All "reporting" by Murray
Lambden unless otherwise stated.
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.
CHRIS QUINE REPORTS FROM THE ISLAND GAMES MEETING
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.
NEIL BATES COMPLAINS 27-02-03
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
Needless to say, Parish Walk Blisters didn't
do much for my appetite!
CHRIS QUINE MAINTAINS THE CROSS COUNTRY INTEREST
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
It's part of Martin Rix's site.
STEVE TAYLOR TELLS ABOUT A STAR FROM LEICESTER
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
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
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 GERRARD DOMINATES ATHLETICS REPORT 26-02-03
Keith so nearly became National under 17 cross
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.
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
Costin - mens 20km - wont be travelling over due to ill health
Moore - open 10km - out with chicken pox. I was really looking forward to seeing
him over 10km.
Taylor- junior 1 mile - has been off school with flu, unlikely to
I understood Allan correctly, Anne Loughnane younger sister of Olive (Sydney
2000 walker) will start with the 20km walkers with the intention of walking
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
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!
FELL RUNNERS GO LONG DISTANCE ON SUNDAY 25-02-03
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
STEAM PACKET WALKS ON SATURDAY 25-02-03
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 NOT LIKELY TO START ON SATURDAY
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
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
BUT SOME PEOPLE SWITCH THE OTHER WAY 25-02-03
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.
ONE OF BRITAIN'S MOST RESPECTED WALKERS - ever
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?
ISLAND GAMES SELECTION CRITERIA 24-02-03
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
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
THE line-up for this Saturday's
international walks meet is now firming up and again promises some class
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
Leading the local challenge will be Peter Kaneen and
possibly Steve Partington in the men's 20km, plus super-vet Marie Latham in the
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.
NEIL BATES REPORTS FROM BIRMINGHAM
(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
OFFICIALS' PICTURES TO RUN A SECOND WEEK
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!
BEST MANX ATHLETES 23-02-03
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
- Danaa Myhill became the
English schools sprint champion and also won
her age group, and represented Great Britain
as a junior international.
- Sian Pilling won the
English schools 1500 metres title and also represented
Great Britain as a junior international.
- Martin Young won the
English schools walking title and the national
title for his age group.
- Cheryl Done became the
national pentathlon champion for her age group.
- Joanne Clarke represented
Great Britain in a junior walking match.
- Steve Taylor represented
Great Britain in a junior international walking
- 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!
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES 22-02-03
CONGRATULATIONS TO KEITH GERRARD
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
3 M Barnes-Smith Ipswich Harriers 22:41
4 C Ivemy Hailsham Harriers 22:55
5 K Wilson Morpeth H & AC 23:16
6 J Ellis Aldershot Farnham & Dist AC 23:23
7 A Holliday Trafford AC 23:25
8 L Bartlett Bristol AC 23:27
9 A Whetstone Milton Keynes AC 23:29
10 B Jones Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton H 23:37
Missing today from the inter counties were:
A Moran (1)
S Hall (5)
MORE NEWS FROM CHRIS QUINE 22-02-03
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
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.
ANOTHER PETER KANEEN TYPE STORY 21-02-03
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.
PAUL CLARKE OUT OF THE NATIONAL 21-02-03
I'm not sure why but I'm told that Paul Clarke
has had to pull out of tomorrow's National Cross
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
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.