News October 2002



All "reporting" by Murray Lambden unless otherwise stated.

[email protected]








Bridget Kaneen has admitted great relief that the weather was good for the second round of the Halifax International Winter League. The first round of the league was cancelled due to severe storms. She is now hoping the next event, the Empire Garage Peel to Douglas Walk, will be blessed with a tailwind to balance the walker's luck with the weather.


ANDY FOX'S REPORT FROM THE SECOND ROUND OF THE MANX GAS CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE (previously printed in the Manx Independent)  19-11-02


Round two of the Manx Gas Island Cross Country League showed what running over the rough stuff is all about. Large fields, close competition and a hot favourite well beaten on the day. The new version of the Abbeylands course proved to be a great success and was interesting, tough, muddy and just to cap it all the weather was wonderful on the day for spectators and competitors alike!!!

First off were the under 9s who had an 800m course with 2 river crossings in it! Jack Garrett of Manx Harriers won the event with a ten second margin over team mates Josh Brand and Eric Kelly who both recorded 3 mins. 46 seconds. In the girls¹ race Emily Ashe was a clear winner in 3.49 from Natasha Stevens both of the host club with Northern AC¹s Deanne Fairclough in third place. 14 under 9 boys and girls competed in the races and all did well to complete a tough course. (Full results are listed later)

Jordan Cain took the under 11 race with a clear win in the Boy¹s event taking 5 mins. 52 secs. to cover the 1400m course. Dean Kinley and Aaron Carey came second and third. In the girl¹s event Lauren Whelan covered the distance in 6.34 ahead of leanne garrett and Dannielle Ross in second and third. 10 under 11s in total competed on the day.

The under 13 races over one large lap of 2000m saw wins for Ryan Fairclough and Katie Tinkler of Northern and Castle Rushen respectively. Michael Haslett and Tom Bateson had a close race for second and third in the boy¹s race while Emma Pressley and Mary Reilly did the same in the girl¹s event. 14 competitors finished on the day.

In the Under 15 age group no girl¹s competed which is surprising. However 10 athletes took part in the boy¹s events over 2 laps of 4000m in total with Alex Guy winning clearly in 16.25 representing Castle Rushen from Ben Brand of Manx Harriers who had an 8 second advantage over Andrew Newton also of CRHS. Alex ran well last year competing in the English School¹s Champs and showed his potential ahead of Ben Brand who is a very capable runner.

Dawn Georgeson was the only under 17 girl but she was able to compete with the senior ladies over 4km and ran very well indeed finishing in 21minutes which would have put her 5th. in the senior race. In the Boys event Keith Gerrard of Manx Harriers won clearly from Andrew Cowley and Rory Murphy. Indeed Keith ran the first short and 2 long laps with the seniors and showed them all a clean pair of heals. It would seem he intends to continue this winter where he left off last summer  winning national championship medals.

The Ladies race set off with the short course competition. Both covered 2 laps of the course and totalled 4000m. Cal Partington ran very well to record 18.35 and win by 29 seconds from Rose Hooton of the Manx Fell Runners with Bridget Kaneen in third a further 28 seconds behind.

In the short course event Phil Motley made a welcome return to Cross Country winning in 16 minutes 25 seconds from John Robertson and Alan Corkill. The organisers do however have to Apologise to Ray Cox at this stage who missed the start due to the over eagerness of the officials who set the race off 3 minutes early! However, Ray had a go at the full race and came a creditable 11th. overall in 39 minutes 55 seconds and 5th. veteran.

In the Senior and veteran men¹s event there was a very strong field that toed the line. The pre race favourite was Tony Okell, with Paul Clarke and Gianni Epifani expected to figure strongly. However, no one had told young guns Keith Gerrard (running a shorter course) and Darren Gray who both set a furious pace making their intentions clear from the start. Tony pushed up to the front on the first large lap but was over taken by Gianni and Paul. The order stayed Gianni and Paul followed by Tony for the first 2 long laps with Darren right on Tony¹s heels. As the third lap got under way Paul caught Gianni and went passed him while Darren did the same to Tony. The last lap saw the positions remain as they were with the gaps growing a little. This was a fine win for Paul in 34mins 1 second who is finding that his marathon training has built up some excellent reserves of strength at the moment.

Gianni, who was 12 seconds down, again proved what a tenacious athlete he is but the run of the day has to go down to Darren Gray, 35mins 8 seconds, who was not overawed by Tony Okell in the slightest and ran way above expectation. Tony (35.31) will no doubt come back stronger but the fact that he finished 4th (1st veteran) does show the depth that Manx Cross Country running has when all athletes are available to compete and are fit. Behind Tony Andy Fox (36.08) finished a tired 5th. (second vet) with Murray Lambden 6th. and 3rd. vet.

As all the above are members of  Manx Harriers it would seem that their Lancashire Cross Country team will be as strong as ever this year. 23 athletes finished this event.

