Only two senior members of the Wallasey Athletic Club and one junior member, were able to make the journey to the season's national championships last Saturday at Parliament Fields, London.
When the junior field of over 300 runners started on their six mile journey in sunny conditions quite unlike the usual wintry background associated with these championships, it was soon evident that Brian Chalton was intent on establishing his position amongst the first fifty British junior distance runners. At about two miles, when the large field had at last strung out a little, Chalton was lying 58th and for the remainder of the race he steadily worked his way through to eventually finish very strongly in 28th position. With the exception of Ron Barlow this is the highest position obtained in the national junior championship by a Wallasey runner, and after a season when he has most unselfishly run as a senior for team reasons, this performance in his own age group must indeed have been a satisfying one for this continually improving athlete.
In the senior and over nine miles race, Ron Barlow was again struggling to find his form and confidence in finishing 305th, but Kevin Mather turned in his best performance of the season to finish 184th in a tremendous field of approximately 1,000 runners.
Mather was one of the first Merseyside runners home, but the main local achievement was unquestionably that of Liverpool Harrier Mike Turner in finishing 6th and so gaining a place in the team of nine to represent England in the forthcoming international at Nantes.
Turner ran ,a well balanced race against top class opposition, but when one considers that Wallasey's own John Wright has beaten Turner it is clear not only a very marginal degree of fitness and ability decides these coveted places in the national team.