Matlock Athletic Club
It would have been easier to give a balanced picture of the club's development if 20 years ago someone could have foreseen that today we should be writing our history and had kept records of all our activities in sufficient detail for this purpose. I have done my best from the sources available: minutes of the Annual General Meetings, the scanty early newsletters, a valuable archive of press cuttings that we owe to Chris Rosling's mother and my own and other members' recollections. However, not every member will receive a mention in an account of this length, many epic performances will have been missed, some times and dates will be wrong and I shall inevitably have upset a number of people. I apologise in advance.
Like many young clubs M.A.C. partly owes its existence to the jogging boom at the end of the 1970s, but its origins are also inseparable from the peak years of the now defunct Matlock College of Higher Education.
When I came to lecture at the College in 1967 it was an establishment of some 800 students with good sports facilities and a department which trained P.E. teachers. Amongst the various sports in which its teams competed was the occasional cross country race. The members of the cross country team were primarily rugby and soccer players, and guest runners from the staff, like myself were always welcomed on to the team.
A number of Derwent Valley Orienteers were also working at the adjacent County Offices at the time and they too often guested for the College. They were also welcome to use the Gymnasium on the Chatsworth Hall campus as a base for their lunchtime training runs.
Gradually a small but keen group of the above runners came to meet for training from the Gym on Thursday nights under the unofficial joking title of "Chatsworth Harriers". For a number of years this augmented College team continued to run in inter-college matches and other events such as the Escafeld League, but with individuals still turning out as first claim runners for their own clubs such as D.V.0. or Derby and County A.C.
By the mid 1970s the feeling had grown that the time was ripe for rationalising the situation and forming a genuine club in Matlock. With the sudden massive increase in petrol prices following the oil crisis it seemed pointless for Matlock athletes to travel 25 miles to the nearest club for a training run, and the orienteers too were beginning to see the vast mileages involved in driving to their events as prohibitive.
So in late June 1976, the year of the great drought a meeting was convened at the College to form a new club. All the groundwork had been done before the meeting which in effect simply formalised certain decisions and elected a committee: Chairman : Brian Howitt, Secretary : David. Millington. Treasurer : Clive Russell and Fixtures Secretary Malcolm Taylor. Other founder members believed to be present (no written record was kept.) were Steve Pearson, Neil Forrest and Dave Sprakes.
The H.Q. was to be the College Gym, by permission of the new Principal, David Udall, who agreed to be our first Vice President. At this time the College was emphasising its colmmunity role and on the understanding that any College student interested could have free membershipof the club we were to be allowed to use the changing facilities free of charge as well as certain other services. This enabled us to set the very low membership fee of £2 p.a. and less for juniors. A basic club philosophy was set out : since we were all active athletes administration should be kept to a minimum, so as to enable all of us to concentrate on our major objective ‑ running. The name of Matlock Athletic Club was nevertheless chosen so as to leave our successors the option of branching out into track and field in future years. The club strip would be white shorts and a pale blue vest, since we all possessed the former and the latter was available over the counter at M.& S!
The above three decisions reflected our determination to be up and running(literally) without delay, but our haste perhaps led to problems which some would say have not yet been solved 20 yeaxs later. The same haste would lead us to "borrow" the D.&C.A.C. constitution for our first A.G.M. In the meantime we were to make the affiliations to the A.A.A. and other bodies necessary for our legal operation. We put our beliefs into practice only days later, making our first appearance in club colours on July 4th. in the Hyde "8”, which our second claim member Peter Lindsell almost won, with Malcolm Taylor also near the front of the field in one of his fastest runs, ever.
Our 1976 debut on the fell running scene came shortly after at Bamford where we placed 7 runners in the first I0. This time we were not keen to display club colours, for two reasons. Firstly the Peak District fell races were still small scale local affairs where the presence of "The Harriers" was often resented and secondly if a certain zealous A.A.A. official caught you running in an unregistered event you were liable to be banned as a professional. And all this only 20 years ago!
The first A.G.M. was held on 15/10/76. Current progress on affiliations was reported and the same committee was re‑elected. Membership now stood at 10 seniors and 5 juniors. Training night was confirmed as Thursday at 7.30 p.m. It was at this meeting that Dave Mitchell raised the issue of holding a marathon on the lower halves of the Tissington and High Peak Trails which he had noticed covered roughly the classic distance.
The rest of the year participation in the North Midlands Cross Country League races, the best packing being at Worksop with 4 runners inside the first 100. Towards Christmas the first club cross country championships were held at Parwich in deep snow on a typical Clive Russell course, with new member Chris Rosling emerging as Senior champion and Ian Smallwood as Junior.
1977 was a year when a, number of new ventures took place, the most long lasting being the inauguration of the White Peak "26" as it was called, because under current A.A.A. rules a marathon had to be held on the road, our course emphatically was not, with a day sure to give an initial 10 miles of mud on the “grass” surface of those days. Planning of the race was entrusted to a sub‑committee under the direction of Ian Farrand who for many years was to mastermind the event. A small field of 19 faced the gun at Ashbourne on 7th. May with Chris Bent of Salford becoming the first winner in 2.45.45 and our own Clive Russell 3rd. Our other major venture was into track and field after an influx of new members from the local sixth forms, the College and the Old Baileians Rugby Club. In our first season in the Notts. Track League we finished 3rd. overall in Division 2.
This success led to a 3‑cornered challenge meeting held on the College grass track in honour of a much respected former Derbyshire coach. The match was a great success with the Dave Goodyear Trophy going to D.& C.A.C. with Matlock second ahead of our new rivals Buxton. Phil Whitney raised the money for the trophy from local businesses and the event was intended to become an annual one. Whatever became of the event and the trophy?
In the Summer the “Flash 7” road race around Matlock Moor was inaugurated and the first winner was Bob Forster in 36.37. This event like the.track event was based at the College pavillion which we were allowed to use free or for a nominal fee. It was initially a low key inter‑club fixture with no entry fee or prizes.
Following his third in the White Peak Russell recorded at was to stand as his best ever time : 2.46.19 when he turned to the road in the Rotherham.
By the Autumn cross country season we were affiliated to two leagues, the North Midlands and the South Yorkshire. Although we did take part in the N. Mids. that season it was from this point on that we switched our major participation to S. Yorks. which entailed shorter travelling distances and was of a more realistic standard, three of us regularly finishing in the 20's!
With all this activity the club's administration was suffering and the A.G.M. attempted to put things on a firmer footing when it elected 2 non‑running Members into key positions : Reg Fielding (Chairman) and Ian Farrand (Treasurer). Chris Rosling : became Secretary and Captain for Cross country and Road, and Brian Wardle Track and Field Captain. Brian Howitt took over as Fixtures, Secretary. Publicity and communication would be fostered via the "MacMag" under the editorship of Jes Ford, and it was hoped to encourage junior and female membership. Herbert Hardy, the Director of the D.F.S. firm and a former County runner himself, was elected President and made a generous donation to funds.
The year finished with the County Cross country championships and our first County vests : Rod Woodruff 6th. Junior and Andrei,,, Statham 2nd.. in the Boys. The Senior team took second place to D.& C.A.C. (Russell, Howitt, Rosling, Mitchell).
A similarly very active year followed in 1978. Although individuals did turn out in a number of open races, these were not yet numerous and the major pattern was still one of challenges between local clubs on their own courses. Our own cross country course over three laps of Matlock Moor was much feared by the "townies". It had been decided to use this course rather than Parwich for our own championships which were won this year by Rosling once again.
Entries for the second White Peak reached 34 and though Roger Woodward of Plessey took the individual title in 2.44.01 ‑ M.A.C. won the team race (Flood 4, Howitt 6, Russell 8 Cracknell 16 Mitchell 15).
John Flood came to be known as the “Phantom Runner”l in that although he turned in some fine performances for the club he rarely appeared on training nights, and certain of the track members were never convinced that he existed!
Regarding the track, this was our best year in the Notts. League, with our unbeatable sprint squad comprising Brian Wardle, Steve Casey, Roy Tucker and Mick Pearson, backed up by Rod Woodruff who excelled at any event from the 800m. to the pole vault and Duncan Robinson who could threw any implement in the repertoire. We finished the season 2nd. out of 7 teams overall, but declined Promotion to Division I which would have entailed running against Loughborough College and the likes of Seb Coe in 1979.
The track activities precluded us from competing in the S.Yorks Road League to which we had, affiliated but we continued to build up our own invitation races, adding the Black Rocks fell race to our existing Flash “7” in which Woodward added to his White Peak victory. Six members turned out in the Stannington “10” Rosling and Flood both well inside the hour on a tough hilly course. Cross country was still a major strength and we entertained Derby County in a home match on the Matlock Forest course.
In the County Championships the Senior team finished 3rd. with our new signing Paul Armstrong finishing I0th. individual. In the Youths Mike Preston was also 10th. and Gary Thorpe 14th. in the Boys. Richard Fielding finished 6th. in the Colts and thus gained his County vest.
In the South Yorks. League our positions improved markedly and in the final race at Barnsley Rosling recorded his best ever 8th. and Howitt rounded off the five race series as S.Yorks Vets Champion on aggregate. Jes Ford was 3rd. Youth, and Edwin Richards 6th. U13.
In the Dovedale Dash Armstrong produced his best ever.2nd place. At the A.G.M. the Chairmam stood down and was replaced by Brian Howitt. The main other decisions were to establish the cost of affiliation to the W.A.A.A. and to "legalise" certain local races such as the Bakewell Carnival event by bringing them under our control as a A.A.A. club.
For a period of about five years the club settled down, some would say into a comfortable rut, with certain former league commitments falling by the wayside, notably the S.Yorks and the Track League which we left in 1979 owing to lack of support as members left the College or went to university. It was taking a disproportionate amount of committee time, collectively often the equivalent of a day's work, chasing up members to compete in just one meeting.
