Remembering Alan Hudson, an outstanding Centurion

Chris Bolton writes:

Alan Hudson – Centurion 414 

Alan is one of the unsung heroes in the club’s long history. Although a loyal and steady performer at all distances up to fifty miles, it was at the ultra-distance that Alan showed his special talent. 

He qualified as a Centurion at Leicester in 1968 in the magnificent time of 19 hours 20 minutes 52 seconds, earning him the honour of being the second fastest qualifier in the club’s history. Only Joe  Barraclough has recorded a faster time in over 114 years. 

Twelve months later at Bristol, he finished, together with Alan Day and Bill Cowley, in joint third place with a time of 19 hours 54 minutes 18  seconds. Again he was making history as the only club member with two sub twenty-hour performances. 

Three weeks after his qualifying race I met Alan in Manchester.  He was resplendent in a new blazer with a gleaming wire wound  Centurion badge on the pocket. “My word I like that badge,” I said.  “Yes” replied Alan “and you should see the one on my pyjamas”. 

Alan was rightly proud of his Centurion performances and they should not be forgotten.

Alan is to the left behind George Barras [16] and the whte-capped Graham Young in this 1966 TT Walk photo. Other familiar faces around even now are Chris, Roy Thorpe, Eric Horwill and Guy Goodair.

Ron Wallwork continues:

I remember Alan well along with his Prestonian colleagues, Bill McCloughin, Alan Day, not forgetting Eric Bretherton. Although not scoring in the national team successes of the late 60s and early 70s, they nevertheless played a huge part in a thriving Club and I think they put on fixtures at Preston. 

In those days there wasn’t a National Long Distance championship otherwise they would indeed have collected medals. Finishing equal third [Hudson, Day and Cowley] they easily won the “Daily Dispatch” team trophy, so perhaps we should add them to the club’s Roll of Honour.

Both Alans were also two of seven Club members among the GB record number (for a walking race)  of 257 starters in the 1967 Metropolitan Open 7.

Excerpt from Ron’s training diary 1967

RW 51.13, Mike Hatton 21st/54.48, Graham Abley 97th/60.07, Alan Day 129th/62.42 and Alan Hudson 159th/65.32. LWC 12th  team. Julian was disqualified 30 yards from the finish and Bill McLoughlan suffered a similar fate 3/4s of a mile from the end. A cynic might have a view on how this affected the team race!

Sadly I can’f find any photos of Alan in action and, as of now, I’m unsure of his whereabouts.

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