Wallasey Athletic Club's Christmas handicap run the traditional 3 1/4 mile Leasowe Road and shore course, was enhanced this year by record performances from ladies' captain Barbara Banks and international cross-country runner Ron Barlow.
Barbara showed that her recent 2nd placing in the Cheshire Championships, was no fluke by knocking nearly four minutes off her previous best time and making a mockery of her handicap
of four minutes with a great run of 19 minutes 44 seconds, to win by 21 seconds from Johnny Jones. Starting from scratch and giving the leaders 71/2 minutes start, Ron Barlow ran 'through the field' to snatch 3rd place, just two seconds behind Jones, and edge club captain Barrie Smith into fourth position. Ron's time of 16m. 37s. was a new course record and is some indication of his current form.
The full list of 26 competitors with places, handicaps and actual times was 1st, Miss B. Banks (4 mins) 19:44; 2nd, J. Jones (7:05) 17m; 3rd, R. Barlow (7:30) 16:37; 4th, B. Smith (7:15) 16:55; 5th, S. Walker (6) 18:15; 6th, R. Brimage (4:50) 19.29; 7th, P. Hughes (4:50) 19:31; 8th, D. Lockley (6:55) 17:30; 9th, J. Horobin (5:30) 19; 10, P. Wealthy (5:40) 18:51; ;11th, D. Hanna (5:40) 19:06; 12th, R. Tarrant (4:20) 20:31; 13th, G. Fair (4:50) 20:21; 14th, P. Martin (3:50) 21:13; 15th, R. Warburton (4:25) 20:39; 16th, M. Teahan (5:40) 19:26; 17th, C. Gee (4:25) 20:44; 18th, P. Holdsworth (4) 21:12; 19th, S. Daniels (3:50) 21:23; 20th R. Hewson (0) 25:19; 21st, S. Hallam (2-50) 24:44; 22nd, J. Rimmer (0) 25:45; 23rd, N. Hughes (2) 23:53; 24th, G. McGregor (4:50). 21:10; 25th, D. Hallam (2:25) 24:44; 26th, I. Kenworthy (3:15) 24:32.
The club has free dates for the next two weeks and this fortnight will be used as preparation for a concentrated championship season in which four major races are sandwiched into five weeks. The first event is the county championship meeting at Woodbank Park, Stockport, on January 6th, and as rules only call for seven boys and youths to run, with four to count, there will have to be a run-off in order to give each boy and youth in the club a fair chance of representation.
Two dates have been fixed , tomorrow at 11 a.m., and next Saturday at 2.30 p.m., and all those wishing to be considered must run in at least one of the two trials.
The seniors and juniors do not have the same numerical problems and for them this period will be essentially a sharpening one, with an effort being made to put an edge on to the distance work already undergone.