The world’s athletics journalists are very familiar with the astonishingly detailed and helpful work of Mark Butler, the BBC’s ever-diligent athletics statistician.
And while some might be aware that Butler has continued to compete in veterans’ athletics well into his 40s, few will be aware of his determination to maintain his own racing record.
Such as the occasion, earlier this month, when a massive tower block fire in Kingston in Surrey (as covered by the local newspaper, right) caused chaos in the local traffic, delaying Butler on his way to a the final Southern Veterans’ athletics league meeting of the season at Kingsmeadow track.
Caught in the traffic jams more than a mile from the stadium with the start time for his own race rapidly approaching, what did Butler do? He parked up, and set off on a jog to the venue and made it to the startline for his 800 metres.
Those track hacks out in Barcelona for the European championships will be glad to know Butler is in full fitness and will be delivering his immensely detailed biographical stat sheets at pace this week.