Pete Ryan – message to the club from Fiona Bishop and notice of the funeral

Greg Smith sent Pete a card on behalf of the club and we have received this touching message from Fiona, his partner and herself an active race walker [Enfield and HaringeyAC]. In addition we include the link to the funeral arrangements.

Our tribute to Pete is to be found at Peter Ryan, a gentle giant of our sport, is in our thoughts

Pete in the Church to Chirch walk on Guernsey, of which he was a winner. Ta to Rob Elliott

Dear Lancashire Walking club

Thank you so much for your card.

My name is Fiona and I am Peter’s other half. It was a shock that Peter passed away so quick as he was only diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in mid August. He was told he had up to a year but sadly this was not to be. I know that Peter was delighted to received so many cards sent to him at the Woking Hospice towards the end of his life.

Peter had certainly packed a lot into his life which I am so glad he did. He had a twin brother called Richard. (Unfortunately he passed away away a year ago of Pancreatic Cancer). He joined Sheffield United Harriers with his brother at about 12 years old and did cross country and track. He won Sheffield schools senior Atkin trophy open to all students in year 7/8/9 represented Sheffield v Staffordshire + Liverpool at cross country.
At about 16 he changed to race walking won the Northern Youths and 4th in National Junior.

Best Performances were 4.18.30 for 50km and 2nd at Basildon . Barry Graham from York won. The Leicester Mercury 20 miles 2 hrs 40 2nd to Murray Lambden and the
100 miles won by 55 sec in time of 19 hrs 57 mins at Newmarket in 2003.

He was a very good Police officer especially in Brentwood area. Everyone in Brentwood knew him as PC Ryan.

He is a life member of Sheffield Wednesday. He had travelled around the world and been to about 87 different countries. His favourite place is New Zealand.

He had for the last few years been doing parkrun round the world. It is a 5km course which you can ran or walk on a Saturday morning.

I met Peter late in life at about 2005 through race walking. I am so proud of Peter and he is a true gentleman.

I am hoping to put together his life story so if you have any story or photo I would be grateful to hear about it. As for myself as I am still working but as soon as the paperworks get sorted out I hope to give up work and travel. I will also will carry on with my athletics in running and race walking, competing at Master events at the world and European championship. This is what Peter have wanted me to do.

I am hoping to raised as much money for the Pancreatic Cancer Uk  and hope to do an event in the summer to do so.

Also in the summer I will be having a wake by hiring a hall and celebrate Peter’s life . So I do hope very much that you will be able to come. I will of course let you know the date.

I hope we will keep in touch. I am deaf so it best to text me by phone if possible.

07905510215 (text only)

Once again thank you so much for the card and message.

Fiona xx


Charles Peter Ryan passed peacefully on 13th November 2020 aged 66 years. Beloved partner of Fiona. He will be greatly missed by friends and colleagues throughout the world of athletics, football, travel, education and policing. His philosophy was that we should cherish the memories and move forward with our lives and in the words of his favourite song by Lynyrd Skynyrd: “I’m a free as a bird now and this bird you’ll never change”.

Because of COVID restrictions attendance at the funeral is by personal invitation only but the service will be filmed and streamed live and you will be able to view the service live by copying and pasting the below web address into your browser

Finally thanks again to Rob Elliott for this atmospheric photo from the past. A fresh-faced Pete [201] with Rob [250] on his left.

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 34 – Ernesto Canto Memorial Race

To our credit we continue to support the series in numbers and remain at the forefront in terms of performances.

Ernesto Canto 1984 Olympic 20k champion

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 34 – Ernesto Canto Memorial Race 

1 Lancashire Walking Club (87.02%)
2 Birchfield Harriers (77.30%)
3 Manx Harriers (74.26%)
4 Quickstep Fitness (70.30%)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (69.70%)

1 Birchfield Harriers (23)
2 Manx Harriers (28)
3 Lancashire Walking Club (32)
4 Quickstep Fitness (49)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (85)

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 93.53% Lancs WC 10:44.0

Dave Evans M70 84.83% Lancs WC 11:50.0

Greg Smith M65 82.71% Lancs WC 11:25.0

Guy Goodair M80 73.38% Lancs WC 16:04.0

Roy Gunnett M70 69.79% Lancs WC 14:23.0

Tony Bell M55 64.43% Lancs WC 13:04.0

Over in the Women’s Section Pat Evans continues to do us proud, placing 4th in the Age-graded competition.

