Compiled by Murray Lambden
Contributions as credited otherwise written
by Murray Lambden
If you would like to share anything you know
about events or people in the sport in the Isle
of Man then please email [email protected]
training sessions with Chris Quine (29-01-04)
that a Middle Distance training session takes place at the NSC on a
Thursday night at 6 pm. Shown below are the planned sesions for February.
sessions are open to all and cover a range of standards and ages. Due to safety
reasons, there is a minimum age of under 15s upwards.
cost is the usual NSC track fees.
Outline of session
Thursday 5th February 2004
20 mins striding straights jogging bends plus warm up/down
Easy session before cross country champs.
Up to 15 x 300m 45 secs recovery
Younger athletes every other one
Thursday 19th February 2004
2 x 450m 9 mins recovery
3 x 150m 3 mins recovery
2 x 150m
Up to 6 x 800m
Younger athletes likely to be 3 x 600m
requiring more information, please contact Chris Quine on 670521 or email [email protected]
KEITH GERRARD HELPS
GREAT BRITAIN TO AN EASY TEAM VICTORY IN LISBON (25-01-04)
Keith Gerrard from
Peel, a member of Manx Harriers, further enhanced
his growing international reputation on Sunday finishing
6th in a four way international cross country match
involving Portugal, Spain, Great Britain and the
Republic of Ireland.
The race distance
was 7km on a similar course to last week's race
in Seville, ie fast, undulating and fairly hard.
He told his coach
Andy Fox that he was very pleased with his performance, particularly as this was an extra
event to his initial plans. His performance has
been accurately reported on the uka website this
the uka report of the meeting
DUNE TRAINING ON SATURDAY - ANDY FOX REPORTS
Sand Dune Training for those not racing this
weekend takes place on Saturday 31/1/04.
A tough but enjoyable session ie assured. We
will be using the longer loop this time so it will
be a little different for all who come along.
Meet at the TT Grandstand by 9.25 am or
meet at Blue Point at 10am. We should be finished
by mid day.
GERRARD ON NOEAA WEBSITE (29-01-04)
Thanks to Graham Davies for this
link highlighting Keith's great performances once
Neville Jewell, best known for his
iron man triathlons, is the latest athlete to reach
the veteran ranks today. In his build up to
this year's Flora London Marathon he aims to compete
in the Manx Harriers 10km on 28 February and the
Castletown Health Store 20 Miles the following weekend.
He has also entered the BUPA Great North Run at
the end of the season.
Although the Isle of Man has not
had the worst of the weather experienced in the
British Isles, it was very icy yesterday evening.
I wonder how many people completed their planned
training yesterday. I have sympathy for anyone training
in the day who was caught by the hail showers.
I attempted an interval session
at the National Sports Centre but our group abandoned
it after the first repetition (I don't suppose it
can be a repetition of we only did one!), as it
was too dangerous.
Share your slippery experiences
on the forum. Or did you stay in front of a warm
fire and TV?
TO WORK, FIRST TO READ HIS RACE WALKING MAGAZINE
Partington provides the stats (28-01-04)
The annual compilation of UK walking results have just been published, and Manx
Harriers have been confirmed as the most active club in the
According to the statistics, Manx Harriers 54 active walkers
completed a total of 379 events - an increase of 54 on the 2002 figures. This
was enough to knock last year¹s table-toppers Steyning into second spot, their
94 walkers (making them the biggest club) turning in 355
Also featured is a list of most prolific¹ racers, and Manx
athletes are well to the fore. Top local in 20th place, Callum Taylor has
notched up 21 races. Neil Bates on 20 is next and Peter Kaneen and Robert Moore
are just behind having raced 19 times. Others to appear in the list are Jan
Hodgson (18), Brian Brough (17), Alan Kinvig (17), Allan Callow (16), Bronwen
Kaneen (16), Sinead Kaneen (16), Marie Latham (15), Kirsty Taylor (15), Emma
latham (14), Sarah Goldsmith (13), Fay Latham (13), Lauren Whelan (13), Karen
Locking (12), John Stubbs (12) and Enid Watson (12).
NB. Thses statistics
are taken from races that appear in the results section of race Walking Record.
I¹m sure that some local events slip through the RWR net and Manx figures may
well be higher than those quoted.
TAYLOR WAS 26 MINUTES BEHIND STEVE PARTINGTON WITH
HIS CONTRIBUTION (28-01-04)
According to this months Race Walking Record,
more people are taking part in race walking events
than in previous years. There were 450 more people
taking part in 2003 than the previous year and over
800 more than in 2002.
The CMI Parish Walk is responsible for a lot
of this and Manx athletes account for almost half
of the 2280 walkers recorded.
Almost 50% of those taking part in race walking
events across the UK are classed as "Unattached"
and certainly gives clubs something and someone
to target. Here on the Isle of Man unattached walkers
make up 92% of our race walking population. Again
almost all of the unattached walkers competed in
the Parish Walk, the End to End being the only other
event some competed in.
Callum Taylor is ranked as the most prolific
walker on the Island having competed on 21 occasions
ranking him 20th in the country. Race Walking Association
secretary Peter Cassidy has lead by example having
competed on 34 occasions.
STEVE TAYOR ADDS ........A NOTE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
A potential concern has been raised concerning
the taking of photographs of athletic events, bearing
in mind concern about child protection issues.
It was recommended at the latest RWA committee
that permission be sought from track referees or
event organisers before pictures are taken of young
I personally think that we need to be sure that
not only are our children protected but also those
that assist the sport by taking the pictures in
the first place. It is not impossible for any one
of our hard working officials to find themselves
facing court action due to a misunderstanding.
IS G DAY (27-01-04)
Its just a few days till the second round of the
Managrakem Fel League takes place on the tough but most enjoyable Greeba course.
This nine miler, that is again sponsored by Ken Watterson, is fell running at
its best. Five good climbs, fast runnable sections on the well worn sheep
tracks, fantastic scenery on a good day and navigational headaches on a bad one
make this race one of the best on the calendar. The climbs that total over
2500ft vary in severity. The initial climb to Greeba summit seems to go on for
ever, ascent two to Colden is a real back breaker which is quickly followed by
the gentle climb along the ridge to Colden, a doddle if there was not so much
ankle gripping heather to contend with. Slieu Ruy is not bad but the last climb
on the course is a real stinker and comes in the last few yards. The race
finishes at Cronk Dhoo Campsite and this means going up the very steep driveway
to the farm. This is only 50 yards or so long but I can assure everyone it is a
complete swine when your legs have gone.
