Campus Connections (Birmingham University)

There has always been strong historical links between Tipton Harriers & Birmingham Universiity. In reading through various athletic periodicals we came across this feature published in Athletics Monthly in 1981 which featured many runners who are or have been members of Tipton.

The article was written by Keith Nelson.

It is interesting to look back and see just how that connection has continued to this day (Mike Buntin, Mat Lockett, Phil Nicholls, Neil Burton to name but a few more). We all owe a great deal of gratitude to  the athletes who have subsequently joined Tipton and to the highly respected & mercurial coach, and mentor, Bud Baldaro for his massive contribution to University & Club athletics.

Brum As Good As Ever (By Keith Nelson)

It's midday on a cloudy, warm Wednesday, towards the end of the University term. I'm standing by the swing doors of Birmingham University's Munro sports centre, cited in the middle of the campus. Overweight footballers and bespectacled squash players (that favourite of casual college games) wander in and out. So what am I doing here?

It all stems from the 1980s November issue of Athletics Monthly when I'd interviewed Roger Hackney, a former Birmingham student. I'd criticised the University's running team and commented that they weren't as strong as they used to be. That comment earned me a letter from Paul Magner, Birmingham's Cross-Country Captain at that time, refuting my views and inviting me up to take a look for myself….

Birmingham's pedigree stretches back a long way, but it's the last decade or so that is particularly striking. Ray Smedley, Andy Holden, Mike Kearns, Steve Emson and Roger Hackney are just a few of the leading lights who have studied there over the last few years. The list, however, is far longer and contains names that could fill the teams of any of the current top clubs – Ian Gilmour, Dave Cowles, Mark Burnhope, Mal Thomas, Mike Deegan, Ian Logan, Paul Rowland, Mark Bateman, Tony Milosorov….

It's a list that makes Crufts winners look like mongrels and is so strong that the current University team reckon that an imaginary “Past & Present” Birmingham side has effectively won the National XC Championship for the last 12 years!

The team to gain most from the University is Tipton, with many ex-student athletes settling into the Birmingham area to earn their livings. The "Gun Barrels" a pub recently plasticised and one which adjoins the University, was the haunt and scene of many runners social life: so famous that many top athletes passing through used to make detours to drop in on the local lads.

Behind the top stars are a whole collection of good class club athletes. Last year's team included runners from Epsom & Ewell, from Leicester, from Haywards Heath, from Brighton, from Manchester Harriers – a collection the length and width of the country.

It's as diverse as it sounds. Some runners arrive with a strong reputation behind them. Mark Bateman was inevitably up the front of the National Schools XC races, but found University a period of frustration, appearing to spend as much time on the injured list is actually running and racing. Others come with a minimal background Nick Hand arrived a year ago and wasn't a runner at all. Within nine months he taken up the sport and turned in a 1 min 55.8 seconds for the 800m!

Mark Burnhope was 'just another good runner' until his third year when he stuck out his training and was eventually rewarded with a 21st placing in the National this last winter.

But despite this incredible run of success, it's important to bear in mind one fundamental point. All the runners there are primarily there for the academic study. Unlike the American colleges and unlike another English university supposed to offer to grade E A-levels to would-be students, Birmingham offers no such special favours. Many top athletes don't make the academic grade and can't get into Birmingham – indeed, some fail and come back three years’ later for a one year course in teacher training. It is this aspect of the Birmingham student life retains relevancy to the degree is awarded at the end of the courses. Last year's captain, Paul Magner, (Epsom & Ewell Harriers, won the Universities Athletic Union 10,000m in 30 min 54 seconds) described it: "We not given any special favours. We do well in spite rather than because of the situation. Runners come here purely because of academic ability."

Birmingham's success derives from the reputation it has built up; with athletes staying generally only for three years the last decade is an assortment of a human chain of athletes, linked by three years’ stay. Hopefully, by the time one ‘star’ runner disappears after his third year, one or two others have crept into the first year of their courses.

