Friday, 20 June 2008

Bye bye

Not much to show for a fairly hectic day.

Still not got the front page ready but have just removed the update my entry section and reference to registration.

I'm signing off this blog. I hope that you have enjoyed it over the past 7 months. Not sure whether I will do the same next year or not - this is probably not a good time to decide.

A new blog will be appearing within the front page to bring you news but it will only be around for about 2 days starting now.

Good bye.

Must buy a belt

I was hoping to have the design of a new website for the race tomorrow ready by now but I lost of all of my little creativity last night and ended up going to bed early. I had intended to watch a match of Euro 2008 for the first time but although I had a small TV on above my desk, I didn't get the chance to watch the most exciting match of the tournament so far.

Since getting up this morning I have checked the statistics for yesterday and see that 791 different people visited the website and there were more than 3000 page hits. I still find this amazing compared to the early days when, back in 2001, I had to convince people that there were benefits of putting information on the website!

I've continued my daily early morning running routine every day for 65 days but am going to struggle to fit this in over the the next few days. So I'm doing a hard 10 miles at the NSC this morning (I have taken today and Monday off work) and then I'll do another long run on Monday. Sunday's short burst is going to be the hardest due to lack of sleep. Tomorrow will probably be a quick jog down to the NSC with camera in hand.

Its still a little early to start my run today as I need to get some more liquid in but I need to tidy up the site before I do more on the PW site.

This morning will involve setting up the computers for tomorrow and this afternoon I have a meeting with Richard Jamieson when we are going to plan for tomorrow - technical stuff, choosing our photo stops etc.

I need to get a few things in town this morning including a belt. My get fit campaign has seen me loose a stone and a half and I am nearly down to my old racing weight of 1981 and 1982 - but my trousers don't stay up anymore!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

My interview

Here is my Manx Radio interview from last night.

Graham Young to start Parish Walk

Although it is in the programme I had not picked up on the fact, until I saw it on Manx Radio a few minutes ago, that Graham Young is to start the 2008 Clerical Parish Walk.

Here is the link: It mentions that he won the 1971, he set a record that was to last until 1979, but of course he also won it 21 years later in 1992. Graham is one of the Isle of Man's best ever athletes and is best known for winning the 100km championship in 1981 and finishing 4th in the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

Sometimes my advisor and motivation, sometimes a deadly rival, sometimes a colleague on a number of athletics projects, Graham could also have walked much faster in the Parish Walk had he thought it to be important at the time of his greatest achievements. I'm sure that he won't need a microphone to make himself heard at the start!

In the 1978 Parish Walk Graham Young (right) helped me to victory. He walked the first half of the course with me chatting and putting the world to right. Note the total lack of spectators in Peel.

Three years later and he was not quite so happy as I took victory in the TT Course Walk in possible the most dramatic race in the history of the event which in those days was far more important than the Parish Walk. I had knocked 10 minutes off the record the previous year (5.37) and built up a lead of 7 minutes at the top of the mountain. As I was faster than in 1980 I was sure I had in the bag. But Graham never gave up and came to within 10 seconds at the finish. We knocked a further 8 minutes + off the record which still stands.

Left School

Last year's office was provided by MSM who also back up Robbie Callister

This time last year I was delighted to have the opportunity to work overnight close to the finish when Craig Hodgson from Manx School of Motoring allowed be the use of their office near to the Sefton.

Craig kindly offered to make the same facility available to me this year but thanks to the Civil Defence my facility will be right at the finish this year. I still really appreciate the gesture,

Chris Moon on the radio

Chris will be on 3FM some time after 8:00 am on Friday (Kevin Ford) and on Manx Radio some time after 3:15 pm on Friday (Bob Harrison).

Weather forecast

We are so lucky to have Adrian Cowin providing our own weather forecasts.

Weather forecast by Adrian Cowin

Almost had you starting a day early

With so many changes to the website in the last 24 hours and trying to keep things current, I almost started the event a day early. For half an hour this morning I had the event starting "tomorrow" on the front page!

Great committee

The Clerical Medical Parish Walk has benefited from the stability of a long serving committee and its always worth reminding you who you should be thanking for maintaining the very high standards of the event:

So three cheers for:

Raymond Cox, Elizabeth Corran, Karen Kneale, Allan Callow, Kevin Walmsley, Martin Lambden, Winston Liu, Tracy Cook, Debbie Walmsley and Geoff Walmsley.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Temporary front page

I've spent a good deal of time this evening sorting out a temporary front page to focus on the check in over the next couple of days.

I have finally publicised something that I had hoped to do some time ago - big screen TV coverage at the finish thanks to Colebourn.

You will also see that I have announced my team for Saturday. Fell runner Richard Jamieson will be with me throughout the day in the 4Hire van while son Ben Lambden heads straight from exam week at university to the ferry on Saturday afternoon and joins us to produce the finish line production in the evening.

I'm running out of time. Talking of which it is over 17 hours since I wrote my first blog this morning and the day has included a short hard run at 6.45 this morning and the Steve Jacobs mile tonight. I'm knackered!

Website hits increase further

There were a pre-race record of 529 different visitors to the website yesterday. More people (67) had a glance or more of this blog than ever before in a single day. I'm still not sure if the visitors to the blog are mainly the same group reading it daily or whether a larger group are visiting less often, say once a week.

I've had a publicity poster on the front page of the website for a talk tomorrow night for over two weeks. Crossroads Caring for Carers are promoting an evening with Chris Moon, one of the competitors in the Parish Walk, tomorrow evening. You can read about it at and if you are hoping to attend you should take action.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Lapping it up

I remember when my son Ben was little and we went out to watch the Parish Walk (I think it was 1992) he asked "How many laps they did". When it produced a laugh he repeated the question to everyone we met (I hope that he doesn't read this!).

Well you may have heard that Bethany Clague is going to do two laps this year. I try not to repeat stories that are available elsewhere but if you have not seen Michael George's blog that carries the story follow this link:

Website hits increase as countdown continues

395 different people accessed the website yesterday - that's nearly twice as many as the previous Monday (204) which is usually the busiest day of the week.

Three or four years ago I would be have been happy with that number the Monday after the event.

There were even 61 different people who accessed this blog yesterday which is close to the record of 66 two weeks earlier.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Tried to broadcast live from Woodbourne Park

Part of the jigsaw of preparation I have mentioned a few times in passing involves setting up my laptop to enable me to broadcast photos, videos and reports from around the Parish Walk course at the weekend.

Thanks to Manx Telecom I will have a card to enable me to do this without the need to return home each time I want to upload photos.

They provided the facility last year but I wasn't able to make the most of it because I tried to use the Laptop from the boot of my car with bright sunshine pouring onto the screen.

This year the organising committee are supplying me with a van from which to work from - more about my plans and my team in the next couple of days.

Today I met up with Darren Shaw from Manx Telecom at 5.15 to have the card installed but unfortunately their 3G network was down and so he couldn't test it before I left. So I tried to test it myself in Woodbourne Park tonight - hoping that Michael George (he lives in Woodbourne Square) wouldn't see me alone with a laptop in a park and think that Marie had finally had enough of me and my computers!

Unfortunately I still have a snag with the setup but I'm sure it will be resolved tomorrow.

Nigel's quote from his Comrades Marathon experience was picked up by Manx Radio and published at within two hours of it being written. Oh, the power of the internet and the forum.

By the way, the fact that I am back publishing this from our house proves that I haven't been thrown out. I have been trying to do plenty of housework and odd jobs, however, to ensure that the locks have not been changed on Sunday when I return from 24 hours of computers, cameras and the Parish Walk.

Getting it right first time

I had a number of silly mistakes in my output yesterday, including the blog post below.

If you were one of the first people to read the feature on David Collister last night then I apologise for the number of spelling mistakes and typos. Sometimes I get someone else to proof read such articles before going live but I was getting tired and wanted to clear it off my list last night. I had a re-read first thing this morning and made some corrections.

As sometimes happens, I also had some hassle copying the video of Sean Hands from my 1995 Sony Viewcam analogue video recorder, which I have reverted to as my main video, onto my PC. Both ends of the recording are clipped slightly and there is also a very small piece lost. Sean responded to one of my questions that "I respect all of the other walkers (the bit that was lost) but particularly Robbie".

It was great to see Nigel Armstrong doing so well in the Comrades Marathon yesterday (the 54 mile run in South Africa). Nigel is a top class athlete and was in great shape for the race and predicted a time of 8 hours to 8.15. He may have "only" finished 815th (there were around 11,000 taking part!) but he was spot in with his time finishing in 8.06.16. Considering that he had never run that far before and that so many things can go wrong that is a pretty sound prediction.

At least someone gets things right first time.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

The cat is away but no time for the mouse to play

Marie has been in Dublin this weekend joining the 85,000 people watching the Neil Diamond concert at Croke Park and no doubt exercising her credit card in the shops.

The first time I ran in the London Marathon (1995) she went with me but after being accused of keeping me awake with her coughing and ending up sleeping in the bathroom (and then not seeing me on Tower Bridge because she was too busy talking to some other Manx people) we decided that it would be best if we took separate spring breaks.

So I have had my "boys" weekend at the London Marathon each year, whether I run or support the other runners. She has normally had her "girls" weekend at the Grand National but this year decided to do something different.

But instead of partying I was in bed early last night to prepare for a tough 20 mile training session this morning (I was pleased to run a couple of minutes faster than in the 20 mile championships in March and this was with a 7.30 start) and other than reading the papers and looking after Robbie, I've spent the rest of the day on the PW website doing a couple of the features I have been planning for some time.

