Manchester to Blackpool Memories: 1966-1968
John Paddick took an early lead and I only caught him after Preston. ‘How far to go?’ he asked “About 20 miles’ I replied and encouraged him to stay with me. (In hindsight I should have pushed on and tried to demoralise him!) We stayed together through Freckleton, Warton, Lytham and St Annes and I knew the closer we got to the finish the less chance I had as John was a much faster walker than me over shorter distances. And so it proved when he pulled a minute out of me over the last mile. [Note: John Paddick finished tenth in the 1964 Olympic 20kms in 93:28.4, the third GB athlete in the top ten – Ken Matthews first in 89:34.0 and John Edgington eighth in 92:34.0.]
1 J Paddick (Royal Sutton ColdfieldC) 8.19.21 2 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.20.23 3 K Abolins (Royal Sutton Coldfield) 8.26.54
Team Royal Sutton Coldfield20 pts, 56 Finished
The weather conditions were good for the race and from the start the pace was brisk. George & I went through 10 miles in 92 minutes but charging away in front was Pat Duncan, who we didn’t really know. Passing through halfway in 3h 58m he was still going away from us – we were convinced he’d crack and slow down. From Freckleton we chased really hard but Pat came home with 4 minutes to spare. It rained heavily after we’d finished.
1 P Duncan (Belgrave) 7.59.17 2 G Barras (Wakefield) 8.03.15 3 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.03.27
Team Royal Sutton Coldfield 30 pts, 41 finished
Roy Thorpe led until 8 miles when once again 6’ 7” Pat Duncan, looking to repeat his win of the previous year, strode majestically into the lead, which he kept until after the 20 miles mark. At this point a charge from Roy Thorpe saw him regain the lead, which he extended to 2 minutes. George Barras and I went through 10 miles in 94 mins and halfway in 3h 57m, which we thought was fast.
However, Pat launched another attack and came home an easy winner in a new record time of 7h 57m 01s – twelve minutes clear of me with George Barras a further 5 minutes down. Roy paid for his earlier efforts finishing 38 minutes behind the winner in 7th place one behind club mate Ray Manning, but helping Wakefield take the team title.
1 P Duncan (Belgrave) 7.57.01 [new record] 2 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.09.39 3 G Barras (Wakefield) 8.14.52
Team Wakefield 14 pts, 52 finished