All "reporting" by Murray Lambden unless otherwise stated.

[email protected]



















Gail Musson, who has been competing in the Dave Phillips Memorial Road Races this spring moves to her favourite form of road racing when she competes in the North West 200 motor cycle  race meeting next  weekend.

She is featured today on the  website - today.

Her partner David Griffiths said: "The North West 200 is possibly the biggest sporting event in Northern Ireland with crowds in excess of 100,000 lining the 9-mile Portrush-Portstewart-Coleraine circuit on race day, which is Saturday 10th May (practice nights are Tuesday and Thursday). We leave on Sunday 4th May and return home the following Sunday. 

Good luck Gail.

Incidentally there is a link from the to this site.  Why? The site ran a lead story last Friday about Milky Quayle's success in winning the sportsman of the year award and used my picture to support the story and added a link as an acknowledgment of the source. I was quite flattered.




Just a week or so before Ayre United achieved their historic win in the Manx FA Cup I was surfing the web in an internet cafe in London with Paul Curphey. Paul hasn't used the internet much so I helped to him the Ayre United website, his old footie club. It is one of those sites that has started off so promisingly but has not been updated for 2 years. Fortunately before they stopped developing the site they had scanned in the programme from Ayre's previous "big day" back in 1983.  Playing in the team that day were Paul "Nobby Stiles" Curphey (second left front row), Alan Poslethwaite (third left front row) and Mick Hannay (far right standing). Its well worth a skeet at the picture and a read of the notes.


 NEW COURSE FOR CARRAGHAN writes Richie Stevenson  29-04-03


Round six of the 2003 Managrakem Fell League takes place on Tuesday May 13th with a 7pm start. The Buchanan and Pitts sponsored  Carraghan race is the shortest on the calendar covering just 2.5 miles with a total ascent of 1,100ft

Unfortunately we are unable to use the same route as previous years due to one of the fields we go through at Injebreck Farm being used to keep newly born lambs and their mums in. As yet we have not finalised a new route but it is hoped it will be sorted by the weekend.  

PRAISE FOR EASTER FESTIVAL via Graham Davies   29-04-03


Safely home after a most enjoyable break. The League meeting was the highlight and not just because the girls ran well. The welcome we received was warm indeed and the meeting was the best run that I have attended at club level, you are fortunate to have such a group of volunteers. Our coach came over to watch the event and was so impressed that he is considering bringing a select group over later this year. 

Thank you for facilitating a brilliant night out for my "family" and please pass on our congratulations to all involved in running the meeting.


Kind regards,


John Boswell

----- Original Message -----
To: [email protected]

Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 10:41 PM

Subject: Isle of Man Easter

The Isle of Man Easter Athletic Festival starts:-

18th April         Good Friday (Road Race) 

19th                Easter Saturday (Hill Race)

19th                Easter Saturday (Mountain Marathon)

20th                Easter Sunday (Road Relay) could run?


On Wednesday 23rd Manx Harriers have a Track Meeting at the NSC starting at 6.30pm.your daughter and friend will be wellcome to run as a guest.


WEB SITE = (loads of info)


Graham Davies


Isle of Man Athletic Association




Finally come back down to earth and am planning on going training just after 6pm tonight, see how my legs are feeling after Saturday race. And then I will decide on what training I will be doing as a build up to the European Cup.

The details at the moment are very scarce, but this is what I know as of now. 

On Friday 16th May we will be flying from Heathrow to Moscow and then travelling to Cheboksary.

Saturday will just be getting accustomed to everything and generally preparing for the race.

Sunday 18th May, Junior men's Race is at 10am (3pm GMT time), which is nice, as I can just plan for it like I do a Winter League at home (although a bit more nervously I imagine) 

And then on the Monday we travel back landing in Heathrow just after midday. 

The team going are. Andy Drake, Dom and Dan King in the Senior 20km

                              Me and Luke Finch in the Junior Men 10km

                              Sophie Hales and Katie Stones in the Junior Women's 10km 

so I am the only one who hasn't had a GB selection before! But i'm sure I will be in safe hands. 

I was so pleased on Saturday night when I found out. Not surprised coz I've wanted this since Christmas and have been aiming at the selection!

There are just a few Thank you I want to make

Firstly as I have already said: Allan Callow. I have been racing in England now for 5years, and since then Allan has always been my coach and always been behind all my success, and although he will claim I did all the hard work and I've only got what I wanted. I could have done it without him. 

Also of cause: funding from the Isle of Man Sports Aid Foundation and the Ron Pickering Memorial fund has helped me no ends. 

But also there are a few personal thank you I would like to make. Not wanting to dwell on the past as I am looking forward to a successful future. The last three years have been a considerable battle for me. Since the summer of 2000 I have battled with Anorexia. Not a lot of people were told when I was first diagnosed but now I am on the mend and fighting fit it is just part of what I have become today. But I wouldn't be without a few people. 

So thank you to everyone who has helped. And when I am out in Russia I will have you all to thank. 

I hope now that I can just muscle down to three good weeks of preparation for Russia and for my exams, and enjoy the experience. 

I will be in touch once I come back from the race. But there is a web site :

 and the results will be posted here:

 Once again thank you to everyone. I hope I can do the Isle of Man proud!





