James Kennedy: A sad loss for Indevin

 We ended a fabulous weekend celebrating the wedding of long time family friends, only to hear that someone had died on the Moa Hunt mountain bike event.  My brother Andrew usually always does this event but hadn’t this year because of the wedding.  We were simply relieved that he wasn’t on the track and started to speculate what may’ve gone wrong for this poor rider.  We didn’t think for a moment that it would be someone from Aaron’s work.  James Kennedy was an IT consultant for Indevin, and on Thursday last week Aaron had his last ever chat with James, a guy they all describe as a top bloke. 

He is pictured on race day in tonight’s Marlborough Express  and described by those who knew him well as a guy who enjoyed a bit of adventure.   Our hearts go out to his family and friends but also to the race organisers who will be taking this hard.   On the Moa Hunt website it has always described the end of the mountain bike course in this way: “As the sun goes down, we will toast the elusive Moa and those who have fallen in its pursuit.”  I’m sure they never imagined anything more than the typical bike fall, but I do hope that despite the tragedy the event remains and that it can serve as a way of remembering James.

I guess there is always going to be a small element of risk in such adventures, no matter how well organised they are.  It is this risk that makes your heart race on the downhill, that makes you feel alive, that makes you draw breath at the scene before you.  If you avoid going near that edge, you can miss out on a lot.  I’m reminded of a quote:

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
American writer

Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – )

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December 2008
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