My friend James Cracknell isn't having a midlife crisis - he should be applauded

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Ben Fogle says his friend James Cracknell is not having a "midlife crisis"
Ben Fogle says his friend James Cracknell is not having a "midlife crisis" Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley 

My great friend James Cracknell has been accused of midlife crisis behaviour: new young girlfriend. New tattoo. Motorbike. Running marathons. Going on Strictly Come Dancing

But it’s a lazy cliché. Cracknell was – and still is – a sporting freak. He has two Olympic gold medals. He is the 17th fastest person to complete the notorious Marathon des Sables, which involves six marathons back-to-back across the Sahara desert.

At 45, he ran the London Marathon in 2hrs 43 mins, and this year was part of Cambridge’s winning Boat Race crew, making him its oldest ever competitor; his teammates’ dads were younger than him. 

None of this is classic midlife crisis territory – it is what sporting legends do. ...

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