In the all time 50km performances compiled by Martin Rix there are a number of entries that have Manx connections. 

Gordon Vale who of course competed for Manx Harriers is at 32 with 4.17.34 set in 1983 at the age of 21.

His Dad, Denis Vale is at 93 with 4.33.49 set in 1963.

Albert Johnson is at no. 71 with 4.30.00 in the Hastings to Brighton 19/08/1960. 

Mick Holmes is at 38 with 4.19.55 set in 1973. 

But the big question is "Who is / was Fred Bentley?" Any ideas? He was listed as Isle of Man and is in at no.90 with 4.33.32 acheived at Derby on 04/07/1936 finishing behind Olympic Gold medalist Harold Witlock and Joe Hopkins.

email Steve Taylor





GORDON Brew has been re-elected chairman of the Western Athletics Club for the 24th consecutive year. He has held the position continuously since the club’s inception in 1980.

Other appointments made at the club’s annual general meeting include: secretary Rosie Morrison; treasurer Elaine Cain; club coach Geoff Brew; fixtures secretary Peter Kelly; general committee Ruth Callin, Judith Perriam, Louise Kneen and Phil Mackie.


ONE FOR THE FORUM FROM STEVE TAYLOR (I discussed this with him at the time)


Looking at the front page today (this was a while ago!!) and reading through the best times for 20 miles gave me the hyperthetical idea of extending the race pace to marathon.

When I was walking we worked very hard at our pace judgment and I know the exercise proves nothing but I used to do it myself and thought it might be interesting to do for the marathon all the same.








Marathon Target Time






NSC x 40 laps







Union Mills to Poortown & Return







Union Mills to Poortown & Return







Union Mills to Poortown & Return







King George V Park to Peel and return







NSC x 40 laps







King George V Park to Peel and return







Union Mills to Poortown & Return







King George V Park to Peel and return







NSC x 40 laps







NSC x 40 laps







Union Mills to Poortown & Return







NSC x 40 laps







King George V Park to Peel and return







NSC x 40 laps







NSC x 40 laps







NSC x 40 laps







Union Mills to Poortown & Return







NSC x 40 laps







NSC x 40 laps







NSC x 40 laps


WHAT WAS THE ATHLETICS TEAM PERFORMANCE ASKS ANDY FOX, who was part of the Manx Harriers team nominated for the Best Team Award on 24 April


It does lead to interesting debate about what is the best team in our sport from last year!!!!! One could mention the Lancs XCountry in 2002 – 3 Team Golds one silver, The Knock Dhu Manx Vets team which beat Wales and N. Ireland and one could say really put our fell runners on the map!!! Both our ladies and boys track teams just missed out on promotion as well and I do not know how the walkers did but could see that there might be some great team efforts there also. It is difficult to decide which is "the better" performance all are good in their own right. Of course we should not forget Northern won promotion from Div. 4 to 3 as well I think in the men’s league. When you look at it 2002 was a great year for Manx Athletics and Manx Harriers in particular – I’m not sure we really made enough of it as a sport!!!!! Perhaps the IOM AA could use this in their attempt to get Athletics named as a focus sport in the future.





I have been searching through the archives recently and came across the following which I think would be interesting to both walkers and runners.Details extracted from Race Walking Record No. 566 December 1989.

Chris Maddocks, five time Olympian and one time regular visitor to the Isle of Man, competed in the 1989 New York marathon having been one of a number of international race walkers to be invited to take part. There were a reported 25,000 starters that year with the elite walkers allowed to start with the elite women runners so as to avoid any crush.

A group of six walkers stayed together for the first 20kms, these were –

Carlos Mercenario (MEX) – 1987 20km world cup winner

Bo Gustafsson (SWE) – seven times New York winner

Andrei Perlov (USSR) – 50km world record holder at that time

Herman Sanchew (MEX) – a 2.12.30 30km man

Giovanni Perricelli (ITA) – a 3.47 50km man in the Seoul olympics


and Chris Maddocks.


By 25km the group was down to three, Mercenario, Perlov and Maddocks before Perlov broke away moving from 7.30 miles to 6.40 for each of the next three. However this dramatic change of pace was to be his undoing and Mercenario followed by Maddocks caught the tiring Russian and sped on towards the finish. Mercenario opened up a gap of almost three minutes over the last 8km as the crowd estimated at over one million cheered these ssuperb athletes all the way to the finish.


Chris’ final time of 3.14.37 would make many him the envy of many a runner and his splits were surprisingly even at 1.37. His finished in an overall position of 3673, that is within the first 10% of the field. He had some 19000 runners behind him.


Walk Result:


Carlos Mercenario                3.11.55

Chris Maddocks                   3.14.37

Bo Gustafsson                    3.18.20

Andrei Perlov                        3.19.01

Herman Sanchez                 3.19.59

Giovanni Perricelli                3.29.20

Sandro Belluci (ITA)            3.32.50

Maurizio Damilano (ITA)       3.32.53




i’ve gone on record as saying that the NY race was one of my career highlights. shame i didn’t translate into an international 50kms. but of course it was 10 months later that i did do my home patch 3.51.37. had i not got injured a few weeks later with overtraining (i was really motivated to capitilise on that 3.51), i am convinced that in 1991 i would have done at least 3.48. alas, it wasn’t to be.

i got invited to NY by Ian Brookes – you may remember him. Ian was legitimately able to ‘fix’ my all expences paid trip on the basis of my ’89 season which included: World Cup 82.35, 8 Nations 35kms 3.37, Commonwealth trial win 2.11.38.



As we grow older…….from Johanne Smyth



When I was a kid adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning uphill both ways through year round blizzards carrying their younger siblings on their backs to their one-room schoolhouse where they maintained a straight-A average and 100% attendance record despite their full-time after-school job at the local mill where they worked for a farthing a day just to help keep their family from starving to death!

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up there was no way in hell I was going to lay all that bollocks on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!  

Now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of thirty-something, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don’t know how good you’ve got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have The Internet – we wanted to know something, we had to go to the bloody library and look it up ourselves!

