THE MARCH ‘JACK SANKEY’ VIRTUAL 3 KILOMETRES

I’m delighted to feature this month Jack Sankey, who in the late 50s and early 60s was a rival to the up and coming Ron Wallwork and a star in my eyes. At the time Leigh Harriers Athletic Club hosted its own race walking section and Jack was the outstanding athlete. A recognition of race walking was embedded in the culture of the club and the annual championships always featured a one mile race on the cinder track.

Jack on his way to winning the club championship. Just look at the crowd!

Looking back as a young Leigh Harrier I never felt that aspiring to be a race walker was looked down upon in the club. The event was respected. And, in turn, lacking any fast-twitch fibres I ran slowly in all the shorter distances, tried the high jump and generally mucked in. Later on I came into my own a bit on the country and road, but that’s another story. As it was Leigh couldn’t muster a team for the Northern and National race walking championships so Jack, highly thought of for his stylish mode of progression, joined Lancashire Walking Club.

This move certainly paid dividends for all concerned in 1961. The LWC team of Ron Wallwork. Mike Jeffreys, Jack and John Todd finished second in the National 10 miles championships at Loughborough, only 5 points behind Sheffield. The Race Walking Record remarked that ” this was a surprising result and much the best performance by Lancashire in a race of this class.” In a race won by Ken Matthews in 74:21 ahead of Eric Hall [ later a 2nd claim LWC member] at 76:54, Ron was 12th in 80:15, Mike Jeffreys 18th in 81:56, Jack 19th in 82:05 and Jack Todd 46th in 85:56, the latter just 3 seconds down on a certain Guy Goodair!

Jack born in 1931 won individual medals as follows:

1950 2nd Northern Junior One Mile ; 1955 3rd Lancs Senior 2 miles; 1958 3rd Northern Senior 10 miles; 1958 3rd Lancs Senior 10 miles; 1959 1st Lancs Senior 10 miles and 1st Lancs Senior 20 miles. He won the Leigh Harriers 1 mile championships in 1952 and from 1955-1960.

Brian Whitfield, number 55 was 3rd in the 1963 Lancashire 1 mile senior championship and played in the pack for the Tyldesley Colleries rugby league team!

It should be noted that Jack’s career was interrupted by the need to do his Nationai Service, 1953-54. Are there any other walkers still out there effected by that requirement of its time?

POSTSCRIPT

As I put together these memories of Jack I was taken aback to realise he would be 90 years of age this year. Sadly I have to relate that Jack died in 2014 in Much Wenlock, where John Taylor, the author of the Leigh Harriers history visited him in 2009.

THE MARCH ‘JACK SANKEY’ VIRTUAL 3 K CLUB SERIES

SCRATCH

  1. Tony Taylor 16:18
  2. Dave Evans 18:39
  3. Mario Bernatzki 18:47 [G]
  4. Graham Jackson 19:15 [G]
  5. Denis Jackson 19:22 [G]
  6. Tony Bell 19:43
  7. Greg Smith 19:56
  8. Pat Evans 20:01
  9. Glyn Jones 20:07 [G]
  10. Martin Payne 20:20
  11. Roy Gunnett 21:16
  12. Joe Hardy 21:30
  13. Ian Hilditch 22:18
  14. Jane Pouncy 25:54
  15. John Pouncy 27:09
  16. Andrea Lennon 27:13

Glyn Jones sends this lovely Easter greeting and anecdote

Firstly best wishes and a Happy Easter to you and all Lancs W.C. colleagues.

This morning turned out to be very good walking wise. Not having the traditional easter egg for breakfast!!! But porridge instead. I decided to do the 3km on my measured 1km lap in the country lanes near me rather than go to the other 1km lap on the Enville Hall Estate thinking probably less people out for the bank holiday morning. Glad to say the local council had this week gone and repaired numerous potholes in the lane which certainly made it look walkable and to the local farmers as well.

It was not what the forecast had said. It was a cool slight Northerly breeze but sunny intervals which were not forecast until this afternoon. (They don’t always get it right!!)

Just under a 1km warm up and then off from the start point.

A buzzard calling overhead (not too low though) kept me company for 2 laps and perhaps my yellow top may have attracted him and luckily that was all!! A pheasant came out of the hedgerow on lap 2 but quickly disappeared as I approached without making any comment. One van and 3 horse riders was all that passed me during my effort.

It must have been one of those days and time (10am ish) when everything seemed to go right with no aches from sitting down too much in this lockdown.

