The biggest thing in our life has gone. My children’s father and the love of my life, Brian.
What happened? He did what each and every single one of you do now, he was a runner. I don’t need to tell you about how passionate he was about it because I know you are already there, your passion for running is the reason you’re reading this.
Brian went out running late in the evening after a busy day at work and after I’d paid a visit to my family for my dads birthday. He cooked dinner as always and popped his in the oven ready to devour after a healthy run. With only 2 weeks left to the London Marathon he was keeping his morale high and stamina even more so. ‘I’ll only be out an hour or so’. A common phrase Brian would use which he rarely stuck by. He was always late home after a run. ‘I was feeling good so I pushed for more’ was always the excuse he used countless times. So after a few hours that night I began to grow concerned. I rang him.....his phone rang, at home! Annoyed, yes I was, because even then I thought how can you go out on a run without it.
As you know only too well, you wouldn’t go out on a night out without your ever important phone, bank card, favourite pair of shoes? So why would you go out running without something that you may need to rely on in an emergency?
After 10 minutes of pacing and wondering what on earth to do, I knew something just didn’t feel right. I rang my parents who came straight round. My dad watched my children and my mum jumped in the car with me whilst I led the way, I used routes that he always downloaded to show where he ran. During our search I rang the hospital, ‘no one here that fits your description’ is what I was told.
By each passing minute I was growing more and more frantic. Still believing he was ok, there was still that little something in me that told me he needed me so I rang the police. I gave them a description and told them I was out looking for him. By this time he’d been gone 3 hours. An hour later the police called me back. ‘Are you near home, can you come back?’ a male police officer asked in his calm voice. ‘Of course, I’ll be 10 minutes’ I said eagerly, slightly more at ease, it felt like someone was going to help me, I didn’t feel alone in this any more.
That 10 minute drive was only 5 minutes, I was desperate to get to them I figured they wanted a picture of him to put out there or more information in general to help find him safely and bring him home to me.
When I walked through that door, I was greeted by the policeman and with his still very calm and collected voice, he said ‘I think you should sit down’.......
That was all it took for my entire world to change. Those 6 little words and I knew my life would never be the same again. ‘The person fitting the description you have given us has been found’ he stated very matter of factly. I nodded, no words would come from my mouth. ‘The gentleman in question has had a cardiac arrest and much to the efforts of the staff at the hospital, they were unable to revive him and he died’.
I was numb. I had no words, I had no emotions. He continued, ‘we need you to come with us in order to ID the body to the descriptions you have given us’. I nodded and stood. As though on auto pilot I asked my parents to remain with my children whilst I went to see Brian. That’s how I saw it, I was going to see Brian and this policeman was going to make it possible.
4.5 hours from the moment he walked out of our front door for a run was when I saw him again - lying in a hospital bed, alone and gone. He was gone and it took 4.5 hours to know this is where he was. After everything I tried to do, which still never feels enough, it took 4.5 hours to find him. That evening is etched in my mind forever, I can recount word for word that night and as each event unfolded.
Do you want the same? Would you want to spend that many hours not knowing that the person you love needs you more than ever and that you don’t even know it?
run angel would have stopped all of that. Fact! Within moments I would have known Brian needed me and where he was. A passerby may have also heard the siren and come to his aid. It may not have changed his fate but I would have been there. However, now I have to spend the rest of my life regretting that I wasn’t, but it’s not to late for you or the people you care about most in your life.
Brian never came home again, to me, to our children and we will forever miss him. So be smart and run safe.
(Brian’s wife Alana contacted run angel after coming upon an article on run angel and it’s value to runners in the media. We thank her sincerely for writing this piece and allowing for us to publish it on runangel.com).
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