I spoke briefly to Ian Gale yesterday and he was full of enthusiasm for the Knockdhu race. All the lads enjoyed the race and put in good performances against some very good competition and it can only be beneficial to our sport to get our runners in amongst this sort of class athlete  I must admit I was surprised how close Richard was to Welshman Tim Davies but seemingly he and one of the top English runners John Brown ( I don`t know if he is the cross country runner ) went the wrong way and lost some time.

The Irish organisers are always very pleased when we send a team over to compete and are very helpful to everyone. Its amazing how many contacts can be picked up at these events which may well help our runners in the future.

The next race we hope to be going to is the Snowdon on the 26th July. It would be nice to send two teams here as the traveling is a lot easier. As for Knockdhu teams will be picked based on performances in fell races between now and then and those interested will be expected to attend the Tuesday night squad training. I have been told that some runners who have not raced on the fells this year thought they should have been asked to go to Ireland. In the past we have asked people to come into our teams when we felt they needed strengthening but now we feel we have enough good standard runners to pick from. It seems only fair that those who run the fell races are picked for the fell teams, we certainly would not expect our runners to be picked for road running teams if they only did the fells.  So the message to anyone who thinks they are good enough to be selected for our teams is race in our races.

Training starts again TONIGHT (Tuesday 29th April) 6.30pm at the TT Grandstand.




Clare Corran did the MMO as a jogger/walker and finished in 7hrs55m. Her Mum is a receptionist at Onchan surgery and tells me Clare only decided to enter the previous evening!- having originally planned to be the back-up for another runner. Clare's longest previous run was 14 miles in the Peaks, and she claims not to have done any training as such!       

That said, she will probably have inherited her Mum's amazing fitness. At the Race for Life last year,Mum Lesley,in her 50's, complete with a heart pacemaker, walked the course in 33minutes-to the chagrin of one C Farrant who ran supposedly flat out to get the same time! There was a lot of muttered debate about whether pacemakers had an adjustable heart rate!

After such a fantastic debut, one wonders what time Clare will manage with training. She lost some time on the day apparently because she passed a sheep who was giving birth and felt she was distressing the animal- so she stopped running until the happy event was completed!!

 MISSED A SCOOP 27-04-03


A few people say they enjoy my luck/ability to get pictures of some well known people but I missed one yesterday. I was at a meeting at the Regency Hotel all day and when I went into the hotel in the morning I held the door open for Mackenzie Crook (Gareth in The Office). He was in the bar with his partner and baby at lunchtime but of course I didn't have a camera. I returned for dinner in the evening and this time I had been commissioned to take pictures of the guests by my boss. This time I didn't see "Gareth" although on the way out one of my colleagues told me that they had seen him in the bar but it was too late by then. I presume he must be involved in a film on the Isle of Man.


RICHARD JAMIESON 13th at KNOCKDU reports Richie Stevenson   27-04-03


I`ve just had a brief look at positions at Knockdhu. Richard Jamieson had a fantastic run finishing 13th in the senior international section. He beat Bradda winner Lloyd Taggart who was running for England and was only 2 seconds behind Welshman Tim Davies who won the Snowdon classic last year. The race was won by George Crayston of England B from Scotlands Tim Lenton and England A runner James Mason.

Other Manx positions were Ian Gale 21st, Tony Okell 24th and Mark Preston 26th.

We were last to finish in the team race out of seven teams but that was only to be expected. I will find out some more info and send it as soon as I can



Budding digital photographer Anthony Brand, who has already published some excellent digital shots on the website in the past few weeks now has his own account. Although I'll continue to publish the best of his pictures to draw attention to the new ones, you can see any of his pictures at anytime by clicking here:

This is a great step forward as far as I am concerned. I'm hoping that the maintenance of the website will be reduced in the months ahead by this sort of assistance.




A couple of months ago Peter Cooper very kindly hand delivered a copy of the Masters Athletics magazine. Its been sitting in my in tray partly read for a long time and I've finally had another look at it today. Apart from anything else it has given me a chance to update the website link by renaming it.

British Masters Athletics Federation




In the 17 days between the first of these events and second one, I picked up quite a few vibes that the new course was not that popular.

Personally I don't mind the course other than the very sharp turns and the difficulty of running against the runners going in the opposite direction on the same side of the road. The unwritten interpretation was to run out on the road and back on the pavement although some runners seemed intent on running both ways in the road thereby causing the majority to swerve to avoid them.

If you have not picked it up, Geoff Brew made several contributions to the forum yesterday including an invitation to contact him about possible changes to the course.

I really enjoyed my run although I moaned beforehand about still being stiff and sore from my only run of the week on Wednesday night. I improved by around three minutes from my previous run of which probably two were accounted for by the shorter course. I knew that, coming back from injury as I was, I had scope to improve but there were still plenty of runners ahead of me. I've never won one of these handicap races yet and if I didn't on Friday I never will!




I have to admit to be mightily impressed by my big brother Mike's video of the Easter Festival. Although I use the internet so much myself I still think its amazing that he can download all the pictures in Droitwich (Worcestershire), set them to music and then send them all back to me in the form of a video.

If anyone has any problems downloading the file (it is pretty big at 12MB) then I can stick a copy onto a CD for you if you are interested.

I've just watched it for about the 6th time today and I love the way it concludes with the picture on Colin Halsall, the event organiser, smiling broadly whilst the music concludes "You'll be looking at a happy man, cos you're the lucky one".

