News October 2002



All "reporting" by Murray Lambden unless otherwise stated.

[email protected]







(after scoring a point for my typo - you ought to see his emails before I spell check them!)   31-10-02


I would think that Martin Feeley was more than just pleased with his 4.12 clocking considering that he only reached half way in 4.02!!!!

Who is the fastest Manx walker over the marathon distance? Obviously I am on about them having walked it and in a marathon race not en route to say 50km. Having walked 1.45.18 for the half in 1988 at the Bowl I stepped up a distance and recorded 4.06.54 in 1989 in the Manx Marathon held over the Southern 100 course. (Interesting to note my target last summer was the half marathon in August but injury and laziness put paid to that. However at the outset I had set myself a target time of 1.44, how times have changed)

I know that Steve Partington broke 4 hours in the very early 90's at Ramsey but if I am not mistaken my bet for the fastest time is held by Steve Brennan who went sub 3.50 in 1994.

Anyone else have any comments?




I put David's picture on the website last night in the knowledge that today was his last day in the office before setting off for New York.  True by form, soon after 7 am I received an email from his office after seeing his picture. In an otherwise complimentary email he felt I had put pressure on him to break do well now and he feels he must break 4 hours. 4 hours! I will be very surprised if he doesn't run around 3 and half hours.



and a diversion to my lifestyle


I was sorry to miss Paul on the phone again tonight. I hope to speak with him tomorrow. All I have picked up from others so far are words like "leaders" and "22 miles" so hopefully I'll be able to pass on his story tomorrow.

I'm having a day at home tomorrow if anyone needs to contact me as I am planning a day almost as rare as Steve Taylor without something to say - I shall be doing some decorating.  I'm currently sitting in the middle of the room with everything stacked around me in readiness for a 6 am start.


STEVE TAYLOR FORWARDED THIS REPORT FROM THE YAHOO RACE WALKERS GROUP - Mike Karran looses a British mark that few of our new he had recognised for over 20 years   31-10-02


One man with his sights on the next Commonwealth's is 17 year old Luke Finch,who only became old enough to walk 20k 27 days before the race. He set off chasing the Under 18 best for a track 20k of 106:02 set by David Lawrence in 1989,but ended up coming within 5 seconds of Phil Vesty's road best of 95:15 set in1980 at the London Wall.Finch walked 47:04 at 10k and his 71:07 at 15k was inside Mike Karran's 73:00 set at Douglas in 1982. By the 2 hour gun he was shattered but his 23 641metres becomes the best ever by an under 18 or under 20 man.




Reading your site it says that the reason for the winter league being cancelled was in fact due to the weather. I posted an entry on the forum stating my views on the matter and I do believe that whilst only two have replied many would agree with my view.

If the race was cancelled purely because of the weather then that was the wrong decision. The roadway was the problem. Yes we have had few problems down there in 11 years but that does not mean that the Tourism Department should ignore the problems of gathered water and falling debris on the road way. And this happens on a regular basis. As Dave Griffiths points out we have raced in far worse conditions but the surface was walkable.

Would I have let the race go ahead on Sunday, no not on the NSC roadway or Access Road but yes in those conditions. Unfortunately by 9am it was too late to organise anything else.

I hope that this doesn't put people off competing in future winter league walks, who knows it may make them even keener next time at Andreas which was the poorest supported venue for one of its events last year.




I had a phone call from Martin Feely tonight - he thoroughly enjoyed his first marathon in Dublin. He though the crowds were wonderful but didn't enjoy the hill through Phoenix Park. He missed six weeks of training with an injury to his left calf which is still giving him problems but was pleased with his 4.12 clocking after reaching half way in 2.02.

He travelled to the marathon with Paul Clarke and after travel delays they both missed the registration which closed at 6 pm.  They had to collect their numbers early on Sunday morning.

Martin hopes to run in London next year and is being helped by Margaret Lockley. Before that he may run some of the local cross countries.




Obviously all Manx athletics fans will be encouraging the Manx contingent in New York this weekend but I was fortunate to meet two of the runners in Athol Street this week.

Today I met Liz Corran in demob mood at lunchtime. She had just finished work and was leaving the Island tonight. She has had a frustrating time with injuries but has reached 13 miles in training on at least two occasions. She is certainly going to find the second half tough but she is confident she has the motivation.  She is running to raise money for a breast cancer charity and she knows that the suffering she may endure will be short lived compared to the sufferers of the illness.

Earlier in the week I stopped to chat with David Doyle who has made such a mark on the endurance scene this year. He is leaving the Island on Thursday and is really looking forward to the experience. As I was talking I had the Isle of Man Examiner under my arm and when I returned to the office a few minutes later and opened the Pink Pages, I was confronted with a large feature on David who was featured as Business Personality of the Week. I'm sure that most Manx residents will have seen the feature but for those who didn't, the theme was about balancing a career with family and personal challenges such as walking in the Parish Walk and running in the New York Marathon.




You may have noticed from the front page that Empire Garage are to continue their long running sponsorship of the Peel to Douglas Walk on 1 December. This is particularly good news after the much sadder news earlier in the year that the founder of the Ford dealer, Dickie Craine has passed away.

Bridget Kaneen reports that Dickie's son Paul is continuing with the sponsorship.

