28 March 2020
General bits and pieces
Peter Mulholland and Derek Hogg VP
knew Pete well. First met him when I joined Hercules Wimbledon (HW). Good
quality Athlete, made all the HW teams for major events. Teams included two
of the Holt triplets, Dave being the 1972 Olympian. Also Mike Beevor and
Mike Fuller. He ran the first leg in the National 12 stage one year when HW
were expected to place in the first three. He had a disaster, from which
they never properly recovered. I never managed to beat him, got close on a
freezing day in the South of Thames Senior. So cold I still wasn’t warm
after seven and a half miles at Epsom Race Course. My goatee beard was
frozen solid! Pete was always such a friendly guy and a great servant of his
Club and Athletics. He was rightly awarded the BEM for services to
Athletics. He had a brother or half brother who was blind. Tommy used to
collect for all the Blind Charities at Railway Stations. Anyone who travels
from Bromley South will have seen him. Pete was very proud of him. Last saw
him and another Athletics stalwart, Kev Kelly of HHH, at the funeral of
Chris Chataway. Had a great chat. At the funeral they showed the recording
of Chris beating Kuts and breaking the World Record. At the end everyone
applauded even though they knew the result. That was also the last time that
Pete and I saw Sir Roger Bannister.
I knew Derek Hogg through his son. We sang together
for West Wickham Operatic Society on many occasions. He was a great bass and
was pleased his Dad came to see our productions. On one occasion at Hever I
managed to introduce Derek’s son to PP Peter Baigent and they had a good
chat. Peter was married to the Director’s sister in law. Small World. I kept
Derek up to date on Club Affairs. As he was Club Secretary for 3 years he
knew Alan Brent, Peter Baigent, Jack Braughton and many others. Derek, not
doing e mail or internet, was pleased that I printed off things from the
Club website to give to his son for him. Last contact I had was Derek’s
signature on a recent greetings card. It may have been a ‘Get well soon’
card. He made 91 and I know about his 90th and it was celebrated well.
Isabelle Bridge is a club member and a race walker,
her race walking achievements are: English Schools, 2016 3rd, 2017 2nd &
2018 1st. Internationally she has represented England for the SIAB - 2017
4th & 2018 3rd and in the Nihill Shield v Irland she was 3rd.
Isabelle Bridge has signed up to run the Manchester Marathon in April of next
year in order to fundraise money for her wildlife research and conservation
expedition to Mexico next year. She was wondering whether you would be
willing to sponsor her. She is greatly appreciative of any donation! As well
as this she has been organising many fundraising events at her school to
help cover the costs.
Here's the link to her sponsorship page:
Review of new book about Sydney Wooderson by Rob
Hadgraft has produced a brilliant book about the Club’s greatest ever
runner. But it is much more than that. Very essential reading for anyone
interested in Club history and for any long standing member. It surprises by
mentioning that during the War, Sydney joined Manchester AC and ran in their
colours. Tells the real story about why as a 21 year old he failed at the
Berlin Olympics. Talks so much about Club life, Mob matches at Epping Forest
and Coulsdon, the Boxing Day paperchase, the dinners and social occasions.
Mentions many well known names like Gordon Monshall, Derek Reynolds, Harold
Thompson, Alan Brent, Jack Braughton, Westerham solicitor Tony Brill and
many more. Sydney was a prolific racer but a light trainer. He was a team
man and a great club man, turning out as often as he could not necessarily
to win. His appearance at a meeting could add massively to a paying crowd,
so if it was a charity fundraiser, he helped raise much money for charity.
He often travelled in difficult circumstances but would always be there. The
book is very much about Blackheath Club life. Rob is to be congratulated on
producing an excellent and entertaining read that is a great and important
addition to the Club’s history as it enters its 150th year.
Martineau 15 November 2018
Wendy Leach - Bromley Sport Volunteer of the Year award
29 April 2018
Wendy Leach being presented with some flowers
at Norman Park by Yasmin and Zoe Austridge (on behalf of the club)
after being named ‘Bromley Volunteer of the year 2017'
Photo of Wendy
Leach receiving the Bromley Sport Volunteer of the Year award for 2017 at
the Bromley Sports Forum last night. She follows the late great Brenda Brent
who was the second ever recipient and Heather Williamson.
Nomination commented on her abilities as an unsung hero at the Club and at
the Track on refreshment duties and anything else that needed doing. Also
the inspiring work she has done with Zero to Heroes working with new runners
and managing their ‘homework’ sessions. Amazing for someone who had a stroke
just 8 years ago. Not forgetting either the support and encouragement she
gives her daughter Amy.
MM 27 April 2018
Peter Long VP (1928 - 2018)
Long, who sadly died recently, was just short of his 91st birthday.
He had joined the Club on 2nd April 1979 so had been a member for 39
years. He became an excellent and diligent Club Treasurer when he
retired from his job at St Pauls Cathedral at the age of 65 and
continued in that role for a quite amazing 15 years. Dave White made
him a Vice President in 1996, a very well deserved honour. Some
humour at the time when it seemed that all of the financial
‘establishment’ of the Club were simultaneously elevated. At the AGM
when Peter assumed the position of Treasurer he wore a Sports Jacket
and someone suggested he looked more like a bookmaker than a Club
Treasurer. He never again wore anything other than a Blazer at the
Club AGM! He greatly enjoyed a trip with our young ladies to one of
the European Club Championships that they qualified for. He had been
managing the finances for these trips for some time. When Athletics’
Governing Body was in difficulties and the Club was owed a sizeable
sum he attended a creditors’ meeting in Birmingham to ensure that
the Club’s claim was not forgotten and the Club was eventually paid.
He was a delightful man and very good company and always
knowledgeable and good to talk to on a variety of Sports. Peter
became a life member of Kent County Cricket and spent a lot of time
at their ground in Canterbury. He had an almost encyclopedic
knowledge of Kent Cricket and always took delight in gathering as
many of his friends as possible when Kent played for a week in
Tunbridge Wells. Very happy days spent with Peter, with excellent
picnics and fine Ale.
He enjoyed many aspects of Club life including
Wednesday night runs with his friends, mob matches, Club Dinners and
other social functions. He did long distance walks with other Club
members and one particularly memorable walk in 1991 being the 100
mile Cotswold Walk with Derrick Brickwood, Len Dalmon and Ray
Gibson. He was part of the Club’s ‘Geriatric’ Sunday Times National
Fun Run team and he completed one London Marathon, his time being
4.11.12. He loved everything about Club life. He briefly took up
timekeeping and could be seen at Club fixtures with his stopwatch.
He also occasionally acted as a Marshall at home Cross Country
fixtures. His 80th birthday party at the Clubhouse was a most
enjoyable occasion shared with family and friends. He greatly
enjoyed going to the Commonwealth Games when they were in Manchester
with friends from the Club. He was an excellent Clubman who had many
friends and admirers.
National Service was done between 1946 and 1948 in the Army Pays
Corps in Ghana. Peter reckoned he spent most of the time playing
Cricket and Football! He joined St Pauls as an Accountant in 1949
and spent his working life there. He was promoted to the position of
Registrar and after retirement he was called back to help them out.
His work at St Pauls was highly regarded and he was rewarded by an
invitation to lunch with the Queen Mother just before he retired. He
had a son who lived in Zimbabwe and Peter and wife Jean made several
trips there. Also jaunts to Dubai, and again to spend time with
their family. His daughter Janet was a Club member and was one of
Anne Cilia’s early team members in the newly formed Ladies Vets
Track team. Janet always had a smile on her face and Peter was often
there to support her.
His decline in the past few years was very sad to witness. He still
came on a Wednesday morning to join his friends for a jog/walk and
always wanted to shake everyone’s hand and had a snippet of
conversation prepared on something of mutual interest. Quite often
this was about his favourite football team, Charlton Athletic.
Peter was a lovely man with great warmth and intelligence and an
excellent but quiet sense of humour. He is much missed and we send
our deepest condolences to his wife Jean, their children Stephen and
Janet, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren. It was a
privilege and a real pleasure to have been his friend.
Len Dalmon and Mike Martineau, April 2018
Fergus Anckorn (10 December 1918 - 22 March
Celebration Service for Fergus Anckorn
What a delightful occasion! Held at Holy Trinity
Church in Hurstpierpoint on 16th April and attended by over 200
people, family, friends and admirers. Over 90 minutes, including no
less than 8 personal tributes and some excellent music. Finished
with the ‘Last Post’, delivered by a member of the Household
Cavalry. Blackheath Harriers was mentioned in dispatches and the
many prizes he had won at Athletics events.
Both his son, Simon, and daughter, Deborah, spoke
as did two granddaughters, the writer of his autobiography, a member
of the Magic Circle and a member of his Masonic Lodge. Arguably the
star attendee was 2016 Britain’s Got Talent winner, Lance Corporal
Richard Jones. He mentioned that the appearance of Fergus at the
Final of that Show kicked off almost as a joke as Richard never
expected to make that Final. But when he did, Fergus was delighted
to fulfil a promise made. He had his own dressing room which was
always full of people listening to his stories and watching him
perform his magic. Fergus had been a member of the Magic Circle for
81 years, was their youngest ever member and then eventually their
oldest. He regularly attended their Monday night gatherings even up
to last December and received a standing ovation on one memorable
occasion from the Magic Circle in 2017. Scott Penrose from the Magic
Circle performed the ‘Broken wand’ ceremony where the wand belonging
to Fergus was broken (you half expected it to then be miraculously
repaired!). Scott also pulled out his mobile phone to read some of
the Facebook messages about Fergus. The phone immediately burst into
flames when opened!
Stories about Fergus included the one where because of flies in his
Japanese Prisoner of War Camp, his captors promised a grain of rice
for each fly killed. The response from Fergus was to breed flies so
he could then kill more and get lots of rice. Another story was of
him passing the Institute of Advanced Motoring test aged over 90.
This was his response to a comedian stating that all drivers over
the age of 70 should be banned. He taught special needs and disabled
children at Valence School in Westerham and was very disappointed to
have to retire from that at age 65. Words frequently used were
“remarkable”, “friendship” and “kindness”. After his wartime
experiences, everything to him in life was a wonder. He touched so
many people and even at his deathbed the tools of the Magician’s
trade were at his bedside. He was rightly saluted by all eight
people paying tribute to him. He was well worthy of those salutes
Club Member since 4th October 1954 and of the
Magic Circle for 81 years.