I hope that you enjoy the video with the fastest ever walker and the feature on the most prolific ever finisher.

As I have said before, the featured walker section is supposed to represent a cross section of the walkers and characters and is not just a ranking list. So if you felt disappointed that I didn't feature you or your friend, don't despair as I might feature you next year. If you didn't want to be featured and thought that you had escaped you can wait until I get you next year too!

The mouse is off some cheese and some more sleep. Training every day and doing these websites is getting me trapped.

David Collister feature

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Final featured walker

If all goes to plan, the action on the website will be fast and furious for the next 7 days (and a bit!).

I've been working on so many ideas that just need to fall into place now.

I'm meeting up with the final walker to be featured tomorrow at 5.30 and hope to have the feature online tomorrow evening. He or she is a particularly experienced walker but won't be passing on their training tips.

I'm also hoping to do another video feature on one of the top walkers before the big day. I'm hoping the person selected won't be too shy as I have left a message on his answerphone.

Talking of selection, I'm putting together the music that I intend to use for the videos that we have penciled in.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Radio interview

I've been interviewed by Catherine Nicoll of Manx Radio for the Shiaght Laa programme today.

I thought there must have been a mistake when they asked me to go on a cultural show!

Catherine was exploring the growth of the event, the increase in the number of female competitors, the place of the event in Manx culture and other issues.

It will be broadcast on the programme next Wednesday at 6.05 if you are remotely interested!

I wasn't sure if my nerves today were caused by the thought of going on the radio for the first time in a long time or the thought of running around Mooragh Park in a couple of hours time for the first time in almost a year.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

TV coverage continues

There had been some doubt that the TV coverage of the Clerical Medical Parish Walk would continue this year as the previous three year deal supported by the Department of Tourism and Leisure had finished.

Race director Raymond Cox has confirmed that the TV coverage is to continue this year although he has not been consulted.

I received the programme in electronic (pdf) format from the printers yesterday and so assumed that it was fresh off the presses. I've learned today, however, that all the entrants received their copies last week. That is good news in itself but hopefully my publication on the website is still useful to others who have not yet had sight of the hard copy.

Parish Walk Programme

Just a quick update this morning to publicise the publication of the the 2008 Clerical Medical Parish Walk programme.

The letter which is to be sent to all competitors is also available to download from . In case you have not seen the press releases, you will be able to view a walker's update via your mobile phone thanks to Manx Telecom's sponsorship.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Young Athlete good for old athlete

Usually when I attend concerts at the Villa Marina featuring bands from my era I return home to check on the Internet how many of the original band are still alive or in good health. It made quite a change, therefore, to watch Athlete on Thursday evening with son Ben (who has been home studying for his exams) and wife Marie. This old athlete really enjoyed seeing and hearing young Athlete.

Similarly, I think it is good for old athletes to compete against young athletes rather than to indulge in the veteran scene. Whilst the average age was not that low in the 10,000 metres track championships the previous evening I was prepared to take on any young athletes who were there. I'd rather finish three laps behind young athletes but in a faster time than winning in an old race.

I was more excited both before and after the race on Wednesday than for a long time. I have worked so hard to get fit in the past couple of months that if I didn't improve a lot on last year (40.02) then I would doubt if it hard been worth while. I was delighted to run 35.51 particularly as I ran badly and totally unrealistically taking the lead for a couple of laps around lap 10. I finished third.

I'm planning my preparation well in advance of my next marathon in Amsterdam on 19 October and have booked my travel and accommodation. I have entered with an "expected time" of 2.42 against my PB of 2.43.06. I'm going to have to take on the younger athletes if my latest dream is going come true.

I'm always planning a lot of things simultaneously. This takes me back to the Parish Walk. Only 13 days to go and I have a lot to do to deliver all the things I plan for the website. But first some sleep as I am going running soon after 5.30 tomorrow morning to fit in my new daily routine before catching a plane to travel to the UK for planning of a different kind, neither work or pleasure.

I hope to write whilst I'm away about some of the things I'm planning for the Parish Walk website before the big day.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Holland & Barrett

The following message is from race secretary Elizabeth Corran:



Monday, 2 June 2008

Goodbye Blackberry Lane

Most people who live in the Isle of Man find their routine disturbed by the TT whether it is for positive reasons such as their involvement as marshals and helpers or for negative reasons such as having to change their training courses because of road closures and traffic volumes.

It is the indirect effect that usually catches me out. More entertainment, less sleep and less time to spend on websites!

I always try and get one or two TT related pictures for the website - last year I was particularly lucky to be entertained by recruitment firm OSA from a tallship in Douglas Harbour where I could get plenty of Red Arrows photos.

This year my first night out was to see the Move at the Villa Marina. I was a big fan of the Move in the 60s and the hairstyles of Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne who joined them in the early 70s to see out a recording contract before they made their debut ELO album together.

Roy Wood had slagged off the reformed Move as being nothing more than a tribute band which was a little harsh given that they had two founder members (Roy was not a founder member but he did write all their hits!) and Carl Wayne would have been with them had he not died!

The gig was a good one but with only 159 tickets sold, and I'm sure there were far fewer people actually there, you have to ask the question as to why the Department of Tourism continues to promote this sort of event with public money when other promoters can sell out in hours. Exactly a year earlier I had been watching The Who in Peel. The Peel Bay Festival was an amazing event but I always felt it would not be repeated which was why I made the most of it. I did not support a large public underwriting of the festival but if I had been the organiser I would have been asking questions about the Move concert.

The Move encored with "Goodbye Blackberry Way" which I thought showed a lack of local awareness - I was hoping that they would sing "Goodbye Blackberry Lane" - at least Roy Wood would not have been able to say that they had not done anything original then!

On Saturday afternoon I watched the TT from Bray Hill in the company of Michael and Irene George and we were joined later by fell runner Paul Sheard who had much better camera equipment than me for some decent shots. I was brought up on the TT course at Kirk Michael and used to get up for all the early morning practice sessions from the age of 9 and was marshaling by the age of 16. But my conscience has been troubled many times by the accident rate and particularly by the lack of awareness of the accidents. I love watching the action but I could not bear to see an accident and the two are too closely matched. On Saturday, one of the riders well known to athletes came as close as I have seen to having a major accident without doing so.

Traditionally athletics competition on the Isle of Man has been put on hold but in recent years the 10,000 metres walk and runs have maintained an interest for those who can't bear not to compete.

I plan to be there on Wednesday night before resuming my TT social life at the end of the week.

I'm still doing my early morning training sessions but a little less of my late night web sessions. So I think I'll run up Blackberry Lane tomorrow morning. Or should it be Blackberry Way? Goodbye.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Parish Walk wins bring fame

1990 Parish Walk winner Gordon Vale (red top on left) was photographed outside the GB team hotel in Valancia in May 1982. Also in the picture are Brian Adams, Phil Vesty (yellow t-shirt), coach Julian Hopkins (back) and possibly Steve Barry (photo ML).

There was some debate on the forum at about the ranking used in the numbering system for the race.

I think that it was the late Arthur Jones, who was race secretary for so many years, who started allocating the lowest numbers to the more serious walkers although he used to list the team entrants before the individuals so if you weren't included in a team you were more likely to have a number in the 70s or 80s (of the 100 odd entrants) in the years of the 70s and 80s.

I was heavily involved in the early 90s and with CMI's sponsorship in the bag introduced the programme in the form that has changed very little since. I thought that if we could increase the circulation of the programme to all entrants and also make them available to people around the course it would reflect positively upon the sponsor. The programme needed as much information as possible so with statistics at my fingertips, I introduced the idea of listing the years that entrants had previously finished the walk.

The idea has been continued and developed further although it has been necessary to summarise some of the finishing information, such as David Collister's years of finishing.

I thought that it would add status to the top walkers by drawing attention to their previous successes.

If this is so, then it is probably more likely to apply to the lower finishing walkers than than the top two but I think they all deserve it. I don't think that there is an exact science in allocating the numbers but I hope that the system is maintained.

Among the men, Sean Hands, Robbie Callister and Peter Kaneen, who have dominated for the past decade, would be well known to spectators even without a programme. They are probably better known to the public than most of our top track and field athletes.

Media coverage of sport in the Isle of Man is second to none but it is always hard to get the balance with every single performance.

I remember that Gordon Vale, who came to live on the Island in the 80s, was not included in the 1990 Commonwealth Games team even though he had the qualifying time for the 30km walk. He had a tremendous pedigree having held the British junior record for 10,000 metre walk on the track for six years with a time of 42:06.35 from 1981. Although he didn't set the time as a resident, he was the fastest ever 50km walker to live on the Island.

But he hadn't taken part in the Parish Walk!

So he entered the 1990 Parish Walk. He was amazed to find people calling out words of encouragement to Charlie Weston, who at that time lived in the South of England, but they didn't know Gordon's name. Gordon won the Parish Walk in a modest time by current standards at his only attempt and received more publicity for this than for anything else that he had ever done before and did afterwards.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Have three generations of the same family competed in the Parish Walk?

Its good fun sometimes to set the questions for quizzes. But it helps, of course, if you know the answers!

But the question above is one that I don't know the answer to. Perhaps someone would let me know if they do know if three generations from the same family have taken part.

Hopefully there will be someone this year. The picture above shows my late mother, Gwelda Lambden, at the start of the 1976 Parish Walk. She was 57 at the time and it seemed incredible at the time that someone of that age could make their debut in a long distance walking race. She held the lead jointly through to Malew but she dropped out at that point, something she always regretted as she didn't know what it was like to get a "second wind". She never took part in anything like it again.

