Best Wishes to All for the Hundred from Dave Ainsworth and LIVE info from Sue Clements

Dave, Centurion 540 writes:

I extend my best wishes to all involved, for an enjoyable and successful meeting on the occasion of our 100 Miles – which is being held in tribute to Centurion 370 Ken Munro, a giant in the world of race walking officiating and “behind the scenes” work, who among many positions held in the sport, served as The Centurions’ Honorary Secretary and also as Honorary Merchandising Officer.

My personal best wishes are offered to :

. A hard-working Organising Committee.
. All Officials in whatever capacities their duties are during this event.
. All helpers, no matter what their work entails.
. All competitors, some of whom will have travelled from afar.
. For Centurions, may their efforts see them adding another completion to their tally.
. Those aspiring to join “The Centurions”, may all successfully achieve their aim.
. To all supporters who come to urge on competitors; as such course-side assistance so often provides an extra fillip when most needed.

This race is also our Race Walking Association’s official Long Distance Championship, with individual and team awards to be competed for.

Venue: Middlesbrough Sports Village in Alan Peacock Way, Middlesbrough. TS4 3AE. (Note: Alan Peacock Way is named in honour of a now octogenarian legendary Middlesbrough & England International footballer, who for many years was Brian Clough’s Middlesbrough strike partner). It has a car park. There’s an on-site cafe; if more is required, a short distance away is a Shell Filling Station (with shop) and a Sainsburys “Local”.

I hope the weather over the weekend will be conducive to ultra-distance race walking, so benefiting all present, in whatever capacity. As race walking fields continually see fewer participants, all who organise, officiate, compete and support the Middlesbrough 100 Miles are to be congratulated for keeping our tradition of frequent ultra-distance races going.

My profound thanks and best wishes to one-and-all.

Clare Bass 2019 Hundred in IOM

Sue Clements advises us on how to follow the Middlesbrough 100 Miles :


For more information visit

For live results on the day visit 

Sue Clements :  01223 292 155 home or 07940 524 716 mobile.

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Cooler in Crete than Chorley – Goodwin Cup 10k

Yesterday afternoon I climbed off my bike tired after the inevitably hilly ride round our way And as cyclists are fond of saying, ‘I didn’t have the legs’. However the last hour witnessed the arrival of bubbling clouds from the mountains. My Garmin watch as usual provided far too much information but I noticed the temperature was down to 26 degrees – cool for August. Little did I know that the Goodwin Cup was taking place in a baking Chorley and I’d been blessed with cover and a gentle breeze.

Dave Evans reports.

Roy leads the way ahead of Steven

Although the current heatwave is due to dissolve in the next couple of days it was still in place as 7 club members set out on their 10k on one of the country’s hilliest courses.  While the group negotiated the first of the hills 3 separate teams of helpers drove off to the marshalling points on the route with buckets of water and sponges. At the 1 mile point, Roy Gunnett headed the field passing this marker in 11 mins 32 with Steven Wilde and Glyn Jones just 8 seconds adrift. The remaining walkers were fairly close at hand but obviously wary of walking too quickly under the mid-afternoon sun. The course followed the same route as the Dave Crompton event but being a bit shorter at 10k meant an earlier turnaround.

Glyn surviving the elements

As the walkers emerged from the leafy lanes, high above Chorley, Steven had closed on Roy and both passed the halfway marker in 35 mins 22. Glyn Jones was the next to show at 35 53 and it was another minute and a half before the “really careful” trio arrived for their well-earned water station refreshments. The first 5k involves rather more ups than downs so as athletes headed back to the finish thoughts may well have turned to a less arduous second half. This might have been a logical conclusion except the thermometer was registering around 29 degrees and shade was at a premium.

Joe leads Ian and Pat through a dappled section of the course

As the officials were topping up water for the finishers the first walker came in sight and it was Steven who was recording his first ever win in the club outside of the handicap. His 70 mins 59 was excellent in the circumstances.  Roy Gunnett had raised his game in the hot sunshine and was only 28 seconds adrift. In third place and almost out on his feet was Glyn Jones, proving that octogenarians are still capable of posting great results. Glyn ducked under 72 minutes but suffered quite badly with the extremely warm temperatures. He gradually recovered after quite a few dunkings of cold water and sponges but might initially have given a lobster a run for its money. Everyone else arrived safely and after some refreshments were able to behave normally!

