Without exaggerating the significance of self-policed time trials we have been a force to be reckoned with in the National Endurance Virtual Series. For my part I’ve worked hard on the knees with photos to prove it but that feels a self-centred form of special pleading. Clearly I’ve been pretty fit and trying to rediscover a sense of how I used to walk, which puts aside the modern stress on getting the front foot down as quickly as possible – the 30/70% stride equation in favour of a classic 50/50 differential. Sadly there is little chance of my action being put to the test in the near future. A special vote of thanks is due to Tony Malone, Guy Goodair, Stephen Walker and Tony Bell for flying the club’s colours.
Certainly there is no doubt that the Virtual Series has been a success, attracting the involvment of as many as 120 athletes each week. Hence Helen Elleker and John Constandinou, who deserve our sincere thanks, are going to keep alive the 2 kilometres challenge every week until normal service is resumed. On whether normal is possible see a future post on England Athletics proposals for recommencing live racing. It’s never too late to join this weekly 2 kilometres series and if you wish to, get in touch with me about sending in your times etc. The more the merrier and committing yoursel to a fast session of 2 kilometres each week acoss the summer will pay rich dividends on the roads of Simister or Sutton. Promise!
Look out for the results of our very first Club Virtual series in the next few days. Meanwhile the June challenge is 5 kilometres and I’ve already received a couple of times to get things going.
Virtual League RacingSeries – NationalCentre for Race Walking – Race 8
1 Surrey Walking Club (60) 2 Manx Harriers (68) 3 Lancashire Walking Club (75) 4 Scotia Race Walking Club (86) 5 Sarnia Walking Club (94) 6 Quickstep Fitness (147) 7 Birchfield Harriers (157) – AUSTRALIA (169) – RUSSIA (175) – NEW ZEALAND (195) 8 Enfield & Haringey AC (213) 9 Cardiff AC (213) 10 Winchester AC (241) – GERMANY (250) – USA (259) 11 Ilford AC (288)
Mens Age Graded Team
1 Lancashire Walking Club (85.10%) 2 Surrey Walking Club (82.00%) 3 Manx Harriers (75.59%) 4 Scotia Race Walking Club (75.32%) 5 Sarnia Walking Club (73.31%) 6 Quickstep Fitness (71.26%) 7 Birchfield Harriers (62.08%) – RUSSIA (59.26%) – AUSTRALIA (52.87%) – NEW ZEALAND (52.56%) 8 Enfield & Haringey AC (51.42%) 9 Winchester AC (47.19%) – GERMANY (44.09%) 10 Cardiff AC (41.52%) – USA (40.89%) 11 Ilford AC (36.72%)
Tony Taylor M70 95.46% Lancs WC 00:10:23.0 Tony Malone M65 82.59% Lancs WC 00:11:26.6 Tony Bell M55 64.19% Lancs WC 00:13:07.0 Guy Goodair M80 77.25% Lancs WC 00:15:01.0
Virtual League Racing Series – National Centre for Race Walking – Race 8
5 KILOMETRES: LAST OF THE NATIONAL CENTRE SERIES
1 Surrey Walking Club (56) 2 Scotia Race Walking Club (87) 3 Lancashire Walking Club (94) 4 Birchfield Harriers (131) 5 Manx Harriers (167) – RUSSIA (177) – NEW ZEALAND (188) 6 Sarnia Walking Club (196) 7 Winchester AC (202) 8 Enfield & Haringey AC (203) 9 Quickstep Fitness (217) – GERMANY (231)
Tony Taylor M70 97.11% Lancs WC 00:26:27.5 Stephen Walker M60 79.48% Lancs WC 00:28:48.0 Guy Goodair M80 76.47% Lancs WC 00:39:29.0
Yesterday, in times past Whit Monday, was the traditional date for the Bradford 50 kilometres organised by the Yorkshire Walking Club. John Cannell has sent me kindly the above YouTube recording of a Yorkshire TV [?] newspiece. I’m not sure of the year.It features the late Geoff Dowling, the historian and committed lover of the sport, the wonderful Jake Warhurst, asked what part of the tough course was the most difficult he replies, ‘none on it’, together with the ever stylish John Paddick. Our local interest is to be found in footage of Dave Crompton and Joe Hardy plus our good friends from across the Pennines, Graham Jackson and Martin Fisher.
