Part One of Soles, Heels and Toes : Ron Wallwork remembers the shoes he wore

Ron begins:

Race Walking Footwear 

After seeing my first walking race at Manchester’s White City stadium in 1957 and dabbling with the event over the following year I drifted into the discipline. The Bolton Harriers’ Hon. Secretary Frank Morris, who had done some race walking before an industrial accident curtailed his athletic career, encouraged, and gave me advice like, use your hips and keep your arms low and have a heel on your shoes. My footwear at that time was a pair of flat-soled white canvas tennis shoes. The outcome of a visit and chat to my local cobbler, Mr.Bromley, which would be the first of many in the ensuing years, was the addition of a layer of crepe, to create a heel on the tennis shoes.  

Ron in his fortified plimsolls with Jack Sankey and Mike Jeffreys in pursuit, Leyland 1958

My first race walking shoes were made by J.W.Foster who had his workshop on Deane Road in Bolton and one of the country’s top athletic shoe makers. His black leather shoes with a broad stripe of snake-skin, along with a wafer thin strip of leather twixt sole and heel, which enabled the shoe to be doubled in half, were the hall-mark of his walking shoes. Another feature in all the leather walking shoes was a substantial heel counter to stabilise pronation. Bolton was also the home of ‘Walkers Tannery’ who produced the hard-wearing Dri-ped Oak leather, which was not much thinner than a centimetre, and was used for soles and heels.

Advert in Race Walking Record, September 1942

Harold Whitlock’s Shoes had a microcellular sole and heel, which reduced considerably the jarring experienced with the stouter more rigid leather footwear. The seamless leather uppers also made them easier to wear in.

  

The famous microcellular Whitlocks

The other leather shoes I wore were made by G.T.”Sandy”Law & Son Law of London, much favoured by southern walkers and worn by Stan Vickers when winning the European 20km championship in Stockholm in 1958, notable for the seam centred on the uppers to allow plenty of toe room. 

G,T. ‘Sandy’ Laws & Son shoe

The paper outline submitted to the shoemakers when ordering a pair, meant that the maker could select the appropriate last, but another thing all leather soled shoes had in common, was the need to ‘wear them in’.

I think it was the continentals who led the way forward with the trainer-type shoe. Adidas with a variety of models and Puma initially. They were simply running shoes, still had leather or suede uppers, but not the pronounced heel. Walking versions started to appear, the broad fitting Asics Tiger, Reebok, Walsh’s, Hunt and Gola. With the exception of the latter two I raced in them all at some time, but my favourite was the EB. Eventually, leather uppers became fabric, less specialised and in the end, I think most walkers used any trainer that was comfortable, to some extent durable and reasonably priced. 

Joe Foster’s sons Joe and Jeff, split from their father in the early 1960’s and founded ReeBok in nearby Bury. Jeff took part in the New Year’s Eve Novelty event in 1967. Norman Walsh another northern shoe maker, (famous for making bespoke wrestling boots for celebrities like Jacky Palo and Big Daddy), also served his apprenticeship with Joe W.Foster, before going it alone and successfully too.

I had personal dealings with both, being employed by Reebok for a short time in late 1967 and 1968, at a time when my employer of several years, reneged on a commitment he made to me following my Kingston success.  

From L/R Eric Hall, Bob Goodall and Ken Matthews shod in leather 1958

As for Norman, well every time I got selected, I would receive a message from him, and it was always the same – You’d better get up here and get measured for a new pair. Norman was oh so laid-back, and athletes, hockey and rugby players were always welcome to pop in and see him. I can still picture the seemingly disorganised workshop in the middle of a terrace on Derby Street, Daubhill; lasts everywhere, brand new rolls of leather with off-cuts strewn about and the combined smell of leather and adhesive.

!967 and the change to lightweight athletic shoes complete -L/R Mal Tolley, Ray Middleton, John Webb, Bill Sutherland, Charlie Fogg and Arthur Jones

Of course, elite athletes will always want the best, but I have raced domestically in ‘Hush Puppies’ and Olympian Bob Hughes wore them at least once in international competition.

More footwear memories to follow from Guy Goodair, Greg Smith and others.