I feel sure we are in for a belter of a race with a
very strong field expected to enter. Seven of last years first eight finishers
are likely to race including winner Tony Okell. Tony has kept a low profile this
Winter but is reportedly going well in training. He will be pushed hard by Onion
Gale, Brian Osbourne, Steve Partington if he runs and Simon Skillicorn. Watch
out also for Mark Preston who is slowly getting a bit of form back and Mike
Quine who is improving all the time. One bloke who could obviously decide on the
outcome of the race would be Paul Sheard if he is not off the Island this
weekend. The course would suit him perfectly but he would be disadvantaged by
his lack of course knowledge. We are hoping for a few females to run this year.
Cal Partington will be hot favourite the way she is running at the moment but if
the weather is a bit dodgy watch out for Rose Hooton who can call on a wealth of
experience to get her safely round the course. All in all a great afternoon in
the hills is in prospect with the start time 1.30pm. Slower runners expecting to
finish in more than 1hr.50 can start at 1.00pm but they must contact me by
Friday at the latest.
Peel Harbour Road Races Postponed
This year's Peel Harbour 10K Road Race WILL NOT take place on Sunday 28th March.
This is due to two reasons:
1. Engineering works on Peel Harbour to install
the new footbridge, which shall take 4-6 months.
2. I am going into hospital in the UK in two weeks
time and shall be there for about three weeks. I will need several months
convalesance and after-treatment back in the UK in April/May.
I shall see that Western AC re-arrange this later
in the calendar year, and hopefully not surrounding some similar event.
Middle Distance squad meeting
A group of 19 athletes and coaches attended the
latest Isle of Man Middle Distance squad session at QE2 School, Peel on
Gianni Epifani and Chris Quine gave a talk on good
nutrition for running. This was mainly aimed at the juniors but the seniors
picked up a few tips along the way as well. This was ollowed by a hill training
session on Peel Hill. The overall view was that this was tough but enjoyable -
certainly everyone worked very hard.
Thanks are due to Manx Sport and Recreation for
their support in hosting the session.
The next session will take place on Saturday 14th
February at 10.30 am at the NSC. This will be a training session only. It is
planned to run a full session with tips, probably related to kit and
equipment, with a fitness test as well in the middle of March - further details
SAND DUNE TRAINING ON SATURDAY MORNING
Andy Fox will be publishing details
of his latest Saturday morning sand dune training
session at www.manxathletics.com
in a couple of days time.
All will be welcome to join him
this Saturday morning.
CASTLETOWN HEALTH STORE CONTINUE SPONSORSHIP
There is good news today from Peter
Cooper. The Castletown Health Store are to
continue to sponsor the 20 mile run promoted by
the Isle of Man Veterans' Athletic Club on 7 March.
The event involves 40+ laps of a
traffic free course at the National Sports Centre
and is ideal for anyone running in the Flora London
Marathon six weeks later or for anyone stepping
up the distance if they have previously only run
a half marathon and would like to eventually progress
to a marathon, perhaps even the Close Bank Isle
of Man Marathon on 15 August.
Entry forms for the 20 miles
will be available shortly.
THERE IS NO BANKING ON A WINNER IN THE BANK
OF SCOTLAND WINTER LEAGUE
Steve Taylor reports (25-01-04)
The winner of each event will be
decided by who has the most points from five races.
So far no one has completed all five races in the
1, 2 or 5km events so far.
In the 10km after five races the standings are
as follows -
1st, 432 - Jan Hodgson
2nd, 433 - Brian Brough
3rd, 436 - Brenda Charlton
4th, 439 - Dave Wilkinson
5th, 442 - Sarah Goldsmith
6th, 453 - John Robinson
7th, 461 - Brian Goldsmith
JOHN GRADY TO RUN LONDON (25-01-04)
John Grady of the Isle of Man Veteran
Athletics Club, who set an over 60s best time as
a 62 year old in last year's Isle of Man Bank sponsored
Peel to Douglas run, is the latest confirmed entry
for the Flora London Marathon on 18 April.
MANX HARRIERS MEMBERSHIP FORMS (25-01-04)
Members of Manx Harriers, or anyone
wishing to join for 2004, are reminded that their
membership fees are overdue.
You have a choice of file formats
you can download:
ROAD RACING 2004 (25-01-04)
Whilst compiling the list of road races of 10
miles or longer that I have just published on the
front page, I'm afraid all the usual thoughts were
going through my mind, ie that 9 races of such length
in the Isle of Man is too many. Last year
saw the demise of the Douglas to Castletown run
on safety grounds but there are still too many long
races, given that there are so many opportunities
to race over short road distances, the fells, cross
country and the track, and an awful lot of
work for the organisers of the races.
The Isle of Man Veterans' Athletic
Club will be the busiest with three events, while
Manx Harriers and Western AC have two (rather strangely
only 9 days apart). Northern AC appear to
have two events in this category also. For
several years they only organised the Northern 10
but, as far as I can tell, they now also organise
the Southern 10 miles. According to the official
fixture list, the Northern 10 miles has been switched
from the traditional Sunday morning to Sunday evening.
Perhaps someone could confirm this (or correct).
The Peel to Douglas is slated for a return to the
evening. After several years of being run on Sunday
morning it is listed as the evening of the May Day
Bank Holiday (3 May).
Despite my view that there are too
many races of this type, I will do everything possible
on this site to promote all nine equally and to
that end I should be grateful if race organisers
could send me as much information as possible to
promote online, or confirmation that promotional
material is available online at the club's own websites
so that I can link to such sites.
If we are to attract new people
to the sport we need to make the information readily
available including entry fees, maps (or at least
descriptions) of the course, whether there will
be changing facilities or prizes etc.
I ask for this information at an
early stage each year but in many cases nothing
is forthcoming or perhaps it's a case of "same
as usual" which is no use to new people coming
into the sport.
Obviously there are many ways to
promote races other than online including the local
press (who also appreciate information at an early
stage), Manx Radio, national publications and handouts
at other events. But I am adamant that there is
no easier way to "sell" an event to someone
than to say "have a look on the website - all
you need to know is there."
Would it not be a good idea for
someone to co-ordinate the promotion of all nine
events in the local papers? This way rather
than the focus being on the promoting club, the
focus would be on the athlete and the racing opportunities.
I'm not suggesting that people should be encouraged
to do every one as that would contradict what I have
said above, but it would provide a "shopping
list" of opportunity if at the end of each
race report the remaining fixtures for the year
were listed either in full or at least the next
couple with details of where to provide the full
list. Is this not obvious or am I missing something?
If you have a view on road races
it online by using the forum.
