Guernsey Race Walking : Sarnia Walking Club

October 13, 2019

10 kms Delancey

Sunday October 13th 2019

Sarnia Walking Club

Bob Wright Handicap Series Race Two

10 kilometres road walk

Delancey Park, Guernsey

RWA Permit 9092-1

Narrow win for Peter

Walkers were greeted with wet conditions throughout their 10 kilometres race with challenging underfoot conditions with fallen leaves and twigs from the previous nights winds. Undeterred and backing up his second place in the last race Peter Beckerleg secured the handicap win in the second race of the Bob Wright Series with a twenty one seconds advantage over second placed Stuart Le Noury.

Third place, a few seconds behind, was Kevin Le Noury, who on the same starting handicap as the winner, had the winner in close sight throughout the race. Mick Le Sauvage finished in 4th place, with Donna Allan eight seconds behind. Phil Lockwood was a further minute behind with last walker Rob Elliott well behind with a race to forget.

Fastest time of the day was by Stuart Le Noury in 53.33, ahead of leading woman Donna Allan in 1.01.00. 

1 Peter Beckerleg M60 1.20.12 (watch time) / 8.00 (handicap) / 1.12.12 (actual time)

2 Stuart Le Noury M 1.20.33 / 27.00 / 53.33

3 Kevin Le Noury M60 1.20.35 / 8.00 / 1.12.35

4 Mick Le Sauvage M80 1.21.52 / 4.00 / 1.17.52

5 Donna Allan W40 1.22.00 / 21.00 / 1.01.00

6 Phil Lockwood M45 1.22.57 / 14.00 / 1.08.57

7 Rob Elliott M60 1.25.20 / 19.00 / 1.06.20

DNF Kay Coulson W50 5kms 39.52

DNF Dave Dorey M70 5kms 42.05

Rob Elliott for SWC

Guernsey Race Walking https://sarnia.wordpress.com/

September 29, 2019

Bob Wright 5 kms

Sunday September 29th 2019

Bob Wright Handicap Series Race One

5 kilometres road walk

Saumarez Park, Guernsey

First to start keeps the lead

Mick Le Sauvage, the first walker to start in the first race of the Bob Wright Handicap Series, held on to the lead throughout the race to finish in 37.14. He held off second man home Peter Beckerleg by twenty seconds, who in turn kept Kevin Le Noury, who started 30 seconds after him, at bay by the same time difference, with both recording an actual time of 35.04.

With wind and drizzle greeting the walkers for the four lap race, times were a little down to those expected with Stuart Le Noury and Donna Allan recording the fastest mens and womens times respectively. Stuart dipped under 26 minutes with Donna timed at 30.36.

1 Mick Le Sauvage M80 37.14 (watch time) / 0.00 (handicap) / 37.14 (actual time)

2 Peter Beckerleg M60 37.34 / 2.30 / 35.04

3 Kevin Le Noury M60 38.04 / 3.00 / 35.04

4 Phil Lockwood M45 38.13 / 5.30 / 32.43

5 Stuart Le Noury M 38.59 / 13.00 / 25.59

6 Donna Allan W40 39.36 / 9.00 / 30.36

7 Rob Elliott M60 40.00 / 8.00 / 32.00

8 Kay Coulson 41.04 / 1.00 / 40.04

Rob Elliott for SWC

Guernsey Race Walking at https://sarnia.wordpress.com/

September 15, 2019

Richmond Trophy 3 kms

Richmond

EllisSunday September 15th 2019

Sarnia Walking Club 

Richmond Trophy sponsored by Richmond Fiduciary Group

3 kilometres handicap walk

Cambridge Park, St Peter Port, Guernsey

Richmond Trophy win for Ellis

Ellis Lockwood, the youngest walker in the race, showed a clean pair of heels to the masters walkers he left behind after the first lap of 4 for the Richmond Trophy. In the handicapped race over 3 kilometres Ellis had built up an eighteen second lead after the early lap and continued to pull away to cross the line in an actual time of 20.24. Second to fourth places place went down to the final straight with Peter Beckerleg taking second place, well down on the winner and four seconds ahead of Kay Coulson in third. Two seconds later Kevin Le Noury finished the race in fourth place.