The event as a whole was well run and all seemed to enjoy it on the day. However there would have been no competition had it not been for the 18 individuals from Manx Harriers who marked the course out, collected in the flags, timed the race, recorded the finishing positions and produced refreshments on the day. In addition Henry Harvey was very good to allow his land to be used for the event. The Manx Gas League now moves on to round 3 which is due to be held at Noble's park and hosted by the IOM Vets on Sunday 24/11.


100s of SPECIAL OFFERS  19-11-02


Manx Centurions recently received a letter offering them the opportunity to buy merchandise bearing the Centurion logo. Ray Hughes has collected orders from a number of us, and will dispatch a bulk order if any others contact him at an early date on tel no. 612546 . There is interest in the white polo shirts, and if we receive a few more orders, we hope to have the minimum of six required for this colour. Thank you, Graham Young.



Lancashire Cross Country Championships 2003 Sat. 04/01/03.    19-11-02


The venue is once again Blackburn at Witton park. We have 24 seats booked on the plane, 18 on a day trip and 6 on a stop over. Both trips will travel out from Ronaldsway on the 07.30 flight and the day trip will return at 19.55 from Liverpool. 5 of the 6 stopover places are already accounted for. Is there other person who would like to stop over in Liverpool on the Saturday night and return Sunday afternoon at 3.20pm??? If so let me know ASAP. All must check in on Saturday 04/01/03 at 06.45 at the latest.

Cost -     18 and over in full employment -  £55    (club subsidy - £32)

                Under 18 or a full time student -    £35    (club subsidy - £52)

In addition the club will pay for the UK travel through Lets Coaches and all entry fees so the subsidy is actually around £10 to £15 greater than shown above.

What You Must Do Now!!!

Go to 61 Brunswick Road, Douglas. In the porch are the entry forms. Fill one in and post under door. If we are in just knock on the door!!!! This must be done ASAP. We have to pay for the plane tickets on 22/11/02. I also need your cheque for your travel as outlined above - £55 or £35. If you are not a member of Manx Harriers you will have to discuss with me the price you will have to pay.

Please help by getting forms and cheques filled and paid in by 22/11/02. If you can not make this ring me to let me know your intentions and pay by 29/11/02. Any problems contact me on 626415.




Graham Young felt that he was in good shape for the 10km walk at Andreas on Sunday but was bitterly disappointed. His first lap was exactly 9 mins, the same as last year, then he felt he just went backwards. "My little legs were stiffer after the race than my last Parish" he said this week. He will miss the Peel to Douglas walk. "Martin and I will be seeing Ronnie Atton for his Big 6 oh! that weekend. We will be taking in a Nickleback Concert on the Sunday night in the Manchester Arena."




Circuit training is not on tonight or next week due to school exams. It restarts on 3/12/02.




The 'spectacular view' of my balding head includes Junior Fell Champion Mark Scott overtaking me on his way to victory. The Juniors set off a few minutes after the seniors and he still passed all but the top 14 of the Seniors. A  'Tony Okell' of the future no doubt.



Phil Motley explains  19-11-02


The short course is as before (except for running right down to wall below dog enclosure) - approx 800 metres.  The full course is largely as before, except for running beside bowling greens down to bottom of park then up and across to golf course by the cattery



(further comment welcome)  18-11-02


A great day for walking and an excellent turnout. 55 competitors with 37 in the 10km was bettered only by the first event of last years series. There were 13 new names at 10km for this year although they are not new to walking. (e.g. Graham Young, Gordon Corran, Karen Locking, Sue Biggart, Enid Watson to name a few.)

There were some very good performances making the most of the ideal conditions. Most notable for me Fay Latham in the Junior 2km, and Les Crowe and Dave Griffiths in the 10km. It was good to see Graham Young competing as griity and determined as ever, and the return of Kevin Walmsley seemingly effortless doing 51.13 off minimal training.




Addition to the 1k finishers was No 97  Matthew Locking     7.54  

and Maureen Cox's finishing time of 62.22 should have placed her ahead of David Cain




Steve Partington pointed out that Kevin Martin (NAC) did all three events at the weekend!  Although I haven't seen the results yet, I'm sure he would have run on Thursday night as well.



Unofficial - courtesy of Steve Partington   17-11-02



1. Nick Percival

2. Bernie Cannan

3. Paul Trees

4. Phil Cain

5. Steve Kelly

6. Allan Corran



1. Cal Partington

2. Michelle Kewley

3. Ann Cain

4. Christine Barwell


Jordan Cain won the u11's.


Cal said that it was very heavy underfoot - much wetter than the Island

League race.




