Event Date: Wednesday 7th June 2023
Two interesting reports for this event from Jed Turner and Chris Ireland
Sort of review (or more like a personal reflection) of the Joe Moran Veterans’ Track and Field Event – Wednesday 7th June (and before).
This review is not really about the event on the 7th June, although I will touch on it later, but is more about why this event holds special significance for me. The Joe Moran Masters Track and Field event is hosted by Manchester Harriers, and this is the first connection to my past because when I was a lad of about fourteen years old, together with my friend Michael Owen, I joined Manchester and District Harriers.
Therefore, when I go to this event it brings back memories of my time with this great club. My best memory is the Monday night track sessions at Fallowfield and at Belle Vue on Wednesdays, under the coaching guidance of Wilf Richards, a lovely man of warmth and genuine modesty, where we would do various interval sessions. There were such amazing runners at this time, with the club being highly successful, with the likes of Ricky Wilde, Dave Gee, Fred Pendlebury, Derek Blakeney, Jim Jones, Stewart Keech, Pete Shaw, Malcom Plant, Maurice Oldham, Adrian Royale and so on. Over the summer, most Saturdays were spent at Stretford, in particular doing 800m races.
I left Manchester in 1978 to go to Sheffield Polytechnic, where I continued to run and train, with Sheffield AC. However, I drifted away from club running and decided to just focus on Fell Running for many years. In the mid to late 1990s I reconnected with Sheffield AC and got back to track and road interval training, with a great training group at Don Valley. In 2007, the road and XC section of the club after an eventful meeting at Nether Edge Bowling Club made the decision to break away from Sheffield AC and form a new club called Sheffield Running Club.
When I was 53 with the encouragement of Chris Ireland who noticed that I had a bit of speed, I took up track running again. And the very first track meeting I attended was this fixture back in 2013. Looking back at the results over all these years it is very interesting to look at the times and performances over the years.
What makes this event so much fun is that you are expected to do multiple events, and not just track but field as well. Medals are given out at the end of the night for gold, silver and bronze in each of the age and gender categories. The list of events over the night hasn’t changed at all in all these years, with the first event always the 800m, followed by the 3000m, 200m, 1500, and finally the 400m. You did the field events when you can fit them in. Mike Quinn who often comes with us described this event as the Olympics for the geriatrics.
The meeting on the 7th didn’t disappoint, with another wonderful evening of fun and entertainment. Times were a bit slower than normal, and it was also good to wear the gold of striders.
Below is table of times over the years of the races Chris and I did. It does need to be appreciated that the meeting starts at 7.15pm with the 800m and finishes with the 400m at around 9pm, so the races do effectively follow each other, not allowing much recovery.
|Year||800m (Jed)||800m (Chris)||1500m
Full results: here
Jed Turner and I have been heading across the Pennines to Sportscity for the Joe Moran Masters Track & Field meeting since 2013. Variously described as a Veterans Olympics, or possibly more accurately, a Geriatric Sports Day, it is always a great evening out. With entry at just £10 for 3 events, athletes are actively encouraged to take on several events, or sometimes more.
It is a great opportunity to try a field event or two in a very unthreatening environment, or maybe for a marathon runner to see what they can achieve over 100 metres. I had a go at the high jump this year, Jed did the 200 metres. We both tried the shot putt.
Races are graded by expected time rather than age so there is always good competition in each event, no matter what your ability is. In the field events fellow competitors will generously provide advice on throwing and jumping – I generally find I get worse the more I listen to their tips, but they are offered in a friendly and helpful way.
Medals are awarded in each 5 year age group so there is a high chance of coming home with a bit of bling, but mainly it is just a super night out. I’m sure we will be heading back next June – it would be great to see a few over 35’s from Striders there as well.