I last wrote about Fergus
in 2011 having bumped into him in Cobham, Surrey. Discovering
that he was a Blackheath member, I’d talked to him over lunch about
people he knew in the Club. Alan Brent, Jack Braughton, Tony Weeks
Pearson and others. He loved hearing about the Club. I mentioned
that Tony had recently been given his 50 years membership award and
he immediately said: “I’ve not had one of those”! Thus I discovered
that we had lost track of him after his move from Westerham to
Hassocks. So, with his new address, the Club was able to
re-establish contact and John Baldwin visited him and made a belated
50 year presentation later on in 2011 (photo of this is on the
website). I was also able to update the name and address list for
the Lottery Syndicate which I was managing for Brian Hartley. Fergus
was a syndicate member.
The last time I met Fergus was at the Spitfire
Café in Biggin Hill. They are massively into WW2 memorabilia, the
Royal British Legion and all things related. The Café itself is a
veritable shrine and well worth a visit. They have many celebratory
events and the last one that Fergus attended, along with several
other veterans, was last Spring. The Mayor was there and local
Councillors as well. Fergus was in fine form and I chatted to him
about all things Blackheath and gave him updates on all the people
he knew. At the end, when we parted, he said: “You’ve made my day”!
He was so robust, I always expected him to make 100 and never
thought that those would be the last words exchanged between us.
Of course he made the big time with his
celebrated appearance on
Britains Got Talent in 2016. He appeared with winner Richard
Jones who performed magic tricks while telling the story about
I had both of his books: ‘Surviving by Magic’ and
‘Conjuror on the Kwai’. They are excellent reads with many amazing
stories. I say “had” because during my regular visits to Alan and
Brenda Brent I leant them these books as well as my copy of Peter
Rogers and John Turner’s epic exploit from John O’Groats to Lands
End. Expect they have all ended up in a Charity Shop.
His expertise with Magic saved his bacon during
his time as a POW in Japan. He tells the famous story of obtaining
50 eggs so he could practice a trick for senior Japanese Officers
who were visiting his Camp. These were all distributed to his
comrades. He was too skilled to need them and used the opportunity
to help his mates. A later story of an incident in Marks and Spencer
in Bromley when at the age of 80, a Japanese man shouted at him. His
reaction was prompted by the promise he had made to himself that he
would never again allow himself to be shouted at by anyone who was
Japanese. Interesting episode for the Store Manager to handle
without any outside interference!
He has been to Japan, accompanied by a Son, and
made his peace with that Nation. He was a widower and has two
children and four grandchildren.
What a man!
Mike Martineau, 27 March 2018
A life member of Blackheath Harriers who joined that Club on 4
October 1954 and who was born on 10 December 1918.
One of those amazing co-incidences took place on the morning of
Tuesday 26th July 2011.
I went over to Cobham in Surrey to do a talk about the Olympics to a
Probus Club for which a mate is their Speaker Secretary. The
arrangement was that if the speaker he had originally booked turned
up then I would speak at a later meeting. My friend told me that he
had experienced difficulty in maintaining contact with this guy who
had been a POW in Burma during the 2nd World War. Thus he had
cautiously booked me as a reserve.
As it happened one Fergus Anckorn turned up and handed his CV over
to my friend David and on it was the fact that he was a life member
of Blackheath Harriers. David couldn't believe it as, with his wife,
he had been my guest at the Club for one of the many suppers in my
year as Blackheath President. Fergus used to live in Westerham and
was an unknown near neighbour of mine for over 30 years. He will of
course be 93 in December. He still had happy memories of his time in
Athletics and he claimed to have run 45,000 miles in the years
between 1951 and 1980 which works out at about 30 miles a week. He
recalled the names of Brent, Braughton, Wooderson and Weeks-Pearson.
I showed him the recent Jack Braughton article from Athletics Weekly
and then sent him a copy.
His talk was just amazing. He spoke without notes for over an hour
and went on for two and a half hours when he spoke to Oxford
University. I have never known an hour go so quickly. It was truly
mesmerizing and he could have gone on for more. The following is a
summary of his talk. For those interested, there is a book about him
called “Surviving by Magic” and another one is in the process of
being published. The title of the book refers to the fact that he is
a member of the Inner Magic Circle.
Fergus was born in Sevenoaks and went to Tonbridge School. Later in
life he was a Lecturer at West Kent College. He has been a member of
the Magic Circle for 74 years and is also an amateur artist. He
brought with him his medals and many interesting photos. He was a
Gunner and never achieved Officer rank.
He counts himself very lucky to be alive and it seems he was left
for dead on more than one occasion. His parents were even informed
that he was ‘missing presumed dead’. He got engaged just before the
War and says that his fiancée turned down 5 offers of marriage while
he was away. My next Production is ‘Half a Sixpence’ where two
sweethearts cut a sixpence in two and keep their half as a token of
their love. Fergus and his fiancée did the same thing with a
farthing but unfortunately Fergus lost his half. It was only when he
returned after the War that he realized that his half had the
letters ’hing’ on it. Thus you will appreciate the other four
letters of ‘farthing’ were on his fiancee’s half!
Via Canada and the USA and many other places he was at sea for three
and a half months en route to Singapore. He had been trained as a
Gunner. He was on an American Ship about a week prior to the fall of
Singapore and apparently it was a bit of an embarrassment that there
were extremely few English servicemen on Singapore. Thus he and his
battalion were left like sacrificial lambs just a few days before
the Japanese captured Singapore. 80% of the Allied troops in
Singapore were killed. The day after his arrival he was with 9
others in the Docks when they were bombed. 6 managed to get into the
shelter. He and three others, for whom there was no room in the
shelter, dived into the Sea, passing a sign that said “Danger,
Sharks”. When they got out of the water after the attack, the
shelter had received a direct hit and all 6 inside had been killed.
His first escape!
While driving a lorry to collect a Gun a day or so later he was
bombed and shot at and received some dreadful injuries. He still has
a bullet from this attack in his knee. He was also carrying a live
shell which exploded and amazingly did him no damage. However, he
was left for dead and a fellow soldier took his tags and he was then
reported ‘missing presumed dead’. After the War he met up with the
guy who had taken these tags and this ex-colleague really thought he
was seeing a ghost and almost died of a heart attack himself.
Over the next few days or maybe weeks he drifted in and out of
consciousness but recalls being under fire while being taken to
hospital. The Japanese had taken over the Hospital but killed the
doctors, nurses and patients before departing. They used bayonets
but didn’t attack him as he was bleeding so profusely that they
either thought he was dead or that they had already seen to him. A
further lucky escape. He then recalls the peace and quiet in a Girls
School before being taken to a POW camp in which there were 150,000
prisoners. It took him two days crawling on all fours to find
someone he knew. He had very nearly had an arm and a leg removed and
had bones protruding through his skin.
There was then a 5 day trip to Thailand with extreme cold at night
and massive heat during the day and dysentery. Many failed to
survive the trip. Once there, he became part of the amazing effort
to build a railway. Amazing when one considers the language barriers
as none of the Japs spoke English. The only clothing he had for the
best part of three and a half years was a loin cloth. In that and
still with fearful injuries and disabilities he worked for 18 hours
a day. He still has problems with his balance but his right arm and
hand was fixed after the War following a chance meeting with the
surgeon who had nearly removed it during the War.
He was once badly blistered when a Japanese soldier threw a couple
of gallons of creosote over him. His mates washed him in the River
and were all killed for their efforts.
The prisoners were often put in the firing line by the Japanese and
he well remembers the RAF bombing him and the damage done by 5 stray
bombs. He was buried by this attack which was followed by
incendiaries. Later, in another chance meeting, he met the RAF bomb
aimer responsible for another of his lucky escapes. He was one of
two people out of 13 to survive this attack.
He also did magic tricks with a decent Japanese soldier who was
subsequently killed for fraternization. Fergus speaks several
languages including Japanese and French which he mostly picked up
while in captivity. The camps had no fences so the inmates were free
to roam about at night. They met up with Natives who gave them
information about the War but they got the feeling that they were
being fed false information or being told what they wanted to hear.
They gave up on this source of information when told of what they
thought was a cock and bull story about an atomic bomb in Hiroshima.
With 4 others he was also taken out to be shot by machine gun. There
was no blindfold but there was a last minute reprieve. They then
found out the War had ended 3 days earlier.
The above probably does incomplete and insufficient justice to an
amazing talk and an even more amazing man. Fergus displays an
astonishing attitude to the Japanese, he doesn’t hate them, but he
does hate War. He still has nightmares about the noise of War and of
Bombing. He isn’t on any medication and has no arthritis in his
repaired arm and hand. Over lunch, he mentioned that whilst in
capture he cooked his maggots rather than eating them raw! The
famous film, he greatly enjoys but states that it is 100% untrue.
Truly a privilege to meet and listen to this exceptional person.
Sir Roger Bannister CH
CBE (23 March 1929 – 3 March 2018)
Sir Roger Bannister, who has died at the age of
88, was the first man to run a mile in under four minutes.
Read more on BBC
A couple of photos below are from the party that celebrated the
belated MBE that our Sydney Wooderson received. In the photo is
Sydney’s wife, son and daughter as well as John Disley, Chris
Brasher, Sir Roger, MP Kate Hoey and Eddie Kulukundis. Also Tony
We are pleased to announce the London
Volunteer Award winners are:
Club of the Year:
Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC
Blackheath & Bromley Harriers
AC, based in South London, is one of the UK’s oldest clubs and
thrives today, with over 800 members and full charity status. It
has a strong governance structure, underpinned by relevant
policies. The club is perhaps best known for its senior
athletes’ recent successes, including the...
Volunteer Awards Ceremony at Bromley Library - 6 June
celebrated and recognised the valuable input volunteers make to our local
communities. PP Dick Griffin was awarded his for his work on Zero to Heroes
and his other work in Athletics. VP Colin Poole was standing in for his wife
Shirley whose many years of volunteering for Bromley Mencap was being
Dick Griffin is
Bromley's Coach of the year 22 March 2017
Dick was presented with Bromley Sports Coach
of the Year for work done with Zero to Hero Runners.
England Athletics CEO Chris Jones has
recorded a special video
with a review of 2016 and a look ahead to athletics and running
in 2017. Blackheath & Bromley get a couple of mentions at 3:10
50 year Membership awards for Haines & Shepherd,18
PP Chris Haines & VP Pete Shepherd receive their 50 year
The plaques were presented by our President Bill Foster, after PP John
Baldwin had given a very interesting insight to the various achievements
that both had had over the last 50 years. Both had impressive marathon
times, Chris 2:24 and Pete 2:28. Pete was also our regular DJ, month in
month out during the 70'sand 80's and Chris is still our cross-country
handicapper. Hopefully they have many more years to give the club.
