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November 19, 2012: The Flying Scotsman

Bill Kenny

This week we bid farewell and godspeed to our dearest friend, Bill Kenny (aka the Flying Scotsman). Bill died, the way he wanted to, out running on the beach in Dunedin (New Zealand). He often joked that he had told his solicitor to put aside an extra amount of money for the catering at his funeral...afterall, runners eat alot! Bill was a world class masters athlete and would travel around the world to compete in masters races in the UK, Ireland, the USA among some of his destinations. He travelled as he lived - frugally and modestly. He was perpetually cheerful and always had a kind word to say (well, almost!). Bill will be missed by a global running community....Kelvin, especially, and Bailey too. There's a certain bond between running pals that only runners 'get'!

Many of our 'sheepdog' friends will know Billy as he came to visit us here in the UK a few times - the last trip being in 2011. He was due back in 2013. On his last trip to see us, Billy extended his holiday so he could go to the World Trial to watch me compete. I might have had a fan club of 1 (maybe 2 if I count Kelvin), but Billy was the only fan you'd ever want or need. Billy enthused about the event ...even though it was too wet and cold for him (he never complained), a caterer ripped him off for £10 in change (he said they obviously needed it more than him - although that was completely doubtful), and members of a certain national team sat right in front of him blocking his view of the competition (shame on you all! - he did express a few harsh words about that...well, harsh for Billy's standards, not for mine!!!). Billy was so very proud to see me competing for Wales. Billy was like proud as a doting parent (only without the parental attitude!) and the best friend a person could ask for. Friends like him don't come around too often. How blessed we are to have had Bill in our lives and for so long, but how very hard it is to lose him.

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