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All "reporting" by Murray Lambden unless otherwise stated.

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10 WEEKS TO THE CROSS COUNTRY SEASON!

 

According to the IOMAA fixture list, the Manx Gas Cross Country season starts on 12 October - that's only 10 weeks on Sunday!

 

MARTIN SIXTH AT AAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

Britannia International Melbourne Squad member, Martin Aram, was at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham last Saturday (26th July) to compete at the AAA Senior British track and field championships.  This was the first time the teenager had competed at this televised event, which also doubled as the European championship trials.  The entry list for the men’s high jump consisted of nearly all the nationally ranked Under 23 and Senior British athletes.  Ben Challenger and Dalton Grant would start as favourites for two of the medal positions but with many of the competitors enjoying mixed form, virtually anything could happen. 

The surprise package was Ian Holliday of Sale Harriers who, at the age of 29 – quite old for a high jumper, cleared a personal best height of 2.17 metres to claim the silver medal, behind Ben Challenger’s 2.24.  Nearly everyone else performed significantly below his best.  Dalton Grant struggled even to get over his opening height of 2.12 metres, needing all three attempts, but that was sufficient for the bronze medal, as, surprisingly, nobody else cleared more than 2.07. 

The majority of the competitors came in at the starting height of 2.02 metres but Martin chose to open at 2.07 to save energy for the later stages.  The gamble was not entirely successful, as he needed two attempts to clear it.  Then, struggling to achieve good positioning over the bar, the NatWest Island Games record breaker had three failures at the next height of 2.12.  The result was sixth place, the first failure at 2.07 losing him two places on count-back. 

With double points in the UK Athletics Domestic series allocated from the results, that failure proved quite costly for the AON Under 21 Sportsman of the Year.  After leading the series high jump rankings through most of the rounds, he drops back into third place on 28 points, with Ian Holliday moving up dramatically to share the lead with Mark Crowley on 30.  However, Martin now has sufficient points to be guaranteed a place in the Grand Prix final in Cwmbran, South Wales, on 9th August, irrespective of the results in the last round at Loughborough on 31st July, which he will not now contest. 

“I was pretty gutted after the competition”, said the Manx Sports Aid recipient.  “The bronze medal was there for the taking; all I had to do was to clear 2.12 on my first or second attempt, which should have been within my capability, but I couldn’t do it on the day.  On reflection, I realised that most of the other competitors could have said the same, and probably did!  The good thing was that I was comfortable opening at 2.07, compared with my usual 2.00 metres, which will be useful for me in the future.  I’ve got a busy week ahead of me.  I’ve been invited to take part as a guest and reserve for the GB team in the Under 23 international against France on Saturday (2nd August) in Ashford, Kent.  Then, I’m in Cwmbran the following Saturday and the next day in Derby representing the North of England in the Under 23 home international.” 

The flight to Birmingham was provided by British Airways CitiExpress under his Sports Scholarship.

NO OLYMPICS FOR  MYERSCOUGH    31-07-03

 

Carl Myerscough, who competed against Manx athletes regularly as a junior in the Young Athletes League, has been informed that he will not be selected to represent Great Britain at the next or any future Olympics even though he has recently broken the long standing British and AAA championship shot putt records. Myerscough is a genuine medal contender at the World Championships to be held in Paris in August this year but the BOA have stated that former drugs cheats will never represent Great Britain in the Olympics. Myerscough intends to appeal. Further details.

Thanks to Steve Taylor for this one.

 

 WEEKEND ACTIVITIES WITH THE MANX MOUNTAIN MARATHON ORGANISATION

Richie Stevenson reports   31-07-03

 

The Millennium Way Walk is to be held this coming Sunday 3rd August starting at Castletown Sq. bright and early at either 6.30am or 7.30am, you can take your pick of starting times. The walk is non-competitive and will finish in the Mooragh Park Ramsey.  Details from Doug Drown 823065.

There will be another training run over the Laxey Horseshoe course this Sunday 3rd August starting at 9.00am from James Coulson's house at Glen Ruy Farm. It will be at a steady pace suitable for everyone. 

 

 WALKS TONIGHT - THURSDAY   31-07-03

 

Mark Stewart pointed out my error yesterday when I captioned Steve Taylor's preview of tonight's walk (Thursday) with the heading "Wednesday".

The 3km & 5km walks are at the NSC tonight at 6.15 pm.

 

 MORE NEWS OF KEITH GERRARD FROM CHRIS QUINE  31-07-03

 

Following on from the Northern League match at Derby on 3rd August, he is planning to follow this up by competing in the North of England Under 20 3000m at the same venue on 12th August.

 

 KEITH GERRARD BREAKS NINE MINUTES AT STRETFORD

Rob Berry reports    30-07-03

 

Keith ran 8.59.80 for 3000 metres at Stretford.  I arrived too late to watch the race but looking at the results I noticed there was 2 races going on, the winner Simon Deakin finished in 8.25 followed by Spencer Newport in 8.28 then a big gap to 3rd place in 8.53 and Keith who was 7th in 8.59.

