Thursday, 19 June 2008

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.

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