Do you think its best to run some
of these road races in the evening or is it best
to maintain the recent trend of starting earlier
and earlier on a Sunday morning? Is it realistic
to organise any races on public roads where there
are no speed limits or should we be trying to re-create
the days of the 80s when in addition to most of
the current fixture list we had the Northern AC
half marathon on Easter Monday, the Manx Airlines
long distance race in February, the Rotaraid 10
in Ramsey, the Douglas to Castletown, the Boundary
Half Marathon in the summer and the May Day 10 in
CHILDREN TO ENJOY FUN ATHLETICS (24-01-04)
JUDITH PERRIAM REMEMBERED
Judith Perriam spent 20 years
helping youngsters enjoy athletics especially through
her work with Western AC.
Sadly she passed away last year
but her association with the youngsters continues
tomorrow when Western AC, Northern AC and Manx Harriers compete for the Judith Perriam Sportshall Trophy
which has been presented by the Perriam family in
The event is being sponsored by
G J Ingham and Sons.
Its reported in the Manx Independent
that Western AC are expecting over 150 children
to take part in the under 9s and under 11s. Anyone
wishing to take part should contact their own clubs.
If you would like to spectate, the
action starts at 1 pm at the National Sports Centre
Pictures and reports will be made
most welcome as family commitments prevent me from
THE REALLY LONG ROUTE FOR THE PARISH WALK
Too many digits for Gill
I enjoyed reading Allan Callow's
report of last week's Bank Of Scotland International
race walks. The weekend of walking activity has
also been heavily featured on the site, in fact
there is still more to come, and its wonderful to
hear about the sporting way the athletes cheered
each other's personal bests etc.
But I'm afraid I couldn't resist
commenting on one typo. Gill Churcher, who walked
the 10km handicap, "would normally cover more
than 100 times this distance as a Parish Walk regular."
More than 1000km? More than 6,218
miles? That is some walk!
23 January 2004
2004 Olympic Games Selection Criteria
(Thanks to Steve Partington)
UK Athletics today announces the
Selection Criteria, agreed in consultation with
the British Olympic Association, for athletes aiming
for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Team Leader Max Jones, who is the UK Athletics
Performance Director, is determined to invoke the
'spirit of Sydney' as the GB athletes aim to improve
their haul to seven medals in Athens.
"Sydney was a special experience,"
said Jones. "We won two Golds, six medals in
all and had five fourth places, which will be a
hard act to follow.
"Since Sydney, we have had a roller-coaster
ride through the major
championships: huge successes at both the Commonwealth
Games and European Championships in 2002; disappointments
and tears at last year's World Championships.
"It is important this year that we - athletes,
coaches and managers - get absolutely everything
right. This is no rehearsal, as last year was to
a degree. It's the real thing and there is no room
"An Olympics is much, much bigger than any
of the other championships. It will define the futures
of all of the athletes who take part.
"The estimate is that Team GB will comprise
about 65 athletes. The qualifying standards are,
by and large, tougher than four years ago. So it
follows that it will be tougher to get into Team
GB in Athens than it was in Sydney, when we sent
"The objective of UK Athletics is to enable
all our elite athletes to achieve their full potential
- firstly to earn selection and then to perform
to the best of their ability in Athens.
"So far as selection is concerned, athletes
will hardly need reminding that the Olympics is
different from other summer championships. Normally
we are able to finalise the team two weeks before
the action starts. This time, D-Day is five weeks
"Athletes must get themselves in gear by
the time of the Norwich Union Olympic Trials and
AAA Championships on 10-11 July. The team has to
be finalised on 19 July. There is no backdoor entrance
The schedule of Olympic Qualification Requirements
Men Event Women
A B A B
10.21 10.28 100m 11.30 11.40
20.59 20.75 200m 22.97 23.13
45.55 45.95 400m 51.50 52.30
1:46.0 1:47.00 800m 2:00.00 2:01.30
3:36.20 3:38.00 1500m 4:05.80 4:07.15
13:21.50 13:25.40 5000m 15:08.70 15:20.45 27:49.00
28:06.00 10,000m 31:45.00 32:17.00 2.15.00 2.18.00
Marathon 2.37.00 2.42.00 8:24:60 8:32:00 3000m SC
13.55 13.72 110mH/100mH 12.96 13.11
49.20 49.50 400mH 55.60 56.25
1:23:00 1:24:30 20km Walk 1:33:30 1:38:00 4:00:00
4:07:00 50km Walk 8000 7700 Dec/Hept 6050 5900 2.30
2.27 High Jump 1.95 1.91
5.65 5.55 Pole Vault 4.40 4.25
8.19 8.05 Long Jump 6.70 6.55
16.95 16.55 Triple Jump 14.20 14.00
20.30 20.00 Shot Put 18.55 17.15
64.00 62.55 Discus Throw 61.00 57.70
78.65 74.35 Hammer Throw 67.50 64.00
81.80 77.80 Javelin Throw 60.50 56.00
Best 16 National Teams 4 x 100m Relay Best 16
National Teams Best 16 National Teams 4 x 400m Relay
Best 16 National Teams
It should be noted that UK Athletics nominates
athletes for selection by the British Olympic Association.
The BOA has the exclusive power for the representation
of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic
Team at the Olympic Games.
Only one athlete with a 'B' standard can be selected
in each event; for two or more athletes to be selected
for an event, all athletes must have the 'A'
standard. In addition, automatic selection standards
have been agreed for the Men's sprints - 10.12 seconds
for 100m, 20.34 seconds for 200m.
For the full Selection Criteria go to
10 Harborne Road
Birmingham B15 3AA
T: +44 (0121) 456 8702
F: +44 (0121) 456 8752
GOOD LUCK TO KEITH GERRARD (again)
So its fingers crossed that Keith
Gerrard will go well again in Portugal this weekend.
During the cross country season he has run for the
North of England, England (last weekend) and Great
Britain this weekend. Whatever next? Even
the diehards will forgive Keith for only appearing
in one of the local races this winter. He is usually
seen encouraging his friends and clubmates on home
soil, good sportsman that he is.
Good luck Keith - the Isle of Man
is behind you.
GROUP FELL RUN SUNDAY (22-01-04)
by Paul Jackson
If you have done the Greeba Fell Race route to death in recent
weeks and fancy a change of scenery the weekend before the race, come along
Sunday morning out and about for a 'reccy' of the Bradda Fell Race
Meet for an 8.30am start at the top of the Sloc ( I think it's
called 911 or is it 119 ?... I never can remember which). We'll head South up
Cronk ny Arree Laa following the race route as far as Bradda Tower, and return.
