All "reporting" by Murray Lambden unless otherwise stated.

[email protected]










The Isle of Man Veteran Athletes Club have kept their annual subscriptions at £ 8.00 for first claim, £7.00 for second and £3.00 for social members. "What a bargain!" says Peter Cooper.

Check out the IOMVAC website for a full description of their activities.




Meanwhile for those people wishing to renew their Manx Harriers subscriptions, or join for the first time, I've republished the membership form.  Provided that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader (to open pdf files) you can download it here.




Entries are already rolling in for the big Steam Packet Grand Prix Walks meeting on 1 March. Bridget Kaneen reports that so far off Island entries have come from.


Steve Arnold from Coventry (who competed last year)

Mark Byrne from Sheffield ( a regular visitor to races on the Island. and regular 50k man.)



Jo Hesketh from Steyning (raced here a couple of years ago and got a P.B of around 111 minutes I think.)

Sarah Chetwynd from Tamworth ( not quite sure of her form, but think I have seen her racing in the National.)

20km men - 0


Ann Wheeler from Nuneaton.

Junior 1 mile

Lauren Gimson from Leicester ( one of the up and coming juniors in the U.K.)

Local entries so far.


Les Crowe. 




Neil Bates

Brian Brough

Marie Latham


Emma Latham

Fay Latham





Peter Cooper is to be replaced by a committee! This years Close Private Bank is to be organised by a sub committee of the IOMVAC in a similar style to the End to End Walk.




I mentioned recently that I had a lengthy conversation with the editor of the Race Walking Record. Tim Watt is was the guy he takes his computer to bed with him.

At the time he was compiling a database of all walking performances in the UK during 2002 and he was struggling to identify which clubs Manx walkers represented. I put him in touch with Steve Taylor and Tim thanks Steve and also Caroline Brand in his published results today.

Steyning AC had more active walkers than any other club last year (159) but Manx Harriers had the second highest number (61) and the Isle of Man Veterans AC third (41).

As many of the 829 unattached walkers were people who turned out in the Parish Walk and the End to End Walk in is obvious to all that the Isle of Man has more race walkers than anywhere else in the UK.




Another little story that emerged when I spoke to Tim Watt was that his mother still remembered Andy Garrett and Tim Baker from the 1984 English Schools walks that were held at Steyning, Tim's home town.

His mum could never forget Andy after he consumed more spaghetti than anyone she had ever seen!



Visit on Saturday to find out who this person is. He or she is well known to quite a few people on the Isle of Man.



I've deferred the publication of all pictures until Saturday.

I'm sure you guessed that they were all mine.




One of the best Cross Country seasons seen for many a year came to end at the Crossags farm in Ramsey on Sunday with the Isle of Man Cross Country Championships.

In near perfect conditions the majority of the races went to form, but the first race of the day the under 9 boys didn’t. Anyone of four young athletes could take the gold medal Jack Garrett was the favorite followed by Joshua Brand, Jamie Callister and Eric Kelly, with all four sprinting up the hill to the finish Garret had taken the lead but suddenly Kelly sprinted up alongside and overtook Garrett on the corner of the finishing straight and sprinted on to win, this stopped Garrett in his tracks with his hands on his knees clearly upset he realised just in time that he could lose the silver too, because coming up very fast was newcomer George Rawlinson with Brand and Callister right behind, just seven seconds covered the first three Kelly, Garrett and Rawlinson, Brand who missed out on the medal places had the consolation of picking up a team gold with his Manx Harriers teammates.

The under 9 girls went completely to form with Emily Ashe the Manx Gas League Champion making it a double in winning the gold medal with Deanne Fairclough from the host club Northern taking silver and Catriona Cox the bronze, Manx Harriers again took the team gold with Natasha Stevens finishing fourth and Sophie Lund 7th.

The under 11’s girls and boys age groups saw both Jordan Cain and Lauren Whelan putting on demonstration of why they both have not been beaten all winter over the Country. Whelan was so quick she could have taken bronze in the boys race. Cain for the first time was put under a little pressure in the early stages by Andrew Crennell from the Western Club but just went quicker to take gold with Crennell taking silver and Daniel Fox the bronze. The silver medal in the girls race went to Chelsey Hall of Ramsey and the bronze to Bronwen Kaneen.

Castle Rushen High School took their first gold of the afternoon when 12 year old Katie Tinkler took the under 13 girls title from team mate Sammy Callaghan with Emma Pressley just getting the better of Mary Reilly on the climb to the finish taking bronze.

Just under a minute was the winning margin that Ryan Fairclough of the Northern Athletic Club had in winning gold in under 13 boys with team mate Jamie Carey taking silver and Mikey Callister of Ballakermeen High School taking bronze. This result also stopped Manx Harriers taking a clean sweep of all team golds during the afternoon with Michael Craine of the Northern Club finishing forth.

The under 15 Boys and Girls age groups were a little bit of a let down with many athletes who had entered failing to turn up, could be due to the many bugs doing the rounds on the Island at present? Nevertheless we can’t take away the performances of Andrew Newton who took Castle Rushens second gold of the afternoon and won his first ever race by beating pre-race favorite Ben Brand into the Silver medal position and James Reilly took a well deserved bronze from last years Champion Shaun Creegen. Helen Ring also won her first ever cross country race and gold medal by winning the under 15 girls with a really hard determined run beating Ciara Kaneen silver and new girl Laura Sowrey bronze respectively.