All in all I managed to do a better time than February recording my 3km in 20mins 07 secs.

I was pleased!!!

Signs are that competition is about to begin again for road. Lets hope and providing people are sensible that we don’t have any further spike from this Coronavirus. I am due to have my second vaccination on April 10th next.

HANDICAP

  1. Pat Evans 20:01; 5:10; 14:51
  2. Glyn Jones 20:07; 4:25; 15:42 [G]
  3. Jane Pouncy 25:54; 10:00; 15:54
  4. Roy Gunnett 21:16; 5:10; 16:06
  5. Dave Evans 18:39; 2:30; 16:09
  6. Graham Jackson 19:15; 3:00; 16:15 [G]
  7. Tony Taylor 16:18; 0:00; 16:18
  8. Martin Payne 20:20; 4:00; 16:20
  9. Denis Jackson 19:22; 3:00; 16:22 [G]
  10. Tony Bell 19:43; 3:20; 16:23
  11. Marco Bernatzki 18:47; 1:50; 16:57 [G]
  12. Joe Hardy 21:30; 4:00; 17:30
  13. Andrea Lennon 27:13; 9:30; 17:43
  14. John Pouncy 27:09; 9:10; 17:59
  15. Ian Hilditch 22:18; 4:00; 18:18
  16. Greg Smith 19:56; 1:30; 18:26

Once again I am deeply indebted to John Taylor’s remarkable labour of love, ‘A Pictorial History of Leigh Harriers A.C.’ for the photos and information.

The distance for our April Virtual Club Series will be 5 kilometres, preparing thighs crossed for our first real outing in 2021 over 7 miles on May 8 in Chorley, contesting the Dave Crompton Memorial Trophy. Times for the April 5k to be submitted to Tony by midnight on Sunday, May 2. Thanks to everyone for their support. Looking forward enviously to seeing photos of your good selves on the road.

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 52 – One Year Anniversary

It’s fitting that we should finish the leading Age-Graded team in the Anniversary event, fending off close competition in a field of 13 clubs. Congratulations to all those imvolved across this surreal year. Thanks too must be given to John Constandinou and Helen Elleker for keeping us motivated and our feet on the ground.

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 52 – One Year Anniversary  

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (83.30%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (81.56%)
3 Scotia Race Walking Club (80.61%)
4 South West Veterans AC (80.02%)
5 Maidenhead AC (71.27%)
6 Leicester Walking Club (70.40%)
7 Quickstep Fitness (69.21%)
8 Manx Harriers (65.84%)
9 Steyning AC (61.27%)
10 Surrey Walking Club (52.32%)
11 Sarnia Walking Club (45.89%)
12 Ilford AC (42.84%)
13 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (39.32%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Birchfield Harriers (39)
2 Scotia Race Walking Club (43)
3 Lancashire Walking Club (50)
4 South West Veterans AC (61)
5 Quickstep Fitness (75)
6 Manx Harriers (78)
7 Leicester Walking Club (87)
8 Maidenhead AC (121)
9 Surrey Walking Club (171)
10 Steyning AC (193)
11 Sarnia Walking Club (218)
12 Ilford AC (231)
13 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (247)

Roy leads Mick Entwistle in the Bury 2 hours event a few years ago

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 90.99% Lancs WC 11:02.0

Dave Evans M70 86.42% Lancs WC 11:37.0

Roy Gunnett M70 72.48% Lancs WC 13:51.0

Greg Smith M65 71.99% Lancs WC 13:07.0

Guy Goodair M80 71.96% Lancs WC 16:23.0

Tony Bell M55 69.47% Lancs WC 12:14.0

Martin Payne M60 66.74% Lancs WC 13:07.0

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 51 plus hopeful news and a tale of a long lost certificate

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 51

As we near the anniversary of the Virtual Series we regained our top spot in the Age-Graded Team competition. Race 52 times to be with Helen by Wednesday at 6.00 p.m.