Mick Le Sauvage, close to his recent Guernsey age best finished in fifth ahead of Phil Lockwood who set the fastest time of the day with his actual time of 19.09. Dave Dorey brought the finishers home in seventh place.

The next walk is on Sunday September 29th at 9.00 am at Saumarez Park. It will be the first walk in the seven race series, with five races to score, for the Bob Wright Handicap Series. Anyone wishing to have a go at race walking will be welcome to compete. The first walk is over 5 kilometres with the other distances being between one mile and 10 kilometres. The series lasts until March 2020 and anyone can take part in any number of the walks. 

1 Ellis Lockwood U/15 21.24 (watch time) / 1.00 (handicap) / 20.24 (actual time)

2 Peter Beckerleg M60 22.38 / 2.15 / 20.23

3 Kay Coulson W50 22.42 / 1.00 / 21.42

4 Kevin Le Noury M60 22.44 / 2.30 / 20.14

5 Mick Le sauvage M80 23.04 / 1.00 / 22.04

6 Phil Lockwood M45 23.09 / 4.00 / 19.09

7 Dave Dorey M70 24.35 / 0.30 / 24.05

Rob Elliott for SWC

Guernsey Race Walking https://sarnia.wordpress.com/

September 1, 2019

Church to Church 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarnia @ 3:48 pm

Donna close up 4 milesSunday September 1st 2019

Sarnia Walking Club

19.4 miles Church to Church walk

South Esplanade, St Peter Port, Guernsey

RWA Permit 9064-1

Donna (pictured left after 4 miles) closes in on Island Church to Church best

Only a small field contested this years annual traditional Church to Church walk over a distance of 19.4 miles, held on a hot morning with a welcome breeze, with the high spot of the day being Donna Allans 3.25.18 second place overall, only bettered by mens winner Stuart Le Noury.

This time was only 8 seconds down on the Island best set by Jenny Elliott back in 1984 and would surely have been a lot closer if she had not been hampered by the Sea Front Sunday road closure in the final mile and dodging the big crowds there, with only a tight exit before the final few hundred yards to the finish at Havelet Bay. Donnas time was a huge improvement on her first walk back in 2016 when she recorded 4.04.35 and made up for her missing last years walk on doctors instructions.

Stuart Le Noury 4 milesAs expected the mens winner for the fourth time was Stuart Le Noury (pictured left at 4 miles) in 3.20.14, perhaps down on what he expected to do. At the five miles point after tackling the hard first few uphill miles he found himself with a minutes lead over Jim Ball passing in just under 50 minutes. Donna, taking it a little easier at the start went through in around 53 minutes. At the half way point by the Little Chapel Stuarts 1.42 clocking showed he had extended his lead to around three minutes. Jim Ball was still in the frame but slowing. Moving up the climb at the Monnaie at 11 miles and then the long downhill section to the Friquet and on to the Vale Church 15 miles point Stuart continued to extend his lead going through in 2 hours 30 minutes with plenty of breathing space should he slow down over the final miles. Slow down he did , dropping down to over 11 minute miles with Donna Allan chasing hard. It would have taken a major falling apart for Stuart not to take the overall win, with Donna closing the gap to five minutes come the final reckoning…with that agonising few seconds short of the island best.

Third place went to past winner Jim Ball from Southampton who on little race walking the past year suffered in the final third of the walk, slowing down to pedestrian pace, before crossing the line in just under 3.43.

Fourth place went to another past winner, local walker Rob Elliott. Another one short on training going in to the race, starting steadily and keeping to a fairly even pace throughout to finish in 3.49.

Visitor for the second year Stephen Cartwright finished just outside the four hours barrier and around five minutes slower than last year. Regular visitor from Surrey Walking Club, David Hoben finished a further nine minutes behind, but well ahead off his 2018 walk.

