Alastair Aitken reports on .......
|JIM McNAMARA an IRISH LEGEND (May 2013)|
|Mike Gratton Looks Back (April 2013)|
|Aldershot Champions Again (April 2013)|
|NATIONAL 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY (April 2013)|
|VICTORIA PARK WOMEN'S RACE (April 2013)|
|VICTORIA PARK 5 WITH MARTIN & HICKEY (April 2013)|
|World Trial and Inter-Counties Part Three (March 2013)|
|World Trial and Inter-Counties Part Two (March 2013)|
|World Trial and Inter-Counties Part One (March 2013)|
|Southern Cross Country Champs - Part Three (February 2013)|
|Southern Cross Country Champs - Part Two (February 2013)|
|Southern Cross Country Champs - Part One (February 2013)|
|MIDDLESEX CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS (January 2013)|
|HARRY TEMPAN RETIRES AT 87 (December 2012)|
|Running Still - 133 years of Highgate Harriers (August 2012)|
|FRANK SANDO (14/3/31 - 13/10/12)|
|GREG RICHARDS (October 2012)|
|THE MIDDLESEX & OPEN 10K (September 2012)|
|NINA ANDERSON (September 2012)|
|MO FARAH - HIS BREAKTHROUGH YEARS (August 2012)|
|WILLIAM SHARMAN (August 2012)|
|DWAIN CHAMBERS (August 2012)|
|JOB KINYOR from Kenya (JULY 2012)|
|CHRIS TOMLINSON (July 2012)|
|ARIES MERRITT (July 2012)|
|TYSON GAY in London (July 2012)|
|CHRISTIAN TAYLOR TRIPLE JUMP WORLD CHAMPION 2011 (JULY 2012)|
|DON TAYLOR (1936 TO 2012)|
|THE MAN WHO CHANGED 10,000m RUNNING HISTORY (JULY 2012)|
|THE LAST TWO BRITISH OLYMPIC WALK MEDALLISTS (July 2012)|
|JIM RYUN with MARTY LIQUORI and JOHN WHETTON (JUNE 2012)|
|TWO OF THE GREATEST OLYMPIC THROWERS - JANIS LUSIS and AL OERTER (JUNE 2012)|
|BASIL HEATLEY THE GREAT ROAD/CC/TRACK RUNNER (MAY 2012)|
|RON RODDAN COACH TO A 1992 OLYMPIC CHAMPION (MAY 2012)|
|BRONISLAW MALINOWSKI STEEPLECHASER '1960's to 81' (MAY 2012)|
|GASTON ROELANTS 'THE STEEPLECHASER OF THE 1960'S' (APRIL 2012)|
|JOHN DISLEY THE UK'S OUSTANDING STEEPLECHASER OF THE 1950'S|
|MEN'S NATIONAL 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY (April 2012)|
|Women's National 6 Stage Road Relay (April 2012)|
|THE 46th VICTORIA PARK '5' (April 2012)|
|SIX OUTSTANDING OLYMPIC MEDALLISTS- 800m to 10000m (APRIL 2012)|
|EIGHT AFRICAN OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS (March 2012)|
|McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 3|
|McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 2|
|McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 1|
|THE ENGLISH NATIONAL 2012 - part 2|
|THE ENGLISH NATIONAL 2012 - part 1|
|THE LATE BMC COACH FRANK HORWILL (FEBRUARY 2012)|
|SEAA Cross Country Championships - Juniors (January 2012)|
|SEAA Women's Cross Country Championships (January 2012)|
|SEAA Senior Men's Cross Country Championships (January 2012)|
|Six Olympic 110 Hurdles Champions Talking (January 2012)|
|CHRIS FINILL'S RUN ACROSS AMERICA IN 2011 (January 2012)|
|'HUSTLING HERB' ONE OF THE FIRST JAMAICAN OLYMPIANS (January 2012)|
|SEAA Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships 10/12/11|
|Dick Taylor and Allan Rushmer (60's,70's & 80's)|
|Lynn Davies (Looking back in November 2011)|
|Scott Overall (October 2011)|
|Keith Gerrard (October 2011)|
|National Six Stage Relays (October 2011)|
|National Four Stage Women's Road Relay (October 2011)|
|David Hemery (1968 & 75, Updated October 2011)|
|Tony Simmons an Underrated 'Star' Performer (September 2011)|
|Kenya's First 'Great' Sprinter - Serapheno Antao|
|The Vets Athletic Club's Championship (August 2011)|
|Mel Batty (August 2011)|
|Tiffany Townsend (August 2011)|
|Coach John Smith (August 2011)|
|Jason Richardson (August 2011)|
|Lisa Dobriskey (August 2011)|
|Mark Lewis-Francis (August 2011)|