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (83.57%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (81.97%)
3 South West Veterans AC (80.05%)
4 Scotia Race Walking Club (79.14%)
5 Manx Harriers (76.71%)
6 Quickstep Fitness (67.31%)
7 Steyning AC (61.69%)
8 Maidenhead AC (54.53%)
9 Surrey Walking Club (52.15%)
10 Leicester Walking Club (48.54%)
11 Sarnia Walking Club (44.53%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Manx Harriers (28)
2 Birchfield Harriers (33)
3 Scotia Race Walking Club (43)
4 Lancashire Walking Club (55)
5 South West Veterans AC (57)
6 Quickstep Fitness (92)
7 Surrey Walking Club (172)
8 Steyning AC (184)
9 Leicester Walking Club (200)
10 Maidenhead AC (211)
11 Sarnia Walking Club (213)

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 91.96% Lancs WC 10:55.0

Dave Evans M70 85.68% Lancs WC 11:43.0

Guy Goodair M80 73.08% Lancs WC 16:08.0

Roy Gunnett M70 67.60% Lancs WC 14:51.0

Tony Bell M55 65.38% Lancs WC 13:00.0

Martin Payne M60 61.75% Lancs WC 14:02.0


Loking ahead we are hoping against hope that our first club race in reality will be the Dave Crompton Memorial Trophy to be held on May 8 in Chorley. Given the fluctuating situation this will be confirmed towards the end of April. To be on the safe side this initial race will be confined to club members only as we make sure we are on top of all the protocols required. We know our much appreciated and loyal band of guest walkers will understand this caution. Being optimistic this race will pave the way for the resumption of our club fixture list.

MAY 8 Dave Crompton Memorial Trophy – Chorley

JUNE 5 Dick & Zena Smith Trophy – Bury

JUNE 20 BMAF 5k – Horwich

JULY 3 Barnard Trophy – Sutton

Hoping for better weather for dear Fred’s Relay in July!

JULY 24 Fred Pearce Relay – Simister

AUGUST 14 Goodwin Cup – Chorley

SEPTEMBER 4 Lambert Trophy – Bury

OCTOBER 2 Albert Rigby Trophy – Sutton

NOVEMBER 6 AGM 5k – Simister

DECEMBER 4 Dick Maxwell Trophy – Simister

All being well – surely the orchestrated COVID melodrama will be brought to a close – our races as ever will start at 1.30 p.m. I hope to be with you as soon as is possible with imposed immunity passport in hand, resentful, compromised but chuffed to be seeing you soon.


What a wonderful anecdote, this is! Having raced against these two great blokes in my youth [!] they epitomise all that is best about our sport – its diversity, its integrity and camaraderie.

Guy Goodair writes:

Just had a letter from an old friend, John Eddershaw stating ‘God moves in Mysterious ways – Better late than never’ and enclosing my finishing certificate from the 1965 London to Brighton walking race won by 1964 Olympic 50km champion, Abdon Pamich (7h 37m 8s) some 8 minutes in front of 1960 Olympic 50km champion, Don Thompson. I finished 5th but managed to beat 1956 Olympic 50km champion, Norman Read. After the race I had to dash off and John picked up my certificate. He’s just remembered to post it on 55+ years later!


And, I await with trepidation your times for the March 3k Club Series. They need to be with me by midnight, Good Friday, April 2 at the latest. Seeing all our tavernas are closed, one enterrprising family are doing take-aways, And for the coming Catholic Easter, as the Greeks dub it, we can order specials for this weekend. Ironically, for us, the dog and the cats, it will be lamb in the oven with spinach – little different from Google’s claim that the English desired lamb at Easter. However, for the life of me I can’t remember lamb on Easter Sunday. What I do remember is fish and chips from the ‘chippie’ on Good Friday, hot cross buns and that’s it! I await your memories.

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 50 and other news

SOUTHEND-on-SEA 100 MILES IS POSTPONED

It’s been announced that the race, scheduled for August 7th/8th August on Garon Park Track, is now postponed. Our thoughts go out to any of our members, who had the race in their sights – Adrian and Sailash perhaps?

==================================================================

=========================================================================

My apologies for missing this week but pride of place goes to Pat Evans – see below. Great stuff!

Pat pursues Joe

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 50 

 MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Birchfield Harriers (81.52%)
2 South West Veterans AC (77.74%)
3 Manx Harriers (74.98%)
4 Lancashire Walking Club (74.91%)
5 Maidenhead AC (70.17%)
6 Quickstep Fitness (65.71%)
7 Steyning AC (60.63%)
8 Scotia Race Walking Club (55.15%)
9 Surrey Walking Club (52.63%)
10 Leicester Walking Club (45.75%)
11 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (41.61%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Birchfield Harriers (27)
2 Manx Harriers (35)
3 South West Veterans AC (59)
4 Lancashire Walking Club (78)
5 Quickstep Fitness (92)
6 Maidenhead AC (102)
7= Scotia Race Walking Club (165)
7= Surrey Walking Club (165)
9 Steyning AC (188)
10 Leicester Walking Club (207)
11 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (217)