Pat Evans W65 77.52% Lancs WC 13:21.0

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 33 – Peter Ryan Memorial Race

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 33 – Peter Ryan Memorial Race 

1 Lancashire Walking Club (83.40%)
2 Birchfield Harriers (81.41%)
3 Manx Harriers (75.56%)
4 Quickstep Fitness (70.17%)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (70.43%)
6 Steyning AC (61.03%) – AUSTRALIA (48.89%)

1 Manx Harriers (40)
2 Lancashire Walking Club (46)
3 Birchfield Harriers (48)
4 Quickstep Fitness (61)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (74)
6 Steyning AC (188)

  • AUSTRALIA (190)
L/R Dave Staniforth, Peter, Helen Elleker and Dave Englert

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 95.15% Lancs WC 10:33.0

Greg Smith M65 83.19% Lancs WC 11:21.0

Dave Evans M70 80.85% Lancs WC 12:25.0

Stephen Walker M60 76.35% Lancs WC 11:35.0

Roy Gunnett M70 75.48% Lancs WC 13:18.0

Guy Goodair M80 73.61% Lancs WC 16:01.0

Martin Payne M60 66.06% Lancs WC 13:07.0

Tony Bell M55 63.86% Lancs WC 13:11.0

Chris Harvey M60 47.53% Lancs WC 19:00.0

A special and honourable mention for Chris’s effort with catheter in tow. His tribute to Pete Ryan

Not forgetting too Pat Evans W65 77.23% Lancs WC 13:24.0 – fourth in the Women’s age-graded race.

And finally a photo of Pete in action. RIP.

Pete in the Guernsey Church to Church 19.4 miles walk in 2013. Ta to Rob Elliott
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Ron Wallwork interviewed – his humanity shines through

Sincere thanks to Dave Ainsworth for pointing me towards this fascinating and revealing interview with a club legend, Ron Wallwork. I remain proud and privileged to have been one of his closest training partners in the late 1960s and early 70s. Interestingly too Ron refers at many points in the interview to his dedicated endeavours as a youth worker. By twist of fate both Ron and I following different paths entered the youth work world in the mid-70s.

In my opinion the title of the interview is misleading. Indeed Ron was a great competitor and wanted to win but he wasn’t a self-centred obsessive. What comes across most is Ron’s humanity, his concern for others, fuelled by his journey from being the last person to be chosen in the playground picking of sides to becoming a Commonwealth champion.

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Virtual League Racing Series 32 in memory of Jordi Llopart

Jordi Llopart, the great Spanish race walker competed in the 50 km event at the 1980, 1984, and 1988 Olympics, winning a silver medal in 1980. He was a European champion in this event in 1978, Spain’s first ever gold in athletics. He was a renowned stylist and some of us had the privilege of seeing him in action at the World Cup in the Isle of Man in 1985. He died of a heart attack on November 11.

Jordi Llopart 1980 finishing 2nd Olympic 50k

1 Lancashire Walking Club (88.87%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (76.67%)
3 Manx Harriers (76.36%)
4 Sarnia Walking Club (71.93%)
5 Quickstep Fitness (67.24%)
6 Surrey Walking Club (51.1%)

1 Manx Harriers (19)
2 Lancashire Walking Club (24)
3 Birchfield Harriers (34)
4 Quickstep Fitness (58)
5 Sarnia Walking Club (69)
6 Surrey Walking Club (172)

Our team as follows – a great turnout:

Tony Taylor M70 95.00% Lancs WC 10:34.0

Dave Evans M70 87.93% Lancs WC 11:25.0

Greg Smith M65 83.68% Lancs WC 11:17.0

Guy Goodair M80 74.07% Lancs WC 15:55.0

Roy Gunnett M70 72.13% Lancs WC 13:55.0

Tony Bell M55 63.54% Lancs WC 13:15.0

Martin Payne M60 62.19% Lancs WC 13:56.0


Next week’s 2 k will remember the much admired Peter ‘Pete’ Ryan.

Pete Ryan, number 7 finishing arm in arm with Martin Fisher.

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Lancashire Walking Club: Looking Back 1942/43

We’re really chuffed to receive this intriguing historical piece from Ron Wallwork. Hopefully it’s the first of many!