 

 Finding good out of a disappointment   by Neil Bates     30-07-03

 

Although disappointed with the time on Saturday, I am slowly becoming up beat about things. I was on target for a good PB up until 3km, but I just tensed up and my form was sacrificed. But considering the speed I was going, I was surprised and please to finish the race with out even being given a verbal warning from a judge (probably only the 2nd time this year!) so not too bad. I haven't done much speed work since coming back from Russia, and with only doing my first serious 20km 2 weeks ago, my legs could still be feeling the effects, but I'm not making excuses. It just wasn't my day for a fast time. "It Happens"

I am just looking forward now to getting into some serious training and putting together a good 2 months of training. I haven't really had chance to do any real structured training since Russia, so it will be a nice challenge, especially with me having to compete over 20kms from now on. 

My aims now are very simple. Training hard and gaining as much experience and improvements as possible at 20kms. With the main aim of being fit and quick enough to aim at qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in one of four races in 2005.

On a side from my athletics, when in Birmingham I went up to the police station to complete an ID parade, as they believed that they may have caught the people who mugged me in early March. Surprisingly, I picked out two of the people, and they will be charged for their crime. So at least some more good came out of the weekend. 

All that is left for me to do is to just make the usual thank you's to Family and friends. Allan, for spending so much time and effort on me, and never giving in, Martin Bell and of course the Sports Council for their financial support.

 

 MORE OLDIES SOON   29-07-03

 

 I've now got the whole set of my Dad's old slides on CD thanks to my brother Mike.  Some of them are hilarious but of course I feature in too many of them to use them all. Nevertheless there are a few of other people and some of the ones of me include other people to make them interesting. As soon as I get a dull moment I'll pull them out.

 

ATHLETICS INTERNATIONAL     29-07-03

Vol 12 No 17: July 30, 2003  Edited by Peter Matthews & Mel Watman

 

The above arrived as I was publishing the website. This is what Mel Watman has to say about Dwain Chambers performance on Saturday:

"With the world 100m title seemingly so open, Dwain Chambers’ claims were considerably enhanced as a result of his 10.08 victory. That’s a pretty quick time just taken at face value, but when you factor in a 1.6m headwind, the damp conditions and the fact that he was easing up before he crossed the line, then clearly it was a remarkable performance suggesting that in more suitable conditions he would have been way inside 10 sec. Darren Campbell was an excellent second, well clear of a mightily disappointed Mark Lewis-Francis. "

© ATHLETICS INTERNATIONAL 2003

Published 30 times a year by Athletics International Ltd, 13 Garden Court, Marsh Lane, Stanmore, Middx HA7 4TE, UK. Fax no: 020 8954 7497; abroad (44) 20 8954 7497.

e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Annual subscription: UK £70, rest of Europe £80 or 140 euro, outside Europe £95 or $160

e-mail version £60 ($100, 100 euro) anywhere

(cash or cheques drawn on UK bank, payable to Athletics International Ltd).

 

DWAIN CHAMBERS HAS AMAZING PATIENCE    29-07-03

 

We all change our minds about people and I haven't always been a great fan of Dwain Chambers' personality. But after seeing him a couple of times on Sunday he was truly amazing with the fans and brilliant for the sport.

The first sight was after explaining to my brother Mike that I wasn't a pervert when I took my camera with me to the toilet at the AAAs - it was so I could sneak outside and look for any stars lurking about. I found him patiently signing autographs for dozens of people and posing for photos.

No doubt he watched the exciting 200 & 400 metres in between, but an hour or so later we met him again filling the same role and he hung around for at least half an hour. Although he didn't look hugely excited he never once refused to sign an autograph or pose for a photo.

Its the accessibility of the athletes that re-convinces me that my sport is the best!

 

ANNOUNCING AN ART     29-07-03

 

The man who emailed me my Athletics International a few minutes ago, Peter Matthews, is man who never ceases to amaze me.

I believe that, in between all his stats work and his TV commentaries, he has been announcing at major athletics meetings for more than 30 years.  He has a rare art, certainly these days, of providing stacks of information but knowing when to be quiet. With such an informative announcer spectators can enjoy field events in particular much more than on TV.

 

SALFORD TRIATHLON

 

At least three Manx athletes competed in this event on Sunday I discovered whilst looking for Neville Jewell's result.

Graham Stigant used all his Commonwealth Games swimming experience to finish an amazing 4th fastest of all age categories in the swim.

For full details check out the official website.

The following analysis is my own and includes a ranking of the times out of the 556 starters. All three athletes were in the male 40-49 category.

Pos

Cat Pos

First Name

Surname

Swim

Rank

Bike

Rank

Run

Rank

Total

43 9 Graham Stigant 00:20:57.50 4 01:13:28.70 63 00:41:35.70 126 02:16:01.90
110 30 Neville Jewell 00:26:09.65 143 01:16:45.15 138 00:41:11.95 120 02:24:06.75
287 70 David Maddrell 00:33:32.00 421 01:20:10.15 241 00:45:29.40 251 02:39:11.55

 

 KEITH GERRARD AT STRETFORD TONIGHT    29-07-03

Chris Quine advises that Keith Gerrard is running 3,000 metres at Stretford tonight and is hoping to get the result to me later.