In addition to the feature event, which is predicted to attract a huge field following on from the White & Healthy End to End Walk and the Douglas Steam Saw Mill Syd Quirk Half Marathon,  there will also be a junior race, probably on the access road, details of which will be published as soon as Manx Harriers have decided exactly what they are putting on for them.

Needless to say, marshals will be in great demand. If you can help, put a note in your diary for 1 December. 


NEW YORK HERE WE GO   29-10-02


Are there any Manxies competing at the weekend writes Steve Taylor.  I have heard of three.

Liz Corran will be running but she has been hampered by injury all year. I don't think she has run more than five miles in one go during the last six months. I would think that with her background 26.2 miles is a mere stroll in the park anyway.

Paul Curphey of the leather shop Curphey's as opposed to Paula Radcliffe's best mate.

Steve Foulkes IBM's local engineer who took part in the Peel to Douglas earlier this year. Steve is not a regular racer on the Isle of Man but trains regularly with Neil McGreggor and has competed in both London and New York on previous occasions.

Murray's note:

The Manx Independent reported last week that James Coulson, John Quirk and David Doyle are also running.  I think all three have been mentioned previously.

Good luck to all of the above and anyone else that we've not picked up.



Thanks to Phil Cain & Richie Stevenson   29-10-02



Overall        Phil Cain

Lady          Rose Hooton

Vet            Ian Callister


Paul Clarke

Brenda Walker

Phil Cain


Phil Cain

Rose Hooton

Phil Cain


Paul Clarke

Jackie Ashman

Phil Cain


Paul Clarke

Rose Hooton

Keith Callister


Tony Okell

Brenda Walker

Brian Osbourne


Tony Okell

Rose Hooton

Tony Okell




I read with interest Andy`s comments on Harriers change of date for the Manx Airlines meeting but I am afraid he seems to be missing the point. His club has changed the date with out consulting with anybody else who this decision may affect. It most certainly does affect our club. We are quite prepared to alter our dates if it is practical and it is to the benefit of the sport as a whole but we do expect a say in the matter. What is the point of having a fixtures meeting to thrash out any difficulties if any one club can just go their own merry way.




A party of fifteen will be travelling the Wirral this weekend to take part in the Wirral Walks which is also part of the Young Athletes Race Walking Grand Prix. Readers may remember that our young walkers competed with distinction earlier this year in Sheffield returning home with a number of medals and there is no reason to suggest that this trip will be any different.

First to compete will be Bridget Kaneen and Steve Taylor in the Senior 5km. Bridget has been training through the summer trying to recapture the form that brought her the Manx Championship earlier this year whilst Steve has not raced since being soundly beaten by Bridget over 3km in the track and field champs. Both of these have deceptive walking techniques, yes they are slower than they look, and it is difficult to judge how well either of these will go on the day but I would like to point out that there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the 5km was put on first to give Steve enough time to finish before having to catch the boat home. There is also no truth that the Steam Packet have changed the evening sailing to 9pm for the same reason.

With the winter league cancelled last week we have to go back sometime for the last race that the juniors competed in. However, that should make them all the more eager to perform, they have all been training hard and I would expect some personal bests to be set on Saturday.  

Competing over 3km will be Robert Moore, Ciara Kaneen and Emma Latham. Since failing to finish at the English Schools Robert has put in some good training and recorded a sub 29min 5km during the novice walks. Roberts best is 16.32 but has covered the distance in 16.07 in training! Ciara has raced sparingly having concentrated on track and field throughout the summer. Despite the lack of walking she is a very determined competitor and is rarely beaten in a sprint for the line. Emma has taken to walking like a duck to water. She trained hard for the English Schools and was rewarded with a pb of 18.37 finishing in 7th place. Her training since has been hampered by illness but if back to full fitness could go close to 18.00.

The only competitor to be racing over 2km is Callum Taylor. Callum was disqualified at Sheffield and having trained throughout the summer aiming for the Schools found out he was too young to compete. I am sure he will be out to set the record straight on Saturday and show them just what he is capable of. Providing he doesn't get carried away Callum has a top three finish in him and could go close to 11.00.

All other competitors will be racing over 1km. Jordan Cain in the boys will be looking to repeat his medal winning performance from Sheffield but like Ciara has not walked very often through the summer due to the demands of the track league. Jordan however is as gutsy a competitor as you are ever likely to meet and we can be sure that what ever happens he will be giving it 200% as usual.

We will have six competitors in the girls 1km, Lauren Whelan, Kirsty Taylor, Helen Anstead, Bronwen Kaneen, Sinead Kaneen and Faye Latham.

Our girls swept the board at Sheffield and whilst the opposition will be stronger this time around I believe success will still come our way. Sinead will be competing off Island for the first time ever but there is enough experience in her family to ensure that she is not overawed by the occasion.

Kirsty and Faye are often inseparable in races and I would imagine that this is how it will finish again. However the course of the race is often a different story. Kirsty needs to control her start whilst Faye may dare to go a little harder from the gun. Bronwen and Lauren have both competed with distinction over the summer in the track league but have stuck at their walking all the same and should be rewarded with personal bests if not medals. Last but certainly not least is Helen. I have never disguised my admiration for Helen who won in Sheffield even having taken a detour. Providing she stays on course this time Helen should dominate the race and show why she is considered by some to be the best walking talent the Isle of Man has ever produced.