Royal Albert Hall, Dorando Pietri and 1906 ‘Olympics’
with the London Concert Chorus in 6 Christmas Concerts in December at the
Royal Albert Hall led me to a discovery which in turn led to me researching
the 1906 ‘Olympic’ Games in Athens.
We line up in
a corridor before taking the stage and all around the corridor are photos
which usually have some historical significance related to the RAH. A photo
of Frank Sinatra, for example, in his last ever UK appearance. But where I
had to stand in the queue was right by a photo that really grabbed my
attention. It was a page from the December 25 1909 edition of the London
Illustrated News and was an artist’s impression of a Marathon race that had
been staged a couple of weeks earlier in December 1909. There were just two
runners at the Royal Albert Hall in this professional race. The first was
Dorando Pietri, the guy who was famously disqualified after being helped
over the finishing line at the end of the 1908 Olympic Marathon in London.
Interestingly there were 12 British runners in that race. The Queen
subsequently presented Pietri with a special gilded Cup. He had been
seriously dehydrated and had taken 10 minutes to finish the last 350 metres
and was helped over the line by two officials. This race started at 2.30pm
on a very hot summer’s day. The runner-up and eventual recipient of the Gold
was the American Johny Hayes, less than a minute behind Pietri who had
crossed the line in 2.54.46. The Americans protested and this was upheld.
What would they have made of the recent incident involving the Brownlee
brothers? The other competitor in the 1909 race at the Royal Albert Hall was
C W Gardiner from London who won the race in 2 hours 37 mins. Pietri did not
finish, dropping out in his 24th mile. He had problems, having run in new
shoes! How many people still make the same mistake! The lap was boarded,
with the boards covered in coconut matting. There would have had to be at
least 10 laps to the mile. There were doubts expressed and many believed the
course was short. Gardiner, not long before, had run the professional
Windsor to London Marathon in 2 hours 53 mins.
Pietri raced as a professional for three years after the 1908 Olympic
Marathon and earned over 200, 000 lira, a considerable sum in those days. He
retired from Running in 1911 at the age of 26. His first income came from a
collection organized in 1908 by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle which raised the
equivalent of £28,000 today to help Pietri set up in business as a baker.
Such was Pietri’s fame even Irving Berlin composed a song in his honour. He
was very much an International celebrity and raced all over the World. He
beat Olympic Gold Medallist, Johny Hayes, twice while taking part in many
exhibition races on a tour of the USA. One of these races was in Madison
Square Garden. His final race was in Sweden and before that he had run his
fastest Marathon of 2.38 in Buenos Aires. He eventually opened a Hotel in
Italy but went bankrupt. He died at the age of 56 from a Heart Attack.
Before his 1908 Olympics appearance he had run in the 1906 ‘Olympic’ Games
in Athens. He had won the qualifying race but didn’t finish the ‘Olympic’
Marathon, dropping out when leading by 5 minutes. At the time, the 1906
Games were approved by the IOC but they are not now considered to be part of
‘official’ Olympic history. They had 200 more competitors than St Louis in
1904 from 8 more competing Nations. De Coubertin apparently wanted the first
Olympics to be in Paris in 1900 but as is well known, they were first held
in Athens in 1896. Athens wanted to be the permanent host of the Olympics
and it was agreed in 1901 that in the in-between years Athens should host an
Olympics Games. The first and last of these was held in 1906 and was
subsequently renamed the ‘Intercalated’ Games. The 1906 event was considered
to be far better than the 1900, 1904 and 1908 Games that were all spread
over several months and linked to an International Exhibition. There was no
event in 1910 due to problems in the Balkans and the rest is History. The
format in 1906 was crisp and took just 10 days. For the first time teams
paraded at an Opening Ceremony and also, for the first time, flags were
flown at medal presentations. Other firsts were the Olympic Village and
march past during the parade. The 1906 games were attended by 3 members of
the British Royal Family. Quite interesting how something approved by the
IOC at the time has been airbrushed from Olympic History.
Jack Braughton VP 1921 to 2016
Braughton PP 1921 to 2016
Olympian, Jack Braughton, has just recently died at the age of 95. He was a
member of B&B and also a Director for many years of Norman Park Track
Management. Photo attached is of Jack and my Dad. It was taken at an event
in Manchester in 1991 to which all living Olympians had been invited. This
was attended by Princess Anne and was in support of the bid by Manchester to
host the 1996 Olympic Games. All Olympians were presented with a gold lapel
pin with the year of the Games that they took part in. I still have my Dad’s
pin. There were people in attendance from as early as 1924.
My Dad and Jack had quite a bit in common and 1991 was the first time that
they had ever really met and spoken. They were both blue collar workers,
Jack as a builder and my Dad as a printer’s warehouseman. Jack had to get
time off from work, which was unpaid, in order to take part. I asked B&B
member, Alan Brent, to point Jack out in the men’s athletic team photo.
Alan’s reply was: “Jack wasn’t in it, he couldn’t get time off from work”.
My Dad had a not too dissimilar experience and did his weekly night shift
for the News of the World, 6pm to 6am, a few days before he took part in his
event. Coincidentally, they both competed on the same day, a blisteringly
hot one where temperatures hit 91 degrees. While Jack, who had travelled by
public transport from Sidcup for the day without his wife, ran his 5000m
heat, my Dad was out on the roads in the 50k walk. 31 miles in an event that
started at 1.15pm (nobody had then thought about starting distance events
early in the day to avoid the worst of the heat!). My Dad’s trial event at
50k was held just 6 weeks before his Olympic appearance. That wouldn’t
happen these days either!
Jack was invited to the 2012 Games for the 5000m final on ‘Super Saturday’.
He went with his son Graham. I’d had lunch with Jack in January and he said
he had the tickets but probably wouldn’t go. I asked him why and he said:
“How would I get there”. So I wrote to Lord Coe and didn’t hear anything for
a couple of months. Then Adele, Coe’s transport manager, called me and
arrangements were made and Graham and Jack were given the VIP treatment
which also involved B&B Past President Denis Lawrie and his taxi. Jack sat
with his 1948 5000m colleague, Belgrave’s Bill Lucas (still alive at 99).
Only complaint they had was that everyone in front of them kept jumping to
was a quality athlete who admits he wasn’t at his best in the 1948 Games. He
competed alongside Sydney Wooderson but they had their differences,
particularly on training methods. Jack was behind Sydney in the Blackheath
Harriers team that won bronze team medals in the 1948 National Cross Country
which Sydney won. He ran 13.51 for 3 miles, 30.01 for 6 and 2.36 for the
Marathon. He raced until he was 80, I remember him having it over on me as
Club Handicapper in a 5 mile Yacht Handicap one Christmas! He continued to
jog and he heard that one neighbour had said something along the lines of:
“I see that old guy out jogging but he doesn’t seem to get any better”!
One other thing that Jack and my Dad had in common was that 31st July 1948
was their one and only International appearance in a GB vest.
A lovely man who has given so much to the Sport and who has left so many
Peter Baigent PP - 70 years membership
On 10 November 2016, Hanna & Dave, the President and
Derek visited Past President Peter Baigent, in York, to present him with a
memento of his 70 years membership of the club.
Thank you all for the lunch last Thursday and the
presentation of the glass plaque in mark my 70 years membership of the Club.
it will enhance my collection of Club mementos .
I appreciated the effort that you took to come to
York and make the presentation personally. Unfortunately distance makes it
difficult for me to attend Club functions, but I nevertheless still retain a
strong interest in the Club’s activities.
Best wishes to the Club and you all.
Brent PP - 70 years membership
On 1 July 2016 PP Alan Brent was presented with a memento of his 70 years
membership by President Bill Foster. Several club Past Presidents and Vice
Presidents were in attendance.
Alan will be 98 years old in November.
1928 to 2016
I was privileged
to attend the Memorial Service for John Disley the Thursday before the
London Marathon. It was at All Hallows Church by the Tower with the
reception after at Trinity House, a wonderful building full of art and
seriously a very top guy. Co-founder with Chris Brasher of the London
Marathon but also an Olympian and a bronze medallist at the Steeplechase in
1952. Was also 6th (when recovering from pneumonia) in the same
event at Melbourne, the race famously won by Brasher. The other 1956
Steeplechaser, Eric Shirley who was 8th,, was also at the
service. He is still competing and winning Vets prizes on the Track as a
V85. He is 87 and looks exceedingly fit.
Others at the
Service were Lord Coe, Paula Radcliffe, David Bedford, David Hemery, Bruce
Tulloh, Tim Hutchings (thrilled with the success of the previous Sunday’s
Brighton Marathon), former London winner Hugh Jones and many other
Internationals including at least one from the 1948 Games. Sadly no Sir
Roger Bannister who one would have expected to see had he been fit and well.
John was also a
mountaineer and was on the shortlist for the successful 1953 Everest
expedition. He had to choose between that and the 1952 Olympics. He was
also jointly responsible for the introduction of Orienteering into this
country. It was claimed that he shared 4 loves with Brasher: Mountains,
Running, Porridge and Whisky.
winners Veronique Marot and Joyce Smith were also there. Veronique had just
turned 60 and was doing the London as a 60th birthday present to
A reading was
given by a former British Lion and Welsh Rugby star, Ken Jones. Ken had
preceded John as BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year. John won the
award in 1955.
All Hallows is
the venue for a pre-London Church Service on the day before the Marathon.
This was a thing picked up from Berlin. You won’t be surprised to hear that
the Vicar who conducted the Service was running the London. Wonder whether
he gets a guaranteed entry!
occasion befitting a brilliant man.
Tony Weeks-Pearson PP 1932 to 2016
TONY WEEKS-PEARSON, Past President of Blackheath Harriers
Sad to report that we have just heard from Christine Weeks-Pearson that her
husband, Past President Tony, has died at the age of 84. He had been in poor
health for some time, suffered with Dementia and had almost totally lost his
was elected to membership on 4 April 1949 but sadly left the Club in 1997.
He rejoined having been offered Life Membership in 2008 and was presented
with his 50 year membership award in 2010.
His application was in the name of Anthony James Pearson of Hastings,
Sussex. He was proposed for membership by Sydney Wooderson, who also became
his Coach, and seconded by Sydney’s brother Stanley. As an under 19, he paid
10/6 for a year’s subscriptions.