It should be a superb promotional tool. I'm sorry now that I didn't stay long enough to take pictures of the beer drinking!


Warning - even with a broadband connection this took over 3 minutes to download so it may take 20 minutes or so with an analogue modem. But if you would like a free souvenir of the Easter weekend then its well worth it for Mike's excellent contribution.

The music credits on the video are (and they tell a story!):

Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks from the CD Fly published by Monument Records 1999

If Its Hurting You by Robbie Williams from the CD Sing When You are Winning published by Chrysalis Records 2000

I’ll Tag Along by Richard Thompson from the CD The Old Kit Bag published by Cooking Vinyl in 2003

The Lucky One by Alison Krauss and Union Station from the CD New Favorite published by Rounder Records 2001

Pictures by Murray Lambden & Anthony Brand




It was great to receive a phone call from Bridget Kaneen this afternoon. Bridget was with the Manx Harriers team at the walking Grand Prix at Leamington and she handed the phone to coach of the year, Allan Callow.

Allan reported that there were no disqualifications among the Manx party and some excellent results including loads of personal best performances.

And Bridget was one of the stars.  She won the veterans 5km walk in a road PB of 15.34 and has been selected for the British veterans team in an international match in France in June. She was backed up by Marie Lathem who was  second and set a big PB of 16.19 and was the first over 40.

Peter Kaneen was 9th in the mens 20km (6th Brit) in a time of 96.49. Not quite a PB but one of his best times. The race was won by Colin Griffin.

In the Under 11s Lauren Whelan was 4th in 5.15, Faye Latham was 7th in 5.41 and Kirsty Taylor 8th in 5.54. All recorded fine PBs.

Bronwen Kaneen was 15th in the under 13 race in a 12.33 PB

Emma Latham was 6th overall (4th in National champs) in the under 15 event with Ciara 14th in 18.23 also in a PB. Emma and Ciara won the team event for Manx Harriers.

In the under 15 boys race, Callum Taylor was 7th (6th Brit) in 16.43 and set yet another PB.

In the under 17 race, Robert Moore was 3rd Brit (4th overall) in 26.35.

Finally in the junior men, Neil Bates was second in 48.24 and was awaiting to hear if he had done enough to earn selection for the Team for the European Cup in Russia.

GREAT RESULTS. WELL DONE EVERYONE. Further reports welcome.

The event did have a website at but it doesn't appear to have been updated since February. I can't see the results but if anyone can find them please let me know.




There are so many things I would like to say about the Sports Council dinner and the visit of Steve Cram but I'll probably never get around to finding the time for most of them.

What is essential to say is WELL DONE to the Isle of Man Sports Council. As a former member of the Sports Council I know only too well that whatever direction the Council takes they will never please anyone.

My view on this occasion is that they did everything right. They provide, thorough private sponsors and the use of a good deal of the taxpayers' money, a great deal of support to sports people of all abilities but particularly to the elite. Traditionally the awards have been recognised by a gathering at Cronkbourne Cricket Club but the respect and honour gained by being presented to such a big gathering as on Thursday night must surely be a big encouragement.

And there are the sports awards. So many of the previous awards nights have been dominated either by the club (that so honourably) organised the event or by the corporate sponsors who dominated the tables around the room. This time around the sponsors, who are so important, were recognised but it was the sports people who were so dominant around the room.

And the presentation was better than anything I've witnessed on the Isle of Man. It was pretty slick even if the evening was pretty long overall.

So many people played a part that it would be dangerous to name who deserves the credit because I don't know how many people were involved. For the benefit of those not there however, the people who appeared on stage were Sports Council Chairman Geoff Karran, master of ceremonies Geoff Cannell (you could write pages on his performance alone), Manx Radio's Tim Glover, John Watterson, the prize winners, Steve Cram and the sponsors.

Part of the success of the event was due to the fact that nothing like this has been attempted before. There is a suggestion that the size be increased next year from the 260 (rather squashed) seats at the Hilton to double the number at the new Villa Marina next year. I'm not against that but frankly I feel that Thursday nights success will never be repeated. We have so many great performers but they do not change so much year by year and so there will inevitable be a repetitive side if it becomes an annual event. That however will be the challenge to the organisers, ie to continually innovate to make each year's dinner better than the last (and prove me wrong!).




It can't be easy making polite conversation with dozens of people that you've never met before. No doubt some of those he spoke to will have been more interesting than others but it appeared to me that one of Steve Cram's many talents is to be listen and encourage.

He said in his speech that he would never have dreamed about sitting in committee rooms when he was a youngster but the reason he does it is to help to provide opportunities for youngsters in the way others provided these to him.

Its a lesson to us all, although I think something that most people who visit this site do believe in. We all set our personal targets and try and beat our opposition wherever we are in the field but we should all try and help others when we can. We all  need each other's support in the sport in different ways. The more people we can encourage to join the sport, particularly if we are providing young people with an outlet, the more rewarding the sport will be for us.

I'm all for (us) oldies continuing to take a little out of the sport by taking part as veterans. But every now and again we need to stop and think are we doing enough to help provide the opportunities that others provided to us.

I believe Steve Cram is.




