This weekend I was glad to be sat in restaurants in Siena, enjoying a glass or two of Chianti Classico and some bistecca fiorentina in 27c sunshine, rather than competing like I used to in the Original Mountain Marathon (known in my day as the Karrimor).
Many people will have seen on the news (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/7691893.stm) that the race was a bit damp this year.
My brother and his wife were competing this year so I am particularly relieved everyone got off the mountain safely - though my brother says the situation was exagerated by the media and the only reason competitors appeared to be "missing" was because it was difficult to reach race HQ through 4 feet of water to check back in.
Between the ages of 16 and 21 I competed in 5 of these annual mountain marathons, completing 3 (Howgills, Argyll and Galloway) and pulling out of the others because of snow in one case and injury in the other. The race involves navigating 26 miles - in the easiest "class" - as the crow flies (further in practice) with an overnight camp.
Any criticism of the organisers on safety grounds is well off the mark as they enforce rigid regulations about the survival clothing, kit, tent and food you carry and are themselves fell-runners with decades of experience.
One day I hope to return to the level of fitness to do a mountain marathon again - I'm glad it wasn't this year I tried.