Athlete of the year 2019

Kevin Dillon

The club is once again to make an award to one female and one male member of the senior section who is considered to be the outstanding athlete of the year, following the popularity of previous years’ awards. This will take the form of a tankard and, in order to make a representative choice, I am asking all members of the senior section to vote for the member they consider deserves the award most.

The choice does not necessarily have to be a club champion. Factors worthy of consideration would include a substantial improvement over the year, an outstanding result in a particular meeting, or you may like to consider a contribution to the coaching side of the club or a member who has represented the club in a manner deserving of recognition. Members aged at least 15 years can make nominations. Awards will be made at the Christmas Handicaps on 22nd December and nominations will be accepted on the day.

Vote here:

Alternatively, you can send your nominations to Kevin Dillon

  • By post to 22 Ashdene Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4WX
  • By email to

Previous winners were:

Alison Morris (1997), Debbie Beresford (1998, 2003 and 2005), Lindsay Wraxall (1999), Emma McIntyre (2000), Jean Skitt (2001 and 2010), Lynne Schofield (2002), Brenda Bradshaw (2004), Holly Thomas (2006), Cara Kavanagh (2007), Charlotte Holmes (2008), Anousheh Mahjoob (2009), Karen Spilsbury (2011), Wendy Woodhead (2012), Gemma Hopley (2013), Emma Tolond (2014), Melanie Barber (2015 and 2016), Caroline Baba (2017) and Alice Stiles (2018).

Tony Keller (1987), Chris O’Brien (1988), Dave Gee (1989), George Lawson (1990), Frank Bradley (1991), Tony MacDonald (1992), Joe Moran (1993), Steve Yates (1994), Mike Cunningham (1995), Carl Summers (1996 and 2011), Mike Morris (1997), Peter Ferguson (1998), Vic Blanchard and Achim Schüle (joint award in 1999), Arnold Bradshaw (2000), Andy Donnelly (2001), Andy Skitt (2002 and 2009), Aaron Rodger (2003), Ciaran Fitzpatrick (2004), Phil Holmes (2005), Kes Salmon (2006 and 2015), David Henshaw (2007), Liam Bartlett (2008), Mikey Fennell (2010), Ed Fazakerley (2012 and 2018), Julian Ernst (2013), Jason Brogan (2014), Ian Fennell (2016) and Matt Coxon (2017).

Richard Wilde – Remembered

On the 24th September 2019 Richard Wilde, a highly talented yet modest life member of our club, passed away at the age of 73.

Richard Wilde 1945-2019

Richard was a Life Member of Manchester Harriers & Athletic Club serving at times on the committee as well as setting cross country courses. He had an illustrious running career but was extremely modest about his achievements and shunned publicity. He was successful over many surfaces and distances, excelling on the fells, cross country, road and indoors.

In 1970, at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Vienna, he won Gold in the 3,000 metres with a new world record time of 7:46.85. That same year he came sixth and took Team Gold in the International Cross Country Championships. His versatility was obvious when he achieved what was to become a legendary time in the Lantern Pike fell race. He is the only person to break 30 minutes for the race. He also won the classic Fairfield Horseshoe race as well as Lyme Park, Great Hill and Edenfield – some of them in record times.

Richard Wilde 1970 European Athletics Indoor Championships, Vienna, 3000m Gold

He improved his marathon time of 2:23.04 in the 1972 Maxol Marathon to 2:14.43 when he won the 1979 Grandma’s Marathon in Minnisota, USA. Two years later he ran the same race two seconds faster, 2:14.41, finishing fourth. In 1978 he won the Paavo Nurmi Marathon in Iron County, Wisconsin, USA in 2:19.10. The hilly terrain, the humidity and the August heat contributed to the slower time but he had set a course record which stood for many years until the course was changed.

Richard Wilde 1977 setting the Lantern Pike Fell Race record of 29:12. This records still stands

Richard was in his prime in a very different era to that of today. Rather than huge sums of money, a typical prize would be a tea set. On one occasion, having won a race overseas, he was presented with a SHOTGUN which he brought home on the plane – a different era indeed!

Richard was a complex character and something of a perfectionist as he demonstrated on many occasions when setting cross country courses. His reluctance to talk about his own running, whilst regrettable for all those of us who would have loved to listen, added to his charm. He was well liked and respected and will be missed. It was a privilege to know him.

Arnold Bradshaw

Video: A.A.A. Championships 1969

Below is a highlights video of the 1969 A.A.A Championships at White City. Ricky is bib #21 finishing 3rd – at about 2 mins and 40 seconds into this video, direct link to the start here:

Other Articles and Tributes

Neil Shuttleworth wrote a lovely article with some insight into Ricky’s races.