Steven strides to his first win

Thanks to the club members and supporters who manned the sponge stations and the two Eric’s, Horwill and Crompton, who provided accurate timings and a very comfortable venue for the changing and post-race presentation. Louise Whaite, Dave Crompton’s partner, provided her usual excellent support in a variety of ways, particularly with the provision of mid-race watering facilities and post-race refreshments. Eric Horwill continues to be a real asset to our club despite having to journey from the Midlands on many occasions, usually by public transport. On this occasion, Glyn very kindly brought him by car and we are very grateful for their goodwill towards the Lancashire Walking club.

Pat pleased to finish
Ian closes in
Greg eases home

One of the final agenda issues at Chorley was the Centurions 100 at Middlesbrough in which we have 4 current club walkers and a former member in the guise of Hazel Fairhurst. We offer our best wishes to Adrian Edwards,  Martin Payne, Sailash Shah, Martin Fisher and Hazel .

1. Steven Wilde (11 40/35 22) 70 59
2. Roy Gunnett(11 32/35 22) 71 27
3. Glyn Jones(11 40/35 53) 71 51
4. Joe Hardy(12 09/37 27) 74 12
5. Ian Hilditch(12 29/37 43) 74 39
6. Pat Evans(12 29/37 51) 75 13
7. Greg Smith(12 29/39 05) 78 23

1. Steven Wilde 63 24
2. Roy Gunnett 63 37
3. Glyn Jones 64 46
4. Joe Hardy 67 37
5. Pat Evans 68 08
6. Ian Hilditch 70 19
7. Greg Smith 70 33

Sailash with one eye on the Hundred

I should add that Sailash walked on the Chorley course today to complete his training for the Centurions 100 but was wise not to have got involved in the race proper.

Thanks to Martin Payne for the photos.

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What about a Lancashire WC team at the 2023 Nijmegen Walks ?!?!

Further to Chris Bolton’s excellent report on his recent Nijmegen experience, he cheekily asks if we could raise a team for next year’s 4 Days event. The dream is inspired by Ron Wallwork unearthing a couple of nostalgic photos from 1961.

LWC team Nijmegen 1961

We made it!
???. Bill Cowley, Bert Butterworth, RonW, Martin Trotman, Ted Watkins, ???
Piet DeBree, Johnny Grocott, Dick Smith, Eddie Blakemoor, Chris Bolton, Tommy Dunn
I understand that Piet was a Dutch LWC member and I know that Martin Trotman was 1st Claim Surrey WC
Outside Amsterdam central station
Tommy Dunn, RonW, Johnny Grocott, Martin Trotman, Dick Smith,??, Ted Watkins & Bill Cowley
Carol Smith (Joe Smith’s daughter), Zena Smith, ???

And returning to 1958 and 1960 with more names

LWC with RWA at Nijmegen 1958

Leader: Joe Lambert
Front Row; L to R. Horace Ball (Birmingham), Fred Plumb (Brighton), Arthur Spicer.
Second Row. Bill Lashmar (Brighton), Tommy Dunn (LWC), John Burns (Leyland)
Third Row. Harry Holmes (Yorkshire), Forgotten, Fred Griffiths (Surrey & South London Harriers)
I am behind Harry Holmes and Pete DeBree is behind Fred Griffiths.

LWC with RWA at Nijmegen 1960

Horace Ball, Harry Tetlow, Reg Andrews, Jim Marriott, Fred Plumb, Ernie Ludlum (Yorkshire),
Tommy Dunn, Bill Watson.
Seated, Chris Bolton, Pete DeBree, Ron Wallwork, Eddie Blakemore.

Sincere thanks to Chris and Ron for the research.

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Looking Forward to the Goodwin Cup, the Middlesborough Hundred and remembering Flo Payn

Reg Goodwin 1948 Olympic judge

This coming Saturday, August 13 the Goodwin Cup 10 kilometres will take place in Chorley, changing facilities at St Peter’s Church Hall, Harpers Lane, PR6 0HP – start at 1.00 p.m. As is now customary it would be helpful, if you are able, to let Dave Evans know if you are attending and in what capacity.

