Friday, 31 July 2009

It has been over a week since the formal goodbye to Dario. I thought it would help but no.

I still can't believe he is not going to phone me. I just want to wake up and for it all to be a really horrible nightmare.

I know I should be strong and lead by Allybea's example and take something positive from what happened but all I want is to turn back time and not let him go on that run. I just want him here.

I can't bring myself to write a story about him to send to Garry as it seems too real, that it confirms he has gone. I saw the coffin but I still don't want to accept what has happened.

I know I have to be strong to continue the race as his second in command but all I want is to do is to run away and pretend it has not happened, that any minute he will phone with an increase in numbers and the belief in me that I can more than handle it.

I just want him back.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


I still can't believe he has gone. Even though a few days have passed I am still just trying to come to terms with the news.

Dario was the first person I met on my first day of work at the Inland Revenue in February 2002. Over the next 7 and a half years he was to become a close and treasured friend who I could always turn to.

Our friendship blossomed over twixs. He always kept a packet of them in his drawer and insisted that I help myself if I was in need of a chocolate fix. Thanks to the joy of tax exams and book-keeping I borrowed a lot of twixs.

During my twix raids he would talk about running and the race. Dario knew about my highland connections so wondered if I wanted to help out with the time keeping at the 2002 race finish in Fort William. He said there was a fleece in it for me. Roll on to 2009 and the Dario and Gelly race organising double act is well established.

Dario was so supportive. After my first race, a 5K in March, it was Dario I called when I crossed the line. He was so chuffed for me. Dario, Karen and I signed up for the Rat race this weekend. Karen was telling me that on Sunday he was talking about it and looking forward to it. I called the rat race people to let them know. As Dario and I know as race organisers there is nothing more annoying than people not showing up so I thought it only fitting that I let them know.

In many ways Dario was a protective big brother to me. Not long after Mark and I started dating Dario was out running with him and not very subtly told Mark how much I meant to him and he would not be the only one upset if I was hurt in any way. Since I am an only child Mark was not expecting a big brother chat but Dario made it quite clear that he was watching out for me. Mark told me that for all his joking around he could tell just how much I meant to him and that I was lucky to have someone like that in my corner. So true.

I think I am still in shock and a part of me keeps hoping that I am going to wake up and it is all been a horrible nightmare. When Sean called to tell me my response was "tell me it is a joke" over and over again. Mark rushed out when he heard my gasping and Sean had to tell him the news. I could not even speak at that point. Later that day WHWR family members were calling but I could not even talk to them. I feel bad that I was not stronger but I felt I had the wind taken from me.

Mark and I were up in Uist for the weekend. On the Monday we flew back to Glasgow airport and I was meant to be returning to Edinburgh. I stayed with Mark as I could not face being alone. Also, I wanted to go to the Glasgow office to tell colleagues personally what happened. Their reaction like so many others was one of shock and disbelief. In what I am going to take as a compliment to our friendship that first thing my colleagues have asked is how I am doing?

I drove back to Edinburgh today and kept going over and over in my head that I will not get to speak to him again. I think I am repeating it so much to try and get it to sink in. I am waiting for the reality to hit but I am dreading when it does. How can he have done this. He was meant to be doing the rat race this weekend with me, we were meant to be getting a 24 hour race sorted, make the WHWR even better than before - now what

I can't even begin to understand what Gillian and his family are feeling. I hope they get comfort from the messages on the forum.

On one of our many phonecalls we were laughing about one of the funny things that happened during a race, and Dario in between his laughter said "you know Gelly, I love you to bits". It was a natural throwaway comment but one I keep repeating to try and ease the pain. I too loved Dario to bits.

When my uncle Peter passed away a few years ago my Mum told me that the only reason why it hurt so much is because I loved and cared for him so much and for that I was lucky. That reasoning has come into my head that last few days. My mum was and is right but it doesn't stop it hurting like hell.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

bullet points

I think I can safely say that I am rubbish at maintaining a blog. It has been quite a while since I lasted posted and quite a lot of running connected events have occurred. So to limit me rabbiting on as I have a plane to Uist to catch tomorrow morning I am going to relay the information in bullet points:
  • Mark completed the WHWR in under 24 hours
  • I have only managed a few runs as been off work with viral / cold thing
  • My Mum and Dad have decided that being back up for an ultra runner is the new going out
  • The lovely Lee become a 'runner'
  • Mark has binned the role as my running coach - the reasons given I could not make out from his mumbling and cursing under his breath
  • I am not going to be able to run the 10K on Sunday as only managed 3 miles at the weekend and even then a golfer from the Old Links course at Prestwick nearly offered me a lift on his golf caddy
  • My Dad carpeted his van in preparation for being back up at the WHWR which Mark rudely did not use
  • The weather meant I had a very easy job as race control at the WHWR
  • I am considering auditioning for a new running coach with the main criteria - appearance in shorts and I don't mean me
  • Found out at the WHWR that Davie's in laws are friends of the family from Helensburgh Highlanders
  • Oh did I mention Mark has ditched his role as my running coach
  • Dario has done his usual and increased race numbers without consulting me
  • Got a lovely hug from Keith at post race BBQ
  • My Mum has appointed herself as Mark's support commander in chief as she as seen how it is done and thinks he is a tad amateur in his approach to his running - her exact words were"I am going to take that boy in hand" - only hitch is that Mark is not running WHWR next year

So I think I covered most to the happenings. Race reports and pictures of the very enjoyable Beattie post race BBQ are available at

Finally, my apologies for the almost business like approach to my blog this evening but I am still in the clearing your desk prior to going on holiday mode from work and I have yet to have my pre-holiday glass of wine!!!

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