A top class Athlete, who represented Britain in what is now called the World
Student Games, he was also a UK record holder for 3000m indoors, won several
mob matches and County titles and was a consistently good performer at the
He was twice 11th in the National Cross Country Championships in 1955 and
1958 and also 11th in the Southern in 1956. He was twice joint winner of the
Varsity Cross Country race, the first time with Chris Chataway in 1952, and
was Cross Country Captain at Oxford.
He never won the Kent Senior Cross Country title but was an individual
medallist 5 times and four times in successive years was either 2nd or 3rd.
He did win Kent 20 and Kent Marathon titles.
He ran his fastest Marathon in 1967, 2.31.23, missing the Club record by
just 15 seconds. In the 1957 Poly Marathon he would have broken Charlie
Busby’s existing Club record of 2.34.06, but on a blistering hot June day he
came 5th in 2.41 some 4 minutes behind the winner. This winning time was
some 15 minutes slower than usual. Blackheath’s Johnny Withers was 8 minutes
behind Tony and he, about 7 weeks later, ran 2.31.08, an 18 minutes
improvement on his Poly run, and this was still the record when Tony missed
it by just 15 seconds 10 years later in 1967.
When representing Britain in the 1953 International Student Games, he won
silver in the 5000m with an excellent 14.49. Leading up to the finale of the
Club Bennett Cup some 56 years ago in 1960, he won the Club 10 in 54.59.
He did the questionnaire in Athletics Weekly in 1958 and one question was:
“which performance gave you most personal satisfaction and why”. His reply
was: “the 2nd handicap spoon in the mob match against SLH, I always thought
this impossible under handicapper George Brooks”. Anyone thinking today that
they have been hard done by Club handicapper, Chris Haines, it was ever
Alan Brent made him a Vice President in 1967 and the late Don Gillate chose
him as his successor, so Tony was Club President in 1990/1. But a comment in
the 1990 Club Gazette says it all: “We are, above all, grateful to Tony for
all the work that has gone into our two priceless histories”. 1969 and the
He remained close to the Wooderson family and spoke so eloquently at
Sydney’s funeral in January 2007 and again at the Memorial Service held the
following September. His support with the preparations for the Memorial
Service was crucial to its success and led to the offer of Life Membership
which he was delighted to accept. The Service was generally considered to be
a successful and fitting tribute to the Club’s most famous member and
Last Club visitor to Tony was the late Graham Botley in his farewell tour
last March. He was accompanied by Mike Martineau and Graham remarked
afterwards that this was probably the last time he would see Tony. It was a
sad occasion as Tony really didn’t recognise his visitors and could not
communicate in his usual and entertaining way. Graham had been Tony’s choice
as his successor for the role of Club President.
Tony’s son is remembered as he and Christine presented the Club with a
trophy named after Robert Weeks-Pearson. Tony taught and had a very fine
intellect, often surprised that others were not as gifted as he. In his year
as Club President, he ran all the major CC races, including the Club 10.
Quite a feat at the age of 60. Many will have their memories of a quite
remarkable man, even the member displaced from the ‘National’ team who
witnessed him drop out of the race after about 150 yards!
Mike Martineau, March 2016
Joan Burns has just discovered an old Vets magazine
called Veteris (the magazine of the association of Veteran Athletes). It is
dated April 1974 and cost 30p. Its mostly reporting on the male side of
things but Maeve Kyle is mentioned!
In this issue is an article by Tony W-P (copy attached). taking a
"light-hearted look at the phenomenon of compulsive running". He was 43 at
the time and had spotted what was going on in the Vets scene with runners
loath to give up and retire gracefully. He was running CC and often in the
Crawley vest, for whom he was a 2nd claim member.
A very typical piece of writing. His style being very recognisable.
Mike Martineau, 22 March 2016
Bill Graham 1941 to 2016
We have just
heard that Bill Graham has sadly succumbed to cancer at the age of 74.
After playing football at a very decent level, Bill joined the Club in Oct
1987 and immediately found his place in a wide circle of like-minded
distance running friends. His best Marathon was in the 1992 London in which
he recorded a very respectable 3.32.55. He was an excellent photographer
and plied his trade with the Express Group of newspapers. His work often
featured in the Gazette and I well remember his photos from the day that we
hosted Dame Mary Peters in 1996. Many of us will have his excellent and
colourful work on our walls where he has recorded for posterity a family
occasion like a wedding, significant birthday, anniversary or birth of a new
child. His generosity with this particular skill of his was legendary. And
it was always a delight to have him at these occasions. He had a twinkle
in his eye and ensured that everyone was relaxed and happy. He had a
wonderful sense of humour and it was always a pleasure to speak with him.
Conversations were rarely short, especially if the subject of his beloved
Arsenal came up! Probably one of the most straightforward people you would
ever hope to meet. A warm, loyal man of immense integrity who when he
retired and moved to Whitstable, with wife Val, worked with those with
special needs at a wild life centre and in carpentry. He was a very
practical man and he loved his garden. Both he and Val successfully made a
new life for themselves in Whitstable and it was only a few years ago that
he became a local hero when abseiling down a tall building on the sea front
for charity. They both loved their holidays and travelled far and wide to
many exotic places.
It was always a
pleasure to visit them in Whitstable and when they celebrated their 50th
wedding anniversary, a special party was held in our neck of the woods so
that their friends up here could mark the occasion with them.
8 of us had
lunch with Bill & Val a month before last Christmas. It was a happy, joyous
and emotional occasion that we all enjoyed and Bill was on great form. Bill
hugged everyone when it was time to leave. It was an unusual gesture for
him and a little out of character but now it is very understandable as he
was really saying goodbye and expressing his gratitude for the friendship
that we have all shared since 1987 with a very special man. It was a
touching moment that none of us will ever forget.
writing about Roy Parris when he died the best part of 20 years ago and I
remarked ‘how as an athlete, he had never troubled the International
selectors but that with regards to Clubmanship, he was Olympic Gold Medal
standard’. Exactly the same with Bill, he will be greatly missed and our
hearts go out to Val and his family.
Mike Martineau, Feb 2016
Christmas Raffle 13 December 2015
I wanted to thank all those who bought raffle tickets,
the parent council and 'Up and Running' Sports shop in Sevenoaks for
donating the prizes. We raised a grand total of £412!
1st Prize Christmas Sports Hamper - Hannah Cordell,
2nd Prize Drinks Hamper- Ken Daniel, 3rd Prize - £50 Boden Voucher- Chris
Hollingdale, 4th Prize Champagne & Chocolates - Simon Heffer, 5th Prize
-Harrods Baubles - Andy Kingsmill & 6th Prize £10 M & S Voucher - Alison
Sport Bromley - Coach of the year
Bromley presented their annual awards of Coach and Volunteer of the Year on
Monday 5th October 2015 at the Pavilion in Bromley. The Mayor
plus Council leader and also the Chief Executive attended the Bromley
celebration of their 2015 London Youth Games participation and Sport Bromley
used the occasion to make their awards.
of the year award was presented to John Blackie by Sport Bromley
President, Bernard Holley. John is the Coach to local lass Dina Asher-Smith
who this year at 19 has become the fastest ever British lady sprinter. John
is a well renowned and extremely successful sprint, hurdles and jumps coach
and has won this award previously. His squad includes English Schools
Champions, National and International medalists at all ages, even over 60
years of age! It was acknowledged that if Dina is as successful in Rio in
2016 as we all hope then Sport Bromley will have not much option but to
present John with the same trophy again next year!
Have attached Press release from Sport Bromley following the awards they
make each year for Coach and Volunteer of the year.
Photo shows Sport Bromley President, Bernard Holley, Manola Toschi-Restivo,
the Mayor and John Blackie.
John has won this before as indeed has Jay Galley. John won it the year
before Manola. Volunteer of the Year trophy has the names of Brenda Brent,
Paul Patten and Heather Williamson as previous winners. This year Dick
Griffin was nominated and whilst not the winner was awarded with a 'Highly
Sad to hear
that the great Ron Clarke has died, aged only 78 he was twice a guest at the
Runner's World Obit
Sad to hear of the death of the legendary Ron Clarke at a very young age.
Ron Clarke was
twice a visitor at the Blackheath Clubhouse in Hayes. Quite unforgettable
experiences listening to the great man talk about Athletics and his
experiences in the Sport. And taking and answering questions from many of
his fans who were privileged to meet him. Who can forget his amazing
performances in 1965 which certainly don’t seem like 50 years ago! These
included his brilliant 3 miles World record at White City where he became
the first man to break 13 minutes for the distance with an excellent12.52.4.
And in 1968 at Crystal Palace to see him run 10k against the top Brits
including an up and coming David Bedford, Blackheath’s Bob Richardson and
the cream of British distance running which then was so strong. This race
was won by Dick Taylor, who as an under 21, had run in the 1965 3 mile race
but then finished over half a minute behind Ron.
But Gold at the Olympics eluded him. He carried the field in the 1964
Olympic 10k before being outsprinted by two lesser mortals and the 1968
Olympics was not on an ‘even playing field’ for those brought up at low
altitude. His valiant attempts, coming 6th in the Mexico 10k did permanent
damage to his health. He couldn’t win Gold at the Commonwealth Games either
and ended up with 4 silvers from the 3 Games he took part in. Many will
remember his final Commonwealth silver at the brilliant 1970 Games in
Edinburgh when he was outsprinted by Lachie Stewart in the 10k, the first
time the Commonwealth had been metric. Indeed the first time it had been a
Commonwealth Games with the word ‘Empire’ being dropped from the title.
He did however obtain an Olympic Gold. This was a surprise gift from Zatopek
who won 4. Ron was very much Emil’s sort of runner and it is clear that
there was immense mutual respect. You don’t casually make a gift of such a
His purple patch in 1965 where he broke 12 World records in 44 days was
quite staggering. Just 4 days after his 3 mile record he went to Oslo and
broke his own 10k record by over 36 seconds when becoming the first man to
run sub 28. His 27.39.4 lasted until the 1972 Olympics when Viren shaved a
mere second from Ron’s time. After the Olympics Viren also took Clarke’s 5k
World record when knocking .2 of a second from the time Ron set in 1966, the
fourth time Ron had set the 5k record.