Ron writes:

Lancashire Walking Club Looking Back – 1942/43

As something of interest to do during Lockdown I started to delve into Lancashire Walking Club’s history and most of what I’ve discovered and reproduced here has been from the “Race Walking Record” for which Sheffield’s Jim Hackwood was the Northern correspondent, and the scrapbooks of the late Brian Ficken kindly loaned to me by his wife Pam c934. Some of the photographs I have used from John Taylor’s book “A Pictorial History of Leigh Harriers” and I’m indebted to John for that.

I commenced my research from the initiation of the “RWR” in late 1941 at a time when the nation as it is presently, was strife-ridden and conditions far harsher and deadlier than we are experiencing today. This delving is a work in progress and I find it increasingly compelling to find out more about the people who were the Lancashire Walking Club during the years they were active. I welcome any further information that people may have, particularly Christian names, photographs, and of course recollections and corrections. –   Ron Wallwork November 2020

1942  In its July issue Race Walking Record [RWR] reported that walking was going strong in the south and that some provincial clubs were having difficulty carrying on and others like Lancashire WC, Sheffield UH and Coventry Godiva H found themselves up against it and having to wait for better times.

Bradford’s Lord Mayor  presents the Hammond Trophy to Alf McSweeney who launched the Race Walking Record in November 1941

40th Bradford & County Walk – 30th May

Wartime distance 15.5 miles

There were 39 starters for the race which was won by Alf McSweeney (Highgate H) in 2.21.15 from Leicester’s A.Cashmore 2.22.40 and another Highgate walker Charlie Megnin 2.26.20 and who four years later would win bronze medal at the European championships in Oslo (50km 4.57.04).

Jim O’Neill led home the club team which finished third behind Highgate H and Yorkshire Walking Club.   6th  Jim O’Neill 2.23.46   9th  Dick Smith 2.37.55 15th  John McCormick 2.41.27 18th  Frank O’Neill (CQMS) 2.43.50 19th  Cliff Royle 2.44.10.

Telegraph & Argus (& Yorkshire WC)  18th Annual Dick Hudson’s Walk 8.5 miles – July 18th 

Thirty-eight started and finished in the civilian race and 41 in the Military event. The club scored a one-two through John McCormick 78.42 and Jim O’Neill 80.32 with Cpl Smith (Dick I think) sixth in 82.28, to win the civilian team race from Sheffield UH and Yorkshire WC the promoting club.

From RWR: Several Stay at Home Holiday events have been held recently. At Halifax on 14th August a five miles was won by J.McCormick and another race over 12.5 miles at Rippon near Brighouse on 29th August was won by Walter Edmondson  by five seconds from J.McCormick  and Belgrave’s C.W.Redgrave 

Advertised in RWR: Messrs J.W.Foster of Deane Road, Bolton, Lancs. have shoes in stock, the price being 35/- and four coupons. They are able to make a limited number of pairs to measure but cannot promise delivery date – Joe Foster’s sons Jeff and Joe split from their father in the early 1960’s and founded ReeBok with a small workshop in nearby Bury. Jeff took part in the New Year’s Eve Novelty event in 1967. Norman Walsh another northern shoe maker also served his apprenticeship with Joe W.Foster before going it alone and successfully too. 

 Bradford & County Walk Assoc. 15.5 miles Open Walk – 3rd October

The two protagonists of the North over recent months; Walter Edmondson (Yorkshire WC) and John McCormick (Lancashire WC), fought out the issue in this race over the same route as the Whitsun (Wartime) Bradford Walk.

Edmonson led all the way and won in 2.15.35 the best time yet for this uphill down dale course. McCormick, short but with a very easy and palpably fair action, walked a finely judged race and just failed to hold the winner after challenging him near home finishing in 2.16.29 Frank Clay of Sheffield getting back to his best for was third in 2.18.23. Jim O’Neill 2.26.31 in 11th and Cpl Dick Smith 2.29.19 in 16th also took part, but Lancashire didn’t make the top three civilian teams. Over a hundred Forces men and some fifty civilians contested the race, the former including a Norwegian team, some of who were clad in brightly coloured long corduroy trousers!

19th Enfield Open 7 – 7th November 

Jim O’Neill is recorded as finishing 44th in 60.07 of the 85 starters in the Enfield Open Seven which was won by Revd.David Christie-Murray, a leading southern walker, who also organised well publicised Sportsman’s Religious Services in the capital.

There was a drive on to ensure the RWR’s future by increasing the number of subscribers and Club members certainly appreciated the publication and sent letters in to say so!

