Cover Page

Gate                                                                                                         November 2002   
The magazine of Highgate Harriers


Team managers do a crucial and often thankless job. Just when the whiff of promotion is in the air they get a flurry of last-minute `sorry-but-I-can't-make-it' telephone calls. And at the end of the season, when you would think that they could put their feet up and spare safety pins away, the editor of the Gate appears, demanding a report, neatly typed, double spaced and by next week. But do they grumble? No, or only a bit. They scribble so that you can read about the season that was, with all its highs and lows.

This is my first edition of the Gate. I need to thank Bob Slowe for generously agreeing to dust off Pagemaker software and production editing this issue, which is journo jargon for doing most of the work. Thanks also to the contributors, even the really late ones, see Ben Pochee's performance enhancing guide to eating wisely and looking good naked on pages 16-17. While the Gate tries to be accurate, if you think there is a mistake, you're probably right but remember the golden rule, `don't travel without checking with your team manager.'

Javier Pes, Editor

Bob Slowe, Production editor

Email:email address


Bulletin 4
Club news and new members

Duathlon 5
Henry Dodswell on the running and swimming event

Men's A team 6
Richard Priestley reports

Women's team 8
By Kate Jenrick

Men's B team 10
John Ayton

Young athletes 12
Juliet Kavanagh reports

Multi eventers 13
By Coral Cash-Gibson

Marathon 14
Javier Pes and Anna McCutcheon

Diet 16
Ben Pochee advises

Obituary 18
Fred Duff remembered

Fixtures 19

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Remember to check the club's website,, for details of our winter fixtures and the latest results.
Email Dave Burrows, , with any suggestions for developing the website and keep those digital cameras busy.

Join the club's email smartgroup today. If you do your team manager's life is made much easier and you can waste hours chewing the electronic fat with club mates.
To join the smart set just email Dave Burrows.

Ask Richard Dawson by 14th December if you want to run using a club place in the London Marathon . Remember, you must be a fully paid-up member and you need to have been rejected as an individual entrant to be considered.
You can enter the championship race in the London Marathon if you have run faster than 2h 45m (men) and 3h 15m (women) in a marathon since 1st January 2000.

We competed in the British Athletics League Cup for the first time in many years. As a joint women's and men's event it was a successful and interesting competition. Richard Priestley would like to enter a strong team next year because we are good enough to make the Plate Final.

The traditional club Christmas party will be on Saturday 14th December at the Pupello Honey Bar, which is at the Junction of Parkway and Arlington Road in Camden . Ticket prices will be £10 for adults and £5 for children. Tickets on sale in late November.

This year's subscriptions were due on 30th September.
If you are in arrears you should have received a reminder. In any event it is your responsibility to pay up.
The rates are:
Age 20 or over £30
Age 17-19 (and students) £18
Age 16 £12.50
Under 16's £5
Ages are at 1st September and subscriptions run from the same date. To pay by direct debit contact Matin Holland, the membership secretary (see back page).

John and Sonia left the UK and us when they set off for Australia in October. They will be sorely missed not only for all the points Sonia earned on the field and John on the track, but for the many jobs they have both done for the club for so many years.We wish them all the best in Australia.

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The names of new members are always shown in the Gate. In this issue we list below all those who have joined since the last issue in October 2001. We wish you welcome to the club.

Charlotte Allan Diane Millar
Derek Baigent Freya Mitchison
Emma Brady Rhonda Munnik
Gary Cawker Stuart Mutler
Jerome Claeys Sarah Nicholls
William Cottam Alba Norris
Philip Coulson Samantha Oji
Ross Curran Simon Pieris
Jonathan Deane Niall Pieris
George Emorfopoulos Maria Psatha
Sarah Fox Isabel Richards
Vivian Gallo Sarah Shooter
Henri Gomez Keith Tatley
Christian Gomez Tim Taylor
Omar Graham Jessica Teal
Daniel Haight Samuel Teal
William Laing Rebecca Tunstall
George Laing Jenny Turner
Daniel Lampard John Umolu
Edgar Lekarkin Mark Wilcox
Jack Matthewman Helen Yaffe
Marika McKennel

Jerome Claeys (31), a 2h 19m marathoner, sub 30 minute 10,000m runner and Belgium international says, `There's much more team spirit at Highgate than in my Belgian club.'

