Bramley Article October 2021

In Memory of Richard Durance 

Southwell Running Club was saddened to hear of the untimely death last month of Richard Durance, one of our longest serving members. 

Have you ever sat in a pub and suddenly decided to promise the world to undertake a feat of endurance you know nothing about? Have you gone through with it? No. Nor me. Back before running marathons was a thing, Richard was sitting in a pub when he heard news that one was to be held in London the following year. Despite never having run more than a few miles, he announced he would enter. This is exactly the kind of thing I say every few weeks but, unlike me, he actually did it. 

This turns out to be somewhat characteristic of Richard. As one member of the club put it, Richard had a ‘certain determination of mind’. 

Does running 23 laps around Holme Pierrepont lake for 80 miles sound like fun? How about a 50 mile race in the mountainous terrain of the Copper Canyons in Mexico, home only to drug farmers and the (formerly) forgotten tribe of the Tarahumara ‘running people’? At least the water stations at Holme Pierrepont are not manned by armed guards. 

Richard ran an astonishing 141 marathons in his running career, including ultra-marathons in South Africa and Columbia, and the ridiculous Marathon des Sables - 156 miles in six days across the Sahara. Of all these, he counted London as the most emotional. Not the first one in 1981, but the one he ran in 2009 with his wife, Penny, and daughter, Helen, in their Mum, Dad and daughter T-shirts to ‘much acclaim from the crowds’, which I’m sure is an understatement. 

Richard is survived by Penny, Helen, son Tom and six grandchildren. A vital and inspirational member of the running club, he will be sorely missed by family, friends and running partners alike. 

The Scarlett Pimperrunner 

Richard’s family are raising money for a Lymphoma charity in his memory. All donations gratefully received at