|David Rudisha - IAAF World Athlete of the Year 2010|
|David Morwood (June 2011)|
|Rosemary Chrimes - A Star for 40 Years (June 2011)|
|Paul Dickenson Commentator and Athlete (June 2011)|
|Larry Achike (May 2011)|
|Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 3 - SEB COE|
|Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 2 - JOHN WALKER|
|Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 1 - SYDNEY WOODERSON|
|Three very great curve runners of the past and their views|
|Derek Ibbotson (Interviewed Oct 1962 - updated 2011)|
|Walter Wilkinson (Interviewed Summer 2000)|
|Dave Chapman (Interview Autumn 1998)|
|'Never Say Die' Les Roberts (April 2011)|
|David Cannon (Interview April 2011)|
|Bruce Tulloh (Interviewed April 2011 and September 1962)|
|Geoff Harrold remembered (Born 25/5/39 died 1/4/11)|
|Nick McCormick at the Victoria Park '5' (March 2011)|
|The Victoria Park '5' A World Renown Road Race (March 2011)|
|Bernard Plain MBE (March 2011)|
|South London's Historic Mob Match (March 2011)|
|World Trials and Inter-Counties - report 3 (2011)|
|World Trials and Inter-Counties - report 2 (2011)|
|World Trials, Inter-Counties and Mike McLeod (2011)|
|North of the Thames Championships - Kingsbury (Feb 2011)|
|Memories of Peter Hildreth (1928 - February 26th 2011)|
|Jonny Hay and Richard Goodman at the English National Junior 2011|
|Louise Deman and Hatti Dean at the English National 2011|
|Steve Vernon - English National Champion 2011|
|Chris Smith and Serpentine - Outstanding in the Met League Final (2011)|
|Nielson Hall and others at the the SEAA Championships 2011)|
|Dave Clarke (The Great Runner from Hercules Wimbledon)|
Besides running in Mob Matches for South London Harriers, when I was 40 (1980) to my mid-50's, my first claim club has always been Highgate Harriers and besides track, I did the first nineteen London's under their banner but it always seemed to me that cross country was the most appealing side of the sport to do. I found Tony Simmons, the international from Luton, had that same philosophy.
I have seen many great cross-country runners competing on Hampstead Heath, very near where I lived since the early 1950's, but one who did catch my eye was the 'Abominable Snowman' Tim Johnston, the Cambridge University runner who, in 1963, won the British Universities, Southern and Inter-Counties in the snow. It was the year that renowned fighter Roy Fowler beat Gaston Roelants, the Olympic steeplechase Champion of 1964. That was in the International cross-country in Spain. If I had to narrow it down to just one person as being the most durable competitor and for longevity it would be Dave Clarke.
Dave Clarke is now 51 and has lost none of his enthusiasm, despite his length of time in the sport. He ran 2:45.45 for a marathon and 77:24 for a half marathon only last year in 2010 but let us look back through the years and I will punctuate most of his record with some names I am sure many will have heard of!
In 1977 he made the International Junior team (National result:- 1 Nat Muir, 30:21 and 7 Dave Clarke 31:05; The next year 1978 1 Nicky Lees 29:28, 2 Mick Morton 29:55 and 3 Dave Clarke 29:58;
1979 he was 16h in the Senior race; 1980 12th, then in 1981 he was 2nd. About the latter, his coach John Sullivan had said to him that he should treat the race just as another Surrey League and go for it!' That was a big booster for Clarke who had that breakthrough into the 'Big' time of cross country running.He finished ahead of Mick McLeod, Steve Jones and Dave Moorcroft. The winner by a wide margin on the day at Parliament Hill Fields was Julian Goater, much to the surprise of his clubmate Dave Bedford.
