Blog Archives


  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


  The stable door was wide open, and the shoe manufacturers (of whatever stripe) just drove the coach and horses, loaded with super-shoes, right out; and there’s no catching them. And closing the door now, as World Athletics is reportedly about to do is going to serve no useful purpose. Publicity and profit-driven enterprise has […]

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Posted in Archive | 3 Comments