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The Enfield Race Walking League goes Virtual and welcomes entries

A week or so ago Ron Wallwork put out a feeler to the Enfield League race walking community, asking if , given the continued COVID restrictions, there would be support for a Virtual Series over the coming months. The response was overwhelmingly in favour but see Ron’s measured conclusion below. Ron confirms that anyone irrespective of standard or nationality is welcome to participate. There is a difference in terms of the ERWL proposal and the opprtunities by the World Virtual Series weekly 2k and our monthly Club Series. The EWRL format homes in on a particular weekend each month, mirroring an actual racing date. Basically you have to submit a clocking on that weekend. In this sense some of us might be interested in being involved as another source of motivation. Over to you.

Virtual ERWL to go ahead 

Over 25 people responded to the enquiry about initiating a Virtual ERWL, with all but two expressing a positive view  towards the suggestion. There was a vehement objection, that wasn’t sent to me, which expressed deep concern  about the standard of walking and course accuracy, which is a legitimate view that people are entitled to hold. 

However, the ethos of the ERWL since its inception by Martin Oliver 23 years ago, has always be to welcome and  engage walkers of all standards and that’s why it operates under the B rule. This is not to say that the ERWL is  opposed to the A standard, but it should be remembered that it was born out of the need to judge elite and often full time athletes. 

The vagaries of tracking devices are well known, so of course results might well be skewed, but so long as the intent  is honest the integrity of the competition remains. As for deliberate cheaters, well they only deceive themselves and  when the pandemic is over, all the virtual performances will be judged against times set in real ones. 

The series gets underway on 30th/31st January and will be over 5km, thus giving participants the opportunity to  ease into things and set targets for the year, but thereafter 8km and 5km will be on offer.  

Results should be emailed to r.emsley@btopenworld.com 

Subject: Virtual ERWL  

With Name, club, age category along with the distance and time before midnight on Monday 1st February 

Forthcoming ERWL Virtual fixtures 30th/31st January – 20/21st February – 3rd/4th March – 3rd/4th April 

________________________________________________________

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 42 – Bernd Kannenberg Memorial Race

We held on to top spot in the Age-graded 2k team – grateful for the reappearance of Stephen Walker and Guy Goodair.

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 42 – Bernd Kannenberg Memorial Race  

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (81.83%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (79.13%) – RUSSIA (76.86%)
3 Manx Harriers (75.91%)
4 Quickstep Fitness (70.05%)
5 Yorkshire Race Walking Club (55.27%)
6 Sarnia Walking Club (45.13%)
7 Redcar Race Walking Club (43.65%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Manx Harriers (22)
2 Birchfield Harriers (33) – RUSSIA (34)
3 Lancashire Walking Club (39)
4 Quickstep Fitness (71)
5 Yorkshire Race Walking Club (95)
6 Redcar Race Walking Club (187)
7 Sarnia Walking Club (197)

Stephen looking good

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 92.81% Lancs WC 10:49.0

Greg Smith M65 80.48% Lancs WC 11:44.0

Stephen Walker M60 72.19% Lancs WC 12:15.0

Guy Goodair M80 69.83% Lancs WC 16:53.0

Tony Bell M55 66.03% Lancs WC 12:45.0

Full result at RACE 42

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Surviving the pandemic in one piece – Dave and Guy reveal all

Firstly, our indefatigible Chair, Dave Evans writes:

This could easily be Dave doing one of the lonely Virtual Series efforts. Ta to Linda M. for the photo.

Club colleagues,

First let me thank everyone who has supported our club Virtual Series and also the World Virtual variation.  I know there are colleagues who have given the virtual walks a bye for a whole variety of reasons but as long as you are with us in spirit it’s enough. Tony T, our President in off shore residence, has done a great job stimulating participation from the club in the virtual events and this together with the regular articles on walkers past and present has kept us together. I have been very surprised at just how good some of our regular walkers have been in the early days and but for Tony’s well written presentations their feats would be hidden away in the minds of our oldest members.  Very proud to know these were in the colours of the Lancashire Walking club and of course, International vests.

Like others I have mixed my exercise between running, race walking and low level fell walking just to keep a focus over the long winter but within the bounds of the Covid guidelines. I also have a treadmill which has a mind of its own but it certainly helps me to maintain a more correct walking action until it speeds up ! With poor weather it is the ideal substitute for getting drenched outdoors. Having contacted a number of club members across the last couple of months it is clear that none of us have access to really good circuits for training or time trials  and in some cases the change of weather outside has complicated suitable courses and underfoot conditions. Recent snowfalls have made walking very precarious and hopefully no one has had any accidents while out training. 

