Many of you will already have heard the tragic news of the untimely death of our long-time member Ed Catmur on New Year’s Eve. Ed went for a run from Dufton to Cross Fell in the Pennines, from which he did not return. His body was found by mountain rescue on Monday.
Ed grew up locally in Hinchley Wood and joined Thames prior to going up to Jesus College, Oxford in 2001. While at Oxford, he represented them at cross-country against Cambridge in the third team race in 2001 (which he won) and then the Tortoises-Spartans (second team) race in 2002, 2003 and 2004. His best finish was third in 2003 and on all four occasions his Oxford team was victorious. He also excelled at orienteering at Oxford, winning four Blues between 2002 and 2005 and being the individual winner in the latter three years. He represented Great Britain at the Junior World Championships in 2001. SLOW, his orienteering club, has written a tribute to him that covers his exploits in the sport.
At Thames, Ed served as our Chief Pioneer from 2014 until early 2023 when his job took him to Chicago. He won our Short Distance Challenge and 10-mile Handicap in 2014, our Long Distance Challenge (and with it the SLH mob match) and 10-mile Challenge in 2015, and the 10-mile Challenge in 2018.
However, it was at marathon and ultra-running that Ed truly excelled. His successes are too numerous to mention in full; however, a quick glance at his Power of Ten profile provides a flavour of his talent and dedication to the sport. To pick out a few, he won the London-Brighton in 2012, the Thames Path 100 in 2014, the Milton Keynes Marathon in 2013 and the North Downs Way 100 in 2013. He ran the legendary Comrades Marathon nine times and achieved a best finish of 6 hours 50 seconds in 2015 (finishing 104th overall). He was also the subject of one of our Great Runs of the Saltires articles, which focused on his performances in 2013 and 2014 and can be found here.
Ed was a much loved and respected member of the club, and his death will leave a big void. We send our deepest condolences to his family. A memorial service is planned for later in January, and we will communicate the details when we have them.
Many of you have already sent us your memories of Ed. We plan to produce a fuller tribute to him and his achievements shortly, so if you would like to contribute, please send your stories to our captain, James Hoad.