Then came the final race start of the afternoon with all other age groups starting together but doing different distances as they negotiated the Crossags farm Course.

The early leaders were Paul Clarke and sixteen year old Keith Gerrard they had about 50 metres on the following pack Keith would easily add the under 17 Isle of Man Championship crown to his Lancashire and Merseyside titles won earlier this month the main thought for Keith was to go steady and just do enough to win, as he has many other major events to look forward to, and they would be far harder than todays event. In a way you have to feel sorry for Castle Rushen High School student Rory Murphy he knew before he started that Keith was in a class of his own and the best he could hope for was silver, and thats exactly what happened. Dawn Georgeson won Castle Rushens third and final gold by winning the under 17 girls Championship.

After two laps Clarke was out on his own with Gianni Epifani also on his own fifty metres behind the real battle for position was between Nick Percival, Ian Gale, Mark Preston and Darren Gray any of these athletes could take the bronze. With Clarke and Epifani finished and shaking hands on a good days work they watched as fell runner Gale grabbed the initiative as the athletes entered the bottom field just below the finish and powered his way up the hill to grab the bronze medal from Percival with Preston and Gray just seconds behind. The Veteran’s title was far from being decided when athletes started their last lap Andy Fox was returning from illness and very short of race practice, was up against team mates Brian Osborne and Peter Kaneen. Having won five senior titles over the years Fox would have to draw on his vast experience and inner strength to take the gold, he did but by the narrowest of margins just seven seconds from Osborne with Kaneen third.

The only person to win two titles in one day was fell runner Rose Hooton she entered both the Senior Ladies race and the Veterans Ladies race and then went out to win by just under a minute from Bridget Kaneen with Ann Cain third.

The Manx Harriers team completely dominated the team awards taking Seniors Mens and Vets titles.

Peter Cooper won the over 55 years veteran’s class and Robbie Callister the over 60 years veterans class with Thomas Davies adding to his many titles taking gold in the Junior Mens.

So ended a very good cross country season and the possibility that it will be even better next year. A big thank you to all those who made it such a great success.



Chris Quine adds his experienced comments


Graham has done a great job re-igniting interest in the cross country scene. In an ideal world cross country would fit into an overall plan for athletics as a whole and the structure would fit into the context of this plan. However, we do not seem to have this at the moment so let's work with what is there.


The publicity and sponsorship has been excellent and there is a real buzz as the races.


The league should aim to provide:

- Meaningful competition in all ages groups.

- Useful development for those who want off-Island competition.

- Useful development for those who want to specialise in other areas of athletics eg track, road running, fell running.


To help achieve this we should consider the following:

- About six races in the series seems right.

- No course should be used more than twice.

- Some degree of toilets and changing are strongly preferable.

- Encourage each club to organise one fixture to spread the burden.

- Scrap any club leagues. The numbers are small and they risk diluting the fields in the Island League.

- Courses and distances can be used to help the athletes develop over the season. So, for example, use a fast course like Port St Mary golf course for the first race aiming for a winning senior mens time of around 25-27 minutes. Build up to "tougher" course over winter with a winning senior mens time of around 30-32 minutes. This development can be replicated in the other age groups as well.

- The championship race should be the climax of the season. This distances should reflect UK Athletics county champioship distances for each age group.

- I don't agree that the championship should be separate from the league as this may encourage those who may feel they have no chance of winning a medal from competing and risk it becoming Elitist. I would follow the lead of the former World Cross series and make the final race (which was the World Cross Country champs) double points. This would help keep the league alive a lot longer and encourage participation in the championships.

- The championships should ideally be held early to mid February. The date issue is difficult as there are other factors to consider:

      - I don't agree that the whole season should necessarily be structured around the English National as only a small number target that

race and    we need to cater for the majority.

      - There is also the inter counties to consider but that too is only for a small number - we do need to consider though that we want our best in

the   championship.

      - There are other local races, for example fell races, which are a higher priority for some people. However, it would be good to atract these

      runners into cross country as well.

      - There is now a lull in races excluding fell races and Firemans runs until after Easter time. There is a risk that juniors will lose interest or find other  activities.

- Although numbers are not great, the senior short course is an excellent idea and in my view has been a success. Standardise the distance at, say 3k, with 4k for the championships.

- Perhaps we could add in some team element. although we have team prizes, I don't think that the clubs make any real effort to encourage runners to compete. Suggestions:

      - Encourage school teams in the junior events (Castle Rushen make a great effort at the moment but very little from the other schools). Suggest

3     to score.

      - Sports teams in the short race (eg football, hockey teams). Suggest 3 to score.





Unfortunately we have had no response to our request for help on the day. If any runner is not having a go and can help with the marshalling please get in touch with me.

[email protected]




You may recall that this year's Manx Gas Cross Country league was going to be six rounds with the last on 12 January with the championships two weeks later.

You may also recall that the Western AC event was cancelled (at which the time the championships also became a part of the league) and then the Southern AC folded leaving the IOMAA to organise one of the rounds.

Graham Davies said at the prize presentation that next year there would be no doubling up of the league with the championships (which I support) and we would revert to the idea of having a final round of the league in February.

I know that this is favoured by some runners such as Andy Fox who believe that another race would be useful for those targeting the National Cross Country which this year is four weeks after the island champs.

My view differs however.

Either there should be one round less and the best four out of five rounds count with the local season concluding in style with the championships at the end of January, or the championships themselves are pushed back into early February to achieve the same finale but perhaps retaining the six rounds with one round at the end of January.