But there is another Ron Clark and there is an interesting link to his
almost namesake. Ron Clarke as a 19 year old was chosen to light the flame
at the ‘Summer’Melbourne Olympics in 1956 which started in November and
finished in December. Puts an interesting slant on the controversy about a
winter World Cup in Football! Ron Clark was a member of Herne Hill Harriers
and in 1956 won the Poly Marathon in 2.20 thus gaining selection for
Melbourne where he ran in his Woolworth’s plimsolls which cost under ten bob
(50p in current language). Sadly Ron Clark did not finish his event but is
still alive, in his 80s, and living in Biggin Hill. So both Rons were
involved in 1956 and the Biggin Hill one is often amused when asked if he is
the other one!
Ron Clarke spent a lot of his life as a politician but it was for services
to Sport that he was awarded his MBE in 1966. He won the 1965 ‘Overseas
Personality’ award at the BBC Annual awards evening and was also voted
‘World Sportsman of the year’ at almost the same time.
A true legend and a wonderful human being. Thanks for the memories.
Results of Members Survey 2014-11-10
would like to thank all of you who took the time to complete the members’
survey earlier this year. In all 270 members responded, which is a very
respectable 36% of membership. Equally encouraging is the fact that all age
groups contributed, with the younger membership representing 30% of the
total who responded. Their input is particularly valuable as they make a
huge contribution to the athletic success of the club and many will remain
members, hopefully taking on the responsibilities currently discharged by
the more senior membership!
The results, which are
in slide presentation form, starts with an analysis of the membership
who completed the survey and how they use the club, and then goes on to show
the views of members across a wide range of activities and services offered
by the club. This is then followed by more specific data on the Club House
at Hayes and Norman Park Track.
Many of you
also added helpful comments and suggestions on how the Club should develop
in the future. The Executive committee will be using these and the
questionnaire responses to help shape the longer term future of our club as
well as allowing us to prioritise the shorter term improvements highlighted
by the survey.
me or any member of the Executive Committee if you have any questions or
PP Bob Cliff
Jogle & Roll
For 29 days in the spring of 2012 Peter Rogers and
John E Turner kept us on the edge of our seats as they attempted to run from
John O'Groats to Land's End in a brave challenge
never before attempted by any Blackheath & Bromley Harrier before. It was a
remarkable journey and now that story is in print. If you followed the blog
then you only read half the story. Both Peter and John have written their
own version of the run with additional contributions from Greg, their
valuable all round support, and their wives Sue and Maz. If you contributed
to their blog then you may well find yourself included. And if you fancy a
go yourself then there is everything here to plan a successful run.
Statisticians will not be disappointed - all the figures are there - along
with hundreds of photos that prove they actually did it!. It's beautifully
laid out and a very easy to read.
A real 'Boys Own" tale of Daring-do! True adventure
tackled in true Heathern style, with lashings of courage and good humour!
And like all my favourite books, it has lots of pictures. There is some very
helpful information for anyone brave enough to give it a go... but I think
I'm content to remain in my armchair.
Shake Jogle & Roll
Peter Rogers & John E Turner
176pp. Large format paperback
Available to order from shops and t'internet but if
you order on line from:
or directly from Peter or John, the price is the same but a greater
percentage goes to The Cure Parkinson's Trust to whom all authors' profits
Dale Lyons book on the London Marathon
SYNOPSIS OF THE REAL MARATHON MEN (Including Mike Peel!)
This is the story of 42 marathon runners who were
created as the ‘Everpresents’ by the London Marathon in 1995 after they run
15 consecutive Londons. Now, 33 years later only 15 remain.
Their story is a testimony to a ‘never say die’ spirit
that has sustained them during the thousands of marathons they have run all
over the world.
Dale Lyons, one of the last 15, has combined a
detailed factual record from his research with many heart warming anecdotes
and incredible hardship stories in tracking the Everpresents’ journey since
Their triumphs and cruel disappointments, the amazing
sums they have raised for countless charities, their incredible running
records at home and abroad and their fascinating and colourful lives away
from the marathon treadmill makes for absorbing and enlightening reading.
This is a book to honour their commitment to the
London, one of the greatest city Marathons and provides a lasting tribute to
a rapidly diminishing group ravaged by injury, accident, illness and death.
The book will provide information, inspiration and
motivation not only to marathon runners but to those watching the London
each year thinking “that could be me!”
January 2014 price £6.99 + £2.60 pp.
version. 230 pages with photos.
orders contact Dale Lyons
Richmond Hill Gardens, Edgbaston Birmingham B15 3RW
“This remarkable book is a
tribute to everyone of the Ever-presents. The London Marathon salutes
John Bryant. Author of The London Marathon book and
Chairman of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.
Press release re: Norman Park
8 November 2013
Good News for
Athletics in Bromley
The future of Track
and Field Athletics in Bromley has been secured for the next 10 years.
Norman Park Track Management, the company set up 20 years ago to run the
Norman Park Athletics Track, has won a contract to continue managing the
Track for another 10 years from 1 April 2014. Thus ends an unsettling
period of uncertainty. Peter Baigent, Chairman of NPTM, hails this as “a
victory for common sense” and a recognition of the high standards that have
always been maintained and which have enabled the Track to be used by the
major men’s and women’s leagues for their fixtures. Internationals have
also used the Track prior to the Crystal Palace Grand Prix. Baigent had
also said that “the Track was managed by Athletes and ex-Athletes for
Athletes” and paid tribute to those who had gone to the trouble of writing
to express their support for NPTM’s bid. Over 20 glowing testimonials had
been received from Clubs, Schools, Officials, Leagues and many individual
information, please contact Track Manager, Ken Daniel on 0208 462 5134
Awards for 2013
Jay Galley was awarded Bromley sports coach of the year 2013, which was
presented by the Mayor of Bromley
John Leeson's quest
Subject: BEACHY HEAD MARATHON 2013
Date: Mon, Oct 28, 2013 13:04
GOOD AFTERNOON FELLOW HEATHENS !!!
WHO KNOWS I MIGHT EVEN INSPIRE YOU TO RUN THIS EVENT ONCE MORE !!!!
Once again many thanks for your sponsorship!
On the day of the run it was clear and dry (with temperatures, I believe,
reaching 18 - 20 Degress C). There was a slight breeze at the start which I am
sure was a refreshing welcome to the "Rhino" waiting to go !!
The day was never going to be about time but to complete the course safely and
to enjoy the event. Starting as I meant to go on, I walked up the first hill
(metres from the start line) along with many others. It wasn’t too long before
we were getting in to our stride of jogging and running.
Taking things a little easier did afford the enjoyment of being able to talk
more to other runners. Early on in the run I found myself in the company of a
member of the 100 marathon club, the pace was comfortable, and I asked what time
he was hoping to finish in. He said between 6hrs - 6hrs 30 mins. Shortly
afterwards my companion was heard saying "I think I will start walking for a
Deciding to carry on jogging /running it wasn’t long before I had caught up with
Desperate Dan from the Dandy, (well alright if I am honest a man wearing a very
bright red shirt with the cartoon character printed on) who had passed me
earlier on, this game of cat and mouse continued for several miles and certainly
helped distract from the aches and pains.
Aware how easy it is to fall on the downhill sections (a pleasure I enjoyed when
I first ran the course in 1998) coupled with the wisdom of age and
self-preservation I gingerly descended in to the village of Alfreston (recalling
it was here that I went base over apex) amazed by the numbers who seemed to fly
pass me, carefree and upright!! Chuffed that I had managed to reach Alfreston
unscathed I refocused my attention to the job in hand.
The Seven Sisters is always a challenge no matter what pace you are running, the
climbs seemed much harder than I remembered, with something or someone to
distract (this time it was two brothers running for the "lifeboats") coupled
with a little mental attitude the worse is soon passed. I am now on a descent to
Birling Gap, here the drinks station is offering hot tea, and my old friend Stan
(who introduced me to running) with my son Tom are waiting with much needed
encouragement. At this point I have completed just over 22 miles. A welcome
break recharging the batteries a little with tea in hand I walk awhile with Stan
Despite several runners passing me at this point including the lifeboat brothers
it is not long before I have caught them back on the uphill section to Beachy
Head. Once reached it is all downhill to the finish.
JOB DONE in 5 hours 31 mins 9 secs.
The effort was made all the more easy, knowing that you had kindly supported the
Last year was to prove extremely challenging for, not just myself but, my
family and close friends.
In January 2012 I was operated on for Bowel Cancer,
and although successful, five months later I was diagnosised with secondary
cancer on the liver. My recovery has been largely attributed to my fitness
and the support of those close to me. However this is not distracting from
my efforts or personal goals, and with the support of my fellow Harriers at
Blackheath and Bromley I am looking to continue to improve.
If I am able to encourage and lift the spirit of
others going through similar difficulties so much the better. After all it
is a medical condition not a conclusion.
Having over come these slight blips I felt I should at
least pay back a little to the skill and care of the medical teams I was
fortunate to be under. Hence my "desire" to run a cross country marathon
over the south downs, although there are some who seem to be questioning my
sanity in this respect. If you are curious as to the nature of the course
and the challenges that await, I believe passed entrants have video clips on
you tube headed "Beachy Head Marathon" - see also
Beachy Head Marathon
They always say every little bit helps, it does and it
will help get me to the finish, thank you on behalf of all that we will help
Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be
quickly processed and passed to charities.
Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation
and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible
for this. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any
Alex Littlewood got married...
Alex's wedding to girlfriend Jordan took place on 20 June
The venue was Jordan's home town Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, just
south of Cleveland which stands on the southern edge of Lake Erie, the centre of
which marks the Canadian border.
Carolyna and Adi's Wedding Pics 5 May 2013
Some pics from
last nights wedding reception/pre ted pepper training.
The Young Athletes Raffle was drawn on
Saturday 4 May 2013
managed to raise the sum of £2169 via the raffle. After the cost of the iPad
has been deducted we have the clear sum of £1,900.
And to blow
the trumpet even further, since the beginning of March the ‘Pub Club’ have
raised the sum of £3,657.35.
Pats on the
back all around and a whole host of thank yous. Firstly to the Pub Club –
Margaret, Sarah C and Sarah F, without whom we would not have raised a
single penny! Ideas a plenty, sleeves up and hard graft – thank you!
Not to be
forgotten is the sterling support we have received from the Club community –
Hanna, Mick, Heather, David C, Tim, John, Paul P, and Mike Shepherd who have
also stuffed, cajoled and donated.
you to our new President, Bob, who gamely stepped in lastminute.com to
deliver a polished performance today.