Zena Smith wrote from Salford on 28 September: Enclosed herewith P.O. 2/- to cover subscription for further period of ‘Race-Walking Record’ for Cpl. R.Smith 13083154.

May I take this opportunity, as wife of the above soldier, to tell you that your ‘Record’ is most appreciated and when I’m reading through the finishing lists, it brings back memories of places I was fortunate to visit during peace times with my husband during his walking activities. When he comes home on leave his first consideration is to take part in a road race.

I wish ‘Record’ every success and hope the time is not too far off when hostilities will cease and that members of respective Clubs will meet up together for their training spins and give the sport that enthusiastic and competitive spirit it rightly deserves.

John McCormick wrote from Stockport on 26th October:  .  .  .  .  . It is quite evident that the sweeping victory Highgate Harriers scored at the all-important Whit Week 15 and a half miles Bradford Walk stirred up Yorkshire officials, for they have done wonderful work this season. In all eight road races and one track event has been promoted compared with one Whit Week in 1941. “Carry on London with the grand job. The ‘Record will be eagerly awaited this winter’.

Reg Goodwin (1924 Paris Olympian. 10km silver 48.37) wrote from Leigh on 25th November: 

This ‘Race-Walking Record’ is the real thing.  .  .  . nowadays sporting papers seem only to be for horses and football!In fact any news except Amateur Athletics.

Cpl Dick Smith was 66th of 101 who started the London Fire Force S.A. 5 miles Open at Wimbledon on 12th December. Many of the country’s big names participated and Dick’s time was 46.59 and the race winner Eddie Staker (Highgate H) in 37.56.


1943 The tough times continued; On 17th January anti-aircraft shrapnel killed 38 people and injured another 60 during a 118-plane raid on London and three days later a bomb killed 38 children and six teachers at a school in Catford and abroad a further three days later, British forces captured Tripoli from the Nazis. Plans for the D Day landings a year hence commenced in March, so whilst some glimmer of hope existed the uncertainty, grief and hardship impinged heavily on daily life.

The RWR leader commented that with so many younger men away on Service it was natural that more seasoned men were coming to the fore and taking the opportunity to prove that they were not just a “has been”. Many a walker had thought his shoes were hung up for good only to find that he was out on the road again “just to help the Club”. And so, efforts to return to normality (where have I heard that recently?) continued.

Metropolitan Police Open 7 Miles on 30th January attracted 92 starters and was won by Surrey WC’s Jim Morris a future Olympian (1948 4th 10km 46.28) in 53.25. Corporal Smith was again in action finishing 48th/61.20.

 Letter to RWR from Charlie Heaney Lancs. W.C. (4th in the 1931 Bradford 50kms) is in training again with a view to regaining laurels.

Thanks to the great kindness of A.F.Spicer, who introduced me to “Race-Walking Record”  I find myself privileged to write and congratulate you on this fine journal. Efforts like this help to popularise Athletic Walking very much because being human, a chap likes to see his name occasionally if he has put up a fine performance. It is also a permanent history of the Sport.

12 miles Open Handicap – 12th June at Barnsley

John McCormick took the lead and of the 25 starters in the race was the only one to complete the correct course and therefore declared the winner in 1.40.00. Cliff Royle one of the also rans sent in a verse, a graphic description of the comic as well as the tragic side of the race that went wrong, entitled “It’s turned out nice again”. Since the eloquent effusion ran to 116 lines of verse it was unable to be printed in the RWR. 

Bradford & County Walk – 19th June (Wartime distance 15.5 miles)

Eight clubmen took part in the 41st edition of this event which was won by Sheffield’s Frank Clay who would by the time I appeared on the scene 15 years later be a major race walking official. His winning time of 2.15.03 set a new record. A week after the debacle at Barnsley, John McCormick was in action again to finish second as he had in the autumn race over the same course. Coventry Godiva’s V.H.Burr was third in 2.16.51 and won the sealed handicap. Fort-eight walkers finished and LWC finished third behind Godiva and Sheffield in the scratch team race with Jim O’Neill 10th/2.25.04, E.Royle 18th/2.34.13, Frank O’Neill 19th/2.34.57,  J.Smith* 24th/2.37.48, Cliff Royle 26th/2.41.12  and S.Whittingham 2.44.23. *Was this Dick’s brother or the Boltonian Joe Smith who through the Bolton Evening News used to support me.

12 miles Open Handicap – 26th June at Ripponden, Yorks.

