Adrian Edwards medals yet again in the National 50k

Adrian completed his set of National 50k medals over in the Isle of Man, However Roy Gunnett’s long-standing injury problems meant he couldn’t start the race. Hence we were unable to defend our team title. Conditions were wet and windy – basically bloody miserable! However, everyone involved praised the excellent organisation and friendly environment. Credit for the photos to Steve Partington – much appreciated.


Adrian Edwards reports:

A group of 5 Manx walkers; Adam Cowin, Richard Gerrard, Matthew Haddock, Dale Farquhar and David Walker; set off at high speed, going through the first kilometre in about 5 and a half minutes. I knew I just had to let them go and walk a steady race; just ahead of James Quirk. Richard was DQ’d, whereas Adam and Matthew dropped out, all before half way. David Walker was out in front with Dale Farquhar struggling behind, I caught Dale but was a lap behind David at about 35K. I felt I was walking OK but slowed almost a minute per mile over the second half and James came past me in the last 10K.
It was the most comfortable I’ve felt in a 50K, the endurance was in place but I lacked the speed to trouble the winner. I’ve struggled with a sore knee since doing the 15 miles at Chorley in May, so hadn’t maintained the speed work enough over the summer.
It was very wet and at times windy, but that meant I didn’t need to take on so much fluid, so it probably didn’t make any difference to the result.


 British Athletics and Race Walking Association 50km Championships
1 David Walker Manx Harriers M45 05:29:12
2 James Quirk Manx Harriers M45 05:37:20
3 Adrian Edwards Lancashire W.C. M55 05:42:45
4 Jayne Farquhar Manx Harriers W45 06:01:31
5 Dale Farquhar Manx Harriers M35 06:04:58
6 Stewart Jones Manx Harriers M45 06:05:50
7 Louise Hollings Isle of Man Veterans W35 06:08:21
8 Rebecca Greatbatch Manx Harriers SW 06:24:55
9 Sharon Cain Western A.C. W45 06:32:39
DQ Richard Gerrard Manx Harriers M45
DNF Mark Byrne Redcar R.W.C M55
DNF Matthew Haddock Manx Harriers M35
DNF Adam Cowin Manx Harriers SM
DNS Roy Gunnett Lancashire W.C. M70



Michael George illustrates the conditions!


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Guy Goodair’s Manchester-Blackpool Memories completed: 1972-1974

We’d just had our first child so I didn’t enter this year



The much respected ‘Gentleman’ John Eddershaw

1 J Eddershaw (Sheffield UH) 8.16.10 2 P Markham (Leicester WC) 8.17.41 3 E Crompton (Leyland) 8.24.16

Team Leyland Motors 24 pts, 38 finished

[A remarkable victory for Leyland Motors, led by Eric Crompton. Who were the other scoring competitors? TT]

Wakefield no longer had a walking section and I had joined Blackburn Harriers along with Ron Wallwork, Tony Taylor, Julian Hopkins and Chris Bolton [of which scandal, I’ll do a post in the future! TT]. Early on in the race, there were four of us in the lead – Eric Crompton, Peter Markham, Joe Toehill and myself. By Preston Joe & I had got clear (through halfway in 3h 51m) only for me to stop at 37 miles to burst a blister and again at 40 miles to change my socks. I caught Joe approaching the Central Pier and finished 3 minutes in front whilst John Lees just held off a fast-finishing Roger Michell.



A smiling, victorious Guy


1 G Goodair (Blackburn) 8.07.45 2 J Toehill )YWC) 8.10.06 3 J Lees (Brighton) 8.31.22

Team Yorks WC 23 pts 39 finished

By now we had two young boys and my training had gone to pot and I was doing less than 20 miles per week. I set off in the lead with Eric Crompton but shortly after Bolton I started to blister. I stopped at Lostock to burst them but by Chorley I was wanting to pack in. Only my attendant, Brian Pickersgill kept me going. Eric Crompton meanwhile still had a 5 minute lead at halfway but the hot day took its toll and he retired at 37 miles leaving Ken Harding an easy winner. Peter Markham pushed past John May to take 2nd
place and Roger Michel held onto 4th place even though he had a bad time over the last few miles. Peter Worth caught me towards the end and I eventually finished in 8h 53m 22s. So I ended my Manchester to Blackpool race sequence as I began – in 6th place.