And there was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen! – and then we had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the post box and it would take like a week to get there!

And there were no MP3s or Napsters or CD burners! You wanted to steal music, you had to go to the damn record shop and shoplift it yourself! Or we had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ’d usually talk over the beginning and bugger it all up!

You want to hear about hardship?

You couldn’t just download porn! You had to bribe some homeless bloke to buy you a copy of "Razzle" at the Spar! It was either that or the lingerie section of Kay’s catalogue! Those were your options!

We didn’t have fancy stuff like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal! And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your boss, your mum, a collections agent, your drug dealer, you didn’t know!!! You just had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

And we didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation videogames with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics were shite! Your guy was a little square! You had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win, the game just kept getting harder and faster until you died!

Just like LIFE!

When you went to the cinema there was no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! A tall guy sat in front of you, you were screwed!

And sure, we had television, but back then that was only like 3 channels and there was no teletext or on-screen menu! You had to use the newspaper and two magazines to find out what was on!

And there was no Cartoon Network! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning… D’ya hear what I’m saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK, you spoiled little bastards!

That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled! You wouldn’t last five minutes back in 1983!



I asked him recently


My skin has been playing up since August. The belief is that all the sodium I have put into it over many years has decided that enough is enough and it wants rid of it. So I have changed my diet and stopped exercising to allow it to heal itself. It seems to be working, my varicose veins on the side of my leg do seem to be decreasing in size. It has been a long haul and I have some way to go yet. I’ll be back walking some time this summer I hope.



By Steve Taylor


Yes its that time of year again, the track and field league begins this month and after a long hard winters training we begin the search for the best shot putter in the land.

Last year the surprise package was Anthony "sick note" Brand who forced his was on to the podium at the IOM Championships and then brushed aside the competition to claim the crown at the club championships. Accepting that he hasn’t wintered well it is still felt that Anthony "I’ve thrown in the Northern Men’s League" Brand will be the one to beat. The challenges will come from those better known for other and possibly not so popular athletic disciplines namely cake making, playing in the sand and web site article writing. Yes we are talking about Peter "well I’m an endurance athlete really" Kaneen, Steve "girlie arms" / Delia Smith" Partington and Steve "super grunt" / "five bellies" Taylor.

Last year whilst Brand bathed in glory Kaneen contented himself with raking the sand pit, Partington unfortunately left his best form in the kitchen whilst on lookers wished that Taylor had just left.

The boys are up for the heavy events this year, they wont be distracted by Mickey mouse events like Commonwealth Games, World Cups or Island Games, these boys are after blood and they don’t care who’s it is or who is left in tears. The track and field league is where its at, come on down if you think you’re hard enough!



Despite "busting a gut" to promote the above, I’ve not received the results yet. Sorry.


Richie Stevenson reports


Final preparations are well under way for next weeks Mountain Marathon. A race of this distance calls for a lot of helpers and I reckon there will be around 50 people on duty on Easter Saturday doing a variety of jobs and we thank every one of them. Added to this are a number who help set up the course, sometimes only doing simple jobs but all vital to the smooth running of the race.

First aid cover is provided by St Johns Ambulance and local Doctors and a group of experienced fell runners are at hand to assist if anyone goes missing or gets hurt and the Fire Service Hill Rescue team can be called in a major emergency. Just about everyone has access to a mobile phone these days and this has meant a huge improvement in safety for all fell runs as all the marshals can keep in touch with each other and emergency services can be called immediately if there is a problem. We still rely on the Civil Defence and Raynet radio operators to keep a check on how things are progressing. They are based at six counter checkpoints along the 31 miles course with the Control at Civil Defence HQ in Douglas under the watchful eye of Martin Blackburn.

Drinks stations are provided at seven points on the course, again usually at the counter checkpoints, and one really nice touch that runners from over the wet bit appreciate is the various little snacks provided by a lot of the marshals varying from sandwiches and drop scones to chocolate bars.

Entries have not been brilliant so far and we are hoping for a late rush which usually happens. Unfortunately the powerful Clayton Le Moors squad will only have a couple of entrants this year which is a big blow to the organisers as they usually bring over a couple of teams. Peter Browning is bitterly disappointed to miss the race for the first time in fifteen years as a change in work has made it impossible for him to make the trip this year but I am sure he will be back next year.

Entries close this weekend so please get your forms to Doug Drown if you are having a go.   



Final reminder from Paul Jackson


A reminder that the Manx Harriers ‘Walking for Joan’ event takes place this Sunday 13th April. The start is on Mill Road, East Quay, Peel by the Power Station. The route follows the old railway line finishing at the QB (10 miles) followed by refreshments in the Manx Harriers Clubhouse. Entry on the line is £5 for adults & £2.50 for children. All money raised will go to the Joan Powell fund for young athletes.

Please note that there is no minibus transport provided this year for any finishers at St. Johns and Crosby.

Anyone who wishes to get the bus to Peel for the start, the Number 5 bus leaves the QB (Peel Road bus  stop) at 12.50 arriving at Peel bus station at 13.18. This should leave just enough time to get ‘warmed up’ with a brisk walk to the start. Anyone worried about getting from Peel bus station to the start in time please give me a call Tel; 611179 and I’ll arrange for you to be met by car off the bus (…or delay the start if I’m bombarded with calls!!).




Richard Jamieson finished a very good 40th position in the opening round of the British Championship at Slieve Bearnagh last Saturday. The race was in the Mourne Mountains not far from Newcastle on a new course that had a lot of climbing, 2,680ft, in its 3.9miles. The race was won by British International Rob Jebb who will be running in the England team at Knockdhu in a couple of weeks time. Richard was more than happy with his run finishing ahead of a number of runners who regularly beat him in last years championship and his position was high enough to earn him championship points. 

Richard hopes to compete in as many championship races as he can this year and he will be off again in early May to contest the Stuc A Chrooin 5000 Hill Race in Perthshire Scotland, a 15 miler that starts in Strathyre. If anyone fancies going to this race please contact Richard as he will have space in his car.

Anyone interested in traveling to the fourth round of the British Champs. on the 7th June at Pen Y Ghent should contact Richie Stevenson as soon as possible.