The team will be backed up by Kathy Moore and Peter Kaneen. Unfortunately coaches Allan Callow and Liz Corran will not be with the team this time round. Allan on a family holiday and Liz in New York to compete in the marathon which I know the whole team will want to wish her all the best for.




It is good to read about Manx performances straight after them happening rather than waiting for weeks on end for them to appear in the local papers.

I totally agree with you about Jessica Draskau's performance, excellent. I think we have become used to accepting modest marathon performances, as long as they are for charity, but here we have a really good performance over the marathon distance by a Manx athlete. I know that Jessica represented the IOM in last years Island Games and one would hope that she will be around not only for the next Island Games but maybe she will target the next Commonwealth.

I would think that Paul would be disappointed with 2.45 but it should be remembered that he has been hampered by injury this year. Looking at his performances at Peel and Ramsey Paul is certainly sharp enough but like many other athletes attempting the marathon has not produced the goods as expected.

In contrast look at Peter Kaneen's London Marathon performance two years ago. I have been critical of Peters racing tactics over 50km but I take my hat off to him for his performances over distance. I don't think I would be doing Peter a dis-service when I say that he is not a race walker, to my mind he is an endurance athlete. Peter if you ever read this, that is a compliment.




It was good to find a message from marathon man Paul Clarke on the answerphone tonight. He confirmed that he had run 2.45 but gave no indication of whether he ran even paced or suffered towards the end.

He  also said that Martin Feeley had run around 4.10.



Weeks 5 and 6 -  w/c 14th and 21st October (36 weeks to go)





4 x 400m off 4min [61-58-61-61]

LAO2 / Aerobic 3  

Anaer./ Speed End 1  

Speed 0  

Conditioning 1  

Technique 0  


24mins CV plus Weights


Ramsey Firemans League 30:12

Steady 25mins







25mins increasing tempo

LAO2 / Aerobic 3  

Anaer./ Speed End 1  

Speed 1   

Conditioning 0  

Technique 0  


2x6x100m hard 75s rec [5min set]

4x3min on / 1min off


Easy 40mins

Hill 2 x 7 x 30s 75s rec [3min sets]



The last couple of weeks have been a bit mixed. I've been going well in the shorter faster sessions but seem to be lacking any endurance. I think its probably down to the fact that I had so long out over the summer so I'll have to add in some extra longer runs for the next couple of months while at the same time trying not to lose the speed I've managed to maintain. I'm probably a couple of kilos over weight at the moment and I know I'm about 5 kilos heavier than I was back in 1998.


The most recent edition of the BMC News had a good article about optimum 800m splits and training for the event. I think my Island Games run was just about perfect on the model that the author had derived from an analysis of the words fastest 20 times. For a 1:52.00 run the optimum 200m splits are 27.0, 28.0, 28.33, 28.66. I think my 1:53.0 was 27.3, 28.2, 28.6, 28.9.


The key to the race appears to be managing deceleration most effectively by using the 3 energy systems most efficiently.  Having a good basic speed means you can use the creatine system for the first 18 - 20s (as opposed to 15s if you have poor speed), the lactic acid / anaerobic system does the supported by the aerobic system: the better your aerobic system, the less likely your are to decelerate as the lactic system begins to get flooded with acid at 150m out.




Well done to everyone with Manx connections who finished today's Dublin City Marathon. Its always hard to know where to start with such circumstances particularly as at this point I have only seen the results of the top 1000.

Somewhere down the field could be someone who has completed the distance against all odds. If it was you - WELL DONE.

At the sharp end of the field I have to mention Jess Draskau. Jess - if you should happen to know this site exists, please send me a picture and tell me about your race as I am afraid I don't know much about your background.

What does strike me is what a fine performance she achieved. Unless I am doing someone a great injustice, and I possibly am, then only the two greats of Manx female marathon running, Brenda Walker and Margaret Lockley have ever run faster than Jess's 02:53:11.

Maureen Oddie and Steph Maddrell have both broken three hours? Is there anyone else?

Most people I have spoken to expected Paul Clarke to break 2 hours 40 minutes and I would love to hear from my postman to hear how he feels about his 02:45:11 debut. Certainly we should bear in mind that it is the fastest time by a Manx runner this year (correct me if I'm wrong again) and I don't think I would run out of fingers trying to count the number that have run faster on their debuts. Peter Kaneen and Chris Quine did so in London 2000 but plenty have made a hash of it including this writer!

Please send me tales about the race whether you ran or watched.




I think that being able to do fast times when it really matters is what makes the difference between the good and the great, I remember you writing for the Gazette some years ago after Ian McCombie raced here. You said that he had showed the difference between being an international walker and a world class walker.

I would think that Ian was my favourite Britsh walker, Mike Karran idolised Steve Barry although that may have had more to do with the fact that Steve was also a plumber. However these guys were able to produce their very best when it mattered. In my own opinion I think that this is where Chris Maddocks struggled although his Olympic 20km of 1992 was outstanding. Was this one of the few times Chris really got it right on the day? I remember speaking to Chris after the 1986 commonwealth walk and he was genuinely pleased with his 4th place. He accepted that on the day he was beaten by three better walkers. Baker, LeBlanc, McCombie)




Much as I admire Tony Okell's skill, and even more so his determination, I was surprised to hear Manx Radio's report of the Hill Race this morning. Dave Phillips reported the distance to be 4 miles so his time, including the uphill bit, of 16.18 is pretty stunning!