Ken Harding

1 K Harding (RSC) 8.08.51 2 P Markham (Leics) 8.33.55 3 J May (Met) 8.34.56 

Team Yorks WC [No result in Race Walking Record]

As I look back nostalgically to those years I think with affection at the camaraderie on the road, the anticipated refreshing hot bath at Derby Baths after the race, tempered by the stinging salt water if you’d suffered from a burst blister en-route. The great times celebrating at the reception at the Winter Gardens and the memorable overseas trips I had with fellow Manchester to Blackpool rivals – George Barras, Chris Bolton, Bill Cowley, Pat Duncan, Mick Holliman, Harry Holmes, Eric Lee, Ray Manning, John Paterson & Roy Thorpe.

Thanks for the Memories,
Guy Goodair

[And sincere thanks to Guy for this enthralling glimpse into a collective past, easily dismissed and forgotten, the like of which will not be seen again, TT]

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Guy Goodair’s Manchester-Blackpool Memories continued: 1969-1971

Manchester-Blackpool Memories continued: 1969-1971


George & I were determined not to let Pat Duncan achieve a hat trick of wins this year and so set off at a cracking pace going through 10 miles in 89 mins, Horwich (2h 34m) Chorley (3h 20m) and Preston Docks (5h 5m), We were doing ‘bit and bit’ – one of us leading the other for the length between lamp posts.



George and Guy in clear need of a sponge at Chorley

We stayed together to Lytham when George pulled away from and opened up a 3 minutes gap by the finish.



George preparing to surge to victory


Pat Duncan was still in third place at Preston but then his right leg swelled painfully as a result of an injury sustained earlier in the season. Pat struggled on to finish fourth in 8h 37m 51s being pipped for third place by Dennis Pook of Hinckley.

1 G Barras (Wakefield) 8.13.35 2 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.15.07 3 D Pook (Hinckley) 8.26.56

Team Wakefield 15 pts


1970 [To my embarrassment, being the club secretary at the time and organiser of the race, the result did not appear in the Record, even after I submitted it belatedly – TT]

From the start, it was a battle between Karl Abolins and Paddy Rice, until halfway when Paddy Rice surged into the lead with a strong sustained burst for several miles in spite of the heavy rain. However, he faltered, allowing Karl to come back again for a comfortable win. I suffered from lack of drinks around Preston as my wife, who was looking after the Wakefield team was struggling to see to all our needs as were getting so spread out and the traffic was bad. Wakefield’s team was very weak on paper this year without Barras, Thorpe & Grayson but with me getting 3rd (8h.26.57), Eric Lee recording a PB in 4th
place (8.34.13), Lionel Munckton on his debut surprising everyone with 14th spot (8h 54m 0s) and Ray Manning taking 18th place (8h 58m 16s), we managed to retain the team title with 3 points to spare from Royal Sutton Coldfield.



Karl Abolins, a formidable competitor in the longer distances, winner of the Rouen 24 hours covering 205.160 kms.


1 K Abolins (Royal Sutton Coldfield) 8.14.00 2 P Rice (RSC) 3 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.26.57

Team Wakefield 37 pts


Peter Markham was always at the front this year and was closely followed by Joe Toehill.



Peter Markham, Leicester through and through


I went through halfway in 4h 8m and caught Joe after Preston. He’d no-one looking after him so my wife, Judith naturally offered him drinks and food as she did me. Peter finished five minutes in front of us but as we were approaching the Town Hall, Joe’s wife was there screaming at him to ‘Drop him, Joe’.



Joe Toehill of the honourable dead-heat for second with Guy


We finished together and when we’d finished the couple had a few words. However, Joe said, that even if he could have done, there was no way he would have finished in front of me after the assistance Judith had given him.

1 P Markham (Leicester WC) 8.28.08 2 = GGoodair (Wakefield) & J Toehill (Yorkshire WC) 8.33.27

Team Yorkshire WC 17 pts, 29 finished.

