A close ‘walk’ thing in the Fred Pearce Relay, July 22

Dave Evans reports:

Pat, Christine and Dave prior to the race. Ta to Greg Smith

The Fred Pearce relays produced the closest finish yet with all 4 teams on the final approach within sight of each other, three closing in within a minute. The handicapper had some last-minute repositioning to contend with but in the end, this made the event more competitive in the light drizzly conditions. It was a nice surprise to have visitors from afar and the presence of multi-centurion Martin Fisher and sidekick Phil Carroll made the race more difficult to predict.

Waiting in expectation. Ta to Greg

 To get the race underway club secretary Roy Gunnett set off on his 5k with no company and it was 11 minutes before the first leg set off for teams two, three and four. At the end of the first out and back, Roy remained in first place with Tony Bell in hot pursuit and Adrian Edwards, sharpening his pace for the centurions 100 miles a mere 10 seconds adrift.  Bringing up the rear but still walking well was Sailash Shah.

Roy gets the race off to a lonely start. Ta to Greg
Keeping close company – Steven, Ian and Phil McCullagh. Ta to Martin Payne

 Leg two saw Martin Fisher shoot off from the start with the intention of moving his team from 4th to a higher position and it was no surprise to see him completing his 5k foray in the day’s best time and in second place. All competitors managed to record times around their seasonal bests so what would happen on the final anchor leg. Phil Carroll kept his cool despite setting off with a 5-minute 45 seconds advantage and showed that he has retained a very effective style which saw him enter the final straight of the finish with a lead of nearly two minutes. The other three teams made a real race of it with the trio closing on each other towards the finish.

Martin Fisher on his way to the fastest leg. Ta to Roy Gunnett
Phil Carroll turning back the clock holds off his pursuers. Ta to Greg.
Joe, Pat and Martin in titanic struggle. Ta to Greg
Congratulations all round. Ta to Greg

Chris Pearce provided the walkers and supporters with a lovely buffet and prizes and a fitting tribute to Fred who kept the club together during his tenure and is still sorely missed as an official and mentor.

Pat, Christine and Pam discuss tactics. Ta to Roy

A special mention must be made of Eric Horwill who has continued to support Lancashire Walking club for many years making the journey from the Midlands by public transport and offering his very welcome support and advice. On this occasion, he was accompanied by Pam who is herself a very respected official and still a British race walking record holder as a veteran.

As ever Dave and the indefatigible Eric Horwill keep everything in order. Ta to Greg.

On a more sombre note, we have just been informed that Flo, the wife of our oldest member, John Payn has recently passed away and we send our sincere condolences to John and his family.

Results of the relay

Greg in full stride. Ta to Roy

1st team  Roy Gunnett.     36 mins 58

                 Greg Smith        35 mins 02

                 Phil Carroll.        39 mins 04

Steven safe as houses on a good straight leg. Ta to Roy

2nd team Sailash Shah.    36 mins 11

                  Martin Fisher    30 mins 21

                  Steven Wilde.   34 mins 54

Ian Hildifch continues his good form. Ta to Greg

3rd team

Tony Bell.          31 mins 37

  Pat Evans.       35 mins 13

                  Ian Hilditch.       34 mins 50

Adrian preparing for the Hundred. Ta to Martin

4th team.

Adrian Edwards 30 mins 57

                  Joe Hardy.         34 mins 52

                   Phil McCullagh 36 mins 03

Our only photo of Tony sees him seated with Roy quaffing a post-race cup of tea. Ta to Martin


There are some changes to our fixtures for the remaining part of the year, including the cancellation of the Bury track race on September 3rd due to resurfacing of the track. The fixture will now be at Simister on the same day and will be a 10k.

The October race, originally scheduled to be held at Macclesfield on the first of the month is moving back a week, to allow club walkers to contest a 6-hour race at Chorley on that date. So amend your diary entries to show October 8th, Albert Rigby 10k, at Macclesfield.

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Pat and Dave Evans take a break by walking 1200 miles in June!

Pat and Dave Evans have been sorely missed in recent weeks. Even as Roy Gunnett held things together admirably, folk have been asking what are our two stalwarts up to? Have they been on a Nordic cruise or have they been basking on the Costa del Sol? You must be joking. They’ve been participaing in The Civil Service Annual Challenge. And with great success.

