Andy Garrett (centre) is pictured with Mike Karran (left) and another of the same generation of athletes, Steve Brennan, at the Glen Helen Hotel last Sunday night. Andy spent two weeks on the Isle of Man prior to taking up a lecturing post at Hertford University next month. He has just returned from the second spell in New Zealand. The first visit almost cost him his life in a road accident on Christmas Day 1997. The second, from which he has just returned, resulted in marriage to Karen during a five year residence. It's three and half years since he was last on the Island but he will be back again at Christmas. Prior to completing his PhD in Sports Science last month he ran a half marathon in just over 80 minutes, his best since his accident and has entered the 2007 London Marathon. He ran his first half marathon as a 12 year old (he ran 1.13 in 1986 but in those days it was not fast enough to make the Island Games team) and his only marathon to date (the Manchester Picadilly) as an 18 year old in around 2.55.
Mike is much more a home boy and lives in Glen Vine with his young family. The brother of well known MHK Peter, Mike was a junior international walker of some note but has not competed since the late 80s. In 1983 he walked 45.56 for 10km on a track curiously listed on Martin Rix's www.gbrathletics.com site as being 14cm short per lap - did someone steal it? For some reason Mike always tells me that winning the 1983 Laa Columb Killey was a career highlight although I say that he did not have much opposition! A plumber by trade, he works for the Isle of Man Government.
Steve Brennan is still the reigning Island Games Champion at race walking - the event has not been held since Guernsey in 1987! He excelled at cycling, running and race walking. In the latter he was not too far short of 4.30 for 50km; at running he was the second scorer in the first Manx Harriers team to win the Lancashire Cross Country Championships and cycling took him back to the Island Games. More recently, he has completed an MBA and works in the IT section of the tax office.