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Guy Goodair’s Manchester-Blackpool Memories continued: 1966-1968

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.]



John Paddick, looking immaculate in GB colours and trademark neckerchief with Guy pondering painfully the prospect of a sprint finish


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.



Pat Duncan in Belgrave’s colours, dwarfing his opposition


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.



George and Guy, third and second respectively, leading Wakefield to the team title


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.



Derek Harding, George Barras, Mick Barker [hidden] and Guy

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

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Guy Goodair’s Manchester to Blackpool Memories continued: 1964-1965

Manchester to Blackpool Memories: 1964-1965


Having won the Bradford Walk in the previous month and done a 4:30:57 PB in the National 50km at Enfield a fortnight earlier, I was very confident for this race. It rained incessantly throughout.  After 15 miles Frank O’Reilly was leading with Mick Holliman & I lay just behind with teammate John Hampshire in 6th place. At 18 miles we left Frank and at halfway we were a minute & a half up. I managed to get a 10 yards gap on Mick approaching Preston with John still 6th, but beginning to get a touch of cramp. The rain started to descend more heavily and I passed 35 miles in 5h 25m, John getting there in 5h 35m before retiring with a bad attack of cramp. I’d got away from Mick but when I got to St Annes I began to tire badly. However, I managed to hang on for a win.



A knackered Guy, head leaning even more than ever to his left, finishing outside the Town Hall, the throng of enthusiastic female spectators kept back by the local constabulary.

1 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.16.54 2 M Holliman (Highgate) 8.21.59 3 F O’Reilly (Lozells) 8.38.02
Team Sheffield 24 pts, 38 finished


Wakefield had a full team this year and a Wakefield runner, Barry Fletcher looked after us – three weeks later I reciprocated by looking after Barry when he won the Liverpool to Blackpool Road Running race. There was a bunch of five early on but after 15 miles Mick Holliman & I drew away with George Barras & John Hampshire not far behind.



Inseparable – Mick and Guy passing through Horwich

George Barras had an unsettling moment in Chorley when he was almost knocked over by a car coming out of a side street and had to jump on the car’s front fender to avoid being knocked down!  Once we’d passed Preston we faced a tremendous headwind which made progress hard work. The difficulties increased after St Annes when drifting sand kept blowing across the road into our eyes as well as sticking to the Vaseline we’d put on our nipples and armpits, acting like sandpaper.



Mick and Guy still together approaching Blackpool with Mick’s attendant in close proximity

Mick & I were still ‘neck & neck’ after the South Pier then Mick looked round for his attendant – the lady on the bike in the photo. Barry, my attendant, immediately screamed at me “Go, Go – you’ve got him!” I tried to increase my pace and managed to open up a 200-yard gap which I held to the finish. Wakefield packed well with George Barras 4th.
The race report in the Daily Telegraph by Peter Keeling referred to me as ‘Goodair,
bespectacled and slightly built’. For years afterwards every time Chris Bolton rang me he
would enquire if he was speaking to ‘the bespectacled and slightly built Goodair’!

1 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.29.07 2 M Holliman (Highgate) 8.30.05 3 K Abolins (Royal Sutton Coldfield) 8.43.11
Team Wakefield 17 pts, 44 finished

Footnote from Tony Taylor

Given the conditions described by Guy in 1965, especially the vicious cross wind off the sea on the last 6 miles into Blackpool, the lass on the bike must have been a hardy soul. Do we know who she was?



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Guy Goodair’s Manchester to Blackpool Memories : 1961- 1963

Better late than never I have the greatest pleasure in posting the first instalment of Guy Goodair’s evocative memories of his exploits in our club’s ‘Blue Riband’ event.

Manchester to Blackpool Memories
I first started serious race walking in February 1961 in the Northern ‘Junior’ Championships at Bradford and liked it so much I entered the Manchester to Blackpool race some 4 months later. It became my favourite race even more so than the Bradford Walk which was much more local to me. For some reason, the actual distance never fazed me and as far as I was concerned once I’d got past Preston I knew I’d ‘cracked it’.