Although we are now in the Coronavirus vaccine scenario the likelihood of any live events is still some distance away. Trevor McDermot has promoted some activity days whilst following the Covid guidelines and this workaround has fulfilled the needs of some club walkers . Alas all the present attempts have to be strictly to the EA guidelines and rely on organisers like Trevor and Linda to find a suitable venue which is very difficult at present. We will be keeping in contact with our regular venue accommodation holders but my feeling is that it will be May at the earliest before we hit the road walking at a club level. Chris Pearce rang me recently and sends her very best wishes to club members and will continue to sponsor Fred’s relay and visit our events as time permits.

It would be great to hear from club members so please drop a line to Tony and tell us what you’ve been up to.  I think we would also like to hear from colleagues about their walking story. How did you start and where you active in other sports previously. Don’t be shy and share your history with us.

A bit late I know but Happy New Year and let’s hope our first proper get together is not too far away.

Meanwhile our White Rose friend, Guy Goodair challenges us to go orienteering!!

Never seen before! Guy off the ground! Ta to Steve Rush, who had to use superfast shutter speed to catch Guy in mid-air even when running.

In 2019 Judith & I did over 100 orienteering races but last year got in 20 before first lockdown and a further 9 when racing started again briefly in August, so 29 in total.  During Lockdown we go out for a walk every day, usually for between 60 and 90 minutes. My son left an exercise bike here when he left home but using it bores me out of my skull so I tend to use it only for Michael Mosley’s  ‘Fast Exercise’ which involves   a couple of minutes warm-up  then speeding up and cranking up the resistance, start to sprint all out for 30 seconds. Lower the resistance and gently pedal for 2 minutes before repeating the sprint again. I can manage about 5 or 6 before I’m completely shattered. I use the bike about 3 times a week

There is an App to download onto your Smartphone called  MapRunF

http://maprunners.weebly.com/maprunf.html

This offers courses all over the country for you to try. You don’t have to run, many people just walk round. There are two types of course – one being linear where you visit points (or controls) in numerical order, the other is a Score where you have a set time, usually 45 or 60 minutes to visit as many controls as you can but you must get back to the start within the time limit.

There are a lot on the Navvies website

https://navvies.org.uk/Challenge%20Locations.php

Select an event  then print off a paper copy of the map but also load it onto your phone

Once you’ve download the app onto your phone it will ask you to ‘Select Event’ – scroll down to UK – Manchester – Navvies – your course choice

When you get to the event start some courses are ‘live’ as soon as you get to the start triangle, other will ask for a 4 digit pin number which is shown on the paper map. Once at the start your phone will ‘beep’ the clock starts and you’re off when you get to the first control (although there’s nothing physically there your phone will beep again to record your visit).

Do this all round the course and when you get back to the finish it will show your elapsed time

And at top right of the phone there are 3 bars, click this, and it will ask you to download your result (sometimes you need to go home to do this if the local signal is not strong enough0.

You’ll probably find new parts of an area that you’ve never been to and deciding which way to go to the various controls will keep your brain so occupied you don’t notice the time passing

They have been a welcome diversion and managed we’ve 38 of those with lots still to try.

This orienteering lark looks painful and a touch insane coming down some steep steps in Kendal

Find below two two typical courses to show two different map styles.

Enjoy & keep safe

Guy

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Rest in Peace – Paul Nihill and Bernhard Kannenberg, two of our greatest athletes

Firstly Paul Nihill’s funeral is to take place on Wednesday, January 21 at 1.15 pm.

Zurich, 2 mai 1971, arrivée de Paul Nihill (20km marche), photo Dominique GUEBEY

In normal times I have no doubt there would have been an incredible turnout from the race walking community. As it is the ceremony will be available as a live Webcast on Obitus.

THE WEBSITE IS: https://www.obitus.com/

USERNAME: Sava6799

PASSWORD: 555039

Once the service has finished, it will take up to 3 working days to get the 28-day Watch Again onto the website.

In addition the family has created a Justgiving page where donations in memory of Paul can be made to the charity, SportsAid.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paulnihillmbe

Secondly it grieves me to report the death of yet another giant of our sport, Bernhard ‘Bernd’ Kannenberg of West Germany, the 1972 Olympic 50 kilometres gold medallist. In his day he was widely regarded as one of the great technicians. Sadly he was unable to defend his title in 1976 as the event was dropped from the programme. He gained silver in the 1974 European 20 kilometres championships a bare few seconds behind the legendary Vladimir Golubnichy with our own Roger Mills bravely taking the bronze on a heat-sapping day.