Maria Psatha brings more international talent to our distance running. Maria has represented Greece on many occasions including the Marathon World Cup in 1994.


Highgate athletes achieved glory and avoided indecency in the Hampstead Heath Duathlon, reports gold medallist Henry Dodswell, or did they?

Parliament Hill, 1st September: it was sunny, warm and early in the morning when we met at the lido for the fourth Hampstead Heath Duathlon. Ahead was an extreme Heath experience: swim three lengths of the lido, run to the men's pond, swim 300m, run to the ladies' pond, swim 250m and finally run two miles back to the track. Could we win? The opposition was a tough bunch of duathloners. And could we stay within the `absolutely no nudity rule' and avoid disqualification?

In our men's team were Greg Fusezi, Shane Snow, Andy `half session' Evans and Duncan Burbidge, led by me. Our women's team was Natasha Cendrowicz, Jo Evans and Tracy Sullivan, led by Anna McCutcheon.

Andy took an early lead but then ran into the girl's changing rooms, for no apparent reason except the obvious, and lost his advantage to me. I crossed the finish line with no one else in sight (that's all I remember, honestly). Greg (5th), Shane (6th), Andy (8th), and Duncan (16th), secured the team's victory. Anna (13th), Natasha (18th), Jo (23rd), and Tracy (31st) also triumphed, which meant double glory for Highgate - a sterling effort on land and water.

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High hopes

The men's A team gave the league winners a close run for their money and can do better next year says Richard Priestley

We went to Windsor for the first match of the 2002 season on FA Cup Final day. Thankfully the M4 was empty. The match was close with only six points separating the first four teams. We finished equal third with the host club. We had a double win in the 800m by Dom (right) and Pat (1.54.8 and 1.56.9 respectively), followed by another double in the 400m, this time by Dom and Greg (49.6 and 51.5). Javier in the 5000 (15.26.8) and Oliver in the 110m hurdles (16.6) also scored important wins. The track boys finished the afternoon with a fine 4x400m relay win( 3.24.7).

We struggled in the field but it was good to have Stevie G and Mike throwing . The youngsters Dennis, Nick and Kenade scored vital points. This result put us equal 15th in the league.

Two weeks later we went to Woodford and finished third on the day, later revised to second. Again we scored another double in the 800m thanks to Pat and Nick G. Dom and Greg did the double in the 400m. Javier won the 5000 again and Chris Beecham supported with a B-string victory. Andy Evans ran away with the `chase despite being sent to the wrong wood - Wood Green - by the team manager. Andy got to the start line just in time by taxi. He was well supported by the evergreen Eric who won the B string race (10.44.5). The lads won the 4x400m again (3.26.2).

In the field Dennis Ogbe and Vitalis Lanshima returned to first team action and scored important points. Dennis with a


10.40m shot put, 29.10m discus and 34.63m javelin and Vitalis with a 11.5s 100m. One of Woodford's athletes was ineligible and so we finished second and went up two league position to 13th.

The next match was at home and we finish second behind Medway and Maidstone (M&M) who went on to win the League and the qualified for the British League. We finished only 15 points behind them, a truly impressive performance because M&M is an amalgamation of three clubs who have joined forces over the last five years.

The 800m continued to be our top event, with another double win by Pat and Nick. Dom ran an impressive 400m, finishing second in 49.4s. Oliver finished third in a classy 400m hurdles (57.6).

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High hopes     continued ...

Pat Davis won the1500m (4.06.7) and was well supported by Nick Martyn who won the B- string race (4.10.5). Our 4x400m boys won in a season's best time of 3.23.6.

The field team of Steve, Mike and the two Dennises were scoring well again collecting second and thirds. With this result the club climbed saw to 12th in the league. Thanks to everyone who made our home meeting a success by officiating.

We were back in action a fortnight later at Tooting, going head-to-head with our south London rivals, Herne Hill. But we missed our inspirational captain. We finished second - another spirited performance - just 14 points behind Herne Hill and four ahead of Woking. Both teams made it to the British League qualification match.

We had a great double in the 5000m by Chris and Javier (15.18.6 and 15.20.6). Nick Gold won the B-string 800m (2.02.8) and Andy and Eric finished second in the A and B-string `chase. Andy set a personal best of 9.53.4. A time of 45.4 was good enough to finish second in the 4x100m. This was a performance to cherish.