Those with legs to spare can carry on up South Barrule and back following the
Further information contact Paul on
Greeba Fell Race
Saturday 1st February 2003
With just a week and a half to go to the Greeba
Fell Race, sponsored by Ken Watterson, I thought
you might enjoy revisiting last year's result.
1 Tony Okell MH V40 1 16 34
2 Ian Gale MFR SM 1 19 47
3 Brian Osbourne MRF V40 1 20 34
4 Steve Partington MH SM 1 20 46
5 Mark Preston MH SM 1 21 35
6 Peter Kaneen MH V40 1 21 52
7 David Young MFR V50 1 22 22
8 Ian Ronan MFR V40 1 24 4
9 Simon Skillicorn MFR SM 1 28 17
10 Phil Mackie Western SM 1 28 30
11 Rob Webb MH V50 1 32 20
12 Dave Corrin MH V50 1 32 40
13 Paul Trees IOMVAC V40 1 32 48
14 Peter Cooper IOMVAC V50 1 35 46
15 Alan Bagley MH V40 1 35 57
16 Martin Burke Unattached V40 1 38 54
17 Allan Corran Western V40 1 40 2
18 Phil Motley IOMVAC V40 1 40 19
19 Ian Callister MH V40 1 41 24
20 Stuart Garry MFR V40 1 42 19
21 Paul Renshaw MH SM 1 42 39
22 Rose Hooton MFR LV40 1 43 11
23 Paul Jackson MH V50 1 43 32
24 Robbie Callister MFR V60 1 44 13
25 Stuart Temple MFR V40 1 45 46
26 Keith Lowe Unattached V40 1 45 47
27 Cliff Keyes Unattached SM 1 46 7
28 Kevin Martin Northern AC V40 1 49 21
29 Mark Hill Unattached SM 1 51 8
30 John Brewis MFR V50 1 53 58
31 James Coulson MFR V40 1 57 46
32 Mark Buttery MFR SM 1 57 59
33 Trevor Coleman Northern V60 1 58 37
34 Peter Simpson Western V50 2 0 25
35 Laurence Dyer Northern AC SM 2 0 42
36 Dave Davies MFR V40 2 1 42
37 Eddie Brew Northern V60 2 31 52
1995 MANX AIRLINES HALF MARATHON
Steve Partington was the first to
remind me that it was Dave Ellis who pushed Peter
Banks in the 1995 Manx Airlines Half Marathon traveling
with his wife Sally who was one of the guest runners.
Chris Quine supplied the same information
but added a bit more. "From memory Peter Banks ran 66 odd and Dave Ellis around 67 mins"
He went on: " I think Graham
Clarke retired atter about 4 miles. Myself and Andy Fox ran together most of the
race (Andy was running for an Island Games qualifier needing sub 72 mins) and I
was there primarily to run with him. In the end Andy ran 71.39 (I think) and my
time was 71.49."
"I put my time down to running on the outside of Andy all the
way" he joked!
Throws Coaching 23/24 January
close on Wednesday
You are invited to attend Manx Harriers second
throwing weekend of the winter. We are very fortunate
to have UK athletics Throws Coach Merrik Bousfield
to come over. He has also agreed next on the 6/7th.
This should give our throwers a great bonus in
preparation for next summers track and field season.
Please support the clubs investment in money and
Merriks investment in time by turning up on the
23rd./24th. of January. The programme is listed
below and you can choose what you would like to
do on the form that should be returned to me.
* Athletes are responsible for paying the NSC
rates to use the throwing facilities. Do not forget
to do this!!!!!
* Athletes must warm up prior to meeting Merrik
at the times listed above.
That means you should arrive 30mins early, pay
your money, warm up and meet Merrik by the mens
toilets end of the stand.
the form here and tear off the sheet
below this line and return to Andy Fox at 61, Brunswick
Rd., Douglas, IM2 3NW by Wednesday 21/1/04. You
could email your choice of session to [email protected]
APOLOGIES x 2 (19-01-04)
The caption I published against
one of the pictures from the Manx Gas Cross Country
last week credited Alan Corkish with running. He
was actually on a skiing holiday and it was Steve
Callaghan in the picture!
I also credited Michael Crook as
being a member of the Isle of Man Veterans Athletic
Club when he is still six weeks away from his 40th
birthday when he hopes to join the club.
On the other hand, I haven't updated
the report of Keith Gerrard's performance in Seville
as yet as the result was as I wrote it down from
Andy Fox during a phone conversation on Sunday afternoon.
There are obviously some errors on other (professional)
websites to have runners with slower times finishing
ahead of Keith. See the forum if you want to know
what I'm talking about.
CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM
STEVE TAYLOR re the Bank of Scotland International
Winter League Walks (19-01-04)
10km - John Stubbs didn't compete, I just forgot
to delete him from the sheet I was amending
5km - I have got the times for Robert Moore and
Emma Latham the wrong way round.
I also got Jan Hodgson and Ron Ronans times the
wrong way round, Ron was the faster of the two
Other points of interest -
Emma Latham gave up her handicap and started
later with Callum Taylor, she may therefore have
finished 4th on handicap.
Allan Callow also gave up his handicap and started
later with Robert Moore, he could well have won
the race on handicap.
Marie Latham missed her start by a few seconds
but no allowance was made for this in the results,
her pb therefore could have been even quicker.
RUNNERS TEAM ISLE OF MAN (18-01-04)
reports on a positive meeting
The fell runners meeting at the Harriers clubhouse
on Friday was a great success with a reasonably good turnout. Plans have
now been agreed for off-island competition for the forthcoming season that will
take in the International races at Knockdhu and Snowdon plus four British
Championships that will see Team Isle of Man in action for the first time. The
full list of events is :-
24.04. Knockdhu International Northerh
24.07. Snowdon International
9.10 Junior International
23.05 Elidir Fawr Wales
18.07 Kentmere England
07.08 Barrowdale England
25.09 Two Breweries
Team selection for the Internationals will be based
on performances in fell races in the next few months and it is hoped female
teams will be sent for the first time this year.
Anyone interested in going to any British Champs.
rounds should get in touch with me as soon as possible as there will be limited
The junior International in October is a major
target and any juniors who would like to be considered should also get in touch.
We will try and put on a few short races for the juniors in conjunction with our
league programe and anyone wishing to be picked for the International will be
expected to take part.
Liverpool fog prevents Cross-Country runners
report by Paul Jackson (17-01-04)
The weather has prevented 17Manx schoolchildren from
competing in today's Merseyside Schools Cross-Country Championships.