Our team as follows:

Dave Evans M70 84.48% Lancs WC 11:53.0

Roy Gunnett M70 71.36% Lancs WC 14:04.0

Guy Goodair M80 68.88% Lancs WC 17:07.0

Martin Payne M60 66.23% Lancs WC 13:05.0

Tony Bell M55 62.04% Lancs WC 13:42.0

PRIDE OF PLACE: INDIVIDUAL WOMEN’S AGE-GRADED

  1. Cath Duhig W65 79.58% Ryst 12:32.0
  2. Pat Evans W65 78.60% Lancs WC 13:10.0
  3. Helen Elleker W60 77.97% 2DASH12:30.0

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 48 and 49 Results

As ever a big thanks to the team for keeping us on top in the Age-Graded category. It would be satisfying if we could retain this position in the next few weeks as Week 52 draws closer!

A nostalgic newspaper cutting from 1967! I’m just 20 years old. Ron had won the AAA 2 miles championship the week before. Mike Hatton was an enigma, who never fulfilled his potential.

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 48 – Don Denoon Memorial Race  

MENS AGE GRADED TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (82.53%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (80.27%)
3 South West Veterans AC (79.03%)
4 Maidenhead AC (71.84%)
5 Quickstep Fitness (63.74%)
6 Steyning AC (59.89%)
7 Scotia Race Walking Club (58.39%)
8 Manx Harriers (47.85%)
9 Sarnia Walking Club (45.72%)
10 Leicester Walking Club (45.43%)
11 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (40.36%)

MENS TEAM
1 Birchfield Harriers (29)
2 Lancashire Walking Club (52)
3 South West Veterans AC (55)
4 Maidenhead AC (85)
5 Quickstep Fitness (99)
6 Scotia Race Walking Club (159)
7 Manx Harriers (178)
8 Steyning AC (189)
9 Sarnia Walking Club (198)
10 Leicester Walking Club (206)
11 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (219

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 93.38% Lancs WC 10:45.0

Dave Evans M70 83.77% Lancs WC 11:59.0

Tony Bell M55 65.54% Lancs WC 12:58.0

Martin Payne M60 63.64% Lancs WC 13:37.0

Roy Gunnett M70 70.45% Lancs WC 14:15.0

Guy Goodair M80 70.11% Lancs WC 16:49.0

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 49 – Mick Elliott Memorial Race 

 

The Elliotts in full flow. Mick chasing his sons.

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (81.58%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (80.03%)
3 Scotia Race Walking Club (78.09%)
4 South West Veterans AC (77.57%)
5 Quickstep Fitness (75.91%)
6 Manx Harriers (74.94%)
7 Sarnia Walking Club (71.71%)
8 Maidenhead AC (68.23%)
9 Steyning AC (61.11%)
10 Surrey Walking Club (51.22%)
11 Leicester Walking Club (45.06%)
12 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (41.33%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1= Quickstep Fitness (41)
1= Sarnia Walking Club (41)
3 Birchfield Harriers (45)
4 Manx Harriers (46)
5 Scotia Race Walking Club (59)
6 Lancashire Walking Club (62)
7 South West Veterans AC (70)
8 Maidenhead AC (107)
9 Surrey Walking Club (176)
10 Steyning AC (192)
11 Leicester Walking Club (218)
12 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (230)

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 92.38% Lancs WC 10:52.0

Dave Evans M70 82.17% Lancs WC 12:13.0

Martin Payne M60 67.96% Lancs WC 12:45.0

Tony Bell M55 64.22% Lancs WC 13:14.0

Guy Goodair M80 70.18% Lancs WC 16:48.0

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The February ‘Reg Goodwin’ Virtual 3 kilometres

This month’s Virtual Club 3 kilometres honours our only Olympic Games medallist, Reg Goodwin. The fascinating material to be found below is taken, with his permission, from John Taylor’s remarkable tour de force, ‘A Pictorial History of Leigh Harriers AC: 1888-1971’. Indeed John sells himself short as, whilst the book contains over 800 remarkable images, the text too is rich in its evocation of an almost innocent amateur past when athletics was not for sale.

A dapper Reg acting as a judge at the 1948 Olympics Thanks to John Taylor

As you will see, although born in London. Reg spent much of his life in Leigh, Lancashire. Indeed, as a young ‘Leyther’ I was proud to know and to be encouraged by him. My memory is that he was a gentle and self-effacing character, far from full of himself.