Committee membership was stable over this period and with most members working at County 0ffices it was easy to hold regular meetings in the Chairman's office at College on the way home from work. This proved extremely valuable in planning, the White Peak but more generally the development of the club as a team stagnated during this period. The committee tried to remedy this but they could not fight modern trends. The days of inter‑club races were numbered. With the jogging boom coming on stream there was a road race or fun run every weekend, and everybody was "running” marathons. The temptation was therefore to do your own thing, and to some extent a runner would never again need to join a club in order to have access to races. To this extent, although the jogging craze did introduce many people to the sport, it helped to destroy club and team loyalty. Before the A.A.A. rules were changed, you were allowed to run "unattached" for one season only, after which you had to join a club. Sheer numbers of non‑affiliated runners now made nonsense of this and caused the rules to be changed as athletics became an open sport.
Nevertheless in 1979 we maintained our challenge in the County Championships at Markeaton Park : Seniors 3rd team Rosling 10th. Vets Howitt 2nd. Boys: Colin Kilbourne 5th. Colts: Simon Rughes 9th. Newcomer Neil Tatham showed his class by winning our Derby/Plessey/Buxton cross country match at Matlock and leading us to a team victory. Tatham aIso made a brilliant marathon d6but in the White Peak ‑ 3rd. in a M.A.C. best time for the course.finishing behind Romaine and Fisher to give us second team place. He continued this form in the now official Bakewell Carnival race in 2nd. place, with Rosling 5th. Parris 7th and Howitt 8th (also Ist, Vet) to give M.A.C. the team prize. Our third counter was of course the local M.P. Matthew Parris who was to a valued regular member of the team and eventually our fastest marathoner ever. Marathons were the flavour of the year and number of members had run in at least three by midsummer.
Andy Wilton, still of Buxton, set a record of 36.07 in the Flash"7”, a time which stands to this day, and on the carnival circuit the club achieved a whitewash in the Parwich Hill Race: Rosling, Howitt, Kilbourne, Russell, Hurley, Taylor, covering the first six places. There were excellent placings too at Bradwell : Rosling 2nd, Homitt.4th, Thorpe 6th, Kilbourne 7th. Rosling, ran twice for Derbyshire during the Cross Country season in special representative races.
The familiar pattern of distance running continued in 1980. The club cross country champion was again Rosling followed by now regular member Gordon Cresswell and John Hurley. In the County Tatham finished a brilliant 7th and gained his County vest, with Howitt taking 3rd Vets medal. We aIso managed to field a team in the National at Leicester.
The White Peak temporarily saw a new starting point at Thorpe, with an extended loop beyond Parsley Hay as bridges were out of action nearer Ashbourne. The revised course did not prevent a fine run from winner John Fisher of Derby. Rosling transferred his fine country form to the road and finished 2nd to Clive Toplass of Derby in the Flash “7” in 38.53. Elsewhere on the local scene the old firm were in action again with another spectacular whitewash at Parwich: Rosling/Cresswell/Russell/ Taylor/ Howitt, and at Bakewell : Rosling 3rd, Ian Cockayne 4th, Hurley 6th, Howitt 7th & Ist Vet. Thorpe's fine 9th place overall also gained him the Junior prize. Meanwhile, on holiday in France, Tatham took the opportunity to win the Round The Houses race in Châttellaillon Plage.
At the A.G.M. a motion to rejoin the Track League was defeated, and a referendum was ordered with a view to changing the time on training nights from 7.15 to 6.15.
In 1981 the County Championships, held in snowy conditions, brought the club the 3rd team place in the Seniors with Howitt taking the Vets silver medal. Colin Kilbourne gained a County place by finishing 5th in the Boys race, followed by Eldwin Richards 12th. Our outstanding twins, Jill and Julia Gray, plus D.Wathall, all finished in the first 10 of the Girls race, gaining County vests and bringing M.A.C. the team award.
Snow was the order of the day in '81 and nearly caused the cancellation of the White Peak. When a 72‑hour blizzard swept the Peak District in late April and railway cuttings full of snow threatened to make the course unrunnable. A notice was sent out to all entrants warning them to expect the worst. On race day. May I0th. the sun was out, the snow melted and P.Blakeney of Dark Peak Fell Runners, won in fine style in 2.36.05.
Few other details of the year's performances are available, but the attempt to foster team spirit is apparent in the successful use of a minibus to transport our team to the National where a good day out was enjoyed by all. The “Macmag" was recognized as now being defunct and the committee tried to reinforce club spirit by ordering a distinctive change of colours to a pale blue vest with dark blue stripe with the club's name superimposed. It was obvious 1982 was a year of retrenchment since the A.G.M. set the lower age of membership at 14 because of the problem of adult supervision. This was particularly unfortunate in the case of our brilliant young girls and we had to suggest that their best interests might be served if they joined Derby Ladies. The extent of the pressure on the organisation is revealed by the fact that it was only on a majority vote that the, A.G.M. decided not to abandon the White Peak in 1982.
The organisational situation worsened through the year with some members of the committee feeling that their efforts to encourage team participation, especially in road relay events, were not being appreciated, and at the A.G.M. the Secretary and Treasurer regretfully resigned at the end of about five Years’ valuable service during M.A.C.’s formative years. At a very depressing meeting members were very reluctant to stand for office and the solution was only resolved by Malcolm Taylor stepping into the breach as Treasurer and the Chairman agreeing to take on the additional role of Secretary, although only as a temporary measure. Nevertheless the running had still prospered with our Vets. team winning the County Championships on an apology for a cross country course at the Municipal Sports Ground. (Russell/Forrest/ Taylor/Howitt/William). Rosling maintained his form on the road when he recorded 30.31 in the Newark “11” and 1.12,45 in the Doncaster Half Marathon. Not to be outdone, Tatham also showed brilliant form in winning the Ilkeston Half in 1.10.44, and at Parwich he recorded the fastest time in one of Clive Russell's unique 'star races" which necessitated perfect pace judgement in running "blind" over 7 miles. In the White Peak we were back to the original course after continuing bridge problems, with 80 runners, and the race going to Malcolm Firth of Manchester, followed by Geoff Eley of Derby and B. Hilton of Leeds. The records reveal that we were still sending out result sheets to each runner, complete with split times taken at the 5 feeding stations! No wonder our meagre organisational resources felt over stretched!
In 1983 the Club Championships, still held in Matlock Forest, were won yet again by Rosling followed by Cresswell, with Tatham and new member Pete Clarke equal third. Cresswell was now emerging as a class fell runner and a specialist in the Dovedale Dash where in’84 he would record his best ever 2nd place. Not bad in a field of about 2000! The White Peak was again a popular race with Ian Clarkson of Rochdale taking the title in 2.36.18. Nevertheless the Chairman's report at the A.G.M. maintained that the club was merely ticking over thanks to a small core of active members and badly needed a full committee and a development programme. It was fortunately possible to appoint a separate Secretary once again in the person of the first holder of the post, David Millington, who had returned to the area. Over the next year or two David would be instrumental in organising the popular Tansley "10" and Half Marathon.
Another potential crisis was defused at the A.G.M. - the clash of loyalties alleged to be shown by some members who also belonged to D.V.0. M.A.C. members were urged to remember their first claim status for the club, but the meeting also urged consultation between the two clubs to avoid fixture clashes in the future.
The Sheffield Marathon had been memorable for its high temperature and the unfortunate death of a competitor. Our own runners settled for survival rather than fast times in the conditions, with Rosling recording 2.59.00 and Howitt 3.01.00. The heat led to over 50's vet Campbell being crippled with cramp at 13 miles but rather than give up he largely walked the last half to finish in 4.57.00. Visiting Frenchman Alain Mabire also made an impact on the club. He was a keen team runner and helped us to our victory at Longnor. On the Club "10" course he became our first foreign club road champion but only after continually disputing the lead with Thorpe whom he outsprinted at the finish. If only Gary had been able to taIk to him in French the result might have been different! Thorpe was now competing on equal terms with Seniors, and he won the Flash "7' in 37.55 from a very good field.
1984, the year of things to come in Orwell’s novel of that name, was reflected in Mick Moorhouse's design and construction of his incredible running machine. Powered by an electric motor from a washing machine (not a tumble dryer fortunately!) it enabled him to run on a treadmill at his home in heated conditions, however deep the snow outside! It is to Mick's craftsmanship as well that we owe the club notice board and the smart banner with which we can stake our plot at championship cross country events. But 1984 also marked the end of a small era for M.A.C. At the A.G.M., when Neil Forrest was elected the next Secretary, steps were taken to move the club's H.Q. to the Sherwood Hall Leisure Centre. With the Matlock College's absorption into the Derbyshire College of Higher Education and its move out of local authority control into the private sector, the club would now have to pay the full market rate for its use of the changing rooms and other facilities which it had enjoyed free of' charge since 1976. This was to have an adverse effect on some of our established training and racing courses but other advantages might well outweigh these.
On the racing side this was again another year of the marathon, with our own race now becoming the John Smedley White Peak Marathon as we welcomed our first exclusive sponsor and a sound operational budget. Veteran George Kay of Stone Master Marathoners was the winner in 2.44.06 with Jane Spence first woman in 3.32.16. Howitt 9th, Russell 15th and Forrest 17th, all vets, took the first senior team prize outright. The suspicion that road marathons were a good 10 minutes faster than our race was reinforced by good times in the Derby Ramathon one month later - Rosling, 2.39.55 and Howitt 2.57.54 who was beaten on the sprint by the fast improving Mackfall ‑ only 2 second difference after 26 miles! In October Mackfall achieved his ambition of running in the New York Marathon where, despite being unwell and encountering exceptionally humid conditions, he managed 3.23. The best individual performance of the year was still probably Gordon Cresswell's 2nd. place in the Dovedale Dash, reported earlier.