Isle of Man team departed from Ronaldsway early this morning in beautiful
conditions, but after circling over a fog-bound John Lennon International
Airport in Liverpool for two hours, the flight returned to the
Castle Rushen teacher Sue Messenger says the children are all
very disappointed, but it's just one of those things.
KEVIN "FORREST" ALBINSON by Steve
Reading about Kevin Albinson (see below) prompted
me to write as I have become good friends with Kevin
over the last few years as we frequently travel
together to watch Manchester City.
Kevin comes in 9th on the Peel to Douglas all
time list and I think 10th in the 20mile rankings.
He celebrated his 50th birthday on January 6th?
this year and has been threatening to run a marathon
in his 50th year. In truth I don't think that he
has done any training yet but still shows a good
turn of speed when getting off the boat at Liverpool
and running to catch the National Express coach
to take him to Manchester. In pursuit of his lift
he is encouraged along the way to shouts of "Run
Forrest Run!" from the Leeds and Everton supporters.
1992 Road Running Grand Prix - trip down memory
How many people remember the Road
Running Grand Prix of 1992? Sponsored by the Isle
of Man Steam Packet and Allied Dunbar International
it was won by Robbie Callister in 2.38.02 in the
same year as he won the TT40. He was the first
person to win the marathon and the TT 40 in the
same year, the first person to win the marathon
three years in a row and in 1994 ran 2.27.59 in
London. How many people think he is just Robbie
"Parish Walk" Callister without knowing
his running pedigree?
Alan Bagley, still a visitor from
Stockport in those days, was second in 2.43.33 with
Paul Curphey, running the event for the third time
and before he took an 18 month break and tackled
London for the first time (he has now run London
10 years in a row), third in 2.47.01.
Colin Halsall (2.54.28), Brian Goldsmith
2.54.35 and Ray Taubman (2.57.43) also broke three
Alan Dunn from Willowfield Harriers
won the half in 1.12.02 but Kevin Albinson and Stewart
Sayle ran what these days would be considered stunning
times of 1.13.22 and 1.14.49.
Gianni Epifani won the Peel Hill
Race in 21.17 (he is still considered to be an expert
in this race) from Allan Gage and Peter Costley,
who now lives in Southampton. I can't particularly
remember it but I was there but behind Robbie Callister,
Kevin Albinson, Alan Bagley, Kevin Wynne-Smythe,
Paul Curphey, Ian Clarke and Phil Hannigan - whatever
happened to him?
There were 73 in the Ballasalla
10 miles on the Wednesday and the standard was high.
Of the locals Robbie Callister (53.56), Robbie Corkish
(54.03), Kevin Albinson (54.35), Paul Curphey (55.37),
Alan Bagley (56.06), Kevin Wynne-Smythe (57.44),
Colin Halsall (58.40), Frank McToal (58.45), Len
Carr (59.13), Mike Gellion (59.44), Robert Webb
(60.03), and Dave Corrin (60.18), many of them having
already run the marathon, shows that standards mid
field are a lot lower these days. They may be recovering
but let's not kid ourselves they are as good in
Gianni Epifani returned to win both
the Foxdale 6 and the Peel 4 with many of the same
faces behind him. I notice that Phil Mackie ran
the Foxdale 6 in equal 62nd position, Ian Turnbull
was still running in the Peel 4 and Kevin Martin,
who now organises the Grand Prix, ran as a
My old friend from Earl Shilton,
Tony Forryan, joined the ranks of the conservatives
to be listed as Toryman, and an old school friend
of mine, Hilary Costain (nee Taggart) ran in several
of the races but I don't think she has competed
since (no doubt she will correct me!).
Allan Corran was listed as Allan
Corrin and Alan Corran much as he is now and Steve's
brother Matthew Partington was in the Foxdale 6
in 30th out of the 87, yes 87, finishers. I think
this was one of the years when the race started
and finished at the Hope Crossroads.
More from the scrapbooks whenever
I get too tired to start something challenging or
nobody has sent me anything new!
ANOTHER TWO FOR LONDON (15-01-04)
Brothers Jeff and Dave Looker are
both in the line up for London on 18 April. More
details to follow.
MORE GREAT CROSS COUNTRY PICTURES IN THE MANX
I know I keep going on about this,
but we really are lucky to get so much coverage
in the locals papers - and its all for 44p!
There are loads of pictures of last
week's Manx Gas Cross Country league. It contrasts
so much with the way the sport used to be covered
when the same limited number of photos would be
used over and over again (as they still are with
certain politicians, policemen etc.
DECEMBER 1988 AND ALL THAT
A cheap way of maintaining some
interest in this page when I have very little to
add is to reach for my scrap books and open a page
"Christmas is coming Keith's
getting fast" was the heading in December 1988
after Keith Callister won a Denholm sponsored Isle
of Man Cross Country League at Archallagan Plantation.
The headline refers to Keith's
reputation, even 15 years ago, for getting fit in
time for the Millennium Way Relay regardless of
how active he has been during the rest of the year.
Finishing behind him were Steve
Partington, Paul Clarke, Jim Anderson, Tony Varley
and Colin Halsall. There were 24 seniors and 4 veterans
(different balance to these days) with Graham Davies
finishing 23rd and of course Alan Pilling was there!
Diana Rohrer won the women's race.
On the same page in my scrapbook
there was a report on the Douglas Fireman's run.
The smallest field for nearly four years saw just
79 turn out!
Allan Gage was the fastest over
the 10km course in 33.04 with Mike Gellion running
a handy 35.24. Paul Curphey was new to scene finishing
6th on handicap with a 37.00 clocking.
MORE FLORA LONDON MARATHON ENTRIES (14-01-04)
Michael Crook, who had to miss the
2003 event, has qualified for the 2004 Flora London
marathon through the sick and injured scheme which
encourages people to withdraw if they are not fit
to take part and guarantees (for an additional fee)
an entry the following year).
Michael is a member of the Isle
of Man Veterans Athletics Club and Peter Cooper
has confirmed that their two club entries have gone
Nixon and Gareth Evans.
As in previous years, I am hoping
to tabulate the details of all Manx runners (best
times, number of marathons run etc) over he next
Do you know anyone else who is running?
CROSSAGS FARM (14-01-04)
Although there seemed to be a few
of the senior runners missing on Sunday, the sheer
size of the event could be judged by, if you were
like me and arrived on the late side, the lack of
Older athletes may remember that
at one time athletes from the Douglas area used
to meet at one place to pool transport for out of
town events. Maybe its time to start encouraging
people to share lifts a bit more if they are traveling
from the same town.