Reg in the 1950s as I remenber him. Thanks to John Taylor
The start of the 1924 Olympic 10,000 metres final. Reg is second from the right.

THE FEBRUARY REG GOODWIN VIRTUAL 3 KILOMETRES

As ever a genuine vote of thanks to all involved, especially our guests from over the Pennines and beyond. It’s good to see Marco setting a personal best, I think, thus winning the handicap plus a dead-heat in the Jackson family!

As things shift, turning hopefully for the best, we’ll stick with a March 3 kilometres and then take a breath.

SCRATCH

  1. Tony Taylor 16:21
  2. Marco Bernatzki 18:15 [G]
  3. Dave Evans 18:50
  4. = Denis Jackson 19:15 [G]
  5. = Graham Jackson 19:15 [G]
  6. Tony Bell 19:43
  7. Atamaram Dahal 20:07 [G]
  8. Martin Payne 20:28
  9. Ian Hilditch 20:46
  10. Glyn Jones 20:47
  11. Grace Gilpin 21:01 [G]
  12. Joe Hardy 21:20
  13. Roy Gunnett 21:33
  14. Pat Evans 21:51
  15. Sarah Circo 22:39 [G]
  16. Val Mitchell 24:32 [G]
  17. John Pouncy 25:39
  18. Jane Pouncy 26:32

HANDICAP

  1. Marco Bernatzki 18:15; 2:40 ; 15:25 [G]
  2. Glyn Jones 20:47; 4:45; 16:02 [G]
  3. Denis Jackson 19:15; 3:00; 16:15 [G]
  4. Val Mitchell 24:32; 8:15; 16:17 [G]
  5. Tony Taylor 16:21; 0:00; 16:21
  6. Sarah Circo 22:39; 6:15; 16:24 [G]
  7. Grace Gilpin 21:01; 4:35; 16:26 [G]
  8. Dave Evans 18:50; 2:11; 16:39
  9. Atmaram Dahal 20:07; 3:25; 16:42 [G]
  10. Ian Hilditch 20:46; 4:00; 16:46
  11. Tony Bell 19:43; 2:55; 16:58
  12. Joe Hardy 21:20; 4:15; 17:05
  13. Martin Payne 20:28; 3:15; 17:13
  14. Roy Gunnett 21:33; 4:10; 17:23
  15. Graham Jackson 19:15; 1:45; 17:30 [G]
  16. John Pouncy 25:39; 7:45; 17:54
  17. Pat Evans 21:51; 3:50; 18:01
  18. Jane Pouncy 26:22; 7:45; 18:37

In closing I want to thank John Taylor again for his generosity in allowing access to his magnificent History of Leigh Harriers. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in athletics as a whole and in the central role that local clubs played in the lives of their communities. If by chance you are interested, let me know as there are a few copies left.

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REST IN PEACE – MICK ELLIOTT [SARNIA WALKING CLUB] 1937-2001

Sadly the Sarnia stalwart, Mick Elliott has died. Many of the old hands at our club will have raced against Mick in the 1970s. Rob Elliott, his son, an outstanding race walker in his own right, has penned these touching thoughts.

Mick Elliott

It saddens me to report that my dad and race walker Mick Elliott passed away peacefully after a short illness this weekend at the age of 83 years. A race walker at his best in the 1970s he was my training companion, amongst others in my early years. He supported me in my race walking from when I started as an 11 year old. He was also a competitor in my races and then a supporter as I hit my best, feeding me in races and holding me when I needed it at the end of races and always ready with the stopwatch for split times. Rest in Peace, Dad.


Mick Elliott 1937 – 2021


The Elliott surname has long been associated with race walking in Guernsey and the Sarnia Walking Club and I am saddened to report that Mick Elliott, who started it all off in 1969 has passed away peacefully after a short illness in York at the age of 83 years old.


Micks first race was in the 1969 Church to Church walk over 19.4 miles when he finished the course in over 4 hours. He was a late starter to the sport at the age of 32 years when he progressed to Sarnia Walking Club novice events and the Inter Firms 3 miles walk where he finished second.


Within a few years he achieved 7 miles per hour with a 57 minute clocking and reduced his Church time to 3 hours 1 minute when finishing 3rd in 1972. With hard work improvement came quickly and within another two years was Sarnia number one, taking the Club Championship in 1974 and leading the club to victory at the popular Chippenham to Calne 6 miles road walk in 7th place overall in a high quality race. A further two years as Club Champion followed.


