All "reporting" by Murray Lambden unless otherwise stated.

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With the launch of the 2003 Clerical Medical Parish Walk site and an hour or so on the "Invitation" database (and other things to do in my life!) there was less time for the front page tonight but thanks to the people named below for a few easy pastes.

I've had no preview of the walks but I have to update the programme for the Steam Packet meeting - it will have to wait until tomorrow I'm afraid - Les Crowe was missed.

Don't forget the walks on Saturday, the Bradda Fell Race on Sunday, the final Firemans Race at Ramsey on Thursday and the 20 Miles a week on Sunday.




I attended the meeting on Monday night and there was a reasonable turn out of athletes and parents.

I don't think I am speaking out of turn to report the following. Team Manager Martin Bullock explained: Team size: The target is a team of around 25 athletes.


The cost, even with IOM Govt support is likely to be around £600 per head. The IOM AA are working hard to reduce this amount. Team selection: All those with the A standards from last year have been selected. The remainder will be picked by 23rd April. There are 10 athletes with B standards. Others who have yet to attain either standard can still post performances for consideration.


No firm information has been received.




Can you give us warning next time you put a picture like that on the home page!

There i was tucking into my Fruit n fibre with bananas and toast and though "i'll go check murray's site"

Needless to say, Parish Walk Blisters didn't do much for my appetite!




For cross country enthusiasts and anoraks I found this link which is interesting. It lists all National, Inter counties winners etc over the last 40 odd years:

It's part of Martin Rix's site.




Lauren Gimson of Leicester is entered into the junior one mile on Saturday and she recently set a new course record at Victoria Park in the London Open Walks on February 2nd. She won the under 13 girls 2.5km race smashing the previous best by 45 seconds. he previous record was held by Sophie Hales of Steyning now a British International.  

Her time for 2.5km equates to approx. 11.05 for 2km which means that she is on a par with our best juniors so a fast and very close race is likely on Saturday.


KANEEN'S LAW STRIKES AGAIN says Neil Bates    26-02-03


Why is it after 8weeks of solid training preparing for a race. training in wind, rain, snow and gales! That on the first day off training resting up for the race. Its a glorious summer's day. Perfect for a 10mile road session or even a Reps session!

Kaneen's Law strikes again. See you all on Saturday.



Keith so nearly became National under 17 cross country champion


The following is reproduced in full from Athletics Weekly.  Athletics Weekly is available from newsagents at £2.25 per week or by subscription by calling 01778 391134.

Triathlete Olly Freeman triumphed in one of the most exciting races of the day after overcoming surprise package Keith Gerrard.

The Invicta East Kent athlete, who was seventh in the world triathlon championships in Mexico last November, ended up four seconds clear in only his second serious race of the winter.

Long-time leader Gerrard was caught in the closing stages but did well to earn second in a desperate dip for the line which saw him and Matt Barnes-Smith become entangled and finish on the floor.

Freeman was full of praise for Gerrard, of whom he admitted he hadn't heard of before the race. "He was brilliant," he said of the Manx Harrier who appeared for much of the second half of the race to be heading for the most unexpected win of the day.

Gerrard was only 21st in the Inter-counties and is better known as a track runner, having finished fifth in the 3,000m at last year's AAA under-17 championships.


WALKERS DROPPING LIKE FLIES reports Steve Taylor  26-02-03


Jamie Costin - mens 20km - wont be travelling over due to ill health  

Robert Moore - open 10km - out with chicken pox. I was really looking forward to seeing him over 10km. 

Callum Taylor- junior 1 mile - has been off school with flu, unlikely to start.

and if I understood Allan correctly, Anne Loughnane younger sister of Olive (Sydney 2000 walker) will start with the 20km walkers with the intention of walking 10km.


NOTHING TO DO WITH ATHLETICS - again    26-02-03


The Sky TV magazine must be the most useless high publication magazine published in the history of printing.

Remember that tricky sum that you learn at school, ie anything x 0 =0. Well in the same way by publishing 7 million copies of rubbish you get nothing useful!