Ed Shillabeeer finishLast man to finish was eighty year old Ed Shillabeer (pictured right). Theres no stopping this man. Ed has won this event four times with a best of 2.40.58 but continues to return to walk on one of his favourite course. His time this year was over two hours slower and was a struggle and comes only weeks after walking 68 miles in 20 hours in the Isle Of Man. Then he was straight to the airport to return home to be at work tomorrow morning. A race walking legend.

Local Phil Lockwood pulled out of the race around Torteval Church with sickness, whilst Colin Bradley, another past winner and sub 2.45 man for the course walked the first 4 miles in 75 minutes, aided by his walking sticks.

Ed Shillabeer

 

Men and Women

1

Stuart Le Noury

Sarnia WC

M

3.20.14

2

Donna Allan

Sarnia WC

W40

3.25.18

3

Jim Ball

Steyning AC

M55

3.42.58

4

Rob Elliott

Sarnia WC

M60

3.49.04

5

Stephen Cartwright

Colchester & Tendring AC

M60

4.00.55

6

David Hoben

Surrey WC

M65

4.10.08

7

Ed Shillabeer

Ilford AC

M80

4.45.42

Phil Lockwood

Sarnia WC

M45

DNF

Colin Bradley

Unattached

M60

DNF

Victory Cup First Channel Islander Men:  Stuart Le Noury

Star Trophy First Channel Islander Women: Donna Allan

Jenny Elliott Salver: Donna Allan

CJ Robins Veterans Tankard, first 40-49 years: Donna Allan

Healthspan Supervets Tankard, first 50- 59 years: Jim Ball

Winning Ways Trophy, first 60-69 years: Rob Elliott  

Ilford Ac Vets trophy, first over 70 years: Ed Shillabeer

Fletchersports Team Shield: Sarnia Walking Club

Thanks to our sponsors, officials and helpers.

Trust Corporation International, Network Insurance, Guernsey Sports Commission,

Healthspan, Fletchersports, Kemp Le Tissier, Jenny Elliott, Taj Indian Restaurant

Relate

August 30, 2019

Guernsey 3 kms road walk

Friday August 30th 2019

Sarnia Walking Club

3 kilometres road walk

Les Amarreurs, Vale, Guernsey

RWA Permit 9063-1

Stuart cruises to win

Stuart Le Noury cruised to victory in the Sarnia Walking Clubs evening race over the two lap Amarreurs course. Club members were joined by competitors from overseas who will be walking the Church to Church walk a few days later.

Stuart, with poor preparation for the race, only made the start with minutes to go, then handicapped himself with a quick visit to the roadside toilet en route to his 16.03 clocking. Donna Allan in second place just over a minute behind had the close company of Jim Ball from Southampton for half the race with Rob Elliott close behind. Donna easily pulled away in the latter stages whilst Elliott caught Ball for equal third place.

Kevin Le Noury held off fellow club member Peter Beckerleg by 26 seconds with visitor Stephen Cartwright a further four seconds behind in 20.31. Regular visitor David Hoben recorded 21.34, ahead of Sarnia stalwarts, Mick Le Sauvage, Dave Dorey and Jayne Le Noury.

Back in 12th place, and in his first event for 12 years,  was one time Sarnia member Colin Bradley from Wales, who has been a regular competitor to both walks and runs in Guernsey for many years. He now walks aided by sticks but decided to relinquish his judging duties and walked the course in a satisfying 31 minutes dead. In his prime he walked the distance in 13 minutes.