A great days racing at Peel with brilliant weather again. We have been so lucky to avoid all the rain in the two rounds of the Walker Bros. Hill League held so far this Winter.We were absolutely delighted to have 25 juniors signing on for the championship and how they performed. It is difficult to single out any one particular performance as the whole field ran remarkably well and deserve great credit. Two who really stood out though were Ballakermeen's Mark Scott who was first to finish and runner-up Ryan Fairclough from Ramsey, both recording times that would have placed them in the top ten in the seniors.Well done also to all three girls who made light work of the tough course.Ballakermeen won the team prize for the first time although they were pushed very hard by QE2 and Castle Rushen. Well done to everyone.

Unfortunately we did have a couple of problems. Firstly we should have numbered the juniors to make identification easier. Secondly we made one mistake in the age groups that had a knock-on affect on the placings. Luckily for us the Brand family were out in force and they were able to point out the mistake, thanks to them for that. Thanks also to Graham Davies for his invaluable help.

 The senior race was a real belter between Gianni and Tony. Gianni made all the running to try and open a good lead knowing that Tony would fly down the final long descent.Gee did manage to open a gap but it was not big enough and Tony powered past to record his second league win of the Winter.As in the first race there was close racing right down the 35 strong field making all the runners give everything right to the finish.

Many thanks to the Isle of Man Bank for the sponsorship of the junior champs and to Shirley for presenting the prizes. Thanks also to all the officials who helped on the day and to the Viking Long House who allowed us the use of their premises.


MISTAKE    16-11-02


Did anyone spot my mistake on the front page this afternoon? Marie Latham borrowed my camera to take pictures at Peel and Paul Jackson kindly returned it to me later. Checking the order of the pictures, I assumed that Gianni had won the race and publicised him as the winner with Tony second. It was only when I opened the results file that I realised that Tony had overtaken "Big G" and rapidly corrected my error.

Plenty more pictures to follow plus its Paul's turn to man the camera tomorrow with Marie and the girls walking at Andreas.




The rapidly improving status of the Manx Gas Island Cross Country League was further enhanced this week by a superb double spread feature in the Manx Independent. I hadn't even realised there was a press photographer there.

I met the injured Colin Moore yesterday and he said how much he would have liked to have run on a course like Abbeylands and we both agreed how good it is the sport to have some uncertainty as to who was going to win.

I hope next week's meeting is as good and that the momentum continues. More details soon.




The only news I have from Thursday night so far is from Paul Jackson. I clocked a steady 35 minutes in the first round (when he had a cold) and was delighted to (unofficially) break the 33 minute barrier this time around. He runs again today in the Walker Brothers Hill League.




Although I am unable to attend any of the weekend fixtures I hope to publish results from at least three of the meetings.

Results from the Halifax International Winter Walks League are likely to published by Sunday evening.

The Isle of Man Bank Junior Fell Running Championship results, together with results from round 2 of the Walker Brothers Hill League, are likely to be on line within 2-3 hours of the conclusion of the race.

Last nights Ramsey Firemans Runs are expected early next week and I'll add a comparison with the first round results. If anyone can send me a few preliminary results for publication tonight it would be useful.

Finally, if anyone can send results from the Ramsey Bakery Cross Country these can also be published.


STEVE LOCKING   15-11-02


For the past 15 years or so I have walked to walk in Douglas to various locations but if it rains I resort to driving, calling a taxi or taking the bus. Yesterday I used public transport in both directions and met veterans Parish Walk winner Steve Locking in the same position. He attributes much of his fitness to the 20+ minute walk between his house and work each way each day but he too was not keen on getting soaked in a suit.

Steve is hoping to walk in the Winter League at Andreas on Sunday and from there he plans to build up for next year's Clerical Medical Parish Walk. He has no plans to cover the full 85 miles but is very keen to perform well again in the veterans class to Peel.

During the Summer and Autumn Steve has run quite a bit and raced in the Isle of Man Veterans Athletic Club's Close Bank sponsored half marathon and the same club's autumn handicap. He also works out regularly at the Mount Murray gym.




Some things never change in athletics and its unbelievable that there are now four fixtures in four days. Round 2 of the Ramsey Firemans Runs starts the congestion off followed on Saturday by Round 2 of the Walker Brothers Hill League/Isle of Man Bank Junior Fell Running Championships,  and on Sunday, Round 2 of the Halifax International Walks and another round of the Ramsey Bakery Cross Country League.



Makes the work of stalwarts like Doug Drown, Walter Kennaugh, Margaret Quirk and Richie Stevenson all worthwhile 


I am just a slow fell runner, however I have run in a variety if events/locations. And whilst I do except that being of Manx origins I am bias. The two best events I have ever had the pleasure in participating in are the Manx Mountain Marathon and the Raas Vring Vradda ( Bradda Fell Race )-this was due to two factors, the course/scenery, and even more impressively the sheer friendliness of all (organisers and partic ipants)


NEIL IN DOUBT   13-11-02

Neil Bates tells his story


After actually getting a good solid 3-4 weeks training I decided that today being a rest day due to a) a lot of work b) resting for Sunday.