I’ll do some more digging as to the overall result and any other gossip/information. Help gratefully received – perhaps from archivist and tireless devotee, John Constandinou, who can be seen finishing.
I must confess we were taken aback to find ourselves back on top of the Age-Graded Team competition and third in the Open, but very satisfied.
MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (86.20%)2 Manx Harriers (77.04%)3 Sarnia Walking Club (74.33%)- AUSTRALIA (73.51%)4 Quickstep Fitness (70.67%)5 Scotia Race Walking Club (70.09%)6 Birchfield Harriers (57.14%)7 Surrey Walking Club (56.19%)8 Steyning AC (54.80%)9 Enfield & Haringey AC (51.79%))- NEW ZEALAND (51.04%)10 Winchester AC (47.42%)11 Cardiff AC (42.76%)12 Ilford AC (37.18%)
MENS 2KM TEAM
AUSTRALIA (50)1 Manx Harriers (54)2 Sarnia WC (79)3 Lancashire WC (86)4 Scotia RWC (110)5 Quickstep Fitness (145)6 Surrey WC (163)7 Birchfield Harriers (196)- NEW ZEALAND (201)8 Cardiff AC (203)9 Winchester AC (210)10 Steyning AC (214)11 Enfield & Haringey AC (216)12 Ilford AC (276)
AND IT’S ONLY JUST OVER A WEEK TO THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING YOUR 3 KILOMETRE TIMES FOR INCLUSION IN OUR VERY OWN PIONEERING VIRTUAL SERIES, WHERE WE ARE INCREASING THE DISTANCES GRADUALLY OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.
As things stand I’ve received only three submissions plus Dave Evans has produced a carefully assembled handicap sheet.
Crossing fingers you are lining up a big performance this next week!!
The Isle of Man remains a stronghold of race walking. One ot its outstanding competitors across the years has been John Cannell, the victor at the inaugural RWA 100 miles championships in 1987. We are delighted to host his Race Walking Reminiscence, a story of overcoming all manner of handicaps. When asked , ‘what kept him going when the odds were against him?’ John’s simple reply was ‘stubborness’.
What prompted you to take up race walking? When and where was your first race?
In 1960 the Isle of Man 85 miles Parish walk was revived. Walkers had to touch the gates of our 17 parishes. It was won by postman Stan Cleator in 19.50.30. That was achieved in ordinary trousers and working shoes. The following year it was decided to hold a relay around the course involving our youth clubs. It would be split up into 4 sections – some walking a little more or less than the other. Graham Young and myself were still at school, but our PE teachers said we could walk rather than play cricket or football, which neither of us had any interest in then or now. My team finished 3rd in the junior section in 17.39.33. We still didn’t know anything about race walking styles or the clothing involved. I think that race was my first and I went on to do other races.
The 39 miles End to End walk on the island was first held in 1961 and was won by Stan Cleator in 7:19:08. I was 17th and last in 9:29:22. Yet in 1962 I was to finish 2nd in 7.13.25. Stan was 4th in 7.19.18, 10 seconds slower than his win in 1961.
My first race off island was the Northern Junior 10 miles in Sheffield. Because of heavy snow the course had to be altered. It was won by Mal Tolley. I retired. However in the same race in 1964 in Wakefield I came 3rd in 84.47.
I think my first attempt at the Parish walk saw me get to 45 miles. My first finish was in 1967 when I came 2nd to Albert Johnson. He did 15.54.51, I clocked 17.42.36. Around this time I was having a lot of problems in and out of hospital, having tests and the like. It was the stomach, colitis.Things cleared up however and I was picked to walk in the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. I finished 15th in the 20 miles walk.
