TOP SIX MANX IN LONDON – a personal choice by Murray Lambden
Margaret Lockley will forever be in the history books as the first winner of the Great North Run representing Manx AC (later to merge with Boundary Harriers to become Manx Harriers).
On 13 May 1984, she finished 8th in the London Marathon in a time of 2 hours 36 minutes and 6 seconds to record the best ever performance by a Manx born or resident athlete in the London Marathon.
Margaret is a true sportsperson and the smile in the picture on the left is how we all know her, except for when she is trying to run through the pain barrier! For many years she has worked for the marathon assisting the elite athletes and this picture was taken at the Tower Hotel (where the elite runners stay) in 2002 with Paula Radcliffe being interviewed in the background. Her enthusiasm and experience has been shared with dozens of Manx athletes.
I saw her run in 1984 and what made an impression with me, apart from her speed, was that she took the time to thank me for supporting her when she next saw me. I can hardly believe it but she will be 60 next month.
Steve Kelly ran the first ever London Marathon in 1981 and finished 93rd in 2 hours 27 minutes and 24 seconds. Having previously broken 2.28 and represented the Isle of Man with credit in the 1978 Commonwealth Games, he suffered from injury. His 1982 London marathon reflected this and he failed to achieve the 1982 Commonwealth Games standard of 2.25.
On a par with Margaret in the sporting stakes, even during his most competitive period he always had a word or two or encouragement for everyone else in the field…well maybe not in London!
His fantastic performances in the Peel to Douglas (13 wins in a row) at half marathon and 20 miles suggested that much more was to come in the marathon but his 1981 performance was, in my opinion, the second best Manx performance on the streets of the UK capital.
Does anyone have a picture of Dave Lockley?
Dave Lockley, Margaret’s husband, was 6 places and 29 seconds behind Steve in the 1981 London Marathon and that typified an amazingly competitive period in Manx road running which required Graham Clarke, Dave Newton, Chris Quine and Paul Clarke among others to move up to high levels just to finish third fastest in the old fireman’s handicap road races around Douglas on a Thursday evening in the winter.
Dave represented Boundary Harriers and that showed the futility of the club situation to have husband and wife in different clubs. Twice a Manx resident, Dave contributed significantly to the high standards of the early 80s and his 1981 run was the third best by a Manx resident.
The first London Marathon saw a much higher standard than now with 143 runners inside 2.30 and 406 inside 2.40 – Alan Bagley was 445th in 2:40:59! A week before the race Colin Moore (now a local resident) ran 49.24 for 10 miles as a junior!
Robbie Callister is now an icon for the Parish Walk and has three of the six fastest ever times in the event. But at national level his running performances far exceed his walking.
In 1993 he finished 98th in what was then the Nutra Sweet London Marathon in a time of 2 hours 28 minutes and 59 seconds for which performance I rank him the fourth best ever local performer in the event.
Robbie was a consistent performer in the London Marathon in the early 90s and he has won the Isle of Man Marathon more times than any other runner but as the picture from the 2002 Boundary Stroll shows, he has not always had long hair! He last ran in London in 2001 but plans a return in 2008.
Jess Draskau-Petersson ran 2.46.10 for 19th place in the women’s section of the 2002 Flora London Marathon to rank 5th in the rankings. With split times of 1.21.28 and 1.24.48 – each half would be fast enough to make the Island Games half marathon! She ran the final split between 40km and the finish in 8.28, faster than any Manx male runner since the split times have been available.
Whilst Jess’s greatest performances have been as a triathlete, the high standards at which she has competed are illustrated by her best marathon time of 2.42.00 in Berlin in 2005.
Paul Curphey (right) runs the Flora London Marathon for the 14th consecutive time on Sunday and is pictured with marathon legend Ron Hill at the 2003 event.
Although well short of the standard of the top five, I rank Paul as the sixth best Manx performer in London not for his 2.37.51 in 1995 but for his 207th position the following year when he took 2.41.20 to finish. The hot weather of last weekend has reminded everyone just how hard it is to run in the heat, particularly in the spring when runners are not acclimatised. At the time he was very disappointed as he was hoping to break 2.35 but others with similar ambitions finished much lower in the record high temperatures.
Photos by Murray Lambden
NEW SEARCH FACILITY BRINGS ALL MANX SITES TOGETHER
The site was updated daily for three and a half years until June 2004 when the webeditor took a sabbatical. It now serves as a portal for Manx athletes with special features
on a few events and ad hoc publishing when time permits without giving in to the addiction! Old features can be found by using the Google search below or by using the old features page. The clubs are encouraged to develop their own
sites to promote their events. manxathletics.com will complement the coverage with statistics and extra pictures but, most of all, if will try and highlight the content of other sites and give everyone a chance to air their views on the forum.