From Colin Youngson
THE 47TH INTERNATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP
AT HAMILTON PARK RACECOURSE, SCOTLAND 1960
1 A RHADI (MOROCCO) 43.33 Olympic marathon silver 60
2 GASTON ROELANTS (BELGIUM) 43.40 Olympic steeplechase gold 64
3 JOHN MERRIMAN (WALES) 44.22
4 BASIL HEATLEY (ENGLAND) 44.31 Olympic marathon silver 64
5 H. CLERCKX (BELGIUM) 44.38
6 FRED NORRIS (ENGLAND) 44.42 Olympian 52 and 56, Euro bronze marathon 58
7 ALASTAIR WOOD (SCOTLAND) 44.46
8 FRANK SANDO (ENGLAND) 44.49 European 10.000m bronze 54
9 H. MINSHALL (ENGLAND) 44.53
10 STAN ELDON (ENGLAND) 44.54 European 5000m gold 58
15 GERRY NORTH (ENGLAND) 45.04
18 ALAIN MIMOUN (FRANCE) 45.22 Olympic marathon gold 56
22 GRAHAM EVERETT (SCOTLAND) 45.27 Scottish mile and CC champion
23 BRUCE TULLOH (SCOTLAND via his parents!) 45.28 European 5000m gold 62
34 ANDY BROWN (SCOTLAND) 46.15
41 R. IRVINE (SCOTLAND) 46.35
44 JOE CONNOLLY (SCOTLAND) 46.47
45 STEVE TAYLOR (SCOTLAND) 46.50
53 G. McINTYRE (SCOTLAND) 47.22
55 E. SINCLAIR (SCOTLAND) 47.27
56 A. ROSS (SCOTLAND) 47.33
1st Team England; 2nd Belgium; 3rd France; 4th Morocco; 5th Scotland;
6th Spain; 7th Ireland; 8th Wales.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP MARATHON, BELGRADE SEPTEMBER 1962
(from the Road Runners Club Newsletter)
Brian Kilby’s magnificent win in the marathon has been acclaimed everywhere and we hope the British Champion will go from success to success. (AJW was 2nd to Kilby in the AAA marathon. Kilby went on to win the Commonwealth marathon too.)
Jack Holden won the European Marathon in Brussels 1950, beating the Russian Vanin. This marked the USSR’s entry into world athletics. A rather disappointing period followed in the European and Olympics but our fortunes rose again at Stockholm 1958 when Fred Norris and Peter Wilkinson finished 3rd and 4th to the Russians. Popov won in a world best time of 2 hours 15 minutes. Kilby, ably backed by Alastair Wood, have put us right on top as far as Europe is concerned. We wish Ron Hill better luck next time.
BRIAN KILBY “We arrived in Belgrade about an hour or so before dusk. The weather was fine and quite cool at first ……..Then it became very hot……Training was going quite well although I was having difficulty in keeping with Ron and Alastair, both of whom seemed to grow more confident as the week wore on. After Wednesday I started to ease my training down to less and less each day. When Sunday came it was still extremely hot. We all had rolls and honey for lunch to save any mix up with the waiters who had been most helpful all week.
We arrived at the Army Stadium to see the Russians going round the warming up track in full tracksuits. We found a cool spot and waited. The course was bad, cobblestones for the first 11 miles, just about all of which was uphill. The pace suited me very well and I tucked in with the three Russians behind a bunch of about 20. Up to about 7 miles there was little change but after that we moved through to about 10th equal. Alastair was in the leading bunch with Torgersen of Denmark for company. After the turn at 11 miles the road became much better and so did the pace. Ozog the Pole was still way out in front as he had been unwisely from the start. We moved to the front and the third Russian made a good break, followed shortly afterwards by Baikov and then myself. At the 25km checkpoint I moved past Baikov into 3rd position. Shortly before 30km Vandendriessche caught up with me and said he thought the Russian had had it. He didn’t stay with me however, and at 30km I went into the lead. From then on I was never headed. Throughout, the race had gone as smoothly as if run to a self-made plan. I found the trip most enjoyable.”