It was 1982 when Dave Clarke was 24 that he had his first National win, going away from Mike McLeod on the hill in the latter stages at Roundhay Park, Leeds. (1 Clarke 42:19; 2 Hugh Jones 42:33; 3 Mick McLeod 42:41).
In the World cross country Championships Mohammed Kedir won from Alberto Salazar, Rod Dixon, Kunze, McLeod and Dave Clarke came ninth.
In 1983 at Gateshead in the World Cross Country Championships Clarke was easily the first UK runner in seventh place overall.
It was 1985 at Milton Keynes, in deep mud, Dave Lewis won from Dave Clarke in the National senior event.
In 1986 it was Tim Hutchings who won (He was twice second in the World Cross Country Championships).The race was over a snowy surface at Town Moor. He was followed home by Dave Clarke, (who was reputed to have a cold), Eamonn Martin, Mick McLeod and Tony Milovsorov.
In 1987 Clarke was back again winning the National at Luton in 47:04; from Steve Binns 47:18 and Roger Hackney 47:46.
In 1988 the selection criteria was changed and no longer the 'National' was the selection race but although that concerned Clarke greatly, he still went on and ran the 'National' at Newark that year and won well with Dave Lewis second.
Something worth noting is that the last time GB won medals in the World Cross Country was in 1992 when they took team silver medals and who was in the scoring team none other than Dave Clarke.
As the years rolled on most people would lose their zest for tough competition but not Dave Clarke who was fighting hard in the World Trials of 1995. (1 Spenser Duval 2 Dave Clarke 3 Keith Cullen).
I went up to Lloyd Park in 1997 to see the Surrey League race and Dave, the 6 foot tall, blond haired runner, wearing his famous yellow and red Hercules Wimbledon strip and, on hardly anything approaching half of his racing diet of 100 miles a week plus having retired from the International competition was there racing it out. He waived to me as he went by and up the famous hill in Lloyd Park and came home a relaxed third.Mike Simpson was the winner on the day.
Rather than going on extolling the virtues of Dave Clarke the cross country runner, let us see what some of his results on the road and country say and even in those fields he was quite explosive.
I remember him running some storming legs in the Imperial Colleges, Hyde Park, road relay for Borough Road College (West London Institute of HE). That race was considered then an 'Unofficial European Colleges road relay Championship'
In 1988 he took Borough Road from 5 to 2 on Lap 4 in 13:22 and it was the year Hugh Jones, running for Liverpool Uni set the 'All Time' Hyde Park record of 13:12.
On the Hercules Wimbledon Club website Dave Clarke's times head the lists in many cases which includes 22:37 for 5 miles; 47:25 for 10 miles; 62:11 for a half marathon and in Stockholm in 1989 he ran 2:13:34. (Remember the Holts' and Mike Beevor were members of that club).
Now for the track:- 5k 13:22.54; 3:39.27 for 1500 and 27:55.77 for 10k. The latter on May 25th, 1982 in Florence ahead of Henry Rono, Martii Vainio and Alberto Cova.
A mile inside 4 minutes is still considered an excellent time for the vast majority of athletes and Clarke ran 3:56.That was in a match versus the USA at Crystal Palace " I was second to Richie Harris. That was good fun as it was a distance runners' mile, where with 200 to go I looked round and with a look of quiet smugness at most of the people around me. It was a race for 'A' standard milers (Not for people like Coe) who suddenly found themselves with Barry Smith, Geoff Smith and myself, who were all there with 200 metres to go. We all looked at each other and said, "Right, we can sort out a few of these milers here!"
'There were a lot of 5 or 10k boys who ran sub-4 minutes or around that time that night."
Dave Clarke was born 1st of January 1958 in London and in his days has been the Manager or the British cross country team. His two brothers Chris and Peter have been good runners. Peter has run a lot over many years for the same club. Dave Clarke was educated at Dulwich Prep and St Pauls public school so with that in mind it was interesting to see how someone with that sort of background could necessecaairly be able take on the best on the cross country scene
I wanted to find that out and certainly from the facts it was quite evident. He was at Borough Road before becoming a history and PE Teacher. Before that he worked on building sites, grass cutting jobs and was a hospital porter.