I've made mention on the front page
over the past couple of days to the mud. Although
I was pleased that I missed it, it undoubtedly
brought variety to the series and once again credit
must go to Graham Davies for boosting the Manx Gas
series in the way he has done in the past couple
Well known courses are often taken
for granted but Northern AC do a great job with
the course. I would guess that they have been using
it for seven or eight years now, their previous
course being at Bride (Moto Cross course) and before
that they used a course based at the Mooragh Park.
MIDDLE DISTANCE SQUAD TRAINING (12-01-04)
The next Isle of Man Middle Distance squad training session will take place at
QE2 School, Peel on Saturday 24th January. The session is open to all athletes
from the under 15 age group upwards and will run from 10 am to 12.30 pm.
The session will again include a combination of a training session
(possibly on Peel Hill if the weather is ok!) and practical advice, likely to
cover nutritional tips including what and when to eat before and after
Middle Distance Performance Manager, Chris Quine, who is organising the
session with Gianni Epifani of Manx Sport and Recreation commented:
athlete wanting to emulate the success of Keith Gerrard this winter would be
well advised to come along to this session. Working together will give our
athletes the best chance of improving in the future I am hoping that athletes of
a range of ages will be coming along.
This is an Island squad and we are planning to host these sessions in
various parts of the island. This is the first of our out-of-town
Coaches and Parents are also welcome.
Chris Quine, on behalf of the IOMAA, would also like to thank Manx Sport
and Recreation for their assistance in running this session.
PETER HUGHES LONDON BOUND (11-01-04)
Whilst I've not had it from the
horse's mouth, I am reliably informed that Peter
Hughes, one of the most successful Manx marathon
runners of recent years, is heading back to the
Flora London Marathon on 18 April.
From another source I have heard
that Northern AC team mate Alan Poslethwaithe, who
last ran the London Marathon in the early 1980s,
is set to return this year. I'll try and track him
down to confirm at this afternoon's cross country.
REAL CROSS COUNTRY? (11-01-04)
When the old timers criticise modern
cross country courses I'm never quite sure what
the exact definition of a traditional, tough course
Last week's Lancashire Cross Country
Championships at Blackburn didn't have a river crossing
and there were no stiles to clear, but it was hilly,
there was some rough ground, some very muddy gateways
to navigate and best (worst?) of all, the farmer
at the top of the course had decided there was not
enough manure deposited naturally and had been muck
spreading a part of the course!
COLDS GALORE (11-01-04)
If my small training group is cross
section of the running community there will be a
few people missing from the cross country this afternoon.
I am forced to give it a miss after
unwisely carrying out a very tough training session
in the rain and the wind on Wednesday evening when
I had a cold - when will I ever learn!
Paul Curphey has missed most of
the week with a cold but managed a long session
yesterday in preference to racing today.
Mike Garrett, who says last weekend
is still a blur to him after traveling and racing
when he felt well under the weather, plans to race
after recovering this week but he also covered a
hard 20 miles in training yesterday and so does
not expect to be challenging for honours today.
Neville Jewell, who also trains
with our group but hasn't been racing in the cross
country league, has also been ill and off work for
part of this week.
Our group reached five a couple
of weeks ago when Michael George joined us for a
hill session. He is doing his best to avoid our
infections. I phoned him on his mobile earlier this
week to see if he wanted to join us for our mid
week session and he answered the phone in Tenerife!
FELL RUNNERS MEET by Richie Stevenson (09-01-04)
We have organised a meeting next Friday 16th
January at Manx Harriers Club House for anybody interested in competing
off-island this coming season. There are some very interesting developments this
year with the acceptance of Team Isle of Man in the British Championships as
well as the usual International races to plan for. The British Champs. rules say
that the counters in the team will be the first three from any club to finish
and they do not have to be the same three in each race. This means that runners
of any standard can compete in the race and enjoy the trip but obviously only
the faster runners will qualify for the team.
We would also love to send a females team to
either a British Champs. or one of the two Internationals we attend each year.
Any females who are interested are invited to attend the meeting. The same goes
for any juniors. We would have no problem in getting an invitation to the
British Junior Home Internationals in October if enough interest was shown and
we could quite easily organise appropriate training under the guidance of
Margaret Lockley. The meeting will commence at 7.00pm.
It must be stressed that runners of ALL standards
from any Island club are welcome to attend.
LATEST LONDON MARATHON CONFIRMATIONS (09-01-04)
Jane Mooney has confirmed that the three Manx
Harriers entries have been allocated to:
Sally-Anne Salt; and
VERNON THOMAS DOWN UNDER (08-01-04)
Vernon Thomas, who ran the very
first Millennium Way Relay in 1979 and is married
to Manx lady Jean (nee Caley) from Peel, is back
in the UK after spending Christmas in New Zealand,
competing for Great Britain veterans in the world
triathlon championships. He was 5th for GB and 37th
in world for his group. He has already been selected
for this years worlds in Maderia in May.
Vernon, who lives in Blackheath
and is usually seen cheering the Manx runners at
the Flora London marathon, will be visiting the
Island this summer, the year he celebrates his 60th
birthday. Jean, who is a first cousin of my wife
Marie, and Vernon have both run a number of
Greeba Fell Race Training by Paul Jackson
Anyone who fancies a run out over the fells in preparation for
the Greeba Fell Race on 31st January is welcome to join a group 'reccie' this
Sunday starting at 8.15am from below Cronk Breck. To get there follow the A23
from the Strang Roundabout for about a mile and a half heading west as far
as the Crosby junction (on your left). Turn up the track opposite on your right
(with the 'unsuitable for motors' sign) for about a mile until you meet the
Millennium Way where there is a triangular car parking area marked on the OS map
as Cronk ny Moghlane.
The run will be a nice steady 2 hours with plenty of time
afterwards to get showered and shaved etc and up to Ramsey in time for the Cross
Country in the afternoon!. More details from Paul on 611179 or 487873.
