England's failure to hold the International Cross-Country Championship at San Sebastian last weekend was only by a margin of three points, yet at no time in the race did the team succeed in packing together in the well-tested manner that draws from each runner his best.
The damage was done by the destroying pace set from the start by the Continent's leading six-milers.
Roy Flowler's win was a remarkable performance. This Staffordshire runner at our National Championships a fortnight ago, in which he finished second to Basil Heatley, damaged a leg when running with one foot on a long concrete path and the other on a grass verge.
This injury caused him so much trouble that only a few days before departure for Spain he considered reporting unfit, to race. His Staffordshire team manager whose advice he sought, persuaded him to hold on a day or two longer in the hope that the continued rest would bring recovery as indeed it did.
Some steady running followed, and then in the, 1962 track season, he staggered everyone by winning the greatest six miles race ever seen In the A.A.A. Championships. Winning by inches from Bullivant of Derby, he set a new United Kingdom and a Commonwealth record of 27 mins. 49.8 secs. From there he went on to a bronze medal in the European Championships at 10,000 metres.
Ron Barlow led the way to the tape in 40 minutes 16 seconds for the 81/4 miles, and was followed after an interval of 8 seconds by his
The value of the Wallasey runners' performances should not be under-rated. The field was of top-class third and fourth were two of Lancashire's crack team Dave Swarbrick and Colin Robinson, and the second and third teams were Rochdale 21 points and Bolton
At Sefton Park next week, the Liverpool District Road Relay Championship will be held for the G. Neville White trophy. This annual event will be run on the outer roads of the park, the start, change-overs and finish taking place near the People's Hall, Aigburth Vale.
Through the serious illness of the secretary, Stan Lubbock, a number of persons are assisting in the organisation. A special appeal is made to clubs to rally round with course stewards, who are indispensable and these officials are asked to report to Bill Fitzsimmons at the Scout Headquarters, Aigburth Vale, before 2 p.m.
A very big entry of 47 teams has been received for the boys' cross-country relay at Victoria Park, Warrington, next Saturday. Twenty-nine teams are in the youth race, and these include Thames Valley Harriers, Tipton Harriers and the leading Lancashire and Yorkshire clubs.