1 Stuart Le Noury M 16.03

2 Donna Allan W40 17.08

3= Jim Ball (Steyning AC) M55 17.48

3= Rob Elliott M60 17.48

5 Kevin Le Noury M60 20.01

6 Peter Beckerleg M60 20.27

7 Stephen Cartwright (Colchester & Tendring) M60 20.31

8 David Hoben (Surrey WC) M65 21.34

9 Mick Le Sauvage M80 22.28

10 Dave Dorey M70 23.31

11 Jayne Le Noury W55 26.34

12 Colin Bradley (Unattached) M60 31.00

Rob Elliott for SWC https://sarnia.wordpress.com/

August 28, 2019

new fixture list 2019 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarnia @ 7:45 pm

Fixtures for September 15 2019 to March 2020:

PDF file 2019 2020fixtures

Sarnia Walking Club, Guernsey
RWA Category B walks.
Fixtures September 2019 to March 2020
Sarnia Walking Club website: http://www.sarnia.wordpress.com
Sunday September 15th Richmond Handicap 3 kms Cambridge Park, St Peter Port 9.00 am
Sunday September 29th Handicap 1 5 kms Saumarez Park, Castel 9.00 am
Sunday October 13th Handicap 2 10 kms Delancey Park, St Sampsons 9.00 am
Sunday October 27th Peter Kendal Pairs 3 kms Amarreurs Road, Vale 9.00 am
Sunday November 10th Handicap 3 1 mile track Osmond Priaulx, Footes Lane 9.00 am
Sunday November 17th Road walk 10 / 5 kms North Side, Vale 9.00 am
Sunday December 1st Handicap 4 2 kms Imperial Hotel, Pleinmont 9.00 am
Sunday December 8th Road walks 10 / 5 kms Delancey Park, St Sampsons 9.00 am
Sunday December 15th Hill Climb 815 metres Le Val des Terres 9.00 am
Sunday December 29th Road walk 3 miles Rocquaine Circuit 9.00 am
Sunday January 12th Handicap 5 5 kms Amarreurs Road, Vale 9.00 am
Sunday January 26th Pace Judgement 6 x 750 metres Cambridge Park, St Peter Port 9.00 am
Sunday February 9th Handicap 6 5 miles Lancresse to White Rock 9.00 am
Sunday February 16th Philadelphia Team 1 mile Amarreurs Road, Vale 9.00 am
Sunday March 1st Handicap 7 3 kms Cambridge Park, St Peter Port 9.00 am
Sunday March 8th Eric Waldron 2 miles Osmond Priaulx, Footes Lane 9.00 am
Contact Race Secretary
Jayne Le Noury, Jedburgh, Sohier Road, Vale, Guernsey, GY3 5PX
e-mail: lenouryjedburgh@cwgsy.net         Tel:01481 246865

 

August 18, 2019

10 kms road walk

Avantis Logo (RGB)

DSC_0104Sunday August 18th 2019

Sarnia Walking Club 

Avantis Championship Race 10

10 kms road walk

North Side, Vale, Guernsey

Stuart and Donna secure Avantis Championships

Race winner Stuart Le Noury continues his streak as Avantis Sarnia Walking Club Champion with a win in the last of the Championship series over 10 kilometres on the North Side circuit. A steady 52.38 brought him home well ahead of second man Phil Lockwood. Donna Allan secured the Womens Championship despite having a race to forget, calling it a day at the half way distance.

In the handicapped section of the Championships Kevin Le Noury took the honours, two points ahead of Stuart Le Noury with Mick Le Sauvage back in third.

The next race is on Friday August 30th over a distance of 3 kilometres starting and finishing at Amarreurs Road, Vale at 6.30 pm. This is followed on Sunday September 1st at 9.00 am by the traditional Church to Church Walk over  a distance of 19.4 miles. Start and finish at the South Esplanade. All are welcome to take part in either of these walks. Details can be found at https://churchtochurch.wordpress.com/information-2015/

1 Stuart Le Noury M 52.38

2 Phil Lockwood M45 1.09.26

3 Kevin Le Noury M60 1.13.14

4 Mick Le Sauvage M80 1.16.26

Donna Allan DNF

Handicap result:

1 S le Noury (23.00) 1.15.38, 2 M Le Sauvage (0.00)1.16.26, 3 P Lockwood (9.00) 1.18.26, 4 K Le Noury (6.00) 1.19.14

 

Avantis Mens Championship for the Sportsman Cup

1 Stuart Le Noury 120 points, 2 Rob Elliott 100, 3 Phil Lockwood 90, 4 Kevin Le Noury 75, 5 Mick Le Sauvage 66, 6 Peter Beckerleg 36, 7 Dave Dorey 27, 8 Kevin Allan 6.

