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20 June 2009

In Memoriam: Alan Rundle

Tag(s): In Memoriam, Leadership & Management, People
I launched my personal website on Wednesday 17th June, 2009 by sending
a personal message to 250 friends, current and former colleagues, and consultants
whom I thought might be interested. I have had very positive feedback from many of
these but two former Procter & Gamble colleagues quickly contacted me to alert me to
the fact that Alan Rundle, who had provided one of my testimonials, had recently died.

Back in 2006 Alan had undergone quadruple bypass surgery and his reaction to this was
to take up running again. In the last two years he ran the Rotterdam and London Marathons
raising thousands of pounds for the British Heart Foundation and the new Bristol Heart
Institute at the Bristol Royal Infirmary where he died.

On Friday 5th June he collapsed during a 10km race along the River Avon towpath,
which runs under the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Palpitations caused his heart to stop
during the second race in the series organised by Great Western runners. He died a
week later on Friday 12th June at the age of 64.

Alan often said that if he died running, he would die a happy man. He had inspired
countless people with his extraordinary achievements, before and after his heart
operation in 2006. In his lifetime he had run no less than seven marathons and had
been planning to run the Bristol Harbour Fun Run this week with his partner Ruth to
raise more money for the British Heart Foundation.

According to The Bristol News, Ruth said: "When he was running on June 5th, he just
collapsed. Other competitors stopped to help him, and one gave him CPR. The
paramedics did everything they could but he later died in the BRI. He loved running
because he loved being outside, he felt it was time for him to think and "Be".
It was also a way in which he could raise money for good causes. Before he raised
money for the BHF, he raised money for a Multiple Sclerosis charity, because his
wife had died of MRS."

Alan's daughters and Ruth are hoping to publish a book that Alan had recently finished,
a memoir of his experiences entitled "Not Bad for A Heart Case- Head Case More Like!"
Ruth said: "He had just about completed it and was working on it the week before he died.
He wanted to get some cartoons in it. He wanted it to be an inspiration to others going
through the same, he wanted them to be encouraged to work for their recovery like he had."

Ruth says he will be greatly missed by his friends, colleagues and family. "He was
incredibly enthusiastic, amazingly positive, a glass half-full rather than a glass
half-empty person.He spent his time making people feel good about themselves."

I can vouch for that. I first met Alan in 1973 when he became my Area Sales Manager in
Procter & Gamble. I had been working for the company for 2 1/2 years and was not showing
the progress I should. I had previously worked for several managers and had learnt
something from all of them but Alan was able to teach me how to present myself as a
professional businessman ahead of my colleagues and a clear candidate for promotion.
Within a year I was selected by Nick Heptonstall as his District Field Assistant, a
clumsy title but one that signified trainee manager. In the letter confirming this
John Millen, District Manager and later Sales Director of P&G, wrote" I believe you
owe a thank you to Alan Rundle who has championed you very strongly and has continually
pushed your name at Management Meetings."

So I thank Alan here and now for setting me firmly on the road to a successful management
career. We met from time to time after we both moved on from P&G at Alumni events.
In the last few years I saw him regularly, recently breaking my journey down to Cornwall
where my sister and aged father live, to have lunch with Alan and catch up. He had, in his
own words, lived by his wits the past twenty years running a successful head hunting firm,
Rundle Brownswood Limited, and as the recruitment market was drying up in the past year or
so he was turning his attention to outplacement believing that he could help individuals
manage their career transition paths as they became casualties of the credit crunch.

I am sure many people could have benefitted from his positive approach to adversity.
I dedicate this website to his memory

Copyright David C Pearson 2009 All rights reserved






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