In the field Gandalf Muschamp won the long jump in 6.56m supported by Kenade who won the B string in 6.30m. Dennis Ntoluke also jumped well to win the B triple jump (12.40). Mike Reiss was back to winning ways in the hammer. Mike and Steve won both discus competitions. The club finished second and we climbed to sixth in the league.

We travelled to sunny Basildon in mid July. Again no Dom and with Stevie G and Mike also absent this was a difficult fixture. Chris Evans, Des Shelley, Simeon Williamson

and Richard Dawson were drafted in and made valuable contributions. We finish fourth and slipped to ninth in the league but we were still in a good position going into the last match at Bournemouth.

This was a match too far and we finished our 2002 campaign quietly with a fifth place. The team was only ten strong and our points score was just 88. With a few more athletes, third place would have been possible.

Dom ran heroically, winning the 800m, 400m and the 1500m (1.53.2, 50.7 and 4.03.8). Jim Eltingham was promoted from the B team and supported Dom well in the middle distances. A special thanks to Eric who travelled for more than four hours to run the 5000m even though he was not fully fit. Greg Smith continued his fine season with another win in the B 400m (51.1). Simeon also showed he is ready for senior competition next year when he ran 22.9 in the 200m, a personal best.

Dennis and Nick performed well in the triple jump, both came second (12.62 and 11.91). Were they trying to impress the attractive young woman who was measuring their ability?

Our mood on the way back from the seaside was optimistic for next year. We might have finished 13th but with another four league points we would have made the top six. In the matches featuring the eventual top-four sides, the gap between them and us was close. Roll on 2003.

Thanks to everyone who competed this year. You make this job easy . A special thanks to our officials and helpers ,Juliet Kavanagh, Martin Howard, Terry Driscoll, Tony Maitland, Alistair Aitken, and Brian Holland.

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That sinking feeling

A generation gap in the women's team made relegation a reality but we are not downhearted says Kate Jenrick

The women and under-15 team started well and showed lots of potential but then faltered. We were only narrowly beaten into second place in the first match at Parliament Hill. Chelmsford won the match and they finished the season in second place in the league. But after this good start we slipped into the relegation zone and now face next season in division three. Frustratingly, we could thrash anyone on the track in the senior age group but we failed to win points in the under-15 age group.

Although team news is disappointing, there were plenty of notable individual

Looking ahead - Kate Jenrick trackside

performances. Coral's band of multi eventers: Stacey, Sinaede, Sue, Lulu, Alicia and Laura as well as the 4x100m relay team were rarely beaten.

Stacey hurdled, jumped and sprinted her way through the season. She also tackled the 400m for the first time at Hastings and won convincingly. She saved the long jump until the last match and finished the season with a 5.23m jump to win the A string. Sue and Sinaede usually did the long jump and the 200m, until I decided that a post-holiday Sue must be a little short of race fitness and so put her in the B string. When she won in a time faster than Sinaede in the A string, we gained big points. Luckily we escaped a penalty for my `error of judgment'.

Alicia was doing her A levels this year and seemed to be holidaying a lot too but she came straight from the airport to Oxford and scooped up 19 points with second place in the 400m, 100m hurdles and shot put, fourth in the javelin (a personal best throw of 18.88m). Then she ran in the victorious 4x100m relay team. At the same match Lulu started with a pb in the 400m hurdles (67.1), finished second in the 100m hurdles and third in the 400m before she did another lap in the 4x400m. Laura had picked up valuable points in the 100m but really made a difference when she offered to make up the 4x400m relay team at Battersea. Her third-leg run was exciting - overtaken but not beaten - she fought back to second. Highgate's finishing position.

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That sinking feeling     continued...

In the middle-distance events, Sula won the 3000m twice and a B-string 1500m. Sally notched up two firsts and two seconds over the 3000m and a second in the 1500m. Karen was going to make her debut in a 3000m but car trouble meant she arrived too late. This was ok because she took part in the discus and then finished second B-string runner in the 1500m. Sally and I, and Natasha (as a non scorer) finished one, two and three respectively in the 3000m. (I could have saved myself for the 1500m).

