MONTANE SPINE RACE – SATURDAY 19TH
Episode 9 of the Montane Spine Race – Despite the thrills at the front of the pack, competitors remain united against the elements and look after each other with good-natured, easy compassion.
Runner 143 Satoshi Funakoshi (JPN) found out when he discovered runner 223 Glyn Thomas sat on the ground, injured, exhausted and freezing. Thomas had already been in contact with race HQ and requested assistance but Funakoshi recognized the severity of the situation and kept Thomas warm until safety teams arrived. This is selfless act probably avoided a more serious situation. It was the right thing to do and also, to many watching online, an act of heroism.
Funakoshi’s decision to forego his chance of finishing the race, embodied the spirit and ethos of the Montane Spine Race. Two hours were credited to Funakoshi. This extra time was given so he could meet the cut-off at Byrness, but it was just not enough. His rate of progress slowed and he had to eventually retire from race.
He may not have received a medal, but he became a hero.