Friday, 14 May 2010


After yesterday's rather lethargic, lacklustre 300s rep session on the track  I set off for a jog along the Leeds Liverpool canal from Foulridge Wharf on the way back from the weekly Nelson shop visit   To be honest I had no definitive distance in mind. 3, 4 or 5 depending on how the legs felt with Sunday's 10K in mind.   Must admit I wasn't feeling that great. But.............
  Having gone  about a mile I spotted Mark Brown of Clayton Le Moors Harriers walking in front on the towpath and I could hardly  jog past without a word.   With me easing down to a very slow jog and him accelerating to a quick walk,  he told me how he had been suffering with the dreaded plantar fasciitis since January 2009  and was still struggling after having spent hundreds of £s trying to get it sorted.  He said that he did have "orthotics" but at the time had been doing a great deal of hill running wearing Walsh fell shoes which he couldn't fit his orthotics into.
   However, he was concerned about my training run and within a couple of minutes we were jogging along together back to his home near the canal.   Mark, who only has use of his right arm, represented Great Britain in the 5000 metres in the Paralympic games in Athens in 2004 finishing 5th.  in a time of 15:21.5.   I hope to see him back on the roads of Lancashire in the near future and wish him well.
 The diversion off the canal to Mark's home and a loop around Barnoldswick before returning to the canal resulted in  a leisurely 6 which I can't say I would have completed without Mark's company in the middle.
  The plan now is an easy 4 miler off road this morning (Friday) in bright sunshine (!) (but I'm not expecting much of an increase in temperature) and then just 3 on the grass tomorrow to complete 3 easy days before Sunday...........

  It's no secret that I've been saying for a long time that I would like to see some of the prize and expenses money being diverted from foreign athletes to UK athletes at the London Marathon. .  I finally got around to writing to ATHLETICS WEEKLY and they published the letter in which I put forward the argument for cash team prizes (5 to count )  of £25,000, £15,000 and £10,000 for 1st,2nd and 3rd mens and womens teams, convinced that such incentives would create a positive buzz in the changing rooms of our leading clubs around in the autumn and see several squads of good club runners battling for the cash in the spring.
It's not a case of getting more people running; 36,000 ran the London.  I just feel that the UK's top runners need more incentive to elevate standards back to where they were in past decades. 
I won't hold my breath but who knows. The all time rankings show 14  UK runners under 2.10 but no one under that time since Richard Nerurkar in April 1997.

              Do you think that it's lack of incentive that's holding our top runners back?
 Or has our society changed so much from the '80s that it's impossible to put the effort in to produce times around or under 2.10 for the marathon?

1 comment:

  1. I think it's a bit of both lack of incentive and changes in peoples leisure persuits etc. With regards to expenses attracting too many foreign athletes and taking away an incentive from UK athletes, my club Blaydon Harriers organises the Blaydon Race. We introduced expenses in the 90's with a resulting influx of foreign athletes. Last year we withdrew the expenses - I wonder is it any coincidence that Ian Hudspeth was the first dometic winner since Carl Thackery in 1998?