Esther was not amused

We were also strong in the 400m and 800m thanks to Jo and Gowry. Jo's best match was at Battersea when she recorded a season's best over 400m with 61.8s and a pb over the 800m (2.21). She won both events easily. Gowry beat the South of England champion at Battersea with a time of 60.4s. Gowry's times over the 400m hurdles were world-ranking performances but she will complain that I have pointed this out. Also featuring in the 400m to middle distance events were Elizabeth and Esther. Esther was made to work hard at Battersea. Entered for the 800m, 1500m and 3000m she deserved at least one easy race. But we were running against Belgrave. When I joked that she might face the international, Birne Dagne, Esther was not amused. By end of the season Rhonda had her various injuries under some sort of control. She started gently with the 800m and 4x400m relay in the penultimate match. For the last fixture, at her old local track in Dartford, she had a tough 800m and finished second and she won the 400m. By the 4x400m she was starting to feel the strain but had to

run in front of her old rivals, her grandfather and the family dog. She didn't buckle under the pressure.

Becky, Sonia and Monica consistently pulled in the points in the field. Monica set a club record for an under-20 shot put of 9.75m and then improved it at the last fixture (club statistician please fill in the blank). She also finished the season with a pb in the javelin (25.31m). Sonia leaves the UK and us when she sets off for Australia in October. She will be sorely missed not only for all the points she earned on the field, but for the many jobs she has done for the club, such as edit the Gatepost. Becky finished the season with an impressive win over Myrtle Augee, the Commonwealth Games competitor, when Becky threw 39.96m in the discus. Sonia and Monica consistently pulled in the points in the field. Monica set a club record for an under-20 shot put of 9.75m and then improved it at the last fixture (club statistician please fill in the blank). She also finished the season with a pb in the javelin (25.31m).

The under-15 age group was an easy team manage especially the match when there were no team members. Flynn Esther showed much promise, improving her 800m on each outing and also picking up valuable points over the 75m hurdles. Charlotte Allen competed well and clinched a B-string victory at Battersea in the same event (15.2).

Having stepped into to hold the fort after Krissie left for Oldham, I'm retiring now as team manager. However I can assure my successor (a volunteer please step forward) that despite relegation, the team's spirit is fantastic and I am sure we will bounce back.

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Back in business

Doubts that the men's B team could continue were silenced by a successful season says John Ayton

When John Wild handed over team management to me in the Spring, some people wondered whether the B team could continue. John was going to be a hard act to follow and there did not seem to be enough athletes and officials. But I believe that a B team is important. It provide competition for any athlete who wants it and acts as a feeder for the A team. This summer the B team was hugely successful on both counts.

The season started in early May at Colchester. Julian Pinner and Andy Taylor showed their intentions for the season, dropping only three points in both strings of the four throwing events. Julian won A-string shot, hammer and javelin, while Andy won the discus. There were wins for Dan Lavipour in the 800m, Jim Eltringham in the 1500m, Richard Dawson in the 400m and Dave Burrows in the `chase. The lack of 110m hurdlers, pole vaulters or fit 5000m runners began a season-long trend, but even so the team finished a promising second. It was good day for all except for Francis Lloyd-Cummings, who finished up in Colchester Hospital after colliding with the upright of the high jump.

Watford two weeks later saw another good team performance. There were fewer A-string wins: Richard in the 400m, Dan in the 200m, Andy in the discus and the 4x400m team, but we had six wins by B-string athletes, including Ross Curran who set a personal best in the 200m. Second place again for the team, with a home fixture to come. Was promotion possible?

So to Parliament Hill. Even though (or because?) I was absent, the team won. Ben Pochee and Alex Davidson bucked the 5000m trend by winning the A and B-strings respectively. The return of hardy annual Ian Adcock meant that we even had a pole vaulter and 110m hurdler. Andy and Julian dominated the throwing, winning A and B-strings between them in all their four events. Jim was needed for only five events this match, instead of his usual seven. Enjoying unusually long rests between events he won the A-string 400 hurdles, 1500m and 3000m steeplechase. The match was rounded off by an impressive 3.23.6 in the 4x400m by Richard, Ross, Dan and Lewis Danagher.

Was promotion possible?

Optimistic thoughts of promotion were dashed in the next match at Bury St. Edmunds. Athletes competed well, but key competitors were absent. Dan had won a well-earned call-up to the A team and our high-scoring multi eventers, Jim and Julian, were missing because of injury and business respectively. Andy was our only winner on the day, in the discus and hammer, but Nick Kovacevic was second in the triple jump and the B-string long jump. Steve Scruton and I doubled up in the 1500m and 5000m. Surprisingly we scored reasonable points. Dave and Kieran McHugh both finished second in the `chase. But our opponents were just too strong for our depleted squad.