Experience tells me that once the Island Championships have been held cross country events on the Island are poorly supported. I know because I've raced in them against three other seniors in February.

What do you think?

One thing I'm fairly confident of is that with the momentum gained this year then whatever the final timetable, cross country running will move forward again next winter.

Wouldn't it be nice to have all the clubs organising a round and all of them encouraging the appropriate athletes in their club to enter. Perhaps we could make it easy for potential runners by continuing the theme Graham developed this year of entering in advance but by having the final dates and regulations in circulation by the beginning of September.

Despite relatively small entries in the short course event it has made a big difference to the atmosphere at league meetings this year and I'm sure it will continue.




As I'm writing this at 11.30 pm I'm sure I should refer to today as Wednesday by the time (all but a few saddos) read this but don't forget the big FELL RUNNING GET TOGETHER tonight.




I had hear the gales as I write this (not Ian Gale!) and it begs me to invite another discussion.

Is it a good idea to train outdoors in such weather?

The old fashioned view, and I spoke to Colin Moore and Tony Okell about this on Sunday, is that if you can train through the rain, the wind or even the snow it will toughen you up and sometimes a race may even feel easy by comparison.

Another view, surprisingly favoured by one of my tough Yorkshire walking rivals, was that training is about quality and there is very little point in training if the weather is too bad and you cannot achieve a quality session. Much better to put the session off until the weather is better.

What do you think?


MARTIN ARAM'S PLANS FOR 2003  27-01-03

Thanks to his Dad Dennis who is recovering from a hernia operation


Martin is currently in his first year at University in Liverpool studying for a degree in Creative and Performing Arts.  He reports that he is happy with his winter training, making use of indoor facilities not available on the Island, and is cautiously optimistic for the 2003 season.


At the moment he is concentrating on technical and speed work to complete his preparations for his indoor season, which starts with the North of England Senior Championships on Saturday 1st February in Manchester.  He will be hoping to regain the high jump title he won in 2001, having missed the event last year due to a clash of dates with the Scottish event.  The following Saturday, he will be in Glasgow to defend the Scottish Senior title he won last year.  On 23rd February, he will be at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham for the Birmingham Games and the following weekend returns to the same venue for the AAA Senior Championships (he is the 2002 under 20 title holder).


After a few days break, it will then be back to the gym for more hard winter training to prepare for the outdoor season, starting with the Lancashire Championships in May.  The key competition to peak for in the Summer will be the NatWest Island Games in Guernsey, where he would be defending the High Jump title he won in the Isle of Man in 2001 and hoping to improve his Games record.  Apart from the High Jump, he is hoping for selection in Guernsey for the Shot Putt (in which he also holds the Manx Senior record), Discus and Javelin.  There is also the possibility of a GB vest at under 23 level but the prospect of this is made more difficult because he will miss the AAA under 23 Championships due to a clash of dates with the Island Games.


Later in the year, he is likely to be selected to represent the City of Liverpool at the World City Games to be held in China in November.  In view of the travel costs, the teams sent are quite small so the priority is to select athletes that can do a variety of events.  Apart from being at University in Liverpool, he has taken advantage of competitive opportunities offered by representing Liverpool Harriers for the last two years in the British Athletics League, the National Junior League, etc, so would be eligible for selection.




Unfortunately not the result anyone was hoping for. With only three in the race i was on course for my first indoor medal and too my first U20 AAA's Medal. I started comfortable and once battled my way into second place I started to pick the pace up.

Unfortunately I was DQ'd I am not sure whether it was just bad in general or it was just a bad lap or two when the warnings went in, but they were all  for my right knee.

Needless to say i am disapointed, but I have to take from it what i can, and  address the problems that have been pointed out.

Heres to a successful 5km on 9th Feb.




Don't forget the Isle of Man Veterans Athletic Club AGM tonight.

For details check their website.




I try as hard as I can to mix the various sections of our sport on this website and, even on the day when there is an event on, I still try and find something to say about the other sections.  But after watching this afternoon's Island Cross Country Championships I find it impossible to enthuse about anything else so this is a one subject news page tonight.

Although not everyone will agree with me, I shall get my main gripe out of way first.  The Manx Championships has traditionally been run over a longer distance than any of the league meetings.  It makes it stand out a bit above the other events, it helps athletes who are preparing for the National Championships (9 miles) and many other athletes are preparing for longer distances on the road and fells so it's a good stepping stone.

If you disagree say so but I think, on this occasion, we should stick with tradition. Particularly as it was a course that has been used before, many people expected the senior men to run 4 laps. At the very least we should have known there was a change of policy as I put the wind up one or two people who did not know the tradition by telling them I expected it to be longer! What's worse, I was told it was due to popular demand that it had been "shortened" but several experienced runners who run every year in the championships had not been consulted.

Back to the good points.  Hasn't Graham Davies done a wonderful job co-ordinating the cross country league this winter? There is a real feeling of togetherness that so many athletes have raced against each other.  Tony Okell, Colin Moore, Chris Quine were not able to run today and where were they? At the championships supporting the other runners.

It was good to see officials from different clubs on duty on the same day - an all too frequent occurrence.

The course was good. Its fast and testing. Perhaps three races out of six at Ramsey is too much but the facilities improve with every visit and Northern AC always make people feel welcome. As the number of entries have increased then so has car parking become a bit of a problem and perhaps more people can be encouraged to share transport or at least park and ride say from a car park in Ramsey. Its a nice problem to have though isn't it.