RACE WALKING ON THE TRACK AT 6.15 PM ON THURSDAY

STEVE TAYLOR PROVIDES THE PREVIEW      29-07-03

 

Race walking returns to the NSC this Thursday with the third track race of the year starting at 6.15pm. Seniors are offered an opportunity to compete over 3km once again or step up to the AAA championship distance of 5km. Juniors depending on their age will also have a choice of distance with 2 and 1km races also being staged.

The main protagonists are likely to be Peter and Bridget Kaneen. A clerical mix-up meant that they were unable to take part in last weeks AAA championships held in Birmingham and will no doubt be out to prove a point on this occasion.

Peter has shown good speed throughout the year and has a best of 22.20 this year a time which would have placed him third last week. However track racing often leads to slower times than those achieved on the road yet I feel sure he would have being vying for the bronze medal against the very talented Nick Ball of Steyning and Nathan Adams (Sheffield) who has become something of a nemesis for Peter this year. If Neil Bates chooses to race he will no doubt be looking to improve on the 24.17 he posted in the AAA. He has said that he was a little disappointed with his time although it is more likely the distance between himself and fellow juniors Adams and Ball that would have given him greater cause for concern. On the plus side however Neil didn't receive a single caution in a race that saw two out of eleven athletes disqualified. Robert Moore may well take on the seniors once again but he has appeared sluggish over the last few months compared to the athlete we seen during the winter league and he have to be at his very best to hang on to super-vet Allan Callow who has at last returned to full fitness.

On best times Bridget could have only hoped to finish in seventh at the AAA but has been up and down in her races through the summer. With the pressure off she could well set a new pb and dip under 26.00 in the process. Marie Latham hasn't raced over 5km since the winter leagues but has set pbs at every distance that she has raced since then. On her day she can be on Bridget's shoulder and if both women are up for it on Thursday a great race is in the offing.

Emma Latham and Callum Taylor will race over their championship distances after good performances at 1, 2 and 5km recently. Emma is a good deal faster on paper at 3km but in a head to head I believe that a very close battle is on the cards and they could push each other to new heights on Thursday.

The younger walkers have asked to race over 2km and it will be interesting to see how they all go. The very  talented Lauren Whelan is unlikely to be challenged and she will go off with the older athletes and I predict will smash the current age group record of 11.39. behind her Fay Latham and Bronwen Kaneen will have a close battle and although Bronwen has improved constantly throughout the year I would tip Fay to stay ahead this time. It will be interesting to see how the little ones fair if they walk the longer distance. Sinead Kaneen and Kirsty Taylor have had very close races recently and both have broken 6.00 for 1km the first time this year and have coped well over one mile. 2km could be the distance they compete over during the winter leagues so this will give the athletes a taste of the distance and the spectators of the battles to come.  

 

MANX HARRIERS' STEVE TAYLOR POINTS OUT CLUB MATES SUCCESS  28-07-03

 

In the recent Isle of Man Veteran tennis championships our very own club chairman Ron Ronan picked up two titles in the over 55's section.

He won mixed doubles with partner J. Southam and then teamed up with Phil Bannan, the man who set the standards for race walkers on the Isle of Man to follow, to take the men's doubles title.

 

NEXT ISLAND EVENT   28-07-03

 

The next "on Island" event scheduled is Round 6 (the penultimate round) of the Dave Phillips Memorial Road Races.

I hope to be lining up but fear that (as usual) this particularly round will be poorly supported coming just two days before the marathon and with a further five races in the following seven days.

Assuming that the Dave Phillips league remains in largely the same format next year, I would suggest that this round is either brought forward a week or possibly held on the Tuesday night as this has been a very popular night when two other rounds were held on a Tuesday rather than the traditional Friday.

Mike Garrett currently leads the league from John Watterson (see last week's Manx Independent if you want to see the league tables).

Racing on 8 August gets underway at 7 pm with signing on at the Peel Camp Site from 6.30.

 

 FELL RUNNERS GO THEIR OWN WAY    28-07-03

Richie Stevenson thanks Margaret Lockley

 

We have decided to have a break from the Tuesday night sessions as there is so many races coming up and of course a lot of people go on their annual holidays around this time of year. We will probably start again some time in September. Everyone involved in the sessions would like to thank coach Margaret Lockley for giving up so much of her time to help everyone.   

 

 LAST BIG OFF ISLAND WEEKEND FOR MOST TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES    28-07-03

 

Amazingly there are six teams from the Isle of Man competing off the Island this weekend in track & field competition. With the restructuring of the Northern Leagues next year this is likely to be the last time such a situation occurs.

I welcome news before and after the weekend from the following:

  • Manx Harriers Men A
  • Manx Harriers Men B
  • Northern AC Men
  • Western AC Men
  • Western AC Women
  • Manx Harriers Women

I heard that some of the matches may be held on Sunday (and not Saturday) although the official IOMAA fixture list includes them al on Saturday.

 

CONFIRMATION THAT JOHN KEWLEY IS RUNNING FOR THE ISLE OF MAN

by Richie Stevenson

  27-07-03 (I've only picked this up after the event)

 

I`m delighted to say that we will have a full compliment of runners on the line at Snowdon tomorrow ( Saturday ) After reading the item on John Kewleys excellent performance at the Saunders Mountain Marathon I gave him a ring and he has agreed to travel to Llanberis from his Shefield home to run for the Isle of Man team. It is very good of him to help us out at such short notice and I hope he enjoys a good run. 