A week later Adrian Edwards, Martin Payne and Sailash Shah will be endeavouring to join the hallowed ranks of the Centurions, All being well there will be three club members in support – although a rail strike is planned for Saturday, August 20th. Our very best wishes accompany the trio in their endeavours. Fingers crossed we will be hailing three new Centurions.

The 2019 Hundred at Castletown, Isle of Man. Thanks to for the photo.

The Middlesbrough 100 mile Challenge

The Centurions are proud to announce they are organising the 2022 Centurion – qualifying race walk on the Cycle Circuit at Middlesbrough Sports Village (Alan Peacock Way, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3AE). The course is a wide flat tarmac cycle track of just under 1 km. It will have 24-hour lighting, space for support tents, power supply for chip timing, parking, and many other facilities.

The race starts at 12 noon and will be held under Category ‘B’ race walking rules. Minimum age 20 years old. The rules stipulate walkers must maintain contact with the ground and satisfy the judges they are walking.

Walkers who complete 100 miles within 24 hours will be eligible to become Centurions, a unique athletic body open only to those who have achieved this remarkable feat. The Centurions were formed in 1911 and to date 1209 have qualified and joined this unique group of athletes. We look forward to welcoming walkers from the UK and overseas.

The race will incorporate the RWA National Long Distance Championship. UKA-affiliated walkers will be eligible to enter. Important note: walkers already qualified as a Centurion in Britain must be a member of a club affiliated to UKA. See the website for updates


In this photo from 2017 John was in charge of the dog whilst Flo is stood between Pat and Irene

Thanks to Roy Gunnett for this close-up of the photo taken at the 2 Hours race at Bury

A few weeks ago Flo, the wife of John Payn, our oldest member, passed away. Flo is fondly remembered for her regular presence at our races, often walking part of the course encouraging our efforts, almost always accompanied by her beloved dog. In addition, she was often to be seen assisting Pat Evans with the post-race refreshments. Sadly because of COVID and growing illness, we’ve not seen her for quite a long time but she will be sorely missed. We send our deepest condolences to John and the family.

A delightful photo of Flo and John at the 2019 Fred Pearce Relay
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Chris Bolton’s 19th Nijmegen – he was only there for the beer!

A couple of years ago I vowed to accompany Chris on his latest Nijmegen exploit but COVID intervened. Little did I know that he sneaked off this year to add to his tally. Wonderfully bonkers, Read on.

Chris reports.

This year I completed my nineteenth Nijmegen Vierdaagse and without doubt it was
the hardest of all.

A newspaper cutting celebrating Chris’s 17th Nijmegen

The temperature at the beginning of the week was over 40 degrees C ( 104 F) and the
organisers were fearful of fatalities. Consequently, they decided to cancel the first day
and make it a three-day event.

A thirsty crowd these walkers!
Just one more before tomorrow!

Forty-Two thousand started on the Wednesday with the temperature still close to 40 degrees and I therefore started the twenty-one mile challenge slowly. By fifteen miles the
heat was a real problem and I started to suffer badly. Making it to the finish I was
exhausted with heat stroke and was grabbed by the Red Cross officials. They sent for
a doctor and I realised that I was in real trouble. Had a doctor seen me he would have
torn up my start card for the next day and my challenge would have been over.
I plotted my escape and asked for more water. As soon as they were out of sight I
escaped and legged it but it was a close call!!

The next day of nineteen miles was cooler but we were hit with thunderstorms and
torrential rain. Again, I finished in poor shape and this time with blisters on both feet.

The last day of nineteen miles is one of celebration and the weather was better. The
problem now was that suffering from the lasting effects of covid and not having
walked more than three miles in training I was badly prepared and there was no gas
left in the tank. The crowds over the final eight kilometres are typical of the spirit of Nijmegen.
Walkers are cheered on and nearing the finish are presented with flowers, but running
on empty and with bad blisters I’m afraid I found it difficult to think of anything but
reaching the finishing line which never seemed to get nearer.

In cooler times 1958 Joe Lambert of LWC leads the Race Walking Association team with Chris in the background

Yes it was hard, yes it was painful but I have booked my hotel for next year when I
hope to complete my twentieth Nijmegen Vierdaagse.