Dave takes up the story.

Like most “competitions” the easiest part is saying “yes”and as we reached the end of May this year future plans for other activities in JUNE were put on “hold”. It is not the first time we have taken on this challenge which tasks each participant with walking or running each day for the month of JUNE

Just over 1400 civil servants registered for the challenge and each was asked to obtain some sponsorship raising money for the Civil Service Benevolent fund. All were asked to put themselves forward in teams of 2,3,4,5 or 6 and their squad could be a mixture of departments, areas and background.

Our Lynchpin was Bill Kingston, a tall long striding walker, who has supported the event since around 2016 and since then has recorded the greatest distance walked or run by any participant. Bill is now 70 but despite this is crucial to any team and a bit of an ace card.

Pat and Bill made a formidable pairing and although “competing “ against teams with three times as many team members set off on JUNE 1st ready to burn up the tarmac, trail and mountain paths. Bill walked alone around the leafy streets of Bristol and while most of us were having our breakfast he was nearing the end of his first session of the day! On day 3 Bill managed to walk into a bush which hid a rocky outcrop and was lucky not to have ended his challenge there and then. Being a former rugby player and heavy throws exponent he regained his composure and carried on. Pat had chosen to mix and match her surfaces so not surprisingly the fells, trails and country roads were her preference. I had also signed up for the challenge but stayed “solo” for competition purposes and was essentially walking with and shadowing Pat.

Pat at the head of the KIrkstone Pass

Living in the Lake District offers many very scenic walks but the terrain is very variable and all the hills seem to be going up. At the same time as the challenge Pat and I were endeavouring to walk the full length of Hadrians Wall so we incorporated a number of sections , some in Northumberland and some in Cumbria. Covering healthy distances each day is fine but travelling to a starting point would sometimes require parking up, getting a taxi to a chosen location and walking back to the car as long as you remembered where you left the car. One walk entailed a drive to a station , a train journey to a small village a distance away then a walk of maybe 15 miles through the countryside taking in farms, hamlets, beauty spots and tackling dual foes of animals and droppings. Very fortunately the weather was nearly always kind so few walks meant tramping through 6 inches of dung at farm gates.

To help walkers and runners to focus the national organisers website was updated by individuals on a daily basis. However, some chose to do this on a less regular basis making it virtually impossible to determine where you were overall. Individuals were allowed to use a variety of measuring devices hence fitbits, Garmin, Strava and stepcounters accounted for the majority of recorded detail. Most “competitors” did some activity regularly and the first week would have give each an insight of what they might be capable of but by the end of week two with 16 days to go the legs were beginning to feel fatigued and the enormity of the project became more apparent.

June is a fairly stable month for weather so we were blessed with good conditions most days and surprisingly met relatively few people when we walked. At the end of week 3 (day 21) Pat was still keen having kept up an average of just short of 15 miles a day but I had become decidedly grumpy. Maintaining an average of about 23 miles a day was getting to me and uneven ground and big ups and downs were making me worse.

Grumpy Dave

The final 9 days were to see us increasing our daily mileage and still including routes over the local fells . Having been told by Bill Kingston that the top honours in the pairs event could go either way we had to consider pushing the envelope and the last 3 days are engraved on my heart and my head. I managed to walk into a low hanging bough on the shores of Ullswater with about 15 miles to go and almost completed my challenge early. We both walked further on days 28,29 and 30 than on any other days ending the final 24 hours with a 25 miler.Bill did all of his walking alone which is not surprising considering he left home most days at 1 00 am. When we completed our steps I calculated that Pat had walked 487 miles and myself 694. Not bad for two over 70’s! However, Bill is 70 and he managed to cover about 1175 miles almost exactly the same distance as Pat and I walked in total. We have seen more of the hills, fells, valleys, animals and flora than we normally see when out walking so the enterprise has been successful.

Pat smiling through

The final results have now been collated and with 269 teams of between 2 and 6 members our duo of Pat and Bill finished second overall less than 36 miles adrift of the top team comprising 6 members but were announced as winners of the pairs category . One member of the winning team overall ran 94 miles on one day which clearly gave his team a significant boost. Second team in the pairs walked 100 miles less than our duo leaving 266 other teams in their wake.