Later that year I was taking part in a Postmans walk at Crystal Palace but had to go to hospital after the race. They told me to go to my hospital when I got back, which I did I was told I had to have an ileostomy. My world fell apart. But they said if I didn’t have it I would die. At this very time Lillian Board [ the outstanding 400/800 metres runner of the late 1960s] had similiar problems and sadly did die.
As it was I spent Christmas in hospital. After recovering from my operation my first race was our 10 miles champs. in which I finished 7th in 106 mins. I was on the way back. I won my first Parish walk in 1976 in 17.28.12. My Parish stats are 1979 2nd 16.22.03; 1981 first in 16.15.11; 1982 first in under 16 hoursm 15.59.33; 1983 first in16.31 38. Two more wins in 1993 and 1994 with 16.11.11 and 16.13.46. [Editor’s note – remember the Parish Walk is 85 miles long.]
Which performance has given you the greatest satisfaction?
THE HUNDRED MILES EXPLOITS
I became a Centurion in 1966 on the Leicester to Skegness course on my first attempt with Graham Young. I was 14th in 21.45.21. After that I had a break as far as hundreds went and came back in 1984 to Leicester, now on a lap course. Brian Adams won in 17.39.28 and I was 2nd with17.53.29 – with a little help from the sponges offered by one Tony Taylor and his son, John.
The next one was the first 100 to be held as a National Championships in 1987, which I won in 17.55.10, held at Ewhurst, Surrey.
Back to Leicester again in 1988, Richard Brown won with 17.00.35 with me 2nd in 17.10.15. My last one was at Hendon. Ed Shilabeer won in 18.11.08. Although 4th I was actually 3rd Brit to finish, Henri Legrand being French. I recorded 19.28.05. The night time was very wet with parts of the course waterlogged. It was over 100 laps around a circuit at the Hendon Police training grounds. [Eds note – the mind boggles!]
What’s your favourite race and why?
My favourite courses in the UK were the Bradford where I did my p.b and the Morecambe 20kms. Although I have only done 2 Manchester to Blackpool races I have a best time of 8.34.01 in 1987. I went off course near the end when leading and Dave Turner passed me on Blackpool promenade. I had a lot of long races in my legs by this time so I could not respond.The only other one I did was back in 1967, finishing 11th. My best time for our TT walk is 6.01.00, coming second to John Warhurst. My personal best of 4.36.40 on the Bradford was very pleasing as it was a tough course. Favourite courses on the Isle of Man are the Parish walk and the End to End on the old course. I have had a great time in almost 60 years in the sport and met some great people to numerous to mention here. One thing missing that I just can’t achieve and, please don’t take this the wrong way, is a recognition on the Sports Hall of Fame at our Sports Centre. The reason for my absence is I have not represented the island at the Island Games. Only one man is blocking this. In other words I have not done enough. Yet other people in the hall have not done anywhere near what I have done.
Stephen and Guy also contested the 4 kilometres distance organised through Andy Drake clocking 25:38 and 30:57 respectively. This week sees the distance shift to 5 kilometres.
Meanwhile over in the USA Dave and Erin Talcott have taken the following initiative.
USA Masters Race Walking Virtual Race Series
Hello Masters race walkers! and in fact all walkers. Our races for the summer have been mostly cancelled, motivation can be hard to come by.
Dave and I, in collaboration with the Masters race walk committee, are hosting a virtual race series for race walkers!
Let’s do something fun to bring us together and give us motivation.
Here’s what’s entailed: There are three distances being contested. Throughout the month of June test yourself at one or all of the following distances; 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000. You can enter one, two or all three of the distances. You can try multiple times and submit your best performance.
This race is honour system. We hope and expect everyone to adhere to the rules of race walking, absolutely no running. Please try your best to correctly follow the rules of race walking. Times can be submitted based on your time on a track, treadmill or GPS watch, wherever you can get an accurate time for the distance.
Awards will be special certificates. We’re really going to have fun with categories for this! Awards/recognition will be for the following male and female.
Top three overall. Top three age group. Top three age graded. Top three co-ed teams
Top three overall for all three races. Top three age graded for all three races. Top three age group for all three races. Top three co-ed teams for all three races
In addition Dave and I will present awards for the following:
Most enthusiastic! Most improved! Most inspirational!
