Petestack Blog

15 July 2009

Dario Melaragni

Filed under: Running — admin @ 10:05 pm

While there have been many tributes to Dario published over the past few days and there’s only so much more I can add to them now, perhaps there’s still room here for a few thoughts of my own…

It was yesterday afternoon that I logged onto my computer down at my parents’ house to read the news on John Kynaston’s blog with stunned disbelief. And yesterday evening that I drove home to Kinlochleven up Loch Lomondside and much of the West Highland Way Race route thinking about Dario every mile of the way. A drive that I’ve done hundreds of times, but has never been the same since completing the race (a life-changing experience) in 2007 and will never be the same again after this. (If I could have turned the van off the road at the Devil’s Staircase and driven home over the hill I would, but will have to content myself with running that favourite section again for Dario ASAP!)

So what can I say that hasn’t already been said by others? Not much, but perhaps Dario’s five appearances in my 2007 Race Report might strike a chord with more than just me:

  • it was good to meet organiser Dario Melaragni
  • So this race is a true team effort in the competitive sense, but it’s also a staggering shared experience for absolutely everyone involved, and that’s not something any of us are likely to forget easily. From Dario and his team (without who our efforts would all also be for nothing) to those who turned up to cheer their runners home, I’m sure you’ll know what I mean if you were there…
  • where Dario called me up to receive my finishers’ goblet with a memorable remark about my medical records being ready at the Kinlochleven checkpoint if required
  • As I wrote to Dario that day, ‘it messes with your head as well as your body’, and perhaps nothing will ever be quite the same (in the best possible sense) again.
  • didn’t Dario introduce the prizegiving with something about a room/hall full of winners?

Which should tell you that he was friendly, he was funny and he never stopped working for this race. He’d done it himself, knew what it meant to so many folk, counted them as ‘family’ (yes, the famous WHW Race Family!) and had the personal touch for every one of them. And he truly believed that he had a hall full of winners after every race.

Now he’s gone, just like that, on what was supposed to be a fun day out with friends on Lochnagar and the neighbouring hills. Leaving behind a very big hole for such a wee guy. And nothing will ever be quite the same again. But he’ll never, ever be forgotten!

1 Comment

  1. Pete, it is a very fitting tribute to Dario. We will all miss him greatly. Ian

    Comment by Ian — 15 July 2009 @ 11:30 pm

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