[email protected]




As the pictures on the front page hopefully show, there was a great start to the Dave Phillips Memorial Road Races last night with the highest quality field that I’ve known in this series for many years and a welcome was extended to many new faces.

With future races being determined on handicap it looks as if the remaining rounds, (see list of dates on the front page or link here for feature on series), will see the series grow and grow, reversing a significant decline in recent years.

The switch to the Tuesday night for the opening round was a significant factor. Not only did a handful of numbers who would have departed for the London Marathon on Friday take part, but also the Manx Harriers senior road runners turned up in force to prepare for the Easter Festival in 10 days time. It suited then perfectly.

Hopefully the publicity here on the website may have helped a little as well although it has to be said I had to search for information about the series rather than being spoon fed by the promoters. I’m sorry, for example, that I wasn’t able to publish the rules online beforehand or even confirm whether the course was to be one lap or two for the four miler.

The course was reasonably well received. It was a perfect night and I can rarely remember a night with so little wind in Peel. The undulations on the course were testing but not too severe for first time runners. It seemed a long mile out for the first time. Courses always seem shorter when you are familiar with them.

With three very sharp turns and a mixture of road and pavement it was never going to be a particularly fast course and runners, when they make comparison with the old course, should remember that although it was often referred to as a 4 miler the round the houses course was actually well short of that distance. The Peel 4 in August covers the whole length of the quay an extra time to make up the 4 miles.

Western AC certainly had the course well marshaled and I think most of us enjoyed meeting runners going in the opposite direction after the turns and following each other’s progress. Western official Peter Kelly announced before the race that the reason for the switch to the new course was the likelihood of major roadworks on the course later in the year and the course many not be permanent.

One of the things that has never been better in all the years that I have been involved in the sport is the way that athletes who are not racing are supporting other athletes. We’ve all been admiring the fantastic performances of Keith Gerrard at National level this winter and the youngster, who has been unwell recently, was out on his bike supporting the runners last night. Likewise Colin Moore, who last year was forced to retire from the sport but clocked sub 20 minute times on the old course (as well as being an international athlete and defending Island Games Half Marathon champion) was at the side of the road cheering on runners of all abilities. It really is appreciated.

Just a couple of things that I feel could be improved. There is little point in asking athletes to turn up at 6.30 if there are not the resources to check people in so hopefully the registration system can be improved in future. Secondly, perhaps we’ll get Peter fully into the electronic age this year so that results can be published on line promptly as is the expectation these days and not unreasonably so.




The Isle of Man Athletics Association are holding an open meeting at St Ninian’s High School at 8.30 tonight to discuss their development plan and the future direction of the sport of the Isle of Man.

The IOMAA is a democratic organisation and much of the decision making will be made at club level. If I still understand the sport, the club committees (or the members in general meetings) will be the people who ultimately decide how the sport develops. But of course the clubs, by definition, are only a group of members like you and me and so it is our opinions that count. You can therefore help to determine the future of the sport by understanding what is proposed and then making sure your club goes in the direction you favour.

That is why you, as an athlete, may find it worthwhile to attend tonight. It will be worthwhile reading the development plan (see link below), if not in full then at least so that you have a broad understanding. Given the fairly late start tonight and the availability of information in advance, hopefully the IOMAA officials will make it a snappy presentation and stick to the principles involved and not go into too much detail, allow plenty of time for debate (and not allow a small number of people to dominate the discussion), listen to constructive criticism, ensure the meeting does not drag on too late (if it does it will deter people in the future)  and implement their plans with suitable amendments as soon as possible thereafter.

As the old saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat, but the important issue is that more than anytime in the history of the sport in the Isle of Man there seems to be a consensus towards looking towards the long term rather than officials burying their heads in short term agendas. That is why I am confident that the officials, provided they listen to the majority view of the athletes, will see us meet the challenges of the Playstation era.

Andy Fox, who is deputy head teacher at St Ninian’s school as well as finished second in the Dave Phillips Memorial Road Races, mentioned last night that car parking is available in the south car park between the school and the playing views with access from Somerset Road opposite St Mary’s School.

IOMAA Development Plan




The eagle of eyed among you may have noticed that there have been some unusual names to the pictures that I’ve published online.

Firstly, after taking the camera to the Isle of Man Veteran’s Athletic Club’s Spring Handicap last Thursday the phone rang just as I was starting the download. Instead of naming the pictures Spring Handicap, I called them Spring Valley as I concentrated on talking on the phone.

Last night was even weirder as I named all the photos Aintree. No I’m not suggesting we all ran like horses it was just that the previous download consisted of the pictures that Marie took at the Grand National and I forgot to rename the sequence of pictures that Irene Butterworth took using my camera.

Incidentally she got some good ones many more of which will appear (as Aintree xx!) in the days ahead. Thanks also to Stan Hall for his pictures. He is rapidly becoming the main photographer at athletics meetings.




I’ve mentioned several times that, despite the enjoyment I have gained setting up this website, developing it and keeping it updated possibly more than any other amateur sports site, it is unsustainable in the long term and I have no intention of spending so much of my life in front of a computer screen in my spare time. Trying to keep up to date, particularly at times when there are an unrealistic number of events and maintaining the standards I set myself is fairly demanding, particularly given that I don’t take my responsibilities elsewhere lightly. I have a fairly demanding day ahead today for example.

The last few days have been particularly busy and after a late night last night I returned to the screen at 5 am tis morning for another couple of hours of solid stuff including what is appearing on the screen in front of me at the moment.

I don’t mean to moan, I’m only making two points. If you do enjoy the website, make the most of it in its current form while it is in existence. Secondly, if you are in a position to provide easy to use contributions, as many people do, it will make a big difference to the sustainability of the website.  That way I either spend less time on sessions like these or I spend the time on improving the site further rather than chasing people for information.

I hope that people appreciate that I will do anything to further our enjoyment of the sport through the website regardless of club politics. I try to rotate the branches of the sport so that they all receive their share of publicity but it has to be said that some event organisers (and some athletes) help themselves better than others.