Just thought you might like to add a little something extra to the March 1st. half marathon debate. the traditional date would be 22/2, however, that is the date for the National Cross Country Champs. held in London in 2003. I realize the fell runners plan to fit their races in with UK dates, I'm not sure if Manx Harriers committee were aware of the cross country clash but it would make sense to hold the half on a different date to the 22nd. I agree it should all be discussed at the fixtures meeting but we all have to fit fixtures around what is possible and what is happening in the UK as well.

Oh, and before we get into the argument that cross country is different to road running etc. we have to consider that our best road runners are in many cases some of our best cross country runners, fell runners and even track runners!!!!




My notice on today's front page that the Halifax International Winter League had been cancelled after the event.

I understand from Bridget Kaneen however that the reason that today's walk was cancelled was not because of the state of the roadway at the NSC but because of the severe weather around the Island generally.

Bridget and Liz Corran made the decision after hearing weather reports of falling trees and closed roads.  It is certainly a responsible attitude to take.  If athletes are prepared to train in adverse weather that is their responsibility but an organising club always has to think of the wider issues, both legal and moral.

There are certainly some interesting comments on the forum and as wide a view as possible add to the value as such discussions.  Personally I would not criticise the state of the NSC roadway too much. Remember some people would have been quite happy to have seen the NSC built at St Johns or other geographically central places and the critics of the site chosen warned that there were flood risks. I think we should put things in perspective. We have enjoyed more than 11 years at the NSC without too much inconvenience due to the weather.

One thing that interests me when events are cancelled is how a organiser makes contact with those who intend to take part. The use of radio broadcasts has been the traditional method but I have always felt, where people have entered in advance, they deserve a telephone call. This can be organised by the equivalent of a chain letter - one person phones a few people and they in turn phone a few more etc. The difficulty arises in events where people do not have to enter in advance - the radio seems to be the best solution.




Manx Harriers are returning to their former course at Abbeylands when they promote what is now the second round of the Manx Gas Island Cross Country League on 10 November.  

The first round was promoted at Ramsey by Northern AC while what should have been the second round, at Peel on 20 October was cancelled.

The course was first used by Boundary Harriers prior to their merger with Manx AC after their old course, at Baldwin, was criticised by some runners as being too tough and dangerous whilst remaining popular with others.

The course on 10 November has been devised by Andy Fox and Ray Cox and, whilst retaining much of the original Phil Cain designed course, has been modified to cut out the worst of the boggy part.

Andy describes the course as fairly flat with a drag on each lap. The senior run is likely to be about 8,400 metres or approximately 5 miles. The start of the meeting will be at 2 pm with signing on at 1.30. The juniors will start first.

Manx Harriers are grateful to Henry Harvey for allowing the use of his land after they decided to switch from Nobles Park whilst the drainage works are being carried out.

Andy is going to supply a map of the course for use of the internet before the event but he is currently enjoying a half term break in London with his family.




Manx Harriers are scaling down their participation in the league this year and will be taking part in just one event on 30 November instead of three events as in the past couple of years.




What a good start to this years Walker Bros. sponsored league. We were very lucky to have beautiful sunny weather all afternoon and a good field of 43 runners including three juniors and four females. There was a number of regulars missing due to some competing in Mondays Dublin Marathon and others at next weeks New York race ( including event host James Coulson who makes his marathon debut in the "Big Apple" ).

The view from Glen Ruy Farm is stunning and enables a good part of the course to be viewed from near the start area. A sizeable crowd seemed to enjoy watching the race and they must be thanked for all their shouts of encouragement, or in Graham Davies case all the stick he dished out to just about everyone.

The course was probably a bit tougher than we all expected making Tony`s winning time even more outstanding. He had to really go for it though as he was pushed hard all the way by Brian Osbourne and Wayne Smith who I would think had his best ever race. Ozzie reckons he hasn`t done much training so who knows how much quicker he can go when fully fit. The first six finishers had less then one minute between them making it one of the most competitive races yet in this eighth edition of the re-introduced Winter League.

Marie Noon showed her talents are not restricted to cycling and road running as she finished a excellent 13th overall in a sub 20 minute time. It was very encouraging to see three other lady runners having a go. Rose Hooton ran very well as did Kerry Clarke and Anne Cain. Talking of the Cains, Ann's hubby Phil " Eddy Munster " Cain enjoyed his best run in a long time and looks like he could well be on his way back to the form he enjoyed a few years ago when he was overall champion on two occasions. 

Three juniors took up the challenge and all performed impressively in a discipline of athletics that they have very little experience at.Ben Brand was first in a excellent 20th overall, followed by Andrew Cowley ( whose father Brian also ran his first hill race in 30 years ) and the youngest competitor on the day Mathew Brand third.