The move to Sherwood Hall indirectly achieved something for club spirit that had not been possible previously at the College where training nights had merely meant a run and an immediate return home. Now, since Sherwood Hall had a bar, people would congregate there for an hour afterwards to discuss achievements and aspirations and a much clearer feeling of club identity was generated. This coincided with the relaunch of a newsletter and the arrival of new members. One of these was Jean‑Pierre Grahn, a French triathlon specialist over for the year, and someone who thankfully did speak English! Another was Randall Tassell whose permanent stay with us was to result in our having a qualified coach to look after our younger athletes. But we were sorry to receive the resignation of Rob Hutton, a class marathon runner and aIso of Phil Cracknell who had ably dealt with the White Peak entries for some years.
With the change of H.Q. it was decided to accept Neil Forrest's offer to stage the Club Championships on a new course starting from South Darley and incorporating three descents of Wensley Dale and three ascents of Will Shores (One Tree) Hill. Clive Russell also put on his tough 7 miler from Parwich taking in Longcliffe, the High Peak Trail and Minninglow on the way. In the Ramathon Howitt's 2.56 was only good enough for 3rd Over 50 place, but Forrest also finished well inside 3 hours in spite of a suicidal first half run in a P.B. of 1.23.
The White Peak produced a runaway winner in Alasdair Keen of Derby, A 2hr 17 man on the road, his 2.32.59 time added weight to the theory of our race being over 10 minutes slower than normal courses. John Hurley came in a brilliant 2nd in 2.46.02. Rob Hutton in what must have been one of his last runs for us recorded 3.2.58 and Parris 3.10.00, only three weeks after his 2.35.00 run at London which had confirmed his standing as the fastest M.P. in the West(minster)! Another P.B. in the London had been Mackfall’s time of 2.45.00. At the A.G.M. Brian Howitt resigned as Chairman for personal reasons and his place was taken by Roy Mason, the National Secretary of the British Orienteering Federation, who, in the short time he had been in the club, had already achieved John Smedley's sponsorship of the White Peak. He also used his contacts with them to organise the successful Lea and Holloway races in the Winter. On the road this was also Roy’s best season when he recorded P.B.s from the marathon to 10K, including 1.29.50 in the Chesterfield Half. A decision taken at the A.G.M. to affiliate to the N.Staffs. League was apparently not implemented in '85 or subsequently.
1986 looked like being the year of the vets when we won the Derbyshire team title at Chesterfield on Jan. 4th. Neil Tatham took the individual Vets gold(7th overall and another County Senior vest) and John Armistead the bronze. Our women participants Ann Armistead and Tracey Bowmer also ran well on a diabolical course comprising deep mud and several waist deep river crossings put in by an obviously sadistic course designer.
As if the cross country specialists had not had enough, they made use of an affiliation anomaly which somehow allowed the club to compete in the Yorks. Championships as well at Graves Park Sheffield the same season.
In the White Peak Roland Gibbard of Charnwood was first home with Hurley third this year, but with an even faster time of 2.44.12. The club took the vets team award as frequently happened - Forrest/ Howitt/ William. The social side of the club was flourishing and a club dinner was held at the Strand restaurant on 31st Jan. when Brian Howitt was presented with a record token and elected a Life Member of the club. The same committee was re‑elected at the A.G.M. and a rationalisation of the club's main interest was incorporated into the constitution : "the aim of the club shall be the encouragement of amateur running".
It had become apparent that a significant group of members were now interested in the more serious fell races beyond the local Peak District series, including the two‑day mountain marathons and this was recognised by our affiliating to the Fell Running Association. On the road, Mackfall took us into the ultra distance dimension by running the London to Brighton double marathon in 7.46.00, a time which he would certainly have bettered had he not once again been running whilst suffering from a infection.
The 1987 A.G.M. saw major committee changes again with Neil Tatham elected Chairman and Don Hale Secretary. Chris Rosling, who had returned to the club after a short absence, became Club Captain. The White Peak was attracting large numbers of entrants including women athletes. This year saw Roger Edwards, of Leicester Coritanian take the title in a new record time of 2.31.02. Liz Evans of N.Derbys. set a new female record of 3.16.15. The M.A.C. team finished 2nd with fast times, by Hurley(2.40.57) and Mackf all (2.48. 06). The new chairman's duties were not slowing him down either - Tatham achieved County selection again with 7th place overall in the Cross Country Championships as well as the Vet's gold medal. In the Ashbourne Half he finished 2nd in 1.13. Rosling too clocked 1.15 in the Wirksworth Half. A new member, Tony Barrable, gave notice of how good he would prove to be with a time of 36.43 in the Flash “7”, quite close to the record. In the Chesterfield Half, Howitt broke the Vet 50 course record in 1.25.48. 'Unfortunately so did Craven of Wolverhampton, 5 seconds faster and one place ahead! Contemptuous of such sprinters, John Armistead achieved a personal ambition by completing the Bob Graham Round (42 peaks and 27,000 feet of climbing) in 22hrs 57mins. well within the 24 hour limit. On the level of communications, an attempt was made to revive the club newsletter, last published some six years previously.
The usual pattern of individual performances took place in 1988, but we achieved one of our more notable team efforts when we fielded a full 8 runners in the National at Newark where Rosling was our first counter at 305th. Mick Moorhouse was.our new Club cross country champion and we received the reflected glory of Barrable’s selection for the British Rail team in the international cross country event in Belgium. Rosling gained two more County vests, one on the country at Leicester and another in the Inter‑Counties 20 mile road race.
The White Peak continued to prosper with Andrew Battye of Woodstock Ist in 2.42.06 and Betty Hall of Westerlands Ist woman in 3.18.46. In the London Marathon Kevin Vallance was accompanied by Ann Armistead and Dot Farrand. Throughout the ‘80s Dot was the club's top woman road runner. Her wins and places at Vets and Open level are too numerous to mention, but a selection of her times speak for themselves : Bovril “10” - 64.45, Puma 10K - 38.36, London Marathon - 3.20.35, Half Ramathon - 1.27.40, times many men would envy!
Club spirit remained high in 1989 under Social Secretary Mick Mackfall, and another succesful dinner was enjoyed by a good number. The Club Championship again went to Creswell with the promising. Alan Tatham. taking the Junior title. On the team side cross country proved disastrous, with the club unrepresented in both the Northern and the National. Fortunately the situation was retrieved on the road with first team place in the Chesterfield “10” and perhaps our most prestigious team success to date - Ist place in the Otter High Peak Half, (Barrable/ Hurley/ Clamp/ Moorhouse). The magnanimous team members voted to donate their £100 cash prize to club funds! Tracey Bowmer too raised cash by her run in the London Marathon - £234 for Leukaemia Research. The club's women members were running magnificently, and two others scored a notable victory when Ann Armistead and Helen Finlayson took the first Ladies' team prize in the celebrated Karrimor Mountain Marathon in Cumbria.
The White Peak went to John Wilcockson of Mansfield with Cathy Gunner of Staffs Moorlands first woman,(2.38.20 and 3.25.01 respectively). M.A.C. won their customary Vets team prize. Prior to this marathon the club had been well represented in the London with the evergreen Russell getting under 3 hours.
At the A.G.M. a key decision vas taken : to redraft the constitution. It had only taken us 13 years to finally remedy our hasty adoption of a second‑hand one at our inception! Malcolm Taylor resigned as, Treasurer and was replaced by John Armistead. Gerry White became Secretary, Barry Mosley Fixtures Secretary and News Letter Editor and Tracey Erskine (nee Bowmer) women’s co-ordinator. It was another good year in the Dovedale Dash, particularly for the Juniors, with Eddie Thomas winning the U14 section in a record time 30 minutes. His coach, Randall Tassell, set a good example finishing 48th in the usual enormous field.
In 1990 the seniors had a very poor year on the country, both in the League and the Northern, but fortunately the Juniors made up for it in representative honours - Eddie Thomas gained his Derbys. vest, and Ian Forrest recorded an amazing 5th place when representing the County in the English Schools race. He looked set for a brilliant international future until a severe viral illness effectively put an end to his career, although we hope that one day he may be able to make a fresh start. Andrew Battye once again took the White Peak, some 3 minutes slower this time, with Mary Howarth of Steel City Striders gaining the women's title. This was the last year that we were to enjoy the generous sponsorship of John Smedley, but they said goodbye in style, issuing each finisher with a quality T-shirt, specially designed and manufactured by themselves. We hope we did not offend them by not agreeing to let all competitors wear the garment during the race!
On the road the club took 2nd team prize in the Otter and there were good turnouts in the Chesterfield Half and the Hardwick "6". In internal competition the cross country championships were moved to a real "old fashioned" course at Fritchley through the good offices of the Secretary and Stuart Allsop. Moorhouse won the club "10" and Barrable the Club Half Marathon. This latter race became known as "Mick's Half", being the brainchild of M. Mackfall. It was over two laps of a fairly flat course near Flash Dam and was suspected of being a fraction short in view of the number of P.B. times it produced. Mick had also instituted a series of New Year Mystery Runs, one of which entailed fighting off guard dogs at a traveller's encampment on the moors which happened to be in the way. His best social event of the year was undoubtedly the pie and pea supper rumoured to have been subsidised by the previous year's Otter prize money. The final friendly race of the year was a John Armistead promotion: a shortened version of the Black Rocks race on Boxing Day, starting from the High Peak Junction.
The only memorable business at the AGM this year was the key decision that all members should drink at the same establishment after training on Thursdays, since club solidarity was being threatened by the quality of the beer in the Sherwood bar as perceived by certain connoisseur members.