Richie Stevenson previews the Bradda Fell Race


The first long race in this year's Managrakem Fell League takes place this Sunday on the southern hills of the Island. The Arthur Jones Bradda Fell Race is a tough course covering 15 miles with a lot of climbing. When you look at the actual terrain that the runners race over it should be one of the easiest courses as it covers footpaths on 95% of the route, even on the climbs. But it has a history of finding people out and I have lost count of the number of runners, whether they be top place men or not, who have taken a right bending on this course. If you do blow on a fell course you will loose time at a quite alarming rate. I have seen good runners loose 15 minutes in one mile when the wheels have come off. 

Favourite for honours must be Tony Okell but he is struggling with a heavy cold and may be forced to pull out if things don`t improve. I spoke to him at the squad training session tonight ( Tony sat out this week but we were delighted to still have 16 runners of varying standards training including three females ) and he was obviously full of it as are all his family. If Tony has to pull out the likes of Ian Gale or Mark Preston could record their first win in this classic and another to watch out for is Richard Jamieson if he runs as he has decided to concentrate on the fells again as his rowing trip is off. We usually have a few off-island runners at Bradda, I have had a number of enquiries but as we only take entries on the line we don`t know if they will turn up until the day. 

The official start time is 10.00 am but there will be a few of the runners who expect to finish at the back going off at 9.30am.




With Saturday's Steam Packet meeting close there is plenty for the walkers tonight.

I'm afraid I am not up to date with the large contingent of Irish walkers who we welcome to the Isle of Man this year. Would anyone like to provide a few lines on each of the top walkers for the benefit of spectators and other interested parties?




Steve Partington agreed with my "sods law" theory last week (or was it "Keenan's law") that said you don't get a cold when you are injured - you get it as soon as you are ready to train again!

Well Steve was out of action for three weeks and then last week went down with a heavy cold. He had given up any hope of competing in the Steam Packet 20km or even the following day's Bradda Fell Race.

But he wanted to support the event on Saturday and so he entered the 10km event. After I heard this horrible noise outside my house at 6.30 this morning and realised it was Steve coughing his heart out, I got in touch with him again and the response was as I expected - its highly unlikely he will start.




Marie Latham was only intending to contest the 10km on Saturday - but then she read in the paper last week that she competing in the 20km and she decided she would give it a go!

Marie was on holiday with Paul in Edinburgh last week and didn't find it the most race walking friendly city to train.

Last season Marie had some disappointments when she built up in a big way for the 20km so, who knows, with a lower key approach this year, things might just work out for the best.




It's great to see that Bob Dobson, who was elected Race Walking Association President in 2001 after finally retiring after being ranked in the top 10 at 50km for more than 30 years, is walking in the 10km at the Steam Packet meeting on Saturday!

Some people never retire!

One of early memories of Bob was his victory in the first big race walking event I saw - the 1975 National 10 Miles, held on the Southern 100 course in the Isle of Man.  My hero as a long haired school kid was John Warhust, the Commonwealth champion the year earlier, mainly because he had such long hair (he hasn't changed much either!). So when I listened to the Manx Radio preview and heard John Cannell tip Bob Dobson to win I couldn't believe it. But don't say John Cannell doesn't know anything - he got that one right, beating the Sheffield duo of Roy Thorpe and John Warhurst.

By the way, if we think the National Cross Country fields have shrunk, what about the National walking fields. More than 200 took part in that race in the Isle of Man - only a fraction would do now.

This isn't a particularly well researched piece but a quick check on Martin Rix's site tells me that Bob Dobson won 3 20 miles/35km titles with the same number of titles at 50km.  He held the 50km British record at least once and walked 50km well in excess of 100 50km races. He won the 100 mile title as recently as 2001.

I went on one GB trip with Bob, to Bielefeld, West Germany in 1982.  He was at the point in his career when he was considering moving up in distance to the ultra distances but didn't know my background. He laughed his head off when he learnt that I had been walking 85 miles as a 19 year old and I was going down the distances rather than up as is the convention.

