Memories of Nick Bateson

Nick Bateson> 1958-2007> When Nick was killed in a tragic road traffic accident in Iraq on 01 May 07 he left behind his loving, supportive wife Angela. > Brought up in Kent, Nick went to school in Tonbridge. After Uni Nick joined the Army and was commmisioned into the Royal Signals.> Nick was a gifted athlete taking part in all things running and triathlon. Arguably he was lucky to serve when he did, a time when purse strings were not so tight and Army numbers high. This gave some flexibility in the system so sporting pursuits were normally encouraged.> Nick did come up against at least one boss who didn't agree that he should do quite so much. In Nick's downstairs loo, proudly displayed, was a confidential report with the line "if Maj Bateson dedicated as much time and effort to his work as he does sport, he would be a fine officer".> That kind of summed Nick up to me - he loved life, loved sport and was at his very happiest out training with a group of mates.> Nick had a beautiful, easy-going manner, always a smile, always some cheeky banter. Nick didn't care for respect of rank or Army formalities, it was all first names or more likely a literal ‘Nick-name’ created by himself. Taking of nicknames we should talk about Nick's : simply ‘The Bungy‘ or ‘Bungy Bateson’. Nick had a reputation for using his superior running speed rather than his more average orienteering ability. I shouldn't be too unfair - Nick did have some amazing solo runs, one notably when he wasn't selected for the Inter-services, but where he ended up beating almost all of the Army team.. But when it came to orienteering, as the very intelligent, bright Nick crossed the start line, something happened. Basically anything... running off the map, going out on the wrong map - the latter most notably at an Inter-Corps Night Champs, but in this case by use of a bungy connected to a series of good runners, Nick came back in with a very good result! Nick’s little, assorted errors became known as "doing a Bateson".> Nick also had another nickname: Stato. He had an amazing ability to remember all results, times and PB's. He was always my database. He knew when and where I ran my fastest 3k on the track, or 10k on the road. He would also know who else was in the race and even some splits.. This skill and my poor memory is just one of the reasons Nick is greatly missed.> Nick was a great friend to so many in running and orienteering, I think mainly because he was  generous with his warm, easy-going personality. He would always find time to chat to everyone, to share some experience, to organise training, to give advice or to offer lifts to races.

> Nick trained very hard and often. Colin Holcombe once told of how he and Nick had to go to London for a work meeting. Instead of using the lunch break like everyone else in the meeting to eat lunch, Colin was dragged out for a run around Central London making it back just in time to for the meeting re-start. Allan Farrington remembers Nick turning up to run his leg of the Test way relay, only to discover Nick had just run the Blandford Half that morning and then Nick jogged out to recce his leg, before running it in the race.

> Time spent with Nick was always fun. I am sure loads like myself will have very fond memories of fun times before, during and after training or races.> I am constantly reminded of Nick even 13 years on by doing the same races or simply running the same trails. I miss chasing those bandy legs, the sharing of half of a twix, his encouragement, his wit, his friendship, and most importantly for the shared passion for the sport we loved.