Over the passage of time people's achievements seem to get lost as new stars come along. Equally for youngsters, Steve Cram is probably better known as a TV commentator rather than the star and inspiration he was to those a little older. Therefore, with Steve visiting the Island I thought it might be worth listing a few of his achievements: Olympic Games: 1500m - three times a finalist finishing 9th in 1980 (aged 19), 2nd in 1984 and 4th in 1988.


World Championships:


1500m - 1st


European Championships:


1500m - 1st



1500m - 1st

800m - 3rd


Commonwealth Games:


1500m - 1st



800m - 1st

1500m - 1st



World Records:

1500m - 3 mins 29.67 secs (current UK record)

One mile - 3 mins 46.32 secs (current UK record)

2000m - 4 mins 51.39 secs (current UK record)


Other PBs:

800m - 1 min 42.88 secs (second on UK all time list)

1000m - 2 min 12.88 secs (second on UK all time list)


I could be argued that his finest two years were 1985 and 1986 when, in my view, he was undoubtedly world number one at 1500m beating all other claimants to that title - Aouita, Coe, Cruz, Scott, etc. Under the current format there would have been a World Championship in 1985 in which he would have been favourite to win the 1500m.


A few more comments about "Crammie"   26-04-03


If you were lucky enough to meet Steve Cram on Thursday and have just read Chris Quine's compilation just think of the following over the months (and years) of training ahead.

Although Steve Cram was an international at just 17 years of age (and went to the 1978 Commonwealth Games) he undoubtedly worked as hard as anyone in the world to become a world record holder. There have been plenty of young stars who lack the dedication that Steve Cram demonstrated.

He also had a very fine coach in Jimmy Hedley. If you are a young athlete reading this you must remember to listen to your coach and take his or her advice. Coaches will learn from you as well so they want to know how you feel. But if you ignore your coaches' advice you will never be a Steve Cram.




Its quite hard to find the time to continually update the website at the best of times but after leaving work early yesterday to get the first pictures of Steve Cram, meeting my family for a short time(!), rushing to the awards dinner for 7 getting to bed after midnight and getting up again at 6 (I know that's a lot more sleep than my milkman got!) to publish the pictures from last night and then leaving for work at 7.30, it doesn't leave any time for this page tonight.

Don't forget the  Dave Phillips Memorial Races at Peel tonight - Peel Campsite 7 pm.


RICHIE STEVENSON SETS THE SCENE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL and has some harsh words for people who drop out of races without telling anyone  23-04-03


Just six days after his epic run when winning the Mountain Marathon Ian Gale heads the Isle of Man team in the P&O Knockdhu Home International Fell Race at Cairncastle just outside Larne. The others in the Manx team are Richard Jamieson, Tony Okell and Mark Preston and they will be up against some really stiff opposition. A full list of runners was still being finalised when I spoke to the organiser Billy Magee on Tuesday but last years Snowdon winner Tim Davies is a definite starter for Wales.

World Champion Angela Mudge is running for Scotland in the womans race that runs at the same time as the men and our lads will do well if they can get near her as she is unbelievable on the fells and often finishes in the top ten in open races. The race starts at 1.00pm so hopefully we will have some news back later in the afternoon.

I was interested to read Murray's thoughts on the Easter events in particular the clash of the Mountain Marathon and Peel Hill race. The M.M was run on a Saturday in the early years in the seventies and then switched to the Monday ( I don`t know what year this was ) We moved back to the Saturday at the request of off-island runners who were finding it difficult to get back for work on the Tuesday and also by running on the Saturday they had a couple of days to relax.

I agree it would be nice to have both races on separate days but the only way I could see this happening would be if either M.H moved the relay to the Saturday or we looked for a different date completely for the Manx which is something we have thought about but I must admit when we asked a few runners for their thoughts on changing the dates the response was not favourable. We will be sending out a questionnaire to all our previous entrants in the near future in a exercise supported by the Department of Tourism to see if there are any major reasons why our entry is dropping. We know the obvious problems like the lack of armed forces teams doesn`t help. Every year, though, we have a heck of a lot of enquiries from people who show a definite interest in coming but it comes to nothing and we need to know what it is that puts them off. Talking to various runners this weekend has shown that there are problems with accommodation and just getting over here. I presume the Festival has the same problems. It might be a good idea to to ask everyones opinion on a change of date for the Manx in this questionnaire.   

I was also interested to read about Bashir Hussain's exploits at Easter. I hope he enjoyed his run from Ramsey to Greeba and hopefully he may even give the race a go sometime. It was, however, a big disappointment that he disappeared off to Peel without telling anyone he was retiring. Luckily we guessed this might have happened and managed to contact Colin Halsall who confirmed he was there and saved us sending people out over the hills to look for him. I realise it was just a bit of forgetfulness and no harm was done but it could have caused a lot of problems. If it had happened in a race off-island he would have been in hot water.  




A fairly large party of walkers and officials will be making their way to Leamington Spa on Friday mornings boat.

With fairly stiff entry times for the U.K.A. 20k championships, (1.40 men and 1.50 women) one suspects that the organisers are expecting a good elite overseas entry for the European Grand Prix, which is combined in this race. 

Of the manx party who are racing, only Peter Kaneen has the required standard and will be our solo representative over the distance. He will be trying to consolidate his time set at the Steam Packet meeting,  with Leamington the selection race for the Europeans, the pressure will be on the top rank British walkers to come out with all guns blazing, as all the early season performances at 20k have been less than spectacular.