I'm hoping that someone else will write a full report so I will only touch on a few of the things I enjoyed during the race.

Graham Davies described Keith Gerrard as the best athlete to come out of the Isle of Man in the last 20 years. Much as I admire Keith, I think it is a little dangerous to put that much weight on anyone's shoulders.  Lots of other people have fallen with such weight. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed another really classy run from Keith today as he kept the senior winner company for the first two laps. Great stuff.

But the man who had Keith for company for 20 minutes has been around for more than 20 years. Paul Clarke was overshadowed by his younger brother Graham for many of them, particularly over the longer distances as Paul did so well at 800 and 1500 metres.

Paul has blossomed during the past year and is now a force to be reckoned with. Just a shame he didn't make the inter counties team as I'm sure he would have done well there.

Gianni Epifani was second in the senior race virtually throughout and considering that he has had a difficult few years with injury it was a good performance to once again beat Ian Gale, Nick Percival, Mark Preston, Darren Gray, Andy Fox, Brian Osbourne, Peter Kaneen, Steve Partington, Ray Cox and Paul Curphey who made up the first 12.

There is plenty I could write about any of them but for tonight I'll just mention Andy Fox. Andy has won the title five times (he could only remember four until he saw the trophy) and is a great inspiration to many of the younger runners. He has not been well for a few weeks and has only just got back into training. He could have sat on his laurels but he was prepared to mix it with the other runners albeit at a lower level. He was so tired he even had to walk a bit of the hill during the third lap but he still held on to win the veterans title and bring himself back into contention with some of the younger runners.

It was thoroughly enjoyable to see so many battles further down the field also and a field of 30 or so is worthy of a championship.

The women's event today was not so well supported as other rounds but Rose Hooton is so reliable that she will not miss a chance to scoop the honours. She had Bridget Kaneen for company for a short time but as soon as they hit the hills she was on her own.

I don't feel qualified to report on all the junior races but I hope to give credit to some of the runners during the week as I sift through my photos. This will be made easier when the results are available. What I did notice was intense rivalry between some of the runners. In the most part this was sport at its best. Some of the athletes achieved their expected trophy or performed much better than they expected as a reward for their training and judgment in their races.  We all have to learn that we can't be the best at everything and sport is a great place for children to learn that you can also be very proud of what you have done without necessarily finishing at the front of the field.  Its also a place to learn that if you don't get it right on one occasion you go away and work on ways of improving your performance.

The only thing that puts me off when I watch a junior event is when I see an athlete criticised in public for not running as well as they should have done. Parental support can be the making of an athlete but it can also be destructive.

There will be plenty more comment about the Cross Country season on this site. If you have a view then please email me or use the forum. Remember it never hurts to say "well done" or "thanks" to the people who ran so well or organised the events. Equally the only way they find out that things were not all to your satisfaction is if you tell them.

All roads really did lead to Ramsey (judging by the car park) and there really was a feast of top class athletics. I wish that was true of every event that had been built up in this way. The number of cross country races on the Isle of Man have been reduced considerably in recent years and the depth of competition has risen at the same time. There are other reasons too, not least the publicity, but I'm convinced that if we reduced the number of road races during the year these would become much better events also. Notwithstanding this I shall shortly be promoting ALL the road races that exist.


 4 LAPS OR 3  25-01-03


I've been asked by numerous people whether the seniors will run over three or four laps tomorrow at Ramsey.  Its three in league matches but the custom has been to increase it to four for championships.

My guess is that it will be four but it is only a guess as the IOMAA secretary Graham Davies does not know!




I was informed by an official source that Chris Shimmin had declined injury for the Inter Counties at Nottingham due to injury.  I was therefore very surprised to learn that he ran, and ran very well, in the Merseyside Schools, last weekend.

I very pleased to correct my earlier report. Chris never was injured and declined the selection due to a commitment to play football in the Manx FA Cup on the same day. Football is his first love and although he has managed to fit most of the cross country season around his football on this occasion it takes priority.

I'm sorry that this was not previously accurately reported.

Chris is undoubtedly a great talent and has been running really well this season. Let's hope that he continues to take part in his second sport as much as he can.



Neil Bates makes us think   24-01-03


Not on for statistics. But couldnt help but notice this one.

Robert Moore.

Already quicker than me when i was his age (my PB was 26:59) But since starting to seriously compete the 5km event (17th Novemeber) he has improved roughly a minute a month!

that is.

November - 27:39

December - 26:40

January -  25:41

At this rate come Leamington Spa (April) he will be doing 22:40! and by July he will have the World Youth (under 18) record which stands at 19:35.

Obviously his improvements wont be as big in the future. But having trained and knowing Robert, he has a lot of potential and i believe that by this time next year he could regularly be putting in sub 24minute 5kms.




Although neither of us publish our websites using Microsoft's Front Page, I found myself standing next to Manx Road Club's webmaster (and a pretty handy runner) Peter Kennaugh today and we were both reading books on the subject. The MRC website is written in Dreamweaver and be accessed at

Pretty impressive it is too.


CHRIS QUINE ILL   24-01-03


Chris Quine had not run since the Lancashire Cross Country when we exchanged emails a couple of days ago.

He was suffering from a cold when he ran at Blackburn and it may have been a factor in making him much worse afterwards with a flu type virus.

He hopes to spectate on Sunday.




Apologies to everyone checking out the site for the last time this week (those who only read it on a Monday to Friday) at work, but I've not been able to publish the fulll ist of entries or confirm the timetable as yet.

