Past BVAF News Items

British Masters 2nd Best in the World

Dr Alan Harrison, the new Chief Executive Officer of England Athletics, congratulates our 277 athletes on their performances at the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Linz, 15-20 March 2006. Finishing 2nd from 62 countries and 3,336 competitors was fantastic, he said. British master athletes won a total of 51 gold, 63 silver and 42 bronze medals, set four World, two European and 26 British age group records.

Les Williams

We regret to record the death on 27 January 2006 of Les Williams, aged 83. A Welsh rugby international, awarded the freedom of Falmouth in recognition of his contribution to local sportsmen and women. A World Champion and age group record holder for the 60m and 200m.

Lost kit

Have you ever searched the house for your favourite racing kit, and realised you've left it somewhere but you are not sure where? Have you been clearing up the changing rooms after a race and found items that are too good to throw away but you don't know who they belong to?

A new website has been launched to deal with these situations. Visit www.lostkit.co.uk and you may find that your distinctive garb has not been lost for ever!

Emailing the President of BMAF

An email address has been set up for Paul Dickenson, President of BMAF. It is bmafpd@bmaf.org.uk, and may be used for serious discussion points on BMAF matters, Competition and Athletics in general.

Travel Agent

Some members may have received unsolicited email travel brochures. The BMAF has an Official Travel Agent, WGT Sport, Athletics House, Central Boulevard, Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, B90 8AJ, email: nicola@wgtsport.co.uk. WGT are ABTA protected.

Torsten Carlius

It is with great regret that we record the untimely death from a heart attack of Torsten Carlius, Sweden. He was elected Secretary of World Masters Athletics at the General Assembly in San Sebastian. A former high jumper, he was aged 66.

Norman Ashcroft

It is with deep regret that BMAF record the death of Norman Ashcroft, a Life Vice President and one of the founding members of the Northern VAC.

Northern Vets Website

Please note that the Northern Veterans Athletic Club has a new website www.nvac.co.uk. It is still in the process of development but promises to be a useful source of information for members of the club and those interested in veterans/masters athletics in the region. The website previously listed for the club is now being managed by the previous webmaster independently of the Northern Veterans AC and aims to represent any veteran/masters athletics in the North of England irrespective of affiliation to the British Masters Athletic Federation.

Men aged 35-39

At the IAAF Congress in Helsinki on 3 August 2005, delegates voted in favour of lowering the age of men master athletes to age 35. The BMAF welcomes the move.

Weights Pentathlon Scoring

Are you organising, or considering organising, a weights pentathlon competition? Or are you planning to compete in one, or even just thinking about it? Visit the Technical Page and download one of the spreadsheets that have been set up by Chris Melluish. They contain information about the different events in the pentathlon and scoring rules, and you can even work out your own potential score!

Are You Man Enough To ....?

BBCTV is looking for the fittest, boldest male adventurers to compete in 8 of the most challenging competitions in the macho world of tribal sport. If you've got what it takes to race across mountains with indigenous Indians in Mexico, wrestle with fierce Nuba wrestlers in Sudan, compete in traditional stone lifting challenges in Tahiti, or take part in fire throwing contests in the Northern Territories of Australia, then this is your chance. If you have a sports skill or you know someone else over 18 who you think would be perfect for this programme, please email hannah.griffiths@bbc.co.uk for an application form as soon as possible (closing date Feb 3rd, 2006).

If you are selected, please do let the BMAF know. Masters Athletics would love to follow your progress.

94 year old breaks 5 records within 94 minutes

As part of their contribution to the Back the Bid campaign, the Sikh Community hosted a record-breaking event at Mile End Park Stadium, East London, on Saturday 2 July 2005. Star performer was the indefatigable 94 year old Fauja Singh. His aim was to run 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, the mile and 1500m, and a 3000m continuing on to finish the 5000m. Six races covering seven distances in a time limit of 94 minutes.

Impossible? – nothing is impossible for the ex-farmer from the Punjab! Together with his enthusiastic coach, Harmander Singh, who himself had just missed out on the qualifying time for 10000m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and a group of training partners, Fauja clocked 19.97 (hand timed) for the 100. In the 200m he obliterated the UK M90 age group 200m clocking an amazing 45.13sec. The 400m he covered in 1.49.28sec, to become the first in Britain ever to contest this distance. The UK 800m time he beat by 18.02 sec, running 4.20.97sec. The magic mile he ran in 9.40.13, timed at 9.03.37 for 1500m in the process. The last event, the 5000m, 12½ times round the track, seemed a daunting target. Cheered on by the Mayor, local Press and supporters, he reeled off consistent laps, setting a new UK M90 3000m in 18.38.48 and continuing to complete 5000m in 31.31.12, just 5.67sec off the current UK record. With five records, or six, if you allow for the fact that all races plus recovery time were completed within the 94 minutes, Fauja still had enough puff to conduct media interviews!