After our first race in March John Hampshire & I did 1x18ml, 2 x 19 mls and 1 x 20 mls
training spins before the Manchester to Blackpool. We had John Grundy , (who the previous year had finished 2nd on the Butlins John o’Groats to Land’s End race) looking after us. It was a very sticky warm day but there were a few showers to cool us down. John Edgington & Frank O’Reilly went off early on and at the halfway I was 4th (4hrs 10min) & John 15th. I was starting to get blisters but tried to stay with John Todd and Hughie Neilson but I dropped back in the latter stages and finished 6th (8h 56m 13s) and John moved up to 10th. Lancashire won the team race with 33pts and 57 finished from 70 starters.



John Edgington – better known as a 20k walker, 8th in Tokyo 1964 Olympics


1 J Edgington (Coventry Godiva) 8.25.24  2 F O’Reilly (Lozells) 8.28.31 3 C Colman (Lancashire WC) 8.33.54

I wanted to become a Centurion (Leicester to Skegness) so unlike Chris Bolton (a glutton for punishment) I didn’t enter this year. See this earlier post on Chris’s gluttony.



Hughie Neilson- in 1960 he covered 100 miles on the track in 17h 18m 51s and 133miles 19 yards in 24 hours – world records


1 H Neilson (Woodford Green) 8.53.22 2 N Hopkinson (Sheffield UH) 9.07.13 3 J Eddershaw (Sheffield UH) 9.11.45
Team Lancashire 19 pts 33 finished




Reaching Burnden Park, Bolton Wanderers’ old ground, on a murky June morning, a quartet from the inside of Mal Blyth, Mick Hollimann [hidden], Guy and Frank

It rained heavily early on then it fined up. I took the lead at Horwich and went through 23 miles in 3h 23m and halfway in 3h 55m then once again began to blister badly. Frank O’Reilly pulled away over the last 16 miles to win easily and I managed to hold onto 2nd from a fast finishing Karl Abolins. Headlines in one Sunday Newspaper was ‘O’Reilly wins with a Worry’.


Frank & I became good friends afterwards and he gave me lots of good advice and tips for ultra-distance races.



Frank shows off the trophy


1 F O’Reilly (Lozells) 8.14.25 2 G Goodair (Wakefield) 8.33.04 3 K Abolins (Royal Sutton Coldfield) 8.35.20
Team Sheffield 40 pts 54 finished

Memories of 1964 and 1965 coming soon.

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Chorley proves once more a tough test

Goodwin Cup 10 kilometres, Chorley, August 19, 2017

Roy Gunnett reports:

The race was held over the usual hilly 2 lap course on a warm overcast day. There was a good turnout of 15 walkers, this included our 2 regular guest walkers from the Midlands Glyn Jones and Stuart Edgar.
Adrian Edwards took an early lead which he maintained to the end thereby winning the scratch race. Tony Malone, hoping for a sub hour time, chased Adrian and took second place in 60mins 48 secs. Tony won the handicap prize.
Irene Pike continues to improve and put in a strong performance to gain the first lady place.



Joe Hardy leads Dave Crompton on the infamous Chorley circuit


1 Adrian Edwards Lancashire WC M55 59:42
2 Tony Malone Lancashire WC M65 60:48
3 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M75 66:05
4 Stuart Edgar Dudley & Stourbridge M45 66:51
5 Irene Pike Lady Lancashire WC W65 68:07
6 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 68:16
7 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 68:36
8 Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75 69:17
9 Pat Evans Lady Lancashire WC W65 69:17
10 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50 69:39
11 John Crahan Lancashire WC M65 70:21
12 Greg Smith Lancashire WC M65 71:28
13 Phil McCullagh Lancashire WC M60 71:36
14 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M70 76:52
15 John Payn Lancashire WC M80 83:19


I’m not sure if everyone one knows that the Goodwin Cup is named after the great Reg Goodwin, who won the 1924 10,000 metres track walk Olympic silver medal in Paris. In that same year, he was the victor in the AAA’s 7 miles track walk, registering a time of 52:00.6 – not to be sniffed at nearly a century later!

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