The days following the challenge were ones of relief and recovery. Pat’s knee problem didn’t reappear and can now be considered behind her but your truly was saddled with a sore shin for the best part of a week which was helped by liberal doses of wine ! Time is a great healer and despite saying towards the end of the 30 days that I would not want to do it again Bill is probably including us in his team of 4 for 2023 which is the only category he has yet to walk in(and win !).

Seeing the Tour de France is still ongoing, ‘CHAPEAU’ to Pat with a special mention for Dave in her shadow.

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Organising the Fred Pearce Relay, July 23, 2022

It’s that time of year again. In less than a fortnight’s time, we will be staging a centre-piece of our racing calendar, the Fred Pearce Memorial Relay. It’s an event dear to all our hearts.

The Fred Pearce Memorial Relay, Lady Wilton Hall, Simister, Manchester M25 2SB will be held on Saturday, July 23 – starting 1.00 p.m.

Looking ahead, Dave Evans is making a special plea to let him know if you are attending and in what capacity. We need to give Christine Pearce, who provides both food and prizes, an idea of numbers. In addition, Dave needs to know if you intend to race as he has the unenviable task of deciding on the make-up of the teams contesting the relay.

Respond to: dave.evans08@hotmail.co.uk

Gutted not to be on the road but with you in spirit


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Thirty Years Ago this Month – Ron and Ian became proud Centurions

With Ian Garmston’s permission, I’m really pleased to post this lovely account of his and Ron Wallwork’s journey to becoming proud Centurions. All the more so, given our club’s great history in the 100 miles event – see Honouring the Club’s Centurions, where you will find

893 Ron Wallwork 22:26:07 on 21 /07 /1992 Leicester
899 Ian Garmston 23:16:24 on 21/ 07/ 1992 Leicester


Ron and Ian in jovial mood

Thirty years ago Ron Wallwork and myself qualified to join a worldwide group of (presently 1211) athletes called the ‘Centurions’. It would not have been possible without the complete practical support of an army of friends and family, who were there for us back in July 1992.

Ron and myself became pals during the early 1980s when I entered a racewalking event that he had organised at Moulton. I was a runner but was attracted to the activity because it seemed like a novel hoot. Later, when we started to train together, I discovered the two cardinal rules that no racewalker should (ever) disobey. Namely, leading legs must NOT BE BENT at the knee, and one foot had ALWAYS to be in contact with the ground. More precise explanations are not necessary. But the Race Walking Association (RWA) set these rules, which are etched on stone tablets, and when violated cause eagle-eyed official judges (with little flags and clip-boards) to pounce from the side of the road. I never actually got “pulled” from a race, but did have my number taken more than a few times. Such Fun! 

Anyway, Ron coached me through a series of events, and our friendship grew. I knew that he had won the 20-mile race for England at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. What I didn’t know was that he was romancing the notion of competing in a qualifying RWA 100-mile race at Hungarton, Leicestershire. The idea being to return a sub-24-hour time, and thus become a Centurion. 

Such an event was furthest from my own thoughts. Nevertheless, I acknowledged that his year-long training regime would get lonely, so offered to keep him company as long as I was capable. If nothing else it would be an opportunity to progress my own general fitness, which had lapsed a tad since doing The London Marathon in 1986. Plus, I could watch and learn, first-hand, how this experienced international athlete prepared himself for something new. 

As well as building in “quality” sprints around the village, we looked for official events of various distances that would gradually nudge up how far we walked in one hit. Ten miles, then twenty, thirty and so on. If there were no events, we were taken by car for (say) forty miles and left to walk home. It was also necessary to prepare our body clocks, so some of these outings were done during the night.

Ron told me that we only needed to train as far as seventy miles, because the last thirty miles could be done (his words!) “from memory”. The other thing to consider was maintaining a constant 5mph pace, because, during 24 hours it would be necessary to pause for a number of reasons. Not least comfort stops and feeding, and a consistent 5mph pace should (theoretically) provide a four-hour cushion of time to take account of these activities. 