That is my brother Martin on the left - its 20 years ago since he won the Parish Walk and has been on the organising committee for most of the years since then.

His daughter Kim was involved in a serious car accident as a teenager and suffered permanent damage to one of her legs. But she has been getting stronger and fitter as the years have gone by and regularly walks a few miles around Sulby with her dog. She wondered if she would be brave enough to enter the Parish Walk. She was 30 in April and so we sent her a cheque payable to Manx Harriers for her birthday present leaving her with very little choice!

I wonder if she will be setting a record.

You might recognise the third person in the picture although I would rather not! He was 19 at the time and less than 19 hours away from his first Parish Walk finish.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Yesterday was SPRING Bank Holiday

I've already written about my memories of the Bradford 50km walk.

So although my memory was racing back to those days again yesterday I've decided to write more specifically about bank holidays.

Why is it that in the Isle of Man we have such problems with their names?

Until 1967 (NB 42 YEARS AGO) we used the celebrate the religious occasion of Whitsuntide. But because the date of Whit, like Easter, was variable the date of the public holiday was fixed on the last Monday in May and renamed the Spring Bank Holiday in 1971.

Educate yourselves here:

Why is it that so many people insist on calling yesterday Whit Monday.

What is worse, the Isle of Man Hockey Association have decided to move their hockey festival from "Whit weekend" to, wait for it, the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. They've got it wrong again - they are actually moving it to the first weekend in May which is the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

May Day Bank Holiday has been there for more than 40 years - why do people find this so hard to grasp?

We have one of the two additional Manx public holidays next week so I'll probably be wearing by grumpy old man hat again on Tynwald Day next Friday!

Friday, 23 May 2008

99 out 153

That's the number of last year's finishers that have returned this year.

My stats are all unofficial of course. I tried to calculate this at lunchtime today and couldn't get my VLOOKUP formula in Excel to work so I had to revert to a semi-manual system of calculation.

So its open to error and if anyone has changed their name in the past year I won't have picked that up either.

So here are the 99 that I think are returning:

Alan Kinvig
Alan McCulloch
Alison Brand
Amanda Whitelegg
Andrew Titley
Bernadette Devlin
Billy McCoubrey
Bob Corrin
Bob Noonan
Brian Connolly
Chris Cale
Chris Goldsmith
Chris Murphy
Chris Swales
David Anderson
David Churcher
David Clucas
David Collister
David Comish
David Cretney
David Whorrall
Denise Foxton
Dermot O'Toole
Dudley Butt
Eammon Harkin
Ernie Radcliffe
Fintan Suddards
Gillian Morphet
Gordon Erskine
Gordon Wynne-Smythe
Greg Nation
Ian Ashcroft
Ian Comish
Ian Marshall
Irene Taggart
Jane Birchall
Jane Crowe
Jane Mooney
Janice Quirk
Jeff Black
Jo Revill
Jo Richardson
Jock Waddington
John C Ryder
John Hunter
John Watterson
Julian Thomas
Julie Cretney
Kath Kelly
Katy Craig
Keith Watts
Keith Wilkinson
Les Webb
Lesley Chappell
Lynsey Singer
Marie Gilbertson
Mark Freeman
Mark Haynes
Mark Hempsall
Mark Kinley
Martijn Biesmans
Martyn Quayle
Matthew Haddock
Maureen Moffatt
Michael Bonney
Michael George
Michael Gray
Michael Shipsides
Mick Holgate
Mike Gellion
Mike Hickey
Moira Hall
Patrick Reid
Paul Boulton
Paul Morgans
Paul Phillips
Peter (George) Cannell
Peter Maurice Bell
Ray Hughes
Ray Pitts
Richard Spenceley
Rita Norrey
Robbie Callister
Rod Phillips
Rosemarie Crellin
Sean Murphy
Shirley Gage
Simon Cox
Simon Starkey
Stan Sille
Stella Corlett
Stephanie Gray
Steve Allen
Sue Biggart
Suzanne Biddulph
Terri Salmon
Terry Moffat
Wendy Easthope
Zoe McAndry

And here are the 54 that I can't find among this year's list:

Antony Atkinson
Barry Cowin
Brian Maddrell
Catherine Lowey
Charlie Turner
Danny Jordan
Darren M Mealin
Dave Cain
David Humphrey
Derek Keir
Eddie Christian
Eleanor Bingham
Gareth Jones
Geoff Finn
Jack Walton
Jackie Campbell
Jason Edwards
Jill Turner
Jon Russell-Dunn
Juan Charles Gell
Juan Hatton
Juan Kinnish
Julie Owen
Kathryn Kennaugh
Keith John Swales
Ken Halsall
Kevin Marshall
Laura Bradley
Lynda Jones
Mark Cleater
Mark Osborn
Martin Hall
Martin T Jennings
Martin Wood
Matthew Halsall
Maureen Jill Cox
Michael Ellis
Neil Shimmin
Paul Condon
Paul Jennings
Paul Jones
Paul Waters
Peter Bettridge
Peter Bradley
Rich Sims
Richard Done
Richard Fathers
Robbie Corkish
Robert G Wright
Rosie Snape
Simon Jones
Steve Partington
Steve Wood
Thomas Melvin

Correct me if I'm wrong.


Thursday, 22 May 2008

Robbie Callister is favourite

According to http://www.manxathletics.coms/ users, Robbie Callister is the favourite to clinch his sixth title and equal John Cannell's winning tally.

This is how they voted:

Robbie Callister 31%
Michael George 25%
Sean Hands 21%
Someone else 12%
Jock Waddington 10%
Ray Pitts 1%

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Who will win this year?

No speculation from me yet but you can have your say at

I've just created a poll which will close after 24 hours (to prevent multiple voting).

Have fun if you vote - it counts for nothing but it is interesting to know what you think.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Your blogger is more than a jogger again

Murray the blogger but no longer a jogger - action in the Northern 10 miles yesterday. Photo by Neil Wilson; water from Thomas Melvin.

When I started this blog I was hoping to provide a few stories from behind the scenes at the Parish Walk by telling you what I was doing on the main site, adding a few stats that didn't justify a main story, sharing my memories of Parish Walks of old but always having my own agenda.

I've got several websites to maintain, , , and along with this blog and a number of other websites that really just supplement the above such as adverts which link in to boost the search engine rankings of the above. I try to avoid an agenda which is too fixed and planned because otherwise it is too much like work - this is supposed to be a hobby.

This time last year I was so busy with my day job that I let my running lapse. I decided to seek a new role whereby I can improve my work / life balance (for the xth time!). I started my new job last September and although I have stuck to a pretty modest working week I was spending most of the extra hours I had at home in front of my computer either on my websites, copying videos into digital format (and adding films to YouTube) or on a number of other personal projects which I'll share with you when I get further with them.

What I had failed to do, however, was to improve the quality of overall health and fitness. Although I have always eaten healthy food I have also always had a lot of "comfort" food and drink. My vices begin with AB&C - alcohol, biscuits and crisps.

The winter before last, although I hadn't clicked what it was at the time, I developed exercise induced asthma and during the winter that has just gone this caused havoc with my marathon training, particularly when trying to run hill repetitions. I wrote here in my blog how disappointed I was to have some problems with this in the London Marathon last month. My time was just inside 3 hours 10 minutes even though only 18 months earlier, the day after my 50th birthday, I had run 2.45.01 in the Cardiff Marathon.

I resolved immediately after London that I never wanted to run a marathon and take so little enjoyment from it - the whole thing was unpleasant. Therefore I either had to give up or do something to help myself. I asked myself why I had developed exercise induced asthma. Ok, there are lots of things it could be but was carrying more than a stone over my average weight, eating far too much rubbish and trying to thrash my body two or three times a week when I was not treating it well the rest of the time might be part of the problem.

I decided to go on my ABC diet cutting out the three vices I described above and to start general conditioning by running before work including plenty of hills to develop my breathing.

Its now five months and one day since I ran the London Marathon and within 12 hours of finishing my last alcoholic drink passed my lips. Biscuits and crisps were banned the next day. On the Wednesday after the marathon I hit the road for a 10 minute run at 6.50 am and I have been out every morning since then bar the first Sunday. I lost a stone in weight in about three weeks and started to feel confident about my running again.

Yesterday I raced for the only the fourth time since November and it was the first time that I was really in shape to run. I finished second to Ben Scott in the Northern 10 in 60.24. Three years ago I won it in 57.57 and my best time for 10 miles (53.50) was in a half marathon back in 1981.

So I have a long way to go if I am to achieve my target of getting under 2.45 in the Amsterdam Marathon on 19 October and getting back into the top half dozen in my age group in the country. But with one month out of six gone I am going to give it my best shot.

So its time to do my early morning run and today its (from Brunswick Road in Douglas) down to the promenade along to Little Switzerland then up past the old prison and police station to the Grandstand and back.

Quite how I have motivated myself to do this early morning running I'm not sure - it has been very hard. But yesterday answered my question "Is it worth it".

So if you have noticed that there has been a little less original material on the blog in the past month now you know one of the reasons. There are a few others too which I will share in due course.

Friday, 16 May 2008

More tributes to Brian Goldsmith

Brian's son Robert set up the following pages:

Thanks to Ian Turnbull for passing on the link.

Ian is also going to let me have a copy of Robert's eulogy for publication.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

BBC cover Parish Walk

Well, its only on their local website but still good to see it there.

Actually I got a dose of my own medicine and was quoted on the site. I was contacted for a comment about the record entry and explained that I was not part of the organising committee and that they should contact race director Raymond Cox. In fact, I did this for them and he was going to phone them. But it was still my name that appeared on the site with a comment I had made to set the scene rather than expecting to be quoted.