ALASTAIR WOOD “In the days leading up to the race, I must say that I shared the universal opinion that the anticipated high temperatures would prove disastrous to those competitors unused to hard physical activity under such conditions. Indeed, it was difficult not to; fellow competitors, visitors, reporters, officials invariably made some facetious reference to the ‘wonderful sunshine’, or reassured us, in much the same way as one comforts the prisoner soon to mount the gallows, that ‘it won’t be too bad’. For our part, we three scanned the horizons for clouds and rain!
Fortunately the theorists were proved wrong. In the event, the humidity of the atmosphere was very low, and in addition only in the initial stages of the race were we exposed to any extent to strong direct sunlight. By the end of the first hour the temperature was falling rapidly from its afternoon peak of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and could not have been much about 60 F at the finish. Furthermore, we had taken adequate precautions during the preceding week to avoid dehydration and to maintain the level of body salt.
As to the race itself, I cannot recall any time when I felt unable to continue. In fact the most harrowing part was getting started. For days before the race I had steadfastly refused to admit to myself the torments that lay ahead. In the few minutes in the stadium before the start, I was forced to face what I had to do. As we lined up, Kantorek introduced himself with a rueful expression and the two words ‘Too hot’ – at least I had a fellow sufferer!
From our tour of inspection earlier we knew the course was a tough one, and accordingly, bearing in mind the probable intense heat, Brian and I agreed that the best plan was to take things comfortably during the first half of the race, anticipating that most of the others would over reach themselves in the early stages. If somebody got too far away to be caught, that would be just too bad. We felt it was a calculated risk, especially as it seemed reasonably certain that very few would break two and a half hours.
As it happened, things turned out very well (perfectly for Brian, in fact!) We were able to run easily and stay with the leaders, apart from Ozog who went mad at the start and paid for it later. From half way, Brian went farther and farther away. His magnificent running was at least the equal of any other performance at the Games, despite the almost total lack of publicity it received in our ‘fashionable’ athletics publications.
I held on to Baikov as long as possible, but as yet without the basic strength to fight hard all the way, (AJW had only started running marathons that year) I had to let ‘discretion be the better part of valour’ and relax over the last 4 or 5 miles.
The organisation of the race was extremely efficient. The feeding points offered just about every possible beverage short of Scotch Whisky. The only difficulty was getting a sponge out of a bucket without actually breaking your stride! After 3 feeding stations and 3 overturned buckets I developed an almost perfect vulture-like swoop.
Passing down the dark tunnel towards the dazzling lights of the arena, is probably the nearest I shall ever come to entering the gates of Paradise.”
RON HILL “When I think of Belgrade, it is with disappointment. In fact the greatest disappointment of my athletic career. For the record, and I must have been asked a thousand times, here is what happened.
I stayed with the leading bunch for about 6 miles and felt fine. Then towards the end of the initial 7 miles climb I began to slip to the back of the group. Worse was to come, for on the next 4 and a half miles downhill stretch I lost even more ground and found it an effort to maintain any pace at all. From then on and along the climb to the 30km point, I just got worse and worse until I reached level ground and found that my thighs were just not functioning at all. I stopped, and that was it. I’ve had bad days before, but to have one in a race like that was extremely upsetting.
However the poverty of my performance was more than matched by the excellence of the running of Brian Kilby and Alastair Wood. Considering the toughness of the course, Brian’s time was very worthy of the European Champion, and I wish him every success in Perth, Australia.”
1 KILBY (GB) 220.127.116.11
2 VANDENDRIESSCHE (BELGIUM ) 18.104.22.168
3 BAIKOV (USSR) 22.214.171.124
4 WOOD (GB) 2.25.57
5 KANTOREK (CZECHOSLOVAKIA) 126.96.36.199
6 POPOV (USSR) 188.8.131.52
7 TORGERSEN (DENMARK) 2.30.4
8 MUSTAPIC (YUGOSLAVIA) 184.108.40.206
OZOG (POLAND) 2.30.33
22 FINISHED (including runners from Eire, Hungary, Germany, Sweden, France and Switzerland). Hill (GB), a Spaniard, a Yugoslavian, a Turk, an Italian and a Russian did not finish.