Ta to olympedia.otg

Sincere thanks are due to Peter Matthews of Athletics International for the following statistical information.

Bernhard ‘Bernd’ KANNENBERG (Germany) (b. 20 Aug 1942 Königsberg) died on January 13 at Münster, aged 78. Olympic champion at 50k walk in 1972 (dnf 20k), he was also dnf 20k in 1976. At the Europeans he was 9th at 20k in 1991, 2nd at 20k and 9th at 50k in 1974 and also won the Lugano Trophy 50k in 1973 with 2nd at 20k in 1975, and was FRG champion at 20k in 1972 and 1974-5 and at 50k 1972-3 and 1975. He set six world records: track 20,000m 1:24:45.0, 30,000m 2:12:58.0 and 2 hours 27,153m in 1974, and 30M 3:48:23.4 and 50,000m 3:56:51.4 in 1975; road 3:52:45 in 1972. Further FRG records included 5000m 20:51.0 and 10,000m 41:36.2 in 1972, 1 hour 13,635m & 14,241m in 1974, and 20M 2:30:37.4 in 1975. 26 internationals 1970-6. He became the German walks team coach.

On a personal note I was actually competing in the 20 kilometres track race in Hamburg on May 25, 1974 when Bernd set his world record of 84:45.0. I can speak first hand about that unbelievable performance of relaxed sustained power. He did lap me a number of times! In truth I don’t think I ever recovered from the shock. However it was a humbling privilege to be in Bernd’s presence on that evening.

  1. Bernd Kannenberg WG 84:45.0 [World Record]
  2. Heinz Mayr WG 90:59.4
  3. Roger Mills GB 91:24.2
  4. Olly Flynn GB 92:15.8
  5. Peter Marlow 92:28.8
  6. Tony Taylor GB 94:21.2
  7. Manfred Kolvenbach WG 94:21.4
  8. Siegfried Richter DQ

For the record there was also another record on that evening. Gerhard Weidner broke the 20 miles World Record clocking 2:30:38.6.

  1. Gerhard Weidner WG 2:30:38.6 [World Record]
  2. Heinrich Schubert WG 2:33:33.8
  3. John Warhurst GB 2:34:25.4
  4. Roy Thorpe GB 2:35:44.0
  5. Amos Seddon GB 2:37:35.4
  6. Mike Holmes GB 2:42:01.4
  7. Leo Frey WG 2:44;45.6
  8. Hans Michalski WG 2:47:33.0

Despite Germany’s two world records Great Britain won the match 18 points to 26. Hence I had the consolation of being on the winning team.

However the abiding impression of that balmy May night was Bernd in full flow, utterly majestic.

Thanks to RTL.DE

Bernhard Kannenberg RIP

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 41

Thanks to all, who ensured a victorious start to the New Year. We have something to live up to as Virtual racing looks likely to continue for some time.

Roy Gunnett looking immaculate, apart from a bit of a backward lean

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (84.93%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (78.40%)
3 Quickstep Fitness (77.08%)
4 Manx Harriers (73.18%)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (67.47%)
6 Redcar Race Walking Club (43.31%)
7 Yorkshire Race Walking Club (37.55%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Quickstep Fitness (9)
2 Manx Harriers (40)
3 Birchfield Harriers (43)
4 Lancashire Walking Club (48)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (67)
6 Redcar Race Walking Club (191)
7 Yorkshire Race Walking Club (215)

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 92.24% Lancs WC 10:53.0

Dave Evans M70 83.42% Lancs WC 12:02.0

Greg Smith M65 79.13% Lancs WC 11:56.0

Roy Gunnett M70 72.31% Lancs WC 13:53.0

Martin Payne M60 67.52% Lancs WC 12:50.0

Tony Bell M55 66.21% Lancs WC 12:43.


Thanks to the monitoring of the Series by one of its innovators, John Constandinou, we can note the following involvement, thus far, of our members.

Tony Bell 36 races

Tony Taylor 35 races

Guy Goodair 34 races

Greg Smith 30 races

Stephen Walker 19 races

Martin Payne 15 races

Tony Malone 14 races

Dave Evans 13 races

Roy Gunnett 13 races

Pat Evans 5 races

Chris Harvey 2 races

At the time of writing 316 athletes have been involved in the Series

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Keeping Occupied in January – a few suggestions

It’s difficult to believe we’re entering the New Year still haunted by a virus but such is the case. With this in mind we’re suggesting that you might consider undertaking any or all of these challenges in the next few weeks.