You can find the article at:

Monday, 12 May 2008

1595- - 812 women and 783 men

The final additions are:

Rob Aitken
Doug Allan
Richard Allen
Thomas Archibald
Mark Avery
Sue Baggaley
Neil Bell
Luke Bellis
Michael Thomas Bellis
John Bennett
Ross Bennett
Malcolm Berry
Kevin Bettridge
Suzanne Biddulph
Heather Birch
George Blair
David Boothman
Helen Borders
Paul Bridson
Neil Brogan
Les Brown
Sarah Burns
Ilya Bykov
Clare Cashin
Paul Cashin
Kevin Cassin
Siobhan Charnick
Ella Cheeseman
Li Li Cheung
Paul Christian
Ryan Connolly
Louise Cowley
Richard Creer
Graham Cregeen
Noel Cringle
Sally-Anne Cubbon
Sue Cunliffe
Stacey Davidson
Mareta Davies
Natalie Davis
Vicky Depledge
Pascale Despringre
Jane Dibb
Karen Dronsfield
Tony Duggan
Gavin Edwards
Paul Elliott
Jackie Emery
Jill Evans
Brian Ewing
Calvin Adam Fayle
Carl Fielding
Tony Gale
John Gallacher
Julie Gandy
Phil Gees
Ava Ghods
Susan Giles
Chris Goldsmith
Karen Gray
Karen Greening
Colin Grieve
Claire Hartley
Steven Hatton
Hilary Healy
Joanne Heavey
Parsons Helen
Robert Higgins
Pat Higham
Richard Hill
Richard Hird
Neil Hiscock
Lisa Hodgson
Angela Hogg
Rupert Hoskin
Maurice Hughes
Jules Hurl
Jacqui Hurstfield
Alan Irvine
Richard James
Nigel Jeffries
Barbara Jemmett
Rob Jessop
Adam Jones
Lynsey Marina Jones
Angelica Joughin
David Joughin
Rakie Keig
Ian Stanley Kelly
Andy Kempley
Susan Laird
Tara Lampitt
Stuart Langford
Tina Lawlor
Pamela Lloyd
Pamela Lloyd
Lisa Lyons
Martin Malone
Danielle Matthews
Gary McAdam
Helen McArd
Andrew McCulloch
Laura McDermott
Michelle McGovern
Alan Millard
Lucinda Milton
Jason Moffatt
Amanda Mooney
Jennifer Morris
Kay Muir
Julia Murton
Andrea Nolan
Rita Norrey
Stuart Norris
Ben O'Hare
Amie O'Neil
Martin Oswick
Joyce Pang
Mark Parsons
Robert Paterson
Graeme Pedler
Lucie Pelzmannova
Mark Plant
Carroll Powell
John Powell
Roger Prescott
Jackie Quilliam
Alex Quine
Tony Quinn
Jane Quirk
Nicola Raven
Jo Revill
Daryl Richards
Lindsay Riordan
Sally Roberts
Theresa Robertshaw
James Ian Robertson
Elaine Ross
Philomena Rothery
Gary Scott
Christopher Shimmin
Stephen Simonde
Gary Edward Skelly
Lucy Skelly
Susan Smith
Ann Stocks
Jackie Taylor
Anna Thomas
Genevieve Thompson
John Van Der Wielen
Jonny Wade
Fred Waggett
Karl Waggett
Chris Wakeling
Chris Walker
Marc Rob Walker
Shirley Watling
Cowin Wayne
Mara Wayne
Tolsa Wells
Dee West
Gillian Wiberg
Jane Wilcox
Steph Williams
Andrew Wilson
Kenneth Wilson
Emily Yovanovitch

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Its a record

I checked the number of entries early today and there were 1486 on the list (just short of my prediction of 1500) and so I published a headline on the site that it was the second highest entry.

Karen Kneale emailed later in the morning to say that she had a further 100 paper entries to collect from Elizabeth Corran.

So its officially a record entry. Fantastic.

The number is only provisional as although there will DEFINITELY BE NO LATE ENTRIES it is possible that someone has been double counted or omitted in error.

More analysis to follow once the names are confirmed.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

1429 entries

I'm not sure if this is final or not but there are now 1429 entries on the list (732 women and 697 men).

Here are the additional names:

Guy Adamson
Moira Anderson
Mark Arden
Kerry Ashton
Dave Ball
Nikki Ball
Marc Barron
Jamie Beaman
Jim Beaman
Margaret Beaman
Andrew Bell
Marc Bell
Noe Benziane
Debbie Black Kay
Simon Black Kay
Joan Blake
Kate Bliss
Nigel Bolt
Dave Boswell
Terry Boyd
Rosie Bridge
Chris Brogan
Dan Brook
Rick Buckley
Sally Burman
Johanna Burrell
Da-Max Burtsteiner
Natalie Bush
Dudley Butt
Brian Byers
Mark Byrne
Paul Bywater
Ryan Cain
Jim Caley
Anne Callister
David Christian
Jane Christian
Karen Clark
Eddie Close
Liz Collins
James Andrew Collister
Stephen Cooke
Angela Corkish
Kate Corran
Dave Corrin
Deborah Corrin
Anita Costain
Archie Coulter
Archie James Coulter
Paul Cowin
Stephanie Cowin
Kevin Cowley
Iain Craig
Mike Craine
Rachael Crellin
Stephanie Crellin
Tim Crookall
Emily Crookall-Nixon
Julie Crookall-Nixon
Julie Cubbon
Tracey Cubbon
Russell Deere
Jessica Dentith
Gary Deuchar
Linda Dobinson
Yvonne Donlan
Eamonn Donlon
Brian Robert Douglas
Garry Douglas
Jeremy Drinkwater
Juan Drinkwater
Anne Maria Dudley
Neil Duggan
Jo Earner
Ivan Edwards
Stephen Edwards
Lynsey Elliott
Marie Ellison
Jonathan Emery
Sue Eppleston
Norman Faragher
Paul Fargher
Samuel Fletcher
Phily Fog
Christian Forbes
Stephen Fox
Antony Gale
Nigel Gautrey
Gemma Gawne
Jayne Gaylor
Ben Gibney
Nicola Gjolleshi
Joanne Glassey
Lisa Goldsmith
R Brian Goldsmith
Hannah Goodby
Robert Graham
Gemma Green
Andrew Grose
Gina Grose
Philippa Gunn
Paul Hadfield
Glenn Halsall
Carl Hardie
Stephen Harvey
Robert Haworth
Malcolm Henderson
Mike Hickey
Dave Horisk
Jane Hughes
Maeve Hurley
Ian Irvine
Samantha Irvine
Arnold John Jacobs
Chantal Johnson
Aaron Jones
Barbara Jones
Karl Jones
Fiona Karran
Caroline Kay
Caroline Kay
Niall Keenan
Pauline Keenan
Debbie Kelch
Ricky Kelch
Claire Kelly
Diane Kelly
Martin Kennaugh
Suzanne Kennedy
Jean Kennish
Paul Kennish
Linda Kermeen
Tony Kermeen
Kath Kermode
Mark Kinley
Sarah Kinnin
Brian Kinrade
Juan Kinrade
Siobhan Kinrade
Chris Kirkman
Jan Kirkman
Brian William Kneale
Charlotte Lee
Beccy Legg
Rebecca Leivers
Diane Limb
Chris Lyon
Karen Mansell
Elaine Martin
Roy Martin
Elaine Masterson
Jane Mather
Jim McDonnell
Fergus McEwan
Marie McGrory
Rebecca McKeworey
Lynne McMenemy
Geoffrey Miles
Sara Millward
Francesca Minay
Joanna Molyneux
Colin Moore
Ian Moore
Stephen Moore
Susan Moore
Caroline Moran
Carole Moreton
Dan Moreton
Mark Moroney
Bill Morton
Amy Mulhern
Andy Mulhern
Bridget Newbery
Carolyn Newton
Lesley Mm Nicholson
Mike Noble
Paul Noon
Lorcan O'Mahony
Anthony O'Neil
Ashleigh Oldland
Dave Oldland
Mark Patterson
Gill Phillips
Michael Phillips
Rebecca Phillips
Jason Postlethwaite
Alison Price
Jen Price
Anna Quayle
Eily Quayle
Ellie Quayle
Rachel Quayle
Catherine Quine
Steven Quirk
Vicky Radcliffe
Jo Richardson
Lorraine Rigby
Wendy Ross
Susan Rundle
Lynne Sadler
Wendy Sandford
Wendy Sayer
Wendy Scott
Sue Scott-Kerr
Lynsey Singer
Victoria Singer
Jean Slack
Jared Smith
Jenny Smith
Val Smith
Patricia Stearn
Donald Stewart
Brenda Stoffberg
Michal Sudul
Ingrid Sugden
Linda Swales
Claire Taubman
Clare Teare
Pamela Temple
Mary Thompson
Hilary Thornton
Adrian Tinkler
Maria Tomaszewska
Janice Trafford
Jane Trenholme
Simon Trenholme
Pam Unsworth
Deborah Upsdell
James Ussher
Shaun Valentine
Angela Van Den Berg
Carolyn Van Den Berg
Avery Viv
Brian Wade
Andy Walker
Rachel Walters
Juana Warburton
Leonie Ward
Mark Watson
Lynda Watts
Michael Wheeler
Amanda Whitelegg
David Whittam
Carl Wild
Gemma Wild
Cara Wilkinson
Emma Wilkinson
Edward Williams
Paul Withington
Sarah Young

Mick Holgate is featured

Having spent the last hour finishing off the feature I started last night, I am now late for my Saturday job.