The group picture is at Bradford on 25th May (Whit Monday) where Ian clocked 5.51.36 and Ron 5.52 01.
L/R Joe Hardy, Ronnie Marsden, Lennie Yeomans Ian, Ron, Charlie Colman and John Eddershaw in the background.
A beltin’ photo of Ron and Ian beaming at the start of the Blackpool,
Ian 9.58.?? & Ron 9.24.20

We identified the official RWA Manchester to Blackpool walk as a useful fifty miler. Aiming for less than 12 hours on our feet. I cannot remember my time. It doesn’t matter. What I do remember is catching sight of Blackpool Tower as a feature the size of my thumb on the horizon. A number of hours later, I was walking along the prom to the finish. Still being careful to keep my leading leg straight, and watching for lurking judges, but certain I was now having a go at this Centurion thingy, come what may. It was probably during the evening, as we all enjoyed fish and chips, gazing at the sea, that I told Ron I would be joining him. Training then became far more focussed as the months rolled closer to the main event.

Which was an amazing experience. We commenced twenty circuits of a (very) undulating, but picturesque five-mile course at 6.00pm on a sunny Saturday evening. A feeding station was established in the car park of the village pub, which also kindly provided toilet facilities. Every hour, on the hour (day and night) our delightful support team, who were camped on the other side of the road, would collect anything they needed for our next pit stop. We relied on them.

Through the night hours, they operated a shift system, so as to get a little sleep, but it was exhausting work, gladly done, for which Ron and myself are eternally grateful. I went through three pairs of trainers and completed in 23 hours, 16 minutes and 24 seconds. Ron was ahead of me, and completed in 22 hours, 26 minutes and 7 seconds. Neither of us will forget those 24 hours. But the icing on the cake was that Ron had obtained sufficient sponsors to raise £38k for charity. This caught the attention of Newmarket Journal, who despatched a photographer. You can see his picture at the beginning of this tale.. Please note our perfectly straight leading legs… Perhaps poetry in racewalking motion😂.. And not a judge to be seen! 

As Ever


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Barnard Trophy 10K, Sutton Macclesfield 2nd July 2022

Roy Gunnett reports:

[Dave and Pat Evans are in the very last days of their June Long Distance Walking Challenge and we look forward to hearing of their exploits!]

Barnard Trophy 10k @ Macclesfield 2nd July 2022

Adrian leads the way

A field of 8 walkers took part in the Barnard Trophy 10k race at Macclesfield.

The picturesque course in the beautiful Cheshire countryside was made even more pleasant for the walkers by the weather being warm with sunny spells.

The 8 walkers comprised 6 Lancashire Walking Club members and 2 very welcome guest walkers, namely David Hoben from Surrey Walking Club and John Gordon from Dudley and Stourbridge.

The walkers were split into 2 groups – Adrian Edwards and Tony Bell being in the fast group and the remainder in the other. Adrian and Tony started 4 minutes behind the others.

Tony in full stride

Adrian walked powerfully throughout to win the scratch race. Tony Bell also walked a strong race behind him.

John Gordon [Dudley & Stourbridge] – a welcome guest
David Hoben [Surrey WC] – very welcome too

John Gordon headed the rest of the field from the gun and gradually pulled away from the others who kept fairly close together.  Phil McCullagh put in his usual storming ‘negative split’ second half.

Phll ‘Negative Split’ McCullagh
A determined Sailash chased by Joe

Huge thanks must go to Eric Horwill, Glyn Jones, Martin Payne and Tony Malone for their help in Timekeeping, Marshalling etc. 

Thanks again to Roy for organising and racing

As usual, Marshall and Kath Barnard put on a magnificent spread of food and tea – greatly appreciated by all.

Tony Bell won the Barnard Trophy for being the first Lancashire walker in the handicap and was presented with the trophy by Marshall.

Scratch Race

  1. Adrian Edwards 65.00 (21.32,42.55)
  2. Tony Bell 67.39 (22.49,45.49)
  3. John Gordon 71.15 (23.28,47.16)
  4. Phil McCullough 73.10 (24.48, 49.02)
  5. Roy Gunnett 74.00 (24.07,48.52)
  6. Joe Hardy 74.15 (24.24, 49.08)
  7. Sailash Shah 75.25 (24.15, 49.33)
  8. David Hoben 75.32 (24.32, 49.35)

Handicap Race

1 John Gordon 58.15. (Guest)
2 Tony Bell 60.39 *
3 Joe Hardy 61.30
4 Roy Gunnett 62.30
5 David Hoben 62.32 (Guest)
6 Phil McCullough 63.10
7 Sailash Shah 64.25
8 Adrian Edwards 65.00

Tony with the Barnard Trophy

* Tony Bell first Lancashire Walking Club member in handicap.