Birmingham based student, Neil Bates will be meeting up with the rest of us on Friday evening,  Neil  will be racing at 10k and is hoping to get back under 48 minutes, and earn selection for the European Cup Junior team.

Allan Callow, Marie Latham, Bridget Kaneen and possibly Dougie " Korzenowski" Corkill will be racing in the Veteran catagory, which is a bit of a sprint at 3k but we will all be going as quickly as our zimmer frames will allow!

Allan has been showing better form in training lately, lets hope the manxies can spoil the party in the Ireland V England match.

We will have a number of our younger walkers with us also, Robert Moore and Callum Taylor have both earned vests to walk for the R.W.A in the Nihill match which is an Ireland v England competition and has its final match at the Dublin Grand Prix in July. Robert will race at 5k, while Callum will be stepping up to 3k this year.

Also racing in the U.K. younger age group championships are Emma Latham and Ciara Kaneen (3k), Bronwen Kaneen (2k). Lauren Whelan, Fay Latham and Kirsty Taylor will also be racing in an under 11's race, which has been put on by the organisers to encourage the younger children.

Just being able to watch some of the worlds top senior athletes will be very useful for the younger walkers and hopefully give them something to aspire to in future years.

Sadly, Liz Corran, who has done such a lot to coach the juniors, will not be watching on Saturday as the meeting clashes with a level 2 coaching course. We also have four judges in the party, who will be there to gain further experience from the top British officials, George Callister, Maureen Cox, Steve Taylor and Dougie Corkill will have

their work cut out keeping track of the elite pack as they fly past the field of vision, I am sure however that judging at this level will be a great experience for all of them.

Viv Callister and Robert's parents are also coming along to give support.






8x300m each 4th min [43,44x4,45x3]

LAO2/Aerobic 4   

Anaer/Speed End 1½    

Speed 1 

Conditioning 1  

Technique 0


35mins steady-------Weights

6x60m; 5x150m


35mins steady

3x3min off 2:15

4x 4½ min off 2min



25mins hard

LAO2/Aerobic 1   

Anaer/Speed End 1     

Speed  1

Conditioning 1  

Technique ½ 


Weights plus drills / plyos

3x250m off 7min (31.7, 32.2, 32.7)




Manchester Indoors (2:07---52.07)



40mins hard

LAO2/Aerobic 5   

Anaer/ Speed End 1   

Speed 0 

Conditioning 0  

Technique 0


6x3min on / 2min rec

2[8x25s off 75s] (5min set) Hills

Osteo-----------25mins steady


4x4:10 off 2min

70mins steady (Baldwins)



600m (87s)--5min--4x200m off 75s

LAO2/Aerobic 1   

Anaer/Speed End 1   

Speed 1 

Conditioning 1  

Technique 1


Peel road race – 4.4m – 23.41

400m – 52.7


15mins CV-Weights

2x8x30s hill (exaggtd) off 75s/ 9min




4x600m (101-99-102-104)

LAO2 / Aerobic 3   

Anaer/Speed End 2   

Speed 0 

Conditioning 0  

Technique 0


6x900m off 1min rec


3xLtSwitz (longer) 3x1:40 off 3:20

Good Friday – 32.06


Easter Sunday – 5k – 17:32

The last few weeks have been pretty good overall, although some of my race performances have identified areas of weakness. In particular, my indoor 800m in Manchester was poor and I died at about 550m.

A review of my training diary for 2001 revealed that I’d been slacking on the long speed endurance / hill sessions with 500m and 600m reps (i.e. 1500m training) so I’ve really been working on this aspect (which I hate) since my review. I’m becoming very familiar with the climb up from the Hydro to the new office park!

After my review I’ve now got a clear picture of my plans right through to Guernsey but I don’t expect everything to really start coming together until the start of June or the Northern Championships. One thing that did surprise me about 2001 – apart from my relative lack of form going in to the Games – was the fact that from the start of April through to the end of June, I only managed about 55 sessions / races, losing about three weeks due to holidays, injury and illness.

Hopefully this year I’ll be able to have an injury free May and be in a position to focus on a quality taper down to the main event. One thing which may help is to run ‘odd’ hundred reps (i.e. 300/500) on the track (as opposed to 400/600) so that the proportion of straight to bend is increased and the chance of injury reduced.




Darren Gray is out of hospital and on the mend reports Chris Quine. Just in case anyone missed the unfortunate news at Easter, Darren was involved in a motor cycle accident on Good Friday lunchtime.




Thanks to Richie, Bridget, Keiron and Chris, I've kept my own input to the website down to less than an hour tonight although at the time of writing (10 pm) I'm still awaiting the Island Games selection. I didn't even take my camera with me when I attended the Manx Harriers track league for a short time tonight - I've delegated this to Anthony who gets much better shots than me down there.



Graham Davies has advised tonight that the Island Games team will be announced online tomorrow night.



Chris Quine responded to my query that race number 60 was photographed at the top of Blackberry Lane on Friday night but was not listed among the finishers. Chris was fairly sure that the mystery runner was Bashir Hussain. I asked Bashir, a former festival winner on Sunday had he run and he apparently dropped out near the end because he wasn't happy with his performance.

He also ran in the Manx Mountain Marathon for about 4 hours as a training run before retiring.

