Wrapping up the club’s 2017 results

I was really sorry to miss this Saturday’s Dick Maxwell Memorial race. Believe it or not, I was even warming to the Simister ‘Nightmare’ out and back course! My illusions aside, this post seeks to wrap up the results of the club’s 2017 races.

BILL JACKSON 5 Kilometres held in conjunction with the Club AGM at Simister, November 4, 2017

Roy Gunnett reports:


Tony Bell leads Martin Fisher back in 2016

There was an excellent turnout for the race of both walkers and officials – the 17 walkers included 3 guest walkers (Glyn Jones and Stuart Edgar from the Midlands and Dan Maskell from Brighton). Weather conditions were cold and windy with sunny spells.
Both the scratch race and handicap were won by Tony Bell. It was a yacht handicap and an excellent piece of handicapping by Dave Evans created a close finish.
The 110th Lancashire Walking Club AGM was held following the race, this was chaired and presented by Fred Pearce. The minutes of the AGM were taken by Greg Smith – he will be circulating these to all members. 

1 Tony Bell Lancashire WC M50 29.58
2 Greg Smith Lancashire WC M65 31.14
3 Dan Maskell Surrey WC M65 31.29
4 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 31.32
5 John Crahan Lancashire WC M65 31.53
6 Peter Crahan Lancashire WC M60 31.55
7 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M75 31.57
8 Stuart Edgar Dudley and Stourbridge M45 31.58
9 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M70 32.36
10 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 32.41
11 Pat Evans Lady Lancashire WC W65 33.26
12 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50 33.52
13 Steve Sargent Lancashire WC M70 34.20
14 Phil McCullough Lancashire WC M60 34.39
15 John Payn Lancashire WC M80 38.23
16 Andrea Lennon Lady Lancashire WC W75 39.58

Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75 DNF


DICK MAXWELL Memorial 10k held at Simister, December 2, 2017.

Roy Gunnett reports:

The race was held over the tough/ undulating 6 lap ‘Nightmare Course’ – on an overcast cool day (6 degrees C).There was a good turnout of 16 walkers, this included 4 guest walkers. Adrian Edwards took an early lead which he held over the first half of the race, he was closely followed by Martin Fisher and then Martin Young. Martin Fisher in the second half gradually reeled in Adrian, took the lead and went on to win the scratch race.
Dave Crompton won the handicap and was awarded the Dick Maxwell trophy.

After the race, all enjoyed the annual /traditional pie and peas kindly provided by Pat Evans and served by her, Flo and Irene. There was also the traditional ‘secret Santa’ gift presentation.

1 Martin Fisher Redcar RWC M55 57.37
2 Adrian Edwards Lancashire WC M55 58.27
3 Martin Young Hallamshire Harriers M45 60.02
4 Tony Bell Lancashire WC M50 63.52
5 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M75 64.55
6 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 66.08
7 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 66.33
8 Dan Maskell Surrey WC M70 76.59
9 Greg Smith Lancashire WC M65 68.48
10 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M70 68.57
11 Steve Sargent Lancashire WC M70 69.12
12 Phil McCullagh Lancashire WC M60 69.28
13 Ian Vaughan Lancashire WC M60 74.10

1 Irene Pike Lady Lancashire WC W65 32.16
2 Pat Evans Lady Lancashire WC W65 33.06
3 Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75 36.56

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Albert Rigby Shield 10K at Sutton Macclesfield, October 7 and notice of the AGM, November 4

Albert Rigby Shield 10K at Sutton Macclesfield, October 7


Roy Gunnett reports:

The race was held over 3 laps of the new ‘out and back’ course and was a trial for this course.
The weather was overcast with drizzle and fairly strong winds (14C).
Tony Taylor took an early lead and walked strongly throughout to win the scratch race by over 7 mins.
Pat Evans won the ladies race and Roy Gunnett came first in the handicap and was thus awarded the Albert Rigby Shield.
Dave Evans hosted the race as Fred Pearce was attending an RWA meeting. At the presentation, following the race, Dave requested that those attending should email Fred with their views on the suitability of the new course and whether they consider it an improvement in terms of safety etc. on the old course.