Thanks to Martin Payne for the photos. Always very useful and welcome.

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Marion Fawkes – outstanding services to and performances in race walking recognised

Peter Fawkes writes:

You may well know that Marion is currently President of Yorkshire Walking Club as well as being a life member of that Club and North Shields Poly.  Marion’s name was put forward by the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (for outstanding services and performances to women’s race walking) to attend a Queens’ Garden Party event just before Covid hit and of course, it was cancelled.  We thought that was the end of it but in May, she received another invite and we attended a Garden Party on 25th May 2022. It’s taken over 40 years to be recognised but good all the same. 

Indeed and so say of all of us at the Lancashire Walking Club. Heartfelt congratulations!

Marion in her pomp winning the European Economic Community Championship


1979 IAAF World Race Walking Cup, September 29-30, Eschborn, FDR

Women 5,000 metres [held for the first time]

  1. Marion Fawkes GB 22:51 [World Best]
  2. Carol Tyson GB 22:59
  3. Thorill Gylder Norway 23:08


Great Britain 85 pts
Sweden 74 pts
Norway 69 pts

See this in our series of Reminiscences


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Roy Gunnett reports:

The Dick and Zena Smith 10 & 5k Trophy races took place at the Bury Track a week later than originally planned. The event was initially scheduled for June 4th – however, the lack of numbers resulting from the Queen’s Jubilee necessitated a postponement.

Six walkers lined up for the start of the 10k race and 1 for the 5k (Greg Smith). The walkers were very ably assisted by Eric Horwill as Timekeeper and Sailash Shah, Irene Pike and Martin Payne as lap recorders.

Thanks as ever to our band of officials

Both Dave and Pat Evans could not attend the race as they are participating in a ’30 days x approximately 20 miles a day’ Civil Service challenge. More news to follow.

The promised BBC weather forecast of dry sunny weather did not fully materialise. The first third of the race was in light rain – the remainder was warm and overcast with occasional sunny spells. 

The tightly packed peleton

All the 10k walkers for the first 5k stuck together and went through the 5k mark in 35m 56secs.

Tony on his second-half surge

A lap later Tony Bell broke away from the ‘peloton’ and walked strongly all the way to a scratch victory – with a second-half negative split time. 

Ian about to overtake Roy

Shortly after Tony’s breakaway Roy Gunnett also drew away from the others. However this was short-lived and Ian Hilditch overtook Roy and then, towards the end of the race, he was also overtaken by Phil McCullough. 

Phil passes Roy on his way to taking the trophy

Phil McCullough won the handicap race and was presented with the Dick Smith trophy.

Try taking it off me!!
The organisers, Eric and Roy

A special thank you to Eric Horwill must be made as without his help in timekeeping etc it would have been very difficult to manage this race.


10 kilometres

  1. Tony Bell            68m 28secs
  2. Ian Hilditch         70m 21secs
  3. Phil McCullough 71m 39secs
  4. Roy Gunnett.      72m 15secs
  5. Steven Wilde.     73m 17secs
  6. Joe Hardy.          73m 53secs
Steven Wilde

5 kilometres

1. Greg Smith.         35m 41secs

Greg Smith

Handicap Race

  1. Phil McCullough 58m 09secs
  2. Steven Wilde.     59m 47secs
  3. Ian Hilditch         60m 51secs
  4. Greg Smith.        60m 52secs [using a formula based on 5k time]
  5. Tony Bell             61m 28secs
  6. Joe Hardy.           61m 53secs
  7. Roy Gunnett.       62m 45secs

Thanks to Greg Smith and Martin Payne for the photos Much appreciated.


