Manx Harriers was founded in 1991 with the amalgamation of
Boundary Harriers and Manx AC. The clubhouse is based at the National
Sports Centre in Douglas. It is here that the Isle of Man's only all weather track
was laid in 1991 and opened by Steve Ovett. This was one of the factors
influencing the merging of the two main clubs on the Island to make better use of the NSC facilities, share resources, and hopefully also to improve the standard of Manx athletes in the future. Boundary Harriers had
been based in the same area before the multi million pound development was built.
Manx AC athletics events were previously based on a grass track in Tromode,
The club has changed a great deal over the twenty years. Manx Harriers is a much bigger club with more members and a wider range of athletics
events including road running, track & field, cross country and
racewalking. We also compete much more now in off –island events.
Some current & past individual achievements
Current most successful club athletes include Keith Gerrard, England and GB International. He has
competed twice at the World Cross and once at Euro Cross. He has won
international races on the continent and in 2006 was awarded IOM Under 21
Sportsman of Year at the presentation attended by ex-Olympic swimmer Sharon
Steve Partington has been the top ranked UK 50K racewalker in the past. Steve has represented the Isle of Man at the
past 6 Commonwealth Games and made 4 Racewalking World Cup appearances.
In 2005 Sean Hands won the National 100 mile Walk Championships and in 2006 famously broke the 85 mile Parish Walk record which had previously stood for 27 years. Sean retained his 100 mile Walk Championship title in the Isle of Man in 2006 Graham Young was 4th place in the 1974 Commonwealth
Games Walk and Elizabeth Corran was World Veteran Over 40 racewalking Champion and
record holder in 1996. Manx Harriers have boasted a number of junior racewalking
champions and medallists at National level in the past with current top Junior walkers Lauren Whelan and Alex Eaton continuing in their footsteps. Steve Taylor has been appointed head racewalking judge for the London Olympics in 2012.
Other stars from the past include Brenda Walker (UK international road runner in 1990’s) Derek Harrison ultra distance walker (1970’s & 80’s) and
Bill Kelly ultra runner (1950’s).
Leagues/divisions & competitions the club’s athletes compete in
Senior athletes compete in the Northern Track & Field League
The club has had regular representatives
for Lancashire and North of England.
At the Lancashire Cross Country Championships Manx Harriers
regularly win individual & team medals. Manx Harriers senior men have been county champions 7
times in 12 years and won many team and individual medals. We are regular attendees at the County
and National Cross Country Championships.
On home soil, the club competes in the Microgaming Cross Country League.
Manx Harriers membership is currently approximately 350. Membership details here
Competitions hosted by the club
The club organises several road runs although the 10 mile Peel to Douglas run ceased in 2010 due to road safety concerns. This was the oldest established road
run on the Island dating back over 100 years. The road run was replaced in 2011 by a trail run over the Heritage Trail on the disused railway lines between the two towns,
The Manx Telecom sponsored Parish Walk in June is the oldest event on the Manx
sporting calendar dating back over 100 years, The idea of an 85 mile walk,
visiting all 17 Parish Churches around the Island in under 24
hours goes back into Manx Folklore. Entry numbers have grown substantially over recent
years. In 2011 the event attracted over 1500 entries with 159 people making
the finish line in under 24 hours.
The Easter Festival of Athletics celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012 with a number of special add ons to mark the occasion. In 2011 the festival attracted over 200 visiting
athletes from Universities and Clubs in England Ireland and Scotland alongside
many local runners combining to enjoy the 3 great days of athletics – Good
Friday 10K road run, Saturday Hill race, Sunday 4 x 5K relay
The Manx Open meeting held in February/March every
year at the NSC has been running since 1968 and annually attracts top walkers
from UK and Ireland. In the 1972 event the 20K walk World Record was set by
England's Paul Nihill (84m 50s). Qualifying events for National events continue to be set each year.
Racewalking events are held throughout the year, with road &
track championship events for juniors and seniors over distances from 1K –20K
and well as the popular handicapped Winter League series. The club is strongly represented in national events in the UK.
Our own Track & Field league is held at the NSC Track from April to August.
Manx Harriers organise one of the rounds of the local Microgaming Cross Country League and
regularly host the IOM Cross Country championships.
Also, the club run numerous different training
sessions a week in winter and summer from middle distance to sprints,
racewalking coaching and technique work, throws, circuits and sports hall
athletics. Our numbers of youngsters and particularly numbers of distance runners in teenage years is quite buoyant. details here
Facilities which the club have access to
The NSC athletics track, multigym/weights in the clubhouse, school sports hall for
circuits and sports hall athletics. The National Sports Centre roadway is an 800m flat
and fast circuit used for training and running and walking events. Douglas
Promenade just a mile away and is great for
time trials (no traffic), and nearby Pulrose playing fields and lower golf course is excellent for off road hills, reps and Cross Country sessions. Also the local fells,just a few minutes drive away from Douglas has
fantastic views, fresh air enough to reinvigorate the oldest leg weary
How the club is run
The club is run by volunteers. Monthly committee meetings are held with sub groups for race walking events and track and field. There are additional organising committee's for The Parish Walk, The Easter Festival and SCS Relay at Ballanette Farm in Lonan which replaced the Millennium Way Relay in 2010.
The club has many qualified coaches and officials, helpers. At a recent
Northern. League home match the club put out 26 qualified officials!
The club's hopes and aspirations for the future
To be as successful as possible and become more professional
in the coaching, organisation and administration of athletics To at least
consolidate positions in Track & Field leagues and if possible gain promotion. To get as many athletes into
Lancashire teams as possible. The main thing though, is to continue to get as many
youngsters involved in athletics as possible and so help develop the
Where we see the club in 10 years time
Hopefully, vibrant & successful. Encourage more athletes
in the sport, with more coaches, officials and volunteers to share the load. Hopefully if the foundation is strong this will also see the peak high with more GB internationals, county and national medallists and local successes. The two ‘grass roots’ and ‘elite success’ in our view go hand in hand.
Overall summary of what the club is about
“Fun, competition and participation”. Without the first, no
one would get involved. The second is a good experience for life in general and
progressing up the sporting ladder & the third means a healthier life for all.
Andy Fox, Allan Callow & Paul Jackson
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