 PARISH WALK WEBSITE    09-04-03 was set by myself two years ago as an offshoot of this site and that section is currently being redeveloped.

I’ve got some fairly big plans to further improve it as well as reinstating some of the information and articles that have appeared in previous years together with guestbooks and forums.

Unfortunately I have been struggling to find the time so it was encouraging that someone who came up with a suggestion actually helped me with the idea.

Adrian Cowin suggested it would be helpful to have all the forms in one downloadable pdf file rather thann having to download the files separately. When I agreed but suggested that it was an enhancement that would probably have to wait until next year, he very kindly compiled the pdf for me. As a result, this feature will be available in the next couple of days.




In addition to the signing on for track league that starts next week, there are a number of special events tonight at the National Sports Centre for athletes aiming for Island Games selection. Thanks to Di Shimell, the timetable is shown on the front page.

I had hoped to scan the registration form for the track league for you to download but I’m running out of time. Another example of the usefulness of information supplied in electronic form. All Manx Harriers received the form with their newsletters recently however and further forms will be available at the track.




Thanks to everyone who helped compile the chart of Manx runners. I’ve been getting several emails a day on the subject. In fact I received six from John Watterson in one day!

This is a time consuming job as the organisers will not release a list of Manx runners but it greatly enhances our enjoyment of the big event if we know who is running. Many of them are outside the club scene which makes it more difficult.

I shall be off the Island, watching the marathon, from Friday lunchtime until Monday evening. This will be my first time off work this year and I will then be staying at home for the remainder of next week.

I’ll be compiling the usual statistics on the London Marathon next week for publication here and in the newspapers and the task will be a lot easier now that (I think) we have most of the Manx runners. Further contributions will be welcome.

During the years that I have watched the marathon I have provided updates via mobile phone to some of the families of the leading Manx runners. If anyone would be able to take a few calls from me and then type some of the news into the forum then please email me at [email protected]




Anyone who is hoping to go to the Lancashire Championship is reminded that Entry Forms must be returned to Caroline Brand by Thursday 10th April at the very latest. She will be forwarding them on to England on Friday.




Sunday saw race walking turn back the clock somewhat with the starting line up greatly reduced in comparison to the recent winter leagues. A total of 30 competitors started on Sunday compared to 49 in the last winter league only three weeks a go. That said there was some quality on show and last weeks predictions were fairly accurate with Joe Partington the only winner not previously mentioned.

All five race distances started together which offered the juniors a chance to mix it with the seniors albeit for only a short time.  

In the under 11, 1km races where sadly there were no boys competing, Lauren Whelan was never headed and was when finishing ahead of the majority of seniors. Lauren show good speed and technique on stepping down from the winter league distance. She came home well clear of Fay Latham who recorded a pb to take second. Third place was a close battle between Sinead Kaneen and Abbi Moore. These two have been neck and neck through the winter and Sunday was no exception but in what was reported quite literally a fight for the line Abbi won by a short head.  

Joe Partington in a very rare outing (possibly only his mum races less) took the boys under 13, 2 km race in a pb of 14.03. Bronwen Kaneen continued her comeback to best form to win the girls race in a new Manx best time of 12.52 (subject to ratification). 

The under 15, 3km event saw the competitors head off in the opposite direction to everyone else and complete a dog leg before they proceeded to catch everyone else up. Not the best idea for a race start and I hope that something better will be put in place for next years event. This didn’t deter the entrants from producing the goods on the day. All three set pbs on the day with Emma Latham, with arguably one of the best performances of the day, smashing her best by over 90 seconds to reverse the positions of last year with Ciara Kaneen. Callum Taylor the only boy set the initial pace but dropped off as Emma surged past but although seemingly struggling at times still knocked a huge amount off his official pb.  

Robert Moore was the only competitor at 5km and although walking steadily alongside his winter racing companion Allan Callow he dropped out after a few laps complaining of stomach cramps. Robert like Emma had been competing in the IOM swimming championships that morning and both were due to race in the finals that same evening. Whilst no one is going to be able to perform at the their best every day I do believe that Robert however needs to sit down with his coach and parents and decide where his priorities lie particularly as he is a recipient of a Sports Council grant for race walking.  

The 10km race produced the fastest local 10km (44.36) for some time and this was due to the appearance of Steve Partington. Steve appeared a little rusty after a fallow winter period and I only wish he did that more often when I competed myself. Nothing however should be taken away from Peter Kaneen, producing the other performance of the day, in second place who went with the pace at the start and having dropped back mid race surged over the last few kilometres but was never able to close the gap. Peter finished just outside his pb in 45.14 and gave Steve probably his closest race with a local since 1985. Neil Bates and Allan Callow walked isolated races for third and fourth. Both for different reasons though will be pleased with their efforts. Neil has produced a consistent set of 10km results over the winter braking 50 minutes on each occasion whilst Allan is getting back to his best after a very lengthy lay off.  

As predicted Bridget Kaneen not only retained her title but walked a very isolated race to do so. However Bridget’s dogged determination left her just 6 seconds short of her pb set in the last winter league. However this was a superior effort in more ways than one. Walked without the aid of handicapped walkers and in isolation. She looked a lot more comfortable as well and one would hope that in a race with closer competition she will be able to reduce her time further. Marie Latham held a clear second but was not up for it on the day and stepped off the track around half distance. This left Karen Locking to take second overall ahead of Jan Hodgson in third both producing one of their best times.  

A special mention must go to Alan Pilling, Kevin Martin and Les Brown who competed in the walk having just competed in the half marathon earlier.  

Thanks as always to the hard working officials – time keepers, lap scorers, judges and refreshments coordinators.  

There is a large group of athletes and officials travelling to Leamington at the end of April. This race is part of the European Athletic Association Grand Prix and the National Younger Age Group Championships will be held at the same time. Travel plans are at an advanced stage but anyone wishing to go should contact Bridget Kaneen as soon as possbile on 852884 or by email [email protected]




Conditions were near perfect for the IOM Half Marathon Championships last Sunday morning around the NSC perimeter road. Despite a disappointing number of entries there was a well balanced field of class, and experience and for most competitors there was something to celebrate by way of personal achievement.. 