This lovely 1960 photo of the RWA team sees a youthful Chris and Ron Wallwork sitting on the floor, In those days participants had to cover 55 kilometres on each of the Four Days.
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A close ‘walk’ thing in the Fred Pearce Relay, July 22

Dave Evans reports:

Pat, Christine and Dave prior to the race. Ta to Greg Smith

The Fred Pearce relays produced the closest finish yet with all 4 teams on the final approach within sight of each other, three closing in within a minute. The handicapper had some last-minute repositioning to contend with but in the end, this made the event more competitive in the light drizzly conditions. It was a nice surprise to have visitors from afar and the presence of multi-centurion Martin Fisher and sidekick Phil Carroll made the race more difficult to predict.

Waiting in expectation. Ta to Greg

 To get the race underway club secretary Roy Gunnett set off on his 5k with no company and it was 11 minutes before the first leg set off for teams two, three and four. At the end of the first out and back, Roy remained in first place with Tony Bell in hot pursuit and Adrian Edwards, sharpening his pace for the centurions 100 miles a mere 10 seconds adrift.  Bringing up the rear but still walking well was Sailash Shah.

Roy gets the race off to a lonely start. Ta to Greg
Keeping close company – Steven, Ian and Phil McCullagh. Ta to Martin Payne

 Leg two saw Martin Fisher shoot off from the start with the intention of moving his team from 4th to a higher position and it was no surprise to see him completing his 5k foray in the day’s best time and in second place. All competitors managed to record times around their seasonal bests so what would happen on the final anchor leg. Phil Carroll kept his cool despite setting off with a 5-minute 45 seconds advantage and showed that he has retained a very effective style which saw him enter the final straight of the finish with a lead of nearly two minutes. The other three teams made a real race of it with the trio closing on each other towards the finish.

Martin Fisher on his way to the fastest leg. Ta to Roy Gunnett
Phil Carroll turning back the clock holds off his pursuers. Ta to Greg.
Joe, Pat and Martin in titanic struggle. Ta to Greg
Congratulations all round. Ta to Greg

Chris Pearce provided the walkers and supporters with a lovely buffet and prizes and a fitting tribute to Fred who kept the club together during his tenure and is still sorely missed as an official and mentor.

Pat, Christine and Pam discuss tactics. Ta to Roy

A special mention must be made of Eric Horwill who has continued to support Lancashire Walking club for many years making the journey from the Midlands by public transport and offering his very welcome support and advice. On this occasion, he was accompanied by Pam who is herself a very respected official and still a British race walking record holder as a veteran.

As ever Dave and the indefatigible Eric Horwill keep everything in order. Ta to Greg.

On a more sombre note, we have just been informed that Flo, the wife of our oldest member, John Payn has recently passed away and we send our sincere condolences to John and his family.

Results of the relay

Greg in full stride. Ta to Roy

1st team  Roy Gunnett.     36 mins 58

                 Greg Smith        35 mins 02

                 Phil Carroll.        39 mins 04

Steven safe as houses on a good straight leg. Ta to Roy

2nd team Sailash Shah.    36 mins 11

                  Martin Fisher    30 mins 21

                  Steven Wilde.   34 mins 54

Ian Hildifch continues his good form. Ta to Greg

3rd team

Tony Bell.          31 mins 37

  Pat Evans.       35 mins 13

                  Ian Hilditch.       34 mins 50

Adrian preparing for the Hundred. Ta to Martin

4th team.

Adrian Edwards 30 mins 57

                  Joe Hardy.         34 mins 52

                   Phil McCullagh 36 mins 03

Our only photo of Tony sees him seated with Roy quaffing a post-race cup of tea. Ta to Martin


There are some changes to our fixtures for the remaining part of the year, including the cancellation of the Bury track race on September 3rd due to resurfacing of the track. The fixture will now be at Simister on the same day and will be a 10k.

The October race, originally scheduled to be held at Macclesfield on the first of the month is moving back a week, to allow club walkers to contest a 6-hour race at Chorley on that date. So amend your diary entries to show October 8th, Albert Rigby 10k, at Macclesfield.

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Pat and Dave Evans take a break by walking 1200 miles in June!

Pat and Dave Evans have been sorely missed in recent weeks. Even as Roy Gunnett held things together admirably, folk have been asking what are our two stalwarts up to? Have they been on a Nordic cruise or have they been basking on the Costa del Sol? You must be joking. They’ve been participaing in The Civil Service Annual Challenge. And with great success.

Dave takes up the story.