We still have
a couple more irons in the fire which will raise even more wonga and no
doubt the Pub Club will be back in the near future with another fund raising
Thank you and
All winners have been contacted and the results
A pair of spikes signed by Mo Farah. 11595
shirt signed by Adam Gemili.
A 16gb iPad mini.
£40 towards a meal for 2 at The Bottle House,
A meal for two at the Zeera Spice, Adington Road. 11566
A meal for two at The New Inn, Hayes. 10875
A meal for two at The Coney,
Croydon Road. 11860
A £10 Argos
A large set of golf balls 11253
10th Prize A
hat signed by Adam Gemili. 10031
11th Prize A
set of golf balls 11920
12th Prize A
set of golf balls 11417
Winners all - 2012 awards
Heather Williamson was awarded the Bromley Volunteer of the
Year for 2012, the presentation took place on
Tuesday 23 October at The Civil Centre Bromley
Winners all - KCAA awarded male & female athletes (U20) and official of the year to
B&B members at their annual dinner on
Adam, Dave & Dina proudly display their awards. All were at OUR dinner on 16
Message from an Old Member
Graham used to
live in Anerley, joined us in October 1985 and left in September 1989
former member in the 80's I enjoy seeing your club at major competitions
and have great pride in pointing out your colours and tent to all my
athletes at cross country events as my time in London and running for
the club has left me with good memories and I keep in touch still,
periodically, with Jim Phelan.
great to bump into Ken Daniel on Saturday at the National X/C relays and
have a chat whilst watching the u/13's races where Ken will recall, my
girls team were terribly mismanaged by the officials and went from 5th
on 1st leg to 70 ish on 2nd leg leaving the girls really upset.
been coaching now at Wirral AC for about 8-10 years and have a talented
squad of about 40 youngsters.
occasionally bump into Graham Botley at cross challenges and Birmingham
Indoor Grand Prix and like I said have fond memories of members past and
probably still present and would like to say hi to those that may
remember me, shouldn't be hard remembering my scouse accent!
Kent London Athletics Network won "Network of the Year"
for the London Region 2012
England Athletics Volunteer Awards - London
sent on behalf of the London Regional
I would like to take this opportunity to
congratulate the Kent London Athletics Network on winning the England
Athletics London Region Athletics Network of the Year Award for 2012. As
always, we had a very strong list of nominations this year, reflecting
the huge amount of time and energy given by volunteers across the region
in every facet of our sport. The London Regional Council is very aware
that athletics would not function in this country without this huge body
of volunteers who give so freely of their time and so I would like to
take this opportunity to thank you for all that you contribute on behalf
of England Athletics. As a winner of a Regional Award you will also be
considered for the National Award in this category.
We will be celebrating all of this year’s award
winners at a London Region Awards Evening later this year. Details of
this will be sent to you shortly.
Congratulations once again,
Club & Coach Support Officer,
Sussex & Kent (including Kent London boroughs)
Alex Littlewood is a father
Alex and his
partner Jordan have a new baby daughter Amelia Madeleine Littlewood. Born on
Saturday night 22.09.12 and weighing 7lb 6oz.
|Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks for club volunteers.
Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC together
with UKA takes its responsibilities towards the welfare of young
people in Athletics very seriously and requires everyone in
athletics who has significant contact with children to have an
Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure.
I have attached a stage by stage
guide on how to apply and complete the the Enhanced CRB
I have also
which can be used for helpers for a one off expedition but it is
preferable to complete the full CRB check. If you are submitting
this through the track at Norman Park please speak with Ken Daniels
who will assist otherwise contact me, Brian Power (Welfare Officer)
07919 490365. 10-05-12
Two 50 years membership awards
presented in New Zealand
sunny New Zealand - God its hot down here - about 28/29 at the moment,
however we have had quite a bit of rain, albeit warm rain, since we arrived.
Hope all went well at the National Supper last night.
I have managed to meet up with 2 of our members and present them with their
50 years membership awards. The first was Rod Barker, who was officiating at
the Auckland Cathay Pacific half marathon earlier today. I slightly
gatecrashed their prize ceremony and managed to make the presentation to Rod
from their "stage" - the back of a truck, during the proceedings.
Afterwards I drove up to Titirangi and visited Ian
Mackley at his home where, as you can see, the weather was still beautiful
and I presented him with his award.
We also met both wifes and had a thoroughly enjoyable
Both recipients were very proud and humbled to receive
their awards. Two lovely men who are thoroughly proud of their membership of
26 February 2012
Darryl Hillier and Kim's wedding
This is how
they do it in South Africa.... 21 January 2012
Thanks very much to the person who posted a
couple of our wedding pics onto the Blackheath site, much appreciated.
If I had got married in the UK, I promise you that the whole club
would've been invited! We had perfect weather on the 21st January 2012
at Morgan Bay situated right on the beach in the Eastern Cape. We had
113 guests and had a great day. Kim & I are very happily married now and
in still in love, can you believe it!!!
I miss the running and Blackheath terribly, but
still managing to swim 20km in 5 days, so at least doing some exercise.
I plan to start running the cross country for the over 40's races here,
starting in May. I'm sure they won't be as hard as those UK muddy
Sorry to hear it's so cold there and that you
had plenty snow. I would've loved to have raced the Club 10, pity! My
ultimate club race and such a flat course!
Please send regards to everyone at the Club and
I'm following the results a lot, so GO ON THE HEATH!!!
Ron Eaton, 'Ron the Runner'
A great servant of Athletics has been lost to us.
Those who in the past have worked on Administration at the London
Marathon, will remember Ron as the kindly and friendly man who managed
the Registration process. Sadly he died recently and his funeral was at
the City of London Crematorium on 20 September. He was 86 and was
survived by a son and a daughter and two grandchildren. He was shortly
to become a Great Grandfather. He was himself a prodigious runner who
completed many marathons including London and New York. He also
race-walked, was a Centurion and had completed the London to Brighton.
He was greatly affected by the loss of his wife Joyce 7 years ago and it
was appropriate to hear the BBC's London Marathon theme being played at
the service which ended with the pop song 'Keep on Running'. He greatly
enjoyed running and considered himself a serious runner. Thus the award
by Running Magazine of the title 'Fun Runner of the Year' didn't go down
at all well... 26-09-11
Colin Poole will be running his 300th Marathon in
Annual Report for the Kent
London Athletics Network
will see from the following report the extent of the activities
undertaken by the Network in the first year, through the co-ordination
by 365 Athletics Academy. You may not wish to read every word of the
report, but a glance at the two pages of bullet points will give you an
idea of the impressive number and range of activities during the year.
In fact, at the presentation of the Network's Year 2 Plan made to an
England Athletics panel in March, they were so impressed by Year 1
achievement, together with future plans, that not only was the requested
£25k awarded, but permission was granted to carry forward an £8k+
underspend from Year 1. The underspend resulting from from the late
entry into the scheme by the Kent London Athletics Network.
take this opportunity to make it clear that these funds do not come
under the jurisdiction of B&B HAC, but can only be spent by the Network
as outlined in the Year Plan. The Club do make a contribution of £1k
under "Partner Funding", but from the bullet points it can be seen how
the Club and its members have benefitted.
have any questions or points you would like to raise please put them to
either Tim Soutar or John Baldwin who are the B&B representative on the
Kent London McCain Athletics Network
First Annual Report to Member Clubs
Is your Network making a difference to your club, its coaches, officials,
wider membership? We will let you be the judges of that!
The Kent London McCain Athletics Network was launch on 9th May 2010 at the
County Championships at Ashford. Mike Summers, the then CEO of England
on hand to present a cheque for ..80,000 to fund projects over a three year
funding is part of a ..5 million sponsorship package from McCain who have
with England Athletics with the goal of finding and nurturing future
champions whilst at
the same time raising the profile of athletics and inspiring families to
involved in the sport.
The Network is seen as an important partnership between England Athletics
local clubs: Beckenham Running Club; Bexley AC; Blackheath & Bromley
Harriers AC and
The Network aims to grow and sustain participation levels in athletics,
number of volunteers involved in the sport, improve the quality of
experience for all
participants and at the same time raise the standard of coaching and
Below is a snapshot of what has been achieved over the past twelve months as
of the four clubs working together:
• A Coaches Forum, hosted by B&BHAC, attended by 45 delegates from the
network clubs was organised which was supported by two very prominent
senior coaches and presenters from England Athletics.
• Beckenham Running Club hosted a nutrition talk organised by England
Athletics for local coaches.
• Held an Athletics Leaders Course for 22 participants.
• Coach and Athlete Development Workshops programmes established for high
jump at Erith Stadium (monthly) and hammer at Norman Park/Sutcliffe Park
(periodic – usually more frequent than monthly).
• First Aid Workshop attended by 14 participants.
• Coaching bursaries provided for new and existing coaches to attend
• Purchased and distributed Athletics 365 manuals for evaluation purposes.
• Flying Coach visit organised to run an Athletics 365 workshop to
a typical session, observed by coaches from the network clubs who work with
young athletes. The aim of the workshop was to generate confidence and
knowledge for the introduction of the scheme within the participants’ clubs.
• Work was started on developing a prototype of a Network Coaches database
• Newly qualified young coaches have been given the opportunity to develop
their coaching skills under the supervision of more experienced coaches via
the Bees Academy and Bexley Tigers.
• Helped organise a Bromley Primary Schools QuadKids event for school years
& 4 that attracted 120 participants. The event was so well received that
year the Bromley Schools Sports Partnership in conjunction with the Network
will be organising a bigger borough wide festival for children in school
- 6. Anticipated level of participation 500+.
• The Network entered a composite team in the Aviva Fun in Athletics London
Region Festival at Crystal Palace. Twenty-eight athletes participated with
girls’ team finishing 3rd and the boys’ team 4th – highest ranked Network
• Organised a major Public Lecture by Dr Costas Karageorghis entitled Inside
Sport Psychology, in conjunction with local school Langley Park School for
Boys. Attended by 150 coaches, sportsmen and sportswomen, students, PE
staff and parents. The speaker, premises and audio visual equipment were
secured at no cost to the Network.
• Designed and implemented a substantial network website that is updated
almost daily, containing information and resource materials applicable to
network club memberships. This has now become a major source of
information (highly recommended viewing – www.kentlondonathletics.org.uk .
Also created a Facebook page for the Network.
• Secured £1000 worth of books, DVDs and videos on long-term loan from
England Athletics in order to establish a resource library for use by
clubs members. Library accessible via the website.
• Purchased at greatly discounted price 2000 cross country flags and other
equipment for use by Network clubs and coaches.
