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bill reynolds

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UKA 2009 Logo v2

14 September 2010

After a brave fight against cancer, the UK road running community will be greatly saddened to hear of the death of Bill Reynolds, on 9th September. His depth of knowledge of the sport, wise counsel, unfailing willingness to help and sense of humour meant that if he was part of ‘your team’ you could both relax a little and be assured of his unfailing support.

Bill was closely associated with the British Association of Road Races, founded by Chris Brasher almost 30 years ago. He joined BARR in 1990 and quickly made a great impression serving firstly as Regional Representative for the South East, then Chairman and then succeeded Chris Brasher as President.

Over those years he developed into the foremost expert on the organisational standards expected of British road races of all types and sizes. A combination of technical knowledge and formidable negotiating skills invariably overcame potential obstacles to changes that he sincerely believed would be for the good of the sport as a whole – rather than any particular interest group. 

His own background and experience included smaller local and regional events but he was also closely involved in the organisation of the London Marathon, since its first running in 1981. His knowledge and expertise was welcomed by many overseas events which needed ‘a safe pair of hands’.

Bill served for many years as the Start Director of the Marathon and as recently as Tuesday of last week, despite being in poor health, met with his successor Mark Griffith as part of the 2010 de-brief and 2011 event planning process. In more recent years, Bill was responsible for the major logistical exercise of baggage co-ordination at the Marathon and supporting events. In all of these areas, he could be relied up on to deliver a gold standard of service in a quiet and calm manner. The London Marathon start zone and baggage operation are the benchmark for world class thanks to Bill’s commitment and hard work during its formative years.

Whilst Bill understood the past history of road running, he also recognised the need for change and in particular supported from the beginning the motives and creation of runbritain.

For those who had the privilege of working with him on a regular basis, he was always the same – calm, cheerful, considered and wise. No-one in the sport ever had a bad word for Bill. He hailed from Sissinghurst in Kent, very close to where the ‘Darling Buds of May’ programmes were filmed and Bill was a true gentleman with those same values. Although he had known for some time that he was terminally ill, you would not have known it from his demeanour. He remained, to the end, positive and entirely without self-pity. He continued to work in the best interests of road running until his final finish line. He contributed extensively to the new Road Race Handbook for 2011. It encapsulates much of his knowledge and experience from a lifetime in the sport and will now stand as a tribute to him.

We will all miss Bill and thank him for his unique and life-long contribution to road running. Our thoughts are with his wife Beryl and sons Steve, Paul & Ian.

Geoff Wightman, Managing Director RunBritain

Paul Wood, Chairman BARR

Dave Bedford, Race Director London Marathon

Funeral details: Tuesday 21st September at 3.20pm at Charing Crematorium, New Court Wood, Charing, nr Ashford, Kent TN27 0EB. Family flowers only, but donations made payable to Hospice in the Weald (please send to Perigoe & Son, Bardens, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3EF with a note ‘in memory of Bill Reynolds’ and please include your name and address for an acknowledgement).

If you will be attending the funeral please email Nicola Okey on nicolao@london-marathon.co.uk reference catering numbers.