 WHY JAMIE BAULCH FAILED TO QUALIFY   27-07-03

 Stuart Storey reported that "Jamie Baulch had all the big names inside him".

 WHY ATHLETES SLOW AS THEY GET OLDER  27-07-03

According to one Yorkshire walker (who did not want to be named) the track gets longer as you get older!

 FELL RUN TRAINING   26-07-03

 

There will be a training run over the Laxey Horseshoe course this coming Sunday 27th July. It will be at a steady pace and the ideal opportunity to recce the course especially anyone who did not do it last year. Meet at Glen Ruy farm at 9.00am.

 

PHIL MACKIE DEFENDS HANDICAPPING IN THE DAVE PHILLIPS MEMORIAL ROAD RACES   25-07-03

 

I DON'T BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE READ.

PLEASE TELL ME THAT PEOPLE ARE STILL NOT UNDERSTANDING THE RULE FOR FIRST TIME RUNNERS.

IF YOUR ATTITUDE IS NOT TO COVER THE EVENT NEXT YEAR, THEN YOU HAVE JUST LOST A VIEWER TO YOUR WEBSITE.

DO YOU THINK IT IS FAIR THAT SOMEONE WORKS HARD BETWEEN RACES AND IMPROVES THEIR TIME AND SHOULD WIN THE RACE, IF THEY ARE BEATEN BY SOME WHO CLAIMS TO BE ABLE TO RUN 30 MINS FOR 4 MILES AND ACTUALLY RUNS 25 MINS !!!!

 HOW FAIR WOULD THAT BE AND HOW BAD WOULD THE RUNNER FEEL AFTER PUTTING IN SOME HARD SESSIONS TO THEN BE BEATEN 'UNFAIRLY'.

How about coming up with a better idea.

I don't hear anybody doing that.

 

 A BETTER IDEA    25-07-03

 

It has been suggested many times before: let the first time runner enjoy his or her moment of glory and stiffen their handicap next time around. The model: Ramsey.

The future of the sport will always be determined by the people outside at present. The first impressions of someone entering a race for the first time will  be vital and I say let them have their proud moment and picture in the paper. Instead no one gets their picture in the paper anymore because the photographers haven't a clue who has won the race anymore.

There can't be many sports where you have to wait several days to find out who has won.

 

 Manx Success on Lakeland Fells     25-07-03

 

Reigning World Marathon Orienteering Trophy holder John Kewley from Onchan has won the Elite class at the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon. John was partnered by Brendan Bolland (2nd in last year's Karrimor) from Horwich RMI.

Run over two days, "The Saunders" is a Marathon Orienteering event for teams of 2 carrying all the equipment needed for their overnight camp. This is the same format as the Karrimor which John won in 1995.

This year's event was held over the Helvellyn fells from St Johns in the Vale. After 5 hours and 55 minutes in misty conditions on day 1, John and Brendan held a 20 minute lead at the overnight camp in Glenridding. Day two was shorter and losing only 19s to the 2nd placed team arrived at the finish with a clear advantage in 3 hours and 22 minutes. Course distances were around 26 miles and 19 miles.

Currently living in Sheffield, John is now in heavy training for his defense of the Mammut International Mountain Marathon in Switzerland in mid-August which he won last year with his World Trophy partner Ifor Powell.

 

RAMSEY PARK RUNS TONIGHT   25-07-03

 

Don't forget it's the final chance to run in this series tonight. Sign on at the cafe at 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start. There are 4 mile and two mile versions of this popular race series. THe prize presentation for this Ramsey Commissions sponsored event will be immediately after the race.

 

PEEL FARCE CONTINUES   25-07-03

 

As predicted, David Doyle, who "won" the Peel handicap four miler last week was moved down the field afterwards. His crime (bad word for a deemster!) was presumably that he tried too hard. He was moved down to 16th because he beat his handicap.

What would have happened had he deliberately slowed down and finished (say) 10th? Would this have been acceptable? Or if he had run 30 seconds faster than he did would they have added even more time to his handicap?

Meanwhile, two people who hadn't run since the first race were given crazy handicaps of the opposite extreme and took first and second places with no adjustment. Fine if you are trying to encourage people but it's the first time runners who need the encouragement and they are being slaughtered by this crazy system.

This is the final year this website will provide coverage of the series if the present farce continues.

 

HECTIC WEEK FOR ME    25-07-03

 

Well its been a traumatic week for our family with my Mother spending another week in hospital and consideration given to her not being allowed back home. Thankfully I am taking her home today but it involves me making an exceptionally early start at work to achieve everything and the road closures for cycle week caused a good dealing of swearing last night when the plans had to be adjusted.

If I haven't returned your email this week, please be patient as I have another hectic schedule tonight before going away this weekend.

 

INTERESTING 1500 METRES  

 

Last night's race was one of the more interesting track races of the year with Keith Gerrard setting out for a fast time and blasting to a 61 second first lap. His little legs were tiring (don't we all) and he didn't quite manage the sort of time he was looking for but it took some guts to run so hard from the front in that style.

Although I don't have the result, the other features I remember whilst I was taking pictures were Chris Shimmin giving Darren Gray and Andy Fox a good fight and I think Nick Percival and Mike Garrett were 5th and 6th (have I missed anyone?).

