Friday, 29 February 2008

Probably not

That’s the answer to the first of Dave Mackey’s questions.

The question was “can I see myself ever competing in the Parish Walk” again?

I would love to of course.

So I’ll try and reason why not, as much with myself as for Dave or anyone else reading this.

My involvement in race walking came about in three ways.

Firstly, my elder brother Martin did the old Parish Relay and TT Relay Walks and I was desperate to have a go. I did the last leg of the TT relay Walk when I was 12 or 13 and I trained three or four times for the Parish Relay Walk the year it was cancelled.

Secondly, we used to do walking at school as part of the wonderful Walls AAA 5 star scheme. If it was only throwing and jumping I would probably have been in the 1 star category but the walk and the 1500 metres pulled me up a bit. Brian King, Head of PE at the old Douglas High School for Boys suggested that I did the English Schools Walks. I went to Redditch in 1974 and Sheffield in 1975.

Thirdly, as a kid I always tried to walk or cycle as far as I could and the Parish Walk was something I wanted to do. Refer to my earlier posts about entering under age.

Having won the Parish Walk in 1978 I should have stopped there. Graham Young was starting to influence me and even though I knew that I was not ready for the Commonwealth Games that year, he and all the other Boundary Harriers walkers and officials sowed the seeds for trying for that goal.

I spent six months working in the North West between April and October 1978 as part of my Business Studies degree and indeed I have a few tales to tell from this era yet such as when various athletes stayed with me in Manchester.

But for six weeks I was based in Preston. I had been doing loads of races without training that summer and although I won the Parish, the other events caught up with me. I still recall the evening in Preston when I decided that I wasn’t doing myself justice in this way. The Commonwealth Games were on at the time and I decided that, once I graduated the following year, I would start training properly and try and make the 1982 Commonwealth Games team.

This was what I did and by doing so achieved a lot of other things beyond my wildest dreams. I still did the 1979 Parish Walk (when I failed miserably) but that was just before I started my training.

Once I started competing at the sharp end of British championships and walking in Europe, the Parish Walk became an irrelevance to my own career although I loved following it still.

I’ll never know what I could done if I had entered the Parish Walk in 1981 or 1982 but despite being a much better athlete, I don’t think I would have had the motivation to go such a long way.

I retired at the end of 1983 because my back would not stand the level of training I was attempting.

Many times I have considered the possibility of doing the Parish again based on once a week training. I’ve run a 2.43 marathon on less than 30 miles a week training so I think that it is quality that would count over quantity. My thoughts were on doing long walks at the weekend in between getting my head into gear.

The thoughts often start with the idea of completing the course inside 24 hours. But in no time I think, if so and so can do it in 19 hours I think I could. I fear that when I start the walk I would go too fast and drop out it would take me at least two attempts to get it right.

Then my thoughts go back to the website.

I won’t say never but it would have to be a special reason such as walking it with others for charity. It that way I would be obliged to walk at someone else’s pace and I would be forced to ditch stupid thoughts that I could still go fast but drop out.


Anonymous said...

Okay, Murray. Good answer but you're not getting off the hook that easily.

Why did you never return to walking, as let's face it, you are a decent club runner but you were an international class walker?

Anonymous said...

That's from Michael by the way.

Anonymous said...

[url=]Mulberry Bayswater[/url] Close by is the remains of the butchering camp, a kilometre-wide expanse pocked with the remnants of meat caches and cooking pits, and itself underlain with up to a metre of buffalo bones. [url=]Canada Goose Parka[/url] Fopafkqah [url=]christian louboutin[/url]
uxugrj 890453 [url=]where to buy canada goose jackets[/url] 185445 [url=]canada goose jackets sale toronto[/url]

Anonymous said...

[url=]christian louboutin shoe sale[/url] That's great for bird lovers and bad for planes. [url=]Canada Goose jakker[/url] Qbcykiybr
abdwzz 731939 [url=]canadian geese images[/url] 128823 [url=]dr dre[/url]