Once again, this latest input has been somewhat delayed, the reason this time being that I have been employed for some weeks up in London Town. Shouldn’t be allowed at my time of life!
There where major inroads made during October into the higher ranks of the various age categories with races at Portsmouth and Twickenham having some say in the matter.
Four new names, for this year, now head their respective categories, namely M75 Peter Thomas, W45 Fiona Kennedy, W50 Paula Fudge and W65 Ena Urich. Two current number ones, M40 Mike Boyle and M60 Graham Patton both consolidated their positions with improved performances.
Both 2003 Flora London Marathon veteran winners Mark Hargreaves and Michaela McCallum now grace the lists while former outright women’s winner of that event. Liz McColgan has entered the realms of W35 10-milers for, I believe, the first time.
One of the most popular events in the road racing calendar must be the Ballycotton 10 held in Ireland and which this year celebrated its 25th anniversary. The long-standing organiser of the race, John Walshe, already has next year’s race well in hand and if anyone wishes to get an early mark for the 2004 rankings, now is the time to make plans.
The 2004 Ballycotton ’10’ takes place on Sunday March 7th (1.30pm) and anyone interested can write for entry forms to: Ballycotton Running Promotions, Ballycotton, Co. Cork, Ireland. Instead of a limit as in previous years, a closing date of December 16th will apply. Full details are on the race website at: www.ballycottonrunning.com
John also submitted a brief look at the event with the emphasis being on the veterans’ scene.
The small seaside village of Ballycotton in East Cork has been home to a ten-mile race for the past 25 years. Starting with just 31 runners in 1978, the race now struggles to cope with the massive numbers wanting to run this spoon-shaped, mainly flat, course on quiet country lanes.
Pete Flatman from the City of Hull was one of the first cross-channel visitors back in 1984. Just turned 40, he finished tenth overall in 50:32, a time that stood until 1995 when four-time overall winner Liam O’Brien set the current M40 best of 50:06.
Known as the ‘Flying Ferret’, Malcolm Martin from Sheffield has the M45 best of 52:42 from 1992, which was three seconds inside the time Corkman John Buckley recorded the previous year – Buckley would go to win four medals that summer at the World Veteran Championships.
After losing one record, Buckley got his name on the books again in 1988 by establishing a M50 mark of 54:09. Adam Jones from Dublin set the M55 record the same year with a time of 58:05.
Flor O’Leary, who ran the inaugural race back in 1978 in 57:55, had the remarkable achievement of ‘breaking sixty at sixty’ when setting the M60 best of 59:15 in 1994. Five years later, he was still able to break 65 minutes with a M65 record of 64:19.
Another of the many British visitors over the years, Jack Kirk from Middleton Harriers, holds the M70 best of 70:11 from 1996.
Among the women, Cathy Shum holds the W35 record of 55:29, a time she set when finishing just one second behind overall winner Marian Sutton in 1997. These are still the two fastest female times – one Sonia O’Sullivan is fourth on the all-time list with 55:37 from 2001.
Trudi Thomson from Scotland, winner in 1999, set the W40 record of 56:22 the following year when finishing second.
Ann Kearney, a tri-athlete from Dublin, holds the W45 best with her 62:59 from 1996. Margaret McCreery set the W50 mark of 69:12 this past year, which also saw the W55 record go to Joan Coyle with her time of 69:14. And finally, the W65 effort stands to Catherine O’Regan at 83:37 from 2002.
Ian Bloomfield – a mystery solved
In a previous editorial I enquired as to who was Ian Bloomfield whose M40 best of 49:23 shares fifth place alongside Nigel Gates on the UK all-time list. Well, thanks to the following e-mail I have now been enlightened.
I have only just come across your excellent web-site service – I haven’t run any 10’s for a while so hadn’t picked your site up. I think it’s really informative and interesting – well done!
The reason I’m writing is that your August newsletter refers to ‘an Ian Bloomfield’ who ran a fast 10 in the Brampton to Carlisle race of 1993. Ian in fact runs for the Chester-le-Street club in the North-east, about five miles north of Durham, and, although racing infrequently these days, has a very good record from the past – he ran a marathon in the region of 2:12 to 2:14 in his pre-vet days, I think in New York.
I will keep reading your site now, and might even be tempted to turn out in a ’10’ again!
Richard Harvey (O/60)
Newton Aycliffe A.C. (also in the North-East)
(Ed: Thanks for that Richard, feedback on the site is always more than welcome,)
Mileage – Quantity or quality?
When researchers at the University of South Carolina studied 583 veteran runners recently, they found that the most important predictor for injuries was total mileage. Those who ran 40 miles a week or more were more likely to get hurt. This doesn’t mean you should never do more than 40 miles a week in your training; some people handle the high mileage just fine. (Also, most marathon training plans have you doing more than 40, but only for a short period.) However, the research does suggest that, over the long haul, running more quality miles may be the way to go.
Did you know?
En route to his UK record breaking 66:42 on October 26 in the Stroud Half marathon, Martin Rees went through ten miles in 50:30…faster than his current UK best of 50:43 set at Woking in March of this year.
When I was 40 my doctor advised me that a man in his forties shouldn’t be running. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again.