Well done to Andy Fox (yet again) for pulling the best runners into a single event.

 

 PETER & BRIDGET KANEEN ENTERED FOR THE AAA CHAMPS

 

In addition to Neil Bates and Martin Aram competing in Birmingham this weekend, Manx Harriers walkers Bridget and Peter Kaneen are both entered. Thanks to Neil and also to Dennis Aram for advising me.

 

NEVILLE JEWELL COMPETES ON COMMONWEALTH GAMES COURSE    24-07-03

 

Neville Jewell is off to Salford this weekend to compete in an Olympic distance triathlon on the Commonwealth Games course. It consists of a 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run.

The website for the event is www.trisalford.info

Neville is enjoying his Wednesday night training with Mike Garrett, Paul Curphey and myself and he has taken over a reply to a question that Paul used he have several years ago. When I ask "was that the hardest session you've ever done" the answer is always "definitely". Obviously enjoys his training!

 

 TONY ROWLEY GETTING BACK TO FORM   24-07-03

 

After loosing much of the last year to injury, former fell running champion Tony Rowley ended up back where he was at the same point last year in the Sean Craig & Sons Barrule Fell Race - third.

Tony underwent surgery for his knee a few months ago and he seems to be recovering really well. He never stops working freely for the sport and in addition his paid employment is working for the sport at the NSC.

On Tuesday night I saw him erecting road and removing road warning signs before and after the fell race. Last night he was encouraging our training group in the early evening at the NSC and then he was on duty during the Manx Harriers final track & field meeting of the year. In other words he was everywhere!

 

 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR AAA CHAMPIONSHIPS    23-07-03

 

High jumper Martin Aram has two tickets (good seats) for all three days (Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday - including car park pass) for the AAA Championships and World Trials this coming weekend in Birmingham. If anyone is interested in them, they can contact Martin on 436342.

Martin, together with walker Neil Bates, will be competing on Saturday.

Does anyone know of any other athletes from the Isle of Man taking part?

I shall be attending on Sunday (and possibly Saturday) with son Robbie and my brother Mike. More details of the website coverage tomorrow.

 

 DO YOU PUT ENOUGH BACK INTO THE SPORT?    23-07-03

 

Many people who read this site will not need to think too long about the above question as they probably put more than could ever reasonably be expected back into the sport.

But perhaps there are a few people who think that by paying a couple of quid to enter a race they are paying their way.

Take note of Richie Stevenson's comments below. How long will it be before an event with a good field of athletes is cancelled because there aren't enough officials.

A bit of sole searching may be required here. Even if we put on the marshals bibs a couple of times a year it would help.

Meanwhile the clubs must think harder and harder about the number of events they promote. Its no good complaining about lack of officials when the helpers are stretched so thinly across so many events.

It really is time for the fixtures to be decided after starting with a blank sheet of paper (as I hoped to do for 1992 but failed miserably).  Start with the development plan, decide what events we need to meet all the objectives and then decide which we have the resources (financial and human) to organise.

 

SEAN CRAIG & SONS NORTH BARRULE FELL RACE   22-07-03

Richie Stevenson reports

 

1.  Ian Gale                            37.11

2.  Brian.Osbourne                  37.13

3.  Tony Rowley                      40.26  

4.  Steve Partington                 41.02       

5.  Allan Corran                       41.36    

6.  Cliffie Keyes                       42.27    

7.  Tony Okell                          42.29  

8.  Phil Crowe                          43.17 

9.  Rob Webb                          43.29

10  Dave Corrin                        44.02    

11. Bernie Cannan                    44.57

12. Alan Bagley                        46.33

13. Rose Hooten                       46.56   1st lady

14. Ian Collister                         47.12

15. Allan Thompson                   48.27

16. Richie Stevenson                  48.31

17. Stuart Temple                      48.45

18. Robbie Callister                    49.22

19. Paul Jackson                      49.43

20. John Robertson                   50.31  Prestatyn    

21. Les Brown                           51.08

22. Peter Simpson                      51.52

23. J Symes                               52.41  

24. Christine Barwell                    52.59  2nd lady

25. Laurence Dyer                       55.58                       

 

A quite superb race between Ian Gale and Ozzie Osbourne with the Onion just hanging on to win by a few seconds. It must have been some sight to see them bouncing their way through Elfin Glen in the closing stages. It was very tricky through the glen as the path has been washed away by all the Winter rain and it took a fair amount of bottle to descend through it at any sort of pace. I must admit I was surprised to see the Onion and Ozzie running as they are both due to run at Snowdon on Saturday and even more suprised to see Tony Okell in the line up after he withdrew from the trip.

It was great to see Tony Rowley back in action and running so well. As most people know Tony is on the road back to fitness after his knee operation and I think he would be pleasantly suprised at the way he ran gaining a good third place after a close battle with Partie.

. Another to run particularly well was Allan Corran in 5th place one of his best results yet and one he deserves as he is a great supporter of athletics wether it be fells or road. The top six was completed by Cliff Keyes who has got a lot of talent and I am sure could gain even better results if he decided to have a really good go.

Rose took the female award finishing in the top half of the field despite twisting her ankle in good style in Elfin Glen and she was followed home by the ever improving Christine Barwell. 