Name / DOB / Mailing address / Club (if applicable)
Have fun with it! Try each distance as many times as you want in the month of June. Tell us all your times, this will help us determine most improved performances.
This competition is funded by the US Race walking master’s committee for our masters race walkers.
However we gladly welcome junior, open and foreign athletes! The main difference is certificates for open, juniors and foreigners will be emailed as opposed to being pressented.
Stay healthy! Yours in sport, Erin and Dave Talcott
Bearing in mind the start of our own Club Virtual Series this month and the fact that the distance to be timed in June is 5 kilometres it would be straightforward to join in with the US Masters by signing up as above with Erin and submitting your 5k performance[s]. Or you might be so motivated you muck in at all the distances. Whatever getting involved will add an international dimension to our collective efforts to stay fit and healthy ahead of our return to racing in the flesh.
Let me know if you do sign up withe the US Masters initiative.
To close by saying I’ve already had 3 kilometre times submitted for the May challenge. Word has it that young John Crahan has caused quite a stir on Blackpool promenade, leaving the trams in his wake. And he threatens to go even faster!
Make sure you submit your times to me before the end of the month. Seeing it’s 38 degrees here on Crete I might wait a day or two before going for it!
As mooted and now agreed, inspired by Andi Drake, John Constandinou and Helen Elleker’s efforts, we’re going to have a crack at organising our own Virtual Series of races over the next few months.
Each month we invite you to send in the best time you’ve achieved for the set distance – on road, track or treadmill. Dependent on your time and energy you might well submit more than one performance during the month. Obviously we will use your fastest time for the purposes of the monthly competition.
Dave Evans has already produced his first handicap sheet. Thus as with normal club races the monthly result will feature scratch. handicap and age-graded performances.
MAY – 3 KILOMETRES: Performances to be submitted to Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight, Sunday, May 31.
JUNE – 5 KILOMETRES: Performances to Tony by midnight, Tuesday, June 30.
JULY – 8 KILOMETRES: Performances to Tony by midnight, Friday, July 31.
AUGUST – 10 KILOMETRES: Performances to Tony by midnight, Monday August 31.
As with all our club races guests are very welcome, although you might not be handicapped if you are not one of our ‘regulars’.
There is a hope that Scotia RWC might be supporting the initiative, which would add the fun of a team competition. Of course other teams welcome too. Please let Tony know if anyone is interested.
Saturday, May 9 should have witnessed the very first Dave Crompton Memorial Trophy event to be held on his home patch in Chorley. Sadly it had fallen foul of the virus-induced lockdown on public sporting activity. Dave is held in such high regard that it struck in our collective craw to see the race postponed.
However, a few days ago, John Crahan suggested that in our different ways we could remember Dave by agreeing to walk seven miles or thereabouts this weekend. A host of members and friends rose to the challenge.
Pride of place to John for setting the initiative in motion.
John informs : At the halfway stage I saw my coach [ Alexis, his 6 year old grandaughter!] and swapped some lollies for a bag of flour.
I was not sure what Dave drank so I brought home a selection of beers to make an appropriate toast.
I greatly miss Dave and the small but sincere dedication of my walk to his memory is only the third such time I have done it. When I say the others were for George Kirby and Fred, that is pretty good company.
Martin and Judith Fisher : We will be out this morning for a walk remembering Dave. It’s a challenging time for us all but am sure we will be back all the fitter soon.
Glyn Jones : On Saturday I shall be out on the country lanes near to where I live and I will be in race walking mode for a 7 mile training session (or near enough) in memory of Dave Crompton. A really good idea in memory of a beloved member of Lancs W.C.
Peter and Marion Fawkes : Even Marion and I will be out on a walk today in memory of Dave, slowly of course as that’s all we can manage now. Such a nice man – still can’t believe he’s gone but good to know he’s still in our memories along with Fred.