Pike Racers includes him in their history of the Lantern Pike fell race.

Wikipedia has an entry.

It is with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Richard Wilde. Very much his own man and a wonderful Athlete and human being. His exploits are well documented of course and hard to imagine that behind that sometimes vague expression was a man of steely determination. I last saw him in January of this year when visiting Ron Hill, a near neighbour. After chatting for about 20 minutes in his lounge he insisted on walking back with me down the hill to Ron’s home. A caring attitude, much lacking in today’s world. Rest in peace Richard.

Stan Taylor

Richard Wilde 1945-2019

It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the death of Richard Wilde at the age of 73. Richard was a member for more than 50 years. An exceptionally talented runner, he went on to serve on the Committee and continued to help the Club host many events.

A full review of his achievements will be posted soon. Richard died in hospital on the 24th September 2019.

Emil Voigt awarded IAAF World Heritage plaque

Manchester Harriers have an athlete in the first 10 inductees of the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque, the first British athlete to do so.
Emil was the last British athlete to win a long-distance running gold medal at the Olympic Games prior to Mo Farah’s 2012 double. Voigt’s success was 104 years earlier at the first London Olympic Games where he triumphed in the 5-mile event in a time of 25:11.

Christmas Handicap and Sports Personality Results 2016

Congratulations to Ian Fennell and Mel Barber for winning the Sportsman and woman of the year awards. Carl Summers and George Lawson were runners up in the men’s award, and  Emily Hughes and Jessica Morrissey were runners up in the women’s award.

In the Christmas Handicap, well done to Mo Fox for winning the senior’s race, and Steffi Berndt for winning the junior race.

Download the seniors results here and the junior results here

Adidas Thunder Run 2015

A couple of reviews from last weekend’s Thuinder Run……

Thunder Run Extravaganza

It was the day before the unknown, and we were heading towards our destination, replacing rainy Manchester for rainy Derbyshire. Thoughts of ‘why are we doing this?’ had been circulating since the planning meeting. A meeting which main results consisted of the true nature of Chris’ hole in the head being revealed and Jason being told he resembled an epileptic chihuahua. The odds were stacked against us.

Despite all this, the team of 5 (James, Jason, Chris, Lloyd and myself, as the token female) were excited to be taking on a new running challenge. The Thunder Run being a 24 hour race, consisting of 10k loops. The main aim of the game, is to run as many laps as possible in the designated time. Teams vary in size and combos. The course is basically a cross country course, equipped with the usual delights of a few hills and some woodlands.
Upon arrival at the gates to Catton Park, which is similar to what I imagine those of heaven being like, we not only found James but we also found a man to direct us in.Territory had been well and truly claimed in the form of mass acres of land being taped off in the anticipation of a the appearance of faraway running tribes. After some borderline panic we found an extremely good spot to set up camp, not too far from the start and finish area. The swift actions of putting the tents up, getting stuff out of car and temporally removing car, allowed some time for a pre-race glass of South African Shiraz.
Saturday morning, and the party really got started with the arrival of Chris and Lloyd. Off we strutted to the pre-race briefing, all full of the joys.It was at this point that Captain Jason, was summoned to the start area. The rest of us tottled off to find a good spot to take some photos of the start. Whilst waiting patiently for the starting gun, an old estates man of the Thunder Run, enlightened us about the course, in a nutshell – ‘most’ of the tree routes are painted in luminous paint for the night time shifts. The gun went, Jason ran past somewhere in the midst of the crowd, spider man sprayed us with his spider web and the chihuahua managed to teleport itself threw the railings and was standing on the course.
On Jason’s return he was quizzed about the nature of the beast. His instant reaction of ‘that was really difficult’ was later replaced by ‘it’s not as bad as I thought’. Those still to run decided to cling on in desperation to the latter. The sun decided to make an appearance as I began my first lap. Most would have seen this as a good omen. I made friends with a man who took his top off. But found the course enjoyable anyway. Due to the nature of our tactics, which differed to every other team (!) Chris, our secret nighttime weapon, ended up doing most of his runs in the dark. And he did it very well. Unlike me who managed to run off the course a few times and land awkwardly in a small ditch. Special shout out to James, who in true team spirit, shared his superior head torch.
Sunday is greeted with many a groan, in want of a better term, we’d all pretty much ‘had it’. But solidered on regardless. An executive decision was made that the last lap should be walked. So that’s what happened, with some photography opportunities and accidentally getting in the way of other runners thrown in. James and Chris’s smiley faces greeted myself and Jason as we completed the last 400m together, as a team, minus Lloyd who’d had to dash off to Argos to buy replacement toothbrush heads, obviously.
All in all, the Thunder Run 2015 was challenging but like nothing any of us had every done. We managed a respectable 22nd out of 113, in the mixed 5 category.  I now dream of the 8K marker and the general consensus is that we’ll be back next year. As will you Dear Reader, after reading this inspiring report.
Emma Tolond