Chris also commented on Steve Partington's 1990 photo. "I can see Andy Fox, Ray Cox, Gianni Epifani, Allan Gage of the locals. I also recognise Paul Pudney from Liverpool University - white vest at the front. Is that Andy Hauser on the right hand side? Ironically, I think Bashir was the festival champ in 1990. Cannot see him on the photo though."




Although I must declare an interest (he is my uncle) I think that John Crowe's letter in the Examiner today is brilliant. He takes the micky out of job titles and in particular Barclays "Head of Affluent - Isle of Man". This is the second time Barclays job titles have appeared on the page under the "Nothing to do with athletics" banner having previously been ridiculed by me for their advert for "Head of Client Experience".

I might have been on the receiving end of my uncle's cutting comments in the past, in particular his disregard for my generation's musical tastes when we were young, but I stand firmly by him for the stupid job titles and the lack of service providing by the high street  banks. By the way, John was for many years the bank manager at Barclays (and Martins before that) in Victoria Street.

Does anyone remember when the bank used to serve two types of customers, those that needed to borrow and those that  wanted to save. Have the customers' needs really changed that much. We need a ROADMAP to customer service. (Before you take me seriously I cannot stand that term either as it  is leveraged into every level playing field  24/7 at the moment).




Richie Stevenson added a further dimension to Ian Gale's marvellous success story yesterday. his foot slipped going over the cattle grid on the Brandywell Road. and he was very lucky not to break his leg. Luckily he got away with a nasty cut to his lower leg which is clearly visible in most of the photos. "I suppose the adrenalin would kill the pain during the race but I bet it was sore on Sunday" said Richie.




Richie called at my house on Saturday evening to deliver the results clearly still excited with the whole day's events and Ian Gale's performance in particular. When I said what a great surprise the win was I teased Richie that even he hadn't tipped Ian to do so well. He told me that he had a really feeling about how well Ian would perform beforehand. I've just checked his newspaper preview and he does indeed label him as a dark horse playing down his chances only due to a lack of experience at the distance.

What will Ian do when he does have the required experience I ask?




A large squad of Manx race walkers are off to the Leamington Grand Prix event this weekend. Further details in the next couple of days.




I was saddened to learn today that Northern AC stalwart Martyn Strickett is still in hospital in Liverpool.

I had previously copied the news of his illness from the Manx Independent but had no idea that he was still off the Island. My sister is a friend of his sister and I hope to find out some more news in the next few days.

In the meantime its another case of being thankful of being able to pursue our sport as much as we do and hope that Martyn will make good progress soon. Martyn was a very promising athlete before an earlier illness but more recently has been known as a timekeeper and official at most of the Northern AC meetings.




One athlete who was missing from both the Easter Festival and the Mountain Marathon this year was John Crellin. Most of the Manx based readers of the website will know from the local press and Manx Radio that he is making his second attempt to become the first Manxman to climb Mount Everest.

Although I don't have any additional news of John which is not available to everyone on the Isle of Man, I thought it was just worth mentioning John's epic ambition for the benefit of some of the off Island visitors to the site.

According to the local press he left on his £30,000 trip, for which he has had to borrow the majority of the funds, on 23 March and will be away for 10 weeks. It is also reported that the early stages of his acclimatisation has been fraught with sickness.

As well as competing in athletics for many years, including completion of the TT 40 and the Parish Walk, John has competed in the TT motor cycle races with great credit for a number of years but will presumably be giving them a miss this year.

If anyone has news of John's progress I will be happy to include it on the news pages.


MARTIN BULLOCK IS NOT ONLINE (but he still hears what we say about him!)   21-04-03


Manx team manager at the Island Games, Martin Bullock, is one of the last people to go online and I knew that when I published a picture of him recently under the heading "Would you like to spend a week in Guernsey with this man?". Equally I knew he would get to hear about such publicity and unusually he was a little camera shy on Friday night when I tried to take pictures of him perhaps fearing I had something similar up my sleeve.

I wouldn't have run such a story if I didn't think the leading motor cycle sponsor could take it!




Andrew Cowley, who has competed in athletics throughout the junior age groups, has been selected to represent the Isle of Man in the Island Games - at swimming.

Andrew is the son of Brian and Chris Cowley. Brian competes as a veteran after several comebacks. The highlight of his career was probably representing the Isle of Man in the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

Well done Andrew and good luck.




There are not many meetings in the year when we have top quality visiting athletes in the Isle of Man to push our own athletes hard without our usual off Island travel.

The exceptions are the Steam Packet walks in the winter, the Easter athletics festival, the Manx Mountain Marathon, any North of England track meetings held on the Island and the Close Private Bank Isle of Man Marathon in August.

As these events are few are far between in an otherwise overcrowded fixture list, it is surely a shame that the Hill Race of the Easter Festival and the Manx Mountain Marathon take place at the same time.

Is it time for a change? Certainly the number of officials required for the events is very high and if a clash could be avoided more would be available. Its unlikely (by the sounds of things) that there will ever be a more exciting finish to the MMM than this year but I'm sure that more people would like to be there if there was.

I don't have the answers because I'm not close enough to the decision making to know all the issues.

But if after so many years of friction the Manx clubs can see some sense and agree to compete off the Isle of Man as one club, surely a new approach can be found to avoid a clash between two of a very limited number of meetings on the Isle of Man with top class competition.