Many thanks to the Coulsons for allowing us to run on their land again and for the welcome they give us. Also a very big thank you to Margaret Quirk for the refreshments which were greatly enjoyed and to Walter and Doug for officiating. 




Has anyone noticed that Manx Fell Runners had 5 in the top 7 in today's hill race? Tony Okell and Mark Preston were the only two to split them.

I've lost count of the number of times I've said if we have so many clubs on the Island then we should at least compete against other.  How about a team competition in the Hill League if only for the fun of it. Manx Harriers would certainly have to pull out the stops to catch Manx Fell Runners in the remaining races, especially if we make it 5 a side!




Due to Holidays and School events we will not have a continuous run of

training nights over the coming weeks. Please stick this list up on your

wall at home so you will know when training is on and will not have any

wasted journeys to St. Ninian's Sports Hall.


            22/10/02    Training is on.

            29/10/02    * No Training - Holiday.

            05/11/02    Training is on.

            12/11/02    Training is on.

            19/11/02    * No Training - Y11 exams.

            26/11/02    Training is on.

            03/12/02    Training is on.

            10/12/02    Training is on.

            17/12/02    * No Training - Awards evening prep.

            24/12/02    * No Training - Holiday.

            31/12/02    * No Training - Holiday.

            07/01/03    Training is on.


Training will continue through to the February half term holiday. See you on

the training nights.  




Good luck to everyone competing in the Walker Brothers Hill League and the Halifax International Winter Walk League, particularly those taking part for the first time.  The organisers of both events, Manx Fell Runners and Manx Harriers, are keen to welcome novices to their events.




Provided the weather improves a little from the past few days, the above event will be back on the traditional course on Boxing Day (just 62 days away!) after bad weather wrecked the event last year.

Full details of this Manx Harriers organised event will be available soon - entries forms will be published in a couple of weeks - but the basic format remains unchanged. Teams of four runners tackle the Millennium Way handicapped according to their running ability.


NEIGHBOURS   25-10-02


Island Games 400 and 800 metres champion Keiron Murray moves across the road this weekend. The Cains advocate is part of a move that sees the firm take over yet another Athol Street building. Older Manxies will remember it as the "Penny Bank", or the Isle of Man Bank for Savings. As I work in the office next door I estimate that I'll be sitting about 50 feet away from Keiron every day!




Some of the ideas I had for the site this week missed the cut because of these absolutely annoying computer viruses I've been subjected to. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to restart my computer in "Safe" mode. Although I've used and updated an anti virus package for years it has been unable to cope recently. I subscribed to an additional anti virus package last night but my computer would not stay on line long enough to download it!


STORM DAMAGE    23-10-02


I trust that local website loggers are not suffering too badly from the storm damage.  I can only imagine what it must be like to have your house flooded.

I wonder how everyone is finding their training courses? I was training tonight for the first time since Saturday. Sometimes having a number of lingering injuries are quite useful when you can't decide whether you are brave enough to go out in the bad weather! Anyway, even tonight there was a lot of mud and debris on the roadway at the NSC.




I seems like a different season since the above was held but Peter Cooper has emailed to let me know that the result is now on the IOMVAC website.


END TO END PARTY    22-10-02


The organising committee from the Isle of Man Veterans Athletic Club are letting their hair down tonight after several months of successful planning for the End to End Walk. Ken & Dot Watterson, Marie Latham, Maureen Cox, Judy King, Wendy Ross, Phil Motley, Margy Killey, Brenda Charlton, Sue Biggert and Ivor O'Brien are among a group who will be enjoying a meal at the Hawthorn as I write this.

In my view the old version of the End to End Walk was one of the most dangerous events promoted in the sport. The course, which took walkers through the outskirts of Douglas at lunchtime and along the main road to the airport in the afternoon, was particularly risky, especially given the very small number of people (albeit diehards) who were prepared to help.

I brought about the cancellation of the event in the days when Boundary Harriers organised it but it was revived after a year with lots of offers of help. But the course was always living on borrowed time and many of the helpers deserted the sinking ship.

And so Manx Harriers sensibly cancelled the event once again in April this year. Out of the ashes came a new organising committee with a lot to learn. But learn they have done to the extent that they have received dozens of letters from grateful walkers who thoroughly enjoyed the event.  For me, the most encouraging thing of all is that they are not going to rest on their laurels. I had a long chat with Ken Watterson tonight and he is convinced there is a lot they can do to further improve the event.

It is this attitude which has made the Clerical Medical Parish Walk such a success in recent years and I think the White & Healthy End to End Walk will attract a lot more walkers next year. The moment the organisers of an event thinks they have it perfectly organised complacency sets in.

There is no doubt that by starting with a clean sheet of paper the organisers set standards well in excess of most other established events and they achieved nearly all of them. The roads were particularly well signposted, I've never seen so many marshals, they sent letters to householders on certain parts of the course warning them that the event was to be held and they designed the course well.

The number of hits on this website showed the popularity of the event and the public's appetite for information. Provided I'm still doing this stuff in a year's time I hope that I can play a bigger part in publicising the event in advance (distances, maps etc) and, provided the event does not clash with other activities, get even more information live on the internet whilst the event was taking place.

Ken has today provided me with stacks of photographs. Because of the file sizes I won't be able to publish them all but I'll certainly try and get as many as possible on line in the weeks ahead. They were taken by Doug Allan and Ken himself but I can't be sure of the individual credits in every case.