• Have met with the Greenwich Athletics Activator (Melissa Catchpole) to
ensure no duplication of effort and share current and future plans.
• Network representative sits on the Lewisham Athletics Action Group.
• Meetings held with various School Sports Partnerships across the Network.
• Established meaningful links with the Kent Rural
Athletics Network and Kent
County Athletics Association particularly in the area of coach and athlete
• Co-ordinators have attended numerous network training days, conferences
• Successfully negotiated the purchase of a full 4-lane Sportshall
kit from the national Sportshall organisation, a large discount funded
for the network, Kelsey Park Sports College and 365 Athletics Academy.
• Creation of a centre of excellence for Sportshall activities at Kelsey
Sports College in Beckenham from June 2011.
• Have identified a KLAN 2012 event – “QuadKids in the Olympic Park” during
the Games targeting children visiting London from around the world. We
would like to reward the Network’s outstanding young athletes (16+) with the
opportunity to run QuadKids sessions under the guidance of senior coaches.
The challenge we have is how we put forward the idea to the Olympic
• The Network committee has agreed in principle and where appropriate for
clubs to share open and joint club championship events across the Network,
to include road-running and cross country. Road running club members to be
encouraged to participate in Track & Field events during the summer
Looking forward to the next twelve months the following priorities have been
and funding approved by England Athletics London Regional Network Panel:
The creation of a centralised Network administration
system to help manage efficiently,
the day to day affairs of Network clubs.
Organise a range of workshops, seminars, conferences,
courses to cover the following
• Two Coach/Officials conferences to be held in
October & March
• Coach Training Courses
• Officials Training Courses
• First Aid Training Courses
• Coach & Athlete Development Workshops
• High Jump, Hammer, horizontal jumps, shot/discus/javelin and road-running/
• Review of needs
• Job descriptions/guidelines
• Recruitment -internal/external including recruitment evenings
• Volunteer support and training
Publication of a six monthly KLAN e-Newsletter
Content to include:
• Members’ letters
• athlete profiles - current/past
• forthcoming events
• advertising opportunities -local businesses, discounts
• England Athletics section
• Results and achievement highlights
• key contacts & resources
Athletics in the Park – Summer holiday activities for children in local
parks run by young
Introduction of Athletics 365 coaching scheme and
promotion of QuadKids and Super 8
short form competitions within clubs and schools.
Support for the 2011/12 Kent Coach and Athlete
Continued maintenance of the Network’s website
And much more………………………………………..
We are pleased to be able to announce that Petts Wood
Runners joined the Network
from 1 April 2011.
The Network Committee is always interested to hear new
ideas and suggestions so
please let us have, by e-mail to: email@example.com ,
feedback and comments.
For those of you who have supported the Network’s
activities during the year we thank
you and to those who have yet to get involved please visit our website
www.kentlondonathletics.org.uk on a regular basis in order to keep
updated on what
events are being organised for you. If you have a need, let us know about
John Blackie & Paul Patten
Kent London McCain Athletics Network Co-ordinators
Message from Cliff Keen
It has been over 3 years since my Louise and I
returned to the UK (and BBHAC) after a 5 year interval down in India and
Australia, and it is time to head overseas again. This time it is South
America, and just for 12 months, we intend to be back in time to use our
Olympic tickets, should we get any.
On this trip Louise intends to keep a blog, so if you
would like to take a break from browsing Facebook you can find us on
www.travelpod.com – the best
way is to enter ‘louisekeen’ into the Search box, and then look for ‘Louise
and Cliff’s South American Adventure’ (but wait a while, there is nothing of
interest on it yet !).
I will, of course, be able to follow your exploits on
the BBHAC web site, so please make it a spectacularly successful year.
Kirsty & Mel Got Married! - 29 August 2010
made 27 March 2010 at culmination of 2009/2010 Bennett Cup)
receives his 50 years membership award today.
He was elected to
membership on 4 April 1949 but sadly left us in 1997. He was offered Life
Membership by the Club, accepted and rejoined 2 years ago.
is in the name of Anthony James Pearson of Hastings, Sussex. He was proposed
for membership by Sydney Wooderson, who also became his Coach, and seconded by
Sydney’s brother Stanley. As an under 19, he paid 10/6 for a year’s
A top class
Athlete, who represented Britain in what is now called the World Student Games,
he was also a UK record holder for 3000m indoors, won several mob matches and
County titles and was a consistently good performer at the highest level.
He was twice 11th
on the National Cross Country Championships in 1955 and 1958 and also 11th
in the Southern in 1956. He was twice joint winner of the Varsity Cross Country
race, the first time with Chris Chattaway in 1952, and was Cross Country Captain
He never won the
Kent Senior Cross Country title but was an individual medallist 5 times and four
times in successive years was either 2nd or 3rd. He did
win Kent 20 and Kent Marathon titles.
He ran his
fastest Marathon in 1967, 2.31.23, missing the Club record by just 15 seconds.
In the 1957 Poly Marathon he would have broken Charlie Busby’s existing Club
record of 2.34.06, but on a blistering hot June day he came 5th in
2.41 some 4 minutes behind the winner. This winning time was some 15 minutes
slower than usual. Blackheath’s Johnny Withers was 8 minutes behind Tony and
he, about 7 weeks later, ran 2.31.08, an 18 minutes improvement on his Poly run,
and this was still the record when Tony missed it by just 15 seconds 10 years
later in 1967.
Britain in the 1953 International Student Games, he won silver in the 5000m with
an excellent 14.49.
Leading up to the
finale of the Bennett Cup some 50 years ago in 1960, he won the Club 10 in
54.59. Not bad, eh!
He did the
questionnaire in Athletics Weekly in 1958 and one question was: “which
performance gave you most personal satisfaction and why”. His reply was: “the 2nd
handicap spoon in the mob match against SLH, I always thought this impossible
under handicapper George Brooks”. Any of you thinking today that you have been
hard done by the handicapper, it was ever thus!
Alan Brent made
him a Vice President in 1967 and the late Don Gillate chose him as his
successor, so Tony was Club President in 1990/1. But a comment in the 1990
Gazette says it all: “We are, above all, grateful to Tony for all the work that
has gone into our two priceless histories”. 1969 and the 1989 update.
thanks go to Tony for his excellent support when I was organising the Sydney
Wooderson Memorial Service in 2007. I couldn’t have done it without him and it
was generally accepted to be a successful and fitting tribute to our most famous
So thank you
Past member Rory Byrne 23-12-09
Hi my name is Joe Mills and I am a former member of the club (I
would still be if I hadn't moved to Canada in the summer of this
year). I know Nick has probably told you already of the devastating
news of the passing of Rory Byrne in the early hours of Sunday
I wanted to mail you directly myself, to give you some more
information about Rory in case you were doing your weekly
presentation, but also to give you the address of the funeral which
is next Monday at 10am at Our Lady of Good Council, Fox Rock Church,
Rory lived for running, I mean more than anyone I have ever met.
He used to say to me that his loves were in order, his son (13
years, Cianan), running, his wife, Brenda and then Utd. He ran 66
min for the Great North before his first marathon a few years ago,
so had great pedigree. He first discovered what turned out to be a
benign brain tumour, in May 2005. He used to have many siezures and
while he was adjusting to massive levels of medication was unable to
run, but got into good enough shape to run last years Berlin
Marathon in 2.36 (12 mins outside his PB). he didn't tell the club,
because he didn't want a fuss, but also because he was
understandably cautious. He was given the all clear in May and
celebrated, was back running 80-90 miles a week and dragging me out
the door most days around Greenwich park and Blackheath where we
lived, early this summer. I know that he fully intended to start
racing again and was just waiting until he felt in good enough
This never happened, in July he suffered a relapse and was
admitted into hospital where they found another tumour, that was to
eventually kill him last weekend. It ravaged him, he lost his sight
6 weeks ago and slowly more faculties. Not at any point did he get
angry, he showed immense bravery and dignity for his friends and his
family and was determined to live a close to a normal life as
possible, which is why for example when he recently spoke with Nick,
he never fully described the extent of his illness.
His hero was Carlos Lopez (he used to make me watch the 84
Marathon on video once a year), amazingly Lopez visited him last
Alison, Rory was a very close friend to me and also my only real
training partner over the last few years. I am slightly sad that he
wasn't better known among the club, but as you know 'out of sight
out of mind', in no way did this reflect his passion for athletics.
What is not known at all, was that in the Southern 12 stage of 2005,
Rory ran stage 11 in what looked like a very slow time, he would
have been devastated by that performance. However, he was such a
gentleman, he escorted my then heavily pregnant wife round the
course while I ran the last leg. At the time, Rory did not know why
he ran so slowly but we were within weeks to discover that he was
collapsing and losing time. He obviously did so on that leg, but
no-one was there to see it and he did not remember it.
I hope the club will be able to send some flowers, I have the
address of I think his parents (his dad was his first coach, and
even on the last day that I saw him, two weeks ago was discussing
Irish athletics with his dad and me) where a wake will be on Sunday
evening. 2 Whitehall Cottage, Westminster Rd, Foxrock, Dublin,
Ireland. I also hope that you will be able to write an obituary or
something to remember a truly wonderful person and he would want me
to say, runner.
If you want anymore information please get in touch.
With very best wishes, and also an acknowledgement of sorrow that
I am passing on this what must be shocking news to you.
Another note from
The 2009 England Athletics National Awards programme
The 2009 England Athletics National Awards programme,
sponsored by Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Champagne, has seen volunteers from across
the country recognised for their contributions in supporting the development of
There are twelve categories of award which recognise the
work of clubs, volunteers, officials and coaches, as well as the areas of
partnership and disability athletics. We are pleased to announce the results of
the first stage of the programme - the nine English Regional Award winners for
the 12 categories. You can read more about the regional winners in the local
area news pages over the following weeks. Congratulations to the following
winners: Rachel Blackie, Lauren Blackie, Dan Haque
& Scott Huggins.
John Graves - chair of the EA board commented, "The
regional awards programmes are one of, if not the most, important initiatives
that we support as a governing body. I am delighted that this year’s programme
will recognize over 100 volunteers and organizations who really make the sport
tick. Without volunteers the sport would cease to exist as we know it at a local
level and it is vitally important for the long term health of the sport that we
recognize this contribution and support it in whatever way we can. A number of
our key strategies are focused on supporting the growth and skill base in
volunteering and such role models recognized in this year’s awards programme can
only serve as an example to others who might be thinking of getting involved in
their local club, association or community.