John McCormick although finishing closer on this occasion, had to give best to Frank Clay again, their respective times being 2.07.45 and 2.08.37.  In third place only ten seconds behind was another Sheffield walker who would be a dominant Official figure in my era, Jim Hackwood. RWR only shows eight finishers and among them in Jim O’Neill 5th/10.22 and in 7th and 8th the Royle brothers; Cliff 2.11.52 and E. 2.14.10 – a reversal of the previous week’s outcome between the brothers.  

11.5 miles Open Handicap – 31st July at Sowerby Bridge, Yorks.

John McCormick finally got the better of Frank Clay in this race and did so emphatically with a sizeable margin; 1.41.18 to 1.45.33. Jim Hackwood again finished third in a time of 1.48.03. Jim O’Neill 4th/1.48.02, E.Royle 7th (3rd H’cap) in 1.51.14 and Cliff Royle 9th/ 2.52.13 were among the 23 of the 30 who survived to complete the full distance.

Club race 3.5 miles – 2nd August at Salford

Jim O’Neill 1st/30.30, now Sgt Dick Smith 30.31, John McCormick 32.46, Joe Smith 32.46, E.Royle 33.35 and Cliff Royle 34.00 made up the field.  Sealed handicap: Sgt Smith (3.30), Joe Smith (4.40) and Jim O’Neill (2.02)

8.25 miles Open – 7th August at Dewsbury, Yorkshire

Winner Walter Edmonson (YWC) 68.25 was followed home by John McCormick 68.40, Jim O’Neill 70.40 and on the come-back trail Charlie Heaney 70.50. Others among the seventeen shown as finishing were in 9th and 10th the Royle brothers Cliff 75.30 and E. 76.36 and Joe Smith 76.59. Charlie and Cliff won 2nd and 3rd handicap prizes.

12.5 miles Open – 14th August at Elland, Yorkshire

Twenty-one started this race in which Frank Clay was back in form comfortably ahead of clubmate W.Stanley with Yorkshire’s Walter Edmondson third, their times respectively being 1.49.30, 1.52.08 and 1.52.58. Charlie Heaney after showing up front in the early part of the race was one of two people not to finish, whilst Frank O’Neill was 4th/1.57.34 and Joe Smith 10th/2.08.09.

Club race 6 miles – 28th August at Manchester

Jim O’Neill 50.10  [2.15]  47.55 E. Royle 55.35  [6.30]  49.05   H.Harwood 57.49

John McCormick 50.25 Joe Smith 56.30   H.Mumford 66.31

C.Heaney 51.10  [2.15]  48.55 Cliff Royle 56.40  [6.45]  49.55   W.Hayton 67.45

Reported in RWR by club member William Hoole

The death occurred recently, at the age of 76, of George Hesketh c58, the veteran Lancashire walker. He had been a member of the club for 34 years. In 1914, George won the veteran’s race promoted by “Health & Strength” from London to Brighton and back, completing the distance of 104 miles in 23.41.28 and by this performance became member 58 of the “Centurions”.

Hesketh was a popular figure in all the long distance races in the North and Midlands and won many prizes and medals in the Manchester to Blackpool, Nottingham to Birmingham and the Bradford County events. 

The Centurion Handbook shows George as Manchester WC and so his name doesn’t appear in the Lancashire Centurion List kindly provided by Sue Clements c950 the Centurion’s Hon.Secretary. I don’t know if such a club existed, but George was a LWC club member for over three decades and therefore in my opinion, it wouldn’t be unfair to add him to the LWC list as its fourth qualifier. The first three were Tommy Payne c18, A.Ormrod c20, both in the 1908 24 hour race at White City, London, where they covered 108m7334y and 107m644y respectively and E.G.Mitchell c47 23.32.50 a year later in 1909 at the same venue where times were taken at 100 miles.   

This issue RWR also marked the passing of J.E.Fowler Dixon c1, a giant in the sport of athletics but walking in particular. He was the first man to walk 100 miles in less than 24 hours in 1877 in (22.36.08)  who satisfied the exacting scrutiny of judging, timing and verification that is necessary, before a person’s name can be enrolled upon the time honoured books of the exclusive body known as the “Centurions”. 

Livingston Cup Inter- Cub Race 7 miles – 2nd October at Sheffield

(Coventry Godiva, LWC, Leics WC, Sheffield UH, & Northern Command) 

 All the leading provincial walkers competed among them Lloyd Johnson, Albert Staines, H.A.Cashmore of Leicester, V.H.Burr and G.Reeves of Coventry, John McCormick, Jim O’Neill, Sheffield’s  Frank Clay and Jim Hackwood.