Tony Okell and Ian Gale were in a class of their own as they battled closely for the lead in the early stages with Tony easing ahead at around 4 miles and gradually extending his advantage to almost a minute as the race progressed. Ian looked to be finishing the stronger as he chipped away at Tony’s lead over the last few miles. Tony had in fact eased off, no doubt with the Manx Mountain Marathon in mind and less than 2 weeks away. He cruised home in 1:12:31 with a closing 6 minute mile allowing Ian to reel him in by another 45 seconds over the final mile and eventually finishing just 4 seconds behind Tony. Ian recorded an outstanding PB (1:12:35)  which was over 5mins quicker than his previous best in the ‘Sid Quirk’ five months ago. Congratulations to Tony and Ian who both achieved Island Games qualifying standards. 

Alan Postlethwaite finished impressively in 3rd place (1:22:42) after a good early battle with Paul Trees who was eventually overhauled by Rob Webb who took 4th. Paul recorded another PB (1:26:11) and continues to make big improvements on the roads as well as over the fells. Alan Corkill must have been delighted with his first run out over 13.1 miles (1:35:34) and there were notable PB’s also for Steve Locking (1:32:20) and Jason Cochrane (1:41:02). 

Outstanding performance of the day undoubtedly belonged to Diane Lawrence who shattered her PB and the Island Games qualifying time finishing comfortably ahead of schedule in 1:27:33s. I’m sure that a good deal of the credit for her achievement at the weekend will be shared with her coach and mentor Dave Newton who has worked hard with Diane in training over the winter months.

Second lady Jill Stripp (1:39:27) is likely to feature prominently in future road running events as she hopes to become involved in local athletics having moved to the Island at the end of last year. Sam Cowen (1:40:14) was allowed a late entry and she pushed Jill all the way finishing strongly. Another exceptional performance in the ladies race was the improving Christine Barwell who shaved over 9mins off her PB which she set in the ‘Sid Quirk’ last November. 

Martin Bell (1.36.04), Sue Furner (1:50:22) and Jeanette MacGregor (1:51:40) were definitely not fazed by the prospect of running the London Marathon 7 days on, whilst Les Brown (1:36:34), Alan Pilling (1:38:53) and Kevin Martin (1:40:52) had less than 90 minutes rest before lining up for the start of the 10K racewalking Championships. Well done guys…you really should stay in more!.

Many thanks to all who helped on the day and pre-race, especially timekeepers Colin Halsall, and Bernie Shimmel, all lap scorers and helpers on the drinks station and elsewhere. Thanks to Ray Cox, Ron Ronan and especially Graham Davies for providing the medals on behalf of the IOMAA, and for offering me advice and support in the organisation of this event.



Manxie Ruth Sadler reports from the start of the Flora London Marathon


Just a quick note to wish everyone good luck for next Sunday.  I shall be at the 5km mark, where the 3 starts all join, it is about 1 mile from where I live.

I was in Blackheath shopping yesterday & went running on both Blackheath & Greenwich Park this morning, They are both well prepared with the marquees & portaloo’s already in place, there has been a helicoptor circulating all day, maybe in preparation for next week.

A word of warning though, the weather here is very changeable, yesterday it was ‘baking’, shorts & vest weather, about 67C, today it is freezing, max of 57C.  I ran in a t shirt & 3/4 length leggings this morning & was cold.  Liz & Karen will tell you, I was always the ‘hot’ person when we use to train in the IOM.

I have decided to enter some of the 5km races on offer in London this year, City of London 3.5 Mile on 29/5, Canary Wharf 10KM on 18 June, Race for Life 5KM on Blackheath on 13/07 & hopefully the Nike 10km in Richmond Park in September. Currently running about 15 Miles a week on 4 sessions, 1 outdoors the rest in the gym, plus a further 8 miles walking to the station & gym.

Will hopefully be over during one of the May Bank Holidays.



Not withstanding my criticism that there are too many races on the Isle of Man and we could make the sport even better with a bit of thought, I thoroughly enjoyed today’s races.

I always start these sort of pieces by saying that I can only comment on what I see and there may be other athletes that I’ve not noticed in the same light.  If there are, please write and tell me about them. I must also stress that the performances I have chosen to comment on may not be the highest standard overall, just a few athletes that I noticed today. I have deep admiration for some of the people I ignore in this column but I try to highlight their performances at different times.

I spent about half the time during the half marathon in the company of Dave Newton, a man who represented the Isle of Man with style in the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

He coaches Diane Lawrence and she was seeking the qualifying standard for the Island Games Half Marathon of sub 1.33. In fact she was looking for a sub 1.30 time and Dave had set out a schedule to achieve that aim. She was massively inside that schedule after the first lap and he was having to persuade her to steady it but each lap she remained well inside. Instead of 45 minutes at half way she was close to 43 minutes and Dave was both nervous and excited. Had she gone too fast or was she going to do something dramatic.

You could see the determination on Diane’s face as each lap went by and running 26 laps around the NSC, despite the perfect conditions, is not easy with the pressure of qualifying times.  But it is the self imposed pressure that makes the sport what it is. We can all set our own objectives and it was great to see Diane come through that pressure and finish two and half minutes inside the time she had set with Dave – a 6 minute improvement in total. This was a totally committed run and was the reward for months of hard work.

In the same way I’m a great fan of the way Bridget Kaneen races.  Although I was without my beloved camera (with my beloved wife in Liverpool!), I borrowed Paul Jackson’s and cruelly took pictures of Bridget lying flat out on the grass after a typically determined race. There are still some (non walking) athletes who don’t realise how tough walking can be as you have to develop the technique before you can be as breathless walking as when you run.

But Bridget always puts absolutely everything into her racing and usually ends up in a pile on the floor afterwards. In may not be terribly dignified but I really admire someone who can push themself so hard. Bridget has had many setbacks with her racing and training, often associated with an unselfish approach to organising things for other athletes and supporting husband Peter, but it is a great incentive for others who are not doing so well at the moment to see her coming back to form.