Many thanks to sponsors Sean Craig and sons for their continued support of our races. Also a big thank you to everyone who helped on the night. For a while we had nowhere near enough marshals and I thought we might have to actually call the race off but luckily enough people came forward to save the day. It would be nice if some runners who are not competing would put a bit back into the sport by giving a hand with the marshalling or is that too much to expect these days?       

     

1500 metres time change  22-07-03

 

The 1500 metres at the NSC on Wednesday 23 July is at 9 pm.

The 1500 metres at the NSC on Wednesday 23 July is at 9 pm.

The 1500 metres at the NSC on Wednesday 23 July is at 9 pm.

The 1500 metres at the NSC on Wednesday 23 July is at 9 pm.

The 1500 metres at the NSC on Wednesday 23 July is at 9 pm.

 

TONY OKELL TO MISS SNOWDON    22-07-03

 

Richie Stevenson reports that Tony will miss the big fell race due to an ongoing injury problem. It is hoped that Tony will be replaced in the Manx team but with only three to count (four allowed to run) its not essential. Further update on this story later in the week.

 

 INJURED WARMING DOWN     22-07-03

 

I spoke to Dave Maddrell at the Dave Phillips Memorial runs at Peel at Friday night. He has taken part in this series and the Ramsey Park Runs on occasions this year as part of his triathlon preparations. He had to miss last Friday's event however after injuring himself warming down after his recent triathlon at Trentham Gardens, Stoke on Trent.

Hopefully Dave will be in action again very soon.

 

 1500 METRES CLASH TOMORROW NIGHT    22-07-03

 

Don't forget the big 1500 metres, open to all but most of the top track athletes are expected to take part, at the NSC tomorrow (Wednesday). Sign on at 7.45 for an 8 pm start.

 

ELLAN VANNIN - THE EARLY YEARS  21-07-03

 

One of two contributions to the site I've had from Ian Callister recently are the winners for the very first three races in the Ellan Vannin event.

Click here to see Ian's contribution.

 

 RAMSEY PARK RUNS CONCLUDE ON FRIDAY   20-07-03

 

If you've not had a chance to try out the Ramsey Commissioners sponsored handicap series (approximately 4 miles and 2 miles) then its well worth a trip to Ramsey on Friday evening. Its the last one in the series.

 

11 WEEKS TO THE CROSS COUNTRY SEASON    20-07-03

 

Has anyone else noticed that there are just 11 weeks to go until the Manx Gas Cross Country League starts?

This was one of the most improved parts of the Manx athletics scene last winter and I'm convinced that organiser Graham Davies (on behalf of the Isle of Man AA) will not allow it to stand still this winter. I'm sure we can get more children from the schools taking part and more of the club and fun runners. Start spreading the word now!

 

RECORD TIMES EXPECTED ON TUESDAY   20-07-03

 

According to Peter McElroy in last week's Manx Independent, we can expect record times on Tuesday night. Steve Partington pointed out that he said Barrule Fell Race will start and finish at Ramsey Hairpin at 7 pm!

 

LIMITED NEWS TODAY    19-07-03

 

Although my day started at 5.15 am (only a couple of hours after Steve Partington delivering the milk in Ramsey!), it was a demanding schedule that allowed little time for the website. Then I learnt that my Mother had been taken ill again.   So instead of training this afternoon with Paul Curphey and Mike Garrett I was waiting for the ambulance to arrive at my Mum's sheltered housing at Kirk Michael for the second time in a couple of months.  

Hopefully she won't be in the new Nobles Hospital for too long. I guess it's the sort of phase everyone goes through but I seem to know an awful of people in hospital at the moment.

I only mention this as it obviously impacts on my time to compile the site but I know of lots of other people who have family illnesses and bereavements as distractions in the past twelve months and sometimes their dip in form is not explained.

 

4 MANX CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2 DAYS   19-07-03

 

Whilst I was talking to Andy Fox at Peel last night (discussing the difficulty of racing the 5.000 and 10,000 metres in two days in the Bank of Bermuda Manx Championships on 23/24 August), he recalled the time in 1991 when he won the 4 titles in 2 days and that didn't include his speciality event, the 3,000 metres steeplechase.

He won the 800, 1500, 5000 & 10,000 metres in around 28 hours!

 

SNOWDON JUST 7 DAYS AWAY

Richie Stevenson reports      19-07-03

 

The classic Snowdon International Hill Race takes place next Saturday and our lads will be in amongst a really top class entry. Last years winner Tim Davies is one of the favourites as is Ian Holmes who was second last year and who is the current English champion.  The main threat from the continent is any one of a strong team of Italians entered, although  Fabrizio Truili, who finished in third place in 2002 just over one minute behind the winner is obviously the one to watch.

The Italians are the only team to enter from the continent this year although there are individuals from France, Belgium, Poland and Spain entered as well as a smattering from different parts of the world including the USA and Australia. As well as the foriegn entry the Manx team will take on teams from Eire, England ( A and B ), Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales ( again A and B ). Our team really are up against it but the experience can only do them good and help improve our standards further. It also raises the profile of Isle of Man fell running and indeed Manx athletics in general. I know for a fact that the powers that be across the wet bit do notice and welcome our participation and it can only help us to attain our target of, hopefully, entering a Manx team in the World Championships which are expected to be held in England in 2004. 

