Guernsey Race Walking : Sarnia Walking Club

August 1, 2019

Eric Waldron RIP

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarnia @ 6:17 pm

fullsizerender-1.jpegEric Waldron, twice a winner of the Church to Church walk has recently passed away at the age of 81 years. We send condolences to his family.

His main sporting love was cricket in which there are many references to in the Guernsey Press tribute reproduced below.

Pictured at the time of his 21st and last Church Walk in 1978

Updated here is the profile of Eric written in 2008.

Eric W Waldron was twice a winner of the Guernsey Church to Church Walk  and is remembered today via the trophy bearing his name which he donated in 1964 to the Guernsey Island Amateur Athletic Club for a 2 miles walk.

FullSizeRender-2Eric, number 23 in 1975 event.

Eric`s claim to road walking fame was his 21 year consecutive finishes in the annual Church to Church 19.4 miles walk which came to an end in 1979 when his first love of cricket clashed with the walk. The cricket final in England won the day.

fullsizerender-3.jpegHis two wins came in 1958 when he clocked 3.23.15 and 1960 in 3.15.15, which was to remain his best time. In the year between he came second to Vic Richer, a full seven minutes behind.

Eric can be credited with keeping the event going when the organisers in the 1960s, the GIAAC, struggled to find officials for the day. Eric as well as walking took on the officiating duties almost single handed.

Legend had it that Eric walked over a car in one of his Church walks when a vehicle blocked his way.

This was confirmed in 1999 when the Guernsey Press were doing a feature on the walk. They had spoken to me and said Eric was next on their list, so I asked them to confirm the story.

Eric said to the reporter ” I was going through Torteval down a narrow lane towards St Peter`s Church. My way was completely blocked by a Mini. I didn`t want to slow down so I walked straight over – I tried to be as careful as possible”

The report went on that in the late 50`s early 60`s the Church to Church was seen as the most gruelling experience that people could take on locally. Even so the challenge of the winding course was not always simply a physical one.

Eric said ” In the early days, I`d never have found my way round without a friend on a bike. The Upper Parishes were like Swahili to me”

FullSizeRenderEric, number 39 in 1971.

This was all in an island measuring around 9 miles by 5!

Eric also produced a Guernsey Athletic Stats book in 1964 and was a regular contributor to Athletics weekly.

His list of Church to Church walks are reproduced below:

 

Year Time Position
1958 3.23.15 1
1959 3.32.18 2
1960 3.15.15 1
1961 3.24.49 3
1962 3.31.00 7
1963 ?
1964 ?
1965 3.41.41 14=
1966 ?
1967 3.32.33 10
1968 3.28.23 10
1969 3.21.15 6
1970 3.32.33 9
1971 3.28.55 7
1972 3.29.07 9=
1973 3.32.54 12
1974 3.36.49 14
1975 3.35.51 8
1976 3.37.40 9
1977 3.43.58 16
1978 3.44.30 14

He was never a regular year round race walker but turned up each year for the trip around the churches, with his only other walk appearances being in Inter Firms events over 3 miles, representing Salem Methodist Youth Club.

Although never joining the Sarnia Walking Club, he was a member of the GIAAC where he competed as a runner.

IMG_2429His Personal Bests were:

440 yds 54.3 in 1960

880 yds 2.07.9 in1958

1 mile 4.52.5 in 1960

2 miles 10.27 in 1958

3 miles 16.11 in 1958

7 miles road run in 40.08 in 1960

img_2472.jpgThanks to Guernsey Press for the cuttings and Ray Hollis for the Liberation run photo.

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