  1. Once again we are encouraging you to submit a 3 kilometres clocking for the January edition of our Club Virtual Series – by Tuesday, February 2 at the latest.
  2. It would be great too if you feel able to participate in John and Helen’s weekly World Virtual Series 2k, We’ve a reputation to defend, both as committed supporters of the initiative from the outset and as the leading team in the Age-graded competition.
  3. We’ve been wondering too, how you are managing to stay active and fit in these restricted times? Any thoughts, anecdotes on this subject would be gratefully received and shared.
  4. Finally Martin Payne and Greg Smith kicked off the fascinating issue of race walking shoes a few months ago but we didn’t play ball. I’ve been thinking about this more recently. The first that I remember were a pair of leather cycling shoes, to which my dad added a heel. It would be more than interesting to hear more about the diversity of shoes worn by our members across the years.
Norman Walsh was crafting made-to-meaure race walking shoes in the 1970s

Any thoughts, tales, photos to Tony at tonymtaylor@gmail.com

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The January ‘Frank O’Neill’ Club Virtual 3k

The January ‘Frank O’Neill’ Club Virtual 3k

Taking our cue from John and Helen’s initiative in commemorating great race walkers within the Virtual 2k Series I thought it would be fitting if each of our monthly races drew attention to stalwarts from the past.

No apologies for featuring again this lovely photo of Frank with Chris Bolton in the Bradford 50 kilometres – not an Open 7!

The first of these is Frank O’Neill, for years the club’s meticulously organised Secretary, in keeping with someone who was the bursar of the Padgate Teacher Training College. Given the tragic loss of many of our club records the first mention of Frank is to be found in the July 1942 Race Walking Record, unearthed by Ron Wallwork. He was 19th in the 40th Bradford and County Walk on May 29th. I suspect my first encounter with Frank was on October 6th, 1953 at the Hindley Green Labour Club, where a 6 miles club race was won by Joe Barraclough in 46:50. In addition my dad, Alf Taylor organised a couple of races for aspiring youngsters. At the age of 6 I was 3rd in the 3/4 mile event for 6-8 year olds and amazingly still have the medal to prove it!

By the early 1960’s Frank was undoubtedly for me a key figure, particularly as his wonderful Edwardian terraced house in Worsley was a second club headquarters, the enormous bay-windowed front room on the third floor being our changing facility. Every year the club’s 6 miles in the Hour Badge event was held from the house on an out and back course, followed by tea and luscious scones baked by Mary, Frank’s gentle wife. More significantly, especially across the winter, a Tuesday evening training session was held in the dark[!] on the very same roads. Today the halfway point on the way there and back is a frantic roundabout access to and exit from a spaghetti junction of motorways. Nowadays you could be stuck there for longer than it took to complete the 6 miles race1

By chance I could get to Frank’s from Leigh on the Number 26 service to Manchester so when possible I seized the chance. This said I must admit that my motivation was not altogether athletic. I was infatuated with Frank’s two beautiful daughters. Hence I only left the house, its warm, cosy dining kitchen and its two adorable occupants as the last bus home drew up outside!

Frank was never an outstanding athlete but his contribution to the club was enormous. He went about his business unassumingly yet ‘professionally’, especially in his role as timekeeper and recorder in the later years. All of us owe a deep debt of gratitude to Frank for his unsung contribution across the decades to the health and vitality of our great club.

Ron Wallwork writes:

This piece rekindled many happy memories. We didn’t realise at the time just how much Frank and so many others put into the club. I’ve come across some of them in results from 1913 (Sam Morgan), and early 1920’s (Joe Lambert).
Frank’s home was also an easy trip for me too, because it was on the No 12 Bolton / Manchester route and stopped almost opposite his house.
My first visit to Worsley Road was 6th December 1958 for a 10 miles handicap which was won by Matt Clarke 71.22 (in his 70’s I think) off 42.20 from Jack Sankey 74.10 off 5.00 and Bob Turnbull 74.47 off 20.00.
It must have been a short course because Jack and I went under 80 mins and we weren’t that good at that time.
Also of note: Frank qualified as Centurion 136 in the 1947 London – Brighton race the 7th Club member to do so.