I decided to do a short 10minute run.

However I have now encountered a really bad calf strain and am unsure if i will now be able to race on Sunday. I will go out tomorrow evening to do some steady drill and warm ups on the track, as a tester, but all looks grim for my Home coming.




If you enjoy seeing others suffer check this out. Nigel Sinclair described his Dublin race as follows: "The race was good, although I think a lot of us were a little disappointed with our times...perhaps this might have had something to do with the bl***dy hill that the organisers slipped into the course, between mile 19 and mile 20!!

Still, the post race sports massage by two charming young lady physios  helped ease the pain a little! (as did the post-race Guinness(es)!




Have a look at this site.

What a great idea! If not for the six weeks off work, I'd be tempted. With my minimal sleep allocation I reckon I could handle that part of it. Mind you, the actual running/walking bit might see me off!

I've just been looking through AW, and...Spotted that Glyn Hoosen-Owen is ranked 19th in the UK under 20's 2002 rankings for the 1.75kg discus.

Ian Morrow is not listed in the British finishers for the NY Marathon. Perhaps it is because he will be 'unattached'. Some chap reckons a 4:06 marathon he did recently pushing his baby in a pram is a world record. Wonder if Peter Cooper would take a 'pram' entry for the IOM Marathon?

Yelena & Victor Ginko (husband & wife from Belarus) set new world bests at 50km & 100km in Italy recently. Yelena knocked 15 minutes off her previous record to finish in 4:19:13! (Isn't that close to your best?) while Victor walked halves of 4:17:49 & 4:20:18 to knock almost five minutes off his own mark. What did Graham Y. do his 100k in?




Brenny's time for the marathon (walking) was 3.45.02, reports Steve Taylor.




Graham Davies has revised the results from the first round of the Manx Gas Cross Country league and the entry was even bigger than first thought.

With 89 finishers on Sunday the prospect of topping the 100 mark in the next league race for the first time in many years remains as a real possibility.  Keep trying to talk those odd people into taking part in the next round!



Weeks 7 and 8 -  w/c 28th October and 4th November (34 weeks to go)




40mins med

LAO2 / Aerobic 4    

Anaer./ Speed End 1  

Speed 0   

Conditioning 0  

Technique 0  


6 x 3min on / 1min off

2x8x30s off 60s, 8x10s hard off 50s

[5min sets]

50mins med


30 mins med




34 wks



LAO2 / Aerobic 2    

Anaer./ Speed End 1  

Speed 0   

Conditioning 0  

Technique 0  



51:00 - Pack run course


30mins fartlek

8 x 300m in 45s, each 4th min



Nothing much to report save to say that I turned an ankle in some autumnal debris on Saturday 2nd and that I struggled for speed when I ran the 8 x 300m the following week. I feel a lot stronger after increasing the number of longer runs I'm doing but there's obviously been a bit of a trade off, especially because my speedwork and gym sessions have been a bit limited by my lack of a car over the past few weeks. However I'm mobile once more and a few good weeks should set me up nicely for some fast indoor runs.


I've decided against racing in Manchester this weekend and will instead focus on either the Glasgow or Manchester meet between Christmas and New Year to have a crack at the 400m and 800m records. I'm not sure whether Kevin Furlong or Paul Bergquist has got the 400m record (about 50.2) and I believe Dave Anderson has got the 800m record at somewhere around the 2:00 mark, which he set as a veteran. I've not raced indoors and will wait for feedback about the track in Manchester to see if the banking and curves are less severe than those in Glasgow.



Training has been going very well lately, still haven't really managed to replicate the intensity that i had in the summer, but I think over the summer i just had more time on my hands, but I'm regularly putting 6 or 7 sessions a week.

I feel confident that I am back to fitness now and ready to attempt a 10km. So Andreas has come at the right time.


I was really pleased with the Wirral race, although some judges said i was border line legal. But hopefully, i will be training with Allan on Saturday morning prior to the race to iron out any problems. Although i do put this down to problems of lack of training than going too quick, specially as I was a minute of my PB, but even so, I am conscious that I may have some improvements to make.


However, on Sunday I was training with Andi Parker and he was confident I didn't have a problem, and with the session we did i was quite please.


5 x 1km reps.

1st rep    4:22

2nd rep   4:29

3rd rep    4:36

4th rep    4:34

5th rep    4:28

the first rep was somewhat quick for both of us, but we managed to stick to the task in hand. These times although inconsistent are all quicker than any i had done on the Island prior to Leamington, so I was encouraged by that.

I have just come back from a 4k  session out and back along the canal. 9:47 out, and 9:18 back.


So anyways, I am hoping for sub 49:30 maybe even sub 49 on Sunday, although this will depend on the weather and some other factor I am sure. But as my first 10km race of the winter i just want to get a solid race in and start to build on that prior to Manx Steam Packet invitational.