Organised participation in cross country events did not recover in 1991 and the club was not represented in the county championships, although Alan Tatum achieved a solo effort of 3rd place in the N. Mids. League U-15 race. Tatham incidentally was, and possibly still is, Junior record holder in the Mow Cop Killer Mile. The efforts of club coach Tassell also paid off in notable performances by Cairn Morrison Danny Warman, Esmond Tressider, Joby Osman and Andrew Cummins, but mainly to their respective schools in the various county events.
In our own championship Cresswell had his customary win, the mud being much to his liking. In the London we were well represented by Barrable, Allsop and Hale, and nearer home, Taylor won the Club Half after Moorhouse put in an extra off course mile when leading at the mid point of the race. Founder member Steve Pearson was seeing a resurgence after 15 years with a PB of 2:35 in the Milford 21 and 3:10 in the White Peak which was won this year by Roy Berry, with Mary Howarth still striding to another win in the women's section.
What might be called recreational events flourished, with the Boxing Day one again proving popular, as well as the newly established 4 Inns run before Christmas. perhaps Rob Atkin and Karl Webster will not mind their epic feat earlier n the year being classed "recreational" : the 15 trigs circuit of the peak District, a distance of 52 miles which they completed in 13:54. All this domestic and individual running must have been what people wanted, because at the AGM a paid up membership of no less than 57 was reported. A committee reshuffle took place with G. White becoming Chairman and D. Erskine Secretary.
1992 emerges as a year of massive race participation, with teams doing well on an ad hoc basis when large numbers of members happened to turn up at the same time in open races, but we only had one runner, Moorhouse, in the National. We did however manage 3rd senior team in the County Cross Country. On the track Tressider and Osman gained county titles at Junior level in the 800m and 1500m respectively. The revived newsletter is a good source of information on racing activity for this year and succeeding ones, and the enormous amount can only be referred to in note form as follows: Staffs and Ashby 20s D. and T Erskine completed both with P.B. for Dave in 1:58. Kinder Downfall 6 members ran; Half Ramathon 6 ran; Flagg Moor 1st team; Zwei Tage Gebirgsmarathon (Swiss Karrimor) run at 8000 ft J. Armistead 26th; Sierre-Zinal (19 miles, 7000Ft climb) Anne Armistead 5:10. Bradwell 2nd team; Wirksworth Incline Moorhouse 3rd; Karrimor 7 ran; Saunders 6 ran; North Face Relay 4th team; Longnor 1st team with Cresswell 4th; Hayfield Fell Championship, Series vests to Allsop, White and Moseley; Robin Hood Marathon Atkin 2:43; Ashbourne Half Margaret Keeling 1:50; Uttoxeter Cross Country Vets Moorhouse 3rd, Tatham 6th; Juniors A Tatham 3rd; Winster Barrable 1st; Dovedale Dash Erskine 31st; Brassington Howitt 1st; Humber Bridge Marathon Allsop 2:56:40 and 6:52 in the Otter 40 and finally London Erskine 2:37:25
The Women's and Junior sections were obviously flourishing and coach Tassell took the youngsters into Europe where they comprehensively beat the French over 3K (Morrison 1; Osman 2; Tressider 4 and Cummins 5) at Eubonne, Matlock's twin town.
The White Peak was undergoing a reappraisal. Due to a cost cutting exercise, no souvenirs were presented to finishers, and to some of us who took part it seemed surprising that there were any finishers either, as atrocious weather conditions produced 3 ambulance cases of hypothermia and dozens undiagnosed ones. Nevertheless the perennial Peter Bates won the race in 2:44:08 with Hurley an excellent 4th in 2:46:55. Tracey Erskine was 3rd woman in 3:37:59. At the AGM the recently arrived Ian Milne became our new treasurer and we welcomed Canadian Larry Burroughs, over for a year on a teaching exchange with our own Tim Sanders.
Similar massive participation in races continued in 1993, a summary of which follows in no particular order. Saunders: Allsop and Muir 41st; Heald and R McDonald 43rd; Moseley and G Cummins 44th; John and Jo Armistead DNF. White Peak Walk Allsop 1st; White 7th. Flash "7" Moorhouse 1st. Winster Hill Race MAC took 1st 5 places. Flagg Moor 1st team. Derwent Valley Tour (4 races) Erskine 7th. Buxton "5" Howitt 1st V50. Bakewell Morrison 1st Junior; Taylor 1st V50 and Campbell 1st V60. Longnor Cresswell 2nd. Bamford Howitt 2nd V50. Karrimor 7 ran. Ashbourne Half Clamp 11th and Taylor 1st V50. Hayfield Fell Champs Webster 4th. Dovedale dash Webster 10th and Morrison 12th. Sleaford Half Heald 1:28:16. North Face Relay 6th and 25th teams. London Heald 3:9:00 PB; Clamp 3:20 (injury) and Burroughs 3:24 (Flu). Milford "21" Erskine 11th and Heald 63rd (2:39:51) Burbage Erskine 8th. Buxton "Death Run" (-5 Celsius) Erskine 2nd; Moorhouse 4th and Webster 5th. Club Cross Country Champs at Fritchley Erskine; Atkin; Cresswell took 1st 3 places. Inaugural Eyam Half Marathon - Mike Flint was our only representative.
To comment on the above results: Moorhouse ran consistently well in Vets races, Allsop in Ultra-distance events, Webster on the Fells (including the Bens of Jura) and Erskine on the road and country. Juniors Tressider, Osman and Morrison all gained County vests but we regretfully released Morrison to Derby and County at the end of the season in his best interests, long term. The senior Cross Country team finally got its act together by finishing 7th on aggregrate in the four races of the N. Mids. League. In the White Peak the new start (Tissington) and finish (Cromford Meadows) proved a success, with showers, bar and refreshments at the Rugby Club, and rapid posting up of results. The extra descent off the Sheep pasture incline seemed to pose few problems; nobody fell into the canal on the final sprint and the finishing times were bery comparable to previous years: Colin Hibberd (Witney) 2:39:54 and Sally Newman (Glossopdale) 3:23:06
Resources were targetted to develop another "Class" event, The Black Rocks Fell Race, with Tassell creating a longer course with more woodland that was expected to attract more of the hard men (and women). Recruitment week also held in the spring produced only one new member, Dave Hill, but a consistent and valued one at that. Over 65 Vet Gordon Campbell set a fine example by turning out in over 25 local races during the season, including Castleton and Taddington on consecutive nights! The AGM saw Gerry White replaced as chairman by Don Hale who again helped us out when committee duties were not popular. An important decision was taken to try to enhance the club's image, already helped by the mark 3 vest, via a new series of over garments which would feature the club name.
At the 1994 AGM membership was reported as being down, although we had recruited some keen local runners who had, until now, managed to escape the MAC net, notably the "Three Musketeers" : Paul Keetley, Bill Willis and Doug Woffinden. No great enthusiasm for office holding was yet apparent, but the situation was resolved by a reshuffle, with Dave erskine taking the chair for one year and Karl Webster the secretary's job. Neil Forrest was thanked on his resignation after many years from his role of helping to train the juniors. A referendum was held on the possibility of of changing the training night, but the outcome was the retention of Thursdays. The seniors further improved their position in the N. Mids. League to an impressive 6th place. In the Northern Counties at Birkenhead we finished 45th out of 100 clubs, and in the National we came 73rd out of 165. All the team deserve congratulations for these performances, but mention must be made of the contribution of Gary Thorpe, not just for his running, but for his ability to "talk up" individuals and get them to the start line. Gary had been enjoying something of a resurgence recently, particularly in the long fell races, where he successfully accompanied Karl Webster in the latter's 2nd completion of the Bens of Jura in '94. Many years after his first appearance in it as a schoolboy, Gary also won the Buxton "Death Run" which owes its gruesome nickname to him. The team was again successful in the North Face Relay, this time recording 2nd place, with the "B" team finishing 20th. We enjoyed less success however in the N. Counties 6 stage relay. The Club Championships produced a 1/2/3 of Cresswell, Thorpe and Whittaker, but the Fritchley course was getting no easier for certain older members who again went astray in spite of championship standard marking. It was a vintage year for the Vets in the county with Barrable taking the county Gold medal and leading the team to victory. Moorhouse and Cresswell, our other outstanding Vets were always well up in races and the latter won no less than 20 prizes in his first qualifying season. Taylor too, now running for us 2nd claim, was rarely beaten in the over 50 class. We finally said goodbye to him, one of our few remaining founder members, when he moved to Wales later in the season.
The White Peak had to cope with a course problem when the Hopton tunnel collapsed prior to the race. The difficulty was overcome and the race was won yet again by Peter Bates of Bury, with Mary Howarth first woman, striding home yet again for the Steel City. Visiting Wirksworth's twin town of Die in France, Clamp and Tassell took time off from civic duties to run in the Montelimar Half, no doubt scoffing nougat at the feeding stations. On the female side, Jo Armistead achieved county honours and represented Derbyshire in the English Schools race at Birkenhead. Michael Flint combined holiday with competition, running both in the USA and in a grand prix series of three races in Malta. A one off charity race was organised at Lea by Roy Mason and was won by Barrable with Webster 3rd. This was the year when we made it on TV with successful coverage of the Black Rocks Fell Race on the Big Day Out programme. In the Ashby 20 Barrable joined the select group of club runners who have broken 2 hours, and Hill also achieved a PB. They were both using this as a race sharpener for the London in which Barrable recorded 2:39:38 but Hill's 3:38:00 did not do his fitness justice, but Hale's 3:35:30 was very creditable, coming only a few months after a serious operation.