Avantis Womens Championship for the Carol Bates Memorial Championship Trophy

1 Donna Allan 90, 2 Kay Coulson 78, 3 Jayne Le Noury 22.

Avantis Jubilee Handicap Tankard

1 K Le Noury 84, 2 S Le Noury 82, 3 M Le Sauvage 81, 4 P Lockwood 78, 5 R Elliott 72, 6 D Allan 67, 7 K Coulson 62, 8 P Beckerleg 37, 9 D Dorey 26, 10, J Le Noury 16, 11 K Allan 3.

Avantis Junior Under 17 Championship

1 Ellis Lockwood 15.

Rob Elliott for SWC

Guernsey Race Walking https://sarnia.wordpress.com/

August 2, 2019

one mile road walk

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarnia @ 7:09 pm

Avantis Logo (RGB)

A small field on a hot evening with missing members on holiday. Rob Elliott takes the win from Phil Lockwood. Peter Beckerleg third ahead of Mick Le Sauvage who sets a new age best time for Guernsey.

Friday August 2nd 2019

Sarnia Walking Club

Avantis Championship Nine

1 mile road walk

Les Amarreurs, Guernsey

1 Rob Elliott M60 9.15

2 Phil Lockwood M45 9.41

3 Peter Beckerleg M60 10.53

4 Mick Le Sauvage M80 11.38

Handicap: 1 P Lockwood (2.30) 12.11, 2 M Le Sauvage (0.45) 12.23, 3 R Elliott (3.15) 12.30, 4 P Beckerleg (1.45) 12.38.

Rob Elliott for SWC

Guernsey Race Walking https://sarnia.wordpress.com/

 

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.

July 31, 2019

Mick Barnbrook retires from race walking

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarnia @ 7:43 pm

FullSizeRender-5

 

Dave Ainsworth reports that one time Sarnia Walking Club member Mick Barnbrook has retired from race walking after 49 years service to the sport. Thanks to Dave for the full report reproduced below at the end of this page. Here are the relevant parts on his Guernsey and Sarnia connections.

 

“As for Guernsey, Mick had a spell as a Sarnia Walking Club member – once famously travelling all the way from his then Sidcup home to St.Peter Port just for an AGM!  That shows his commitment for the cause.  Mick was a legend during his time on Sarnia’s books – as when appointed “The Minister for Mainland Development” he spent much time and effort promoting their annual September Church-to-Church 19.4 miles classic event – with much success, as numbers of mainland competitors impressively increased.”  

“He’s dropped out once – taken so seriously ill when ascending that steep opening climb of his beloved Church-to-Church walk, he ended that week as a hospital in-patient suffering a stomach ulcer.  On that occasion the bystander coming to his aid was Chris Flint’s wife who was commended for doing all the right things! “

Mick Barnbrook walked in the Church to Church event in:

2001 3.36.52, 2002 3.38.43, 2003 DNF, 2004 3.51.28,

2005 3.48.01, 2006 3.39.26, 2007 3.46.56.

The group photo shows competitors from Guernsey and overseas in the 3 kilometres road walk held on the Friday evening before the Church to Church event. Mick is number 78 in the Sarnia Walking Club colours.

FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRender-8FullSizeRender-6

FullSizeRender-4Dave Ainsworth: Full report below..AND IT’S GOODNIGHT FROM HIM!