The above event on 1 December will be supported by junior walks on the T.T.Access road. Bridget Kaneen reports that Manx Harriers are hoping for a 11am start .

Children can choose to walk either 3k or 1k and the race entry will be the usual £1. 

She also re-iterates that junior coaching is available on Thursday evenings from 5pm to 6pm at  the N.S.C.




I was going to ask if I alone in thinking that the cross country league has improved beyond all recognition this year but Steve Partington's contribution to the forum suggests that I am not.

Although a lot of people played their part in today's event there are two people who must be singled out.

Firstly, Henry Harvey for allowing the use of his farm. I misquoted Andy Fox on the site recently when he said that they were cutting out the rutted parts of the course. The mud was certainly not missing! If anyone missed the picture of Henry Harvey on his tractor (I know that roughly half site visitors do not visit at the weekend), I'll reproduce this soon.

Secondly, Andy Fox did a tremendous job for organising the meeting. He always does such a good job on behalf of Manx Harriers.

The overall league is in the good hands of Graham Davies.


80 TAKE PART   10-11-02


After a quick look down the results sheet, I calculated that 80 took part in the Manx Gas Cross Country League. This is quite a big increase on the first round. If all of us who take part regularly can think of odd person (very odd!) who has the potential to take part in the league, or has done so before, let's try and talk them into it. It would be a major break through if we could hit the 100 mark by the end of the series.

Round   3        24th November   2002         Douglas          Veterans AC

Round 4          15th December   2002         Ramsey          Northern AC

Round 5           12th January        2003         Castletown     Southern AC

Round 6          26th January       2003          Ramsey          Northern AC




I noticed in this week's edition of Chit Chat (to anyone who has never lived in the Isle of Man this is a column in the local paper which lists sporting birthdays, makes apologies for Bolton Wanderers performances and repeats fixtures printed elsewhere in the paper) that Jess Draskau was actually the fourth fastest Manx marathon performance and not the third fastest as I had suggested. I did apologise in advance if I got this wrong and I must apologise to Maureen Oddie who ran 2.53. Off the top of my head I thought she had probably run around 2.55 but I am unaware of a lost of Manx best times in the public domain. Peter Mac is indeed the authority in this area so hopefully we can compile a list (or reproduce Peter's) in due course.

Peter's records were certainly invaluable in tracing the history of the Peel to Douglas run and the TT 40.




The e-mail address in the AW article is wrong and is different to the address in the classifieds at the back of the mag. The corrected address (as per the classifieds) is gaisier (ie [email protected]) as opposed to gaiser as supplied.




I didn't want to disappoint the readers by not writing anything for a few days, I realise from comments made last week that my views are sorely missed. So to appease them all and especially those that passed comment here are my views on the half marathon for the Inter Island Games.

There appears to be some unhappy fell runners due to the change of date of the Manx Harriers half marathon now being held on March 1st 2003. It is being said that this is the last opportunity to achieve a qualifying standard at this distance for next years Inter Island Games. Of course this would only relate to chances on the Isle of Man, there is nothing stopping athletes taking part in races further a field in an attempt to achieve qualification prior to the end of the qualification period.

But I wonder though how many of those Island Games possibles for the half marathon turned out for the Syd Quirk. Given the alleged few chances available to run the distance one would think that all but the injured and overseas would have taken the opportunity to run the distance last week. Is this really it, only three runners under 1.20? Are fitness levels so low that so many didn't bother to compete and those that did were unable to break 1.20?

There may  be some athletes returning from injury, there may be some yet to emerge as candidates but whilst the rest of us hold ourselves back for something special in March there is of course every chance that it may not happen.

In writing about my Commonwealth Games experience of 1994 I stated that I attained the qualifying standard for 30km in October 1993 and did not record another time for the distance until the Games race in August 1994. This was not through lack of trying but it just didn't happen for me at the Manx Airlines meeting. Fortunately performances in other races over 10km and 20km added to my having achieved the qualification standard stood me in good stead with the selectors.

So the Syd Quirk gave our half marathoners the opportunity to post an early warning to other runners and to the selectors. But it would seem that few took the opportunity to do so. Remember that come March 1st 2003 we cannot guarantee - the weather, that our training will have gone according to plan, to be injury free, to be ready to put ourselves on the line in a potential "winner takes all" situation.

Last week I stated that Paul Clarke would have been disappointed with his 2.45 marathon debut in Dublin. Yes I was critical of his performance believing that he should have and indeed is capable of running faster than he did. I have not seen or heard anything different in this respect but we should always try to get something positive out of the situation no matter how disappointing it may seem. To my mind, Paul has done his Island Games selection chances any harm whatsoever. On Sunday he finished second in the Syd Quirk in 1.16.44 only six days after competing in the Dublin marathon where he is recorded as having passed through the half way mark in 1.13.37.

The latter would have placed him 4th in last years Island Games, both times faster than our third competitor last year.