The Isle of Man team is Ian Gale, Tony Okell, Brian Osbourne and Simon Skillicorn.

 21 YEARS AGO TODAY      18-07-03

 

I compiled the Track & Field special front page last night and then this morning I realised I had forgotten to publish Tony Isaacs list of Manx records (as defined for his publication). So as I added them and checked the link, I realised, by co-incidence, that it was 21 years ago today since I set the Manx 50km Walking record in Bielefeld, West Germany.

The strange thing was, and I think this applies to many records, when you set them you only imagine that they will last a few weeks because you rarely feel you've got it right. I was the first of the five British walkers and so escaped the slating that the team got but 4.20 was seen as pretty ordinary.

Certainly I am disappointed that I never walked a 4.10 50km which my other times suggested I was capable of. It was that sort of time I was looking for in 1982 before I suffered from vomiting in that German race. After all if you can walk 4.27 on a course that includes the climb from Ramsey to the Bungalow and still have 10km to go, then 4.20 is a poor PB to finish your career with.

The 30km and 35km times I set were much better (in my mind) than my 50km but Mr Partington soon re-wrote those records.

So why has the 50km time stood so long in one of our top disciplines in the Isle of Man? For the past 8 years there has even been the incentive of Commonwealth Games selection at the distance.

I still haven't seen the qualifying times for the next Commonwealth Games (they are only two and half years away) so I don't know if it will be necessary to break this record to qualify but I do hope that someone can move this mark up a good notch up a bit.

 

 DAVE PHILLIPS MEMORIAL ROAD RACES ROUND 5     18-07-03

 

There was an improved turnout at Peel tonight and a good atmosphere in the hot weather. Even the start was the closest to 7 pm I've known for a long time.

Andy Fox flew around for the fastest time of the night and the series (unofficially 20.12) while Mike Garrett made a big improvement to clock 21.22.  

Bernie Cannan beat me in the first round of the series by 4 seconds and a couple of weeks later when he saw me training I shouted "I'm trying to find those 4 seconds". Well I still haven't found them - he beat me on unofficial actual times of 22.04 to 22.08. Paul Curphey was around 22.19.

Andy Fox started 20 seconds ahead of Mike Garrett and myself as he was judged to be a slower runner, while Bernie Cannan started 3 minutes and 20 seconds ahead despite the aforementioned 4 second stuffing in our previous encounter. I'm just going to reach out for the old Who record "I can't explain".

 

 BEST NEWS IN A LONG TIME       18-07-03

 

I was delighted to learn yesterday that Northern AC member Martyn Strickett is back at work at King Williams College after spending several months in hospital in Liverpool.

I understand from his club mate Jonathan Leece that his high body temperatures are being controlled by medication but the cause of his illness is still unknown.

Although, obviously, all his family and friends will be hoping the medical team can finally get to the bottom of his illness, I view the progress he has made as one of the best pieces of news I've been able to publish on this website for a long time.

I met Jonathan yesterday when by chance we shared a table at a lunch. Hopefully I have persuaded him to provide the site with regular reports from Northern AC's events. He also tells me he has some firm views on the sport in the Island which he would like to share with us. I look forward to publishing these.

 

START TIMES   18-07-03

 

One of the traditions of Manx athletics which has not been maintained so much in recent years is that events start much later than advertised! There are one or two events that stick to this tradition but in general events are much better organised than they used to be.

Having rushed like mad to make it to the start of last night's St Johns 10km Walk so that I could get a picture of the start at the advertised 7 pm, it was a bit disappointing that the event did not actually start until 7.30 and, to fit in with other commitments planned around the advertised time, I had to leave before the end.

I think this does act as a deterrent to some athletes who plan their sport around their work and families and it athletes also plan their food and drinks around an advertised start time.

 

 

 www.veterans10mile.org.uk website   18-07-03

 

I received an email from Pete Mulholland overnight as he was trying to obtain the results of the Western 10 for his website  www.veterans10mile.org.uk

Check it out if you are interested in veterans athletics.

 

 MARTIN MAINTAINS LEAD IN UK ATHLETICS DOMESTIC SERIES

 

After four rounds of the UK Athletics Domestic Series competitions, AON Under 21 Sportsman of the Year, Martin Aram, has maintained his lead in the men’s high jump event. 

The NatWest Island Games record breaker was leading after the first two rounds, having scored 15 points out of a possible 16, with Mark Crowley in second place on 13. 

The combined results from the regional championships formed the third round of the series.  Although most of these competitions took place in June, it was necessary to wait until last Saturday for the Scottish championships before the points could be calculated.  With other athletes not performing as well as him in their own regional events, Martin’s lead increased. 

The fourth event in the series was the AAA Under 23 Championships at the end of June, which the Britannia International Melbourne Squad member had to miss to enable him to compete in the Island Games.  This left the possibility of one of his rivals getting ahead of him.  However, with the way the honours were distributed this time, that didn’t happen. 

Although the official rankings have not yet been published, it is calculated that Martin now leads the series with 22 points, with Mark Crowley again in second place on 20. 

The next round is a televised event, the AAA Senior Championships in Birmingham on 26th July, with double points in the series up for grabs. 

