(1) Barry 40-Mile Track Race - 1995
(2) RRC London to Brighton Race - 1996
Extract from RRC Newsletter - August 1995 - Barry 40-Mile Track Race - 1995
The weather did its best to disrupt the ninth running of the Barry 40 Mile Track Race, held on Sunday at Jenner Park. A biting cold, blustery wind, squally showers with occasional hail were just some of the difficulties facing the 17 starters. The small matter of running 161 laps of the synthetic track was another and it speaks volumes for both the fitness and mental resolve of the athletes that 13 of them managed it.
From the gun the three leaders were Robin Gardner (Woodstock), who placed third last year, defending Welsh title holder Malcolm Griffiths (Bridgend) and the man who is a living legend amongst the world of Ultra-distance running, Don Ritchie (Moray Road Runnrers). Although now 50 years old, Ritchie still holds every long distance World Track Record from 40 miles to 100 miles inclusive, and many knowledgable spectators still picked him as the man to beat.
There was little to choose between the three up until the half way mark, reached in 2.:03:08, although at about this stage Ritchie appeared to be having some leg problems and started to drop back. By 30 miles, Gardner (3:06:48) had opened a small gap over Griffiths (3:07:27) , who was making a determined bid to be the first Welsh winner for 4 years. Ritchie was by now two circuits adrift, but his 30-mile time of 3:10:15 represented a new World Best Over 50 performance, eclipsing the time set by Denis Weir in Barry six years ago, by over 2 minutes. A little more than 7 minutes later, Ritchie's 50K time of 3:17:21 represented another World Best.
Meanwhile up in front, Gardner was making a determined run for home.He was clearly finding it tough going, though at no time did he look in danger of being caught. His winning time of 4:17:46, though 5 minutes slower than he ran last year, represented a very gritty and well judged performance in adverse conditions. Griffiths began to pay for his efforts to win the race and by 37 miles was overhauled by Ritchie. Ritchie took second in 4:21:34, thus setting his third over-50 World record for the day. Malcolm Griffiths followed in third in 4:24:04.
Woodstock's Tom Glare was 11th in 5:18:47
I was priviledged to support Robin in this race which epitomised the "tough of the track" approach of Woodstock Harriers in those days - train hard and run hard.Alf Tupper would have been proud to see Robin posing for photogaphs after the race wearing a paint-spattered top and training bottoms, ripped from hip to ankle and secured with about 20 safety pins. But it's not how you look - it's how you run that counts. (MS)
Extract from RRC Newsletter - December 1996 - London to Brighton - 1996
Favourites Greg Dell and Stephen Moore were soon in the lead from the 7.00 am start in rather miserable conditions. But it was a fairly sedate pace as Dell reached 10 miles in 64:15., with Moore not entirely settled after leaving the road for a stop, but following in 64:48 with Carl Barker (Australia) in close attendance.Dell must have turned up the pressure a bit then as he covered the next 10 miles, which includes the Farthing Down section, in 62:46 to be well clear at the 20 mile point before Redhill in 2:07:01. Moore and Barker followed together in 2:10:56, all these three looking comfortable.
Dell seemed to be enjoying himself as he bounced through 30 miles in 3:07:43 with a lead doubled to 8 minutes over Moore and Barker (3:15:45). On the tricky, undulating section to 40 miles through Cuckfield to Ansty, Dell certainly looked to have the race well tied up as he passed 40 miles in a fine 4:11:54, with a chance of the record over the present course. Moore followed in 4:24.19 but Barker was slipping back and was to retire after reaching 40 miles in 4:27:56.
Although word came through that Dell had been seen walking on Ditchling - who wouldn't; it's a stinking climb! - this didn't seem to have eaten into his lead as he passed the draughty 50 mile high point in 5:25:56 with a 15 minute lead over Moore with Robin Gardner now through to third but a further 15 minutes down.
So Dell took the long downhill stretch to the sea-front where his time at the finish of 6:00:59 was only a couple of minutes adrift of the record - and it all looked so easy. Moore too had a pretty lonely run and with Gardner coming home third, the first three must have been as split as they have ever been.
Greg Dell said that he had a funny race in that he felt strong for most of the way but he had trouble with his sugar level later on and was craving for food. He also had a problem with his achilles over the last 20 miles, which was annoying because, at one point, he thought he was on for a 5:50 time. He was second in 1989 and third in 1994 so it was good to win at last.
(01) Greg Dell - 6:00:59
(03) Robin Gardner - 6:33:51
(08) Paul Taylor - 6:59:23
(10) Tom Glare - 7:03:50
(60) Dave Whitty - 8:43:27
I was supporting Paul and Tom on the day but after the race is was revealed that Tim Thorne who was feeding Greg from his bike, had eaten Greg's jelly babies and, when Greg was craving for food, there was nothing left to give him. Tim has since been forgiven.(MS)