There may well be a scramble for Island Games paces starting on March 1st next year but surely Paul has done enough to warrant at least consideration for pre-selection. I am not sure of Island games policy but we do pre-select for Commonwealth Games so why not the Island Games. Paul has worked hard and achieved good times for the half marathon despite being beset by injury for most of the year, I feel that he may well have done enough to justify his place in the team and should be pre-selected now so that he can concentrate, hopefully free of injury, on preparation for the Games. I do believe that Paul will need some tips on pace judgement but who knows what he may achieve. His Western 10 time of 56.34 just back from injury indicates a fast half marathon is in there.




Sunday 10/11/02 sees the Manx Gas Island Cross Country League return to Abbeylands for the first time for a decade or so. The course has been modified to ensure it is safe underfoot for the athletes. The recent wet weather will no doubt create a muddy course based on agricultural land. There is no major hill on the course, however, it can not be described as easy!!!! The time table is listed below as are the course descriptions.

It is hoped that round 2 will see a good turn out of athletes. Gianni Epifani and Paul Clarke could well renew their rivalry. Tony Okell will provide stiff opposition from the  Veteran age group. In addition the sensation of the distance running year from a Manx point of view will also make his debut over the rough stuff. It will be interesting to see how Keith Gerard  goes! The younger age groups will see the likes of Ben Brand, Ryan Fairclough and Rhian Evans looking to go well and of course there will no doubt be the usual surprise performances from the pack.

Directions to the course are quite simple. Follow Ballanard road from the St. Ninian¹s traffic lights to the end where you will find a + junction up the hill from Sir George¹s bridge. From here the course will be sign posted. It is approximately half a mile straight ahead over the junction. Follow the road round until you reach a small Chapel on the right. Just before the Chapel is a road on the left that leads up to Henry Harvey¹s farm.

Parking will have to be on the local roads and all spectators and athletes are asked to park with care and consideration for the local community. There is a service in the Chapel at 3pm. on Sunday afternoon so please do not use the small car park next to the building.

Hopefully a great day of competition will be enjoyed by all. The usually spartan facilities at the Abbeylands course have been spruced up this year with refreshments and portaloo toilets available. In addition a raffle will be held to raise money to send the Island Games team to Guernsey next year.




Andy Fox is hoping that as many people as possible can assist on Saturday morning to mark out Sunday's course. If you can, please arrive at the farm (description above) at about 10 am. You can contact Andy on 626415.

Remember, many hands make light work.




The problem with the Perimeter Road at the N.S.C. is in the geography of the site, surrounded as it is for 80% of it's length by the confluence of two of the Island's larger rivers. The whole area has been subject to flooding for at least as far as living memory.

My Mother used to be delighted in the 1920's when the regular engulfment of Pulrose Bridge meant the missing of school.

Later my Granddad had a little cottage on the river bank next to the Porker Pickle Factory. This flooded on average twice a year. The current site of the N.S.C.Swimming Pool was once a boating lake. Tesco's is situated in Lake Rd. That is exactly what was once there.

In my childhood the whole of Hills Meadow from the Quarter Bridge Hotel ,to the Brown Bobby was so thick with reeds and bull rushes that Mrs. Moses would have had problems finding her kid there!  Many a local enthused, "They'll never build on that, yessa!" when they first attempted to drain it.

As you know, this area is now fully developed and dry;  but all that water has to go somewhere -quickly!

The Bowl mid-field area was elevated by the dumping of mining "deads" years ago, as those involved in digging the foundations of the old Boundary Harriers' Club House will testify. The river banks were raised when the engineering was in progress for the construction of Phase One of the N.S.C., and large concrete slabs emplaced along a whole section. I guess that this must have had some positive affect on the problem? What I do know for sure, is that much of the area now looks like an open sewer, and the Raceway is altogether more claustrophobic.

How much would further "improvements" cost; for what end, and who would fund them?

Perhaps what we should be looking for in the future, are contingency plans, worked out with the staff of the N.S.C. Douglas Corporation ,the Department of Highways, etc..

Maybe something along the lines of a Race Director being appointed, who, in consultation with other key officials, would may decide to go for the fall back plan, ring Manx Radio ,and ,as far as practical ,those likely to be involved on the day. They could then ring others. If this meant a change of venue, then someone to inform people turning up at the original site of the new arrangements, would have to be posted there.

A one hour deferment of the start time on a Sunday morning, should not be the end of the world for many people. The St Johns course rarely floods and Dave Sayle, at the Tynwald Hill Inn has always been very obliging towards us.

There is obviously a limit as to how much can be cleared by hand on the day from a road surface, and by all accounts this was exceeded last week with thick , muddy sludge everywhere.

However, luckily, the English Schools National Championships, held on this course in 1983, were rescued by keen people getting wet themselves and brushing up the surface water with squeegees borrowed from the Fire Brigade H.Q. across the river. Also rubber matting appeared for the kids to stand on whilst they watched the events from the grass infield.