In 1995 Treasurer Ian Milne also opted for malor surgery in a bid to resolve a 3 year old problem which would have made lesser men retire. All members were glad to see him fighting his way back to fitness by the end of the year. The White Peak had gained a new sponsor, Twiggs of Matlock, and the winner was Colin Hibberd of Witney with Hilary Walker of Serpentine R.C. 1st woman in a course record of 3:12:31 It was a year of normally busy activity in all the standard races. The Club Championship produced the usual permutation of names:Cresswell/Webster/Whittaker plus the usual list of lost runners (names witheld out of kindness). Cresswell's win bringing him a rare hat trick of victories. The usual iron men of the mountains were in evidence again during the heatwave, in the Saunders at Consiton, Karrimor at Brecon and the Lowe in Scotland. These madmen were reinforced this year by new signing Steve Mead, who will obviously be a useful addition to the squad. On the shorter fell runs too, dozens of members were in action throughout the spring and into the tropical conditions of the summer. A major team effort was our defeat of Buxton for the 5th consecutive year at Flagg Moor with Barrable taking 1st and Webster 2nd. Perhaps the major individual coup of the year was Webster's July win in the Nation Police Triathlon held in the Lake District. His time of 4:47 was 10 minutes inside the course record. Another new member making frequent visits to the lakes was Ian Conway who clocked 73 minutes in the tough Derwentwater race. Don Hale tried single handedly to re-establish us as a track club by competing at every distance from the sprints to 5000 metres both locally and in the Northern vets events. One of the still functioning founder memebrs, Clive Russell, notched up yet another Dovedale Dash, having competed in the race every year since it began in 1959, with the sole exception of 1969 - an amazing 36 appearances. Illness depleted the vets team at the County Championships at Darley Park, Derby, but Barrable gained the Silver medal in the Vet 40 class, followed home by Hurley, Keetley, Hale and Conway to take 3rd team place, only Vet 40s being allowed to count for some strange reason. Following his long term strategy of only training every 10 years, Howitt took the county gold in the Vet 60 class to round off a season of more than 10 category wins, including a time of 1:31:43 in the Chesterfield Half Marathon and the Grand Prix title. Barrable too had at least 10 major wins or placesduring the year in both Vets and open competition - we stopped counting after a while. John Hurley, in his first season as a vet also took a number of prizes , as did Cresswell and Moorhouse. From the sublime to the ridiculous, The Club Christmas Dinner (for 1994) was held at the Elton Cafe in March 1995! With the election of Andy Whittaker to the Chair at the AGM, whilst grateful for the efforts pf all the numerous recent office holders, now ideally looked forwards to a period of committee stability.
At the time this was written in 1996, and as we approach our anniversary, the club's history is still being written onthe roads and hills of north Derbyshire. Most of the club's racing will take place from late spring onwards, and a long distance relay run is being planned to to commemorate our 20 years. So far, the staple event of the winter months has been the monthly 10k handicap to Cromford and back, with Steve Mead and Jeremy Hall winning the coveted "egg Cup" in the first 2 races. This even tover the years has undoubtedly provided a valuable focus and motivation for our winter programme on Thursdays, and the successive handicappers, Armitage, Mason and Keetley deserve our thanks, however much we have rubbished their arithmetic in the past. In an unaccustomedly cold winter the handful of races so far have attracted few runners. Hale and Howitt started the year well in the Whatstandwell "5" on New Year's Day, but the one athlete signalling his intentions for 1996 was young Esmond Tressider. After winning the Beetroot Race the 16 year old continued to challenge the seniors by finishing 11th out of 300 in the Box Hill race, ably supported by his father Rob in 98th place. He followed this up in the Tigger Tor fell race over a longer than usual course in atrocious conditions of mud, melting snow and ice, when he finished 26th, followed by Rob, 133rd and Brian, 148th and 1st Vet 60. Esmond's time of 1:17 was remarkable in every way. The major event in the club diary so far is the White Peak, on 18th May, preceded by the return of the Club Championships to Matlock on March 2nd, with a lap course at Brickyard Farm which should enable all sections of the club to share a mass start over varying distances. This eventwill be followed by the anniversary year dinner in Wirksworth.
As a club grows it develops legends of its own when its members recall incidents which occasionally "improve" with the telling. A selection of headlines follows:
The novice runner who took a nap at 12 miles and, after waking up, continued running but in the wrong direction towards Ashbourne.
The Irish contingent who held up the start after a late dash from the airport in a bid to sandwich our marathon between another two in a period of three days.
The couple accompanied by dogs who were surprised to be disqualified after starting 15 minutes ahead of the field.
Malcolm Taylor who dropped out at Hartington, jogged across to the High Peak Trail just before Minninglow where the astounded officials thought he was leading the field inside world record time.
The year the Brian Howitt changed from Cross Country shoes to Racing Flats at Parsley Hay, but only after receiving written permission from Joe Keily of the AAAs.
Steve Pearson's formula for a good run: 4 pints of beer the night before the race to boost blood sugar. He used it to good effect several times.
Cans of Isostar cached under rocks at Minninglow for use on training runs. All the good was undone by Mick Moorhouse who handed out Jam Tarts and Coke which produced dire effects by the Middleton incline.
Neil Forrest, the same man who had put out the markers the day before, who took a wrong turn on to the road at Middleton Top, and Roland Gibbard who did the same thing with unfortunate consequences.
Rugby player Brian Wardle's fear on his track debut that if anyone elbowed him he might tackle them.
The young Gary Thorpe's worry that he would lose his amatuer status when he was publicly given a cash prize after his win a Tideswell.
The Phantom Runner again: Gordon Cresswell is sure that John Flood existed. He alleges that he still owes him the 30p he borrowed at Barnsley.
Stuart Allsop's interminable mystery runs from Crich, particularly the 12 miles in a thunderstorm on midsummer's night.
Certain orienteers always managing to get lost on the Fritchley course, but always getting back in time for Stuart's mince pies after the race.
Roy Mason's dog assisted races: Tessa once towed him so hard that the leather harness broke. N.B. Roy's PB's were achieved minus dog.
Geoff William's cycle rides to race venues. Leicester to matlock was the record.
The tendency of Matthew Parris to turn out in big championship races wearing sawn off jeans.
Michael Flint's debut inthe Rowsley run when he allegedly reached the outskirts of Bakewell before turning back.
a 1970's run led by Clive Russell from matlock to parwich taking the direct line across country in deep snow and thick fog. We ahd to keep up with him because we were all lost.
French member Alain Mabire who would only communicate with other members by using the chairman as interpreter. Have you ever tried running up Bank Road in French?
The early Buxton "Death Runs" - either a force 10 gale which blew the lightweight Gary Thorpe 3 times up to Solomon's Temple and 2nd place or gingerly descending over the frozen tops of 6 foot snow drifts after the home team's warning of "Don't go through the crust or you'll snap your leg off like a carrot!"
The year Chris Rosling nearly drowned (no joke) when he was pinned against the stepping stones by the swollen River Dove near the start of the Dash. Fortunately ian Farrand was at hand to rescue him.
Neil Tathum's 2nd place in a race while camping in Southwest France - unfortunately he had no use for the prize of a live Guinea Fowl.
A Karrimor entrant who discovered to his dismay on the first night that he had only packed the frame of his tent.
A Four Inns run on a dark night when runners encountered waist deep water on the riverside path to Darley. This failed to extinguish Dave Erskine's portable fairy lights but snorkels are issued to vertically challenged members now.
The apocryphal rule (33b) - Thou shalt not splash thy neighbour when thou runnest through puddles - except in races.
The Louis Armstron and the Ben Johnson runs - how many members can still identify these routes and explain their names?
So, as Matlock AC completes its first 20 years, what conclusions can we draw? If we had our time over again what might we do differently? Would we give priority to organisation and administration, the lack of which has regularly been deplored at AGMS. Probably not, because our memebrs have always been active runners and we lack the nucleus of retired athletes prepared to officiate. We are just all running longer! Would we make more effort to weld our runners into a regular team? Probably not, because of the irreversible trend towards individualism which came in with the jogging bbom. Would we give more encouragement to the Women's and Junior's sections? Probably not, because of the small numbers involved and in the case of the Juniors, only rarely and for limited periods are parents prepared to assist our dedicated coaches with transport and other support.
Perhaps there is one thing with hindsight we might have done differently. At any one time only a small minority of members have actually lived in Matlock and the club's centre of gravity has shifted about 4 times over the 20 years, reflecting the membership of the committee. This is shown in the location of the Club Championships - Parwich; Matlock; South Darley; Fritchley and Matlock once again. There has been nothing wrong with the courses or the dedication of the officials, but it has meant that they have often unselfishly given up the chance to run themselves, and the frequent changes have meant that the courses have never become well known. Any one joining an established club in 1976, such as Derby, knew that his/her first duty was to learn the 5 basic courses over which all the club's internal races had been run for the last 80 years. Thus club races needed no organising. Could we learn from this and keep our Club Championships in Matlock permanently, and in the process reinstate the club "10"; "Half" and "7" as internal events, thus establishing a tradition to take us into the next 20 years?
Finally, what has Matlock AC really achieved in its first 20 years? Quite a lot in fact - some impressive performances by individuals and even by teams when everything has happened to click at the right time, as the yearly analysis has shown. We have a membership of varying interests. Obviously some people would not be seen dead on a track, just as others would dismiss a 2 day event out of hand, but most memebrs have had a go at all branches of the sportand we have remained remarkably free of cliques. On another level the fact that we have enjoyed the membership of the local Conservative MP, the Parliamentary Labour candidate and the Liberal Democrat leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council must prove something - I'm not quite sure what! The club has generated a lot of running in 20 years as its founders intended, a lot of fitness, a lot of fun and a lot of friendships. It may have even changed a few lives.
Rather than indulge in extravagant claims it is perhaps better to state a bottom line with which no one could disagree, certainly not the men - without MAC, Thursday nights would not be the same!
Brian Howitt 1996
The third decade would see stability in the club's administration, allowing decisions on the future to be taken affecting both our finances and the programme of training, racing and the organisation of
nationally recognised events. My apologies in advance for the omissions and errors which will
inevitably occur in the following record.
