Two time trials were held by Wallasey Athletic Club at Lingham Park last Saturday over the one-mile and two-mile distances. In the two-mile race Dave Lockley ran with clockwork regularity and paced the leading group through five quarter-mile laps, each in exactly 75 seconds.
After two laps Johnny Jones moved up to Mike McNamee's shoulder and a violent tussle began between the three leaders, while Barrie Smith glided along, behind content to wait and watch the others kick mud off the track all over each other.
After five even pace laps Barrie Smith moved up from behind and slipped into 2nd place, the Smith, Lockley, Jones trio opened a 15 yard gap on McNamee then split up completely.
During the last half-mile Johnny Jones, exhausted after being continually forced to run wide on the bends in order to
stay up front, gradually faded and finished 4th after a gallant fight.
Nobody broke the 10-minute barrier; it was unfortunate that Dave Lockley failed after his tremendous pace-making, an athlete drenched in icy water from, other runners' shoes running on a rain soaked track cannot produce his best form. The final times were: - Lockley 10:01.2, Smith 10:14.2, McNamee 10:34 and Jones 10:38.
At the start of the mile time trial Steve Walker shot into the lead and opened up a 10-yard gap before the end of the first bend. Mel Schless, not content to stay with the bunch and watch him break contact, hauled himself out of line and rapidly closed the gap.
The pair of them, locked together, with Mel running on the outside, scorched through the 440 yards mark in a suicidal 64.1 seconds. They paid dearly for their enthusiasm, for neither of them broke five minutes when they otherwise could have done so quite easily.
Saturday was the first opportunity Wallasey athletes have had to run on the track since the groundsman removed the loose surface from the bends.
This improvement took a fair amount of backbreaking work by the groundsman, but as faster times will surely result then it is energy well spent.
Today there are to be further time trials at Lingham track with the emphasis on the one-mile event, whilst tomorrow the club take a large party to their Foel Glap course near Denbigh for a handicap run around the 3-mile hill circuit.