Parish WalkIoM VeteransFell RunningCross Country



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]


Thursday training sessions with Chris Quine     (29-01-04)


A reminder 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.


The 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.


The only 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.

Thursday12th  February 2004

Up to 15 x 300m – 45 secs recovery

Younger athletes – every other one

Thursday 19th  February 2004

Speed session:

2 x 450m – 9 mins recovery

3 x 150m – 3 mins recovery

Younger athletes:



2 x 150m


Thursday 26th February 2004

Longer efforts:

Up to 6 x 800m

Younger athletes likely to be 3 x 600m


Anyone requiring more information, please contact Chris Quine on 670521 or email [email protected]




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 week!

Read the uka report of the meeting



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.




Thanks to Graham Davies for this link highlighting Keith's great performances once again.


ANOTHER VETERAN        (29-01-04)


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.


FROZEN OUT    (29-01-04)


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?



Steve 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 country.

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 performances.

Also featured is a list of Œmost 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.




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.  




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 athletes.


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. 


SATURDAY 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.     

[email protected]


Peel Harbour Road Races Postponed    (26-01-04)

Geoff Brew explains


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    (26-01-04)


A group of 19 athletes and coaches attended the latest Isle of Man Middle Distance squad session at QE2 School, Peel on Saturday. 

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 to follow. 




Andy Fox will be publishing details of his latest Saturday morning sand dune training session at in a couple of days time.

All will be welcome to join him this Saturday morning.





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.



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 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.




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 then share 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 the south?





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 her memory.

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 Sportshall.

Pictures and reports will be made most welcome as family commitments prevent me from attending.



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 for mistakes.

"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 75 athletes.

"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 before.

"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 to Athens."

The schedule of Olympic Qualification Requirements is:

Men Event Women


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,8510,4854-146217-163



Emily Lewis

Media Officer


Athletics House

10 Harborne Road


Birmingham B15 3AA

T: +44 (0121) 456 8702

F: +44 (0121) 456 8752




GOOD LUCK TO KEITH GERRARD   (again)    (22-01-04)


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 route.

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 race route.

Further information contact Paul on 487873/611179. 


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





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 said.

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!


MANX HARRIERS Throws Coaching 23/24 January

Entries 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. March 2004.

This should give our throwers a great bonus in preparation for next summer’s track and field season. Please support the club’s investment in money and Merrik’s 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.

Andy Fox.

* 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 men’s toilets end of the stand.

*Please download 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.



Richue Stevenson 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 Ireland

24.07.    Snowdon International      Wales

9.10       Junior International           England


British Champs.

23.05    Elidir Fawr        Wales

18.07    Kentmere         England

07.08    Barrowdale       England

25.09    Two Breweries  Scotland               


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 space available.

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 trip

report by Paul Jackson       (17-01-04)


The weather has prevented 17Manx schoolchildren from competing in today's Merseyside Schools Cross-Country Championships.

The 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 Island.

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 Taylor   (17-01-04)


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 lane   (16-01-04)


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 hours.

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 depth.

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 visitor.

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!




Brothers Jeff and Dave Looker are both in the line up for London on 18 April. More details to follow.




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.




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 a random.

"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.




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 to David 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 few weeks.

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 parking space.

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 of years.

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.




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 races. 

Middle Distance Performance Manager, Chris Quine, who is organising the session with Gianni Epifani of Manx Sport and Recreation commented:
"Any 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 sessions ". 

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.




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 is.

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.



Jane Mooney has confirmed that the three Manx Harriers entries have been allocated to:

Ian Callister;

Sally-Anne Salt; and

Andrew Cubbon




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 marathons.


Greeba Fell Race Training by Paul Jackson     (07-01-04)


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     (06-01-04)


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 fixtures meeting. 

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 sponsors.


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 Lockley.




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 for them.

  Teams Runners Cyclists Double Net Fun Fun Total  
            teams runners    
1992 29 116 13 4 125   0 125  
1993 29 116 11 3 124   0 124 First leg extended
1994 27 108 16 4 120   0 120  
1995   0     0   0 0 Postponed then cancelled
1996 27 108 7 2 113   0 113  
1997 19 76 7 2 81   0 81  
1998 18 72 4 3 73 3 12 85  
1999 21 84 8 4 88 4 16 104  
2000 21 84 7 2 89 1 4 93 Foot & mouth threat
2001 15 60 0 0 60   0 60 11 cyclists entered
2002 14 56 10 3 63   0 63  
2003 12 48 10 6 52   0 52  




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.




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    (03-01-04)


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 recoveries

15th January - speed session - longer recoveries

22nd January - 200m efforts - reducing recoveries

29th January - 800m efforts - short recoveries

 These can be modified to suit individual requirements.

 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.




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!




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.

Richie Stevenson




As with all events organised by Richie Stevenson and his team from the Manx Fell Runners, yesterday's St Johns Fell Race was superbly organised.

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!




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 best.

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.




.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 weeks.

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 veterans event.

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.




The above magazine has been sold by the publishers of Athletics Weekly and is now re-branded by the new owners, the publishers of the website.

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?    (01-01-04)


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 peaks.

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 out!

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.


Copyright (c) 2004 Murray Lambden. All rights reserved.
[email protected]