The story (Isle of Man Examiner of today's date) that four football players were sent off, and many others were involved in a brawl, seems to happen all too often in sport these days. What annoys me when disputes arise at professional level is that football managers never see the incidents that go in their favour but always complain bitterly when they think they are badly treated.

I'm not naive enough to think there have never been occasional arguments or fighting in athletics but think how lucky we are to enjoy the norm within the sport.  Athletes of all abilities will discuss training and plans before an event. So often in an endurance event one athlete will encourage the other as they lap them or are lapped. On the field, one athlete will often encourage another with coaching advice. Nowhere is this more obvious than at world level javelin throwing.  After an event most athletes take a genuine interest in the performances of their rivals whatever their standard, good or bad.

In 30 odd years in athletics I've never been deliberately pushed or shoved in a race but I have been shouted at when I've been going of course, encouraged by people I've never seen in my life and congratulated by people who have been disappointed that I have beaten them. These are the standards that athletics should and does set 99% of the time. Maybe people will say that they are the standards that are applied in other sports most of the time. Even if that is true we should, at the least, speak out to ensure that things stay that way.



Richie Stevenson previews the long awaited kick off to the Hill League 20-10-02



The course for the opening round of the Walker Bros. Winter Hill League next Saturday is slightly shorter than we first thought, we reckon it is just 2.75 miles long. Tony Rowley has had a blast round and it took him only 19 minutes so expect a winning time of around 17 minutes next week. The course will probably lean in the favour of the fell runners but as the second race at Peel will definitely suit the roadies and the final round at Glen Maye will be more like very tough x-country we think there will be a nice balance of differing terrains.

Newly crowned fell champion Tony Okell must start favourite for overall honours, his task made somewhat easier by Richard Jamieson and Paul Clarke having to miss the first race, although they will liven things up when they return for the final two rounds. Tony Rowley is another who is expected to feature strongly along with Ian Gale and Mark Preston although the latter is returning from injury and may need a few races to get back in the swing of things. Watch out also for Wayne Smith and Simon Skillicorn who have made such encouraging progress this year. We usually have others who will turn up to challenge in maybe one race ( Gianni is thinking of entering at Peel ) which should ensure fierce, close racing in all rounds.

Hopefully there will be a few lady runners to challenge Rose Hooton and all juniors ( minimum age 12 years on day ) will be made most welcome.

This series is definitely NOT just about the top runners. We reintroduced the league some years ago with the main object to encourage more people to have a go at the hills and it has proved very successful in giving newcomers, no matter what their standard, a taste of the sport on short not to difficult and well marked courses.

To get to Glen Ruy Farm go up the TT course in reverse to Creg ny Baa, turn right along Creg back road. Take first left into Glen Ruy and follow road for about one mile until you go up a very steep hill. The farm is straight on at top of hill. We will sign post on race day.




I was contacted a few months ago by a name from the past, Pat Chichester from Splott Walking Club in Cardiff. For those that don't know/remember him, he was part of the successful Splott team that won various national walking titles in the mid to late 1980's. No doubt Steve Taylor will be able to provide us with a few more details and maybe a photo...

Anyway, it turns out that unfortunately his son, Ethan has leukemia and his family are holding an auction in November to raise some cash for the hospital. So, if anyone would like to offer their support in any way, get in touch.

His e-mail address is [email protected]

and his postal addresss is:

Pat Chichester,

75, Adeline Street,



CF24 2BL.

PS. If anyone fancies putting in a 'telephone bid' for a Turin World Cup 2002 programme autographed by numerous top walkers including Robert Korsenowski, Jesus Garcia, Jefferson Perez, Carlos Mercenario, Olimpiada Ivanova, Jane Saville, Gillian O'Sullivan, Jose Marin, Jordi Llopart, Simon Baker, Maurizio Damilano etc, then e-mail him now!




I'm about to do another front page preview of the Douglas Steam Saw Mill Syd Quirk Half Marathon.  Those of you who have been visiting the site for at least a year will know that I invested a lot of time last year by tracing the history of this event from my own scrapbooks and visits to the museum. I provided the organisers with a copy of my research.

Originally the Syd Quirk Half Marathon was organised by the Southern AC and was named after their late president.  Latterly it has been organised by the Isle of Man Veterans Athletic Club. It was first held in 1976.

The Manx Marathon had already started by this time and sometime after this, I'm not sure which year, the IOMVAC, who also organise this event, added a half marathon which has been held every year to the current time.  These are the only two half marathons currently held every year.

Boundary Harriers used to hold a half marathon in the Summer. At first this was held from a course starting at their headquarters at Union Mills and I think it went to Crosby and then around the back roads to Mount Rule and back to Union Mills. The event was switched to what is now the NSC roadway and Steve Kelly ran some very fast times on that course. On one occasion he ran 5 minutes dead for the first mile and had a novice runner on his shoulder! It was Mark Gage the Commonwealth Games cyclist who, when he learnt the art of pace judgment, became a useful middle distance runner and won the Syd Quirk. I can't recall how long the Boundary event lasted.