British & Irish Masters International Cross Country

The 17th running of this fiercely competitive event took place on Saturday 20 November 2004 over the rolling hills of Lloyd Park, Croydon. Despite continuous sleet and flurries of snow that made underfoot conditions difficult, the international teams from Scotland, N Ireland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and England rose to the occasion.

The 4-per team women and Men aged 70 and over led off over a 6km course. The current Irish Senior international, Niamh O’Sullivan, went quickly into the lead and held on to give the Republic its sixth consecutive individual win. Sonia Armitage and the current BMAF cross country champion, Sue Ridley, both in the blue vests of Scotland, chased hard but it was Margaret Deasy, in her first England representational, who came through to take the silver from Ridley. Clare Pauzer, running on familiar territory, and Andrea Dennison came in 4th and 5th for England. Kate Ramsey sadly had to make a last minute withdrawal giving reserve Lynn Emmett minutes to prepare. Carmel Parnell successfully defended her W45 individual title that she won in Cardiff last year, again leading the Irish team to victory.

Karen Marshall in N Ireland colours raced to her seventh consecutive individual victory coming in 8th to win the W50 title, what a performance from a 51-year old. The England Selectors had a difficult time picking the W55 team from such an outstanding array of talent. Led by the two Northerners, Susan Cariss and Carol Wolstenhome from Anne Roden and Jane Davies, all four were well clear of their international opponents giving England maximum points. Elaine Statham led the England W60 team of evergreen Pam Jones, Kath Stewart and Sue Lambeth to victory.

As the temperature dipped below 5c, the Men 70-plus teams were getting lathered up chasing the defending champion, Brian Ashwell for England. The two Scots, McFall and McCaskey chased hard but did not quite close in.

The second race for M55-69 over two 4km laps saw well matched international teams share the awards. The current M55 BMAF cross country winner, Brian Lloyd, was first over the line for England from Peter Murphy, having a great run for Ireland, and Terry Eakin N. Ireland getting the bronze. Martin Ford, the BMAF M60 gold medallist, won his age group from Dave Waywell and Peter Cartwright, Scotland. Steve James got away from the tenacious Fred Gibbs in the M65 race. James Reid, N. Ireland, won another individual and team bronze in this age group.

The course was well churned up by the time the M40-54 lined up. Paul O’Callaghan of Ireland led the charge up the first hill into the wood from Clive Bromhall, Dai Roberts, England, and the first M45 Andy Wetherill at the front of the pack. On completion of the first lap, Bromhall, Andy Wilton and Guy Amos were spearheading England. Nigel Gates, one of the great stalwarts of the England team, was the leading M50 in fourth overall following by a group that included two local athletes, Mike Boyle and Keith Newton. Jon Cordingley was leading the M45 race. Out they went into the teeth of the wind and sleet for the final circuit, by which time most of the large number of spectators had given up. Amos came through the gap for his first win in this major annual event holding off Bromhall by just one second. Gates, in 3rd found the testing course to his liking, leading a very strong England M50 team to victory. Andy Wilton came in just behind him. Brian Gardner had overhauled Cordingley to take the M45 title and raise the Scottish team to silver medals.

The Open Races were won by Daniel Moore, M40, Bristol AC. The England reserve, Caroline Hewitt won the 6km race. With some joggers taking over 55 minutes to complete the course, the Recorders had a difficult task identifying numbers in the dark and coping with the freezing conditions.

Full details on the Results page. You can also visit the website of the official photographer www.davidmoser.co.uk.

90 year old Scotsman sets 10,000m World Record

Gordon Porteous set a new World record of 69.26.92sec for 10,000m on Sunday 17 October 2004 on his local track at Coatbridge. This broke the existing record of 71.40.78, held by the late Paul Spangler, USA.

Gordon broke the World M90-94 age category 5000m record at the British Masters Athletic Championships in June, hours after setting a British 1500m record of 9.23.24sec.

Dave Taylor runs 49.14 for 10 miles

40 year old Dave Taylor, Veterans AC, was the fourth British man in the Portsmouth 10 miles on Sunday 10 October 2004 behind H. Ramaala, South Africa and the Kenyan, F. Bowen. The double European Veterans champion’s time of 49.14 in windy conditions puts him 4th on the British Masters All Time list.

Excellent run by Tracey Morris in the Olympics.

Media attention may have been focused elsewhere but Tracey's 2.41.00 for 29th in the marathon in Athens in such conditions, was brilliant. Congratulations!

14th European Veterans Track & Field Championships

World record for Viv Bonner and the BMAF M50, W50 4 x 400m teams

Held in Denmark from 22 July-1 Aug 2004, 3703 athletes aged 35 through to 90-plus from 40 nations, entered the biggest international athletic meeting ever staged in that country. Germany had the largest entry with 938, Denmark 375, Great Britain & N. Ireland 352 and Italy with 198 competitors. British athletes return home loaded with medals, only Germany was ahead of us in the final medal tally.