Thirty-five faced the starter and the Army Team in army boots were allowed five minutes start before the civilians were sent off on their way. Straight from the start Burr, took the lead followed by the Sheffield pair, Staines and McCormick all bunched together. Burr continued to draw away until the halfway point where he had a 150 yard lead over Clay and Staines with McCormick, O’Neill and Reeves a further 50 yards behind. Burr faded towards the end, but Clay couldn’t catch the Godiva man and it was Reeves who took third spot. Fourth was Jim O’Neill 56.06, 7th John McCormick 56.43, 19th Joe Smith (who won the club h’cap) 62.17,  22nd E.Royle 63.10, 25th S.Whittingham 64.44, 30th Cliff Royle 65.45 and 32nd Frank O’Neill 68.17. With two in the first three Godiva won the team race easily

Livingston Cup Inter- Cub Race 7 miles – 

11th November at Leicester

A re-permutation of the first three in the October race with Frank Clay 53.15, Albert Staines second again in 53.22 and V.H.Burr 53.30 being the order, and for good measure John McCormick 53.33 and L.S.Farndon (Godiva) 53.35 which supported the RWR headline that the race was  the “Best Race of the War”. 

Coventry won the team race and the RWR result shows LWC in fourth team position but only lists John McCormick and Jim O’Neill 6th in 55.15.                  


Picture shows Jim and Frank O’Neill over half a century later on the Blackpool road out of Preston


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October Virtual Club 3k plus Virtual Series Weekly 2k results


This month sees a reduced field with only Glyn and John joining us as guests. However a number of people missed the invitation so hopefully we’ll have a bigger turnout for the November challenge. Whatever it still feels well worth doing in the coming months.

Hence the closing date for the November 3k challenge will be midnight, Monday, November 30.

Meanwhile we’ll dream of racing on country roads together with a beautiful horse in tow. Ta to Linda McDermot for the atmospheric photo.


  1. Tony Taylor 16:12
  2. Stephen Walker 17:53
  3. Greg Smith 17:54
  4. John Constandinou 18:06 [G]
  5. Dave Evans 18:46
  6. Tony Bell 19:45
  7. Roy Gunnett 20:18
  8. Pat Evans 20:36
  9. Ian Hilditch 21:01
  10. Martin Payne 21:03
  11. Glyn Jones 21:25 [G]


  1. Greg Smith 17:54 Allowance 5:20 H’cap Time 12:34
  2. Roy Gunnett 20:18; 6:50; 13:28
  3. Pat Evans 20:36; 6:30; 14:06
  4. Dave Evans 18:46; 4:25; 14:21
  5. Tony Bell 19:45; 5:10; 14:35
  6. Ian Hilditch 21:01; 6:00; 15;01
  7. Tony Taylor 16:12; 1:00; 15:12
  8. Martin Payne 21:03; 5:32; 15:31
  9. John Constandinou 18:06; 2:30; 15:36 [G]
  10. Glyn Jones 21:25; 5:35; 15:50 [G]
  11. Stephen Walker 17:53; 2:00; 15:53

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 31

We continue to lead the Age-graded team competition. As I say, in my President’s report, this is a real tribute to our commitment and consistency. It was a great turnout this week with Greg producing his best performance of the season. Let’s keep up our involvement.

1 Lancashire Walking Club (84.26%)
2 Manx Harriers (75.81%)
3 Sarnia Walking Club (69.78%)
4 Birchfield Harriers (66.55%)
5 Quickstep Fitness (66.14%)
6 Steyning AC (60.67%)

1 Manx Harriers (19)
2 Lancashire Walking Club (26)
3 Quickstep Fitness (49)
4 Sarnia Walking Club (61)
5 Birchfield Harriers (63)
6 Steyning AC (173)

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 93.67% Lancs WC 10:43.0

Greg Smith M65 84.81% Lancs WC 11:08.0

Stephen Walker M60 72.49% Lancs WC 12:12.0

Tony Bell M55 65.01% Lancs WC 12:57.0

Martin Payne M60 63.10% Lancs WC 13:44.0

Roy Gunnett M70 71.11% Lancs WC 14:07.0

Guy Goodair M80 74.31% Lancs WC 15:52.0

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Peter Ryan, a gentle giant of our sport, is in our thoughts



It saddens me to bring the news that Pete died in his sleep in the small hours of this morning. His presence will be sorely missed by the race walking community at home and abroad.