Like most “competitions” the easiest part is saying “yes”and as we reached the end of May this year future plans for other activities in JUNE were put on “hold”. It is not the first time we have taken on this challenge which tasks each participant with walking or running each day for the month of JUNE

Just over 1400 civil servants registered for the challenge and each was asked to obtain some sponsorship raising money for the Civil Service Benevolent fund. All were asked to put themselves forward in teams of 2,3,4,5 or 6 and their squad could be a mixture of departments, areas and background.

Our Lynchpin was Bill Kingston, a tall long striding walker, who has supported the event since around 2016 and since then has recorded the greatest distance walked or run by any participant. Bill is now 70 but despite this is crucial to any team and a bit of an ace card.

Pat and Bill made a formidable pairing and although “competing “ against teams with three times as many team members set off on JUNE 1st ready to burn up the tarmac, trail and mountain paths. Bill walked alone around the leafy streets of Bristol and while most of us were having our breakfast he was nearing the end of his first session of the day! On day 3 Bill managed to walk into a bush which hid a rocky outcrop and was lucky not to have ended his challenge there and then. Being a former rugby player and heavy throws exponent he regained his composure and carried on. Pat had chosen to mix and match her surfaces so not surprisingly the fells, trails and country roads were her preference. I had also signed up for the challenge but stayed “solo” for competition purposes and was essentially walking with and shadowing Pat.

Pat at the head of the KIrkstone Pass

Living in the Lake District offers many very scenic walks but the terrain is very variable and all the hills seem to be going up. At the same time as the challenge Pat and I were endeavouring to walk the full length of Hadrians Wall so we incorporated a number of sections , some in Northumberland and some in Cumbria. Covering healthy distances each day is fine but travelling to a starting point would sometimes require parking up, getting a taxi to a chosen location and walking back to the car as long as you remembered where you left the car. One walk entailed a drive to a station , a train journey to a small village a distance away then a walk of maybe 15 miles through the countryside taking in farms, hamlets, beauty spots and tackling dual foes of animals and droppings. Very fortunately the weather was nearly always kind so few walks meant tramping through 6 inches of dung at farm gates.

To help walkers and runners to focus the national organisers website was updated by individuals on a daily basis. However, some chose to do this on a less regular basis making it virtually impossible to determine where you were overall. Individuals were allowed to use a variety of measuring devices hence fitbits, Garmin, Strava and stepcounters accounted for the majority of recorded detail. Most “competitors” did some activity regularly and the first week would have give each an insight of what they might be capable of but by the end of week two with 16 days to go the legs were beginning to feel fatigued and the enormity of the project became more apparent.

June is a fairly stable month for weather so we were blessed with good conditions most days and surprisingly met relatively few people when we walked. At the end of week 3 (day 21) Pat was still keen having kept up an average of just short of 15 miles a day but I had become decidedly grumpy. Maintaining an average of about 23 miles a day was getting to me and uneven ground and big ups and downs were making me worse.

Grumpy Dave

The final 9 days were to see us increasing our daily mileage and still including routes over the local fells . Having been told by Bill Kingston that the top honours in the pairs event could go either way we had to consider pushing the envelope and the last 3 days are engraved on my heart and my head. I managed to walk into a low hanging bough on the shores of Ullswater with about 15 miles to go and almost completed my challenge early. We both walked further on days 28,29 and 30 than on any other days ending the final 24 hours with a 25 miler.Bill did all of his walking alone which is not surprising considering he left home most days at 1 00 am. When we completed our steps I calculated that Pat had walked 487 miles and myself 694. Not bad for two over 70’s! However, Bill is 70 and he managed to cover about 1175 miles almost exactly the same distance as Pat and I walked in total. We have seen more of the hills, fells, valleys, animals and flora than we normally see when out walking so the enterprise has been successful.

Pat smiling through

The final results have now been collated and with 269 teams of between 2 and 6 members our duo of Pat and Bill finished second overall less than 36 miles adrift of the top team comprising 6 members but were announced as winners of the pairs category . One member of the winning team overall ran 94 miles on one day which clearly gave his team a significant boost. Second team in the pairs walked 100 miles less than our duo leaving 266 other teams in their wake.