The timetable per the entry form was:



12.30hrs - Course open for inspection

13.00hrs - Under 9 Girls & Boys – U9G & U9B                              7 or 8 years

13.00hrs - Under 11 Girls & Boys – U11G & U13B                        9 or 10 years

13.15hrs - Under 13 Boys – U13B                                               11 or 12 years  

13.15hrs - Under 13 Girls – U13G                                               11 or 12 years

13.30hrs – Under 15 Boys – U15B                                              13 or 14 years

13.30hrs – Under 15 Girls – U15G                                              13 or 14 years

13.30hrs – Under 17 Girls – U17G                                              15 or 16 years

13.45hrs – Under 17 Boys – U17B                                              15 or 16 years

13.45hrs – Junior Ladies – JL                                                      under 20 years

13.45hrs – Junior Men – JM                                                        under 20 years

13.45hrs – Senior Men – SM                                                       over 20 years

13.45hrs – Senior Ladies – SL                                                     over 20 years

13.45hrs – Veteran Men – V40 –V45 – V50 – V55 – V60

13.45hrs – Veteran Ladies – WV35 – WV40 – WV45 – WV50 – WV55



Anyone wishing to be considered for the Isle of Man Fell Running teams that will take part in the Knockdhu and Snowdon Races later this year are asked to attend a short meeting at the NSC Conference Room next Wednesday 29th Jan. It is hoped to send teams to at least two British Championship events as well and the meeting will discuss selection policy and preparation. Meeting starts at 8.00pm

Richie Stevenson



At the 2nd attempt Michael Crook has been accepted for the Flora London Marathon this year. He has been a regular in Manx half-marathons & sundry other road races on the island over the last 4 years. He says: "Although I'll never set the world alight with my times, I'm still going the right way and have a PB of 1.42.10 in last years Sid Quirk, also finished the Parish Walk."

"This will be my first marathon" he continued. "The furthest I've run being 20miles in last years NSC event (2hr 57mins). I'm nearly up to this distance again and touch wood, should be a bit inside this come March 9th. "

He'll be running for "Breast Cancer Care".




The Manx Cross Country Championships used to be a great event.  Then for a number of reasons they declined despite some good performances at the front of the field.

Others may disagree (use the forum if you do) but I think this year's race will be one of the best in years. Not only do we have a really good battle for the overall championship in prospect but there should be a battle all the way down the field. One or two runners who have been in the top four in previous years will have to run well to make the top 10 this time around.

We should also be in for a demonstration run by Keith Gerrard in the under 17s - that alone is worth the trip to Ramsey.

Graham Davies has written a good preview for the front page so I won't repeat everything he has already said but there sure will be a feast of high class running when all roads lead to Ramsey on Sunday.




Ken Bawden retires as Chief Executive of the Department of Trade and Industry in the next few weeks.

For many years Ken was a reliable timekeeper at local athletics events and when I was chatting to him the other day I asked him about a comeback after he retires.

He certainly didn't say no so if I was the organiser of a local event in the next few months I would be banging on Ken's door asking him to get involved again.


DON'T MISS THE BOAT says Bridget Kaneen    22-01-03


Please will you put in a reminder that entries for the Steam Packet Meeting - close on February 24th ( I am going to try and make some sort of programme for the event so will need to have all entries in by then.)  

All those enthusiasts who do not wish to walk would be encouraged to either come along and help out (get in touch with me or Allan )  or to support all the walkers taking part.

It is also a great opportunity to see some of the sports elite operating at the top level.


QUESTION TIME    22-01-03


A quiz night which is to take place at the Glen Helen Hotel on the weekend following the Steam Packet meeting.  This is being promoted by Brenda Charlton and the gang and all proceeds will go towards helping  our junior walkers gaining experience at National level. 

" Walking for the future " should be a good family night out and anyone requiring tickets should approach Brenda.




Tony Okell has made in clear all winter that his main aim of the year will be the Manx Mountain Marathon. He has raced much more sparingly than in the past and has been concentrating his efforts on the hill and fell running scene although he did of course make a surprise last minute decision to race in the Syd Quirk Half Marathon in November.

He has confirmed that he won't be running in the cross country championships on Sunday.  "At the moment I'm in the transition from mainly steady state training to 3 quality sessions/week" he said tonight".

Tony made a heroic effort to win the MMM last year but came unstuck during the second half.

He does a second major aim for the 2003 however - competing in the Island Games Half Marathon. Quite a contrast.

Don't foget the MMM website.




Well, a new year a new start and some ne PBs to set. I am now back in Birmingham, after a couple of steady weeks (after the Castletown race and lacked quality last week, due to house hunting) I am now back into full training and aiming for a new PB in the Manx Steam Packet in 6weeks!

As part of my preparation to this as well as training I am planning on doing two races. Sunday takes me to the NIA to race the AAA juniors indoor champs, although the senior AAA indoor walks suffered the chop, the juniors pulled together and hopefully have entered quite a large field, so much so that the AAA of E couldn't refuse a race.

So that will be a short sharp and hopefully successful 3km. I have always enjoyed racing indoors and have a history of always getting PBs each time i do After that i will be coming home for a weekend! I aim to compete on the Access road February 9th, Have not decided if i am going to do 5km or 10km yet, am going to phone Allan later tonight or tomorrow. After that i fly back and set into preparation for the Manx Steam Packet.

