Ed Catmur

You may well have seen from National News the very sad news that Ed Catmur’s life was cut short on Cross Fell in the Pennines at New Year. He was with the Oxford University Alumni New Year’s Trip, and was reported missing when he didn’t finish a run on December 31st.

We extend heartfelt sympathy to his parents Richard and Ginny, family and friends.

( Header Photo: By Pennine Way towards Cross Fell Summit by Ian S, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=131326729 )

Ed was 41. He was a member of SLOW since he started orienteering as a child with his family. He was smart and hard working so became a good orienteer through his junior years.

In 2001, as an M20, Ed won the British Nights, and in 2002 the British Long. That year he represented Great Britain at the Junior World Championships.

He then became a very strong adult orienteer (several Championship top-20s) and a very well-known endurance athlete. In the space of five weeks in summer 2013 he won the Saunders Mountain Marathon, the Ultra Tour of the Peak District (62 miles) and the North Downs Way 100 miles.

The long distance achievement that means most to orienteers is his 2018 completion of the Bob Graham Round, the 66 mile circuit of 42 big peaks in the Lake District in 24 hours.

He was a keen member of club teams, from the less formal local relays through the CompassSport Cup, the main national relays of the JK and British, the overnight Harvester relay, and through to our trips to the Jukola relay in Finland.

Ed was also a frequent and valuable helper at our events. He took on the planning for the 2017 and 2018 London City Races, making visits to potential control sites from his work. Like his own orienteering he was extremely good at that, with the courses very well received both years.

He won the 18 mile course at our Surrey Hills Race twice. He won the UK Urban League in 2010. And when he became M35 a flood of championship wins were taken. He most often travelled by cycle too, leaving him the challenge of what to do with the trophies. In 2017 he won the JK Sprint, both forest days of the JK, the British Long, the British Middle and the British Sprint.

Two more recent events come to mind. In the 2020 restart-after-COVID event we held at Glovers Wood in September it was Richard who led a family team for the planning, with Ginny and Ed assisting. In the 2021 Veteran Home International we put on, Ed ran in the England team. He won the longest class on the Saturday and then “the extra long leg” in the relay on the Sunday. As usual he was up for collecting controls after his run before heading off on his bike. He was a great guy; we were fortunate to have him in our club.

Tribute to Ed at Thames Hare & Hounds website

Ed was also a committed helper for ParkRun, an accomplished musician and a member of two choirs. In work he was a top C++ programmer. These differing interests were celebrated at a memorial.
Video Recording of Memorial Service for Ed Catmur held at Battersea Arts Centre on 31st January 2024