Friday, 9 May 2008

New featured walker

I've chosen the next person that I am going to feature on the website and am calling to talk with that person (and to take pictures) on the way home from work this evening. Whether I get the article written and published tonight will depend on family circumstances - I'm fully committed tomorrow.

I've received quite a few emails in recent weeks that I have not yet replied to - if you are one of those people, I'm sorry but I have been fully stretched with a number of projects.

Here are the latest names to be added to the list with a big thank you to Elizabeth Corran and Karen Kneale who must have been so busy in recent weeks with so many entries piling in using the old system. I think and hope that the online system will be the main method of entry next year.

Debby Ashe
Angie Astley
Matthew Black
Alison Brand
Stephen Brew
Barry Bridson
Kate Cain
Brenda Charlton
David Collister
Denise Foxton
Vzadimir Georgiev
Tommy Kelly
Ivo Krastev
Zoe McAndry
Miro Metodiev
Jane Mooney
Anne Oates
Kaloyau Petrov
Caroline Rielly
Michael Shipsides
Stefan Stefanov
Krastev Svetlin
Sieviya Tateva
Jonny Tyrer
David Warwick
Keith Watts
Keith Wilkinson

Women 597
Men 581
Total 1178

Thursday, 8 May 2008

14 near the end

Well, I failed miserably in my attempts to get people to enter early.

It has been possible to enter since midnight on 1 DECEMBER - that is more than five months ago.

I am not doing any further reminders on the site - after Saturday "entries have closed" will be published and you should not even consider asking for a late entry.

So if you do know anyone who has not entered but intends to do so, tell them to enter online NOW!

Here are the 14 latest entries:

Benjamin Anderson
David Cain
Katie Challenor
Sharon Cheeseman
Geraldine Conroy
Chris Hall
Thomas Hanks
Roger Hara
Wendy Heath
William Hindley
Ann McLellan
Lindsay J Quayle
Michael Sweeney
Peter Wood

Women 586
Men 565
Total 1151

Slowing down

19 new names in the past day.

Mark Armstrong
Jonathan Cox
Monica Dixie
Edwina Dugdale
Barrie Fairhurst
Rene Ferreira
Marilyn Gilbert
Emma Haswell
Amy Hogg
Lorraine Huddleston
Samantha Knight
Lisa Macadam
Lisa Marshall
Chris Nash
Malcolm Newton
Jim O'Neill
Geoff Quayle
Peter Teare
Spence Waddell

Women 580
Men 557
Total 1137

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Plenty of variety - 57 new entries

Noel Ash
Sammy Ball
Grahame Barrow
Shirley Boyde
Mandy Buchleitner
Paula Butler
Christa Cain
Peter Caine
Susan Cannell
Derek Carter
Lee Douglas Clayton
Edward Cleator
Kayleigh Coole
Stephen Corkill
Adrian Costain
John Cubbon
Brigid Cummins
Debra Davey
Thurstan Charles Denne
Mary Doyle
Melanie Draper
Paul Everett
Jim Green
Abdel Haddouche
Trudy Haddouche
Fran Harding
Patricia Harrison
Roy Haskett
Karl Horne
Janet Hutson
Claire Jackson
Duncan Kelly
James Danial Kinley
Tracyann Kneen
Mark Lockwood
Sonja Macgregor
Kim Makin
Julie Matthews
Bryan Moyer
Helen Murray
Kay Mylchreest
Jooles Newton
Liz Popelier
Charlie Quirk
Kath Quirk
Paul Quirk
Gustav Rober
John Roberts
Kirsty Russell
Claire Saunders
Ealee Sheard
Simon Spenser
Jacqueline Street
Fintan Suddards
Ed Thomas
Hazel Wright
Heather Wright

Women 571
Men 547
Total 1118

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Another 36

Women = 542; Men = 519; Total =1061

Shauneen Burden
Andrea Burns
Chris Cain
Helen Cain
Barbara Cohen
Ronald Cortez
Sara Crisford
Amy Cryan
Anthony Donnelly
Mandy Duncan
Bill Entwistle
Simon Faulkner
John Gallagher
Melissa Hawley
Jenny Henman
Peter Hughes
James Michael Kelly
Jenny Killey
Vinny Lynch
Rachel Louise MacKellar
Alastair Macleod
Hugh McKnight
James McKnight
Susan Messenger
James Moore
Cem Nergiz
Beryl Payton
Tracey Quayle
Andrew Quirk
David Rawling
Emma Sansom
Tara Sheridan
Pauline Skillen
Steve Watt
Chris Wright
Chris Wright

Why leave it so late?

I'm staggered to see so many regular Parish Walk finishers entering so late.

There are now 525 women and 500 men on the list.

Here are the latest 83 names.

Kinvig Alan
Ian Ashcroft
Peter Maurice Bell
Peter Bettridge
Sue Biggart
Paul Boulton
Alan Brew
Robert Alexander J Brown
Caroline Cain
John Callow
Peter (George) Cannell
David Chambers
Jonathan Charlton
Lesley Christian
David Clucas
Heather Collister
Gordon Corran
Alan Cowin
Katie Cowin
Monica Cowin
Katy Craig
Rosemarie Crellin
David Cretney
Jane Crowe
Gordon Erskine
Claire Furner
Sue Furner
Mike Gellion
Kevin Graham
Michael Gray
Stephanie Gray
Moira Hall
Ben Harris
Debbie Hawke
Mick Holgate
Mark Hudson
Pauline Hughes
Ray Hughes
John Hunter
Louise Jackson
David James
Haydn Mark Kenna
Tristan Kewley
Lynda Kinrade
Anthony Kneale
Marianne Konieczny
Andrew Marshall
Edward Marshall
Ian Marshall
Sally Mason
Billy McCoubrey
Paul Morgans
Morphet Morphet
Chris Murphy
Sean Murphy
Bob Noonan
Dermot O'Toole
Mina Patel
Paul Phillips
Rod Phillips
Samantha Prater
Martyn Quayle
Andy Quirk
Janice Quirk
Ernie Radcliffe
Wright Rob
Joan Scanes
Stan Sille
Richard Spenceley
Nicholas Stephenson
John Stubbs
Irene Taggart
Steve Taggart
Dave Tasker
Julian Thomas
Sarah Vaukins
Sarah Ward
Karen Watterson
Les Webb
Charlie Weston
David Whorrall
Gordon Wynne-Smythe

Sunday, 4 May 2008

293 more names

Reports from Karen Kneale suggest that there are a lot more manual forms to be processed (poor Karen) but there are now 943 names.

I'll list the 293 new names added to the database but before I do I'll also comment that the trend that I have been highlighting in recent weeks in now quite pronounced - 497 women and 446 men. Let's wait until the entries close next weekend before going over the top with these statistics just in case the entries are being input in batches and women are keyed first.

So here are the 293 names:

