The weather was in complete contrast to that of the previous week, strong wind, heavy rain, soft ground becoming waterlogged then churned up into mud as the races progressed. Many parts of the course had a covering of water and other parts were almost knee deep in mud. Spike shoes were the order of the day but didn't give very much grip under such adverse conditions, it was rather akin to scrambling over mossy rocks with leather soled shoes on.
The changing rooms were at Sutton Manor colliery where the manager and staff provided excellent facilities, unlimited supplies of hot water and heated changing rooms which undoubtedly saved many an athlete from catching a chill. On behalf of the Wallasey athletes who used these most welcome facilities I would like to thank you Mr. McCraken and staff of Sutton Manor Colliery for looking after them so well.
From the start of the senior race, which consisted of one small lap of 1 mile, and three big laps of 2 miles each, Barlow was in the leading group with John Wright. Ron Barlow with his tremendous strength and fitness revelled in the conditions which prevailed and took an unchallenged lead by the first mile. From then on Ron enjoyed his romp in the mud, increasing his lead all the time. The worse the conditions the better Ron seems to run, for he hardly seemed short of breath when he finished about 150-200 yards up on second-placed man Lee of Wigan and yet nearly everyone else thought the going was very tough indeed. John Wright, a runner who relies more on natural speed than strength, found the going rough, and finished fourth having held third place for a long while. John Young, now beginning to show more signs of fitness started very fast but soon found the heavy going tiring and dropped back to midfield where Dave Field caught him up. After running together and working up through the field Young drew ahead of Field to gain 30th place with Field in 38th place. Carl gee ran very well, even to finish being quite a feat for a discus thrower, and finished 57th ahead of Hugh Pritchard, who completed Wallasey's team in 57th place. Wirral were first team with 44 pts. And Wallasey were 4th with 189 pts.
The junior race of 5 miles, 1 short and 2 long laps, was the last race of the afternoon on a very cut up course. John Hughes was the first of the Wallasey quartet across the line in 17th place. Mark Aldridge still down on form but starting to improve, finished 24th place; while Tony who is starting to do some longer distance training to increase his strength finished 31st just ahead of David Hanna in 32nd place. Wallasey did not finish a team.
The youths' race, 1 long and 1 short lap was the second race. Keen competition amongst club runners usually brings on some interesting running between the Wallasey lads. This time Barrie Smith left no doubt who was on best form between him and Alan Keating, who is usually on Barrie's tail. Barrie found excellent form and finished 14th with Alan not so happy back in 23rd place, with a little extra training Alan could be ahead of Barrie in next week's race. Dave Grennan ran on improved form to finish 23rd ahead of sprinter Robin Tarrant in 43rd place.
The boys' race over two miles was thought to be our best chance of having a team placing but this was not to be. Dave Lockley running well was unable to use his speed over the soft going and had to rely on his strength. He finished a very creditable 6th but looked very tired over the last ¼ mile. Perhaps some longer training runs might have helped in these conditions. Paul Emery running very strongly was Wallasey's second counter in 27th place just ahead of Les Watcham in 28th place; Ray Kay a little down of form came in 30th just ahead of John Jones 31st. The boys were 4th with 162 points, Warrington were 3rd, Liverpool 2nd and Wigan 1st with 49 pts.
Today, Ron Barlow is off to run in the inter-counties race at Blackburn. We all wish him the best of luck and that conditions will suit him and so give this fine athlete a chance for an international vest. He will be up against the cream of the counties athletes and if he runs as well as he has been doing lately he could very well come home having skimmed the top off the cream. As for the rest of the club, there will be a run from club H.Q. at 2:45. The H.Q. will be openfrom2 o'clock onwards and anyone wishing to join will be most welcome.