Then again, if the weather is deemed to be too dangerous for people to travel around the Island, safety is paramount.

My comments do not infer criticism of any recent decisions, but rather I hope that I have offered a few constructive thoughts for the future.

Foot note: The Isle of Man Schools won the Girls National Aggregate Championships that year. Well, in the name of Merseyside, with just Hazel Cross and Jeanette McKenzie from "Across".




Meets at the new City of Manchester Indoor Track are as follows:-

Nov 16th

Dec 28th and 29th

Mar 29th and 30th

More details from Carl Hamilton 07973 166890 or e-mail [email protected] for entry forms.




Steve Partington reports that Dougie Corkill now online, having bought himself a computer! Needless to say, he spent most of the Turin weekend glued to the screen as the IAAF website posted 'real time' splits for the walks! He was disappointed not to be there, but was able to tell Steve things about the races that he didn't know.  

The bad news is that Dougie's broken a 'few' toes in an accident at work, so any athletic plans he may have had will have to be put on hold.




Paul Jackson, who has quickly established himself as the Island's No 1 course signposter (if that is a word) is hoping to get a digital camera at Christmas. Despite a good number of "fresh air shots" when he borrowed my camera on Sunday (poor coaching!) he produced some good ones and I still have more to use. When he gets his own however I am sure we'll see a lot more on the website.




Kevin Martin's times as follows,

Number   6524

Finish Time 4.18.35

Actual Time 4.14.05

1st 13 Miles 2.06.32

2nd 13 Miles 2.12.04

Position     2953

Pos. Category 375




Steve Partington has read  that  Liz McColghan's marathon PB would have seen her four laps of the NSC behind Paula's recent Chicago time!




As the team gathered at the Sea Terminal at 6.30am it was fair to say that there wasn't much excitement among the competitors. This was I believe entirely due to the fact that they had all been up for an hour already but were still half asleep. Making our way through the security check Bridget was stopped by one of the check in staff and told that the Steam Packet were advising people not to travel for a day trip as they could not guarantee a return journey that evening. This was a little late for us as most of the children were already on the boat by this time. Undeterred we boarded the ship to be met by Kathy Moore and family who had saved us seats. The children began to wake up which was a little unfortunate for me as I was trying to catch up on my sleep having worked until 4am the previous night.  

What are we doing before and after the race seemed to be the most important thing to the children rather than anything to do with the race itself. For me however not having walked since the Manx Games I was worried that 5km may prove to be 2km too far.

We were met in Liverpool by our taxi drivers and taken quickly to the race HQ at Birkenhead Park 6th Form College which was a hive of activity at that time. Unfortunately for us it was nothing to do with the race walking due to start 3 hours later. In fact there were no signs any where advertising the event and speaking to locals during the afternoon nothing had appeared in the local papers either. These organisers could do with contacting the Parish or End to End organisers for a few pointers I think.

Once things got under way we realised that race walking had yet again taken an opportunity to shoot itself in the foot. We have already mentioned the lack of advertising but added to that was the lack of support form both officials and competitors. Undoubtedly the Harriers were the best supported club in attendance but there were two walkers who had travelled up from Folkestone yet very few from anywhere else. As befits the RWA Press and Publicity Officer Chris Smith was in attendance and brought a small but quality team with him. Chris however also had a tractor tyre with him which he also carried around when racing which unsurprisingly slowed him down somewhat.

The course was a twisting out and back lap of 1km going slightly downhill on the outward leg and slightly uphill on the return. As the start of the event got closer the weather got worse and by the time the first race started it was raining heavily. Despite the shelter of tress we were unable to avoid the wind and faced strong winds as well. The under 17, junior, senior veteran men and women all started together for their 5km race and despite me being the quickest to react to the gun was Luke Finch took the race by the scruff of the neck and was never headed, looking very comfortable he showed just why he is on of the country's most promising walkers finishing well clear in 21.26. His brother Lloyd was second ahead of Neil Bates walking a steady untroubled 24.29 for third. In fifth place overall but first woman was Bridget Kaneen 27.57 ahead of me in 28.50. As I suspected earlier 5km was too far, I wasn't even good for 3km having blown on the uphill return on the third lap. (My time at 1km would not have won the under 11 race!!!) Despite a major surge on the last lap I continued to fall further behind Bridget but stayed far enough ahead of the 16 year old behind me to grab 6th place. Or if Anthony Brand is reading 2nd senior man.