Kay Allen
Jonathan Ayres
Phil Neill Baillie
Richard Bairstow
Chris Ballard
Steve Bassil
Chris Bates
Norman Bell
Carol Louise Bevan
Rachel Evelyn Bevan
John Binns
Helen Black
Glenn Blacker
Anthony Bolton
Nikki Boyde
Brian Boyle
Faye Bradshaw
Rachel Bridges
Orla Brook
Alex Brown
Christopher Burn
Jonny Cain
Steve Cain
Frank Caine
Dick Callin
Tony Callister
Paul Lorenzo Camarda
Rob Campbell
Michael Cannan
Zoe Cannell
Philip Cannon
Rosalind Cannon
Kerstin Carlson Cook
James Carrel
Niall Chapman
Lynsey Christian
David Churcher
Ida Cihlarova
Steve Clague
Helen Clarke
Nicola Clarkson
Phillip Cleary
John Clucas
Kath Clucas
Ben Coates
Maria Coldwell
Catherine Colley
Gemma Collister
David Comish
Roberta Convery
Richard Cooil
Alison Corkill
Adie Corlett
Sam Corlett
Sally Cornforth
Paul Corrin
Peter Stanley Corrin
Hilary Coulthard
Elizabeth Coward
Tim Craig
Steven Crampton
Aishlinn Creer
Darryl Cregeen
Mary Crellin
Nik Crellin
Michael Crook
Colin Crooks
Eunice Cubbon
Melissa Cubbon
Ros Cubbon
Gilly Culshaw
Linda Curphey
Ben Dalglish
Elliott Davies
Malcolm Davies
Henrietta Davies-Mcgarvey
Henry De Silva
James Devaney
Sean Dickinson
Nicola Dobson
Ciaran Doherty
Colm Doherty
Helen Done
Andrew Dossor
Jim Duncan
Frank Feeney
Laura Fenlon
May Fenlon
Tony Fletcher
Bernadette Foody
Andrew Foulkes
Janet Foulkes
Lesa Fox
Georganne Frazier
Danial Frenzen
Graham Furner
Julia Furner
Rich Furner
Shirley Gage
Jean Gannon
Leslie Garrett
John Garvey
Alan W Gault
Emma Gelling
Helen Gibson
Kate Goldsmith
Marie Goosen
Steve Green
Zara Grimes
James Grimshaw
Geoff Hall
Sue Halsall
Steve Handford
Andy Harding
Nicola Harding
Pauline Harding
Vicky Harding
Victoria Harrop
Matthew Harvey
Rosie Hawes
Brian Hewett
Brian Hewett
Giles Hill
Sue Hodge
Lauren Holdaway
Rachel Holden
Susan Holme
Anne Hon
Graham John Hooper
Greg Hoskisson
Jay Houghton
Jennifer Houghton
Andrew Hunter
Emily Irwin
Nicola Jagus
Christine James
Nick James
Bowman Jayne
Sue Jewell
Chris Jones
Kevin Jones
Jim Kaighin
Mike Kaighin
Pam Kaighin
Peter Kaneen
Wendy Kearney
Katherine Keenan
James Kermeen
Kneale Kermeen
Clementine Kermode-Clague
John Barrie Kettle
Michael Killey
John Kinley
Dawn Kinnish
David John Kinrade
Geoff Kinvig
Terry Kinvig
Allie Kirk
Barrijon Kirkham
Annie Kneale
Marlene Kneen
Kim Lambden
Annette Lannon
Katie Lawrence
Barry Lawson
Tina Lawton
Jane Leece
Ian Lewandowskyj
Steph Lewin
Annette Lewis
Sammy MacDonald
Laura Macgregor
Margaret Manning
Alison Mason
Dermot McAreavy
Joanne McCabe
Sharon McCann
Carol McCoubrey
Lynn McCoubrey
Jackie McCulloch
Kevin McGarvey
Emma McGreevy
Ian McHugh
Suzanne McKay
Lynn McKibbin
Geraldine McLaughlin
Daksha Measuria
Haresh Measuria
Malcolm Meddings
Christopher Melvin
Beverly Milne
Wayne Milne
Cathy Mitchell
Samantha Moolman
Barry Moore
Hannah Moore
Jackie Moore
Stuart Mullan
Ann-Marie Murphy
Caroline Myers
Nicola Myers
Greg Nation
Lindsey Naylor
Sarah Nixon
James Nolan
Kirree Norton
James O'Toole
Stephen Pitts
Neil Potter
Emily Power
Sarah Prince
Matthew Quayle
Val Quayle
Vicky Quayle
Kevin Quirk
Ali Radcliffe
Julie Raybon
Kerry Redmayne
Leanne Redmayne
Sue Redmayne
Helen Renecle
Alan Richardson
Michael Richardson
Sarah Richardson
Helen Robinson
Marek Rogalewski
Kirree Ronan
Victoria Salisbury
Helen Scott
Gill Senogles
Dorothy Shallcross
John Shimmin
Odette Skillen
Mike Smedley
Charli Smith
Deb Smith
Fran Smith
Jill Smith
Paul Smith
Katherine Steele
Michelle Stevens
Susan Stewart
Donald Strathie
Fenella Street
John Street
Sue Sunliffe
Gemma Sutton
Cliodhna Swales
Julie Swales
Lucy Tame
Ben Tang
Trevor Tasker
David Tate
Elaine Taylor
Michael Teare
Nicola Teare
Jill Thomas
Tania Thomas
Jane Thompson
Seba Thomson
Katie Tinkler
Neil Towers
Rebecca Towers
Jane Travers
Michelle Turnbull
Nicola Unsworth
Kenny Valerga
Paola Verardi
Joy Vernon
May Wales
Paul Walker
Bernice Walmsley
Stef Walmsley
Ally Walsh
Ann Walshaw
Nicola Watson
Geoffrey Watterson
Victoria Watterson
Jim Weaver
Chris Webber
Robert Webber
Sean Weir
Eric Wells
Simon Wengradt
Rosemary Wild
Beckie Williams
Mark Williams
Clare Wilson
Pauline Winkless
Carolyn Wood
Paul Wood
Mike Woodworth
Sarah Woodworth

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Women increase lead

I know that there are a lot more manual entries still to be input but I thought that I would run a quick check on the new names in the confirmed entries. There are now 334 women and 316 men, ie 650 entries altogether.

Here are the new names:

Clive Alford
Jon Allen
Stacey Bairstow
Juliette Barlow
Ali Bell
Julie Bell
James Betteridge
Claire Bradley
Terry Bradley
Diamond Buchan
James Buchan
Laura Burman
Anthony Cagney
Bernard Cannan
Debbie Clague
Jorden Close
Miriam Collister
Chris Coole
Charlotte Copparelli
Sam Corkill
Kathleen Corkish
Alison Corlett
Charlie Cowpe
Beth Crellin
Martin Critchley
Les Crowe
John Dignan
Amanda Dougherty
Jenny Dowling
Stefan Dunajewski
Christine Duncan
Robert Ennett
Annette Fargher
Martine Fleming
Audrey Fowler
Karen Galvin
Eleanor Gawne
Adrian Gilmour
Peter Glover
Sharif Gomaa
John Grady
John Griffin
Nick Halsall
Andy Harrison
Nicky Hester
Rebecca Hill
Louise Hopkinson
Paula Howell Evans
James Howitt
Lynn Howitt
Carol Kelly
Matthew Kelly
Phil Kerruish
Margy Killey
Carole Laporte
Matthew Lewis
Karen Locking
Gesina Loubser
Sharon Lunt
Laura Mackie
Michelle Marley
Andrew McCutcheon
Gordon Mellor
Emma Metcalfe
Michelle Mitchell
Terry Moffat
Freya Murray
William Nelson
Kimberley O'Brien
Andrew Oram
Mark Roberts
Tracy Roberts
David Rogerson
Jill Ryan
Dave Shaw
Michael Shimmin
Lloyd Shipstone
Julia Skillicorn
Matthew Skinner
Carol Smith
Christopher Smith
David Smith
Jackie Smith
Jamie-Lee Smith
Julie Snape
Clague Steve
Dave Stockton
Kerry Tasker
Jackie Turley
Ben Watterson
Tara Westcott
Donna Whalley
Delon Yuen

There was an error on the online system that charged £25 a week too early which has now been fixed.

Details at:

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Don't panic if you have entered with a paper form

A few minutes ago, I started my lastest analysis of the entry list and there were 570 names.

A couple of minutes later and it was up to 572.

The reason is that Karen Kneale, one of the Parish Walk organising committee, has probably just started to input many of the paper entries. She is set for a long day and she has around 300 to type in all of the personal details.

So if you have entered in the past couple of weeks using the old system, think of Karen this afternoon and this evening and don't panic if your name is not on the old list yet.

The new system is really so much more efficient as the names go straight into the database, you don't have to write out a cheque and race secretary Elizabeth Corran does not have to open the post, sort the forms, bank the cheques and deal with so many queries.

Poor Karen has a young family and cannot update the database at a time to suit you!

This is only my thought and not official, but if the organisers were to switch to a 100% online entry system it would take away some of the need to close the entries quite so early. The majority of people leave the entries until the last minute which means that the workload cannot be spread out.

Anyway here are the extra 12 names up to 570:

Alison Corlett
Carol Kelly
Charlotte Copparelli
Clive Alford
Jackie Smith
Jill Ryan
Jon Allen
Julia Skillicorn
Kathleen Corkish
Matthew Lewis
Michelle Mitchell
Sam Corkill

In the time it has taken me to type this, the number has increased to 578. Thanks Karen!

231 view website but only 8 more enter walk

There was a big increase in the number of people viewing the website yesterday.

There were 605 page loads from 231 different people.

But there were only another 8 entries online since yesterday lunchtime.

They were from:

Denise Peters
Ellen Livesey
James Hogg
Laura Bromley
Melony Corrin
Pauline King
Philip Crellin
Tim Magee

There are now 558 entries from 284 women and 274 men.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Women stride out

There are now 550 names on the list - 278 women and 272 men.

The three new women and one new man are:

Freda Rimmer
Leila Dobbie
Ned Bowers
Stella Corlett

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sex change

10 more entries since I analysed yesterday evening. Six women and four women that should put the female entries two ahead of the males. But when I run the test for those with either an "M" or a "W" in the category, I find 275 women and 271 men. So either my stats are wrong or one person has had a sex change (remember that changing one has a double effect because one number goes up 1 and the other down 1!). I'll leave you to guess what it is and to see if anyone else changes sex in my lists tomorrow.

Here are the 10 new names:

Anthony Beagan
Claire Hamer
Colm Andrew
Gillian Manley
Kevin Costain
Lucy McDowell
Martina Lynch
Rebecca McDowell
Steve O'Hare
Wendy Fallon

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Only one entry

I really thought that there would have been a flood of entries today - but there has only been one!

So I'm not going to bother to do another check to see who it is until there are a few more.


Still together

2 entries since 11 o'clock last night - a man and a woman.

David Bell
Trish Cain

536 in total.

Another check tonight.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Neck and Neck

Another 11 entries on this list since 1'olock today and with 8 men and 3 women the numbers are now equal - 267 men and 267 women.

Here are the names of the new additions:

Alan Teare
Ashley Hanlon
Carl Senogles
Craig Hardie
Darren Mealin
Hilary Borthwick
Huw Warrington
Julie Desmarchelier
Laura Gardner
Leon Steed
Maurice Bellando

If you arer reading this and have not entered, but intend to, get plastic out now!

Women increase their lead

Since this time yesterday, a further 11 names have appeared on the official list - 7 women and 4 men.

So the 523 entries consist of 259 men and 264 women.

The new names are:

Breeshey Corrin
Breeshey Harkin
Claire Cooke
Eammon Harkin
Hannah Newton
Martin Crellin
Sheila Skillicorn
Simon Cox
Tara-Lee Whyte
Thomas Morfett
Wendy Easthope

Thursday, 24 April 2008

More women than men

The last time I analysed the entries, there were 266 on the list. There are now 512 (or at least there were an hour ago; the person who has entered in the last hour won't be included in this analysis!) so there another 246 names to account for.

The amazing thing is, that for the first time ever in the history of the Parish Walk, there are more women than men in the entry list, although I see one lady has entered twice so maybe this is a Mugabe style poll! 257 women have entered and only 255 men.