A couple of results you might find of interest – thanks to Dave Ainsworth

The first is of the classic Moulton 5 miles organised by the Lancashire Walking Club legend, Ron Wallwork

A photo of Steve Uttley, Ron and myself taken in 2021 at Moulton
2022 Enfield Race Walking League
21st Anniversary Moulton Five11th June 
1George WilkinsonEnfield H ACSM36.55
2Steve UttleyIlford ACM6548.34
3Dave WalshEnfield H ACM6049.00
4Mike GeorgeVets ACM5050.45
5John ArthurIlford ACM6052.01
6Simon MorganIlford ACM5053.26
7John Borgars ©Loughton ACM7553.44
8Mark CulshawBelgrave HM5556.22
9Tony WilkinsonunattachedM6059.48
10Dave HobenSurrey WCM6561.30
11Chris Flint ©Surrey WCM7561.34
12Paul FirmageRyston RM6564.00
13Paul ForshawF.E.RunnersM6571.52
14Chris WarnerMoulton WM6572.45   
15David Ainsworth ©Ilford ACM7078.44

1Melanie PeddleLoughton ACW5045.32
2Jacqueline BensonAshford ACSW46.37
3Emma DyosIlford ACW4547.42
4Maureen NoelBelgrave HW5552.54
5Fiona BishopEnfield H ACW6054.11
6Sue BarnettEnfield H ACW7054.35
7Alison WilsonunattatchedW5555.20
8Diana BravermanEnfield H ACW7061.22
9Phyllis PopeMoulton WSW65.33
10Elizabeth EdgellMoulton WSW72.45
11Viv HoughtonunattachedW7072.45
12Shaeda ArthurIlford ACW6086.51

The second is of the British Masters 3,000 metres walk track championship

British Masters Track & Field Championships 


11 June 2022 

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Urgent News: D&Z Smith Track Races postponed to June 11th

As a significant number of people are unavailable this coming Saturday, the Dick and Zena Smith races will now be held a week later on June 11th. Thanks to Roy’s good offices, the Bury Athletic Club has been understanding and generous in shifting the date without penalty.

However, looking on the bright side, you’ve time to fit in a couple of fast sessions before hitting the track!!

And just for interest and nostalgia, whilst searching for photos to display at my birthday concert I came across the image below, which is disintegrating. In a couple of weeks with assistance, I’ll add names. Pretty sure the year is 1969.

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Dick and Zena Smith 10k and 5k Track Races, June 4 at Bury

Our next races will see us contesting the Dick and Zena Smith trophies at the Bury AC Track on Saturday, June 4th, starting at 1.00 p.m.

Dick Smith is number 11 in this photo with John Grocott [17] to the fore. followed by George Lamb [26], Dick Ditchfield [14], Fred Pearce Snr [19], and Ted Sharp [42] close behind. Many thanks to David Lamb – not sure of the year.

As Dave and Pat Evans are unable to attend it would be really helpful if you could let Dave know in advance if you will be there and in what capacity. Lap scorers will be needed! Roy Gunnett will be the day’s Master of Ceremonies, for which many thanks.

Contact Dave at dave.evans08@hotmail.co.uk

Bury Athletics Club, Market St, Bury BL9 9FX


Somewhat wearily I have to report that I won’t make it back – all the more frustrating it being my 75th birthday on June 3rd. At the very least I would have fetched some sparkling wine, some bottles of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and, of course, the pies! As it is we’re celebrating here on Crete by way of a concert in our garden. Find the invitation below and if by a miracle you can accept, let me know. I’d be well chuffed!

Marilyn’s painting of the entrance to our garden



A boy soprano in 1957
Up and coming race walker 1969

You are cordially invited to celebrate and/or commiserate with me on my grudging arrival at the grand old age of 75. Well over half a century ago I dreamt of the demise of capitalism, the creation of an authentically democratic society. Today that vision seems far, far away as many seem to be sleepwalking into an authoritarian dystopia.

On a picket line 1979
Speaking in support of JENGbA – Fighting Injustice, Wigan 2015

Yet ordinary life goes on with all its personal highs and lows. Hence I will cease being a curmudgeon and look forward to a delightful early evening of jazz performed by the wondrous Maria Manousakis and the brilliant Hot Club De Grece.

Maria and the Hot Club

On arrival at around 6ish canapes will be served, together with wine as befits our status as middle-class pensioners in exile. If we’d been in Wigan it would have been real ale and pies but you can’t have everything. The concert will kick off at 6.30 after which you will be thrown out to do as you please! No presents but, if you so wish, a bucket donation to Medical Aid for Palestinians gratefully accepted.






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Great turnout at Dave Crompton’s Memorial Race

To my chagrin I didn’t make it – a combination of flight cancellations and family illness. Apologies were also proffered by Tony Bell and Chris Harvey. It’s lovely to see all the usual faces, together with very welcome presence of Christine Pearce and my opposition in our youth from the 1960s, David Lamb.