The annual dinner was held at Wirksworth, having been preceded by the cross country
championships on a new tough venue at Brickyard Farm which was to last for the next ten years.
In the absence of recorded results it is a fair bet that it was won by Karl Webster.
John Heald organised a 20th Anniversary Run in July incorporating 7 two-man stages totalling 56 miles around many of our favourite away runs in this part of Derbyshire, followed by a social event at the Red Lion. John was disappointed that no other clubs took up the challenge to compete with us.
Former Chairman, Roy Mason, finally left us to live in France, renovating a house and gradually
abandoning running for his other interest, red wine.
We welcomed a new member, Simon Brister, a very fast young vet.
Although out of running action Ian Milne's skills as Treasurer kept us in the black despite our losing
a main sponsor for the White Peak Marathon. This was a fast race, won by C Barker of Sydney
Striders in 2.39.02, with Sally Pitts of Witney setting a new women's record of 3.07.33.
Important innovations coming from the AGM were an annual Grand Prix, an aggregate of points
based on the most poular races. An invitation to join the Cromford Meadows Sports Club as our new
HQ was deemed to be unviable financially. The Junior section was flourishing underthe coaching of
Randell Tassell as was the Women's section who had a structured programme on Monday nights.
Helen Finlayson also made the English Orienteering team in her class.
We won the Flagg Moor team challenge against Buxton for the sixth time, with Tony Barrable 2nd
and Karl Webster 3rd.
In the Derby Half Dave Hill did a PB of 1.32.48 and Gordon Campbell won one of his
last vet 60 races at Riber. In the County Cross country Champs I won the vet 60 gold, and the
Chesterfield Half in 1.30. In the Beetroot Race Mick Moorhouse climbed as if gravity didn't exist, scoring a rare win over Karl Webster with Rolls Royce Malcolm Marchant in 3rd place.
At the AGM Chairman Andy Whittaker reported on another good year with a good number of juniors
training on Monday nights. We saw the comeback of Rob Atkin and Gerry White to active
membership and also welcomed a new signing, James Arnold.
A prestigious new addition to the womans section was Norma Kuszynski, the Mexican marathon champion in 1983 when she recorded 2 hours 43 minutes. World class in those days for women.
The new Grand Prix was going well as was the 10k handicap with Milltown Milers occasionally
sending guest runners.
Financially, Ian ilne continued to keep us in the black, mainly through increased entry fees in the
White Peak, although he was still on the touchline himself after major heart surgery.
Steve Mead and Tony Barrable also had to fight health problems, but the most bizarre one was
experienced by Gordon Cresswell who suffered a ruptured eardrum which was pierced by a twig on
a wooded section of the Black Rocks.
A suggestion was accepted for a structured programme of runs on Thursday nights, as was
the proposal of an inter-club challenge based on one of the LARA winter 5k races at the old baseball ground in Derby.
County cross-country vests were awarded in the various age categories
Tracey Erskine (FV)
Polly Veazey-French (U-13G), John Selby-Sly, Chris Young, Simon Flitter and Dan Yates .
County medals went to Gordon Cresswell(V40 Silver), Dan Yates (Silver) and Brian Howitt(Vet 60 Gold).
On the fells Dan Yates gained an England vest in his category - another tribute to
Randell Tassell, their coach.
Also running well on the fells was young Ricky Wood who would before long give priority to his
other forte: Kick Boxing.
But his name would eventually be immortalised in the FR Calendar in "Ricky's Race"
In the summer of '97 he organised a 3 mile run in Dimple Fields with the proceeds going to
the RSPCA. Although only 12 turned out he collected an amazing £400 from sponsors. At the time
of writing it has metamorphosed into one of MAC's top fell races.
Mountain marathons like the Lowe Alpine and the Saunders were supported by John Heald, Dave
Furness, Barry Mosley, Neil Forrest, Helen Finlaysson, George Cummings as well as family teams like the Armisteads, Macdonalds and Meads.
Steve always denied that their main advantage was in only carrying one sleeping bag!
Star individuals included Karl Webster (Black Rocks 2nd, Tigger Tor 2nd),
Dan Yates(Grindleford and Bamford 3rd,Beetroot 1st, Ricky's 1st) and
Esmond Tressider(Black Rocks and Bamford 3rd)
Club membership was at a record level of 68 with many new juniors joining. Financially we showed
a small deficit, but Ian Milne, now back in action at the AGM was confident that a new family
membership fee of £20 and a higher entry fee for the WPM would set us right.
Summer away training runs were well established.
After indulging his creative writing skills over some years Paul Keetley stood down as Newsletter editor, to be replaced by Steve Mead who looked likely to continue the surrealist house style.
Simon Brister volunteered his legal skills to check out the validity of our insurance cover.
Grand Prix ; Karl Webster 1st. H'cap Dave Furness. Tracey Erskine 1st L and H'cap.
The annual dinner was once again held at the Red Lion, preceded by the Cross country Champs at
Brickyard Farm.(Dan Yates 1st, James Arnold 2nd, Karl Webster 3rd, Tracey Erskine Ist F)
In the inaugural LARA 5k Challenge we won the mixed team trophy that we had donated,
(Dan Yates 1st in 15.32), with N.Derbys 2nd and Ripley 3rd.
Women's team 3rd in the Robin Hood Half and Simon Flitter 2nd in associated fun run from a field of 2000).
We took over the organisation of the Winster Hill race which had become very popular.
Ricky's Race moved to a new 3,5 mile course from the 3 Stags at Darley Bridge
(Simon Brister 1st, Roy Marlow of DPFR 2nd, Jackson-Horner of Milltown 3rd.
Temporary member Tom Hanssen of Belgium was 6th.
County Cross country at Darley Park :
3rd Vets team, Brian Howitt 1st vet 60, Tracey Erskine 1st FV.
WPM : John Hurley 5th(2.56.45) Kinder Downfall : 1st team(but no prize!)
Hathersage: Dan Yates 3rd
Tigers 10 : Karl Webster 2nd(59.47), also won the entire series on aggregate, with Steve Mead the only
other MAC to complete the series finishing in a very good 45th position.
Tracey Erskine : 1st Chesterfield Half and County 3000m track 1st FV.
Maniac 800m: Simon Flitter 1.44 Ditto Mile: Dan Yates 3.42(NB both downhill at Meltham).
Beetroot: 1st Esmond Tressider 25.56 (course record and still unbeaten in 2006),
2nd Dan Yates, 3rd Alex Metaxas
English Fell Running Champs : Top placings from Dan Yates, Polly Veazey-French, Alex Metaxas and Esmond Tressider (2 or 3 ran abroad but details not recorded).
John Heald ran in the London Marathon.
The club was in a healthy position financially. Membership stood at 55 with 6 family memberships.
The adequacy of our insurance had been confirmed and safety factors for Monday nights tightened
up. After a much valued stint in office Andy resigned as Chairman and was replaced by one of our
recent additions, Eddie Bland. We were now registered in the North of England AA scheme.
Another of our new members, Steve Holt, survived his opening run, the fearsome Wakebridge
circuit in deep mud, and stayed with us. Mick Kuszynski finally gave in to pressure to join us from
his wife Stormin' Norma and clocked a debut 3.10.34 in the White Peak. We had our first home
victory in this race with James Arnold crossing the line in 2.37.05.
Tracey Erskine broke the existing women's
record with 3.06.34 but still finished only second.
Club Cross country Champs : a good mixed turnout. Section winners : Karl Webster, Polly Veazey-French,
John Sely-Sly,Robert Ingham,George Whittaker.
County Cross Country; Andy Whittaker 2nd vet 40 and with John Hurley and Reg Amor took 2nd vets team
medals. Tracey Erskine 2nd Vet F. Dan Yates 2nd U-20 and with John Sely-Sly and Alex Metexas selected for Derbyshire.
County Track winners: Dan Yates 1500m, 3000m, 2000m 'chase. Simon Flitter. 800m and 1500m.
Rob Ingham Long jump. Emma Amor youngest MAC runner to get county vest. Tracey Erskine 3000m.
John Selby-Sly was 3rd in the English FR Champs in his category.
Saunders Mountain Marathon was completed by John Heald, Ann Armistead, Viv Macdonald, Eddie
Bland and Linda and Paul Keetley. Paul subsequently underwent a hip replacement, made a rapid
recovery, and, undeterred, has managed a mountain marathon every year since.
Tough Guy: Karl Webster 2nd.
Belfast Marathon : Karl Webster 6th overall and National Police Champion(2.44)
Once again Karl Webster won the Totley Series.
James Arnold: 2nd in Wirksworth Incline and Spire 10 (54.36)
In the Beetroot Race we were gatecrashed by Steve Penney who won from Esmond Tressider, but outside the
latter's record. A promising return as a vet put Dave Erskine in 3rd place.
The 180 dub was founded : the 3 members whose combined ages totalled at least 180 years. This enabled
Ian Mlne, Gerry White and Brian Howitt to opt out of the Thursday schedules and train together
By the end of the year we were relieved to see Mick Moorhouse making a good recovery from a serious illness.
The millennium year was celebrated by myself and Chris Rowe (5th) in the Hangover 5 on the 1st.
In the course of the year Eddie Bland had to resign as Chairman when he moved to a new job which had the
added bonus of being near to the Lakeland fells. His final gesture was to lay on a splendid spread of
food and drinks for us at the Bonsall cottage at the halfway point of our Thursday run. We ran back
to Sherwood with some difficulty. Fortunately we had another Scouser to replace Eddie Bland in
Jimmy Ricketts, complete with a masters degree in sports science.
Steve Mead volunteered to take overtemporarily in the Chair and he saw us through successfully to the
November AGM when Dave Hill was persuaded to become the new Chairman, a post which he has
filled enthusiastically ever since.
Steve also stepped down as Newsletter editor and Richard Bradbury and Jimmy Ricketts agreed to take over.