Remember that this analysis is unofficial and that there will be a delay before people who enter manually appear on the list - all the more reason to enter online. Actually I think the 246 include many who were previously on the manual list but its too late to rework this.

Here are the 246 new names. I'll try and keep the analysis up to date from now on:

Aalish Bennett
Abbie Leece
Adam Russell
Alan Cooper
Alan Pilling
Alastair Gillespie
Alison Crompton
Alison McCarthy
Andrea Castle
Andrew Hartley
Andrew Moore
Andrew Shephard
Andrew Starkey
Andrew Titley
Andy Finch
Angela Bray
Ann Parry
Anna Teare
Anneka Rae
Annette Heath
Annie Harling
Ben Constable
Ben Walshaw
Beth Thomas
Bethan Saxon
Beverley Broderick
Breeshey Craine
Brian Caine
Brian Cowley
Brian Leece
Brian Sinden
Bronwen Udy
Candy Dias
Carl Wilson
Carole Staples
Catherine Close
Catherine Close
Catherine Kennedy
Catherine Sayle
Catriona Farrant
Cecilia McCallum
Cedric Quayle
Chris Moon
Claire Stanton
Colette Skillen
Colin Clark
Colin Cowley
Craig Riley
Daniel Evans
Darren Taylor
Darrin Oldam
Dave Mason
Dave Meban
David Griffiths
David Griffiths
Dawn Gell
Debbie Rogers
Don McCulloch
Douglas Jacobsson
Ed Walter
Edwina Harrocks
Elena Snidal
Ellen McGirr
Emma Jayne Keig
Fenella Carter
Fran Ball
Gary Merrill
Gary Thomas
Gaye Miller
Gedeon Roberts
Gemma Sharp
Geoff Cowle
Geoff Sharpe
Geoffrey Doggrell
Geraldine St.Ruth
Gillian Cunningham
Glenn Weir
Glyn Evans
Graeham Quilliam
Hannah King
Harry Pugh
Hayley Rigg
Hayley Sayle
Heather Craig
Helen Flanders
Ian Allan Dunbar
Ian Corlett
Illona Leadley
Isobel Gough
Jackie Horne
Jacqueline Kelly
James Clague
Jamie Brown
Jamie Christian
Jane Birchall
Jane Leonard
Jane Ryder
Janette Gledhill
Jason Davies
Jemma Irene Armitage
Jennifer Cannell
Jenny Coates
Jenny Dias
Jill Bennett
Jill Gillings
Jim Davidson
Jo Bridson
Jo Sykes
Joanna Teare
Joanne Ciappelli
Joanne Coole
John C Ryder
John Gunnion
John Watterson
Jon Mercer
Jonathan Hewson
Jonathan Pugh
Juan Readshaw
Jude Angell
Julie Cannon
Julie Cretney
Julie Crossley
Julie Hill
Julie Jackson
Julie Owen
Justine France
Kara Kneale
Karen Lawrie
Karen Sharpe
Karen Smirthwaite
Kath Kelly
Kathleen McGhee
Kathryn Walker
Katie Wilkinson
Kelly Haynes
Ken Harding
Ken Mitchell
Kerryann Cassidy
Kerstin Dighton
Kevin Shimmin
Kim Duncan
Kirsty Weir
Laura Clarkson
Leanne McGarvey
Lee Breadner
Lindsay Grant
Liz Chandler
Louise Cain
Louise Hollings
Lynne Quayle
Marie Jackson
Mark Fensome
Mark Hempsall
Mark Saunders
Martin Rigg
Maryja Judkowska
Matt Moffatt
Maureen Kelly
Maureen Moffatt
Melanie Curwen
Melanie Moores
Michael Farnworth
Michell Husemann
Mick Rafferty
Mike Berry
Mike Radcliffe
Natasha Richards
Neil Booth
Neil Brew
Neil Helmer
Nicola Callow
Nicola Davies
Nicola Horisk
Nikki Salmon
Oliver Webster
Orna Lynch
Pamela Scott
Patrcia Sweeney
Patrick Hartley
Paul Cannan
Paul Malone
Paul Mckinstry
Paul Slinger
Paul Sykes
Pauline Ringham
Penny Craighill
Peta Warren
Peter Callow
Peter Lewis
Peter Russell
Peter Storry
Phil Marshall
Rachael Tewkesbury
Rachel Turner
Rachel Udy
Ralph Pawling
Ray Johnstone
Raymon Philip Myles
Regina Ripamonti
Remo Ricciardi
Richard Creamore
Robbie Callister
Robbie Stockton
Robert Corrin
Robert Mylchreest
Robert Udy
Rod Kaye
Rowena Finch
Sally Bettridge
Samantha Cubbon
Sandra Halpin
Sandra Kaighin
Sandra Wrigley
Sarah Clayton
Sarah Cripps
Sarah Johnson
Sarah Thornhill
Sean Hands
Sheila Davies
Simon Starkey
Sinead Venus
Sonya Mercer
Stephanie Kelly
Stephen O'Hare
Steve Curtis
Steve Willmott
Stuart Fenton
Sue Ferns
Tania Saunders-De-Pons
Tara Slinger
Terrence Lundin
Tim White
Timothy Laycock
Tom Wilson
Tracey Chambers
Trevor Nixon
Veronica Dimelow
Vicki Craighill
Vicki Rawlinson
William Alexander
William Godley
William Meban
Yedhu Jagannathan
Yue Kendall
Zoe Lace
Zoe Williams

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Never mind the forum how about your entry

I got a little silly first thing this morning when I saw that there were still less than 500 entries for the Clerical Medical Parish Walk. I've been predicting 1,500 but at the very least there must be another 700 to come in.

The standard entry fee will cease to be available in 10 days time. But bear in mind that you have already had 144 days to set aside a couple of minutes to enter online.

My silliness amounted to declaring 3 May as the National Idiots Day (see as that it is the day when so many people run the risk of missing the deadline for standard fee entries.

Yes, there are some people who have delayed their entry because they are not reasonably certain that they will be able to take part. But there are far more who are just inconsiderate as it is difficult for the organisers to plan if they don't get a feel for the numbers.

OK, its less important than in the past now that we have online entries than when Elizabeth Corran used to receive a deluge of entries in the final few days but it is still unnecessary to leave things to the last minute.

Every year Elizabeth has had to spend 90% of her time with 10% of the entries - or rather entries and late entries.

Make no mistake about it, unless you enter on time you will not be taking part in the Parish Walk.

And if I had my way I would ban anyone who lied about the date they posted their entry form.

I don't mean to offend those people who have good reason for delaying their entry but I make no apology for offending those that have been training for six months but can't spare those vital two minutes.

I don't know if my message has reached a few people as there have already been 5 entries today.

I'll try and analyse the entries a bit more later this week.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Don't forget the forum

As frequently stated, I started the site in 2000 and it wasn't long before I tried to establish a forum.

With fewer users on the site and perhaps because people were a bit shy, in the early days I often resorted to starting debates by posting something controversial - my suggestion that veteran athletics should only start at 60 because most events were being won by over 40s certainly did the trick!

The forum has been in its present form (hosted by ) for about five years and the vast majority of the visitors to the main site also appear to check out the forum on a regular basis.

So if you need some help with your training, with your aches and pains or your race tactics, don't be afraid to ask the expects for help.

A good example of the response you can expect was a recent request for help from a walker suffering an injury. Loads of people, including several professionals, came to his/her help.

The only problem is that the walker did not provide their name and email address as required by the forum rules.

This usually means that the post would be deleted but occasionally I have let such entries go. But the rule is still there - its just not being enforced on this occasion. That is a theme I shall return to on another day.

To access the forum use this link:

Thursday, 17 April 2008

3 hours thinking about Dermot O'Toole

Dermot O'Toole - "I never say never again."

Three years ago I spent many an evening sharing stories with Dermot O'Toole as he compiled his wonderful book about the Parish Walk. If you have not yet purchased a copy of "A Walk Through Time" you are missing out - get one now!

He delved into my statistics, my attic collection of all things Parish Walk and my memory.

At 51, my memory is already much better recalling things that happened a long time ago than events from recent years (ask my friends in London about that) but the one story I remember from our hours of ramblings was that Dermot said that he had given up saying "Never again" after a Parish Walk as he knew he would rescind the threat.

He has now completed the Parish Walk 13 times and he used to say ever year that it would be his last.

Sunday was the 9th time that I had run in the London Marathon and I had a good cross section of times in the previous 8. On watch times I had 3 sub 2.45 performances (one was officially a few seconds over in the days before the chips), two carefully managed sub 3 hour runs and 3 really badly run races when I ran far too fast for my level of fitness and ended up struggling (and walking) parts of the final few miles.

But in all 8 of the previous runs I had thoroughly enjoyed the first 15 miles even if the final stages were to go pear shaped. I always took time to enjoy the atmosphere, slap the hands of the kids holdings them out at the side of the road, share a joke and a chat with other runners.

I missed out completely on Sunday. I ran the first four miles at a pace that I was well accustomed to in training runs of up to 20 miles and yet by 5.5 miles I felt awful. I'm not committing myself in public to the reasons for my problems until I have distinguished between cause and effect, chicken and egg.

For a time I was certain I would not finish and kept thinking about where I would drop out and how I would keep warm getting back to the finish.

It was at an early stage that I made two decisions. For the sake of those that expected it of me, I had to keep going even if it took me all day. The second was that this would be my last marathon - EVER.

Through the increasing pain (Tower Bridge was just a trap full of noise that I wanted to escape from rather than the normal highlight of the run) I couldn't get away from Dermot's words.