Happier at distances up to 20 kilometres and Mick was hard to beat for those years, but came unstuck at anything longer and although able to hold the leader to halfway faltered over the final stages in anything longer, such as the Church and West Show 20 miles walk.

He achieved personal best times of 1 mile 7.00, 2 miles 14.24, 3 miles 22.16, 6 miles 45.26, 7 miles 53.30, 10 miles 76.57, 20 kms 101.10, 19.4 miles Church to Church 2.56.25, 20 miles 3.03.08.


Despite a personal best time of 2.56.25 for the Church Walk he has never won it and had to settle for a best position of 2nd.

In 1976 the Sarnia Walking Club went back to England for the “Garnet” 10 miles walk. The team finished 4th with Mick Elliott finishing third individually in a time of just over 80 minutes.


Racing until his early 50s he walked on and off over the following years, helping out his son Rob and taking up the judging of local walks.

A wonderful family photo of Mick [1] in pursuit of Rob [67] and Mark[3]


Son Rob continues in the sport this present day. Youngest son Mark also raced for many years. His other children Ian and Kate have also raced at times in their younger days as well as some of his grandchildren.


Rob Elliott

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 47 and the second Enfield League

STOP PRESS : Times for the FEBRUARY CLUB VIRTUAL 3K to be submitted by midnight, March 3.

As he circulates these latestVirtual League results John Constandinou is in an optimistic frame of mind. He comments:

The sun is out and things are looking up. Real outdoor racing can begin again on 29th March in England along with being able to travel around the country freely. The virtual league will still be continuing though until everything returns to normal. It was a great race this week, with only one point dividing the top teams. Well done everybody. Keep racing, stay fit, and have fun – see you all again next week! 🙂

John Constandinou

Certainly we are wondering about when we might reawaken being alive together. Watch this space for our thoughts about when we might resuscitate the club calendar.

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 47

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 Lancashire Walking Club (83.11%)

2 Birchfield Harriers (80.07%)
3= South West Veterans AC (74.10%)
3= Manx Harriers (74.10%)
5 Quickstep Fitness (71.61%)
6 Maidenhead AC (70.53%)
7 Steyning AC (60.09%) – USA (57.60%)
8 Surrey Walking Club (50.51%)
9 Leicester Walking Club (45.05%)
10 Sarnia Walking Club (44.03%)
11 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (40.59%)
12 Ilford AC (38.40%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Birchfield Harriers (38)
2 Manx Harriers (39)
3 Lancashire Walking Club (57)
4 Quickstep Fitness (60)
5 South West Veterans AC (67)
6 Maidenhead AC (113)- USA (165)
7 Surrey Walking Club (172)
8 Steyning AC (192)
9 Stratford-upon-Avon AC (218)
10 Leicester Walking Club (220)
11 Sarnia Walking Club (221)
12 Ilford AC (230)

 Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 92.95% Lancs WC 10:48.0

Dave Evans M70 86.42% Lancs WC 11:37.0

Guy Goodair M80 69.97% Lancs WC 16:51.0

Martin Payne M60 67.88% Lancs WC 12:46.0

Tony Bell M55 64.47% Lancs WC 13:11.0

Full results at http://racewalkingassociation.com/EventDetails.asp?id=6212&race=Virtual_League_Racing_Series_-_Race_47

Virtual Enfield Race Walking League Fixture 2: Result 5 kilometres – 20th/21st February 2021

  1. Dave Crane Surrey WC M40 24:46
  2. Tony Taylor LWC M70 27:29
  3. Ian Torode SW Vets AC M60 28:15

9.Marco Bernatzki LA Hertens/Germany M50 31:43

14. Tony Bell LWC M55 33:16

18. Glyn Jones Cov Godiva M75 34:06

There were 32 competitors.

In the accompanying 8k won by George Wilkinson Enfield HAC in 38:45 there were 36 competitors.

The next VERWL Fixture will be on 13th/14th March  and to assist those wishing to progress a little further there will be a choice of three distances: 5km, 8km and 10km

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The President’s Report 2020 – a reminder of my thoughts

My President’s Report was circulated to the membership as an integral part of the 2020 AGM papers. Obviously the AGM could not be held. In this light a few people and Glyka, my adoring dog, have suggested posting it separately as a reflection upon the unusual times our club and our sport are enduring.

Resting at the hidden chapel of AghiosYiannis [St John] on a morning walk. Well, Glyka only has little legs.