We have received the following stomach-churning news about Pete Ryan, a much respected and loved member of the national and international race walking community.

Thanks to Mark Easton for the photo

Sadly Pete has been ill for some time with terminal pancreatic cancer, and is now admitted to Woking Hospice where he will spend what are expected to be his final days. There are not to be visitors at the Hospice in the current situation, but Pete has stated that he would enjoy reading your messages in what he fully accepts are his final days.

The address is – Room 19, Woking and Sam Beare Hospice, Goldsworth Park Centre, WOKING, Surrey GU21 3LG

This is shocking, tragic news. We’re sure many will quickly be posting cards and messages so he can look forward to them arriving.

Pete is especially remembered within our club from the period in the late 1960s and early 70s when we challenged the dominance of the Sheffield United Harriers, supreme at a northern and national level from the Second World War onwards. Thus I first met Pete, as he carried on that tradition in winning the inaugural 1970 Northern Youth 3 miles championship. My report in the Race Walking Record read as follows:

Northern championships

This was a great step forward for the area. The old standard 10 miles championsip has been removed from the calendar. The fields for both inaugural races were small but as Frank Clay remarked after the races, ‘Oak trees from acorns grow’. Conditions were excellent and the convincing Youth championship winner was gangly Sheffielder, Peter Ryan. He was chased by two diminutive stylists in Sephton and Greasley, the latter following in his father’s footsteps.

In an short course Junior 5 miles Mick Holmes, showing greater control and relaxation, overwhelmed fellow Junior international Tony Malone and the powerful Mick Entwistle.’

Youth 3 miles

  1. P. Ryan [Sheffield U.H.] 25:08
  2. B.Sephton [LWC] 25:37
  3. M. Greasley [Sheffield U.H.] 25:39

Junior 5 miles

  1. M.Holmes [YWRC] 32:01
  2. T. Malone [LWC] 33:28
  3. M. Entwistle [LWC] 33:45
  4. J. Ford [Sheffield U.H.] 34:02

It’s rumoured that Pete never forgave me for dubbing him ‘gangly’!

A week later Pete finished 4th in the National Youth 3 miles, whilst Tony and Mick finished 3rd and 5th behind Mick Holmes and Olly Flynn, the winner. We triumphed in the team race.

Perhaps Pete’s proudest moment was his victory against the odds in the Newmarket 100 miles in 2003. It’s said that he was coaxed out of retirement to do the race by our great friend, Glyn Jones. Back in 1982 Pete was ranked third in the UK 50k rankings with a time of 4:18:30.

The recollections appearing on Facebook refer constantly to Pete as a great champion of our sport, a true gentleman and a kind-hearted, generous soul.

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Virtual Series Weeks 29 and 30 : More than holding our own

Excellent team performances illustrating that we can triumph without yours truly. Great turnout in Week 29. I couldn’t submit a time in week 30 because of dramatic thunderstorms. Pat Evans was key to our success. As ever we would encourage your involvement in this Series, which, given the latest restrictions is bound to continue through the winter.

Sheep protesting at the latest lockdown. We’ll flock wherever we flocking want!

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 29  

1 Lancashire Walking Club (85.84%)
2 Sarnia Walking Club (75.04%)
3 Manx Harriers (74.45%)
4 Quickstep Fitness (72.76%)
5 Isle of Man VAC (60.45%)
6 Birchfield Harriers (58.45%) GERMANY (43.72%)

=1st Manx Harriers (34)
=1st Lancashire Walking Club (34)
3 Sarnia Walking Club (36)
4 Quickstep Fitness (51)
5 Isle of Man VAC (70)
6 Birchfield Harriers (79)

Team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 91.40% Lancs WC 10:59.0

Greg Smith M65 81.05% Lancs WC 11:39.0

Dave Evans M70 85.07% Lancs WC 11:48.0

Stephen Walker M60 71.70% Lancs WC 12:20.0

Roy Gunnett M70 75.67% Lancs WC 13:16.0

Tony Bell M55 57.01% Lancs WC 14:46.0

Guy Goodair M80 76.23% Lancs WC 15:28.0

Pat Evans leads the way in Week 30

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 30

1 Lancashire Walking Club (76.81%)
2 Manx Harriers (73.69%)
3 Quickstep Fitness (69.66%)
4 Isle of Man VAC (64.34%)
5 Steyning AC (60.27%)
6 Birchfield Harriers (58.83%)
7 Sarnia Walking Club (48.40%)