 2003 FIXTURES  21-04-03


Although I extract information from the fixture list to feature different race series or types of races, I decided some time ago it was pointless to duplicate the official IOMAA fixture list and so I rely on whatever Graham Davies, secretary of the IOMAA sends to me. I've just been deleting the events that have already been held but leaving the rest of Graham's list intact. So if you are aware of any errors or have extra information for inclusion I suggest that you email Graham at [email protected] and then hopefully these changes will be shared to all.




As I type this, a number of hikers and athletes in a less competitive mode than normal, will be about to set off in the Castle to Castle walk.

I spoke to Alan Bagley yesterday who intended to walk to round off a weekend that included the Friday road race, the Mountain Marathon on Sunday and the road relay on Sunday!

Talking of wearing your self into the ground(!), as I ran to the top of Peel Hill on Saturday afternoon to get my pictures I tucked in behind Kevin Martin. He was clearly struggling a little and then it became clear. "I wish I had gone to bed last night now" he said. Apparently, he ran on Friday night, worked all night at Safeway bakery and then did the Peel Hill race!




What a fantastic day for Manx fell running with Ian " the Onion " Gale becoming the first local to win the Manx in only his second attempt, a performance that must rate highly in the list of top local athletics performances. He ran a wonderfully well judged race, never getting drawn into a pace he was unhappy with.

Even when Andy Hauser looked as if he was going to take the honours when he moved three minutes clear at the Sloc with just a few miles to go, Ian stuck to his pace and let events just happen around him. Unfortunately for Andy he blew good style on Fleshwick and Ian was able to quickly close the gap, both arriving at the final checkpoint at Bradda Tower together.Watching from the finish we were not sure who was leading.

Paul Jackson confused matters slightly as he was approaching the finish at the same time to finish his excellent debut in the walk/jog class, and for all the local supporters it was absolutely nerve wracking to wait and see who arrived at the finish first. What a cheer went up when the "Onion" came down the steps approaching the finish line  to score a historic victory in a super fast time of 4.54.11, a time that would have seen him in contention no matter what the opposition and a remarkable 44 minutes faster than last year.

It was just reward for the tremendous amount of hard work he has put in over the Winter months. Fell Squad coach Margaret Lockley had been quietly confident that Ian could produce a big performance and she was absolutely delighted when she heard the good news.

Poor Andy Hauser was a disappointed man not to gain his seventh victory on the course he enjoys so much but he was more than happy with his run as he has had a string of injury problems over the past few years. Andy is a smashing bloke and he was full of praise for Ians run.

Third place was eventualy taken by Clayton Le Moors Paul Thompson who had been the early pace setter. Paul is another who has supported the Manx for many years and has a long list of top performances to his credit.

The most disappointed man on the day must have been Tony Okell who had problems with his feet no doubt caused by the extremely dry and hard conditions under foot forcing his retirement at Cronk Ny Iree Laa.. This is one race that just seems to have a jinx on Tony but I am certain he will eventually get it right.

Everyone was delighted that Swiss runner Rolf Bruhwiler made it to the finish in a creditable 13th position after he had been with the leaders up until Injebreck. He found the race very tough but really enjoyed it and has promised to return, hopefully with some of his Swiss running mates. South African Mike Forshaw also made it to the finish again thoroughly enjoying the race and intending to spread the word back in his home land. 

There was more success for the locals in the over/60s where Patrick's Robbie Callister came out on top and in the team race where Manx Fell Runners were first with Manx Harriers third.

It is difficult to highlight the other local performances as anyone who completes the course deserves praise. A few who did especially well though were Dave Corrin and Dave Young who placed second and third in the over/50s class, Peter Whipp and Keith Lowe and Clare Corran and Christine Barwell in the walk/jog class.

As race secretary I would like to thank all the sponsors for their help. Thanks to Okells Brewerey, Department of Tourism, Robinsons Fruiteres, Mona Aerated Water Company, and Mars and Lucozade through HE Richards.

Also I cant thank enough the committee of the MMMO who all work so hard to put on this race and to all the marshals, checkers, officials, Civil Defence, Raynet, St Johns Ambulance and everyone else who gives up their time on the day and indeed on the build up and clearing up of the race. 




Although I will have my camera at this morning's runs (and possibly again at the prize presentation, its unlikely that I will have any of the coverage online until late afternoon due to a number of family commitments.

Please continue to send any contributions to the website in the meantime.




The website was updated about 10-12 times yesterday and it wasn't possible to keep every single comment or picture as the earlier comments became history.

A special thanks to Barbara Bagley however. She photographed the start of the Mountain Marathon at 7.30 from her balcony on Kings Reach in Ramsey and the pictures were published soon after 8.

Then by the time I'd updated the Easter Festival coverage to clear space for the Saturday's races, the pictures of the start of the running section of the MMM had arrived from Barbara before I set off to take my own pictures at Injebreck.




At St. Johns Tony had around 2 minutes lead from Ian Gale with Paul Thompson and Andy Hauser a further minute or so adrift.

By the time Rushen Mines was reached, Andy Hauser was 1 minute clear of Tony ( who was not looking to happy ) and Ian ( who was still smiling for the camera.)

At the Round Table  Andy had pulled out his lead to 2 1/2 minutes from Ian with Paul Thompson now back in third and Tony soon to pull out around 11 minutes back on the leader.

