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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!