1 Tony Taylor Lancashire WC M70 57.37
2 Greg Smith Lancashire WC M65 65.09
3 Dan Maskell Surrey WC M65 65.29
4 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M70 66.04
5 Peter Crahan Lancashire WC M60 66.45
6 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 66.54
7 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 67.15
8 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50 67.46
9 Pat Evans  Lancashire WC W65 67.52
10 John Crahan Lancashire WC M65 70.41
11 Dave Hoben Surrey WC M60 72.25

Ian Vaughan Lancashire WC M60

And a word from me re the new course

As one of those most vociferous about the problems now posed by the classic Sutton lap, the new 10k trial course was a sobering experience. Ahead of the race, I thought that Fred’s out and back proposal looked very promising. However, after the race, I was left feeling ambivalent, somewhat uncertain. Certainly, it remains a typical, testing Macclesfield course and that’s fine. Ironically the main concern on the day was the stretch from the start to the triangle at the bottom of Parvey Lane, which we completed obviously six times. It seemed much busier than I can remember and there were a lot of parked cars. Indeed, when I jogged back on the course after finishing, I found myself waving down traffic, including the local bus, as everyone negotiated the last 600 metres or so. Nevertheless, I think we should use the course again, but prior to the start stake out a number of  ‘CAUTION: RACE WALK IN PROGRESS’ signs.

[Oh, and thanks to Adrian for marshalling the turn way down Bullocks Lane – a lonely, drizzly task].

NEXT RACE: 5k ordinary handicap race followed by the 110th AGM

DATE SATURDAY 4th November 2017




Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the race/meeting.

To quote Fred :

‘It is essential that you make every effort to attend in order that your valued contribution will help with the election of officers and decisions to be made for the future success of the Lancashire Walking Club’.

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Memories of Leicester and Lancashire

More by luck than accident, I was chuffed to find myself in the splendid grounds of Abbey Park for the celebration of Leicester Walking Club’s 90th anniversary, organised in conjunction with the Jim Sharlott 10k Open and BMAF 10k championships – very pleased too to find myself in the comforting company of Ron and Joan Wallwork, together with the Crompton clan.

Why you might well ask? Quite simply Leicester has a special place in my race walking heart. Back in 1962, May 19th to be exact, I raced outside Lancashire for the first time in the Leicester WC Schools Open, finishing 11th out of 75 starters. After the race Albert Johnson, possibly the club president at the time, took the trouble to write to my father, praising my style and urging me ‘to stick at it’.  A decade later, having finished third in 1970, I managed to win the prestigious Leicester 7 in 51:25, ahead of Mike Holmes, Geoff Toone and Brian Adams, a highlight of my extremely erratic career. Another decade later I was privileged to be a member of the Leicester Walking Club, whilst living and working in the city. In the event, I was the third scorer in the team that triumphed in the 1983 Leicester 7. Phil Vesty of the home club won easily breaking 50 minutes, whilst I finished 8th. However, this was another of my abortive comebacks as competing gave way to picketing and demonstrating with the onset of the Miners’ Strike.

Leave aside the distraction of my political leanings, the Leicester connection has a much wider significance in the history of our club. Participation in the race from 1958 onwards marks what might be properly called the beginning of the ‘Wallwork Years’.  Thus in this very year, Ron finished 15th in a sensational race, in which Stan Vickers and Ken Matthews obliterated Roland Hardy’s course record of 51:21, clocking 49:36 and 50:05 respectively. Two weeks later Ron came home 4th in the National Junior 5 miles. Backed up by our very own Fred Pearce and Bob Towell he led the club to third team national medals. A year later Ron, using seemingly the Leicester 7 as warm up, took 10th spot, before progressing to third place in the Junior 5. With Fred Pearce once again and Alan Hall in tow, Lancashire climbed to second place in the team race. 1960 saw Ron in subdued form at Leicester, only 17th far behind a rampant Ken Matthews, who set a course record of 48:25! Yet two weeks later Ron claimed the individual title in the National Junior 5 [17-21 years], although the team slipped out of the medals.

Proof though that the club was on the rise came in the following year’s National 10 miles held not far from Leicester in Loughborough. A team comprising Ron, Mick Jeffreys, Jack Sankey and John Todd came 2nd only five points adrift of Sheffield, causing the Race Walking Record to comment, ‘much the best performance ever shown by Lancashire in a race of this class’. 193 walkers and 22 teams closed in.

Much more on the ‘Wallwork Years’ in future posts.