I know there will be some people who will think they could not aspire to walking as fast as Bridget but it’s amazing how many people really exceed their expectations when they train as hard as she does.

As someone who has always preached the benefits of aiming for a peak performance and all the joys associated with achieving our aims, I don’t totally associate with the desire to compete in as many races as possible. What, for example, drives Les Brown, Alan Pilling and Kevin Martin to run in the half marathon in the morning and compete in the 10km walk in the morning? Surely they cannot be as good at either as they would be if they specialised?

"So what", I hear you say and I guess that they are finding their fulfillment by doing something unconventional.  It really is nice that these people get noticed for doing something different. A good many of my friends think I’m loopy for the minor exploits I undertake in athletics but I suppose I enjoy trying to explain by enjoyment in the same way as Les Brown, when I asked him what motivated him to do the two races, said "he was trying to get fit". I think trying to be different and allowing us all express our own personality is really what we enjoy.

I really intended to write about another great performance today, that of Ian Gale. But alas my time us up and that will have to wait for another day.




Jess has confirmed her entry in the London Marathon and says she is looking for a sub 2.50 time.  "I was on for that at Dublin last oct till mammoth hill at mile 19th and I had,not trained for that one and done a bit to much partying in the days leading up to it so hopefully fingers crossed".

She was also pleased with half marathon in 81 min. "It was pretty hilly and I had a cold. A couple of weeks earlier I’d done 20 miles in 2hr 8min."

With reference to my suggestion that the Manx Independent prediction was unrealistic she said: "It’s hard to know how it’ll go on the day as had’nt tapered for those races and with Saturday being my toughest work out day that’s encouraging. But London is tough mentally and sometimes I don’t perform as should so guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens on the day."


WHERE IS THE DEPTH    04-04-03


Although I am convinced that there are many features of our sport in the Isle of Man that are better than ever, one area that has definitely declined is middle to long distance road running. Sure, the numbers are improving and that is good, but at the upper end there is no longer the depth.

Some of this reflects the movement of the talent away from the roads to the track (opened in 1991) and the improvement in fell running standards and that is why I question why we have so many road races.

One event that has already fallen by the wayside is the Ramsey Rotaraid Day but consider this result from 1990 (taken at random from my scrap books):

1   Allan Gage 55.59;   2   Robbie Callister 56.10;   3   Robbie Corkish 56.15;   4   Paul Curphey 57.19;   5   Colin Halsall 57.39;   6   Steve Kelly 57.48;   7   Jim Anderson 58.44;   8   John Leece 59.19;   9   Mike Gellion 59.44;   10   Martyn Strickett 59.53.

There are only three men capable of running at this speed on Sunday.

By the way there was a young lad in 15th place in 62.37….Bernard Cannan.




I’ve just read in the Manx Independent that Richard Jamieson travels to the first of six rounds of the British Fell Running Championships this weekend. The event is at Slieu Bennard in the Mourne Mountains.

Good luck Richard.


 Jessica Drasku-Petersson in half marathon form  04-04-03


Peter McElroy reports in the Manx Independent that Island Games 10,000 champion recorded a personal best half marathon of 1 hour 21 minutes 24 seconds in the Wilkinson Ackworth Half Marathon.  Great performance.

I’ve emailed Jess to request confirmation that she is running in London as it is slightly ambiguous in Peter’s report. He says that she should be capable of running 2.47 on this time but doesn’t actually confirm that she will be running.

I also feel that such a prediction is unrealistic. Based on my experience (and a few high profile examples) I would say that her half marathon time would set her up for a 2.54 marathon which is more consistent with the 2.53.11 she ran in Dublin.

Obviously I would love to see her run 2.47 (and bring you some pictures for the site) but I don’t think its helpful to put too much pressure on her of she is running.




I had to laugh at David Bedford’s letter in Athletics Weekly. The London Marathon director argues that their huge U turn in allowing male pacemakers for Paula Radcliffe is actually to draw attention to their campaign to have two types of female records, ie for women’s only races and mixed races.

The huge hole in the argument is that in the past they did not recognise dual records. They were adamant that they would only pay bonuses for records set in a women’s only races and they didn’t recognise mixed records themselves.

I stick with my view that this is a huge sellout and totally unnecessary.

Paula Radcliffe’s great success is down to her ability to do things against the odds. Remember the world record pace she set in the heat of Seville when the men were taking it easy because of the heat? I think she is capable of running faster than at present without minders and I think any "record" would be a lot more meaningful.

I also think the promotion of her pacemakers is a huge insult to the other women in the race. Although I think Paula will win I don’t think she’ll get a lot of sympathy if she is beaten under the circumstances.




May I make a further appeal for any information re Manx runners next week ( see front page). The quality of the information that all the media will be able to publish will be dependent on the information we have before the race.





I’m relying on the various contributors to the site this weekend to supply me with photos of the Half Marathon and the 10Km walk.

I shall be camera less as Marie is off to her annual trip to the Grand National this weekend and has staked her claim on her 50% of the camera – she has only used it 0.005% of the time so far!

Marie traveled with me to my first London Marathon attempt in 1995 but I was not good company and since then she has had her trip with her friends to Aintree will I have my annual play in London. I’ve run in London 5 times and this will be my 4th time as a spectator.

Meanwhile I would recommend you buy shares in any shops with branches in Liverpool tomorrow!




Western AC’s Phil Mackie has been out of action for nearly five weeks as a result of shin problems.

It was the usual story of just going well when misfortune struck.  Other than speaking to him very briefly at the 20 Mile run last month, the last time I had seen him was in action in the Bradda Fell Race when he had seemed to be going well and I was amazed at the way he was able to hurdle gates without falling over!

I met him on my way home from work this evening and I stopped to chat. Living in Peel he is confident that he can make use of the QE2 school fields and the grass at St Johns to make a careful comeback.




Turn the clock back 10 weeks or so and we had a Manx championship worthy of its name.  The Isle of Man Cross Country Championships was keenly contested by just about every fit Manx middle distance runner and the outcome eagerly awaited.