Overcast skies with high humidity 20/22°c, and some intermittent rain did not dampen superb races and awe inspiring field event performances. 47 world, 64 European and 181 Championships age group records were broken during the 10 long days of competition. There were brilliant British performances, particularly in the sprints and relays despite the withdrawal from the team of M50 John Brown and W45 Averil McClelland through injury.

We got medals in the men’s 35-39 and M45 age groups 100m. Tony Noel and Dalton Powell were 1st and 2nd in the M40 event and the sheer blazing speed of the Lincolnshire doctor, Stephen Peters, took him to a clear victory in the M50 100m in 11.54 with Viv Oliver (11.96) and Walwyn Franklyn (12.00) getting silver and bronze - yet another British clean sweep in this magnificent age group where six of our members rank in the top 10 in the world! After the M50 200m had been whittled down from 50 entries to the final 8, these three crossed the finish line well ahead of the best in Europe. Only Michelchen of Germany, edging out Franklyn for the bronze medal in the 400m, prevented a whitewash. A further 2 gold medals were won in the relays with Philip Bell replacing John Brown in the 4 x 100m and our top hurdler, Robert Stevenson, sharing in the new World record time for M50 4 x 400m in 3.35.58sec.

Surrey athlete Viv Bonner set a World record in the W55 200m of 27.39, our W50 4 x 400m team of Nancy Hitchmouth, Helen Godsell, Jacqueline Walpole and Joylyn Saunders Mullins raced to another World record in 4.22.81sec.

British victories in the hurdles flowed in when Greg Dunson from the Midlands VAC easily won the M40 110m hurdles in 14.67, Des Wilkinson got the bronze. Greg got his second gold in the 400m hurdles in 56.65 after a 56.05 heat, with Jonathan Tilt 3rd. Howard Moscrop and Tony Mitchell raced to gold and silver in the M45 400mH, Phil McIlfatrick won the M50 100mH, Robert Stevenson and David Anderson gold and silver in the 400mH. Tony Wells, getting back to his brilliant best after injury, took both M55 titles. Top podium places went to the Liverpool sisters Wendy and Mandy Laing in the W40 80mH, Virginia Mitchell in the W40 and Jane Horder in the W45 400mH with W35 Geraldine Finegan and Clare Ackford picking up 2nd and 3rd

David Elderfield, M45 and Joylyn Saunders Mullins W50 were 400m winners. Gold came from Sarah Heath in the W40 800m front running 2.14.16 and 1500 in 4.35.99, Westbury’s Pat Gallagher in the W55 800m race, Mike Erith also struck gold in the M55 race.

Dave Taylor ran Europe’s best middle distance men into the ground in the M40 1500 coming home clear in 3.54.83. His 5000m victory in 14.26.95 was even more emphatic with only the German Markus Pingpank, silver medallist from the 10000m on the opening day, attempting to stay with him on the first two laps. Ian Johnston picked up a silver in the M35 10000m

The Ashford athlete, Jenny Brown won the W45 high jump and pentathlon, Wendy Laing the W40 high jump and Irie Hill soared to 3.90 in the W35 pole vault. Alan Williams got a silver in the M50 event. Ruddy Farquharson and Rez Cameron battled for gold and silver in an exciting M40 triple jump competition.

The field event competitors were spoilt for choice, a decathlon/heptathlon, a pentathlon, weight throw and weight pentathlon in addition to the normal field events. There were some brilliant performances right across all age groups. Drizzling rain and a slippery circle surface marred an otherwise great shot putt competition on the 25th with the M55 event the worse affected. The M40 title was as close as you can get with E. Pyritz, Germany, reached 16.72 for gold from the Russian, Fedyashcin with a putt of 16.71. Steve Whyte got the bronze with 16.12m. Steve won the hammer with a throw of 59.43 and weight pentathlon. Scotland’s Susan Freebairn did very well to hold off strong German opposition in the W35 discus.

Out on the road, 170 walkers lined up for the 20k walk on Day 8 over a perfectly designed spectator course that, fortunately, offered some shade on the warmest day. 82 year old Len Creo from Ross-on-Wye clocked in at 2.28.49 to take the M80 race and Colin Turner got a bronze in the M60 group.

The marathon on the final day, run over a deceptively difficult course, attracted a very good field indeed. The first three women were all under three hours. Julia Myatt was second home in 2.58.13, a great run.

2004 National Track & Field Championships

A record 774 athletes entered the 34th British Masters Track & Field Championships on 26/27 June at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Entering on average 3½ events each, the officials and stadium facilities were at full stretch but the meeting ran to schedule and was most enjoyable. Intermittent heavy showers and blustery wind were not conductive to fast times, but by close of play the M90 5000m world record and 26 British records were broken.

Athletes aged from 35 years through to 90 competed in 5-year age groups in all disciplines of the sport achieving some brilliant performances. Ex-internationals, prominent club athletes and some coming back into competitive sport after a break, all found their level in heats and finals. The biggest cheer was for 90 year old Scotsman Gordon Porteous winning the M90 1500m in a British record of 9.01.92sec on Saturday morning. He was back in the afternoon to break the M90 5000m World record, running 31.25.45 as he latched on tenaciously to the back of the M70+ field.

