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
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
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.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR MANX HARRIERS CROSS COUNTRY
RUNNERS FROM ANDY FOX
Lancashire Cross Country Championships 2003 Sat.
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
Cost - 18 and over in
full employment - £55 (club
subsidy - £32)
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
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.
ANDREAS WAS WORSE THAN THE PARISH WALK FOR GRAHAM
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
MANX HARRIERS CIRCUIT TRAINING 19-11-02
Circuit training is not on tonight or next week
due to school exams. It restarts on 3/12/02.
PAUL JACKSON PROVIDES THE NARRATIVE TO ONE OF
THE WEEKEND'S PHOTOS 19-11-02
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.
AMENDED CROSS COUNTRY COURSE AT NOBLES PARK ON
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
STEVE TAYLOR COMMENTS ON THE HALIFAX WINTER LEAGUE
(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.
ANDREAS CORRECTIONS 17-11-02
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
KEVIN MARTIN DID THREE EVENTS IN 25 HOURS 17-11-02
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.
RAMSEY BAKERY CROSS COUNTRY
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
RICHIE STEVENSON REPORTS ON THE LATEST HILL RUNNING
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.
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.
CROSS COUNTRY COVERAGE 16-11-02
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.
NEWS FROM RAMSEY 16-11-02
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.
PUBLICATION OF RESULTS 15-11-02
Although I am
unable to attend any of the weekend fixtures I hope
to publish results from at least three of the meetings.
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
FIXTURE CONGESTION 14-11-02
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
ANDY FLEET PAYS TRIBUTE TO FELL RUNNING OFFICIALS
Makes the work of stalwarts like Doug Drown,
Walter Kennaugh, Margaret Quirk and Richie Stevenson
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
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
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.
NIGEL SUFFERS IN DUBLIN 13-11-02
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
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)!
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
STEVE BRENNAN WALKED FAST 13-11-02
Brenny's time for the marathon (walking) was
3.45.02, reports Steve Taylor.
BIGGER TURNOUT THAN FIRST THOUGHT 12-11-02
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!
KEIRON MURRAY'S COUNTDOWN
TO THE ISLAND GAMES 12-11-02
Weeks 7 and 8 -w/c 28th October and 4th November (34 weeks
LAO2 / Aerobic 4
Anaer./ Speed End 1
6 x 3min on / 1min off
2x8x30s off 60s, 8x10s hard
30 mins med
LAO2 / Aerobic 2
Anaer./ Speed End 1
51:00 - Pack run course
8 x 300m in 45s, each 4th
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.
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
AND NEIL BATES PREPARES FOR A HOMECOMING 12-11-02
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
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
EMPIRE GARAGE PEEL TO DOUGLAS WALKS 11-11-02
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
DOUGLAS GAS CROSS COUNTRY 11-11-02
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
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
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
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 4 15th
December 2002Ramsey Northern
Round 5 12th January2003CastletownSouthern AC
Round 6 26th
January2003Ramsey Northern AC
PETER McELROY CORRECTS WEBSITE 10-11-02
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.
KEIRON MURRAY CORRECTS AW 10-11-02
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.
STEVE TAYLOR OFFERS PRAISE AND SUPPORT FOR PAUL
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
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
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"
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.
ANDY FOX PREVIEWS THE WEEKEND'S CROSS COUNTRY
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.
HELP REQUIRED TO MARK COURSE 08-11-02
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.
GRAHAM YOUNG RECALLS THE HISTORY OF THE NSC AREA
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
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
As you know, this area is now fully developed
and dry; but all that water has to go somewhere
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".
KEIRON MURRAY HAS SUPPLIED THE FOLLOWING CONFIRMATION
Meets at the new City of Manchester Indoor Track
are as follows:-
Dec 28th and 29th
Mar 29th and 30th
More details from Carl Hamilton 07973 166890
or e-mail [email protected] for entry forms.
DOUG CORKILL THE LATEST TO GO ONLINE 06-11-02
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.
WATCH OUT FOR ANOTHER DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHER 06-11-02
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.
ALLAN CORRAN HAS ADDED KEVIN MARTIN'S DUBLIN
MARATHON TIMES 06-11-02
Kevin Martin's times as follows,
Finish Time 4.18.35
Actual Time 4.14.05
1st 13 Miles 2.06.32
2nd 13 Miles 2.12.04
Pos. Category 375
HOW WOMEN'S MARATHON RUNNING HAS MOVED ON 06-11-02
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!
WIRRAL WALKS REPORT BY STEVE
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
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
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
A BIT MORE ABOUT NEW YORK 04-11-02
Manx performances below - tanks to Steve Taylor, John Watterson
& Robbie Callister for letting me know who took part.