Perhaps it was when Boundary Harriers changed what had started as an endurance event at the Manx Airlines event in February into a half marathon. This ran for several years until the merger with Manx AC when it was decided to alternate between a half marathon (Island Games years) and a 10km. Manx Harriers are planning a half marathon this year on 1 March although this has not been welcomed by other clubs due to a date change which causes a clash with the fell running league.

Northern AC staged a half marathon on Easter Monday for, I would guess, three of four years, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As if Easter wasn't tough enough with three races!

The only other half marathons I can think of are the two Island Games events. Last year's event from the NSC through Onchan, Groudle and back to the NSC undoubtedly drew the best crowd of any half marathon. The 1985 had a bigger field however as it was an open event as well as determining the Island Games medals. It was on an out and back course and finished inside the old Palace Lido.

Send me your memories, pictures and additions to the above if you like.




I spoke to my postman this morning to ask for news of the Ramsey Fireman's runs.  My postman just happens to be Paul Clarke who set the fastest time of about 26.26 despite only arriving about 5 minutes before the start of the race.

He said there were about 40-50 people taking part. If I had any other news I would publish it.



Johnny Gelling very ill       19-10-02


The sport in the Isle of Man rallied behind Steve & Cal Partington in August after a Manx Radio caller made some inappropriate comments about them.  I have been informed however that the caller, Mr Gelling, is currently very ill and I therefore request that we drop the subject from now on. Thanks.




Drinking plenty of water not only is good for your skin and flushing out your toxins through the kidneys it is alas essential for the joints/cartilages etc.    Even helps to prevent inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and lymph gland problems.    Half the diseases around and migraine, lethargy, tiredness etc is often down to just dehydration.   Your body is simply crying out for water. 

I think drinking lots more water these days has helped me enormously and it's all free.   Spending a penny at the loo more often is a small price to pay surely?

NB - Robbie is off to Cyprus for two weeks on Sunday.


NEW PRIZE POLICY FOR FELL RACES - Richie Stevenson reports


Firstly. the prize structure for all races in next years Managrakem Fell League was discussed and it was overwhelmingly decided to change things in 2003.Prizes will only be given to the first three to finish irrespective of age group. All other competitors will receive a certificate stating time and position in both overall and age category. There will have to be a minimum of three lady competitors before a prize is awarded but there will be flexibility in the junior ranks to ensure they are encouraged to compete again. There will be a few spot prizes at each race with practical items like running socks given out. The money saved on awards during the year will enable us to provide a much better selection at the end of season League presentation.




I am also still planning on going up to the Wirral to race 5km along with some other juniors from the island i think. after that i am just planning on training through the winter and doing occasional races and training weekends with the squad.

Hopefully. if things stay to plan i will be back to race in Andreas 16th November. so look forward to seeing you all then.

On a different note. Nice to see Mark Stewart returning to his walking in the novice walk. (although not a novice i am informed) hope to see him return to training and racing more this winter.

And of course, i was pleased to receive a text message of Alan on Saturday giving me the news that Steve Partington came top brit in 91 minutes. since then i was even more please to discover her was in the top 50. I think that has silenced his critics as well as also giving him a boost i am sure. Well done Steve. and thanks for your support.

Anyways, look forward to hearing all about Manx Athletics. And see you in the Wirral/ Andreas.



Richie Stevenson promotes fell running so well      18-10-02


The Isle of Man Bank sponsored Manx Junior Fell Running Championships will again be incorporated in round two of this years Walker Brothers Winter Hill League that takes place on Saturday 16th November at Peel starting at 1.30pm.A new course has been designed, still  based around Corrins Folly, but with a different route round the back of the hill that has some very fast running and a good testing little climb.We feel that it is an ideal course for a junior championship, hard enough to test everyone but not too difficult for any newcomers and of course it will be well marked.Distance will be 2.75 miles.

We have arranged the use of the Viking Long House for changing and the presentation and refreshments will be there straight after the race.Age groups are under18, under 16 and under 14. Minimum age is 12 years on the day of the race. Please note that the age groups under F.R.A rules are as of January 1st 2002.


Castle Rushen have been the dominant force in previous years championships although QE2 pushed them hard last year. Unfortunately we have never had a Douglas school entering a team but hopefully we can persuade at least one this year, maybe Andy could have a word for us. 




Today was a rare day when I visited my house at lunchtime and so heard Manx Radio sport.  It was mentioned that the winter league was due to start this weekend which surprised me. I've checked all the information I received and as far as I can see it is not due to start until next week.

Should the event still be promoted as the Halifax International Winter League or has the title sponsorship been updated to reflect the merger with Bank of Scotland?




I haven't been able to extend my travels to attend the Fireman's run in Ramsey tonight so if anyone has any news I would welcome it. Martyn Strickett kindly sent me the results last year so I'm hoping I'll be able to publish on Friday evening.

The only people I know who were taking part were Paul Clarke (already mentioned), John Watterson and Jane Mooney.




Richard is an old colleague of mine from the days I worked at Coopers & Lybrand and he has been around to my house tonight trying to fix a computer problem. We have our own in house network (the rest of the family wouldn't stand a chance on this computer would they?) but I can't get the modem sharing function to work.