Confidence boosting performances were achieved by several competitors in the last major competition before departure for the European Veterans Championships in Denmark at the end of July. World gold medallist Jane Pidgeon ran a brilliant W40 2000m steeplechase in 7.29.0sec. See full results on Results page.

BMAF Road Relay Championships, Sutton Park, 22 May 2004

The 17th running of one of the premier events on the masters racing calendar attracted entries from all the major British clubs. The women’s event, run in 10-year age groups from 35 through to aged 55-plus, saw a delighted Liverpool Harriers team of Sarah Singleton, Linda McDermott and Christine Murphy, who stormed round the three mile circuit in 16.50 for the fastest individual stage, win the 35-44 age group race. Shaftesbury Barnet, for whom Melanie Ellis recorded 16.52, and Neath Harriers got silver and bronze.

Jo Thompson, covered the opening stage in 16.51sec to give the City of Bath an unassailable lead in the 45-54 race, as marathon runner Zina Marchant and Sue Brigen held pole position ahead of Holmfirth and Cannock & Stafford AC. The Serpentine team won the W55+ race ahead of Coventry Godiva, for whom Linda White ran the fastest stage, from another London club, Barnet & District AC.

Current BMAF M40 cross country winning team and defending title holders, Ron Hill Cambuslang, arrived from Scotland in full strength and oozing with confidence. It was Steve Smith, Preston Harriers, who lead the large field home on the first of the 8-stage race. By stage 3, Mike Robbins had moved Wrexham to pole position as ex-international, Colin Donnelly, brought Cambuslang into the leading 10 and the inform Andy Wilton lifted Staffordshire Moorland up 20 places. With Jack Brown on the penultimate leg and John Cowan on the glory lap, recording the two fastest individual stages, Cambuslang had the trophy for another 12 months. Woodford Green moved up from 6th last year as Mark Flint took Telford home to collect the bronze.

In the M50-59 6-stage race, Nigel Gates’ time of 14.57 for the 3-mile circuit would place him equal 3rd in the M40 group. However, that was not good enough to hold the unstoppable Oxford City team who raced to a resounding victory from Brighton & Hove and last year’s winners, Invicta East Kent. 59 teams entered this age category.

Bingley Harriers were unable to prevent the strong Aldershot team from winning the M60-69 race, but never out of the medals in Sutton Park, they got silver ahead of Clydesdale. The white strip of Glenneath AC brought added interest to the M70+ race as they unseated the incumbent Barnet & District AC.

Tracey Morris

The BMAF congratulates our member Tracey Morris, winner for Wales of the W35-39 age group race in the British & Irish Masters International Cross Country in Cardiff last November, on her super run in the 2004 London marathon and on becoming the second BMAF athlete to be selected for the Olympics.

Thrilling Cross Country Championships

Large fields of top runners in all age groups ran over the very testing 10km for men aged up to 69 years, 5km for women and M70-plus, at Maiden Castle, Durham on 20 March 2004. Although the storms that caused traffic chaos on North East motorways on Friday had abated, high winds still swirled buffeting runners as they reached the pinnacle of a steep hill.

The women’s age group 35-39 bringing together for the first time in the 127-strong field, four new entries into the masters category, engendered the most interest. Astrid Winger from Highgate Harriers in North London, Sue Wint, Coventry Godiva and Audrey Macmillian of Redhill Road Runners challenged the much in form Nicki Nealon, 10th in the International Race in Cardiff last November and Susan Ridley 11th in that race running for Scotland. A mere four seconds separated the first three in a frantic sprint to the finish as Ridley held off Clare Pauzer, the first W40-44 from Wingler and the early pacesetter Wint.

Heavy rain lashed the men’s 40-49 race on the exposed hills. Virtually all starters completed the muddy four-lap circuit, a testimony to their fitness and endurance. The 10km race was won my Brian Rushworth, Sunderland Harriers from the tall Guy Amos, City of Norwich, Rob Hand, Durham City H. came through for the bronze medal followed by Andy Wilton, Staffordshire Moorlands 4th from one of the early leaders Ben Reynolds, Thames Hare & Hounds. The M45 title went to David Neill, Staffordshire Moorlands. The Scottish club, RonHill Cambuslang, Sunderland H and Clayton le Moors Harriers won the team medals, but North Belfast Harriers’ fifth place amongst the top clubs was a meritorious performance.

Nigel Gates easily won the M50 race but only seconds split Brian Lloyd, Telford AC, from Charlie Dickinson, Belgrave H in the M55-59 race. Gates recently set a World M50 3000m record and won the World indoor title in Germany the previous week. Martin Ford travelled up from Cheltenham to win the M60 race, just, from Robert Young of Clydesdale. Steve James, also a World Indoor winner, added the M65 title. Despite the adverse conditions, five men aged 70-74 and two 80-plus fought through to the finish, led by Gerry Spink, Bingley Harriers.