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Back in business     continued ...

With no team in either relay, we finished a close last in the match. Thanks to Francis for standing in for Julian as well as sprinting and high jumping. Thanks also to Richard for entertaining the team with his performance in the 800m but don't ask the time. My mum could have run faster.

What better way to follow a loss with a win? This is just what happened in the next meeting at Sutcliffe Park. Andy and Julian arrived just in time for their first event and then scored their usual sack full of points. Henry Dodwell and Chris Bailey gave us rare victories in the 5000m. Lewis and Jim did likewise in the 800m and 1500m. Ross and Keith Wilson scored well by covering the 100m, 200m and 400m between them.

Julian throwing out of his cage

The fact that we won the meeting without a pole valter or 110m hurdler shows how well we could have done in the league with more support for our multi eventers and more enthusiasm from the distance running squad

The first weekend of August always seemed early for the end of the summer season, but the trip to Hemel was indeed the finale for another depleted team. It was encouraging to welcome two younger athletes into the team: Edward Burge who came second in the pole vault with a personal best of 2.60m, and Marcus Morrison-Pemberton who won the high jump with 1.81m, also a pb. Back to the older guys, Andy and Julian dropped only two points out of a possible 40, but on the track, Richard and Ross struggled to cover the 100m, 200m and 400m between them, while Dan Winfield made a long-awaited comeback in the 1500m and 800m. Again, there were not enough able bodies to run the relays, so the team finished last on the day, but a respectable ninth in the league.

So at the end of an enjoyable and occasionally successful season, I'd like to thank everyone who turned out and did more events than they really wanted to do. Thanks also to Tony Maitland and Martin Howard for being officials and thanks to Dave, Steve, Kieran and Richard for assisting them.

Andy Taylor deserves a special mention for breaking three over-40 age group club records, including one held by John Wild, the B team's former manager.
Is it time for a comeback, John?

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The kids are all right

The World Cup final interrupted the young athlete's season but they were soon setting personal bests again says Juliet Kavanagh

There were many excellent performances by young athletes but not enough bodies. Lewis Danagher was the only athlete who competed in every meeting. He ran a great steeplechase in the last meeting and finished the season with a pb in the 800m, almost but not quite breaking the two minute barrier (2.00.8).

Simon Williamson was unbeaten over 100m this season and he lowered his best times in the 100m to 11.0s and the 200m to 22.6s. Marcus Morrison-Pemberton was unbeatable in the high jump as was Rory Campbell in the 800m. Our star pole vaulter, Edward Burge, set a new pb of 2.60m.

The team started the season enthusiastically. Anthony Norris was in good form and set two personal bests right away and Jonny Umogu jumped higher than before, setting a high jump pb of 1.50m. Another good starter was Simeon Eli Winn. High jumper Marcus

tried the triple jump and earned valuable points at the first meeting.

We had to get up early for the next meeting but an early start didn't effect Charlie Stearns - or keep him quiet - and he threw the hammer 19.24m, a new pb. The third meeting surprised the team manager because people were keener to do the 4x400m relay than the 4x100m version. Disappointingly from the team's point of view athletes kept disappearing after, and in some notorious cases during, their events.

There was another early kick-off for the fourth meeting - I love an 8.30am start on a Sunday morning - but I didn't like the way that half the team were absent without leave. They were watching the World Cup final. Your team manager was unimpressed. But Kemar and Corey O'Neill did turn out for their first competition of the year and both

Corey O'Neill
Corey O'Neill takes the lead

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The kids are all right     continued ...

did well. Also doing well throughout the season were our under-13 800m and 1,500m runners. The middle-distance squad consisted of Sam Jeal and William Laing, who ran well, often against older runners, Santi Martyn and Denis Konoplev also ran really well. They changed more often than Simeon's hairdo. Saningo Martyn also ran well all season, usually in the 3,000m.

I love an 8.30am start on a Sunday morning

Robert Johnson set a new club record for the under-17 high jump (1.97m) to finish a fine third in the English Schools Championship. Hanif Amini also set a club record in the last Young Athlete's league match, jumping 2.30m in the under-15 pole vault. Daniel Dowek was a regular team member and he did well in the long jump and pole vault. Ron Sande was another stalwart and he competed in the 100m hurdles, long jump and 100m. Edward Burge another sprinter-jumper had a good season.

