Blog Archives


  When former IAAF President Lamine Diack was sentenced to four years in prison, two suspended, for corruption by a court in Paris last week, I was going to revisit the whole sorry saga; but, apart from the fact that the 87 years old Diack is never going to get banged up (he’s already been […]

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Posted in Butcher's Blog | 3 Comments


  Saturday, September 19 is the 98th anniversary of the birth of Emil Zátopek – and, coincidentally that of his wife, Dana Zátopková who only died a few weeks ago. Emil died in 2000. As you will doubtless know, the couple won Olympic gold medals within a half an hour of each other, Emil in […]

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  Here’s a piece of arcana which should be of particular interest to runners and athletics aficionados of my generation, ie anyone over 60. I was browsing my bookshelves of Saturday evening, as one tends to do with increasing frequency whenever the Plague is stalking the pubs and restaurants, which would be my natural weekend […]

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  Two years after Paavo Nurmi won what would turn out to be the last cross country race (so far) at the Olympic Games, in Paris 1924, the Inter-Counties cross country championship was born, in Beaconsfield, west of London. During close to a century, the ‘inter-counties’ graduated to being second only to the English ‘national’ […]

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Posted in Archive, Debate | 5 Comments


  You’ll recognise the face and the frame, and some of you, particularly those from north London might recognise the teeshirt. But what you might ask, is Saïd Aouita doing in a Muswell Hill Runners vest? Apologies for the shadow on the shirt, but the man responsible for it and for persuading Aouita to pose […]

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  Dana Zátopková, the 1952 Olympic javelin champion died yesterday (Friday), aged 97, at home in Prague; thus ends one of the most famous families in Olympic history. Though an Olympic and twice European champion (and silver in the Rome Olympics 1960), as well as a world record holder, during most of her competitive life, […]

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Posted in Archive, Obits | 2 Comments