World Masters Indoor Championships

This event was held in Sindelfingen, near Stuttgart from 10-14 March 2004. 2,635 athletes from 57 countries entered for the Indoor and supporting Open Throwing Challenge, cross country and road race walking competitions held in conjunction. The 183 British masters returned home with a magnificent haul of 43 gold, 39 silver and 40 bronze medals, the second largest behind the host nation and well ahead of Italy with 59 medals, Finland 51, Russia and the USA with 35 each. We were particularly strong in the 4 x 200m relays, setting world records in the 45-49, M50-54 age groups and the women W45-49. Stephen Peters, Viv Oliver, Alastair Ross, John Browne and Wally Franklyn dominated the M50 sprints and only the Russian, A Kuzovnikov who was 4th, prevented another clean sweep in the 400m. We now have six Britains in the top ten sprints in the world in this age group!

Our men and women sprinters and hurdlers got through up to seven heats, semis and finals to collect a barrow load of medals. David Elderfield lowered his own M45 400m record to 51.75. Tony Wells broke Barry Ferguson’s 1997 M55 European 60mH record. Trevor Wade cleared 6.32m in the M45 triple jump in a 21-strong field. Neil Griffin, who has ranked in the British shot putt for over 38 successive years, held pole position again in the M55 event despite the presence of Europe’s best. Pat Gallagher, Sarah Heath, Jenny Brown, the Laing sisters, Nigel Gates and Dave Wilcox all achieved outstanding performances.

Away from the Indoor arena, the open events attracted surprisingly large entries. Competitors in the Open Throwing events, predominantly from Eastern European countries, were not bothered by waking up to a very heavy overnight fall of snow and cold wind. Nor did it appear to be a problem for the Local Authority as the circle areas was cleared very quickly.

On Saturday an elated John Brown, Scotland, ran away from the M40-49 field to win the 8km cross country by 10 seconds. Steve James was well clear in the M65 race.

All the top walkers from all over Europe and as far away as Japan and India took advantage of the extra top class and brilliantly organised 10k road walk. Held on a traffic free road in warm sunshine on Sunday morning, it resulted in an excellent all-ages mixed competition.

Full results can be found on www.world-masters-athletics.org. Linz, Austria successfully bid to hold the 2006 event.

Brian Gore

We are sorry to record the death of the former marathon runner turned walker, Brian Gore, on 8 February 2004 aged 66.

Bernard Metcalfe

We very much regret to record the death of one of our oldest sprinters Bernard Metcalfe. His burial took place at 1300 on 23 January 2004 at Gunnelsbury, Middx.

World Double Decathlon and Double Heptathlon Championships

These championships were held in St Polten, Austria on 4/5th October 2003.

The double decathlon finishes with track 10K on Day 2 completing 27K of track running along with Jumps, throws and various hurdles! The double heptathlon finishes with a track 3K on Day 2.

The results included

Details of Brian Slaughter's World M45 record of 12216 points are

Di Farmer's British W40 best of 5045 points included

British Master Athletes excel at 2003 World Championships

The XV World Masters Track & Field Championships were held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 2-13 July 2003 in soaring temperatures with up to 77% humidity. 2,650 athletes representing 78 countries competed in 5-year age groups in events ranging from 100m up to the marathon, an 8km cross-country and 10/20km road walks.

The 105 British men and 59 women competitors did extremely well in the conditions, returning home with 37 gold, 42 silver and 32 bronze medals. Although competitors in events from 800m upwards were affected by the humidity, 15 new world and numerous national records were established during the intense 10-day, World's largest biennial track and field championships.

There were thrilling finishes in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays where our various age group men's and women's teams picked up gold in the M45 4 x 100 (Eric Smart, Michael Coker, Alan Harrison, Stephen Peters), 4 x 400, (John Browne, Harrison, Peters, Smart). A further two gold in the W50 4 x 100 (Anne Darby, Joylyn Saundres-Mullins, Janet Lawson, Vivian Bonner) and W40 (Manndy Laing, Helen Godsell, Janice Ellacott, Averil McClelland), 9 silver and 4 bronze team medals.

Other outstanding British performances included Rosemary Chrimes, nee Payne, one of Britain's most capped international athletes in the 1960/70s, she won her three events in the W70-74 category. Evaun Williams, a retired North London Health Visitor, made a clean sweep of the W65 field events picking up 4 gold and a bronze medal in her five events. Esther Linaker retained her W60 100m title and also won the 200m, but Yorkshire's Averil McClelland, who had set a British W45 200m record earlier this year, came up against Puerto Rico's Olympic representative and national record holder, Maria Lande Mathieu, and had to settle for silver in the 100/200. Mandy and Wendy Laing collected a handful of medals in the W40-44 age group. The happiest athlete must surely be Chrissie Brooks, an NHS nurse from Yeovil, who excelled in the tough conditions to win the W45-49 10,000m, a silver medal in the 5000m and a silver in the marathon run at 04.00 a.m in a tropical storm.

