Yorkshire RWC Xmas Walks – 8th December 2019 – Kirkby Fleetham

Yorkshire RWC Xmas Walks – 8th December 2019 – Kirkby Fleetham

Trevor McDermot reports:

Pictured below are Denis Jackson, RWA Hon. Secretary Colin Vesty and RWA President Helen Elleker as they approach halfway during the Xmas Walks at Kirkby Fleetham. There were many puddles around those country lanes.

On behalf of Linda and myself, sincere thanks to everyone who travelled so far to attend on a blustery, wet, sunny day (with the odd rainbow thrown in) , to Alan Brooks for arranging the awards, and to our officials and helpers who made sure that the event proceeded nicely.

Very well done to Kim Forbes who travelled all the way from Edinburgh for her first ever race walk. I was chatting to her husband and, to my delight , suddenly realised that it was ex-800m international Paul Forbes.

Sheltering before the start

Everyone took at least one spot prize, including Adrian Edwards who had taken on an arduous Sunday journey via public transport to get there in time for the ensuing Area AGM.

Lancashire’s festive Phil McCullagh in his second race of the weekend

Our best wishes go to departing Yorkshire RWC President and stalwart walking official Russ Jackson and wife Jean who leave our shores for good shortly. A moving letter of support, advice and encouragement from Russ was read out in his absence.

At an impromptu club committee meeting later –   Marion Fawkes was nominated and accepted that role as his successor.



1 –  Natalie Myers  (2DASH)  60.14

2 – Graham Jackson (Northern Masters)  61.32

3 – Helen Elleker  (2DASH)  64.55

4 – Colin Vesty  (Leicester WC) 65.08

5 – Denis Jackson (Yorkshire RWC) 65.34

6 – Neil Armitage (Yorkshire RWC) 68.27

7 – Phil McCullagh  (Lancashire WC) 70.54

8 – Mark Byrne (Redcar RWC)  80.27



1 – Colin Scott (Yorkshire RWC) 31.43

2 – Kim Forbes (Scots Vets) 36.00

3 – Alan Brooks (Yorkshire RWC) 37.40  

Officials –  Sailash Shah, Peter + Marion Fawkes, Izzy Wilkinson, Melva Steckles, Rita Peacock, Linda + myself

Kind regards and wishing a Happy Festive season to all

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Dave Evans reports:

Cheer up, Dave, it’s Xmas!

Weatherwise a good day for racing with the threat of rain impending but not released until much later in the evening.

Martin Fisher leading the way

Several regulars were missing through transport difficulties, injury and other calls on their time, however, those who did toe the starting line were keen to contest the last race of the calendar year.  Martin Fisher, one of our regular visitors from Yorkshire, set the standard for the competition and quickly established a minute plus lead as the field rounded the halfway point with 5k to go. Posting a midway time of 29 minutes 47 Martin was set for sub 60 time with Tony Bell some 82 seconds adrift. Sailash Shah, as keen as ever, tracked Tony and set off for the second half hard on his heels. Further down the field Joe Hardy was slip streaming Pat Evans with both arriving at the turnaround at about 35 minutes. Phil McCullagh cruised through the same point over a minute later with Roy Gunnett carrying a thigh strain and clearly walking in a very controlled manner.

Andrea Lennon brightening up the day

Andrea Lennon and John Payn opted for the shorter 5k alternative on the day and both were rewarded with decent times. As Pat was handling the catering for the race day she also went for Option B leaving the final 5k lap to 6 others.

Tony Bell and Sailash Shah under close scrutiny!

Martin picked up some time on the second section of the course and pulled even further away from Tony but both walked well technically . Sailash was unable to maintain his very fast early pace and left Tony to gain second place ahead of him. Joe walked consistently whilst Phil McCullagh did a negative split. Roy was told by his physio to go easy on his injured thigh so his time reflects his deference rather than his true fitness.

Final results:-

1. Martin Fisher    59:30
2. Tony Bell            61:44
3. Sailash Shah     62:01
4. Joe Hardy          70:48
5. Phil McCullagh  71:40
6. Roy Gunnett      77 :27

1. Pat Evans            35:03
2. Andrea Lennon 42:28
3. John Payn           48:08

Apres-race there seems to be a lack of festive cheer. As a Wiganer I presume the pies hadn’t yet been served!

 After recovering from their efforts the 9 walkers and helpers (marshals, timekeepers and recorders) retired to the school premises and feasted on a selection of hot pies and sweet sundries including a very tasty M & S Christmas cake supplied by our president Tony Taylor who whilst not in the UK on the day, promised to match our walkers with a 10k fast walk in his Cretan retreat. Another club walk in the bank and everyone will look forward to the Sam Shoebottom 10k next year on 8th February.