After this I sit back and make a few decisions. But as some of the observant may have noticed, i do have the qualifying time to be part of the team at the Euro Cup of Race Walking in Russia! The qualifying event for this is in Leamington (26th April) and have always planned on racing this race anyways.

Although the vest would be the highest point of my career, I am not going to let it sacrifice getting better times and better experience! But when something is so close, i cant help but try and go for it. If at all possible.

As part of my preparation for Leamington i will be finding a few races 10km, 5km and other 6-7 miles if possible) to race between them. I have just been looking through the calendar put on from Allan and Bridget which was useful, and will most likely do the IOM champs on 6th April (meaning an early night on my birthday - unlike last year! )

So that's it for the next 3months really. Will keep you all up to date with all my plans and races. Next one being late on Sunday night after the Indoors.




I met Richard Radcliffe on Athol Street and stopped for a chat. After I told him that some of our conversation would end up on the website and he said "oh no" I told him that Peter Hughes, his Northern AC team mate crosses the street to avoid me. "Sensible man" responded Richard.

Richard set a string of great times in the London Marathon during the 1990s including a couple of sub 2.45 performances (sorry I've not got my databases out tonight to check accurately).  During those years he also turned in some decent performances from everything down to 800 metres.

During the last couple of years things have not gone so well. He has had a succession of injuries and two years ago he ran in London when he was not well when he really shouldn't have done.

Anyway, he has an entry for London on 13 April and will decide by the end of February whether he will go for it. If he does, he won't be aiming for a fast time but will be content to run at a steady pace and soak up the atmosphere (where have we heard that before).

As well as running for Northern AC, Richard is a member of Ramsey Commissioners and has been a member of the Sports Council and is a long serving TT marshal. He works for Anglo-Irish Bank.

Next time he sees me he probably will cross the street!




Bridget Kaneen - telephone number is 852884 - email [email protected]

              Allan Callow -telephone 672159 - email [email protected] 

I've added to the race walking fixtures dates.


Details from Athletics International Volume 11 Issue 2

Published by email last night for subscription details [email protected]     21-01-03


The Flora London Marathon on Apr 13 will boast six sub-2:07 performers in the line-up, for in addition to Khalid Khannouchi (2:05:38), Paul Tergat (2:05:48), Antonio Pinto (2:06:36) and Abdelkader El Mouaziz (2:06:46) the invited athletes now include Daniel Njenga, second to Khannouchi in Chicago in 2:06:16, and Raymond Kipkoech, the Berlin winner in 2:06:47. An addition to the women’s field is Constantina Dita (2:23:54). Susie Power, who planned to make her marathon debut, has withdrawn.




The Flora London Marathon will be extensively covered once again on the site.  The event, on 13 April, is just over 10 weeks away.

Perhaps you can help with me bring visitors the best coverage by emailing me details of anyone who is taking part. I'd be particularly interested in details of people running a marathon for the first time who may not be known to the club scene.




Other results:

Ryan Fairclough 4th

Andrew Newton 5th

Ben Brand 11th

Thanks to Graham Davies for the results. Picture by Marie Latham at Abbeylands. 

Further details from Andy Fox (below).


93 enter Island Cross Country Championships

(from front page)  20-01-03


Three times as many as last year!

Full entry lists to follow soon.

Does anyone have a list of previous winners of the Island Championships?




Whilst all roads may lead to Andreas it would appear that only the die hards made the journey this week for what was our smallest turnout in the last two years. (This race last year also had the smallest turnout of the series).

Whilst we may have lacked the quantity of previous events and certainly the quality at the sharp end of the 10km was missing there was plenty of quality throughout the four races to make up for it. Ideal weather conditions and a very flat course provided the opportunity for several competitors to set personal best or series best performances.

First away were the combined 1km and 2km junior races. Kirsty Taylor again dominated the 1km race and is now put together a string of consistently high quality walks this winter. Second fastest was Emily Biggart smashing her pb and breaking 7 minutes (6.47) to take joint first place in the handicap. After a race long battle Abbie Moore pulled Sinead Kaneen back on the line to tie, both setting best times in the process. Mathew Locking got back towards his best enabling him to tie first place in the handicap on the day.

The 2km race lacked the competitiveness upfront of the previous races and as a result birthday boy Callum Taylor took to a comparatively easy victory. Behind him it looked as though it would have been a comfortable second place for Ciara Kaneen but severe stomach pains on the third lap forced her to retire. A strong finishing Fay Latham may well have caught her anyway as she powered home only four seconds off her best time. Third was Bronwen Kaneen who is struggled through, still a long way off her best form. It was at the back of the field where the real battle was between brothers Ben and Adam Locking.  Adam got ahead of his younger brother and opened up a significant gap going into the last of four laps. Adam looked a good bet to beat his sibling for the first time ever but with 200m to go Ben began a surge that enabled him catch his brother to tie on the line. Adam however had the last laugh taking the handicap prize for his efforts.

The 5km - after Robert went past me I didn't see anything until the finish when they were all waiting for me. But what a walk from Robert, yet another personal best and he still doesn't look as though he is trying. Robert has been second in the handicap and second fastest in all three previous winter leagues in this series but yesterday he was fastest and won the handicap, a fine double.

