Having enjoyed a very rare appearance in a race walking event on Thursday night, it reminded me of what a great group of people take part in the sport (and how hard it is!) and I couldn't resist a trip down memory lane. My last year of serious competition was 1983 and here are a few pictures from that year.
Top left: the start of the York 50k in April. I'm on the left of the picture alongside Allan King, who made a great debut of 4.13 (a time he never improved on) and my great friend Denis Jackson - one of the best 50km British walkers ever. That race was disaster for me and I retired at 43km.
Top right and bottom left: The start and finish of the Leicester Mercury 20 miles - a famous race now discontinued. It was always held on this Bank Holiday weekend, the same weekend as the Bradford 50km. After three wins in Bradford I switched to the Leicester race and was a very proud winner of the 50th edition of an event that had been one by all outstanding British walkers (and a Mexican Olympic champion).
Bottom right: Walking with another couple of British walking legends, Roger Mills and Amos Seddon in the National 50km at Enfield. At least I finished this one (unlike the other two) but I was beaten by Barry Graham and Bob Dobson in a heatwave and never raced 50km again.
Having competed in the 1982 Commonwealth Games and raced for GB four times, I had set my sights on the ultimate, the 1984 Olympics. Increasing an already high training load in the winter of 1982 was too much for my body and caused injury that brought on my decision to retire. I never imagined that I would still be dabbling at he sport 23 years later and I thank all the people who have kept it going during that period so that we can enjoy it so much. (pictures by Mike Lambden and Stella Corlett)