The Thunder Run: A lot can happen in 24 hours

The concept of the unparalleled Thunder Run is simple. Mark out one 10K lap of the Staffordshire countryside and challenge people to do as many of these laps as they can in 24 hours. You can do it on your own if you like, in a pair, small or larger team. You can do 1 lap, more than 20 laps or just sit and watch. You can walk a lap or run it as fast as you can, it’s up to you.

Over the years the Thunder Run has built up cult status amongst the running community. Jason had secured us our valued place as a mixed team of 3-5 runners; Jason, Lloyd, Emma, Chris and me. We really had no idea what to expect. The day arrived sooner than we expected and we set out about somelast minute prep, lap negotiation and a little training.
Jason, Emma and me arrived at the site to heavy rain and a scene resembling

Glastonbury 1997. Other clubs from across the UK had got there early and cordoned off large areas and we struggled to find a place until we came across a perfect spot quite near the start line and close to some toilets. We went to sleep with heavy rain around us and some trepidation.

We woke to blue skies and sunshine! Chris and Lloyd arrived later and we had a look around. The start line was fringed by runner’s merchandise outlets, food stalls and a traditional red British Bus converted into a bar. The relay changeover looked straightforward with a sheltered pen where the next runner waits to be handed over to. There was a briefing of sorts, then the whole site gathered to witness in huge anticipation the very start of this 24 hour race.

Jason kicked off with lap 1, knocked out 46 minutes, but came back with tales of horror. We would need spikes. The mud would get worse. The hills are long and hard. It twists and turns. Lloyd next, who is no fan of XC, but he ran soundly and we cheered him on as he got up that last steep hill. Jason again, then Lloyd, then on to Emma, with another strong run. The ground seemed to be drying out now, we were ahead of time and feeling good about ourselves.

!My first lap was pure running joy, like a rollercoaster. An anxious wait, then on to the course, a long climb up, then tumbled down and around the twisty forest trails. At some point I was spat out into the campsite itself and ran past tents holding well intentioned, but comfortable spectators. Then back into the forest, up something called the Conti run, a marked out steep Strava segment, then along a high ridge with clear views of Staffordshire. From 8K it is downhill, through the campsite, a steep, but short hill and back.

Emma again, then me, then Chris, who loved the course, then Jason, then Lloyd, then Jason and then …… Lloyd. He came back looking like death, prodigiously ate all the snacks he could, then retired to bed with just the occasional sounds of cramp induced yelps (and later on snores), to be heard from his pod. It was getting dark now and things were starting to get serious. On to me for my first night lap. I’d never run in the pitch black before, but basically it was like a rollercoaster in the dark. In other words a whole lot of fun. But my second night run was no fun at all, in fact it was a bit of a slog. I was starting to get tired. Whilst I slept it was Chris, then Jason, then Lloyd and then Emma. Everyone was struggling now and my morning lap was just a question of getting round with no chance of another. I arrived back expecting Emma, but her leg was injured from a slip on her night run, so Chris had been moved forward despite running nearly all night. We’d all done 5 laps with Jason doing 6.

We decided a final lap would be walked by Jason and Emma. The rest of us waited near the end of the lap and we all walked it in together, which I’d like to say we did arm in arm, but the others ran on at the end leaving me limping behind, no longer capable of running! A lot had happened in 24 hours, but we’d made it, run 270K, averaged 50ish minutes per 10K and came 22nd out of 113 teams.

There’s a famous quote that if you want to win something run 100m, but if you want to experience something run a marathon. To this I’d add if you want to experience a little more do the Thunder Run. There’s room within the concept for everyone to experience it their way. Whether it be the crazy solo runners, the club runners trying to do the best for the team, the running hobbyists happy to enjoy a few laps or the spectators cheering on their team whilst enjoying a BBQ and a few beers. We hope you’ll join us and do it in your way next year!

James Hinde
Some photos here
Full results here

Trinity Perruzza-Powell comes 3rd in ESSA 100m

Trinity came 3rd in the junior girls 100m at the English Schools AA Champs at Gateshead. This is a great results for her in her first year competing and she achieved a personal best of 12:46 sec.

In 1500m, Emily Hughes and Alice Stiles competed in the Greater Manchester Team and gave great performances, narrowly missing out on getting to the finals.

Massive well done to all the athletes that took part.

Some photos here