenery and terrain of the race.

It it with sadness that I heard today of his passing from a few weeks ago.

Dave fell ill just after June last year and was diagnosed with leukaemia. He had a bone marrow transplant, which went ok but in January he got a lung infection. He passed away on 7 February 2015; his heart, which was under too much stress, had had enough (information on his health from a family member via a common running friend).

Dave's company and conversation on those long, long stretches at NDC made the race all the more enjoyable and memorable. Reading my daily blog posts and looking at the included photographs is a fresh reminder of the good - but tough - days we spent traversing the Soussousvlei area. We were well-suited running companions.

With 'English Dave' at the end of Stage 4 on top of Dune 45.
The passing of a fit and healthy running friend whose route through life has been cheated out of so many hundreds of kilometres is ever a reminder that for all of us that tomorrow is never a certainty.

Now is.

Stage 5 - Dead Vlei and only a few kilometres from the end. Photo by Hannisze.