A Happy Christmas to all club members and their families and Good Health, the first Wealth.

Thanks to Greg Smith for the revealing photos. Much appreciated.

Roy Gunnett’s report and detailed results.

Nine walkers lined up for the start of the Dick Maxwell Trophy at Sinister. Six elected to walk the full 10K whilst three opted for the 5k.
The weather was good for December, mild with little wind.
Guest walker Martin Fisher led from the gun to the finish, walking strongly throughout, achieving a Sub-Hour result.
Behind Martin, Tony Bell and Sailash fought closely for the majority of the race with Tony pulling away towards the end.
Phil McCullagh adopted his normal tactic of negative splits, gaining time in the second half on the third placed Joe Hardy.
After the race Pat Evans served the traditional pie and mushy peas-greatly appreciated by all. The traditional appearance of the Secret Santa concluded the day.


Information in the bracket indicates h’cap allowance; h’cap time; h’cap position; h’cap points and age-graded performance.

  • 1. Martin Fisher M55 Redcar RWC 59: 30 (1:30; 58:00; Guest; 75.26%
  • 2. Tony Bell M55 LWC 61: 44 (6:30; 55:14; 2; 24; 71.88%)
  • 3. Sailash Shah M55 LWC 62: 01 (14:00; 48:0l; l; 25; 70.93%)
  • 4. Joe Hardy M75 LWC 70:48 (12:15; 58: 33; 3; 23; 77.71%)
  • 5. Phil McCullagh LWC M60 71:40 (12:15; 59: 25; 4; 22; 65.58%)
  • 6. Roy Gannett M70 LWC 77: 27 (8:45; 68:42; 5; 21; 68.18%)


Information in the bracket indicates h’cap points and age-graded performance.

  • 1. Pat Evans W65 LWC 35;03 (20; 75.98%)
  • 2. Andrea Lennon W75 LWC 42:28 (19; 74.44%)
  • 3. John Payn M85 LWC 48:08 [18: 79.24%)

PS Tony Taylor failed to live up to his pledge suffering, he claims. from a bad cold and cough. He’s always been a bit of a hypochondriac! He now promises to do his parallel 10k on December 21st.


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The President implores you to support the Dick Maxwell and Xmas Handicap on December 7, 2019

Would you believe it? Singing the imploring Benjamin Britten arrangement of the folk song ‘Heel and Toe’ at the weekend. Very high-brow!


As ever we’re hoping for a great turnout at our annual Xmas race at Simister on December 7th, 1.30 p.m. start as usual. Please note the following.

After intense lobbying of the Chair, together with flooding caused by the climate crisis, we will not be using the Nightmare course. Sighs of relief all round!

As is tradition Pat Evans will be providing the post-race ‘pie ‘n’ peas’. To help the arrangements please let us know as soon as possible whether you will be with us or not – to Dave/Pat at dave.evans08@hotmail.co.uk or Tony at tonymtaylor@gmail.com. This is all the more necessary as Dave and Pat are away from home in the week preceding the race.

Continuing the traditional theme everyone is asked to bring along a present costing no more than £5 to go into Santa’s Sack.

As the year draws to a close it’s a good time to remind all members that the annual subscription is due.

Having done my imploring I have to confess that I can’t make it, but I’ll be with you in spirit on Crete. I promise to do a 10k that very afternoon followed by a cup of tea and a mince pie. Photographic evidence will be provided.

Yours truly in more familiar guise at the AGM 5k

Thanks to Derek Biddle of the White Mountains Cycling Group [Crete] and our very own Greg Smith for the photos.

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Atmospheric Upper Torsos in the Bill Jackson Trophy race!

Grateful thanks to Greg Smith for a string of excellent photos taken at the entrance into and exit from Heaton Park during the Bill Jackson and AGM 5k race.

By way of an atmospheric change find below some of the upper torso images he captured.

Sailash speechless, a rare event!
A grimacing Joe Hardy
Pat Evans prepared for the worst
Ian Hilditch, less than his cheery self
Roy Gunnett in fetching turquoise gloves
Tony Bell oblivious to the elements
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It’s a real shame this is the day after our Xmas Handicap, but it’s well worth getting up for! Beautiful village, excellent course and a warm welcome assured.

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Bill Jackson Trophy goes to new President, Tony Taylor

Roy Gunnett writes:

As per usual the Bill Jackson Trophy 5k race at Simister on November 2nd was a yacht handicap. Ten walkers took part on the out and back course to Heaton Park.

