The Fred Pearce Relay, July 24 – a memorable day

Our Fred, enormously missed and never forgotten
Christine and Charlotte looking radiant

Dave Evans reports:

A terrific turnout of 6 teams of 3 made this year’s race particularly memorable and very grateful thanks must be extended to Fred’s family In the guise of Christine and Charlotte who provided a sumptuous buffet and prizes for the first 3 teams. A minute’s silence was observed in Fred’s memory and thoughts were directed towards his contribution to club activities for nearly 60 years.

The race itself is a bit of a lottery as the handicapper endeavours to balance out the strengths and weaknesses of each squad but there are always individuals who excel in this sort of competition but this makes things more interesting. No money ever changes hands despite the rumours !

Dave strides in from the left to bring order to the proceedings!

A team’s composite handicap decides their starting time with just less than 3 minutes covering all 6 . Once onto the second leg the likely contenders emerge so anchor folk are usually a bit more animated before the final leg. On this occasion Sheffield “resident” Tony Bell walked impressively and brought his team into second place just less than a minute behind former UK 50k champion Adrian Edwards. As leg two unfurled the positions changed with a third squad moving into first position with a lead of 90 seconds. The big hitters were still to play their hands and former international Tony Malone threw in a fastish 5k to bring his team home by 50 seconds. Martin Fisher, better known for his feats as a centurion, walked with his usual precision posting a speedy 29 mins 50 anchoring his colleagues to second place. The third place was a nail biter with Stuart Edgar holding off Phil McCullagh and reaching the finish 24 seconds better.

Joe Hardy and Phil Carroll – old adversaries

The full results are as follows:-

Team 5. Adrian Edwards 29 24, Andrea Lennon 40 50, Tony Malone 30 27
Team 2. Tony Bell 30 48, Phil Carroll 41 28, Martin Fisher 29 50
Team 4. Roy Gunnett 35 04, Dan Maskell 34 01, Stuart Edgar 33 28
Team 1. Ian Hilditch 33 44, Joe Hardy 35 14, Phil McCullagh 35 29
Team 3. Sailash Shah 35 03, Steven Wilde 36 01, Stephen Walker 32 01
Team 6. Pat Evans 34 12, John Crahan 36 24, Martin Payne 37 12.

None of our events could be undertaken without the support of our officials and marshals and very grateful thanks must be extended to Eric Horwill (timekeeping), Pam Horwill(Recording), Glyn Jones, Eric Crompton, Greg Smith and Louise for marshalling the course.

Eric and Pam Horwill compare notes

The weather stayed fine and Fred’s old adage of fielding 20 walkers was achieved even if two of them were involved in the organising.

Dave Evans, handicapper extraordinaire. Much appreciated.

As well as handicapping the teams the individuals themselves were handicapped and the final compilation shows the final net handicap position as follows:-

Tony Bell 26 48
Ian Hilditch 27 44
Martin Fisher 27 50
Andrea Lennon 28 05
Adrian Edwards 28 24
Pat Evans 28 27
Dan Maskell 2901
Roy Gunnett 29:04
Stuart Edgar 29 08
Stephen Wilde 29 16
Tony Malone 29 27
Joe Hardy 29 29
Sailash Shah 29 33
Phil McCullagh 29 49
Phil Carroll 30 28
John Crahan 30 39
Steve Walker 32 01
Martin Payne 34 12

We pride ourselves in drawing support from outside our region and Dan Maskell(Brighton), Martin Fisher and Phil Carroll(Bradford area), Stephen Walker(Wales), Stuart Edgar, Glyn Jones, Eric Horwill and Pam Horwill,continue to make our enterprises successful. A big thank you to all of them.

Tony Taylor adds:

Readers with an eagle eye will have wondered why Martin Payne was one of the slowesr competitors. He was looking good for close to thirty minutes. Those in attendance will know that, in Martin’s own words, he had something of an escapade, falling, breaking a wrist and gashing his forehead badly. Fortunately Adrian Edwards was at hand, assisting him to the finish before administering expert first aid. In the aftermath Martin would like to have recorded his sincere thanks to everyone, including the Pearce family, who made sure he was comfortable in advance of him being whisked off into the diligent hands of the NHS. His arm is now in plaster and his good looks are intact. As things stand he will await the’all clear’ before returning to competition. He has all our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

I must add that Dave omitted reference to Martin’s escapade in his original report as he hadn’t spoken to Martin about furnishing the detail of his adventurous afternoon. All is now revealed.

Thanks to Martin and Judith Fisher for the photos. There are more from other sources in the offing. If these appear I’ll do a new Fred Pearce Photos Special!



On the back of your 5 kilometres on Saturday you are well placed to post a fast 3km time trial this week. Clockings to be with Tony by midnight, Sunday, August 1st.

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