We finished a worthy 13th in the league and hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves.

My apologies to anyone who I have not mentioned. Everybody did very well. Many thanks to our invaluable helpers, especially our drivers and officials. Bill Mutler and Graeme Norris deserve extra thanks in these departments.

Coral Cash-Gibson says the clubs multi eventers enjoyed a five-star season

It was a very successful season for our multi eventers. Some of the highlight of the season were Anthony Norris's 29.9s 200m which took him to the top of the UK under-11 age group rankings. Stacey Scannel won the London Schools pentathlon championship in the intermediate girls age group. She had an excellent season, making a fine debut over 400m. She achieved a great new pb in the long jump of 5.27m at the last Southern league meeting.

Flynn Esther ran as a guest at Camden Schools' years seven and eight championships. Racing older girls, she won the 70m hurdles by a wide margin. She also finished second in the 800m.

At the London Schools championship our athletes showed great form. Robert Johnson won the intermediate boy's high jump with 1.90m and was selected for the English Schools championship. Marcus Morrison-Pemberton finished third in the high jump with a new pb (1.80m). On the track Jan Il won the intermediate boy's 100m hurdles and Susan Nash won the girls 300m. She also ran well over the 400m this season, her first doing this event. Sinead Gutzmore finished third in the intermediate girls long jump setting a new pb of 5.20m.

Lulu Cash-Gibson carried the Queen's Jubilee baton through London on its way to the Commonwealth Games.

Finally, special congratulations to young Adam Dean, who despite cerebral palsy has jumped his first hurdle and can now sprint a 400m. A fantastic achievement.

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Big city marathons

London, Chicago, New York: Highgate competed in all three. Javier Pes and Anna McCutcheon report

London: 14 April. Highgate's marathoners made the most of ideal conditions in the London Marathon, a bit like Paula and Khalid.

Joe Loader was first home in a fine 2h 25m. A mile behind came Nicky Martyn, slashing minutes off his best, charging through the field like a gazelle. He finished in a splendid 2h 30m. It was a fine performance to top an excellent cross-country season.

Learning the lessons of last year's race, Duncan Burbidge trained more thoroughly and ran with a cool head in the first half of the race. Both paid dividends because Duncan sped up as the race progressed, helped by a gulp of high-tech energy gel at 13 and 20 miles. While other runners wilted, `Heathside runners seemed to be dropping like flies,' he says, our Duncan got stronger. The taste of local club one-upmanship can be sweet. His time was 2h 45m a new pb.

Andy Evans had been running with Duncan until nature called at 16 miles. Pit stop over he was soon back in his loping stride but this became a bit wayward by about 18 miles when his blood-sugar level dropped. Nothing if not prepared, Andy ate the Mars bar he'd been carrying. It did the trick and he was soon back on course, now a straight course to the finish line. Andy stopped the unforgiving clock in a plucky 2h 53m.

In the women's race Natasha (marathons should be 20 miles) Cendrowicz finished in 3h 19.

What's the best way to warm up for a marathon? (writes Anna McCutcheon)

I don't think about it too much, wear my Walkman to Blackheath and let Alanis sing: `Everything's gonna be fine, fine, fine.'

While fellow athletes busied themselves with bras and blister prevention, matriarchal officials officiated. One threatened to disqualify me because I'd trimmed my number - rather skilfully I thought. Paula was there, looking smaller than I expected. We all wondered, would she run from the front?

Ten minutes to go, ten Hail Marys and a `forgive me Flora'. Tightly packed now, tension rising, bang! Wave to the camera, run steady with Sally and stay relaxed. All ok for the first mile but then I have a problem: DIY shoe padding starts slipping. Mental note: leave padding systems to Nike. How do I keep up with Sally? Solution: sprint ahead, stop, sort out one shoe, then sprint to catch her up. Repeat for the other. Novel but it works and I feel ok.

Next, a 20-mile long blur of cheering crowds, music and lucozade, bridges, cobbles, and `pinchy' toes (colourful Mexican term for painful). Then suddenly the crowd cheers louder. The race van passes. It's just the van, cameras, the three leading men - running like bats out of hell - and me. I suffer in miles 24 and 25 but eventually it's the final mile. Countdown, two hours 51, 52, 53 - 54 minutes. I finish, and swear never again.