Good news for Andy Edwards
||Andy Edwards is to be the press conference
presenter at the 2010 London Marathon. This will entail his hosting
press conferences where the stars and celebrities and all things novel
and quirky are brought before the nation's press. He takes over from Tim
Hutchins. I reckon he should do well with his knowledge of the sport and
And Clare Lodwig is now Mrs Smeaton...
A note from Gary
Plank - Gary is moving away from the area...
It was quite sad for me to say goodbye to my
Clubmates last night knowing that I am unlikely to see many of them
again for the foreseeable. Sadly, my next visit will be almost certainly
for the inevitable funeral of an old friend. C'est la vie.
However, I shall read the news on the website
avidly and hopefully meet up with some of the guys at a race. My
greatest wish is to see the club back near the top of British athletics,
especially over the country where our traditions and strengths used to
If possible, can you please let everyone know my
new location on the website, as follows:-
10 Battles Lane, Kesgrave, Ipswich, Suffolk IP5
This only a mile or so off the A14 near
Woodbridge. Visitors welcome.
Until I get a landline organised I can be
contacted on 07833501057 or by e-mail, of course.
I personally thank you as the first Heathen to
welcome me to the club back in 1982 which set the tone for the next 25
years membership of this great institution.
All the best to one and all.
||Chris Day would like to thank all of the members
who gave so generously to the British Heart Foundation following the
untimely death of her husband Past President Jim Day. The total raised
was £875. 17-09-07
Jim Day died suddenly on Sunday morning (1 July
2007). Jim would have been 74 in August and next year would have
achieved 50 years membership of Blackheath & Bromley HAC.
RUNNERS YEAR - EXPLAINED by Ian Wilson PP 9-11-04
Most people when they hear the word “athletics” think of
the Olympics or the London Marathon, or may be their school sports day. Most
have no idea what happens for the whole year. If you are reading this you should
be a paid up member of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC and will know already
that there are many other events in the world of athletics.
You may not be clear which races are important and which
are not. Also, you may not be certain how best to prepare for those races that
you want to do well in. The purpose of this article is to inform those of you
who are relatively new to athletics and, perhaps cause some members of longer
standing to review their objectives. It may even stimulate debate and improve
First of all athletics’ is above all else an individual
sport, it is a very personal sport. Team performances are secondary as they are
the result of a collection of individual performances. However, there is no
doubt that an enthusiastic team will help individuals to perform well. You may
consider your local 3.75k road race with 50 runners important, someone else may
consider their local 6.5 k cross country race important, while others may
consider only County, Area or National championships as being important. If
every one does their own thing it is unlikely that the Club team will do well.
The Club will benefit from good performances from both individuals and teams.
Different preparation (training) is require for different
events. Your body is not like an F1 car that can be rebuilt after each race
ready for the next. To improve you must train your body to do what you want it
to. This requires stress, recovery and more stress. Then different stress,
recovery and more stress. Sound familiar? There are many ways to train but not
all will suit you. To some extent training and racing is an art form not an
exact science. The problem is that you have to find out what works best for you
and you only get one chance! If you are a runner then following the traditional
British athletics calendar is a good way to start.
What is the traditional British calendar? Well, it has
been developed over some 140 years to suit both our climate and the human body.
It was developed long before television dictated that athletes perform at the
highest level continuously throughout the year.
Let’s start the year in September, after you have
returned from your summer holiday or the summer break from school or university.
The track and field season has finished and this is the Road Relay season.
Runners can do individual road races and road or cross country relays. Most of
these need not be too serious; more an opportunity to race fast over relatively
short distances and begin to build fitness for the rest of the year. There is an
opportunity for track and field athletes to run against the “distance” runners.
In the Autumn there are “short” championship road relays.
These are important to the Club and allow individuals to race against the best
in the Area or Country. Incidentally there are three areas in England, North,
South and Midlands. B&BHAC is in the South of England.
These relays are “short” in respect of the number of
runners in the team and not distance raced. All the areas have a 6 leg men’s
road relay and 4 leg women’s road relay. These take about 2 hours and 1 hour
respectively to run. At present the Southern event is held at the Rushmoor
Areana in Aldershot at the end of September and the National event is held at
the end of October in Sutton Park at Sutton Coldfield.
This Road Relay season runs in to October and over
laps the start of the cross country season which runs, officially, from 1st
October to the 31st March. To confuse matters even more, road racing has no
fixed season, races being held throughout the year, whenever the organiser
thinks is the best time for his event. Hence, the mass participation Great North
Run half marathon race is usually held in September or October.
So from October through to March is the
cross country running season. This comprises local league races, we do the Kent
League, inter club races and championship races. The climax of the season being
the World cross Country Championships which are held each year.
Basically, before Christmas the races are about 5 miles
long for senior men and 3 miles for senior women. These are low key races which
runners may take in the stride without easing down their training. After
Christmas the Championship season happens in about eight weeks.
In the past, on the first weekend in January have
been the County Championships. But from 2004 they will be in the middle of
January. This is by an individual entry and all may run provided you have a
County qualification. This is either by birth or nine months residence. Having
once competed in a county championship you can not move to another county
without missing a year. Many, but not all, of our members are qualified for
Kent. As B&BHAC is affiliated to Kent we may enter teams in the Kent
championship. There are races for all age groups and both sexes. For senior men
the distance is 7.5 miles and for senior women about 4miles. The distances are
shorter for the younger age groups.
At the end of January the Area cross country
championships are held. The Club enters names and teams for these and as far as
I am aware there is no restriction on who may run provided they are representing
their First Claim Club. B&BHAC run in the Southern Championship. There are races
for all age groups and both sexes. The race distances are the same as for the
county championships except that the senior men run 9 miles.
Until 2004 the Inter Counties Championships were held In
mid February. But from 2004 on they are held on the first Saturday in
March. Counties usually select their team from performances in the County
Championships. For seniors up to 15 names may be entered, 9 may run with 6 to
score. If you aspire to represent your county, all you have to do is to run well
in the County championship and make sure the County Team Manager knows that you
are keen to run. For the last few years the Inter counties championship has
included the UK Athletics Trial for the British Team to run in the World Cross
Country Championships at the end of March. Also, it is currently held in
Wollaton Park, Nottingham. if you are not selected for your county team it worth
going to watch, as it is usually the highest quality domestic event in the
The English National Championships are held at the end of
February and the venue moves round to each of the three areas. The 2003
version was hosted by the South at Parliament Hill Fields which is famous as,
arguably, the “best” course in the country. The Club enters names and teams for
this and there is no restriction on who may run provided they are representing
their First Claim Club and that club has entered the Area Championship. There
are races for all age groups and both sexes. The race distances are the same as
for the county championships except that the senior women run 8k.
For most of us “The National” ends the cross country
season. If you are very, very fast you could make your national team for the
World Cross Country Championship which is held towards the end of March.
You just need to finish in the top 4 places in the Inter counties!! This year’s
World Championship was in Brussels and a next year it is in the South of France.
Again, if you fancy a weekend away, watching the best runners in the world, why
not go on one of PP Graham Botley’s tours to the world cross? I am sure you will
not be disappointed.
Of course during the winter there are many road races. If
you are interest in my view, I do not recommend too many winter road races. I
consider that, if you are free on Saturdays, you are better doing cross country
in the winter than road running. Cross country running will make you stronger,
is less stressful on the body, more relaxing and the variety should leave you
refreshed for the road and / or track races in the summer.
In April there are more road relays. These are the
“long” relays typically for men there are 12 legs, 6 long about 5.5 miles and 6
short about 3 miles. The race starts with a long leg, the short and so on
finishing with a short leg. The women run 6 short legs, usually over the same
course as the men which makes for interesting comparisons within the club!
The Area, Southern Championship, is held at the beginning
of April and the National Championship at the end of April. The Southern
at the Open University at Milton Keynes on a Sunday and the National at Sutton
Park, Birmingham. The courses for the National event are a little longer than
those used in the Autumn road relay. These races take about 4.5 hours for the
senior men and just about 2 hours for the senior women. Also, there are relay
races for young athletes in Sutton Park on the Sunday following the senior
Of course there is a major mass participation race in
April called the London Marathon. If this is your aim cross country is ideal
Also in April the track and field season begins. Track and
field lasts through to September. The Club takes enters teams in the
National and in the Southern Leagues, as well as the Young Athletes Leagues.
There is also a Southern Vets T&F League.
Track & Field gives scope for all to take part; you do not
have to be a runner. There are five basic types of T&F event; these are track
i.e. sprint and middle distance and field i.e. vertical jumps, horizontal jumps
and throws. There is something for every one there. The Club could do with more
field event and sprint people. Do you know any footballers or rugby players who
want (need) to keep (get) fit during the summer. If so bring them along for an
introduction to track & field.
There are many shorter road races in the summer. 5k and
10k being ideal distances for improving marathon and half marathon times.
If you want variety then there is always Fell Running.
This is very hilly cross country across fells. These, I think, are held
throughout the year.
After all this you will be ready for your summer holiday
and to rest ready for the next year. You may have decided which events you are
best at and / or enjoy the most. You may have decided which events you would
most like to set more personal bests at. If so, how to have the best chance of
achieving personal bests could be the subject of another article. Racing should
Enjoy your running year!
UK ATHLETES ON THE USE OF SUPPLEMENTS – VERSION 2
The Club has received a position statement from UK Sport and the
British Olympic Association on the use of all supplements. The
opening paragraph states: “UK athletes are strongly advised to be
extremely cautious about the use of any supplements. No guarantee
can be given that any particular supplement, including vitamins and
minerals, ergogenic aids, and herbal remedies, is free from
prohibited substances as these products are not licensed and are not
subject to the same strict manufacturing and labelling requirements
as licensed medicines.” There is much more detailed information
in the leaflet, but it does show that licensed medicines will carry
a product license number, eg. PL0242/0028. Further information can
be obtained from: UK Sport, Drug-Free Sport Directorate, 40 Bernard
Street, London, WC1N 1ST. Email:
Website: www.uksport.gov.uk/did To check all prescribed
medicines use the above website, UK Sport Helpline 0800 5280004
or call David Herbert, Anti-Doping Co-ordinator at UK Athletics on
0870 998 6732. New
Supplement Advice Sheet (PDF
219k) has recently been published - if you take any form of
supplement you need to read it.
say you didn't know... read the official UKA
document on Doping and it's regulation. Also includes a
list of all banned substances.