On Sunday we have the first road race (discounting handicap series) for 5 months – yes nearly half the year, before we cram in a crazy number of road races between the track season, the Island Games, fell races and two handicap leagues.

Despite Paul Jackson’s excellent publicity there is a modest field compared to some Manx events, but more to the point given its championship tag, there are probably only three runners likely to run under 1 hour and 25 minutes. All three of them have been concentrating on fell running rather than road running in recent times.

So it is worth having a Manx Championship and why are there so few of the faster runners competing? Do runners treat road running championships any differently to any other races and if not, why not? Is the problem the excessive number of races, badly planned fixtures, the athletes being selfish or does it matter? Have your say on the forum.

My view, for what is worth, is that the number of races of 10 miles or more should be slashed so that the majority of athletes of all standards have the same big races, and I mean big, to aim for each year. I think we should revert to a single road running champion rather than having the Manx 10 mile champion and the Manx Half Marathon champion etc.




Throws as Real Field Events
01 Apr 2003 08:45

They have been devised as throws enthusiasts, upset by the rules introduced recently to limit competitors to only four throws in some major events, seek to break out of the confines of the in-field.

Among the proposals is a throws relay, which could take place in large parks in the centre of cities.

Each club would send a team of one shot putter, one discus thrower, one javelin thrower, one hammer thrower plus a technical team whose job would be to rush their safety net into position around the park. The winning team would be the one that completed the course in the fewest number of throws.

“Imagine the impact we could make on the general public,” enthused one of the Working Party that has devised the plan. “We know that there is tremendous support for throws out there. That was obvious at last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Manchester, when the hammer Champions Lorraine SHAW and Mick JONES were greeted like pop stars.

“Parks Relay Athletics Throws would broaden our appeal like never before. They could become our equivalent of endurance running’s cross country with the safety net team bringing in a touch of teamwork like you see in F1 motor racing when cars roar into the pits. And all in a golf-like, scenic setting that would be ideal for television coverage!”

What do you think to the proposals and do you have a team to enter – all teams to include at least one Lottery funded athlete.  Please respond by email to [email protected] by noon on 1 April.




146 people had entered up to this evening at a time when in previous years the entry forms would not even have been available.

It is important however, for the sake of the hard working volunteers who process the entries, that the remaining 900 or so people who are expected to enter do not leave it until the last few days before the deadline.

If you need further copies of the entry form ir other information, visit


 ROAD RUNNING GRAND PRIX (Previously on the front page)   02-04-03


Unfortunately I feel I must respond to comments and e-mails about the Road Running Grand Prix. 

Firstly I would just like to say that I put everything in to priority order, at the moment I’m working on funding for the Island Games Team, Development Plan and re-organising the fixtures again. They are my main objectives at the present time. I also put e-mails in priority order and receive on average 8 or 9 per day of which 3 or 4 are about athletics. So if you have not received an answer than please be patient. 

The Road Running Grand Prix is in August so not as high on my priority list at present, but to answer your question?

At present there is no Organiser for the Grand Prix, and yes it was moved at the lat IOMAA meeting that we should not be organising the Southern 10.

That’s as far as it’s gone, at the meeting with UK Athletics official Alison Wyeth and with all Clubs present I stated that I could not see the road Running Grand Prix being held without an Organiser. 

Now if through a person comes forward to organise it that’s great. 

My own personal opinion is that we have far to many fixtures and this dilutes the field, if we had fewer events then it is hoped that we would then have a quality field. I hope over the next five years that a few events disappear through natural wastage or the dreaded risk assessment. 

Just a rough estimate of local events held. 

Track and Field      47

Road Race            35

Walking                27

Fell Running         10

X-Country             10

Hill Running           5

Relays                  2

Plus off Island Competition 

We nearly have more events than the whole of the North of England put together?


Graham Davies

Hon. Secretary IOMAA



I very much respect Graham’s right to make a comment on the Road Running Grand Prix, particularly given all his hard work for the sport.

I thought it appropriate therefore to publish a serious picture of him to go with the front page feature, or at least as serious as I could find.

I got the impression he was disappointed that I hadn’t shown him in his usual light – hence the different picture I’ve published tonight!




A number of people kindly contributed towards the page I published with obituaries to Dennis Lace. They were added one at a time and it was only this evening that I took the time to read them altogether and they really do give a good picture of Dennis’s life. The photographic pictures were a little limited and so if anyone has any better ones, I would still welcome them.




I’ve  just finished our domestic season last weekend, I now have 4 weeks at altitude here in New Zealand, then have Rotorua marathon first weekend of May and IAAF 20km walk Shanghai, China in the last weekend of may.  8 June Lake Burley Griffin 20 mile in Canberra.  4 week period of altitude, then to Europe and World Championships 50k on 27th August.

I recieved recognition for finishing 2nd at the Commonwealth Games in the media and congratulations from those in the sport.


2003 ISLAND GAMES      01-04-03

I received this upbeat update last week (and forgot to publish)


Dear All

Please visit to view the latest Newsletter: 100 Days to Go.

There have been many updates to the Sports section plus new maps.

Kindest Regards

Guernsey 2003




There are reports from Guernsey that there are problems with the new synthetic track in Guernsey and that the track is unlikely to ready for use at this summer’s Natwest Island Games.

It, therefore, looks like the athletics part of the Games will be switched to the track in Jersey which was used for the 1997 Games. It is unclear yet whether competitors will relocate to Jersey for the week or commute each day from Guernsey. The normal Seacat service between the Islands takes about an hour.




Rosie Morrison informed me last week that the traditional "round the houses" course for the Peel Handicap road races is to be replaced with a new course on the Poortown Road.

This probably won’t go down too well with some of the traditionalists but I’m sure it’s a great chance to open a new chapter in the history of the event and attract people to the new course hence my feature last week to try and attract more women to the event.




Paul Jackson mentioned last week that he was hoping to bring the start time of the Peel to Douglas run (on 11 May) forward for safety reasons.