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Big city marathons     continued ...

Chicago: 13 October, 7.30am. The field of about 37,000 runners were ready, the world's athletics media was focused on one athlete called Paula, and I was wondering whether I had time for a last-minute trip to nearest bush.

As I dithered I noticed a race official making his way through the field. Instinctively I followed. But when I saw a slim and sinewy woman wearing bug-eyed dark glasses and a blue woolly hat, I knew I'd over done it. For it was Paula and we were toe-to-toe on the start line. Our was, needless to say, a brief encounter.

Two hours 17 minutes later, she was wearing the laurels of victory, while I was experiencing marathon purgatory. Gremlins were filling my shoe with lead from 22 miles, the rotters. Eventually the finish arrived. The clock said 2h 41m, when I wanted something in the mid 2h30s, but, with a bit more mileage next time...

Proving what a small world it is, Terry Driscoll was in town to visit his daughter and son-in-law. Their support was terrific.


Javier says `Paula makes it look so easy'

Shane Snow
Shane gets ready for the Big Apple

New York: 2 November. Shane Snow, veteran of Florence, London and Snowdon marathons was in town to add New York to his tally. With preparations hampered by niggling injuries, Shane ran 2hr 31m. He says, `I had a perfect running moment coming off the mile long and deserted Queensborough bridge, into the cheering crowds and tall buildings of Manhattan's First Avenue. It stretched ahead for about four miles into Harlem.'

`The last two miles were hard, as in all marathons. The hills in Central Park were tough. I was delighted with my time - New York is not a course for pbs. It was within a couple of minutes of my capabilty on the day.'

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Uncle Ben's recipe for success

Think before you eat and the pain of training will not be in vain says food guru and CRO of Look Good Naked, Ben Pochee

Picture the scene: it's Tuesday night, there's a viscious cold wind, your legs are driving, arms pumping and lungs bursting. You catch Jack's eyes and you both know that you must dig deeper than you have dug before for the last effort of a monster track session. Jack counts down: `Three, two, one, go!' You spring into action, stare 400m of tartan-covered pain in the face and embrace a 15-tog duvet of exhaustion.

Why do you do it? You do it because you are a runner. You're fuelled by desire to push your body to a place that your body has never been before. But you could be at home in front of the telly with a 12-inch pizza in the oven. You are prepared to sacrifice comfort for sore muscles, wet socks and spikes that smell worse than a hillbilly's pigpen in a heat wave. Ok, you get the picture - you make lots of sacrifices so that you can improve.

Most people do the hard, physically painful part and assume if they stick two fingers up at the session from hell they will make those Sunday-run dreams a reality (Cut to dream sequence...)

...The National cross country championship, somewhere in England, it's the final mile and you are leading by a mere five metres. Suddenly a small child runs out of the crowd. It's in the path of 2,000 stampeding club runners. Instinctively you dive head long into the mud, snatch the child from danger and return it to the warm embrace of a grateful mother. Pausing only to dust yourself down, rearrange the gusset

Ben Pochee
Naked ambition - Ben looks good

of your nylon shorts and modestly shrug off the crowd's cheering, you chase the leading pack. The gap seems impossible but you begin to draw closer. You catch them. You overtake and lunge for the line, winning by the width of your Highgate Harriers vest...

In other words, you do the hard bit and dream the dreams but are you ignoring a pain-free way of running faster?

Does the glycaemic index (GI) of food ring any bells? Probably not. But it can mean that all that pain you go through on the track results in success on race day and isn't a waste of effort. GI index is simple. Your body requires energy in the form of glycogen. For those that like science, 75 per cent of glycogen is in your muscles while the other

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Uncle Ben's recipe     continued ...

25 per cent is in your liver from where it is sent to your brain. The GI index is a measure of the speed that foodstuffs can be converted to glycogen and thus fuel your body. This is crucial because your body requires energy at differing speeds.

Runners often need foods with a low GI index:

Example number one: in the morning with a hard day ahead of you the best thing you can do for your body is slowly to drip feed your muscles with a supply of energy for many hours. You don't need a quick fix that will get you through your first hour of work but then fade by 11am. Foodstuffs that provide a slow release of energy have a low GI index and they are important for runners. Examples are apples, whole grain bread, porridge and yoghurt.