1 Manx Harriers (18)
2 Lancashire Walking Club (58)
3 Quickstep Fitness (85)
4 Isle of Man VAC (95)
5 Birchfield Harriers (99)
6 Steyning AC (182)
7 Sarnia Walking Club (203)

Team as follows:

Pat Evans W65 78.40% Lancs WC 13:12.0

Greg Smith M65 81.52% Lancs WC 11:35.0

Tony Bell M55 64.10% Lancs WC 13:08.0

Roy Gunnett M70 73.72% Lancs WC 13:37.0

Guy Goodair M80 75.18% Lancs WC 15:41.0

Thanks as ever to Linda McDermot for the photos

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We’ve received the following message from our ever resourceful friends, Trevor and Linda McDermot.

Hi Friends and Colleagues,

Linda and I found ourselves getting too ‘stir-crazy’ and thought of how the current crisis could also provide OPPORTUNITY over the coming months, while observing the important guidelines of course. Hopefully we now offer an interesting diet of regular, friendly, low key events. These will take place every 3-5 weeks and continue until Spring next year at the minimum.


  1. A series of time trials, starting at intervals throughout each of the mornings.
  2. Quiet, popular road circuit that many of you will have previously experienced.
  3. 10 mins away from A1(M) junction.
  4. UKCM certified, gently undulating 5km lap on country and village lanes, marked every 1km. Signed and marshalled.
  5. Register by email with your chosen time slot (bespoke requirements catered for)
  6. Select any multiple of 5km (no upper limit). All split times recorded.
  7. Neither preference is set in stone and easily amended, say if arriving early/late, or wishing to do an extra lap etc . . . 
  8. Option for training partners / club mates to set their own handicaps for additional interest.
  9. Secure, safe environment. Both standard H+S and COVID risk assessed.
  10. Any group starts done by colour-coded ‘wave’ operation.  
  11. Zero facilities which means zero points of hand contact.
  12. Race licensed and insured.
  13. Black Horse Inn on the course is open for refreshments (and toilets) if required. Details for more local cafes available.
  14. Confirmation for each event sent out in the preceeding week with Start listings and Briefing
  15. Full Results circulated later same day, followed by Report and Photos. 
  16. Completely FREE (donation bucket available, the odd £1 or two will help cover costs)
  17. Family orientated, residents already taking part and future plans for local schools and groups (see below)
  18. Non-virtual, in fact Real 🙂 and tried and tested with excellent feedback

We warmly invite RACE WALKERS

As can be seen, positions are done by separate Age Grading which puts everyone on an equal footing and rewards comparative ability (regardless of age, gender, distance or whether running or walking). This very much highlights the performances of walkers in a way not usually seen ! The few who took part in our trial event all scored in the top half of the table against mostly runners.

Far too often we find race walking hidden away from public view, on closed circuits, in its own insular bubble with little or no prospect of outside interest, understanding or appeal. The ‘Fleetham Cup’ series is therefore intentionally based to fill the gap left by our beloved, much-missed Catterick parkrun, and can only happen due to our many friends from there and, above all, the support and help of a quite wonderful core team of enthusiastic volunteers. 

Furthermore, we are currently working with a thriving local junior Athletic club to add grass track running for Under 11 kids before the end of this year, using the wide and scenic village green. This also offers us Multi-Event potential for kids (all disciplines) which we are particularly excited about, and hope to develop with contributions from other T+F clubs in the region. With something fitness-related for Mums + Dads.

As discussions with the Parish and County Councils reach finalisation, and we are satisfied that every conceivable box has been ticked, an additional RWA Permit will be applied for.

Thank you for your patience in reading this and feel free to ask any questions. We look forward to offering all an interesting, customised race experience.

Understandably given the current Public Health situation some of you now find yourselves under mainland Tier 3 or higher restrictions and cannot travel at present.

Hope to see you in the very near future instead !

Meanwhile all stay safe

Yours in Sport

Trevor McDermot

SECRETARY –  YORKSHIRE RWC Tel –  07702 890067  /  07437 762171

Good to see we had a presence at the first outing with the appearance of Martin.

Martin arriving at Fleetham. Ta to Linda

Martin Payne was ranked 16th on Age-Graded performance (from an overall entry of 44 Runners and odd Walker) with his 10km time of 68:36.

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