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.
MEMBERSHIP ALSO A BARGAIN 31-01-03
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
STEAM PACKET ENTRIES SAIL IN
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
Steve Arnold from Coventry (who competed last
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.)
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.
MANX WALKERS MORE THAN MAKE UP THE NUMBERS 30-01-03
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.
ANDY GARRETT REMEMBERED FOR HIS EATING 30-01-03
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!
GUERNSEY APPOINT NEW ATHLETICS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
on Saturday to find out who this person is. He or
she is well known to quite a few people on the Isle
PICTURES FROM THE CROSS COUNTRY 30-01-03
I've deferred the publication
of all pictures until Saturday.
I'm sure you guessed that they
were all mine.
GRAHAM DAVIES PROVIDES THE FULL STORY TO THE
CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS 30-01-03
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
In near perfect conditions the majority of the races went to form, but
the first race of the day the under 9 boys didnt. 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 11s 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
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
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 cant 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
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 Veterans 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
The Manx Harriers team completely dominated the team awards taking
Seniors Mens and Vets titles.
Peter Cooper won the over 55 years veterans 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
ANOTHER POSITIVE SLANT ON THE CROSS COUNTRY REVIVAL
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
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
- Useful development for those who want to specialise
in other areas of athletics eg track, road 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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:
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.
teams in the short race (eg football, hockey teams).
Suggest 3 to score.
HELP REQUIRED URGENTLY FOR KEN WATTERSON FELL
PLEASE CONTACT RICHIE STEVENSON
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.
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
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
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.
FELL RUNNING MEETING 28-01-03
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.
SHOULD WE TRAIN IN BAD WEATHER 28-01-03
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
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.
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).
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.
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
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR NEIL BATES 27-01-03
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
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.
VETS AGM TONIGHT 27-01-03
Don't forget the Isle of Man Veterans Athletic
Club AGM tonight.
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
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
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
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
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
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
CHRIS SHIMMIN RUNNING WELL 25-01-03
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
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.
COULD ROBERT MOORE BREAK THE WORLD RECORD THIS
Neil Bates makes us think 24-01-03
Not on for statistics. But couldnt help but notice
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!
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.
SAD WEB MEN MEET AT BOOK SHOP 24-01-03
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
Quine had not run since the Lancashire Cross Country
when we exchanged emails a couple of days ago.
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.
hopes to spectate on Sunday.
ENTRIES NOT PUBLISHED YET 24-01-03
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
timetable per the entry form was:
12.30hrs - Course open for inspection
13.00hrs - Under 9 Girls & Boys U9G & U9B7 or 8 years
13.00hrs - Under 11 Girls & Boys U11G & U13B9 or 10 years
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
MICHAEL CROOK MAKES MARATHON DEBUT IN LONDON
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
He'll be running for "Breast Cancer
UNPRECEDENTED BUILD UP FOR MANX CROSS COUNTRY
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
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
should also be in for a demonstration run by Keith
Gerrard in the under 17s - that alone is worth the
trip to Ramsey.
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 TIMES OUT 23-01-03
Bawden retires as Chief Executive of the Department
of Trade and Industry in the next few weeks.
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
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
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
It is also a great opportunity to see some of the
sports elite operating at the top level.
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
" Walking for the future " should be a good family
night out and anyone requiring tickets should approach
TONY GOING ALL OUT FOR MOUNTAIN
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.
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".
made a heroic effort to win the MMM last year but
came unstuck during the second half.
does a second major aim for the 2003 however - competing
in the Island Games Half Marathon. Quite a contrast.
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.
RICHARD RADCLIFFE THINKS PETER HUGHES IS SENSIBLE
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
time he sees me he probably will cross the street!
CONTACTS FOR MANX HARRIERS RACE WALKING
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 womens
field is Constantina Dita (2:23:54). Susie Power, who planned to make her
marathon debut, has withdrawn.
10 WEEKS AND 5 DAYS TO GO TO THE FLORA LONDON
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.
KEITH GERRARD WON THE MERSEYSIDE
SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SATURDAY (from front page)
Ryan Fairclough 4th
Andrew Newton 5th
Ben Brand 11th
Thanks to Graham
Davies for the results. Picture by Marie Latham
Further details from Andy Fox (below).
enter Island Cross Country Championships
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?
STEVE TAYLOR REPORTS ON THE BANK OF SCOTLAND
LEAGUE AT ANDREAS 20-01-03
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
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.
AND TIGGER'S 2ND EMAIL OF THE DAY !! 20-01-03
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
"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
"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
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.
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to forward some information about the SUTTON COURT
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visitors, or friends.
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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
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Savannah's is our themed restaurant, providing
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Should you require any further details, please
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NEW FALSE START RULE 19-01-03
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
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!
STEVE TAYLOR RESPONDS TO THE CALL FOR COMMENT
ON THE SPORTS PERSONALITY AWARDS
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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."
each case the reward for the official was is seeing the athlete succeed.
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.
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!
OTHER SPORTS PERSONALITY COMMENT
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.