He explains " When I left school I worked in a terminal hospital al for nine months. It was a great leveller for me, as the second day I was there I had to carry out a dead body from a bed onto the trolley.
' I had never seen a dead body before. I was dealing with characters in hospital, where patients go to finish their life. Some of the younger people went in because they had been in traffic accidents.
As a history student you had to have imagination, and I always enjoyed history and as it was a National Health Hospital attached to the Jewish Home for Rest, a lot of people had been through the Second World War.
If you talked to them and had read Ann Frank's Diary one thought , How bloody lucky you were to have got what you had in life." It taught me a lot about life
|Chris Finill the Outstanding Ultra Distance Runner|
|Three New Stars at the 'PREMIER LEAGUE' Jo Smith Cup (Sept 2010)|
|Gladys Bird - Woodford Green & Essex Ladies|
|Bob Smith - Newham and Essex Beagles|
|Richard Thompson - August 2010|
|Danielle Carruthers - August 2010|
|Angelo Taylor - August 2010|
|Michael Rimmer - August 2010|
|British M45 javelin record holder Roald Bradstock|
|James Shane with his Coach Martin Brown JUNE 2010|
|Tony Jarrett JUNE 2010|
|Andy Turner Interview JUNE 2010|
|Southern Counties Track & Field Championships at Crystal Palace JUNE 2010|
|The Aldershot National Womens 4 Stage Champions 2010|
|Grenville Tuck Interview (May 2010 and in 1975)|
|The stage winners at the National 12 Stage Relay - Sutton Park - April 2010|
|Anthony Whiteman Interview - April 2010|
|Bill Adcocks Interview - 13th March 2010|
|Wendy Sly Interview - 13th March 2010|
|Peter Clark A Forgotten Hero|
|Dic Evans A Runner for Wales for 45 years interviewed in 2009|
|Douglas Alistair Gorden Pirie (Born Leeds 10th February 1931 Died 7th December 1991)|
|Peter Browne: British Milers Club and Racing Against Ovett and Coe|
|Peter Browne: Born 3rd of February 1949|
|Six of Belgrave's Winning 12 Stage Team|
|Newham & Essex Beagles 6 Stage Winners and Course Record Breakers 2009|
|Dave Moorcroft Through the Years|
|Bob Smith the Successful Newham & Essex Beagles Manager August 2009|
|Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie Interviewed in London Summer 2009|
|Martyn Rooney at Croydon July 2009|
|Felix Sanchez in London 2009|
|Kerron Clement interviwed on 24th of July 2009|
|Simeon Williamson in London (July 25th, 2009)|
|Dayron Robles interviewed in London 2009|
|Irie Hill at the British Master Championships 2009|
|Roy Fowler - The Red Fox|
|John Hall - Race Walker|
|Mara Yamauchi - Outstanding British Performer in the London Marathon 2009|
|Nick Goolab - The Revelation of the UK Cross Country Season 2008/2009|
|Joyce Smith M.B.E|
|Mike Barratt The 'Evergreen' Running Legend|
|Clare Elms A Revelation of Age Athletics|
|Harry Tempan The Rennaisance Runner|
|Kermit Bentham - A man who has run over 500 one lap races in his life!|
|Andretti Bain 2008 Olympic 4x400 relay silver|
|Bernard Lagat in London July 2008|
|Usain Bolt in London|
|Charlie Williams - Outstanding Master Sprinter|
|Where Are They Now - John Greatrex|
|The Truly Remarkable Tony Bowman|
|Gerry North - The Most Consistent cross-country runner of the 60's|
|Robert Slowe - Outstanding Clubman|
|Anthony Noel - World Masters Champion|
|Andre Bucher - 2001 World 800m Champion|
|Wallace Spearmon (2006)|
|Derek Johnson (1985)|
|James Carter - USA 400m hurdles Champion 2002 and 2004|
|Dorothy Manley - Silver medalist London Olympics 1948|