The days following the challenge were ones of relief and recovery. Pat’s knee problem didn’t reappear and can now be considered behind her but your truly was saddled with a sore shin for the best part of a week which was helped by liberal doses of wine ! Time is a great healer and despite saying towards the end of the 30 days that I would not want to do it again Bill is probably including us in his team of 4 for 2023 which is the only category he has yet to walk in(and win !).

Seeing the Tour de France is still ongoing, ‘CHAPEAU’ to Pat with a special mention for Dave in her shadow.

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Organising the Fred Pearce Relay, July 23, 2022

It’s that time of year again. In less than a fortnight’s time, we will be staging a centre-piece of our racing calendar, the Fred Pearce Memorial Relay. It’s an event dear to all our hearts.

The Fred Pearce Memorial Relay, Lady Wilton Hall, Simister, Manchester M25 2SB will be held on Saturday, July 23 – starting 1.00 p.m.

Looking ahead, Dave Evans is making a special plea to let him know if you are attending and in what capacity. We need to give Christine Pearce, who provides both food and prizes, an idea of numbers. In addition, Dave needs to know if you intend to race as he has the unenviable task of deciding on the make-up of the teams contesting the relay.

Respond to:

Gutted not to be on the road but with you in spirit


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Thirty Years Ago this Month – Ron and Ian became proud Centurions

With Ian Garmston’s permission, I’m really pleased to post this lovely account of his and Ron Wallwork’s journey to becoming proud Centurions. All the more so, given our club’s great history in the 100 miles event – see Honouring the Club’s Centurions, where you will find

893 Ron Wallwork 22:26:07 on 21 /07 /1992 Leicester
899 Ian Garmston 23:16:24 on 21/ 07/ 1992 Leicester


Ron and Ian in jovial mood

Thirty years ago Ron Wallwork and myself qualified to join a worldwide group of (presently 1211) athletes called the ‘Centurions’. It would not have been possible without the complete practical support of an army of friends and family, who were there for us back in July 1992.

Ron and myself became pals during the early 1980s when I entered a racewalking event that he had organised at Moulton. I was a runner but was attracted to the activity because it seemed like a novel hoot. Later, when we started to train together, I discovered the two cardinal rules that no racewalker should (ever) disobey. Namely, leading legs must NOT BE BENT at the knee, and one foot had ALWAYS to be in contact with the ground. More precise explanations are not necessary. But the Race Walking Association (RWA) set these rules, which are etched on stone tablets, and when violated cause eagle-eyed official judges (with little flags and clip-boards) to pounce from the side of the road. I never actually got “pulled” from a race, but did have my number taken more than a few times. Such Fun! 

Anyway, Ron coached me through a series of events, and our friendship grew. I knew that he had won the 20-mile race for England at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. What I didn’t know was that he was romancing the notion of competing in a qualifying RWA 100-mile race at Hungarton, Leicestershire. The idea being to return a sub-24-hour time, and thus become a Centurion. 

Such an event was furthest from my own thoughts. Nevertheless, I acknowledged that his year-long training regime would get lonely, so offered to keep him company as long as I was capable. If nothing else it would be an opportunity to progress my own general fitness, which had lapsed a tad since doing The London Marathon in 1986. Plus, I could watch and learn, first-hand, how this experienced international athlete prepared himself for something new. 

As well as building in “quality” sprints around the village, we looked for official events of various distances that would gradually nudge up how far we walked in one hit. Ten miles, then twenty, thirty and so on. If there were no events, we were taken by car for (say) forty miles and left to walk home. It was also necessary to prepare our body clocks, so some of these outings were done during the night.

Ron told me that we only needed to train as far as seventy miles, because the last thirty miles could be done (his words!) “from memory”. The other thing to consider was maintaining a constant 5mph pace, because, during 24 hours it would be necessary to pause for a number of reasons. Not least comfort stops and feeding, and a consistent 5mph pace should (theoretically) provide a four-hour cushion of time to take account of these activities. 

The group picture is at Bradford on 25th May (Whit Monday) where Ian clocked 5.51.36 and Ron 5.52 01.
L/R Joe Hardy, Ronnie Marsden, Lennie Yeomans Ian, Ron, Charlie Colman and John Eddershaw in the background.
A beltin’ photo of Ron and Ian beaming at the start of the Blackpool,
Ian 9.58.?? & Ron 9.24.20

We identified the official RWA Manchester to Blackpool walk as a useful fifty miler. Aiming for less than 12 hours on our feet. I cannot remember my time. It doesn’t matter. What I do remember is catching sight of Blackpool Tower as a feature the size of my thumb on the horizon. A number of hours later, I was walking along the prom to the finish. Still being careful to keep my leading leg straight, and watching for lurking judges, but certain I was now having a go at this Centurion thingy, come what may. It was probably during the evening, as we all enjoyed fish and chips, gazing at the sea, that I told Ron I would be joining him. Training then became far more focussed as the months rolled closer to the main event.