British men also excelled in the field events when Chris Black, a former Olympic representative and Commonwealth champion, won the M50-54 age group hammer. Nigel Winchcombe took the M40 title and Peter Gordon the M50 discus. The M50 400m Hurdles went to Robert Stevenson in 59.81sec. Tony Bateman won the M65 high jump and Sean Power picked up a gold and a silver in the M60 triple jump and High Jump.

Three World and 18 British Records broken in the 2003 BMAF Track & Field Championships

Over 700 athletes aged 35 through to 80+ years of age competed in the British Masters Track & Field Championships at the Moorways Sports Complex, Derby on 7/8 June 2003, in hot and humid conditions.

With competition in 5-year age groups and athletes entering on average 2.5 events each, the Organising Committee faced a major logistical problem. Up to three heats were necessary in some age-group sprints. The first British record fell shortly after 9.30 on 7th when Howard Moscrop from the South West VAC won a well judged 400m hurdles in 55.89sec from Ray Daniels, the European bronze medallist, in the M45 age group. Howard won the European M40 title in Potsdam last year.

Some outstanding performances included a clean sweep in the M50 100m (11.66), 200m (23.76) and 400m (52.99) by Viv Oliver from the Eastern VAC. Scottish competitors, John Steede and John Ross did likewise in the M60 and M65. Alan Meddings set a British record in the M75 age group 100m in 13.88 and a Meeting record in the 200m in 29.40sec. David Wilcock, Southern Counties VAC won the M45 800m in 2.01.01. A swirling stadium wind on 8th slowed the large fields in the 10000m and 14 men, including the ex-Welsh international, Bernie Jones, entered the M40 3000m steeplechase won by Keith Newton in 9.46.78.

In the field events current World and European gold medallist, Neil Griffin, Southern Counties VAC, set British records in the M55 shot with a putt of 14.00 and discus 48.46. Eric Barker got another British record in the M60 shot with 14.21m. The hammer competition was held outside the stadium, but the throwers were at least able to concentrate on a highly competitive event in a crowded programme. Russell Payne, Midlands VAC, won the M40 event, Mike Small, who has been showing such good form in the South recently, won the M45. John Little, Northern VAC was well clear with 45.83 in the M50, the ex GBR international, Chris Melluish, now aged 58, sent the hammer flying out to 45.96m and Bill Gentleman took the M60 title back to Scotland. The highlight of the women's event was Janet Smith's throw of 44.07m and Evaun William's British record of 37.61 in the W65 event.

The Weight Pentathlon attracts more and more competitors at all level as the field event exponents find it irresistible, several championship records were set. The jumpers chances of records were marred by the wind, but Sean Power, Welsh VAA, did reach out to 11.59 in the M60 triple jump, inside the legal wind limit. Ex-Olympian, Diana Davies, Midland VAC, now in the W40 category, won both the high and long jumps.

Mandy Laing, Northern VAC and Carole Filer collected several medals in the W40 and W45 events, whilst Averil McLelland W45, and Esther Linaker, W60, Scottish VAH set championship records in winning their 100m. Pat Gallagher, the only female athlete to have represented her country in indoor, on the track, cross country and on the road, defended her W55 800/1500m title with championships bests of 2.38.90 and 5.23.34 - phenomenal running for the 57 year mother of two daughters.

Joe Phillips

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Joe Phillips at the age of 68. He passed away at his home on Sunday January 12th 2003 after apparently suffering a heart attack.

Joe, who was a member of South West Vets, Southern Vets and Wessex and Bath AC, has been a leading javelin thrower for many years. He is the current British M60 and M65 javelin record holder and reigning BVAF M65 champion. He also won a silver medal at the WAVA Championships in Brisbane in 2001. He will be greatly missed by all in British masters athletics.

British master athletes' outstanding European results

40 year old runs 400m in 47.86 seconds

4,383 athletes from 39 countries competed in the 13th European Veterans Track & Field Championships in Potsdam, Germany, from 15-25 August, 2002. 310 of these were British the second largest entry behind the host nation. France were the third largest with 199. There were several ex-Olympians competing. Heat 30-31° and high humidity affected competitors in the longer events but 6 World, 47 European and 121 Championships records were set during the nine sweltering hot days.

Chris Black broke his own M50 British, European and World hammer records with a throw of 66.92m Bob Brown cleared 3.31m in the M70 pole vault to erase the 22- year old World record. Probably the most thrilling race was the M40 400m when Welshman, Darrell Maynard and the flying Dutchman, Eric Roeske, clashed in the final. Roeske broke the 1995 world record of 48.10 to win in 47.86. The British indoor and outdoor record holder (49.0) was pleased with his new national record of 48.74.

BVAF changes name to British Masters Athletic Federation

At the AGM of the BVAF, held after the completion of the first day's events of the Track & Field Championships on July 27th 2002, a motion to change the Federation's name to replace "Veterans" with "Masters" was carried with a clear majority.