As ever Dave Evans reports:

A larger than expected field turned out at today’s race in memory of one of the club’s most stylish walkers and to complement this show of affection for a friend lost the weather was very kind.

Unlike other club events, it was decided to start everyone at the same time which produced some interesting results with quite a few aspirants having a chance to “medal”. The opening mile saw Adrian Edwards in full command ticking through in 10 mins 22 seconds having negotiated the real roller coaster of the opening section of the course. In his wake were Ian Hilditch with an astonishing 10 mins 52 and Sailash Shah in 11 mins 22.  The main pack were not too far behind the leading three with all bar one dipping under 12 mins 23.

Adrian Edwards in command
Ian Hilditch surprising the officials
Sailash Shah- a study in concentration

 Being an out and back course meant some leg sapping ascents but equally leg testing descents. Most club walkers are hardy souls and rise to the challenge of big ups and downs. At the 3 and a half mile point Eric Horwill reminded them of their midway times and it was clear that some of the more genteel starters were beginning to close on their adversaries. Quite a few were destined to record negative splits. Adrian reached halfway in 38 mins 50 seconds and both Eric and I had to rub our eyes when Ian Hilditch came into view only 73 seconds adrift. Glyn Jones was sticking to his task particularly well and seems to be recovering from his recent back problems. In practice, this is not a course to help such a condition but nevertheless, he raced on. Hot on the heels of Glyn was a trio of “youngsters” but as the final results showed they lost time on the homeward stage.

Glyn Jones with Roy Gunnett in pursuit
Steven Wilde
Phil McCullagh with Joe Hardy in tow
Greg Smith in black

The final 1 mile of the race involves two long climbs and one steep descent and officials are sometimes very surprised when the walkers come into the finish in a different order than that predicted. On this occasion Steven Wilde, a newcomer to the club produced a strong final couple of miles and took 4th place. Pat Evans, now thankfully recovering from a leg problem, completed the 7 with no adverse effects. Andrea Lennon is a remarkable lady and at 80 years of age is able to handle this very hill course with maturity. She always looks very composed and has a ready smile at the finish. Andrea clocked an impressive 104 mins 12. The winner of the handicap was our club secretary Roy Gunnett who squeezed home by 18 seconds from Steve Wilde. Dave Crompton’s partner Louise completed the course with Emma, Dave’s daughter, in a very respectable 111 mins 37 seconds, pretty good going on one of the country’s hilliest courses.

Pat Evans back to fitness
Andrea Lennon defying her age
Bravo to Louise Whaite and Emma Crompton

1. Adrian Edwards 78 mins 37(10 22/38 50/78 37)
2. Ian Hilditch 79 mins 38(10 52/40 03/79 38)
3. Glyn Jones 81 mins 12(11 32/41 08/81 12)
4. Steven Wilde 82 mins 47(11 53/41 47/82 47)
5. Phil McCullagh 83 mins 00(11 56/42 42/83 00)
6. Roy Gunnett 83 mins 29(11 37/41 34/83 29)
7. Sailash Shah 83 mins 47(11 22/41 46/83 47)
8. Joe Hardy 86 mins 47(11 58/43 56/86 47)
9. Pat Evans 88 mins 23(12 23/44 29/88 23)
10. Greg Smith 98 mins 50(12 06/46 42/98 50)
11. Andrea Lennon 104 mins 12(14 27/52 30/104 12)
12. Louise Whaite 111 mins 37(15 47/56 54/111 37)
12. Emma Crompton 111 mins 37(15 47/56 54/111 37)

Handicap results
1. Roy Gunnett 66 mins 59
2. Steven Wilde 67 mins 17
3. Glyn Jones 68 mins 12
4. Phil McCullagh 69 mins 00
5. Ian Hilditch 69 mins 08
6. Sailash Shah 70 mins 47
7. Andrea Lennon 71 mins 12
8. Pat Evans 72 mins 38
9. Joe Hardy 73 mins 47
10. Adrian Edwards 78 mins 37
11. Greg Smith 89 mins 05

Thanks are due to Greg Smith for the opening shots of everyone at the finish and to Martin Payne for the action photos. Very much appreciated.

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