President’s Report 2020

Back in November 2019, my Presidential year got off to a promising start. Whilst the AGM was tinged with sadness as we viewed the seat left vacant by the still painful loss of Fred Pearce, Dave Evans’ address painted a picture of cautious optimism. Following in the recent footsteps of Fred and Christine Pearce I was honoured to be President, sixty-seven years after my first appearance at a club race held at the Hindley Green Labour Club in 1953. I was amazed as well to find myself winning a yacht handicap from scratch – one for my record books.

When I made my next appearance on English soil at the Sam Shoebottom 10 kilometres in February positive feelings still prevailed. We were supporting races across the Pennines and had kicked off the year with a team victory at Drighlington, featuring Adrian Edwards, Tony Malone, Tony Bell and Phil McCullagh. Following Andrea Lennon’s nailbiting triumph at Simister in the Sam Shoebottom event, Dave Evans spoke of the tremendous boost to morale, provided by Adrian’s organisation of much-needed indoor training. Pat Evans was as ever a reassuring presence on the road and in the canteen. A few weeks later new recruit Martin Payne conquered the Chorley hills, although sadly we were bidding farewell to the St. Peter’s club, which through the good offices of Eric and Dave Crompton had become a home from home. With an alternative Chorley venue in the pipeline, all seemed well.

A sad farewell To St Peter’s.

Then, dramatically, out of the blue, whether from heaven above or a Chinese laboratory, the Covid virus and the government’s bungled response to its emergence have transformed our day-to-day existence. The early April Macclesfield Shield 10 miles was postponed, then cancelled. Since then despite a serious effort led by Roy Gunnett to mount the Albert Rigby 10km in October, frustrated by Covid-demanded alterations at the venue, all of our 2020 fixtures have been postponed and ultimately cancelled.

In the face of such a depressing scenario, a measure of relief was afforded via an invaluable intervention by Andy Drake on behalf of the National Centre for Race Walking. He came up with the notion of a Virtual Series of races to be held throughout April and May, the distance to be covered progressing from 2 to 5 km. Inspired by this intervention John Constandinou and Helen Elleker created a complementary 2 km Virtual Series, which continues until this very day. Not to be outdone we ourselves initiated our own club Virtual Series beginning in May with a 3 km challenge.

Undoubtedly these Virtual Series have thrown a significant lifeline to the sport, prodding us to keep training, never mind prompting us, albeit sometimes reluctantly, to fit in a fast session each week. It would be invidious to highlight any particular individual performances by our members, given that these are in essence time trials, not judged and completed on different courses. Nevertheless, from a collective point of view, our club should be proud of its conspicuous support for these psychologically important ventures. Indeed in the very first of the National Centre Series, we finished 2nd team behind Surrey in both the Open and the Age-graded categories and we’ve continued to be at the head of events ever since. In the 2k Series, across a period of 30 weeks, we have been the dominant Age-graded team, a model of consistency. Speaking of consistency, it would be amiss not pay tribute to both Guy Goodair and Tony Bell for their commitment to the cause across the last six months and more. As best I can see Guy has not missed a single week and established himself as the foremost competitor in the over 80s age group.

Bill McFadden mowing down the field!

Closer to home our own Club Series has been enlivened by the attention of athletes from other clubs and countries. We’ve appreciated enormously the enthusiastic involvement of the Scotia Race Walking Club, courtesy of Bill McFadden’s endeavours. It has ensured that we’ve had a ding dong team race throughout… and Scotia has now and again put us in our place! A particular mention is due to long-lasting friends, who can always be counted upon – Glyn Jones, Martin Fisher, John Constandinou, Ray Robinson, Dennis and Graham Jackson. To our delight Mario Bernatzki from Germany and Mary Pusateri from the USA have given us an international dimension to proceedings.

In the midst of the turmoil, I should mention two special moments where we have remembered with enormous affection Dave Crompton and Fred Pearce. Upon the cancellation of the Dave Crompton Memorial Trophy, John Crahan suggested that as many of us as possible should walk 7 miles or 7 km over that very weekend. There was a wonderful and touching response which is recorded on our website. As for the Fred Pearce Relay, it seemed impossible to overlook its pivotal presence on the calendar. Hence, informed by Dave’s exceptional handicapping we held a Virtual FP relay, within which only 2 seconds separated the first and second teams. What a race that would have been in the flesh!