2002 BVAF Track & Field Championships

Over 700 athletes took part in our Track & Field Championships on 27/28 July at Barnet Copthall stadium, North London. There were many exciting events, including the M40 100 metres in which all three medallists were given the same time of 11.77. This was the last opportunity for many competitors before they departed for the 13th European Veterans Track & Field Championships in Potsdam from 15-25 August.

315 British veteran athletes have entered the European Championships in Potsdam.

Darrell Maynard, who set a British M40 400m Indoors record (49.99) in February, ran a super 50.02 in Wales. He will be a strong medal contended in Potsdam.

Joe Caines, M50-54 age group, whose son Daniel is currently one of Britain's top 400 internationals, was timed at 54.4 in a 400m relay leg in June.

2002 BVAF Decathlon & Heptathlon Championships.

These championships took place on the weekend of July 20th/21st. Included was the GB versus USA challenge which was won by the Great Britain team. The Clarke Cup Winner (best individual men's score) was John Charlton. The Rawlinson Trophy Winner (best female) was Phil Rashker (USA) who also set a new World W55 heptathlon record and also a new W55 hurdles record.

2002 BVAF Road Relay Championships

The national road relays held in Sutton Park, Birmingham on 18 May attracted 239 clubs. The men aged group 40-49 tackle 8 stages of the exactly 3-mile course; the M50-59 run 6 stages and all other 10-year age groups plus the women do 3 stages.

2002 Cross Country Championships

Four ex Olympic athletes were amongst a huge field entered for the BVAF national cross country championships in Mansfield on 23 March. Nick Rose, who represented GBR in the 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the Men's 50-54 age group by 22 seconds.

The M40-44 title was won by Dr Rob Hand from the NE Veterans club by just 2sec from Andy Wilton, Staff Moorland AC with Bill Foster from the famous Blackheath Harriers third and the defending champion, Julian Critchlow, finishing out of the medals after leading most of the way. The race was one of the most exciting and competitive in its 26-year history.

The women's race over a 5km course was won by Allison Hirst, the current BVAF 10k road title holder, after a great tussle with Helen Burrell from the local Redhill Runners club. Joan Lasenby from the Cambridge & Colridge club was first W40 home in third place overall. A delighted, but previously unknown Maria Holland from Norwich, took the W45 title. She explained that she accompanies her son Josh, a City of Norwich under-13 County representative on his training runs. Sibling rivalry and encouraging shouts from the sidelines helped her to stay close to a leading group until the sanctuary of the finishing line!

Other age group titles went to Gillian Dean from Radley Ladies W50, Carol Wolstenholme came down from Hallamshire to take the W55, Christine Lee from Gosford the W60 and the super Pam Jones from Ilford won yet another W65 championship by over two minutes.

2002 Indoor Track & Field Championships

Six new world and 18 British records were broken at the BVAF Indoor Championships in Glasgow on 16/17 March.

61 year old Ester Linaker from Dunfermline is the first woman over 60 years of age to run a sub 9.00 sec 60m indoors, recording 8.99sec to take the W60-64 title. She is the current World 100/200m gold medallist when she achieved a double at the World Veterans Track & Field Championships in Brisbane last July. Her winning time in the 100m semi final in Brisbane in 14.26 was faster than the 14.28sec recorded by a 23 year old male sprinter at the IAAF World Championships in Edmonton in August!

Veteran runs sub 50 seconds for 400m indoors
Darren Maynard set a new British indoor record of 49.99 to win the M40-44 title in a thrilling race from Kermitt Bentham (50.66). Kermitt holds the M40 outdoor record.

Another world record went in the W55 60m when Val Parsons (Woking AC) rocketed to an 8.64 clocking thus erasing Brunhilde Hoffmann's (Germany) 1997 marks of 8.90. Val followed that up with a 29.49 200m but she has a new world record of 29.21 pending since January. A remarkable feat considering that less than two years ago she was within 20 minutes of death from meningitis.

There was some brilliant running in the men's 200/400 and 800m round the steep banked 4-lane arena when up to 12 finalist were allowed through.

Kevin Burgess set a British M45 60m record in 7.18. Alastair Dunlop and Dave Wilcox clashed again in the M45 800 with Alastair just getting the nod in 2.02.25 to Dave 2.02.90 and again in the 1500. Dave won in 2.12.16 to Alastair 2.12.68sec. Neil Griffin's M50 15.27m shot putt shows good early season form.

43 athletes entered for the indoor pentathlon.

Reminder: Get your entry in as soon as possible for the European Track & Field Championships in Potsdam.

Running Over Forty by Bruce Tulloh

This book came out towards the end of 2001. It has training schedules for all the standard events, at basic level, club level and elite level, with adjustments for the over-50 and over-60 age groups. The contents include:

Bruce and Sue Tulloh have been training and competing for 40 years and coaching successfully for 35 years. This book is the fruit of their experience - and that of the hundreds of veteran athletes who responded to their questionnaire.