Romford-born and now Ramsgate-based, Mick Barnbrook, at the age of 76, has announced a retirement from athletics after 49 continuous years’ involvement in our sport – his first race walking appearance being in 1970.  He has belonged to Metropolitan Police Walking Club, The Centurions, Cambridge Harriers, Sarnia WC & Ilford AC, as well as being “unattached” for 6 years.  He’s been a most active competitor as past result sheets will confirm, and a regular supporter of race walking functions.  Mick states one of his most cherished awards was a clock presented by Steve Wynn when becoming one of 6 (incidentally all CenturIons) to complete 100 Blackheath 9K Handicap races.  He’s had some poor health in recent times, but a serious back injury brought about this decision – which came when run over by a car while trying to stop a getaway driver, who was subsequently arrested by colleagues and imprisoned.  Mick carried this injury for decades, without complaint.  Like so many, Mick entered race walking via his employer – when a Sergeant at Peckham, being recruited to make up a Barking-to-Southend team by colleague, then Sergeant Peter Hodkinson at the same Station.

Mick became Centurion 661 at the famous 1979 Ewhurst 100 Miles, clocking 21:59.05.  His 2 completed 100 miles races show how UK race walking fortunes have nosedived.  At Ewhurst 107 started, 78 finished of whom 37 became new Centurions.  After Mick’s efforts, a decade passed before the next Metropolitan Police athlete joined The Centurions – when Cambridge Harriers clubmate Peter Hodkinson passed the recorders in 19:48.00, in the Arthur Eddleston BEM Memorial Event at Hendon Police Training School – for good measure Peter was followed home by 7 more Met. Police collegeagues!  In 2001 Mick finished the “Hedgethorne 100” at Colchester’s Lower Castle Park, where 47 started, 15 finished (2 d/q’d) with just 3 new Centurions – only one belonging to a UK Club – Nigerian Charles Arosanyan.  Mick’s time was 23:40.32, just behind popular and frequent Essex visitor Hans Van der Knapp.  That race had an Ilford AC “escort” as first & last finishers belonged to that Club – Bob Dobson & Mick (both incidentally then aged 58).  The previous time one Club had provided an “escort” was at the 1969 Bristol 100 Miles when Essex Police members John Hedgethorne and Paul Cox were first & last.  Colchester saw awards for all competitors reaching a minimum of 20 miles, which was all Mick planned to do.  He hadn’t trained for 100 miles but thought about it being John Hedgethorne’s Memorial race, so decided to press on to honour the great man’s name by going further.  He did go further – and further – and even further with Sharon as his hard-working attendant.  After each park circuit he put his feet in a bucket of cool water to refresh them and ploughed on to complete a sub-24 hours’ 100 miles for a second time.  With completions in 1979-and-2001 (22 years’ apart) Mick thought he might have got a record for the longest gap between successful UK sub-24 hours’ finishes.  A long span – yes – but not the longest.  That record is held by Past President of both The Centurions and the Race Walking Association, former International Eric Horwill (1966-and-1997/31 years’ apart).  Mick’s initial aim at Colchester was to race a competitive 20 miles’ walk in preparation for the Guernsey’s annual Church-to-Church classic, but as reported above, he then kept on going!  Bob Dobson’s win came in one of the greatest 100 miles’ races in UK history as he clocked 19.46.11 with Richard Brown (SWC) 2nd in 19:50.39.  Bob became eldest winner of a senior RWA Championship!

As for Guernsey, Mick had a spell as a Sarnia Walking Club member – once famously travelling all the way from his then Sidcup home to St.Peter Port just for an AGM!  That shows his commitment for the cause.  Mick was a legend during his time on Sarnia’s books – as when appointed “The Minister for Mainland Development” he spent much time and effort promoting their annual September Church-to-Church 19.4 miles classic event – with much success, as numbers of mainland competitors impressively increased.   Mick’s fit as proved by a hectic 6 weeks’ spell when finishing 4 marathon runs, a 50K and a 20 Miles’ walk.  He’s twice run London Marathons, with a 3 hours 25 minutes pb.  Essex-born Mick also has an individual place medal (3rd) in a 3,000 Metres Essex County Championship, so he can sprint as well as tackle long distances.  In 49 years he’s only twice been disqualified – on a penultimate lap at Cricklefields Stadium in an Essex League 10,000 metres event, and more spectacularly 20 yards into an Open 7 Miles, having travelled to Leicester for it!  He’s dropped out once – taken so seriously ill when ascending that steep opening climb of his beloved Church-to-Church walk, he ended that week as a hospital in-patient suffering a stomach ulcer.  On that occasion the bystander coming to his aid was Chris Flint’s wife who was commended for doing all the right things!  Mind you Mick thought about dropping out again – half way up that steep climb in the Chiltern Hills on the Pednor 5 Miles – but soldiered on!