Membership remained at an all time high and in spite of a loss on the White Peak, income from subs
together with £330 in entry fees for the increasingly popular Black Rocks race enabled Ian Milne to hold
the annual fee at £10.
We noted with interest the proposed development of the Cavendish Fields sports ground but doubted
if this was the right future venue for us .We would follow with interest the District Council's plans to replace Sherwood Hall with a new sports centre, the incorporation of a running track being
a priority for us.
One of the most significant signings for the future was that of Christine Howard who had already
established a reputation in Police running alongside her partner Karl Webster. We had to say goodbye to
Reg Amor who could no longer run owing to a mystery illness but who, with his family, continued to
support us. John Ostrowskis, known as "Oz", had joined us after opening a pysiotherapy clinic in
Matlock and he agreed to be our club physio, offering a 10% discount to all members.
Local hairdresser Sue Morley joined us and recorded some good times on her favourite distance, 10k,
before moving on to work in Derby.
Simon Brister completed an epic walk from Land's End to John o' Groats in 2 months, raising about
£2000 for Save the Children.
Club Champs ; Karl Webster/James Arnold/Alex Metaxas. Chris Howard 1st F.
Chris Young, George Whittaker Emma Amor all won their categories.
Grand Prix : Karl Webster and Tracey Erskine were 1 st M and F.
Mr and Mrs Kuszynski won a handicap each.
The Meads plus Paul Keetley and John Heald completed the Karrimor.
We finally won the Patagonia High Peak Relay with the B team 14th out of 35.
John Selby-Sly qualified as a coach and became North Mids. u-20 Cross country champion, also taking the
Derbys. 2000m gold medal on the track. Dan Yates was 3rd in the national 3000m 'chase u-20.
Although winning the Chesterfield Half in 1.27.58 (with Norma Kusinsky 1st vet F in1.44.11), 1st vet F at
Taddington and Black Rocks, Tracey Erskine's reign as Bionic Woman was about to be superseded by Chris Howard who declared her intent by winning the Black Rocks and the Coalite 10k.
An innovation in Ricky's Race was the securing of sponsorship from local councillor and
greengrocer Nigel Allwood who would henceforth present healthy prizes in the form of fruit and
vegetable boxes. Dan Yates and Polly Veazey-French took the honours.
There were good individual performances during the year :
Richard Bradbury - Sheffield Half (1.19.01), Buxton Half (7th in 1.20.02), Tigers 10 (7th in 1.15.51)
Mick Kusinsky. - Sheffield (1.21.49).
Winster - John Selby-Sly 2nd, Simon Flitter 4th.
James Arnold won the Buxton in 1.15.52 and was 3rd in the Wirksworth Incline.
Chris Rowe won the LARA Triple Sporting Challenge.
Foot and Mouth year - significant because we had to cancel the club cross country, the WPM in May
and again in September when a second attempt failed to produce the entries. This was the main
reason for a loss of £429 in our finances, resulting in the need to increase subs by £1, £2 and £2
(Junior, Senior and Family respectively).
There were never the less many very good performances both individually and collectively from
members in all age groups.
9 County cross country vests were awarded :
Chris Howard,Tracey Erskine, Polly Veazey-French, Shena Bridges
James Arnold,Karl Webster, Alex Metaxas ,Dan Yates, John Selby-Sly.
John Selby-Sly was also county u-20 champ and North Mids u-20 champ(club's first regional champion).
Dave Erskine staged a comeback with a silver in the vet 40 class.
There were brilliant Junior results at the County track meeting ;
Sam Thorne - gold (1500m), bronze (800m). John Selby-Sly silver ( Steeple chase)
Josh Teece - bronze (1500m) Dan Yates - silver (800m and 1500m)
Robert Ingham - bronze (400 m) Chido lhaenacho - silver (70m hurdles) and bronze (200m)
Polly Veazey-French - bronze (1500m) Rachel Gomery - bronze (70m Hurdles)
Andrew Lloyd ( county Junior vest)
Tracey Erskine was still runing well with a 1st F in the Hangover 5, 1st VF at Bolsover, 5th in Stafford 20
with PB of 2.21. Represented Derbys in the Inter counties cross country.
Christine Howard won the Bolsover, Tigger Tor, Stokesley Duathlon, Police AA cross country,Tough Guy,
Beetroot Race and Kinder Downfall (to name but a few) and ran for Derbys in the Inter-counties
Cross country. At the same event James Arnold and John Selby-Sly saw their selection wasted by being given the
wrong start time by Derbys AAA !
James Arnold did 2.34 in the London and Karl Webster was 2nd in the Downfall.
Brian Howitt was county vet 60 champ in the Clowne Half.
Ricky's Race : Dan Yates and Polly Veazey-French were 1 st M and F.
Profits were donated to Cavendish Sports Assoc.
Beetroot Race : Karl Webster 1st (towed By dog Harry).
John Hurley continued to win vet prizes, Richard Bradbury had some high placings and recent signings
Steve Holt, John Young and Jim Thorneycroft (the latter finally abandoning his Tour de France ambitions)
all proved keen competitors. Mick Kuskinsky won the final Club 10K in 36.19 after altitude training in
Karl Webster achieved television fame in the SAS-type survival programme in the Brecon Beacons, only
missing ultimate glory through his reluctance to kill people in the final shootout.
Club finances were £658 down, largely due to the low WPM entries which had not yet recovered
after foot and mouth and so subs were increased (£8, £14 and £25). We had been having to dip into
our reserves. The race need more national publicity and a makeover if it were to recover.
New member Dave Newton promised to look into the possibility of a more interesting welcome at
the end of the race which currently was an anti-climax. This year's race had nevertheless
produced a Second win for James Arnoldd in 2.48.42.
Originator of the race, Dave Mitchell, presented the prizes.
Ricky's Race was in trouble (in the disappearance of Ricky) and the club did a last minute rescue,
only succeeding in finding 12 runners (nearly one prize each). Randell Tassell proposed a complete
takeover by the club, with a new tougher course to attract entrants via the FR Calendar.
We finished 2nd team again in the High Peak Relay and 1st team in the Downfall with Karl Webster 2nd and
Chris Howard 1st F.
In the County Cross Country at a snowbound Markeaton Park, vests went to Andrew Lloyd, John Selby-Sly,
Karl Webster, Chris Howard and Polly Veazey-French (silver).
Tracey Erskine took Vet F silver, Andy Whittaker Vet 40 gold and John Hurley bronze,
and Brian Howitt Vet 60 gold, with the vets winning the team.
At this point I will get a personal note out of the way :this was effectively the end of my serious
vet 60 career, since after a spectacular fall at Grindleford which temporarily turned the Derwent red.
I handed over the torch to Clive Russell, a founder member who rejoined us on reaching 60.
Having written my name rather too often in the first club history booklet, it may still seem immodest,
if I simply record that, up to this point, in all my vet 60 races I was only beaten at Eyam and Worksop .
Too many individuals turned out in races this year for me to mention them all.
New member Ray Foley had some high positions when he was able to turn out.
Josh Teece beat all the seniors when he won the Chevin fell race with with Nathalie Thorneycroft the real junior winner.
Mick Moorhouse made a brilliant come back after illness as a vet 50,winning the Tigers series, the Calver Peak
Great Longstone, and Grindleford. Dave Newton proved to be a keen racer.
Eight runners completed the Karrimor.
Bill Willis fulfilled an ambition, completing his 50th Half Marathon at Clowne with a good 1.37
followed by Steve Holt in 1.37. John Hurley was now winning vet 45 prizes (Parwich and Buxton 5)
Taking a break from the mountains, Sian Mead was 1st VF at Black Rocks with Clive Russell 1st V60.
It would probably be easier to list what Karl Webster and Chris Howard did not win, but outstanding runs were
Karl Webster's 10th place (1st Police) in the Belfast Marathon in 2.37, and the course record by Chris in
the Edale Skyline.
A small field in the club cross country : Karl Webster/Chris Rowe/Josh Teece /
Chris Howard (F) and Adam Gilbert (J).
Although membership had fallen over the last two years club finances were now stable with an
excess of income over expenditure of £696, largely due to a profit on the WPM, as a result of
Dave Newton's raffle and the existing stock of mugs and T-shirts.
In an improved field of over 100 we had a third club win by JamesArnold in 2.45,
nine minutes clear of the field.
Sara Butcher was a valuable new asset, finishing 3rd lady in 4.02.
The decision to persevere with the race had been right, but the incorporation of a half marathon in
2004, with all the extra help needed from members, would be piloted.
The evening away runs were well established, followed by refreshments for those who could stay,
but runners often took no notice of the routes planned from Sherwood.
Rob Atkin set up a website which was good for publicity and news for members, but from this point
on, the printed newsletter, edited until now by Richard Bradbury, began to run down making
the keeping of club records harder.
Ricky's Race was rejuvenated on a tough longer course with two climbs up Clough Wood and One
Tree Hill and promised to attract the tough guys of the FRA.
We had a peak year in the High Peak Relay ; A team 1st, Vets 3rd, B team 12th, and we had the
second team place in the LARA midweek 5k.
A good number of vests were awarded in the County cross country and Polly Veazey-French
ran for England on the fells in September. Clive Russell became county vet 60 champ.
The Mead's sleeping bag was put to good use again when they won the Mourne Mountains
Marathon vets section. They would achieve this a couple of times.
It was the year of the triathlon with Nathalie Thorneycroft and Caroline Higgins 2nd and 3rd in the
E.Mids. Junior, Karl Webster 2nd in the Police Triathlon with Chris Howard 1st.
The club marshalled the run in ae MARS Triathlon, with top positions again from the law enforcers,
and Mick Kuszynski lowering the tone somewhat in his leopardskin trunks.
Ray Foley won the Wirksworth Incline and Chris Howard had wins at Winter Hill, Charnwood and
Lads Leap (English Champion).