Even so, the success depends to a vast amount, if not exclusively, to the work put in and the personalities of the people there. If there is a lively bunch one particular year, the all-important social side gets going and success breeds further success. At other times, personality clashes and lengthy injury list combine to weaken and demoralise the team, but as yet haven't been allowed to get hold and undermine the setup.

With annual trips to London, Leeds and often to Scotland, there's got to be some sort of compromise between running and academic work. Indeed, the studying side probably suffers more than the lecturers would like – but it's a problem difficult to overcome. What is good, however, is that a loss of free time is available during the day for training in the student is a lot better off for training than the 9-5 athlete in full-time employment.

The most noticeable bad side-effect of the running/studying compromise is the amount of injuries sustained by university athletes. Birmingham's list is probably never clear and any individual's weaknesses are not helped by institutionalised food and/or damp lodgings. Emson had to cope with a bout of Glandular Fever and this year's captain, Andy Bristow (Junior 5000m International, from Brighton and Hove) had an inadequate winter, largely due to an anaemic tendency which cropped up – several of the athletes now reach for the iron tablets at the start of every term.

So, all in all, University is an odd life. But for all that, the runners at Birmingham on more than just a bunch brought together because of the work. They generate their own enthusiasm, and create a sense of identity far stronger than you can expect to find in many ordinary athletic clubs.

With this degree of success, was my observation that they are weakening justified? With last year's team throwing up three athletes in the top 21 in the National (Hackney, Milosorov and Burnhope) then the team was as strong as any that had gone before it. What is changing perhaps, is that the top names are no longer filtering through. While there are good and very good club athletes, the three mentioned above have all now left and not been replaced. Gone are the days of Smedley, Holden and Kearns. I asked Glyn Williams, a lecturer in Engineering Production, who has been at the University since the mid-70s and who trains and races with the teams, if this might be due to top runners going to American colleges?

"We were lucky at that time – Kearns, Holden and Smedley were exceptional. The standard has possibly dropped, but Smedley was an exceptionally good runner in his first year." Williams’ point is that people of Smedley's calibre are very few and far between; furthermore those athletes heading to the States wouldn't in many cases, get the necessary academic qualifications to study at Birmingham.

This year will prove to be a real test for the team. Many of the team have now left and those still present are anxiously waiting to see if any top names are going to turn up at this year's freshers trial; the junior international or two will guarantee their strength for the next few years, but even if top names are missing, there should be considerable carryover from the present first and second years.

In the early 70s Birmingham took over command of the cross-country calendar from Oxford and Cambridge and went on to win the BUSF Championships year after year. Over the last two years, however, they had to settle for second place. Two years ago, it was Loughborough who conquered with the likes of Omar Khalifa in the team. This year, it was the unlikely squad from Leeds who came in winners. Next year, it looks like being the same three teams at the top – Birmingham, Loughborough and Leeds – with possibly one or two others getting in here and there.

The last 13 years at Birmingham have been uniquely recorded in a log book called the "Captains Book". Race reports, comments and postscripts have been faithfully put down in writing, and the names the crop up must just about cover every other club in the country. Breach season's writing, the account is being written by that year's captain, indicated at the beginning of each new season; I would like to thank Paul Magner, last year's captain, for the loan of this unique and, at times, amusing record:

The following are "extracts" from the "Captains Book" included with the article. 

1968 – 1969

Captain: Mal Thomas.

Freshers included Andy Holden and Steve Gibbons.

Birmingham vs Nottingham University, 19th October

An overwhelming victory, showing how weak Nottingham are this year….M Hughes, who was standing at the start/finish on hearing the pounding turned to the odd group of spectators and knowledgeably pronounced "here come the leaders now!" Did he get a surprise when a score of cows came charging round the corner followed by Mal Thomas, Andy Holden and a rather annoyed farmer.