Like so many Clubmen at the time, Mick aimed for a coveted RWA 7 Miles-in-an-Hour badge, and so nearly achieved one, with a number of finishes just seconds outside his target.  However he bettered this standard on 2 occasions, but in 10 miles events.  He twice represented the British Police in 10 miles’ representative matches, both times getting under 85 minutes!   Needless to say he was awarded British Police Representative colours, of which he’s most proud.

Mick’s been at nearly all our classic events, such as appearing successfully in 8 Hastings-to-Brightons (38 miles) & 2 London-to-Brightons (53 miles),  In 1975 he was 47th of 73 finishers clocking 9:55.17 just pipping London Vidarian Mike Gleed by 4 seconds in a tight seafront finish.  In 1981, 10:29.22 secured him 28th spot – a second behind late Belgravian John Keown – when 36 finishers made the result sheet.  Mick has a sad memory of that event, for he wasn’t far behind Belgrave Harrier Dave King at Pyecombe, before a road accident so tragically ended his life.  Like so many Police officers, Mick has wonderful memories of the Barking-to-Southend Walk (34 Miles), having completed 16 of them (best an impressive 5 hours 31 minutes).  Mick’s aim was to secure a top-10 finish and, on one occasion, seemingly had it in the proverbial bag when 10th on entering Southend United’s Roots Hall Stadium for a lap of the pitch.  He blamed his attendant for not tipping him off that a fast-closing Chris Flint was gaining ground, and Chris – nowadays a near Kent neighbour of Mick – pipped him on the line so relegating Mick to 11th spot!

Apart from athletics, Mick’s always been involved in community life.  Most notably as Chairman of a Royal Naval Association action committee (based in Greenwich) which sought to find sailors of all-ranks who’d been awarded Victoria Crosses, but rested in unmarked graves, paupers graves and graves lacking headstones.  His Group found 10 worthy recipients and grafted hard to obtain sponsorship to buy headstones and arrange proper dedication ceremonies.  Their efforts righly attracted National press attention.  One such recipient was Greenwich-born Rear Admiral Eric Gascoigne Robinson VC, OBE and Mentioned in Despatches (1882-1965), who when a Lieuetenant Commander in the Dardenelles, stormed ashore and single-handedly destroyed a Turkish gun battery.  He ended Word War 1 after being badly injured later in the Gallipoli Peninsula Campaign.  He was buried at St.John’s Church in Langish (near Petersfield) but for unknown reasons without a headstone.  This omission was rectified in 1998 as a proper dedication ceremony was arranged to put matters right!

Mick can be relied on to vounteer for long and time-consuming duties when needed – as 3 times he’s been on support teams (driving/feeding/motivating) when ultra-distance race walkers have tackled really long ones on the Continent.  When then Cambridge Harriers, Metropolitan Police & Centurions’ colleague Arthur Eddlestone BEM, who so sadly lost his life in a 1984 mountaineering mishap, tackled a John O’Groats-to-Land’s End Walk Mick took control of a charity package initiative which raised over £25,000 for Bexley’s Multiple Sclerosis branch.  At that organisation, Mick helped out with both entertainment and transport and was highly thought of.  Mick gave up his time to be an athletics mentor for fellow Cambridge Harrier Stephen Lawrence, who tragically lost his life in a high-profile 1993 murder.

Mick was promising at more than athletics, as when living in Plaistow he excelled on table tennis tables, once competing against Chester Barnes in a local league match.

Thanks to Mick for all he’s done to keep our British race walking going.  If all race walkers had made as many appearances as Mick, and been as enthusiastic as him, this sport would have been much, much stronger.

Older Posts »