Forgotten Heroes

Joan Benoit

The 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics saw women participate in the marathon for the very first time, that August would see 50 competitors from 28 countries taking part, for me it would be memorable for two reasons, the courage that was shown by the Swiss entrant Gabriela Andersen Schiess who entered the stadium in a state of near exhaustion, but still managed to finish the race in 37th place and by the sheer dominance of the race by the winner Joan Benoit. Truth be told the frozen northerner was completely ignorant of the exploits Ms Benoit, who was dominating North American marathon running scene, at that particular time the frozen northerner was too busy wrapped up in what was going on the European circuit with Cram Ovett and Coe at the forefront of golden age for British athletics, so with the union jack swirling high I was only paying limited attention limited attention to what was going on in the world of woman’s athletics and besides with my know it attitude it was fairly obvious that the women’s marathon was going to won by a Norwegian, it was just a matter of which one, Ingrid Christensen or Greta Wietz . So when this American woman running in a baseball cap takes the race by the scuff of the neck I am immediately entranced and cannot take my eyes off her. I keep telling myself that it only a matter of time before either Wietz of Christensen will go past her but it never happens and Benoit wins the race in the outstanding time of 2.24.52 with Wietz second with Portugal’s Rosa Mota third (a distraught Christiensen finished fourth and out of the medal). To say I was impressed would be an understatement, what would impress me even more was the fact that the peerless Ms Benoit had knee surgery 17 days before the Olympic trials, a trail that she still managed to win by 30 seconds, Joan Benoit is not name that easily springs to mind unless you are real fan of marathon running which, is a shame because she really was and still is an outstanding athlete. The diminutive Benoit enjoyed a stellar career as a marathon runner and it would be no exaggeration to say that she has a strong claim to be ranked at the very top of her sport, since her retirement Joan has been an influential figure in women’s distance running in the United States and is woman that I greatly admire, but no matter how great her achievements, all I can think about is who is that woman in front wearing a baseball cap.

Joan Benoit with cap!!


Thomas Riemer Gloves


January is going to be cold and for the frozen northerner it is the most miserable month of the year, you are going to need something to cheer you up after the Christmas holidays, so why not invest in pair of Thomas Riemer gloves. These gloves are beautifully and lovingly crafted by a company that was started in Vienna around about 1845 and is now one of the oldest glove makers still in existence. For some reason that is unbeknown to me this is the first time I spoken about a product made by a Austrian company, but given the quality of this product it will hopefully not be the last, the sheer excellence of these gloves, bought for me as a Christmas gift by my wife the Contessa Di La Proctero demands that they be talked about. Now I realise I may be doing a disservice to outstanding British makers of gloves such as Dents, but I really love the Riemer suede gloves, cashmere lined they are a peach of a product, that should be on display every time you venture outside during the winter months. Thomas Riemer also produces a wide range of leather gloves, but in my opinion their suede gloves are much classier and should be seen as an essential component of your wardrobe. Today Thomas Riemar, has stayed true to its roots and still conducts its business out of its Viennese workshop although, some of their products are now make in Italy and Hungary. The company claims that it targets only the finest materials for it products which is a statement that I find hard to disagree with. Purchasing them on the high street may be difficult but do not despair as online retailers such as have a wide range of their products, winter may be here, but these gloves will warm your hands up very nicely.