The book is obtainable only from Tulloh Books at
The Gatehouse, West Stowell, Marlborough SN8 4JU
price £10.99 plus 99p postage.

2001 Decathlon/Heptathlon Championships

Decathlon/heptathlon competitors

These championships took place in Sheffield on Sep 8th/9th. The competitors included 85-year-old Tony Rawlinson. Click on the picture to get a full screen view. The picture was taken by Brian Slaughter who expressed concern that Tony might be thinking of hanging up his spikes as he was their inspiration!

Success in World Vets Mountain Running Championships

Scotland won 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals in these championships. England won a men's gold and both men's and women's silver. Full results are in Athletics Weekly

George Scutts

It is with great sadness that we record the death of George Scutts, who passed away on Friday December 14th 2001. George will be sadly missed by all veteran friends. He was looking forward to going to the last "Brugges" in 2002.

Mens Health Magazine Article

Alistair Berg is pleased to report that the feature article that he worked on in Birmingham last year is now on the Newstands. He photographed many competitors at the 2000 Indoor Championships and his colleague, Ben, did some interviews. Their work was submitted to Mens Health Magazine who were keen to run it. Unfortunately it has taken over a year to get it in - but at last they have made it!! If anyone is interested it is in the Over 40 supplement with the June issue. The athletes particularly featured are Byron Gray, Adjit Kalirai, Jaroslav Hanus, Tony Crocker, Alan Meddings, Alf Woods, John Ross, Bill Whyte and Bob Fraser.

Chris Maddocks Earns Ovation in Sydney

A British vet achieved the distinction of completing his fifth Olympic race, when he competed in the 50k walk in Sydney. Chris Maddocks, who is a member of Plymouth City Walkers and South West Vets, was the only BVAF affiliated athlete competing at Sydney.

Chris was unfortunate enough to pick up a hamstring problem during the later stages of his preparations, which affected him from early on in the race. This explains why he was nearly an hour slower than the time he achieved earlier in the year. Nevertheless he battled on and received a huge reception when he eventually made it into the stadium.

Queenslander named Masters Athlete of the Year

Queenslander, Alan Bradford was named the 2000 Masters Athlete of the Year at the recent Australian Sport Awards ahead of an elite field of international masters sporting champions.

The 62 year old middle distance specialist won three individual gold medals at the World Veteran's Athletics Championships in Gateshead England in the 60-64 years age group. He set two new world records with a 2:10:42 for the 800m and 6:54:31in the 2,000m steeplechase.

His victory in the 1500m has kept his record of being the only Masters 1500m runner to have ever won the event at World Championships through every age group from the starting age of 40 years.

Alan is determined that the unbroken record will continue at the 14th World Veteran's Athletics Championships when he competes in his home town of Brisbane next year in 2001.

Athletics was also the winning sport in the Australian Masters Team of the Year when the Australian Women's 4 x 400m 55-59 years relay team won the prestigious award. The team of Noreen Parrish, Peggy Maclivor, Anne Long and Anne Stobaus formed together from four different states, to record 4:41:43 to be the only Australian team to win a gold medal at the World Championships. Their winning margin was a crushing 15 seconds ahead of Germany and the USA. The team members are also keen to defend this dashing victory at next year's Championships.

Also in hard training for Brisbane's World Veteran's Athletics Championships is Brisbane's world class pole vaulter, Wilma Perkins who was only narrowly beaten by German vaulter Karin Funke in last year's World Championships. Wilma last week broke her own national pole vault record, clearing 2.65m at a Queensland Masters meet and then went on to dominate the Asia Pacific Games event.

"Whilst these internationally competitive athletes will be searching for world records and medals there will also be a huge number of participants who are seeking only personal bests or just the joy of competing in an international event. That is the success of this event - there is something for everyone," says Kerry Watson, Chair of the local organising committee for the 14th WAVA World Veteran's Athletics Championships.

Brisbane will obviously attract the cream of international athletes to Queensland. However there is also a strong contingent from Australia that are looking for a home town advantage, " says WAVA Chair Kerry Watson.

Falkirk Victoria Harriers

This club, based in Scotland, is celebrating its 100th year in 2001. They are trying to contact past members of the club and in particular past Office Bearers. If anyone has any information please contact the secretary, Ian Tatton on 01501 763879, or E-Mail him at i.tatton@ntlworld.com.

Australian Over 60s post new 10 x 1 mile world record

On the 27th April 2000, at the Beaton Park Athletics Track in Wollongong New South Wales Australia,10 intrepid over 60 members of Kembla Joggers Running Club set what they believe is a World record for a 10 x 1 mile over 60s track relay for 10 fully paid up members of one club. The aggregate time was 68.26. They are now challenging any other running club throughout the world to beat this record. If anyone wishes to take up that challenge, they can contact Eric Brown, email sunnyb5@one.net.au. The club will be attempting to lower this record during the upcoming track season down under.

© 2000-7 British Masters Athletic Federation