He has confirmed overnight that the new start time will be 6 am.  Whilst this is a little earlier than I was expecting it has my full support. The roads should certainly be quiet at that time of the morning and I’ll be able to get the website updated with the results before most people have had their breakfast.

Talking of updating the website, there will be a special update around midday today as I’m expecting important updates on a couple of stories.






1994 – Robbie Callister has produced more sub 2.35 runs than any other Manx runner at London and 1994 was the last of these. He recorded 2.33.58 for 191st place his last run before returning in 2001. Paul Curphey made his London debut in 2.42.57(513) reversing the 20 Mile results on Kevin Albinson 2.44.27 (592). The real surprise on a cold day was Richard Radcliffe who ran what is still a lifetime best of 2.44.21 (580) to also beat Kevin Albinson who had beaten him by at least two laps in the 20 mile race.

1995 – Paul Curphey moved up to 243rd in 2.37.51 which remains his personal best. Although not as hot as the following year, conditions were still hot for the time of the year. Richard Radcliffe slipped to 593rd in 2.47.37 whilst Murray Lambden was foolishly on a sub 2.45 in his debut after missing 7 weeks training and finished in 3.10.10 (2498th). There were great runs from Len Carr (2.54.30 – 970th) and Ian Crawford (2.56.20 – 998th).

1996 – This was an exceptionally hot day and not suited to Andy Fox’s debut. He "blew up" and finished 2,157th in 3.13.59. Paul Curphey, who had been beaten by Andy in the 20 mile pre London Manx race, although slower than his best time in 2.41.20 and initially very disappointed not to break 2.35, achieved his best ever position of 208th. Likewise Richard Radcliffe who was looking for a sub 2.45 clocking and ended with 2.50.58 but the heat that slowed all the runners, lifted him to a lifetime best of 486th. Others to "blow up" were Murray Lambden 3.04.53 (1354nd) and Kevin Albinson 3.13.58 (2,156th) who coaxed Andy Fox home. By comparison, Peter Cooper’s 3.15.13 was a great performance for 2,291th.

1997 – This was the best ever battle for the leading Manxie position and for the third year in a row Paul Curphey had this honour. It was also the third time in four years he beat his victor in the 20 mile race. The contest was between debutants Mick Hannay, Bernie Cannan and Peter Costley and the seasoned marathoners, Paul Curphey and Richard Radcliffe. Mick Hannay was the fastest early on while Peter Costley stormed past Paul Curphey at the most crowded half way point on the course only for Paul to emerge first at 20 miles. He then pulled well clear to take 324th position in 2.40.42. Sub 2.35 had again been his aim but illness that left him wretchedly sick after the race prevented this. Richard Radcliffe’s steady head allowed him to pass Peter Costley and Mick Hannay to take a consistent 521nd in 2.45.53. Nevertheless on a fairly warm day Peter’s 2.46.36 and Mick’s 2.47.45 for 549 and 598 were very creditable performances. Bernie Cannan never really got going and recorded a disappointing 2.52.29 for 862nd after being in sparkling form a few weeks earlier winning the 20 miles in 1.57.08, the fastest time at the NSC until Tony Okell’s 2000 and 2001 performances..

1998 – Paul Curphey failed to claim the Manx "prize" for the first time in 4 years when Murray Lambden, who advised Paul on his race strategy, ran a more conservative race himself and passed him at around 24 miles. Murray ran 2.45.18 to Paul’s 2.45.53 for 386th and 413th positions. Terry Bates had a great race to run 2.59.23 in 1,181th in windy and wet conditions. He was only just behind Richard Radcliffe who failed to find the form of earlier years in 2.58.59 (1,136th).Marie Noon made her debut in 3.13.58 (2,518th).

My records are not as thorough from 1999.

1999 – Paul Curphey was well clear of any other Manx runner although not running with much confidence. His slowest time ever looked on the cards until he stormed through the field in the last few miles running his fastest mile between 25 and 26 miles and finishing in 2.41.42.

2000 – The 2000 battle to be first Manxie was bettered only by the 1997 race. Chris Qiune and Peter Kaneen were both making their debuts. Chris went through 10km in 35.59, compared to Peter Kaneen’s 37.26. The gap stayed similar at 20km (1.12.14 / 1.13.35), half distance (1.16.25 / 1.17.46) and 30km (1.49.49 / 1.51.28) but from then on Chris, who had looked so comfortable faded badly and was passed by Peter. Their times at 40km were 2.31.12 and 2.32.10 in Peter’s favour and 2.40.11 to 2.41.53 at the finish. Undoubtedly Peter would have a sub 2.40 clocking to his credit had he not had t start with the masses. Paul Curphey finished in 2.48.51. He faded badly in the middle stages although he did pull a little back on Chris at the end. Peter Hughes broke the 3 hour barrier with 2.58.54.

2001 – This was a four way scrap for top Manxie between Robbie Callister, returning for the first time since 1994 (as Manx Marathon Champion), serviceman William Craig, Murray Lambden and Paul Curphey, the latter competing in London for the 8th time. At 10km Robbie was fastest (36.10) from William (36.55), Murray (37.39) and Paul (38.35). Robbie continued to be the fastest up to 20km although only 8 seconds faster than Murray (37.21 / 37.29). Their times (same order as 10km) were 1.13.31, 1.14.41, 1.15.08 and 1.17.20 and the halfway times 1.17.46, 1.18.55, 1.19.21 and 1.21.42. At 30km Murray was close to Robbie (1.53.24 to 1.53.43) although he never saw him as he was close to pulling out with a pulled muscle and had his head down. William was timed at 1.54.02 and Paul at 1.57.05. As the others struggled guess he was the fastest between 30km and the finish? Paul Curphey. He ran the last segment in 49.49 compared to Murray 50.04, William 52.57 and Robbie 53.09. Murray was still the fastest overall in 2.43.47 from Paul 2.46.54, William 2.46.59 and Robbie 2.48.33.

This article was written by an excited insomniac Lambden between 5.00 and 6.30! (APRIL 2002)

Sorry no time for anymore – must catch the plane!




Copyright (c) 2001 – 2003 Murray Lambden. All rights reserved.
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