Dave and Pat Evans : Logging in our effort this morning. We had to chose a hilly course locally which we had on both the out and back. I gave Pat a 3 1/2 minute start and she wore her orange parkrun t shirt so I could see her in the distance! She walked very well and did 1 hour 26 minutes and I was about a minute or so faster. Great weather for our walk and we are now knackered and sitting in the conservatory having a coffee.
Roy Gunnett – My memorial picturesque route took me along the coastal path near my home in Formby and was a good 7 miles.
Guy Goodair : Judith and I went out this morning and did a 7km memorial walk for Dave.
Bill McFadden: I completed the 7 mile walk yesterday. Slow but worth it for the memories. Now carrying a couple if injuries/strains. But people have more worries.
Chris Bolton : I am very envious of all the members opting for seven mile outdoor walks in memory of Dave. I am not allowed to cross my doorstep for at least another six weeks. However I do have my own treadmill which has been a saviour. This morning I did manage seven miles on the treadmill to honour Dave’s memory. I’m sure Eric must must be proud that so many members walked for Dave today. See you all one day.
Ian Vaughan : I walked 7km early this morning (I know, not 7 miles). The time was nothing to write home about, but Dave’s walk has nudged me back into training, and I will be posting a 3km time in a few weeks.
Tony Bell : I racewalked a bit further than usual today, I managed 8.1km on the treadmill in just over an hour, not up to 7 miles yet. Slowly getting over a back injury,
Tony Malone: This morning I did 7 miles timed during my 14 km training session in Woodbank Park. My 7 mile time was a very slow 72.13. While I was going one round the lap Ian Vaughan was going the other way round!
Greg Smith: On Saturday afternoon in memory of Dave Crompton I race walked up to Affetside Cross, the highest point local to me. I have many warm recollections of Dave, a great club mate and a very fine person. In the picture are yours truly, Affetside Cross and a bemused member of the public.
Alistair Shand: Very moving, Tony, to read of all the tributes to Dave. Proof – were it needed – of the high regard, respect and affection in which Dave was held by everybody. I’m not race walking now (I eventually got the message that I was a lost cause!), but I have great memories of a fantastic man. Take care in these bizarre times.
Irene Pike : Well done everyone. A wonderful tribute to lovely Dave. I will never forget my first race at Chorley when Dave saved me from going the wrong way and kept with me, giving much appreciated encouragement. I did a 5 mile gentle walk along the river yesterday, so a little over 7k, thinking about Dave, Louise and all our great team members. Very best wishes to everyone
Jan McCue –
Such a lovely tribute to Dave!!! What A Wonderful Idea!!!
I had a stunning walk around Entwistle and Turton Reservoirs sorry but I did not take any selfies!!!
I have been in touch with Shirley, Dave’s sister she lives on the next street to my dad, we were in the same class at primary and secondary school, she wasn’t aware of anything taking place and she was really touched. Unfortunately Shirley doesn’t have an email address or mobile phone so I am going to print of the tributes and post it through her door when I go to Coppull on Thursday, I shall also make a copy for Eric. I bumped into Eric months ago in the doctors surgery when I was taking my dad, he stopped and had a chat with us,
And a final word to Christine Pearce:
Sorry I have not been in touch, I have had the Coronavirus since the lockdown, but managed to avoid hospital so consider myself very lucky. After having three courses of antibiotics I am feeling much better and more energy now, so please accept my apologies for not being in contact.
Dave Crompton was a very special man and meant a lot to Fred and I and he is certainly missed but will never be forgotten. Happy memories of happy times. Hope everyone has been managing to get their one hour of exercise a day and I am sure some of you will have had some fast times with your walking!
Looking forward to the next race when hopefully we can see each other again, even from a 2m distance.
Love and best wishes to you and all your families and keep safe.
A final image of Dave at the British Masters
And a last word from Louise.
Just a little note from the family to say a big thanks to everyone who did their own lockdown versions of the walk at the weekend. We’ve all seen the comments on the LWC website and it means so much to us that people have taken the time out to walk and remember Dave in this way.
Hopefully we will get it done properly sometime this year!