Deep down I knew that telling myself that this would be my last marathon was just a mechanism for reaching the end. It wasn't something I really meant.

And from the moment I crossed the line my thoughts were not about avoiding the marathon but on gaining revenge.

Its a tactic that you should consider for the Parish Walk. But if you have prepared yourself well (much better than me), you won't need such a tactic.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Self appointed PR

Half an hour before the start of the Flora London with Nigel Armstrong. I had the luxury of a start in the AAA championships but they have still not got wireless access in the warm up tent!

I warned you 12 days ago that I would struggle to update the blog over the following 10 days but I actually managed three postings, including one from London. But it has taken an extra 2 days to get back into anything like a routine.

Once I was established on my Laptop in my hotel room I thought about adding several more stories especially as, although I finally had the chance to catch up with my sleep, I woke up early each day through nerves.

Whilst in London I continued my self appointed PR role for the Manx runners in the Marathon.

I hope that you liked the preview in the paper - I tried to avoid just re-listing all the names that were at the foot of the article but to explain the history of the event and how people manage to get repeat entries.

I understand that Manx Radio previewed the event on the Friday but I tried to get some extra publicity on Saturday morning.

I tried to feed a different line on Saturday when I was sending emails to Manx Radio studio and newsdesk (I'm not sure if they used them) about the number of couples that were taking part. I'm sorry that I did not cover them all to begin with mentioning the Halls, the Quines and the Cains when I emailed David Callister and then adding the Kellys for the newsroom. I still missed the Gannons. Quite remarkable to have so many family couples.

On Sunday morning I contacted Radio 2 and got a mention for the Manx runners at about 5.50 - not sure what the audience figures are at that time on a Sunday. Ian Callister was mentioned for his 20 runs although I was introduced as Murray Lambden from the Isle of Wight.

Within a hour of finishing my own race (I'll save that story for another day) I was back online working on some pictures and the first draft of the statistics. The London Marathon website is much improved and I was able to list all of the sub 5 hour runners before heading to the bar. Unfortunately when I returned to finish before going out to eat the site was down so I had to leave the job unfinished.

When I got back to the Island on Monday lunchtime I tried to finish the project but I ended up having to re-run the exercise yesterday lunchtime when I realised that some of the positions had changed.

I closed off the website project last night as planned but then I spent the rest of the evening writing the report for the Manx Independent. You can read it tomorrow afternoon if you are interested. As well as listing all the performances I have tried to give an insight into three featured runners. I know that one or two people will be disappointed because I have not featured their personal best or their fancy dress but if a story is going to be interesting it has to be selectively researched.

And to get my annual gripe off my chest - if anyone tells me that I have missed someone off the list - tough! The sort of people who complain weeks later that their names were not in the papers are obviously the ones who don't normally read them but only want to see their own names.

Thanks to everyone who helped me gather the names especially Steve Cain who really does know more than anyone on the Isle of Man!

Being the self appointed PR for the London Marathon means that I am already knackered when it comes to doing the Parish Walk publicity (although I did start on 1 December) but over the weeks ahead, as the Parish Walk fights for a bigger share of my time, the blog will be closer aligned to the big event on home soil.

Friday, 11 April 2008

I dreamt I wrote a London Marathon Preview

I continued my London Marathon preparation with five hours a night sleep last night. By the time I finished preparing the Marathon results spreadsheet the clock had slipped past one and I was up soon after six as usual.

But perhaps I have actually been sleeping more than I thought. I thought I had got up early on Tuesday morning to write a preview of the marathon but I see now that it was actually written by John Watterson. Oh well, at least I can stop blaming myself for the typo when I referred to the 2001 census instead of the 1981 version.

Our travelling went ultra smoothly today and Nigel Armstrong took the picture above of myself, Paul Curphey and Mike Garrett after we had registered at the Excel Centre.

The first person we met at the airport today was June Melvin who I only met for the first time on Wednesday when I did the Parish Walk feature.

This used to be the most relaxing two days of the year but now I have wireless access in my hotel (£15 per day for the pleasure) so I'm still playing around with this website lark.

But having also paid handsomely for my hotel room I will ensure that I get more than 5 hours sleep tonight. I've always felt the night before the night before a big event is the most important one.

I'll see if I can bring any more tales from London tomorrow.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

I've been to Andreas

Photo from Andreas

Its only usually at the Parish Walk time that I get to drive to Andreas so it was a delightful drive from Ballasalla via Foxdale and Kirk Michael to meet Maureen Moffatt at her house tonight with her sister June Melvin and brother David "Lon" Chambers.

You only have to go as far as the site or even the site to see the purpose of my drive.

And it was also a lovely drive over the mountain to Douglas. When you get to drive on the quieter roads (or on the busy roads at quiet times) you realise just how the Isle of Man has changed. Not quite as quiet as Saturday afternoon, however, when I jogged along the TT course from the Bradywell Road junction to the Bungalow when the road was closed.

I chose my words carefully in the opening paragraph because although I rarely drive to Andreas I have run through there twice on two separate days this winter as part of my London Marathon training. The first day was on the occassion of the worst of my asthma problems which have curtailed my winter training. Too many of my long runs have seen me walking this winter but neverthless with a stack of 20+ plus runs under my belt I think I have enough to be nervous about with 3 days and 10 hours to go to the London.

I'm not bothering to run at all this week (I did two 12 mile steady runs at the weekend in addition to running around with camera in hand on Saturday) but the hours have gone quicker than ever with not many left for sleeping. Yesterday I started a London Marathon article for the newspaper at 5.45 am after five hours sleep and closed down my computer at 1.30 am there was less than five hours again last night.

As always, if you have emailed me you will eventually get a reply but I must concentrate on replying to holiday booking enquiries emails tonight if I am going to get more than five hours sleep again tonight.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

50 mile walking races

Well done to everyone who competed in the Sara Killey memorial races on Sunday.

I didn't see the race but it seemed to be pretty competitive at the front between Mark Hempsall and Jock Waddington and their time was 46 seconds faster than Steve Partington's time from last year. Very good going considering the horrible weather.

It was good to see the results available on the evening of the walk so it would appear to a good investment by the Fire Services to invest in the technology.

I have to admit that despite being a fan of long distance walking, particularly the Parish Walk, I get frightened of the road safety aspects of the events.

When I came into the sport in the mid 1970s there were two long distance walks of just over 50 miles. The big one was the London to Brighton, using the roads that were used for so many sporting challenges, and the other was the Manchester to Blackpool.

The Manchester to Blackpool was the only one that I ever did and that was in 1978 when I was based in Manchchester with BRS for 6 months (my work experience during a Business Studies degree) but I was working in Preston for six weeks. It is somewhat embarrassing to admit that (along with several other walkers) it was in Preston that I missed a turn and had to walk back a couple of hundred yards.

But events were so much more laid back in those days. There were virtually no marshals as we set off from the centre of Manchester and walked through Bolton town centre - can you imagine doing that now even with marshals?

Although it was low key event in those days (apart from the inevitable "stick" that you got from people on the course who only saw race walking once a year) its origins were high profile.

The winner of the walk received the News of the World Trophy and it was presented by the Mayor of Blackpool at a civic reception at the Winter Gardens. I'm not sure when the walk was first held (probably in the early part of the 20th century) but it was at a time when you were fortunate if you could afford a holiday in Blackpool. If you did, it was a long journey on the train. So the thought of tough guys actually walking the whole way at the start of the Wakes Week must have created a lot of media interest. I believe that it would have been back page national news in the sponsor's paper and that thousands would have welcomed the walkers in Blackpool.

The event was the last of the big open road walks to go (in the last 10 years I think) to be replaced by a 50 mile walk around a park in Blackpool.

The London to Brighton went earlier despite a move to country roads. I don't think it ever recovered from the event that I (and many others) dread - a fatal accident involving a competitor.

For many years the walking season would start in November with 7 mile races (especially in the South of England). The National 10 miles were held in March and they would be preceded by area and county championships (the 10 miles incorporated the the inter counties champs).

April and May would see the same round of events for 20km and June would be the 20 miles at area and national level (replaced by 30km and 35km races later).

The distances would be extended again in July for the National 50km. the fields would get smaller as the distances got longer. The walkers would race frequently and the nationals would also be broken by the Leicester Mercury 20 Miles and the Bradford 50km on May Bank Holiday weekend and the aforesaid Manchester to Blackpool in June.

After the Nationals, many a walker's family would be taken for their holiday to somewhere like Hastings (38 miles Hastings to Brighton walk early August), Isle of Man (TT course walk in late August) or to London for the London to Brighton on the first Saturday in September.

The 100 mile walk would be held at the end of July (I think) and old fashioned courses such as the Leicester to Skegness were used every other year. London to Brighton and back had been used in the really old days. Nowadays, of course, these sort of courses are all on traffic free (or virtually traffic free) courses.

It was only in 1980 that a 100km walk was introduced and this moved long distance walking towards shorter multi lap courses. If I told you that they were held on the M42 you might not believe that walking was safer in those days! I walked on that motorway on the second year and live to tell the tale. The motorway development ran out of funds and parts of it were left unused for several years before the funds were found to finish it - lovely surface with no camber!

To conclude, however, having seen the way walking has moved off roads in the UK (also fewer walkers - chicken or egg?) I really do question whether it is realistic to increase the number of long road races in the Isle of Man from two back up to the three that there used to be. They are all extremely dangerous however well marshalled they are.

Despite these reservations I have nothing but admiration for those who completed the course (or even parts of it) and the reports I have heard are of a very well organised event.