Blog Archives


  Craig Sharp, who died recently, was such a gent that when he first contacted me in 1983, pursuant to an article I had written about Jarmila Kratochvílová, he was kind enough to say that though I may not know the tortuous twists and turns of variable sexuality, he felt that I had implicitly understood […]

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Posted in Butcher's Blog | 4 Comments


  So now we know how to beat the East Africans. Simply arrange for (close) to zero temperatures, high winds, and incessant, driving rain, as happened in the Boston Marathon on Monday. Of the dozen and a half East Africans, thirteen failed to finish; and from having no US women’s winner since 1985, five of […]

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Posted in Archive, Marathon | 1 Comment


  Andrey Zvyagintsev may just be the most important film-maker to come out of Russia since Andrey Tarkovsky. But whereas Tarkovsky’s cinematic vignettes, suffused with unforgettable poetic imagery and symbolism often take a while to unfold in the mind, Zvyagintsev’s social commentary has a more immediate impact, including a firmly contemporary political one. Nevertheless, there […]

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Posted in Archive, Other Business | Leave a comment


  In addition to seven men under two hours, five minutes, and four women under 2.20 – in both cases, more than the aggregate for all last year’s marathons – the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon last Friday landed the considerable coup of having world record holder Paula Radcliffe as a race commentator. As well as […]

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Posted in Archive, Marathon | Leave a comment


  One of the biggest drawbacks to having a charmed childhood is the lurking suspicion that, sooner or later, things are going to go wrong. As a baby-boomer in the UK, I benefited from the post-war sense of social cohesion, abetted by the introduction of the National Health Service and the Education Act. Not that […]

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Posted in Archive | 5 Comments


  The name of Walt Murphy is barely known in UK athletics circles and, I suspect not much more so in the USA, outside of statisticians, of whom he is one. But Walt, who got interested in athletics when his cousin Tom Murphy became a US international runner in the late 1950s, issues an excellent […]

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Posted in Archive | 4 Comments