Thursday, 31 August 2017


RACING THE DAY DIANA DIED....20 years ago today.....
....still half asleep I walked into the kitchen with thoughts on the race ahead but was severely made to focus on the tragic news coming through on breakfast TV. We heard that travelling from the Hotel Ritz in Paris with Dodi Fayed to his apartment in the early hours of the morning their driver Henri Paul had crashed into a pillar in a tunnel.
       After 2 hours of unsuccessful surgery Diana was pronouned dead at 4 a.m.
Travelling without seat belts Fayed and the driver  Paul (3 x over the French alcohol driving limit) had also died in the crash.
As we drove through to the BNFL Springfields site north of Preston more details came through with the paparazzi implicated.  Naturally as we arrived at the BNFL Springfields site the crash was on everyone's lips rather than the race ahead.
184 runners stood down the narrow lane for the 2 minutes silence called for on the race start line with thoughts still on on the events which had happened just hours before. It was solemnly observed.
The race, won by Preston's Steve Smith in 31.40, witnessed the continuing emergence of over 40s with 21 in the first 50. Lisa Gore of Wigan was first lady 37.52 but only good for 57th place.

  My 36.44 at 48 was good enough for only 6th M45 with 2 M50s Brian Gore and Stuart Calderbank in front also in front.
Many are still competing of course. Jason Parker, Warren Crook, Alan Hudson, Alan Appleby, Colin Davies

George Kennedy, Phil Leaver, John Bertenshaw Mike Robert Walsh amongst others. Some of course are sadly no longer with us. Most notably Ken Moss in 10th place here. A constant rival over the decades.

 The Springfields club based at BNFL had already broken up by this time. Thier members going to several local clubs. One being NORTH FYLDE which in turn merged with BLACKPOOL to form BLACKPOOL WYRE & FYLDE AC.
 Gerry Spink , one of Bingley's mst successful vets, once told me that I would slow down by 30 seconds for every year passing as I continued to race. In my case, all things considered, I'm not too far off that 20 years later but others seem to have fared  a lot better looking at their times.

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