FELL RUNNING UPDATE by Richie Stevenson
The date of the Ken Watterson sponsored Greeba Fell
Race is January 31st not February 7th as advertised in the Examiner. The race
was provisionally penciled in for the later date but was changed at the
Ken Watterson has kindly stepped in to provide
sponsorship for Julys Ellan Vannin Fell Race as well as the Greeba which now
means all the races organised by the Manx Mountain Marathon Organisation have
Fell runners training takes place every
Tuesday evening from the TT Grandstand. Please be warmed-up and ready to start
the session, which will be based at the Avenues, by 6.30pm. All abilities will
be catered for and are run under the expert guidance of Margaret
MILLENNIUM WAY RELAY NUMBERS ONLY 40% of 1992
I'm part way through an exercise
I started last week to emphasise why I think the
Millennium Way Relay is in need of face lift. During
a time when entries in road races such as the Syd
Quirk Half Marathon have reached record levels,
the Peel to Douglas run has been revived, and the
Cross Country League has enjoyed its best entry
for more than 20 years, the entries for the relay
have nose-dived to only 40% of the levels of the
early 1990s. Team number refer to the numbers completing
the course not the entries and "double"
is way of avoiding double counting people who run
the first leg for a team and all cycle. Whereas
at one time this was a very rare event now half
the teams rely on a cyclist to run the first leg
||First leg extended
||Postponed then cancelled
||Foot & mouth threat
||11 cyclists entered
MANX GAS CROSS COUNTRY RESUMES ON SUNDAY (05-01-04)
Round five of the Manx Gas Cross
Country is scheduled for Ramsey on Sunday and will
be organised on the well tried and tested Crossags
Farm course and organised by Northern AC. The
final round is then on the 15 February. Organised
by Manx Harriers this will be just one week after
Manx Harriers organise the Manx Championships. Both
venues to be confirmed.
MANX HARRIERS JUNIORS A CREDIT (03-01-04)
Their performances in the mud of
Blackburn will be documented elsewhere, but what
a credit the youngsters in the squad were to themselves,
their parents, their club and the island.
It was Mike Garrett who pointed
out on the way home tonight from the Lancashire
Cross Country Championships, that not one of them
caused any problems throughout a 15 hour day.
MIDDLE DISTANCE TRAINING by Chris Quine
After lots of turkey and over-indulgence over the
festive period, it will soon to be time to start thinking about returning to a
regular training routine. The Thursday night
Middle Distance Training at the NSC will re-start on 8th January. The sessions
cater for a range of standards but in the main are for under 15s upwards - males
and females, senior women, vets, anyone returning to fitness. There were about 8
per session prior to Christmas.
The session starts just after 6 pm for warm up with
a view to starting the main part of the session at about 6.40 pm. The session
finishes at about 7.30 pm.
Normal NSC rates apply.
The sessions planned for January are:
8th January - 400m efforts - short
15th January - speed session - longer
22nd January - 200m efforts - reducing
29th January - 800m efforts - short
These can be modified to suit individual
If anyone has any questions please contact Chris
Quine on 670521 or e-mail [email protected]
Look out too for details of the next Middle Distance
squad meeting on Saturday 24th January.
ATHLETICS WEEKLY SELL OUT IN THE ISLE OF MAN?
Although the Royal Mail have not
yet delivered my copy, I am told by Andy Fox that
this week's edition of Athletics Weekly features
an extensive feature on Keith Gerrard on page 10.
It details his breakthrough and
talks about his ambition to race in the World Cross
Country Championships, although Keith reports that
this has been blown out of proportion.
Rush and get your copy of Athletics
Weekly before it sells out!
FELL RUNNERS CONGRATULATE STUART LAMBIE (02-01-04)
Congratulations to Stuart Lambie on his MBE.from all the
fell runners. I`ve known Stuart for a long time and he is a top man and deserves
his award for all the hard work he has done over the years. Sports wise he was
not only heavily involved in athletics but he was also a very good soccer player
who played for the Island several times and he had a long and successful career
at St Johns, our hosts on New Years Day.
EVEN THE BEST BREAK THE RULES (02-01-04)
As with all events organised by
Richie Stevenson and his team from the Manx Fell
Runners, yesterday's St Johns Fell Race was superbly
To cope with a relatively large
field they use a fairly standard finishing system
of issuing numbered cards with the runners numbers
printed on them and the runner is then responsible
for handing the number into the recorders where
their finishing position is matched against the
times and names.
All but one of the runners complied
with the system yesterday but the recorders were
left with one runner unaccounted for. After
their enquiries failed to reveal the missing number
an announcement was made for this person to report
to the recorders. Guess who it was? Richie Stevenson!
LAMBDEN CELEBRATIONS MUTED (02-01-04)
My mother, Gwelda Lambden, is 85
years old today and 2 January has always been a
day of celebration for our family. Unfortunately
her health is such that her enjoyment of the day
will be pretty limited today as she has been in
hospital for several weeks and will almost certainly
spend the rest of her days in a nursing home at
After several periods of hospitalisation
for a number of reasons this year she moved from
Kirk Michael to the Ellan Vannin home at the end
of August although it was a couple of months later
before this move was deemed to be permanent, but
she reached the point where that home could no longer
cope with her.
I always had great support from
my family in my race walking days and my mum continued
to attend the big events such as the Manx Airlines
meeting and often the Boundary Harriers dinner after
I stopped competing. Many of the guests who
took part in the Manx Airlines meeting in the 80s
used to visit her house at Kirk Michael on the Sunday
after the event and in true Manx style were well
fed with cakes etc. When 1984 Olympic walker
Phil Vesty joined five times Olympic walker Chris
Maddocks and I for lunch there one year it was the
only time I ever remember her whole selection
of sweets and puddings being demolished!
The last event she attended was
a quick trip around the north of the Island with
me during the 2003 Parish Walk.
IMAGINE HOW HARD IT WAS TO TRAIN IN THE OLD
.I've been catching up with some
reading during the Christmas period. I subscribe
to a number of athletics magazines (among many others)
and they are often barely touched during the busy
I loved the article in the July
edition of British Runner when they featured Arthur
Keily, the marathon runner who was in the lead throughout
the first 15 miles of the 1960 Olympic marathon
in Rome. He eventually finished way down the
field in 2.27 but this was still the fastest British
performance in the Olympics at the time.
He worked for British Railways and
then as a blacksmith for Rolls Royce in Derby. "I
used to get up at 5 am, run 11 miles to work, do
a whole day's work, then run 11-15 miles at night.
And people today complain when they say it is tough."
"We had no money from the sport
and if I wanted to take time off, I was not paid
for it. When I went to the Empire Games, my
fellow workers arranged a collection for me to make
up the money I would lose by not being at work.
But I could not take it, because it might have been
seen as breaking the rules of athletics amateurism."
In the same batch of reading, I
read how John Mayock has decided to move back down
to 1,500 metres because when he focused on 5,000
metres last year he could not race enough to earn
his keep. No comment.