Roy Gunnett writes:

Drawing on Harold Ogden’s file the address of the Edwardian terraced was 294 Worsley Road. Evidently Frank had a distinguished war record, serving as a Quarter Master Sergeant with the Intelligence Corps in Holland and Belgium. Apparently he was known for giving away whatever rations he could to the poor children of those countries. There were three daughters, Irene, Kathryn and Wynne.

Any other memories of Frank gratefully received and will be added.

THE FRANK O’NEILL 3 KILOMETRES VIRTUAL RACE

SCRATCH

  1. Tony Taylor 16:36
  2. Marco Bernatzki 18:59 [G]
  3. Graham Jackson 19:00 [G]
  4. Tony Bell 19:43
  5. Greg Smith 19:49
  6. Denis Jackson 19:52 [G]
  7. Dave Evans 19:56
  8. Martin Payne 19:57
  9. Roy Gunnett 20:00
  10. Ian Hilditch 20:08
  11. Pat Evans 20:15
  12. Joe Hardy 20:50
  13. Glyn Jones 22:04 [G]
  14. Andrea Lennon 25:52

HANDICAP

Martin putting us all to shame by submitting a Xmas ‘selfie’ – even if it’s indoors!
  1. Roy Gunnett 20:00 ; 4:30 ; 15:30
  2. Ian Hilditch 20:08; 4:35; 15:33
  3. Marco Bernatzki 18:59; 3:25; 15:34 [G]
  4. Martin Payne 19:57; 4:10; 15:47
  5. Graham Jackson 19:00; 3:10; 15:50 [G]
  6. Pat Evans 20:15; 4:05; 16:10
  7. Andrea Lennon 25:52; 9:35; 16:17
  8. Tony Bell 19:43; 3;25; 16:18
  9. Joe Hardy 20:50; 4:15; 16:35
  10. Tony Taylor 16:36; 0;00; 16:36
  11. Denis Jackson 19:52; 3:15; 16:37 [G]
  12. Glyn Jones 22:04; 5:05; 16:59 [G]
  13. Dave Evans 19;56; 2:10; 17;46
  14. Greg Smith 19:49; 1:00; 18:49
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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 40 – Peter Fullager Memorial Race

We enter the New Year in top spot in the Age-Graded competition. Let’s continue our commitment whilst, hoping upon hope, that 2021 will bring ‘live’ racing sooner rather than later.

Tony Bell, a stalwart across the Virtual Series

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 40 – Peter Fullager Memorial Race  

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (83.82%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (78.12%)
3 Quickstep Fitness (71.58%)
4 Manx Harriers (52.27%)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (45.61%)
6 Redcar Race Walking Club (42.74%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Birchfield Harriers (34)
2 Lancashire Walking Club (47)
3 Quickstep Fitness (48)
4 Manx Harriers (161)
5 Redcar Race Walking Club (188)
6 Sarnia Walking Club (194)

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 92.10% Lancs WC 10:54.0

Dave Evans M70 83.89% Lancs WC 11:58.0

Roy Gunnett M70 75.48% Lancs WC 13:18.0

Greg Smith M65 71.35% Lancs WC 13:14.0

Tony Bell M55 65.01% Lancs WC 12:57.0

Full result at Virtual Series 40

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WAKEFIELD’S PURPLE PATCH 1967 – 1969

Wakefield’s Purple Patch 1967-1969

 Ron Wallwork writes:

When recently gathering information about LWC’s National Team successes I noticed that Wakefield H too had enjoyed a national championship purple patch at the back end of the sixties. The recent award of the A.J.Taylor trophy to Guy Goodair prompted me to salute him and his club-mates. In the three year span 1967 to 1969, Guy was a scoring member of Wakefield’s team, which in addition to two top six finishes, won five national team medals, the Milan Trophy and in the process Guy also occupied a top eight individual spot on three occasions.  

1967 National 10 miles at Bolton on 18th March

Bronze: Guy Goodair 11th/78.19, George Barras 15th/79.50, Roy Thorpe 21st/80.25, John Hampshire 48th/ 83.53 were the scorers. J Barraclough 89th/87.56, Ken Newson 122nd/94.02 and Ken Bingley 127th/92.25 also took part.

182 started, Belgrave H and Trowbridge AC occupied the top two team places whilst the individual medallists were Ron Wallwork 75.35, Shaun Lightman 75.43 and Arthur Jones 76.10.

