Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Man bored to death ‘running the tortoises’"

man has died of boredom participating in the annual ‘Running Of The Tortoises’ event through the back streets of Reigate. It is the first such incident recorded during the event’s 100 year history and, although five days had passed, the ‘running’ was abandoned as a mark of respect and an investigation is currently underway.

Safety concerns have been expressed before about this unique spectacle which is normally run over the first fortnight in July. Three time winner, Jack Robson, has always been concerned about participants and spectators not having enough to occupy them once the event commences. “I make sure I carry a fast paced paperback, a hand-held games console, a Sudoku magazine and a thermos of hot coffee. Believe it or not I still have time to keep an eye on the tortoises. I never take them for granted, but you must keep yourself occupied.”

Organiser Brian Charlton confirmed the man who died was indeed a runner, who became fixated by coverage from Natural History TV on the big screen and simply lost the will to live. “It’s a tragedy of course, but we mustn’t be rushed into making hasty changes. People are already saying we should replace the tortoises with a faster animal. Someone even suggested running bulls. I can imagine what Health and Safety would have to say about that.”


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