I'd had a number of disappointments at 50km but was looking to do a" steady" 4.10 in Germany unlike my team colleagues who were looking for sub 4.05 to qualify for the European Championships. I used Bob's experience and we walked together fairly comfortably near the back at the field at my target pace until Bob got "caught short". I got "the pukes" soon after and struggled through to the end. But thanks to the steady start with Bob, although I was disappointed to "only" walk 4.20 (its still the Manx record), I beat my more fancied team mates, Ian Richards, Gordon Vale and Dave Jarman.

I'm sure I'll remember a few more stories about Bob before the weekend is out - or maybe Graham Young will have some for us?




After the recent pre selection of a number of athletes for the Island Games I received emails from four athletes (who were not pre-selected) asking me questions about the selection criteria but not wanting to be quoted.

I was going to raise some of the questions on their behalf but then I read in the paper that there was going to be a meeting tonight (which I copied from the paper to the website on Friday) so I thought it best if this official forum could be used.

Hopefully the questions were raised and answered tonight.

I'm quite happy to publicise anything from tonight's meeting for the benefit of the off island competitors (or the general public who are also interested to know which events everyone has been pre-selected for) if the information can be released.


STEAM PACKET WALKS PREVIEW ("stolen from iomonline")



THE line-up for this Saturday's international walks meet is now firming up and again promises some class performances.

The first race of the day will be the UK 50km championship, starting at 10am.

The star of the line-up at present is in fact Ireland's 50km specialist Geoff Casin who has recorded a sub-four-hour 50km, which is out of reach of the rest of the UK field.

The men's 20km features another Irish star, Colin Griffin, who though vying for second ranking in Ireland is a world class walker aiming for a time to qualify for this year's World Athletics Championships in Paris.

No top class UK 20km walkers will be amongst in the line-up, however the field will contain the impressive Irish trio of Ronan Griffin, Pat Ryan and David Kidd.

The women's field is led by Sharon Tonks from Solihull, who walked for England in the Commonwealth Games last year in Manchester and is looking to qualify for this year's European Cup. Also from England is top 10 ranked Jill Hesketh and London-based South African Estelle Viljoen.

Leading the local challenge will be Peter Kaneen and possibly Steve Partington in the men's 20km, plus super-vet Marie Latham in the 20km.

The support races (junior one-mile and open 10km) have also attracted UK interest and should provide welcome competition for the rising local youngsters and club walkers alike.



(now we know why he chose Birmingham Uni!)



I visited the NIA on Sunday tp go watch my best friend at Birmingham Uni compete in the triple jump. While there, I was lucky to bump into the small Manx group that traveled over to compete (Sarah Dowling, Rachel Kelly and Michelle Greaves).

They all looked very happy and up beat! And had had a successful Saturday with all three producing PBs in their events. On Sunday i managed to stay and watch Sarah Dowling do another PB in the 200m (after doing a PB in the 60m the Day before)

On a side not, my best mate (Claire Baker of Kidiminster) after suffering ankle injuries and colds in the 3weeks before was very pleased with a 5th place jump of 10:93. She has only been able to do "jump" training once since twisting her ankle 2 weeks ago. So all in all a good day was had!





I've been so overwhelmed with the response to the pictures of some of our officials that I thought I would run it for a second week.

Actually the number of number of emails concerning the pictures has been b*gger all but I hope you enjoy them anyway!




Keith Gerrard's magnificent performances this season has initiated some discussion about who the best ever Manx athletes have been and which have been the best performances by Manx athletes.

Some people's performances are remembered more than others but does anyone remember what a magnificent group of young talent we had in 1986?

At the end of the year I wrote a letter to the local paper because the following performances were overlooked by the controversy surrounding selection for the Commonwealth Games team that year.

  1. Danaa Myhill became the English schools sprint champion and also won her age group, and represented Great Britain as a junior international.
  2. Sian Pilling won the English schools 1500 metres title and also represented Great Britain as a junior international.
  3. Martin Young won the English schools walking title and the national title for his age group.
  4. Cheryl Done became the national pentathlon champion for her age group.
  5. Joanne Clarke represented Great Britain in a junior walking match.
  6. Steve Taylor represented Great Britain in a junior international walking match.
  7. Dave McCutcheon was a regular in the Scottish international team at 400 metres hurdles

I haven't the time tonight to write about each person in the list.  Some are still active in the sport, others are not.