But there are times when your body needs food with a high GI index:

Example number two: after your 16 x 400m session your muscles are extremely hungry and also require energy to begin micro-cellular repair process. So the clever buggers increase their ability to receive energy by 20 per cent but only for 20-30 minutes. So a full English breakfast would be a mistake - assuming you could keep it down - not giving you energy quickly enough. Instead you need to eat food with high GI index immediately after training. For example bananas, honey, cornflakes and even parsnips. This will help feed your muscles and they will ache less in the morning as muscles repair quicker. You will also have

taken the edge off your appetite, which is important because if you eat too much in one sitting after training your body can't use it all in one go. If you do your body converts about 50 per cent of those calories into adipose tissue or body fat.

Remember your body still needs the calories when you're training hard but not all at once.

Glycaemic Index (GI)

Ben says eat:

low GI food for breakfast and lunch

a mid GI snack pre-training

high GI food 15 minutes after training

mid GI food 45 _ 60 minutes after training

low GI food 60 minutes plus after training as a main meal

Don't become obsessed with GI index, just modify some of your bad eating habits and avoid eating from the wrong end of the index at the important times. You can find GI index food-lists, which have been compiled by boffin scientists, on

Best of all it is pain free and does not involve chafed thighs or the need to plaster your nipples.

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Frederick Bridge Duff, 1903-2002

Highgate Harrier, Fred Duff, who has died at the wonderful age of 93 years, gave countless hours helping fellow race walkers and athletes. His regular training walks around Regents Park with the blind St Dunstans walkers will never be forgotten.

A policeman with the Metropolitan force for 25 years, Frederick Bridge Duff gave his sporting life to race walking, boxing and tug-of-war. In 1955 he completed the Centurion Walk, racing from London to Brighton and back in 22h12m7s, a remarkable performance.

Nothing was too much for Fred, whether it was organising a heavy weight session at Bow Street police station or assisting at countless Highgate and Metropolitan Police race walks, often as race pilot on his bicycle.

I will always be indebted to Fred for his weight-training regime that helped me, and the late Phil Embleton, to reach the heights of international competition. I remember Fred getting Phil to do three circuits of 16 exercises on the evening before the National ten miles championship at Redditch, which Phil won in 69 minutes over a tough country land course, beating the master, Paul Nihill. It was not unusual to receive a telephone call at night from Fred who could forget that some of us like to sleep.

After retiring from the Met, he worked for a further 28 years as a civilian telephonist at Bow, Forest Gate and Stoke Newington police stations and he was still doing a dozen daily exercises when well into his 80s.

Fred's family were Scottish, aptly for such a strong man they were from the granite city of Aberdeen. Many police colleagues, race walkers, friends and family attended his funeral, giving him a send off he deserved. Fittingly a Scottish piper headed his cortege, playing Over the Sea to Skye.

Charlie Megnin, former Highgate and Woodford Green stalwart, aged 87, said, `It was the best funeral I have been to in my lifetime.'

Fred will be greatly missed by all his friends and family. May he rest in peace. We'll meet again.

By Bill Sutherland, former Highgate Harrier and 1970 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist.
(This report first appeared in the Essex Walker and Race Walking Record.)

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November 2002
2 Metropolitan League (m/w/y)Ruislip
9 North London Cross Country Champs (m/w)Ruislip (Mad Bess woods)
16North of Thames Champs (m/y)Wormwood Scrubs
23London CC Champs (m/w)Parliament Hill
30Metropolitan League (m/w/y)Perivale
December 2002
7Fraternity Cup (men/women)Trent Park
26Boxing Day Handicap (11am)Parliament Hill Fields
January 2003
4 Middlesex CC Champs (m/w/y)Cranford
11Metropolitan League (m/w/y)Alexandra Palace
18North of Thames Champs (m/w)Venue tbc
25South of England CC Champs (m/w/y)Bicton, Exmouth
February 2003
8Inter Counties CC Champs (m/w/y)Nottingham
15Metropolitan League (m/w/y)St Albans
22English National CC Champs (m/w/y)Parliament Hill Fields
March 2003
9Hillingdon 5 mile road race (m/w)Ruislip
April 2003
6Southern 6 stage Road Relay (women)Milton Keynes
6Southern 12 stage Road Relay (men)Milton Keynes
13London Marathon London
27National 12 stage Road Relay (men)Sutton Park,Birmingham

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