Which was an amazing experience. We commenced twenty circuits of a (very) undulating, but picturesque five-mile course at 6.00pm on a sunny Saturday evening. A feeding station was established in the car park of the village pub, which also kindly provided toilet facilities. Every hour, on the hour (day and night) our delightful support team, who were camped on the other side of the road, would collect anything they needed for our next pit stop. We relied on them.

Through the night hours, they operated a shift system, so as to get a little sleep, but it was exhausting work, gladly done, for which Ron and myself are eternally grateful. I went through three pairs of trainers and completed in 23 hours, 16 minutes and 24 seconds. Ron was ahead of me, and completed in 22 hours, 26 minutes and 7 seconds. Neither of us will forget those 24 hours. But the icing on the cake was that Ron had obtained sufficient sponsors to raise £38k for charity. This caught the attention of Newmarket Journal, who despatched a photographer. You can see his picture at the beginning of this tale.. Please note our perfectly straight leading legs… Perhaps poetry in racewalking motion😂.. And not a judge to be seen! 

As Ever


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Barnard Trophy 10K, Sutton Macclesfield 2nd July 2022

Roy Gunnett reports:

[Dave and Pat Evans are in the very last days of their June Long Distance Walking Challenge and we look forward to hearing of their exploits!]

Barnard Trophy 10k @ Macclesfield 2nd July 2022

Adrian leads the way

A field of 8 walkers took part in the Barnard Trophy 10k race at Macclesfield.

The picturesque course in the beautiful Cheshire countryside was made even more pleasant for the walkers by the weather being warm with sunny spells.

The 8 walkers comprised 6 Lancashire Walking Club members and 2 very welcome guest walkers, namely David Hoben from Surrey Walking Club and John Gordon from Dudley and Stourbridge.

The walkers were split into 2 groups – Adrian Edwards and Tony Bell being in the fast group and the remainder in the other. Adrian and Tony started 4 minutes behind the others.

Tony in full stride

Adrian walked powerfully throughout to win the scratch race. Tony Bell also walked a strong race behind him.

John Gordon [Dudley & Stourbridge] – a welcome guest
David Hoben [Surrey WC] – very welcome too

John Gordon headed the rest of the field from the gun and gradually pulled away from the others who kept fairly close together.  Phil McCullagh put in his usual storming ‘negative split’ second half.

Phll ‘Negative Split’ McCullagh
A determined Sailash chased by Joe

Huge thanks must go to Eric Horwill, Glyn Jones, Martin Payne and Tony Malone for their help in Timekeeping, Marshalling etc. 

Thanks again to Roy for organising and racing

As usual, Marshall and Kath Barnard put on a magnificent spread of food and tea – greatly appreciated by all.

Tony Bell won the Barnard Trophy for being the first Lancashire walker in the handicap and was presented with the trophy by Marshall.

Scratch Race

  1. Adrian Edwards 65.00 (21.32,42.55)
  2. Tony Bell 67.39 (22.49,45.49)
  3. John Gordon 71.15 (23.28,47.16)
  4. Phil McCullough 73.10 (24.48, 49.02)
  5. Roy Gunnett 74.00 (24.07,48.52)
  6. Joe Hardy 74.15 (24.24, 49.08)
  7. Sailash Shah 75.25 (24.15, 49.33)
  8. David Hoben 75.32 (24.32, 49.35)

Handicap Race

1 John Gordon 58.15. (Guest)
2 Tony Bell 60.39 *
3 Joe Hardy 61.30
4 Roy Gunnett 62.30
5 David Hoben 62.32 (Guest)
6 Phil McCullough 63.10
7 Sailash Shah 64.25
8 Adrian Edwards 65.00

Tony with the Barnard Trophy

* Tony Bell first Lancashire Walking Club member in handicap.

Thanks to Martin Payne for the photos. Always very useful and welcome.

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