BMAF News Update

Author: Bridget Cushen, Honorary Secretary

We thrust you, your family and friends are all safe and well and that you are able to keep fit whilst we are all trapped in the panopticon of lock-down.

You should have by now received your entry fee refund from the European Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Braga that had to be postponed, if you paid by PayPal. If you used another method there would have been a long delay as the Organisers had to manually process such a high number. We had a team of 348 ready to go.

Our last Championships just before lock-down was the Cross-Country for which Mel James and Rob Fox had found such an inviting and testing course on the Rhug Estate in Corwen, North Wales. Age Group winners were honoured to accept their trophy from Lord Newborough; he was so keen to host the event, he whizzed around the course on his trike encouraging all the 200-plus runners. The Indoor Championships was held the week before on 14 March at Lee Valley, attracting a record entry.

World Masters Athletics are currently reviewing all their Championships.

Although Championships are all on hold, the BMAF Executive have been kept almost as busy as ever. We had a virtual Executive Meeting and a well attended Delegates Meeting at which your Club was represented. The virtual 5 km relays are attracting huge interest.

Sadly the following are no longer with us:

SVHC announced the deaths of

  • John Freebairn, a Coach and thrower
  • Jack Maclean a founding member of Scottish Veteran Harriers Club aged 90,
  • Don Macgregor, Olympian and Commonwealth Games marathoner (7th at the Munich Olympics in 1972), won the 10,000 m at the World Vets in Hanover in 1979 and the World Vets Marathon in Glasgow in 1980
  • James Munn aged 86.

Tony Challis EMAC aged 89, a race walker and former runner

SCVAC’s M65 Terry Hall, a prolific competitor at all disciplines. He was 7th in the M60 100mH/300mH at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth in 2016 and has now sadly succumbed to cancer.

Olympian Andy Green was a member at one time. He had one other ambition before hanging up his spikes; when he gets to 40 he was going to smash the British Veterans 800/1500m record. Our Track & Field Championships were that year, 1993. held in Melksham. Fit and rearing to go over the 1500m on the Saturday were two young M40 bucks who also had their eyes on the title, Mike Wrenn from Tipton Harriers and Mike Cadman, Coventry Godiva. Andy set off ambitiously, unfortunately it was windy and the Midlanders were strong off a cross-country season, overhauling him in the home straight. Undaunted, Andy would, he thought, surely be faster over the 800m the next day. The wind had not abated overnight, the Midland duo were on the start line again and in a final that a cardiac surgeon would have waived a red flag in front of, the titanic battle down that home straight was more reminiscant of a 100m dash. Wrenn went on to win. Andy remained a supporter and he organised one of our 10km road races in Southend after he retired from racing. He passed away in April aged 77.

Our condolence to all their families.