Written by Alan Roberts on 18/11/2015

In memoriam.

Ron was born in Grimsby and started running in the fields at Grimsby back in 1946. Before joining the Vale Ron was a member Derby Athletic Club for 25 years and was a good club runner for them over the Half Mile and Mile. He was also part of Derby’s 12 Stage road relay winning team. Ron joined the Vale in the late 70’s (1979?), by which time he was a Veteran. He was then only a 25 to 35 miles a week enthusiast and never a fanatic, but still achieved a 2 hour 40 mins marathon as a veteran 40 which was at the time the second fastest time by a veteran, only to be denied the Club record when narrowly being beaten by his rival Ken Fiddler in the same race at Glasgow. A few years later though he ran 2.41 as a vet 50 to set a club record which lasted 18 years.

The 80’s and 90’s saw Ron with Ken Fiddler and Pat Ferguson travelling and competing in Europe in Veteran competitions and with the addition of Ron Gomez and Ian Addison he was part of a formidable Vale force in the Southern Veterans relays.

Ron always had club athletics close to his heart and worked hard for the Vale of Aylesbury Athletic Club. Ron was a former Chairman of the club and was involved with the Club’s centenary celebrations and along with Dick Hills researched and wrote the Centenary book.

Ron brought the British Masters Half Marathon to Aylesbury as part of the Rex Foulkes half marathon and organised the first ever BMAF National Vets road relays in 1988 which was held in Tring. There is an over 60 team trophy named after him that was awarded until 2012.

Ron was a founding member of Tring Running Club and was involved with the organisation of the once popular Tring 10km.

Although Ron was not a qualified Marathon coach he mentored Jean Gillard to a 3.00.42 time in London in 1988 which stood as a club record for 25 years as well as guiding John Gibson through a sub 3 hour clocking 2.59.35 in Rome 2000 when John was just short of turning 50.

Ron’s last Competitive race was in the BVAF Cross Country championships at Grimsby in 2000 where it all started for him, although he did manage a final run in 2000 a few weeks short of his 69th birthday running 47 mins for a 10km at Bicester!

Ron was a member of Midland Vets AC and a regular correspondent in the Midland Vets newsletter even in 2014! In 2000 after the race in Grimsby where he hanged up his spikes he wrote “I hope to get to a few events if not too far from home and will continue to help the Vale of Aylesbury in some small capacity or other from time to time” Ron was true to his word and was always seen at the Ridgeway Run in Tring where he lived giving words of encouragement to the Vale runners that would pass him on route.   Along with this was a poem he wrote which sums up Ron’s running life…

Packing It All In by Ron Blastland, 25 April 2000


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