Back in late March, concerned about how we might stay in touch with one another, I ventured the possibility that individuals might share their personal reminiscences, based upon but not limited by these questions. What prompted you to take up race walking? When and where was your first race? What’s your favourite race and why? Which performance has given you the greatest satisfaction? Inspiration for the exercise was provided by a couple of anecdotes from Maurice Ireland, who was at that time recovering from a stroke. Fittingly our indefatigable chair, Dave Evans was the first to set the ball rolling. Since then we’ve had some marvellous pieces from the likes of Guy Goodair, Tony Bell, Martin Payne, Marion and Peter Fawkes, John Crahan, Roy Gunnett, Dennis Jackson, John Cannell and Tony Malone – a wonderful diversity of athletes from the famous to the infamous, all with fascinating tales to tell. So too we’ve added historical pieces such as Ron Wallwork’s Recollections and paid tribute to those, who have passed on, such as Colin Young, Ann Sayer and Ray Manning. In a small way, I think the web site is becoming a valuable addition to the British race walking scene as a whole.

Marion Fawkes, in full flight here ,shared her reminiscences

Without doubt, the lockdown encouraged reflection on the past, present and future of the club. Thus, in late June we received a challenging, even controversial contribution from Chris Bolton, a leading light in the renaissance of the club in the mid-1960s. Amongst his proposals were that our One Hour track walk should become a flagship event, our contemporary novice race and a recruitment opportunity; that we consider seriously moving our HQ to a venue with both a track and adjacent race-friendly roads: and that we consider a change of name to the Lancashire Race Walking Club. These suggestions engendered a lively and necessary debate. Frustratingly, though, with the demise of a ‘live’, democratic AGM we’ve not been able to explore these ideas further and to weigh up what we might think is the best way forward.

These questions will not go away. For now, they remain on the table. We can only hope that in 2021 a light emerges at the end of the tunnel; that we meet one another again in camaraderie and in competition. Rest assured I will do my best, together with Dave, Roy, Greg and Adrian, our makeshift steering group, to keep alive the purpose and spirit of our club.

Best as ever,

Tony Taylor

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Virtual League Racing Series – Race 46 – Mary Worth Memorial Race

Virtual League Racing Series – Race 46 – Mary Worth Memorial Race 

RIP Mary Worth, a member of Steyning AC, who died on 20th January aged 92. She was 78th on the British All-Time list for 20km and a Veteran record holder and European medallist at 3km, 5km and 10km in several age groups. Mary was the widow of former RWA President Peter Worth (Centurion 491),Centurion Vice President and former Captain, RWA Treasurer & RWA Southern Area Treasurer. He raced for both the Borough of Enfield Harriers & Verlea AC.

Ron Wallwork comments: I didn’t appear on the Enfield Scene until the turn of the century so I didn’t know Mary all that well, but whenever she came along to Enfield Race Walking League fixtures, she was so pleasant and insisted on helping in some capacity. Wearing Steyning AC colours she competed in half a dozen Enfield Open 7’s, winning it in 1981 and finishing in the first three twice.

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In a very competitive week we slipped to third but less than 1% in arrears. It’s smashing to see Chris Harvey, one of the club’s outstanding performers, being involved despite continuing health issues.

MENS AGE GRADED 2KM TEAM
1 South West Veterans AC (77.44%)
2 Birchfield Harriers (76.91%)
3 Lancashire Walking Club (76.56%)
4 Quickstep Fitness (74.36%)
5 Manx Harriers (73.73%)
6 Leicester Walking Club (70.01%)
7 Steyning AC (59.73%) – USA (52.78%)
8 Sarnia Walking Club (44.20%)

MENS 2KM TEAM
1 Manx Harriers (40)
2 Birchfield Harriers (45)
3 Quickstep Fitness (46)
4 South West Veterans AC (55)
5 Lancashire Walking Club (61)
6 Leicester Walking Club (72) – USA (176)
7 Steyning AC (190)
8 Sarnia Walking Club (210)

Our team as follows:

Tony Taylor M70 91.96% Lancs WC 10:55.0

Guy Goodair M80 69.42% Lancs WC 16:59.0

Roy Gunnett M70 68.29% Lancs WC 14:42.0

Martin Payne M60 67.17% Lancs WC 12:54.0

Tony Bell M55 64.35% Lancs WC 13:05.0

Chris Harvey M60 56.32% Lancs WC 16:02.0

Full results at http://racewalkingassociation.com/EventDetails.asp?id=6211&race=Virtual_League_Racing_Series_-Race_46-_Mary_Worth_Memorial_Race

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