Anyway the main reason for mentioning him on the website is to say that he has been injured and not able to run much lately.  He has run at the Robin Hood Half Marathon (twice), the Great North Run and the London Marathon which is about as much as he has ever raced on the Island! He ran in the Millennium Way Relay a couple of times and made a couple of stunning appearances in the TT Relay Walk.


DATES OF MANCHESTER INDOOR MEETINGS (thanks to Keiron Murray)  17-10-02


The dates for the Indoors are 18/19 January and 1 February. All at Manchester. There will be a much wider programme than in previous years as the track is a 200m one. The programme has yet to finalised  but hope to do so in the next few weeks.




After nearly four months of inactivity, I am back in light training. After seeing a number of physios, just when I thought that there might be no end to my achilles problem, I visited Rick Holden at Mount Murray. Hey presto, after the first session he has me back running again. I only wish I had seen him last June and I might not have had my season wrecked. The amazing thing is that the "cure" is really simple (anyone with achilles problems might want to try this) - before stretching the achilles, soak it in hot water for about 10 minutes, then do your normal streches. Apparently, circulation in the achilles is not good and this helps improve it which in turns helps the stretch. I am not out of the woods yet on this and he has advised that I will need to keep working on it for several weeks if not months. However, I should be able to train in the meantime.

As for my running itself, the first few runs were very short and very painful!! I am now up to about 4-5 miles and trying to increase distance every 5-7 days. My aim this weekend is to run about 6 miles. It is still very early days.

Other than staying free of injury, building up the miles over the coming weeks and generally working back into the training routine, I have no immediate plans. The Island Games in Guernsey are in my mind, but there is a long way to go and I need to concentrate on developing a good base of fitness before setting myself specific aims for next year.




The supporting races at the recent Leicester 7 mile walk produced a UK under 11 age best for 1km of 5.12 for Lauren Grimson of the host club. She has now produced this time on both road and track. What is the significance of this, Only that Helen Anstead has recorded a time 11.13 for 2km recently. If Helen travels to the Wirral for the next and final leg of the Younger Age group Grand Prix in four weeks time she could well return as a UK 'record' holder.




Just a reminder that this week's cross country, due to be organised by Western AC, was cancelled with less than two weeks to go.



Steve Taylor is anxious to obtain a copy of the 5km handicap walk.  His email is  [email protected]



Neil Bates reports that he has done about 4 training sessions in the last 3 weeks. He was hopefully going to do a full week this week, but due to illness he hadn't done anything up to yesterday . He hopes to do a full week next week after a few sessions this week  then into full winter training.


GRAHAM STIGANT PROVES TO CAN RUN WELL (as well as swim and cycle and.......)    16-10-02


Graham ran extremely well in Ramsey to finish 5th in the cross country. The former Commonwealth Games swimmer has been a highly competitive cyclist for a few years but the Manx Triathlon champion has now demonstrated that he can run pretty well also. He used his strength to good effect on the uphill sections on Sunday.

He plans to run most of the cross country league except for the second round when he will be in Lanzarote celebrating wife Lorraine's 40th birthday.




Paul Clarke, who finished second in the cross country on Sunday, plans to run in Ramsey tomorrow night as his final preparation for the Dublin Marathon.

I'm not making any (public) predictions for his marathon debut but Paul seems to be in good shape.




"Manx Fell Runners' policy of providing refreshments for all competitors after as many races as possible will continue as this always seems to go down well" writes Richie Stevenson. "Most competitors seem  glad of the chance to re-run their race over a cup of tea afterwards."



See front page for full results but here are a few extras from Ken Watterson


Karen Locking - 4 34 03

Gill Churcher - 4 47 09

Linda Shimmin - 4 47 31

Vicki Rawlinson - 4 50 35

Jane Cross - 4 50 35

Donna Harrison - 4 5110

Ann Oates - 4 53 54



He tells the story from his computer at Birmingham University   15-10-02


I have been selected for the Great Britain training squad, which takes place throughout the summer. the first meeting being 26th-27th October, right here in Birmingham. A nice change to have it on my doorstep. Unfortunately it means i wont be able to go home and race the first winter league as planned.




I've spoken to Alan Robertshaw of Sale Harriers who told me that the NoEAA indoor championships plus 4 or 5 open graded meetings will be held over the winter season at the new indoor facility in Manchester. I'll post further details soon, once the fixtures have been finalised.



Manx walking star Steve Partington forwarded this from Michael Rohl and stresses that it is Michael's USA spelling not his!   15-10-02


The course was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.  It was contested on many types of cobblestones and good footing was impossible to find.  The many changes in surfaces and problems with slipping on the stones at the aid areas were brutal.  My legs still hurt after working the aid stations in the 20km races.  The scenary and idea to do it in downtown Turin were nice, but the needs of the athletes were never considered when they laid this course out.  The IAAF, and Damilano should be embarrassed that no one in the M20km made the IAAF A standard in that race, because the course sucked that much.




These start on Thursday at 7 o'clock from Ramsey Fire Station. If you want to know more, well, er, you'll have to rely on traditional means - word of mouth.

If anyone can still send me details such as the dates of every round, the signing on time, the course, the facilities, the rules etc, even with two days to go, it may be useful to someone who doesn't mix with the people who know all of these things.


GREAT NORTH RUN    15-10-02