The under 15 boys and girls race was next but as they were called to the start there was still no sign of Robert Moore who had gone shopping in the morning with his family rather than undertake the arduous race preparation that Peter, Bridget and I put the remainder of the team through. As the starter shouted one minute to go a car screeched to a halt outside the park gates and out jumped Kathy Moore followed by Robert who's middle name could well be Traa Da Loure. Also competing over 3km were Ciara Kaneen and Emma Latham for the Harriers and the very talented Rebecca Mersh of Sheffield. Rebecca dominated this race from start to finish, finishing well clear of Robert 17.34, who appeared very subdued on this occasion. Obviously only arriving as the gun was about to go didn't help. Emma and Ciara started together but Emma soon pulled away and walked her best race ever to smash her pb to record 18.19. A fast finish by Ciara also brought her a pb, 19.14, and third place in her event.

Callum Taylor was our only entrant in the 2kn event and he was up against Mark O'Kane of Coventry who Callum has raced against twice off Island already this year each of then experiencing a DQ. Callum went off with Kathy Granger of Sheffield but a warning caused him to ease up slightly. However Callum is very competitive (not sure where he gets it from) and was soon on her shoulder again. In the end he played safe and went for the finish rather than overall victory and came home second overall but won the boys race in 11.37, 4 seconds behind Kathy but some 32 seconds clear of his nearest rival.

The last event was the under 11 1km, again mixing the boys against the girls. Sadly other than the Harriers there was only one other entrant and how he would have wished it was different. As I predicted Helen Anstead won the race but she had it far from her own way. Lauren Whelan fresh from her week of warm weather training in Wemm on the outskirts of Manchester went with Helen and finished a mere 7 seconds behind smashing her pb with 5.31 making her 3rd on this years ranking list for 1km. Behind these was a great race between Bronwen Kaneen and Fay Latham. Bronwen again prevailed but only by 2 seconds as Fay also smashed her pb recording 6.06. Bringing up the rear in this race but not to be out done by their faster rivals were the smallest competitors on the day Kirsty Taylor and Richard Granger of Hallamshire. A race long battle came down to the wire with Kirsty getting the nod in a sprint finish, both athletes been given the same time 6.22, a pb for Kirsty.

Prior to the first race Chris Smith (Leicester) laid down a team challenge to the Harriers, in fact he said that they were the champions elect as we couldn't field a team as we were unable to persuade Peter "its too short for me, I'm an endurance athlete" Kaneen to take part. However at the presentation it turned out that teams were made up of anyone who competed in the 5km race. Whilst Leicester boasted 14 points including 1st and 2nd in the race with the Finch brothers the combination of Neil, Bridget and myself also scored 14 points but took the team title by virtue of our third walker (thats me) being higher placed than their third walker (Chris) If I am not mistaken it is probably the first time that I have ever beaten Chris.  Chris has recorded a sub 90 minute 20km albeit some years ago, this was in the Manx Airlines race when he stayed at my house.

The walkers who won medals were not prepared to imitate the organisers advertising methodology and medals could be seen swinging from the necks of the fortunate few in Caesar's restaurant, St. Johns shopping centre, the Steam Packet check-in / prison / waiting room and on the boat. Quite rightly they should all feel very proud of they achievements including those who didn't win a prize.

It would be difficult to pick out a performance of the day as in those conditions all performances were good and one would expect to be able to improve upon them in more favourable conditions. But I would say anyone who was able to set a pb on Saturday an extra special very well done.

A big thank you must go to Liz Corran who had made the travel arrangements prior to jetting off to New York and also to "Mum" to all for the day Bridget. Excellent support to all the walkers was given by Peter "Spielberg" Kaneen on the camcorder, Simon Latham who had travelled down from Manchester and Carol Bates who flew over on the day.

The journey back was eventful to say the least, after a 6 hour delay we were then invited on to the Super Sea Cat 3 roller coaster which was better than anything at Blackpool. Next time the steam Packet say that the boat is delayed or cancelled due to the weather, take their word for it. We endured it Saturday night and it wasn't pleasant.

Next event is the winter league at Andreas on Sunday 17th November, signing on from 9.30am at the Ayre Utd FC club house. Due to the cancellation of the first race this event will be a scratch race.  See you all there.

Results from Wirral Grand Prix


1. Luke Finch   Leicester       21.26

2. Lloyd Finch  Leicester       23.15

3. Neil Bates                   24.29

5. Bridget Kaneen                       27.57 (1st Lady)

6. Steve Taylor                 28.50


1st Team Manx Harriers



1. Rebecca Mersh        Sheffield               16.17

2. Robert Moore                 17.34

3. Emma Latham                  18.19

4. Ciara Kaneen                 19.14



1. Kathy Granger        Sheffield       11.33

2. Callum Taylor                        11.37

3. Mark O'Kane  Coventry        12.09



1. Helen Anstead                        5.24

2. Lauren Whelan                        5.31

3. Bronwen Kaneen                       6.04

4. Fay Latham                   6.06

5. Kirsty Taylor                        6.22

6. Richard GrangerHallamshire   6.22




Manx performances below - tanks to Steve Taylor, John Watterson & Robbie Callister for letting me know who took part.









































Gender Place








Age Place








Official Time



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