The 10km race was low on numbers but high on competitiveness leading to a number of personal best performances. 13 walkers set their best time of the winter league on Sunday in one of the closest handicap races for some time. Winning by 60 seconds was Geoff Hall walking with a spring in his step and I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that Moira is on the other side of the world? I have booked my wife to go away when the next race is on just in case. Behind him came David Cain walking better than in previous races and Marie Latham over taking several competitors in the last hundred yards, both walkers set personal bests. There were a number of good performances but standing out would be Sue Biggart who in setting a pb caught Ron Ronan on the line and in the process dragged Dave Wilkinson around to his best time for a while. Alan Kinvig has improved a great deal this winter whilst Les Crowe set another pb whilst complaining of suffering with all sorts of ailments. Ray Pitts put in a solid walk only three seconds off his previous mark. Alan Pilling prior to the start suspected that his handicap was wrong and brought it to the attention of the officials. It was amended and as a result he found himself at the back of the field as opposed to five minutes clear at the front.

Full marks to the handicapper, Peter Clague, all the same - if we exclude the massive improvement of Geoff Hall and the off form Jan Hodgson then there was a mere 3 min 30 secs between the other 20 walkers. Watching from the sidelines it made great viewing as they headed into the final bend and on to the finish line.

Performance of the day. A tie between Marie Latham and Robert Moore. Due to work comitments Marie has been unable to train regularly but a relaxed approach to the race saw her show us that she is back to her best and that there is more to come. We could be in danger of taking apersonal bests by Robert moore for granted. Four races and four pbs. He competed over 5km last year and looked out of his depth but he stuck to his task and is now producing the results. I believe that there is less than a handful of seniors on the Island capable of going faster than Robert over 5km at the moment. I wait in anticipation of his 10km debut.

If you haven't competed in all the races so far then you need to score in four races to count in the league. The next race is February 9th held on the TT Access Road first race at 10am. Meet and sign on at the Manx Harriers Club House.




Murray finally decides to take a holiday. He books himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeds to have the time of his life --until the boat sank. He found himself swept up on the shore of an island with no other people, no supplies...nothing... only bananas and coconuts.

After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to him. In disbelief, he asks her, "Where did you come from? How did you get here?"

"I rowed from the other side of the island," she says. "I landed here when my cruise ship sank."

"Amazing,' he says. "You were really lucky to have a rowboat wash up with you."

"Oh, this?' replies the woman. "I made the rowboat out of raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm branches. And the sides and stern came from a Eucalyptus tree."

"But, but, that's impossible,' stutters Murray. "You had no tools or hardware. How did you manage?"

"Oh, that was no problem," replies the woman. "On the south side of the island, there is a very unusual strata of alluvial rock exposed. I found if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into forgeable ductile iron. I used that for tools and used the tools to make the hardware." Murray is stunned. "Let's row over to my place," she says.

After a few minutes of rowing, she docks the boat at a small wharf. As Murray looks onto shore, he nearly falls out of the boat. Before him is a stone walk leading to an exquisite bungalow painted in blue and white. While the woman ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, he could only stare ahead, dumbstruck. As they walk into the house, she says casually, "It's not much, but I call it home. Sit down please. Would you like to have a drink?"

"No, no, thank you.' he says, still dazed. "Can't take any more coconut juice." "It's not coconut juice," the woman replies. "How about a Pina Colada?"

Trying to hide his continued amazement, he accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they have exchanged their stories, the woman announces,

"I'm going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and shave? There is a razor upstairs in the cabinet in the bathroom."

No longer questioning anything, Murray goes into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet, is a razor made from a bone handle. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside of a swivel mechanism. "Wow! This woman is amazing!" he muses, "What next?"

When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but vines-strategically positioned-and smelling faintly of gardenias. She beckons for him to sit down next to her. "Tell me," she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, "We've been out here for a really long time. You've been lonely. There's something I'm sure you really feel like doing right now, something you've been longing for all these months. You know..." She stares into his eyes.

He can't believe what he's hearing: "You mean---", he swallows excitedly, "I can check my email?!"

(My response - I was going to word process the name from Murray to Steve but I didn't see what was so funny - everyone gets the urge don't they?)


ATTENTION FELL RUNNING BEGINNERS!! TUESDAY 6.30PM The Grandstand, Glencrutchery Road  by Paul Jackson  20-01-03

I would like to personally recommend the Fell Training sessions to anyone (men and women) interested in improving their running and looking for an introduction to the Fell Running scene. I have attended the sessions over the Winter which have been held  on the Promenade in Douglas and also opposite The Grandstand on Glencrutchery Road (around the Second/ Third Avenue estate roads).

The sessions last around 45 minutes with the guidance and timekeeping of Margaret Lockley supported by Walter Kennaugh and Richie Stevenson. There are 2 groups.


The IOM Fell Running Squad do longer/harder reps and their speed and strength is awesome to watch and very inspiring.


For beginners & improvers like myself there is also a second group. The reps are shorter and you go at your own pace completing 5 reps with 3 minutes rest. The aim of the session is to get near equal times on each rep.


I understand that Margaret will be intoducing other formats to the sessions in future weeks. Margaret does all the timekeeping for you and there is always plenty of encouragement and advice on offer from the organisers and the Squad boys.


I should imagine that in spring/summer that Margaret will be taking the sessions 'off road', and this will be a great opportunity for anyone wanting to learn more about the running the fells, and making contacts for group runs/course reccies. There are also 2 short Fell Runs later in the year (Carraghan and North Barrule) which I know from personal experience provide an excellent introduction to Fell Running.



