Who’s in the chair?
Al Evans is in the chair. In this case the chair he designed. Who is Al Evans, well he’s not just a frou frou chair designer, he’s a great sportsman; a runner, cycle cross loon, a climber, a friend, and most of all an inspiration to me and a thousand others.
I knew of Al before I met him cos I am a running nerd, I had read of him in a book called Stud Marks on the summits, if you have a copy of this book you deserve the nerds medal, with oak clusters covered in mud! Like a lot of people in that great titanic tome, he will be a faceless ‘hero’, and I don’t use the word stupidly, I know you need to sacrifice something for the greater good with disregard for yourself. Al has done incredible things and helped generations of runners, he has done this by the prosaic way of blood sweat and tears, by helping his mates attain their dreams and potential. By running hundreds of thousands of miles and cycling more. He has with the help of his wife Joy also run successful enterprises like a climbers café in the Lake district, and finally earned some relief from most of the rigueurs of life in happy but not un-busy retirement in the French Alps. When I met Al he was 56 and he was like a breath of fresh air, I wanted to be like him, Al is now 72 and I want to be more like him. He has now popped into a new age category so he’s a veritable youngster and is winning races again, like the 3Peaks Cycle Cross Race. He’s a very early member of the Bob Graham Club and my mate and owes me a favour. The only advice I was able to give him over the years was to rest more, he eventually took notice and got better, if he took some more rest he’d get better again. So pal get back in that frou frou chair of yours. And the favour you owe me is to get me off my frou frou arse and get me doing some speed work and some hill reps. See you soon.