Well done to all the athletes and marshalls who braved the elements yesterday in Harrow Rec Park for the mini marathon trials. The results are online here and team selection letters will go out in the next week . Below are photos of the event –
The Club wil be holdinging its Annual General Meeting on Friday 23rd March 2018 at 7:30pm at the Church Hall, Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury. Details are in the attached AGM notice.
The AGM is an important point in the year for the club and we are particularly keen for anybody who would like to volunteer their time, no matter how much, to help the running of the club. At the moment there are a small number of people who ensure that our athletes have the best opportunities to train and compete, but we need more. So if you can help in any way, please consider either replying, speaking to any of the existing committee members or coaches or attending the AGM. It would be great to welcome more people into the club!
The time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds is legendary not only in Britain but throughout the sporting world. It was the time Sir Roger Bannister recorded when famously he became the first person to break the four-minute mile barrier in the late afternoon at Iffley Road Sports Ground in Oxford on 6th May 1954. It was simply one of the great global sporting achievements of the twentieth century that went far beyond Athletics.
It’s no wonder that Lord Sebastian Coe, who later went on to break the world mile record himself, said,
“This is a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics…There is not a single athlete of my generation who was not inspired by Roger and his achievements both on and off the track.”
Along with the whole world of Athletics, everyone connected with Harrow Athletics Club and the Harrow Half Marathon, mourns his death at the age of 88. We treasure the connections he had with Harrow and how his achievements encouraged and motivated runners of all ages.
Sir Roger was born in Harrow in 1929, lived in Butler Road and was a pupil at Vaughan Primary School. Sir Roger was a member of the school running team and that athletics and sporting tradition goes on. Vaughan is a lead school for PE in Harrow and every year has its annual sports day at the Bannister track in Hatch End. Later on, he lived in Whitmore Road, overlooking the grounds of Harrow School, and trained locally.
He went on to study medicine at Oxford and saw running as something to be done in his spare time. Nevertheless, he was selected for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki where he came fourth in the 1500 metres, breaking the British record. He then focused on becoming the first person to break the four-minute mile. After coming close several times, he finally achieved that goal in May 1954 with the help of another two Athletics legends – Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway.
The Australian John Landy broke his record in June that year and they went on to race each other in early August at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in what was dubbed ‘The Miracle Mile’. It was an epic contest with Bannister narrowly beating his rival to take the gold medal. Later that month, he won ‘the Metric Mile’ at the European Championships in Bern. By the end of that year, he’d retired to concentrate on his medical career and he later became a consultant neurologist.
In 2011, he was diagnosed with the neurological disorder Parkinson’s disease. He subsequently told the BBC:
“I have seen, and looked after, patients with so many neurological and other disorders that I am not surprised I have acquired an illness…It’s in the nature of things, there’s a gentle irony to it.”
I rang him last year as we were planning the Harrow Half Marathon. We wanted him to lend his name to the Family Mile we were staging alongside the main race and spoke briefly. He sounded frail but said, “I can’t stop you” with what I sensed was a twinkle in his voice. I think he was pleased that another generation would benefit from his sporting legacy and that the foundations of a stellar athletics career that were laid over eighty years ago had not been forgotten.
March 4th 2018
Glorious sunshine greeted a mammoth 2328 runners in the senior men’s National Cross Country championship race held at Parliament Hill fields on Saturday.
Despite a good number of athletes entered, the senior men only managed to field 3 runners due to injury and illness taking its toll on the rest of the squad. Jim Cooper got stuck behind masses of runners at the start so had to work his way through the field to his eventual finishing position of 418th, Declan Traynor also had similar problems navigating his way through the field to place 726th. Nick Andrews had a good run in 1244th.
There were also great results from Eilish O’Grady who placed 19th in the Junior Womens race and Lucy Ashe was 61st in the Senior Women’s event. The club was also represented in many of the junior age groups but did not manage to close in any teams.
Elsewhere the eagle eyed amongst you will also have seen Marilyn Nwawulor on the TV today competing in Glasgow at the Muller Grand Prix event and this follows on the news that Marilyn has been selected for next week’s IAAF world indoor championships to be held in Birmingham! Marilyns time today for the 60M Hurdles was 8.24s – good luck in the worlds Marilyn – heats on Friday 6pm!
The results are now available here and here’s a few photos of our super young athletes in action 🙂