 “I’m a bit surprised to be leading the series, particularly at this stage”, said the Manx Sports Aid recipient, “but it’s a nice feeling all the same!  The key thing is consistency.  I’ve cleared 2.10 metres in all the three events that I’ve contested, whereas the other athletes have been more erratic.  I’m looking forward to the AAAs.  After the excitement and atmosphere of the Island Games, I need a big competition to get motivated and I’ve still got personal targets I would like to achieve before the end of the season.”

 

 

END TO END SETS THE STANDARD    16-07-03

 

I've been roped into providing the results service for the White & Healthy End to End Walk on 28 September and joined the organising committee at the NSC last night for a quick meeting.

I was very impressed to learn that Judy King acknowledges every entry by post.  A question a lot of people ask me when the enter events in advance is "how do I know that my entry has been accepted".  One way is to publish the up to date entries online; the other is acknowledge them personally.  Either way, it is the standard that others should emulate.

The organisers have will have a phone installed at the finish courtesy of Manx Telecom and times from Peel will be faxed to the Sound. I aim to publish the results as they happen online from the Sound updated every 15-20 minutes.

Its the second year that the event has been held on the new West coast route and a massive entry is expected.

 

CHRISTINE IMPROVES BY 6 MINUTES    16-07-03

 

It was perfect race conditions at 7am for the start of the Bournemouth International Triathlon on 6th July 2003.  Western AC's Christine Barwell competed the event, her second Olympic Distance Triathlon.  Christine started well in the 1500m sea swim exiting the first transition in a time of 29.54, 7th in her age group.  The bike leg consisted of one lap of an undulating 40km course and the final leg was the 10km run on a flat 'out and back' course, by this stage in the competition the heat of the day was beginning to take its toll on many of the athletes, however she was pleased with her run time of just under 56 minutes, which is over 6 minutes faster than at last year's Newcastle Triathlon.  Christine was thrilled with her time of 2.41.02, 70th overall and 10th in her age group.  

  

I was told I was not allowed to print any scary photos of Christine!

 

STEVE TAYLOR'S FULL REPORT FROM DUBLIN    15-07-03

 

A party of 20 Manx Harriers athletes, officials and supporters travelled to Dublin last weekend for the 13th Dublin Grand Prix of Race Walking held in Phoenix Park.

The road surface used in the park had been recently resurfaced and remeasured for the Special Olympics held in the city last month and with unseasonal Mediterranean type weather greeting the athletes a day of hot action was definitely in store for the crowds who had gathered to watch.

First race to start was the 50km where athletes were attempting to gain qualifying times for the World Championships in Paris later this year and next years Olympics. This meant that a fast pace was in the offing and Dennis Trautmann (GER) lead the field in a blistering early pace with the whole field on sub 4hour 10 minute pace during the first 5km. This race continued throughout the day with all other races held alongside it. During the course of the race the pace and the heat took its toll and it was left to Spain's David Sanchez Ferrer to take the honours in 4.01.58 after reaching halfway in 1.58.57, in 7th position. Only 5 of the 13 starters completed the distance.

The first Manxies to take part were Dougie Corkill, Maureen Cox and Steve Taylor who were asked to take up official positions as judges for all of the junior races. Having received their instructions they took their places for the under 13 girls 1km which featured Fay Latham, Sinead and Bronwen Kaneen. Sinead and Fay are both under 11 and only found out that they were racing last Thursday but that didn’t stop them putting in terrific performances. Up against Kathryn Grainger of Sheffield arguably the best for her age in the country a very fast pace was set as she soon built up an unassailable lead that was 30 seconds at the finish. The Manx girls were out of the medals by half way but gutsy performances by all three meant that each was rewarded with a pb. A special mention must go to Sinead who at only 7 years old smashed through the 6 minute barrier for the first time.

We had no representation in the under 11 boys so next up were our under 13 girls racing over 2km in which Emma Latham had been selected for the England team. Fast starts had obviously been deemed the order of the day and the immensely talented Rebecca Mersh of Sheffield stretched the whole field out from the gun and won the race at her leisure in a new course record of 9.18. Emma and Ciara Kaneen started at a good pace but still found themselves wanting after 500m. However they both stuck to the task in hand in a great battle with Lauren Gimson of Leicester Emma took revenge for her Steam Packet defeat and raced to a new Manx record of 10.09 beating her own previous best by 53 seconds. Ciara who trailed at the back at half way clawed her way into the pack and was unlucky not to finish higher as she to smashed her own pb.

Callum Taylor was our man in the under 15 boys 2km and found himself up against the Nuneaton trio of Lewis Hayden and the Hambridge twins who have swept all before them over the last year in this age group. Today was not likely to be any different as these three along with Jack Tomlin of Dartford (who must be 6 feet tall) hared off leaving everyone else in their wake. Callum was left isolated but walked steadily but surely picking up favourable comments for his technique along the way and was rewarded with a pb and new Manx record.

Robert Moore was also selected to be part of the England team and started in determined fashion. Like all Manx athletes he too found himself off the pace with the race being won in superb fashion by Nick Ball of Steyning. Robert seemingly struggling with the ever increasing temperature was spurred on by the vocal support of both his Manx and English team mates and not to be out done by the other Manx youth also set a new pb.

After the junior

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