Tony Taylor ahead of Tony Bell

Excellent handicapping by Dave Evans ensured there was some close racing in the final kilometre. Tony Taylor put in a superb performance to win the scratch race and the Bill Jackson handicap. The weather was mild with light rain.

Roy Gunnett

Following the race the 112th Lancashire Walking Club AGM was held. This was the first since the loss of our dearly missed President and Chairman, Fred Pearce. Dave Evans did a great job in chairing the meeting. Greg Smith took the minutes, which will be circulated so I will not duplicate the information here. One particular point of note is that all members were delighted that Tony Taylor accepted the position of our new club President.

Andrea Lennon on her way home


The table below indicates in order – Name, age group, actual time, handicap position, handicap points and age graded performance. All competitors were LWC members.

Tony TaylorM7025:51:0012599.37%
Tony BellM5531:46:0081867.99%
Phil McCullaghM6033:22:0022468.26%
Joe HardyM7533:38:0032380.60%
Sailash ShahM50 33:57:00101962.50%
Pat EvansW6534:35:0052167.02%
John CrahanM7034:41:0071972.22%
Roy GunnettM7035:20:0091772.70%
Ian HilditchM7535:34:0062078.46%
Andrea LennonW7544:13:0042279.90%

In addition here are Dave Evans’ welcome thoughts.

John Crahan chased by Sailash Shah

This race is the only yacht handicap on the Lancashire WC programme and presents all competitors with a different challenge.  From the word “Go” every walker understands that his/her final handicap position is based on the order in which you cross the finishing line. Andrea Lennon was the hare and on a drizzly day she walked remarkably well having now recovered from the fall she had some weeks ago. Starting positions on the grid reflected current form or more likely the times walked in the Fred Pearce relays in July when competitors tackled the same 5k distance. Having seen the final walker, Tony Taylor, on his way some 14 minutes or so after Andrea, the officials retired to the warmth of the school headquarters. Emerging 20 minutes or so later informal bets were taken on who would appear at the head of the field. Nobody guessed the leading walker so when Tony Taylor came into view it was quite clear that this was his day. He raced right through to the finishing line and was rewarded with a very impressive 25 minutes 51 aided by the line of lesser mortals on route ! The main group of aspirants came into view a full minute later with last minute improvements etched on their faces. Phil McCullagh produced a swift second half and as a consequence was rewarded with runner up position. The next block of heel toers closed on the finishing line at speed with Joe Hardy a good third just ahead of Andrea  Lennon and Pat Evans. 

Ian Hilditch looking too cheery?!

Thanks to Ian Vaughan, who as well as marshalling at the turn, took the photos.

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On your marks for the new season’s races


Feb 8 Sam Shoebottom 10K at  Simister

Mar 7 Alison Trophy 15K at Chorley

April 11 Macclesfield Shield 10 miles at  Sutton

May 9 Dave Crompton Memorial 7 miles at Chorley

June 8 Dick and Zena Smith 10K/5K at Bury

The start of the British Masters 5k 2019

June 21 British Masters 5k at Horwich

July 4 Barnard Trophy 10k  at Sutton 

Hoping for better conditions at the Fred Pearce Relay in 2020

July 25 Fred Pearce Relay [3x 5k] at Simister 

Aug 8/9 Centurions 100 miles at Colchester

Aug 15 Goodwin Cup 10k at  Chorley

Preparing for the start of the Joe Lambert One Hour race 2019

Sept 5 Lambert Trophy 1 hour at Bury

Oct 3 Albert Rigby Trophy 10k at Sutton

Nov 7 AGM 5K at Simister

Dec 5 Dick Maxwell and Xmas Handicap 10k at Simister

All events except the British Masters race are governed by  ‘B’ rules and start at 1. 30 p.m . on a Saturday

The British Masters 5k  under ‘A’ rules starts at 11.00 a.m. on a Sunday.

Click on CLUB VENUES at the top of page for details and directions


Dec 8 ( Sunday) 10k at Kirkby Fleetham, starting 11.00 a.m. to be followed by discussion. including the NARWA AGM

Jan 26 (Sunday) Yorkshire RWC 10k, starting 11.00 a.m. at Dridlington

Feb 23 (Sunday) Proposed event at Alnwick, Northumberland – more details to follow.

March 21 Race Walking Association Inter-Area Match at Sheffield – more details to follow.

March 29 (Sunday) Ken Munro 10 miles + 3k , starting at 11.00 a.m. at Dalton, North Yorks.

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