(sent with the World Indoor Champs in mind)



60-66 Lichfield Road

Sutton Coldfield



E-mail:  [email protected]

Telephone: ++ 44 (0) 121 354 4991

Facsimile:  ++ 44 (0) 121 355 0083



At the start of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics 2003 (14-16 March), we have the pleasure to forward some information about the SUTTON COURT HOTEL, where we would gladly welcome your members, visitors, or friends.

Situated in the green suburbs of North Birmingham, easily accessible from all major motorways, and close to the exhibition venues of Birmingham (NEC, ICC, and NIA), our elegant Victorian house hotel has the standards of a chain hotel with the friendliness and flexibility of an independent hotel. Hotel guests can also enjoy the facilities of the local leisure centre one mile away, or of the nearby Sutton Park.

We have 54 recently decorated en-suite bedrooms, with a variety of Singles, Doubles, Twins or Family rooms, all with satellite TV, trouser press, hair dryer, direct dial telephone, welcome tray and, of course, excellent room service, and ample free parking (including for coaches).

We can also offer you 5 conference rooms, with natural daylight, air conditioning, and a selection of syndicate rooms. Our main conference room, seating up to 100, has ISDN lines, Internet access, and all TV and Satellite channels.

Savannah's is our themed restaurant, providing the ambiance and atmosphere of America's Deep South, well known to the local community, and with an excellent reputation. Both the restaurant and the bar are air-conditioned.

Should you require any further details, please do not hesitate to contact us directly or have a look at our website:


Freephone 0800 318 749 or (+44) NEW 121 354 4991




I read on the BBC website today that 1980 Olympic champion Allan Wells has given his support to the new false start rules that come into effect this year.

Only one false start will be allowed per race. If you false start after one of your rivals did previously, you are disqualified even though it is your first offence.

Will it make much difference to the Island Games? Is there a record of false starting in the games?

Is this very harsh on the clubman or will it do a lot of good at grass roots?

Have your say!




When competing in the Parish Walk in 1986 Brenny and I were struggling for a conversation topic when Party suggested we discussed who was the most successful Manx sportsman. We said in unison almost immediately, Steve Joughin and that for us was the end of that topic.


Nowadays it may be more difficult to assess but no doubt Steve Joughin would still be up there, but the difficulty would in deciding what criteria we use to make our final decisions. This year sees the re-introduction of the Manx Sports Personality of the year award and I believe that the use of the word personality is very misleading as quite often sports stars have no personality what so ever. Certainly this seems to be the case when watching the BBC version.


If we look at it for what it really is, we are being asked to vote for our top sports person of the year whether they have a personality or not. I would put my money on Richard 'Milky' Quayle winning by a huge margin. He has done something that is close to all our hearts here in the Isle of Man by winning at the TT races. 


Of course in athletics we have our own stars, Commonwealth Games competitors Martin Aram, Cal Partington, Steve Partington, Parish Walk winner Robbie Collister, Centurion John Stubbs and the promotion winning Manx Harriers Northern Men's League team. But are these all worthy of being crowned as the best for the year from the Island as a whole? probably not but they all and many others deserve recognition for their efforts and their achievements.


Likewise our organisers and administrators who put in hours of selfless effort in order that the sport runs smoothly for the benefit of its competitors. Quite simply without them there would be no sport but I am sure that the majority of them are in it for what they can do for the sport not what they can get out of it. In recent years we have lost to athletics the administrative talents of Kevin Madigan, Arthur Jones, Joan Powell and Dave Phillips.  These people did what they did for the sport, for its competitors, not for the recognition. Certainly it is good to recognise the officials who work tirelessly behind the scenes for little or no reward but that is the nature of the beast. Whilst I didn't know Arthur very well, in my dealings with Kevin, Joan and Dave I know that they took great pride and were overjoyed at my performances and I am sure it was the same with any athlete young or old who came in to contact with them.


Kevin often reminded me of his personal bests before a race, setting me a target to go for. I know that he was genuinely thrilled for me when I qualified for the Commonwealth Games, it was just a shame that he wasn't around to see me take part.


In preparations for big races Joan would meet up with us at our training sessions and judge us, going above and beyond the call of duty for a judge, but she was doing anything she could to help.


When I first started in athletics I regularly competed in the Western AC track league on Thursday nights travelling out with Michael Ennett, James Capelen and Martin Bullock. I tried very hard in all my events with some success, but now matter what I couldn't get over 5m in the long jump. Then after months of effort bang, 5.21m with my last jump of the night. Dave was over the moon and wrote in the papers the following week. "The pain that I suffer in my back after bending over to measure almost 500 jumps on Thursday evening was made worthwhile when I seen the smile on Steve Taylors face having jumped over 5m for the first time ever."


In each case the reward for the official was is seeing the athlete succeed.

Would Dave, Kevin or Joan really want to win a trophy for being Sports Official of the Year, I really don't think so.


Recently the BBC introduced a Young Sports Personality of the Year award and it was won by Wayne Rooney the Everton footballer, someone who we hadn't heard of for nine months of the year. Utter tosh. But here on the Isle of Man the idea of a trophy for Sports Official or Sports Coach of the year is nonsense and has been created to generate extra interest in a concept that people have shown little or no interest in anyway.


Get rid of it rather than embarrassing the hardworking officials and coaches, they get their reward already.Have you seen the Lucozade advert when the coach says to Michael Owen, "thank me in goals." Says it all!




The only other comment I had on the subject was from Andy Fox.  Andy feels that we, as a sport, should get behind people from athletics, whether individual or teams (particularly so) to ensure that our many successes get the credit they deserve.

If anyone wants to start a campaign to get a p