Going back to Arthur Keiley, he
obviously loved the sport as he only retired two
years ago at the age of 80, in a season that he
won a 400 metres and 3,000 metres walk in the same
Circumstances are certainly different
now to 50 years ago, some better, some worse. But
the one thing that the above proves (to me anyway)
is that you have to believe in what you are doing
and commit yourself totally. If you consider
yourself to be a serious athlete, its better to
have a few years when you live for your dream and
make some sacrifices, that you couldn't possibly
maintain throughout your whole life, than always
believe that next year will be easier and spend
your whole career talking about what you will do
in a few years time.
NEW PUBLISHER FOR BRITISH RUNNER (01-01-04)
The above magazine has been sold
by the publishers of Athletics Weekly and is now
re-branded by the new owners, the publishers of
It probably has a more realistic
market by dropping the stats and aiming for the
new runner looking to run a marathon for charity
but I'm afraid it now has little interest to me.
Maybe we do have to be told the obvious sometimes
but the suggestion in one article that if you are
short of time to run you could try getting up earlier
or running instead of watching a soap, well, perhaps
there is someone who cannot work this out for themselves!
HAROLD WHITLOCK (01-01-04)
Colin Young wrote a great feature
on his favourite all time British race walker, Harold
Whitlock, which was published a few months ago in
Race Walking Record. His build up to winning
the 1936 Olympics not only included walking in the
London to Brighton and Manchester to Blackpool walks,
which were still around in my day, but also the
Liverpool to Manchester and the Sunderland to Darlington
(I may have got the directions the wrong way around).
Can you imagine walking events on such courses nowadays.
What is more, most of these events were sponsored
by national newspapers, the Manchester to Blackpool
by the News of the world no less, as the readers
of the day were fascinated by the achievements of
these hardy souls.
The interest in these events and
the awareness that people had that athletes were
taking part in such events surely had a big impact
on motivating the next batch of walkers to take
up the sport.
The Clerical Medical Parish Walk
in the Isle of Man, whilst not attracting the standard
of walker of Harold Whitlock, Don Thompson et al,
is one of the last great road walking events and
it has grown throughout the years the others has
fallen by the wayside. We are lucky and we must
all work together to ensure that the Parish Walk
is allowed to survive in the years ahead.
GREAT NORTH RUN (01-01-04)
The last thing I am suggesting is
that the sport should only be open to the serious
athlete. I'm only suggesting that people like
Seb Coe, Paula Radcliffe or even the man who couldn't
win his school cross country race but goes on to
beat 2.20 for the marathon, achieve something in
their lives that, despite Paula's apparent wealth,
just cannot be bought at any cost.
I'm equally keen to see people who
have never participated in sport take up athletics
at the age of 15, 35 or 50 and the great thing about
the sport is that there is room for everyone. This
website will continue to encourage and give credit
to people running their first 10km, the joy of running
5km in the Race for Life and of helping others in
the process, or someone running their second marathon
an hour faster than the first one. I love
to see the happy, smiling faces.
The Flora London Marathon and the
BUPA Great North Run are the two most visible national
events where we all have a chance to be seen on
TV even if we are new to the sport. Unlike
the old time walking races that I refer to above
which featured stockbrokers from one part of the
country racing miners from other parts, the TV coverage
(Paula apart) tends to either feature the top runners
from around the world or the runners who are overcoming
adversity to take part. All marvelous stuff
but I still feel the sport would be a better one
if we had a pool of young people in their prime
from all over the country training to target major
events such as these, in the belief that they would
be well placed. Call me a dreamer, but I believe
that the country would be better for it if more
of our youth could have outlets such as these.
And this is where I turn to the
Great North Run. This used to be one of the most
competitive events in the country. To make the top
200 a few years ago required something close to
1 hour and 15 minutes for the half marathon. As
recently as 1998 when I took part I ran just over
1.15 into a strong headwind (I would say that wouldn't
I?) I was only in the 120s.
In 2002 Peter Elliott enthused so
much about Kosgei breaking the one hour barrier
for the first time, he failed to notice (or comment)
that a 1.15 time would now get you into the top
60. 125th position could be achieved with 1.19.27.
The favourable wind conditions in
2003 saw a slight improvement but nevertheless 1.15.19
was good enough for 72nd position, 50 places higher
than 5 years earlier when there had been a headwind.
Whilst our new crop of middle distance
athletes will not be heading for the Great North
Run just yet, if every club had young runners of
the calibre of, and with the coaching skills received
by, Keith Gerrard, Darren Gray, Andy Cannell and
others, the UK would not be suffering such a decline
in standards. Statistically the Isle of Man should
only produce about 1 in 1000 of the UK's athletes,
WAS 2003 A GOOD ONE AND WILL 2004 BE BETTER?
For all excitement of the big field
in the Parish Walk, and bigger fields in many of
the road runs than for some time, its the achievements
of our youngsters that have given me most pleasure
during the year. I'm not talking about the hundreds
of youngsters who enjoy a brilliant introduction
to our sport during the summer at the track leagues,
but the ones who avoid the temptation to drop out
in the teens and come through and head towards their
The pleasure we derive from seeing
Keith Gerrard racing around the continent on the
cross country circuit - "I'll just try and stay
with the England team" was his recent genuinely
modest aim. Being able to attend the AAA championships
and watch Martin Aram high jump with the best in
the country. Watching Jess Draskau-Petersson finish
19th in the Flora London Marathon and defying people
like me who thought a 2.36 prediction was heaping
too much pressure on her young shoulders. Following
the progress of walker Neil Bates who has definitely
set his stall on reaching the top. Seeing
the delight of someone like Sarah Dowling winning
gold in the Island Games and the reward that this
brings not only to the athlete but to the coach,
in this case to Di Shimell. And a strange
one, finishing lower down the field in cross country
races because at last the veterans are being squeezed
Of course some of the older guys
also achieved great things. Ian Gale's unpredicted
success in the Manx Mountain Marathon and Peter
Kaneen's second fastest ever Parish Walk time are
right up there among them. There are a number of
other athletes who we almost take for granted who
among our best. Its little more than
a year ago since Steve Partington was the top British
walker in the World Walking Cup and he hopes to
back in 2004.
Many of the successful Manx athletes
like Chris Quine and Andy Fox are working behind
the scenes to ensure that 2004 and beyond will be
successful and lets hope that everyone can work
with Graham Davies and Anthony Brand in 2004 to
see the delivery of the Development Plan.
Officials, like athletes, have to
move heaven and high water to turn their dreams
into reality. When Chris Brasher dreamt about a
marathon around the streets of London most people
would probably have said it was impossible. If our
officials are as good as the athletes they represent,
then they must unite the sport and change. I have
confidence that they will.
Tell the rest of us what you think
were highlights of 2003 and make your predictions
for 2004 by using the forum.