Before leaving the realm of nostalgia it was moving to see so many Leicester faces from the past. For example, Geoff Toone, winner of the National Junior 5 in 1967, was in attendance, once one of the sport’s brightest prospects in his day and in retrospect endowed with a technique ahead of its time. In those times his rapid cadence was always likely to catch the judge’s eye. Perhaps his greatest performance came in a 10k track race at Saffron Lane, in which he clocked sub-44 minutes in beating a formidable Mexican trio, then a dominant force in our sport. Brian ‘Walk with Jesus’ Adams was also there, one of the sport’s great all-rounders. Despite outstanding performances at the shorter distances, finishing 11th in the 1976 Olympic 20 kilometres, my abiding memory is of his victory in the 1984 Leicester 100 miles. As it happened I was doing my best to support John Cannell, the formidable long-distance specialist from the Isle of Man, plying him with drinks, sponges and encouragement as you do.  And as the race unfolded we were sure Brian would crack. The word was that Brian hadn’t done more than 20 miles in training. Whether this was true or not he displayed real grit in the late stages to triumph in 17:39:28, about a mile in front of John. It was a pleasure too to bump into the ever-smiling Mal Blyth, who told a lovely tale, wherein he turned up to race the Vauxhall 7, eyed the field and thought, ‘ I’ve got a bloody good chance here.’ His hopes were dashed at the last minute by the belated arrival of our own Eric Crompton, who proceeded to take first place. Unfortunately, the first prize was not a new Vauxhall Viva. On the other hand…..

As to the 2017 Jim Sharlott race conditions were good, whilst seven judges prowled the well-surfaced 700 metres circuit. The star of the show was undoubtedly a majestic Francisco Reis. Unfortunately, Ian Richards, silver medallist in this year’s World Masters Games [M65], fell foul of the judges. Both Dave Crompton and I struggled, but I managed to take the M70 title.


1 1067 Francisco Reis Thames Valley Harriers 48.56
2 1051 Mark Williams Birchfield Harriers AC 57.35
3 1048 Peter Boszko Birchfield Harriers AC 58.17
4 1061 Tony Taylor Lancashire WC 58.40
5 1040 Ben Allen Leicester WC 59.16
6 1046 John Hall Belgrave Harriers 59.57
7 1052 Daniel McKerlich Cardiff AC 60.22
8 1049 John Constandinou Birchfield Harriers AC 61.46
9 1044 Colin Vesty Leicester WC 63.12
10 1042 Hardeep Minhas Leicester WC 63.58
11 1043 George Smolinski Leicester WC 64.48
12 1064 Ron Penfold Steyning AC 65.26
13 1063 Ian Torode South West Vets AC 65.57
14 1060 David Crompton Lancashire WC 67.03
15 1053 Stuart Edgar Dudley & Stourbridge 68.37
16 1062 Mark Byrne Redcar RWC 69.45
17 1057 John Borgars Herts Pheonix AC 71.30
18 1058 Bob Dobson Ilford AC 72.23
19 1050 David Fall Birchfield Harriers AC 80.13
20 1059 Edmund Shillabeer Ilford AC 84.14
1065 Ian Richards Steyning AC DQ
Men’s Teams:
1 Birchfield Harriers Williams, Boszko, Constandinou, Fall
2 Leicester WC Allen, Vesty, Minhas, Smolinski

1061 Tony Taylor Lancashire WC 58.40 M70 1
1057 John Borgars Herts Pheonix AC 71.30 M70 2
1058 Bob Dobson Ilford AC 72.23 M70 3
1050 David Fall Birchfield Harriers AC 80.13 M70 4



1 1079 Agata Kowalska Kwidzyn Poland 57.09
2 1072 Fiona Oakes Leicester WC 58.01
3 1070 Emma Achurch Leicester WC 58.31
4 1076 Carolyn Dyall Nuneaton Harriers 60.38
5 1075 Melanie Peddle Loughton AC 61.21
6 1071 Laura Achurch Leicester WC 64.22
7 1078 Fiona Bishop Woking AC 68.09
8 1073 Noel Blatchford Abingdon AC 68.50
9 1077 Angela Martin Surrey WC 70.23
10 1074 Lin Farrow Harborough AC 74.44
Women’s Teams:
1 Leicester WC Oaks, Achurch, Achurch

Thanks to Linda McDermot for the photos

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Adrian Edwards dominates the second Two Hour race at Bury

The 2 hour R. Smith Track Challenge and the Ladies 5k Z. Smith Track Race.  Bury Track on Saturday 9th September 2017.

Roy Gunnett reports:
The weather conditions were a challenge in themselves. There were bursts of heavy rain and strong winds interspersed with brief spells of sunshine.
In the 2-hour track challenge Adrian Edwards (who gained 3rd place in the National 50k six days earlier in the Isle of Man) took an early lead and maintained this to the end – and thus won the R. Smith trophy,
Behind Adrian, there was a close fought out contest amongst the remaining competitors.
Lap scoring etc was very difficult in light of the dreadful conditions and a huge thank you is due to the officials.
Irene Pike continued her run of successful races and won the 5k Z. Smith Ladies trophy.



