Guernsey Race Walking : Sarnia Walking Club

December 6, 2008

Mick Barnbrook

Filed under: Mick Barnbrook — sarnia @ 5:57 pm



Sarnia Walking Club member Mick Barnbrook, based in England is battling against injury. Full story reproduced below (from December 2008 Essex Newsletter).

Mick has been instrumental for some years in drumming up support for the Guernsey Church to Church Walk, whilst taking part in UK events.

Photo (right) at finish of 2007 Guernsey Church to Church, representing Sarnia Walking Club.






Taken from the Essex Newsletter December 2008




‘Character’ MICK BARNBROOK suffered a serious ligament injury as he battled against the elements during August’s Enfield League 20K at Donkey Lane, and he’s been in pain ever since.  His GP referred him to a consultant who has discovered more to be wrong with this Romford-born athlete.  As well as serious ligament concerns (which require an operation) he’s also diagnosed as having a thinning cartilage and the onset of arthritis.  The Quack has strongly recommended that his patient ‘calls-it-a-day’ as an athlete (and by the way, that includes spending ages on his feet delivering campaign leaflets).  There’s a very slight hope that Mick may be able to do something after his operation, but this is such a slight chance that it’s now almost certain that his racing days are now kaput.


In an event-packed career Mick has race walked with distinction for Cambridge Harriers, The Centurions, Metropolitan Police, Ilford AC and the Channel-Island based Sarnia WC. Indeed at the latter Club he put much time into drumming-up support from main-landers to appear in the classic Church-to-Church race around Guernsey. As a Centurion he completed the epic distance both in 1979 (at Ewhurst) and in 2001 around Colchester’s Castle Park.  On that occasion he only intended racing 20 Miles as a warm-up for his cherished Church-to-Church event but then decided to keep pressing-on to the end in memory of the late John Hedgethorne (whose Memorial Race it was).  Mick hadn’t trained for 100 Miles (so it can be done with sheer willpower and determination).  Mick thought that he’d set a record for the longest interval between successful 100 Miles finishes – but Loughton 2nd Claimer ERIC HORWILL has that honour (1966 Leicester-to-Skegness and 1997 at Ware).  At the other end of the scale Mick also has an individual bronze medal for the Essex County Senior 3,000 metres Championship which he earned at Garons Park track.


Unlike many Mick does not intend deserting the race walking scene and intends turning-up at races from time-to-time; and also supporting our social functions, where Organisers of such events know him as a more than jovial attender.   We thank Mick for his true enthusiasm and commitment for our chosen sport and hope that his medical ailments will be cured in double-quick time.


Mick’s checked his books and can proudly claim to have raced over 1,000 times, indeed he’s been prominent ever since the Record began publishing annual appearances tables.  His Centurion qualifying performance (gaining him No. 661) was achieved in under 22 hours.  If repeated nowadays it’d made him a leading light!   As well as those Clubs listed Mick’s also had a long spell as an unattached walker, during which his enthusiasm remained just as strong.  He’s also one of only 6 walkers (incidentally all Centurions) to have completed over 100 races at the testing Blackheath Park circuit.  His award for 100 finishes there is among his proudest keepsakes – indeed Mick’s given all his medals and plaques away to younger relations, except for his aforementioned Blackheath award, his Centurions/100 Miles awards and his RWA National medal (he has one from the 2001 100 Miles).  Mick stated that he was honoured to bow out after an Enfield League race as he’d enjoyed racing there on so many occasions.  RWA Vice President RON WALLWORK said, “He’s a controversial character and I really am saddened to hear that his injuries have brought about his retirement”.



Team mates Dave Sharpe and Mick Barnbrook cross the Church to Church finish line together in 2004.


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