At the bottom of the Sloc, Andy was still well clear but had only increased the lead a further 15 seconds and was starting to feel his earlier effort perhaps. We rushed down to the finish to see what would happen and as we searched up to Milners Tower we could see two fast approaches, Ian closing down Andy fast, together virtually at the tower Ian swept past Andy on the exit from the Tower, but as they took different routes to the finish it was difficult to see who would come out on top.

Everyone will know the rest.  We were spellbound by the drama of the last 50% of todays race. Absolutely superb, I just wish I had a side bet as we both quite fancied Ian's chances today.




Steve Partington reports that Dougie Corkill was due to make his rallying debut on Friday, when he was co-driver for work-mate Kevin Goldsmith in a Mk2 Escort.

Further news later.




Thanks again to Colin Halsall for making the results available promptly this year. Judging by the access figures, they are much in demand. As I mentioned last night, scanning the results is not the ideal solution but it will be much better next year.

I met Colin's nephew Chris tonight when I was collecting the results from the TT Grandstand. Chris has provided the results programs for a number of years and he has agreed to provide the results directly to html (the format webpages are normally programmed in) for next year.




I had a great view of Ian Gales phenomenal finishing strength and speed this afternoon. I was first 'on the road' [fell] up to Fleshwick having started earlier in the jog/ walk at 7.30. Andy Hauser passed me  going through the wall at the top and by the time Ian passed me I was on the coastal footpath heading for Bradda. Ian was absolutely flying and he had had a tip off from a hiker going the opposite way that Andy was tiring. As I descended approaching Bradda I watched Ian flying downhill ahead of me. It looked like Ian was just beaten to the final checkpoint but he flew past Andy on the rocky descent from the tower.  

The secret formula of Ian's fantastic finish? (apart from his obvious talent and hard training). A can of Red Bull at the bottom on Fleshwick. It's time to ditch the Lucozade Sport.


BEAR DRINKING   19-04-03


Manx Harriers tickets contain for Sunday evening contain a mis-print. They mention the "Bear Drinking" competition. I think it should be "Beer Drinking" but perhaps it should have been "Bare Drinking".




Manx athletes, supporters and officials have given the Isle of Man Athletics Association the thumbs up with regards to its development plan.  The plan was presented to them at St Ninians High School lecture theatre last week. The plan involves many changes within local athletics, the IOMAA is striving to achieve structural changes at local level with aims of:-

 a)        Encouraging development of younger athletes by strengthening local clubs and leagues (e.g. four local junior track leagues each with 70-150 competitors); and

b)         Creating Team Isle of Man for the best senior and youth athletes to ensure that the talent in the seven local clubs is pooled rather than diluted.  At present the Isle of Man is only represented in major ‘international’ competitions such as the Commonwealth and Island Games.

The IOMAA wants to create Team Isle of Man to compete on a regular basis in the North of England and eventually the British Leagues. At present, three local clubs supply four men’s and two women’s teams to compete in these leagues, by drawing together the Island’s best athletes, it is hoped that a high level of regular team competition will be achieved, with a knock on effect on performances. This will involve other disciplines; Team Isle of Man will also compete in the British Fell Running League and aims to send representatives from race walking and road running to off-Island competition.

Island Games athletes Andy Fox and Julie Harrison have volunteered to represent the athletes on a task force set up to push through the plan and iron out any unforeseen problems. The Chairperson of the task force will be IOMAA treasurer Anthony Brand his brief is to have everything in place before the IOMAA next meeting with UK Athletics in August.

IOMAA Development Plan




Julie Harrison was pleased to run a 2.25.2 800 metres at Manx Harriers track league on Wednesday night after a much slower time the previous week, but the effort was in aid of her personal pride and not about booking a seat on the plane to Guernsey.

Julie, who won the title in 2001, confirmed last night that she is not intending to defend her title after giving birth to a second child since the last games.

Half marathon qualifier Ian Gale is another athlete who, after achieving the qualifying time for the Island Games at the National Sports Centre last month (when he ran 1.12.35), was adamant he was not available due to family commitments.





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Walker Rob Elliott rose to my bait when I suggested it was time he was showing former Manx resident Terry Bates a clean pair of heals. "I agree with you that's its time I got the better of Terry! I could do with losing a bit of excess weight first."

He said that it was good to have some company in a race for a change. He did get his nose in front for a while in the last race. "Training very much is on and off, but the incentive is now back with fresh competition" he said this week.

In contrast with the extensive coverage of the Flora London Marathon in the Manx media coverage has been very limited in Guernsey.

Rob is sure that Manx athletes will be impressed by the facilities at the running track. He says there are great surroundings and smart looking grandstand and a huge improvement on the cinder facilities of 1987.

The grandstand was officially opened last week by Steve Cram (a popular choice for the Islands?) and a few others.

Rob understands that the Island Games walks (as do all the various events) remain in the provisional programme until entries are received from the various "island bodies" to see if enough enter from the required number of Islands etc or not.

The half marathon course got a mention this week starting and finishing in the Stadium, taking in two road loops.




Jason, who ran 4.27 in London last year, hopes to go under 4 hours in Stratford next week. Based on a 1.41.02 half marathon clocking a couple of weeks ago at the National Sports Centre, this is surely a realistic aim. The timing of the Manx Harriers Half Marathon (just a week before London) might not have suited everyone but Jason felt it was perfect for him.





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