George and Guy hammer and tongs in the Blackpool

On 24th June George 8.03.15 and Guy 8.03.27 finished runner-up and third in the Manchester-Blackpool

National 50km at Redditch on 22nd July 

Bronze: Guy Goodair 7th/4.50.24, Roy Thorpe 13th/4.56.40, L.Monkton 19th/5.02.40, John Hampshire 30th/5.18.32. Hot humid conditions and a stiff three lap undulating course proved to be too much for thirty of the 88 starters. The real heroes that day were George Barras 35th/5.24.36, Brian Marsland 43rd/5.34.54, Ken Bingley 54th/5.49.15 and J.Croll 58th/5.56.45 who stuck it out, and because they did, Wakefield in addition to winning team bronze also won the prestigious MILAN TROPHY

The Milan trophy was won by a British long-distance team in Italy and presented by the British amateur Athletic Board to the RWA and is awarded to the club first finishing its complete team of eight in the RWA 50km championship. It was first contested in 1962.

88 started, Belgrave H and Trowbridge AC occupied the top two team places whilst Shaun Lightman 4.26.56, Ray Middleton 4.33.28 and Don Thompson 4.34.16 took the individual honours. 

1968 National 50km at Ewell, Surrey on 20th July.

Bronze: Guy Goodair 8th/4.47.45, R.Manning 17th/5..02.54, Roy Thorpe 21st/5.06.39,  John Hampshire 43rd/5.31.11

This race was the trial for the Mexico Olympic games and was the first time a short multiple course had been used in England. It was twelve laps and was dictated by road conditions in the area. It was not an easy course with a long climb up Reigate Road on each lap.

89 started, Belgrave H and Metropolitan WC occupied the top two team places whilst Paul Nihill 4.18.59, Brian Ely 4.22.16 and Shaun Lightman 4.23.17 took the individual honours.

On 29th June Guy 8.09.39 and George 8.14.52 had finished runner-up and third in the Manchester-Blackpool and along with Roy Thorpe 8.35.15 and J.Grayson 9.28.41 won the team race. R.Manning 19.56.20 also found time to qualify as a Centurion in the Leicester – Skegness 100 on 2/3rd August.

1969 National 20 miles at South Croydon on 14th June

Silver:  Roy Thorpe 13th/3.00.40, George Barras 16th/3.02.24, Guy Goodair 18th/3.03.19, J.Grayson* 28th/3.12.15 were the scorers with E.Lee* 29th/3.12.40 and Ken Bingley 73rd/3.39.05 backing up.

A very hilly course on the warmest Saturday of the year was factor for 29 of the 137 starters who failed to finish. 

137 started, Belgrave H were the team winners and Coventry Godiva H finished third whilst Paul Nihill 2.44.51, Brian Ely 2.46.24 and Bill Sutherland 2.48.45 took the individual honours.

Guy [1[ leads George [2] with Derek Harding [10]. Derek officiated at LWC club races for many years.

On 28th June George 8.13.35 after two years in the minor placings finally won the Manchester – Blackpool with Guy 8.15.07 in second place heading an impressive team win. Guy’s turn to taste victory would be four years later in 1973 clocking 8.07.45. (See LWC website for Guy’s Manchester – Blackpool recollections.

National 50km at Redditch on 19th July

Silver: Guy Goodair 8th/4.36.56, Roy Thorpe 19th/4.59.38, E.Lee  23rd/ 5.03.17 , John Hampshire 40th/5.14.50.

The race was held over the one used two years previously and proved to be a faster race with 19 bettering five hours and the leaders who competed in 1967 all produce faster times. 

111 started, Belgrave H were the team winners and Bristol AC finished third whilst Brian Ely 4.19.13, Shaun Lightman 4.24.58 and P.Klopfer (USA ) 4.25.04 took the individual honours

 *E.Lee  21.10.37 and *J.Grayson 23.19.52 also found time to qualify as a Centurion in the Leicester – Skegness 100 on 2/3rd August.

Thirteen walkers made up the scoring squad over the period, eight of them were Centurions. In alphabetical order they were: J.Barraclough c382, George Barras c361, Ken Bingley, J.Croll, Guy Goodair c327, J.Grayson c432 John Hampshire c325,  E.Lee c429, R.Manning c 415 ,Brian Marsland, L.Monkton, K.Newsome and Roy Thorpe c381.   

Ron would be interested to hear from anyone who can correct errors he might have made, supply first names etc..

His historical burrowing is deeply appreciated and most revealing.

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