Adrian, the week before in the National 50k – Ta to Steve Partington


2 Hour Challenge R.Smith Trophy

1 Adrian Edwards Lancs WC M55 19693 metres/12.24 miles
2 Dave Crompton Lancs WC M50 17552/10.91
3 Joe Hardy Lancs WC M70 17267/ 10.73
4 John Crahan Lancs WC M65 17233/ 10.71
5 Roy Gunnett Lancs WC M70 16860/ 10.48
6 Stuart Edgar Dudley & Stourbridge M45 16306/ 10.13
7 Sailash Shah Lancs WC M50 16226/ 10.08

1 Irene Pike Lady Lancs WC W65 68.51.3
2 Pat Evans Lady Lancs WC W65 69.17.7
3 John Payn Lancs WC M80 81.01.7

5K Zena Smith Trophy – Ladies
1 Irene Pike Lady Lancs WC W65 33.56.5
2 Pat Evans Lady Lancs WC W65 34.36.9

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Adrian Edwards medals yet again in the National 50k

Adrian completed his set of National 50k medals over in the Isle of Man, However Roy Gunnett’s long-standing injury problems meant he couldn’t start the race. Hence we were unable to defend our team title. Conditions were wet and windy – basically bloody miserable! However, everyone involved praised the excellent organisation and friendly environment. Credit for the photos to Steve Partington – much appreciated.


Adrian Edwards reports:

A group of 5 Manx walkers; Adam Cowin, Richard Gerrard, Matthew Haddock, Dale Farquhar and David Walker; set off at high speed, going through the first kilometre in about 5 and a half minutes. I knew I just had to let them go and walk a steady race; just ahead of James Quirk. Richard was DQ’d, whereas Adam and Matthew dropped out, all before half way. David Walker was out in front with Dale Farquhar struggling behind, I caught Dale but was a lap behind David at about 35K. I felt I was walking OK but slowed almost a minute per mile over the second half and James came past me in the last 10K.
It was the most comfortable I’ve felt in a 50K, the endurance was in place but I lacked the speed to trouble the winner. I’ve struggled with a sore knee since doing the 15 miles at Chorley in May, so hadn’t maintained the speed work enough over the summer.
It was very wet and at times windy, but that meant I didn’t need to take on so much fluid, so it probably didn’t make any difference to the result.


 British Athletics and Race Walking Association 50km Championships
1 David Walker Manx Harriers M45 05:29:12
2 James Quirk Manx Harriers M45 05:37:20
3 Adrian Edwards Lancashire W.C. M55 05:42:45
4 Jayne Farquhar Manx Harriers W45 06:01:31
5 Dale Farquhar Manx Harriers M35 06:04:58
6 Stewart Jones Manx Harriers M45 06:05:50
7 Louise Hollings Isle of Man Veterans W35 06:08:21
8 Rebecca Greatbatch Manx Harriers SW 06:24:55
9 Sharon Cain Western A.C. W45 06:32:39
DQ Richard Gerrard Manx Harriers M45
DNF Mark Byrne Redcar R.W.C M55
DNF Matthew Haddock Manx Harriers M35
DNF Adam Cowin Manx Harriers SM
DNS Roy Gunnett Lancashire W.C. M70



Michael George illustrates the conditions!


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Guy Goodair’s Manchester-Blackpool Memories completed: 1972-1974

We’d just had our first child so I didn’t enter this year



The much respected ‘Gentleman’ John Eddershaw

1 J Eddershaw (Sheffield UH) 8.16.10 2 P Markham (Leicester WC) 8.17.41 3 E Crompton (Leyland) 8.24.16

Team Leyland Motors 24 pts, 38 finished

[A remarkable victory for Leyland Motors, led by Eric Crompton. Who were the other scoring competitors? TT]

Wakefield no longer had a walking section and I had joined Blackburn Harriers along with Ron Wallwork, Tony Taylor, Julian Hopkins and Chris Bolton [of which scandal, I’ll do a post in the future! TT]. Early on in the race, there were four of us in the lead – Eric Crompton, Peter Markham, Joe Toehill and myself. By Preston Joe & I had got clear (through halfway in 3h 51m) only for me to stop at 37 miles to burst a blister and again at 40 miles to change my socks. I caught Joe approaching the Central Pier and finished 3 minutes in front whilst John Lees just held off a fast-finishing Roger Michell.