The challenge is to ensure that the talent stays in the sport.

One challenge we no longer face is persuading our politicians that we need a track.  My letter concluded:

"Perhaps when our newly elected House of Keys consider their New Year's resolutions they should remember their election promises to provide such facilities (all weather running track) for our athletes."


THE FUN RUN    23-02-03


Whilst I had the scrap book out checking out the above, I found the cuttings relating to the 1987 fun run that attracted 2,300 runners.

What a sad loss to our sport and sport in general  that this event folded.

It was very unfortunate that relations between the governing body (IOMAA) and the organisers of the fun run (Rushen Round Table) got off to a bad start.  The IOMAA insisted that they should collect a 50p levy from competitors who were unattached.  This was obviously not what the Round Table had in mind when they were raising funds for charity but perhaps the mistake they made was offering prizes for the fastest in each group thereby disallowing it as a fun run under the rule book.

I only ever took part in the fun run as I thought it should be, either with my family or friends from work. I never agreed with athletes racing - there are so many other opportunities to do this.

Anyway the fun run was not held during the years when the promenade was dug up for the IRIS project and it never reappeared.

Now there is a target if anyone ever writes a development plan for the sport!





Tony Okell has said it all on the front page but just compare today's result with the inter counties (inter counties positions in brackets)

1 O Freeman Invicta East Kent AC 22:37   (-)

2 K Gerrard Manx Harriers 22:41 (21)

3 M Barnes-Smith Ipswich Harriers 22:41 (4)

4 C Ivemy Hailsham Harriers 22:55  (3)

5 K Wilson Morpeth H & AC 23:16  (2)

6 J Ellis Aldershot Farnham & Dist AC 23:23 (6)

7 A Holliday Trafford AC 23:25 (7)

8 L Bartlett Bristol AC 23:27 (-)

9 A Whetstone Milton Keynes AC 23:29  (18)

10 B Jones Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton H 23:37 (14)


Missing today from the inter counties were:

A Moran (1)

S Hall (5)

Bristow (10)




It was so close. There was great excitement as Keith went up the hill at the start and emerged in 6th place where the Manx Harriers seniors athletes and Colin Moore were watching - he had been told to take it easy in the top 20!

The next time the lads saw him he was up to 2nd and the time after he had a 10 second lead. And so it continued. The mud suited Keith but his lead unsettled the commentator who did not know who he was and referred to the chasing group chasing the runner in red and yellow!

His lead was up to 5 seconds or so and at one point he was looking around to see where the opposition was! But in the fast downhill finish his lead was gobbled up and the Manx team actually thought he had lost second place.

Glenn Butterworth, who was ill, only managed one lap.

Chris was unaware of any changing of positions between the Manx runners.  He was very dissappointed to hear that there were only 1200 finishers, little more than half the number the event used to attact.




You put a picture of an official on your website knowing she won't be pleased with it but think you won't see her for a while so you'll take the chance. You step into the street at lunchtime and who is the first person you see that you know - Caroline Brand who I was referring to above!

What's the bet I bump into Judy Morrey tomorrow? She likes having her picture taken even less.




I'm not sure why but I'm told that Paul Clarke has had to pull out of tomorrow's National Cross Country Championships.

Chris Quine has confirmed today that he will be phoning a few details of the race through to me tomorrow evening.

I wish I was there. Parliament Hill is a great venue and I ran my one and only National Cross Country there 10 years ago. I was aiming for the top 1000 (there were more than 2000 taking part in those days) and there seemed to be so many people ahead of me I was sure I had blown it. The first time I saw Paul Curphey was after the race but he was only 20 seconds ahead of me but 50 places!!! He finished 582nd and I was 632nd and we were both delighted.


TIME FOR TV  21-02-03


Like most athletics fans, I'm off to watch the big meeting in Birmingham on the TV now and really looking forward to. I can't say that about some of the athletics on TV these days (the Great Big Brendan what is the point time meetings) but the Inter Counties meeting was great to watch and this, as possibly the biggest  single day meeting of the winter, should also be good.





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