Clive Rusell was beginning to win everything in sight as a vet 60, including sub-40 minute 10ks as routine.
Clive Russell inaugurated a new away run from Parwich over a mind-bending course but followed
by superb refreshments at the farm.
Clive Russell had to be appointed club professional cowpuncher to accompany Tessa Veazey
and Dave Furness when they both developed acute bovine phobia on cross country runs.
For some time now the AGMs had conveniently been held at the Fire Station through the good
offices of our former chairman Andy Whittaker. They were memorable for the cheap drinks and
the chilli con carne of our cordon bleu secretary Karl Webster. Is there no end to his talents?
This year Dave Hill reported the success of the inaugural White Peak Half Marathon run from
Friden to Cromford Meadows with the same 11.00 start time as the 26-miler from Thorpe.
Randell Tassell was to be thanked as
organiser and Ian Milne for entries, as well as for the advertising slogan:
"Fancy a Swift Half?"
The power of the internet was illustrated when Ian posted a deliberate? mistake on the Runners
World site saying that anyone failing to reach 13 miles in 2 hours would be pulled out.
This created a sorm of accusations of elitism, a change to 10 miles and an avalanche of entries
from the ensuing publicity, (400 as opposed to last year's 100), resulting in a large boost to our
income though paid-up membership was still not high and recruitment was still needed.
With most members officiating, the club's only WPM success was a splendid PB from
Sara Butcher of 3.47.22.
The winner of the first race in 1977, Chris Bent, came out of retirement to finish 115th. Ex MAC founder member Malcolm Taylor travelled up from Wales to take the vet 60 prize
with 1.36.55 in the Half.
County vests were awarded to Hayley Cameron, Fiona Gilbert, Martin Clarke, Tom Grant and a new
Josh : (Moody). Josh Teece ran for England on the fells. Lee Jones and Tom Barker were running
promisingly in the NM League. Karl Webster was the Derbyshire Half Marathon Champion.
Coaching qualifications were now held by Josh Teece., Polly Veazey-French,
John Selby -Sly(now working for the AAA), Dan Yates and Randell Tassell(for some years now).
Rob was doing a good job with the website.
After an argument with a tractor whilst on his bike, Bill Willis sustained serious injuries
which would have spelled retirement for a lesser man, but one season later he would be
back in action.
Rob Abrehart ran with us for a season or so, showing promise over 10k, but tended to rely more on
geostationary orbit than his own good running ability.
We were pleased to welcome Dennis Holmes from Ripley RR to run with us second claim on
Thursdays, as well as Diane Ward while she was waiting for her post-grad year at Lancaster to
start in Autumn 05.
It was a very good year financially with the Balance sheet (inclusive of assets) showing a healthy
£6547. Maximum entries in the White Peak races contributed to this as did two growing money
spinners, the Black Rocks and Ricky's Race. Subs were held at the current levels. Jim Titterton
was our only entry in the WPM, keeping going on memory in the second half in spite of not having
the training behind him.
The Foster Report on the modernisation of athletics could have repercussions for the club. It was
difficult to see what it would deliver for a club like ours. We voted against most of the proposals
and the possible financial burden on the club for little return, whilst suspecting that the UKA would
go ahead regardless of disagreement anyway.
The club could now afford to subsidise its athletes in approved circumstances out of the revenue
from the two fell races we organised, subject to their continuing viability. Criteria were outlined
by the committee and accepted at the AGM, although certain members were not entirely happy with
the consultation that had taken place.
Dissatisfaction with the Sherwood facilities flared up again when we were without hot showers for
a considerable period for the second winter running. Complaints to the DDC and the lobbying of local
politicians would eventually see the showers repaired, but not unti early 2006.
In the drive to recruit more members the Mercury was persuaded to publish in August quite a good
feature on the club entitled "The Club that Runs Matlock". Whether It was this that brought them in
or not, we signed a very promising youngster, Flinn Watson, and his Dad Alistair, a very
competitive addition to our Seniors.
The club cross country was held in old fashioned conditions at Brickyard Farm : deep snow and an
icy wind, and we had a new champion, an accountant who had joined us temporarily from Glossop,
Matthew Kieran. This was the last time we saw speed cop Colin Parker desert his BMW and turn
out. He said he would stick to something easy like his regular London Marathons.
Sam Smith ran consistently in the winter 10ks, with good sub-40 for his age.
It is doubtful if amyone else had ever beaten the handicapper twice in tow consecutive months.
There were some good team results with Josh Moody, Lee Jones, and Tom Barker taking 9th place in the
English Relays at Berry Hill.
At the same event Dan Yates, Josh Teece., Karl Webster and Rob Atkin finished 40th (note the age
range range). This was Josh Moody's year with a superb 4th in the Inter Counties and an even better
2nd in the English Schools. He also won the U- 14 English Fell running championship with
Lee Jones 3rd
Karl Webster, Martin Clarke and Hannah Tassell were added to our team of qualified coaches, with
Randell Tassell now assisting with the coaching of the England Junior fell squad.
In the county track champs Fiona Gilbert won bronze in the 1500m, with Dan Yates and
Polly Veazy-French taking silver.
Clive Russell was again County vet 60 cross country champ and even more impressively
North Mids champ on aggregate .
Lee Jones beat all the seniors at Bonsall, with newly rejoined Tony Marchington 2nd,
Sian Mead 1st F and Tom Barker 1st J.
Steve Mead and Richard Bradbury were 12th in the Karrimor
Our vets team were 6th in the High Peak Relay.
Tony Marchington was also 1st vet 50 in the Heanor 5.
In the County Champs incorporated in the Clowne Half John Hurley was 1st vet 50 and
Brian Howitt 1st vet 70.
On the international front Christine Howard ran for England finishing 29th and 3rd for England
in the World Trophy Mountain Race in Wellington NZ.
At a little "do" at the Lion to mark my 70th birthday I was honoured with life membership of the
club -for the second time! (see the 1986 entry). I felt you were trying to tell me something
when I was presented with a heart monitor!
Neil Tatham occasionally showed his old turn of speed on short training runs. What a loss his
chronic injuries have been for him and the club.
The total age of the geriatric section was now 300 years plus with the addition of Clive Russell,
Jim Titterton and Steve Pearson who often gave younger members a run for their money
Steve Pearson could have been winning vet 60 races had he been interested but he still just enjoys running
for its own sake 30 tears after joining the club.
Jim Titterton seemed to be running better than ever once he had recovered from the WPM.
Martin Lea had a great run in the Baslow Boot Bash, easily winning the 27 mile cross country race
in spite of being misdirected for an extra two miles by a satnav fault.
There was a record turnout of 17 in the Beetroot which saw a win for Ray Foley on one of his rare
appearances. He only managed to break clear of young Lee Jones by using his longer legs on
The Club champs were back to normal at Brickyard Farm with Karl Webster, Andy Whittaker
and Rob Atkin 1, 2, and 3 plus Howard 1st female.
The course was made more interesting with the top field having been turned into a quarry
and the discovery of two dead cows on the course. Clive pleaded not guilty. A small number later
celebrated with an Indian meal at the annual dinner.
While out training on his own on a Lake District mountain in March Dave Furness fell and partially
severed a knee ligament. He managed to crawl to his car to get to a hospital. After an operation he
is still fighting his way back to running fitness at the time of writing.
A record number, some 500, entered the WPM races, with 201 finishers in the Full (Rob Atkin 3rd in 2.51) and 222 in the Swift Half
(Gerry White celebrating his OAP year in 145th with 1.57 with Brian Howitt in 155th with 1.58.)
Lee Jones won the English Junior FR champs at High Rigg, with a rapidly improving
Flinn Watson 9th and still only aged 12.
Lee Jones will join Josh Moody. after their one/two at Winter Hill when they represent England near
Turin in June. Josh Moody took 4 seconds off the Derbys Schools u-15 800m record in June
with a fantastic 2.03.36, and also the Northern title.
The Cameron sister sisters'continued theirsuccess with Fiona exxpecting County selection
despite being controversially disqualified in the Schools 800m on a technicality,
and Hayley winning the short race at the Tansley Carnival where Simon Brister and
Steve Holt took the vet honours in the Hill Race on the hottest day of the year.
Christine won the Stratford Marathon in a brilliant 2.51.29, beating all but three of the men in the
field, and qualifies for the European Police Marathon in Istanbul in November.
In the Tour of the Derwent Valley Tony Marchant won the vet 50 overall category.
Conclusions as we come up to 30 years
We have benefited from a very stable committee over the last 10 years. Karl has filled the
onerous job of Secretary whilst still managing to be a top distance runner. We have promoted
races which have achieved national standing and helped to consolidate our financial position with
the guidance of lan's Milne's condiderable financial and administrative skills. A major innovation has been
the Swift Half. We have an excellent website which has put the club on the map, although it may
have contributed to the demise of the printed newsletter, a source which has been invaluable in the
compilation of this record and would ideally be needed for future records.
We have consistently won county medals in all age groups and secured representation at county and
England level, particularly by our brilliant juniors. This is due to the fantastic job done by our
coach Randell Tassell who has probably given more back to the sport than all the other members put
together. He is now assisted by a team of coaches who have given up their time and energy to gain
qualifications. When members have all managed to be available at the same time we have won some
good team events.
It is perhaps invidious to pick out one person but the runner of the decade must surely be
Christine Howard whose dedication has bordered on the insane as she has kept on racing
(not just training) through two pregnancies, and winning as well. With the added input to the club
from her colleagues, Karl Webster,
A surprising number of members have had to fight their way back to fitness after serious injuries
and illnesses and have been an example of determination to all of us. We have developed a very
good social dimension and must surely be one of the most friendly clubs around.
So, in the distant hope that I may still be around to write up the fourth decade, may I urge you all in
the meantime to KEEP ON RUNNING!