A smiling, victorious Guy


1 G Goodair (Blackburn) 8.07.45 2 J Toehill )YWC) 8.10.06 3 J Lees (Brighton) 8.31.22

Team Yorks WC 23 pts 39 finished

By now we had two young boys and my training had gone to pot and I was doing less than 20 miles per week. I set off in the lead with Eric Crompton but shortly after Bolton I started to blister. I stopped at Lostock to burst them but by Chorley I was wanting to pack in. Only my attendant, Brian Pickersgill kept me going. Eric Crompton meanwhile still had a 5 minute lead at halfway but the hot day took its toll and he retired at 37 miles leaving Ken Harding an easy winner. Peter Markham pushed past John May to take 2nd
place and Roger Michel held onto 4th place even though he had a bad time over the last few miles. Peter Worth caught me towards the end and I eventually finished in 8h 53m 22s. So I ended my Manchester to Blackpool race sequence as I began – in 6th place.



Ken Harding

1 K Harding (RSC) 8.08.51 2 P Markham (Leics) 8.33.55 3 J May (Met) 8.34.56 

Team Yorks WC [No result in Race Walking Record]

As I look back nostalgically to those years I think with affection at the camaraderie on the road, the anticipated refreshing hot bath at Derby Baths after the race, tempered by the stinging salt water if you’d suffered from a burst blister en-route. The great times celebrating at the reception at the Winter Gardens and the memorable overseas trips I had with fellow Manchester to Blackpool rivals – George Barras, Chris Bolton, Bill Cowley, Pat Duncan, Mick Holliman, Harry Holmes, Eric Lee, Ray Manning, John Paterson & Roy Thorpe.

Thanks for the Memories,
Guy Goodair

[And sincere thanks to Guy for this enthralling glimpse into a collective past, easily dismissed and forgotten, the like of which will not be seen again, TT]

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Guy Goodair’s Manchester-Blackpool Memories continued: 1969-1971

Manchester-Blackpool Memories continued: 1969-1971


George & I were determined not to let Pat Duncan achieve a hat trick of wins this year and so set off at a cracking pace going through 10 miles in 89 mins, Horwich (2h 34m) Chorley (3h 20m) and Preston Docks (5h 5m), We were doing ‘bit and bit’ – one of us leading the other for the length between lamp posts.



George and Guy in clear need of a sponge at Chorley

We stayed together to Lytham when George pulled away from and opened up a 3 minutes gap by the finish.



George preparing to surge to victory


Pat Duncan was still in third place at Preston but then his right leg swelled painfully as a result of an injury sustained earlier in the season. Pat struggled on to finish fourth in 8h 37m 51s being pipped for third place by Dennis Pook of Hinckley.

1 G Barras (Wakefield) 8.13.35 2 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.15.07 3 D Pook (Hinckley) 8.26.56

Team Wakefield 15 pts


1970 [To my embarrassment, being the club secretary at the time and organiser of the race, the result did not appear in the Record, even after I submitted it belatedly – TT]

From the start, it was a battle between Karl Abolins and Paddy Rice, until halfway when Paddy Rice surged into the lead with a strong sustained burst for several miles in spite of the heavy rain. However, he faltered, allowing Karl to come back again for a comfortable win. I suffered from lack of drinks around Preston as my wife, who was looking after the Wakefield team was struggling to see to all our needs as were getting so spread out and the traffic was bad. Wakefield’s team was very weak on paper this year without Barras, Thorpe & Grayson but with me getting 3rd (8h.26.57), Eric Lee recording a PB in 4th
place (8.34.13), Lionel Munckton on his debut surprising everyone with 14th spot (8h 54m 0s) and Ray Manning taking 18th place (8h 58m 16s), we managed to retain the team title with 3 points to spare from Royal Sutton Coldfield.



Karl Abolins, a formidable competitor in the longer distances, winner of the Rouen 24 hours covering 205.160 kms.


1 K Abolins (Royal Sutton Coldfield) 8.14.00 2 P Rice (RSC) 3 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.26.57

Team Wakefield 37 pts


Peter Markham was always at the front this year and was closely followed by Joe Toehill.



Peter Markham, Leicester through and through


I went through halfway in 4h 8m and caught Joe after Preston. He’d no-one looking after him so my wife, Judith naturally offered him drinks and food as she did me. Peter finished five minutes in front of us but as we were approaching the Town Hall, Joe’s wife was there screaming at him to ‘Drop him, Joe’.



Joe Toehill of the honourable dead-heat for second with Guy


We finished together and when we’d finished the couple had a few words. However, Joe said, that even if he could have done, there was no way he would have finished in front of me after the assistance Judith had given him.

1 P Markham (Leicester WC) 8.28.08 2 = GGoodair (Wakefield) & J Toehill (Yorkshire WC) 8.33.27

Team Yorkshire WC 17 pts, 29 finished.

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