Saturday, 7 December

Malcolm Thomas and Steve Gibbons travelled down to Wales for the Welsh senior "6"….Mal went on to win his first senior championship by over 600 yards and Steve Gibbons illustrated his vast improvement this season by finishing fifth.

Andy Holden ran on the boards at Cosford in an invitation 3000m "because it's on the telly" finished third in 8 min 03 seconds.

1969 – 1970

Captain: G Russell.

Midland Universities UAU final at Loughborough

The result of this is slightly different with the condescension of Loughborough colleges to run. This is not really surprising as the course is only about 200 yards away. Fortunately Dudley Jardine turned up although not listed because Roger Brown was busy watching the spacemen on the colour TV so he could not make it.

British Universities Student Federation (BUSF) Championships, Sheffield

1) Oxford 105; 2) Birmingham 111.

Individual: 1) Andy Holden, 4) Mal Thomas. Well done lads, so near yet so far. No more can be said. Thanks Mal (two weeks training after two months layoff due to hairline fracture of shin).

Midland Counties XC Championships, Melton Mowbray

Juniors 1) Birmingham 39 points (Gibbons 4, Brown 10, Russell 11, White 15).

1970 – 1971

Captain: Dave Hill

Freshers included Ray Smedley and Ian Gilmour.

Smedley, Gilmour and Aldridge are the ones to watch and it is hoped that they will make up for the loss of Malcolm Thomas and Peter Griffiths. We still have a strong squad.

BUSF Champs, Guildford

1) Birmingham 74, 2) Cambridge 129, 3) Oxford 185.

Individual: 1) J Lane (Southampton), 2) F Briscoe (Leeds), 3) A Holden (Birmingham). Other Birmingham placings - 6) S Gibbons, 9) R Smedley, 16) I Gilmour, 17) J O’Meara, 23) R Brown.

At last! It just had to come – third in 1969, second in 1970 and now the BUSF gold in 1971. It's impossible to single out anyone for special praise – they were all magnificent. Our poor captain had to sit it out with a tendon injury – very frustrating.

For the record: we are the first UAU team to win the BUSF and therefore completed a unique treble in capturing all three team titles at stake (UAU second team). Also our first team total was a new record. Well done everyone.

National Champs, Norwich

Junior Individual: 1) J Lane (Feltham), 2) P Banning (Borough Rd), 3) N Rose (Bristol), 4) R Smedley (Birmingham Uni), 5) S Kenyon (Bolton), 6) P Adams (A, F & D), 9) I Gilmour, 20) R Brown, 31) N Bailey (all three Birmingham Uni). Team : 1) Birmingham Uni.

A wonderful win for the University and to more international vests gained by Ray in the Junior and Andy Holden in the Senior. This makes four vests in all (Gibbons for Wales and Gilmour for Scotland) (more than any other British club) – a fitting end to a uniquely successful season.

It was good to see Mal Thomas up there in second place in the Senior. Holden seventh in the Senior.

1971 – 1972

Captain: Robert Shaw

National Champs, Sutton Park

Junior team – second place. Not the position expected but nevertheless a good performance by all concerned. Bob Shaw missed the start whilst looking for a lost pair of spikes but Andy Morley stepped in well as fourth counter to secure a place for the team. The senior race saw many late starters, nonstarters and runners dropping off.

Conditions – the worst race, weatherwise, that I have ever come across. The runners had to content with freezing rain, hail and big high winds whilst slogging through knee deep mud. Many people suffered from exposure. The ambulance and official tens were overflowing in the finish to the senior race was a little short of chaotic.

1972 – 1973

Captain: Tony Edwards

Freshers included Mike Kearns

Birmingham vs St Paul's College, Cheltenham

Birmingham 21, St Paul's 66.

The team this year had a convincing victory, St Paul's been weaker than normal. No fresh produce a run that might have been considered as promising, but these are early days. Good hospitality is always apparent – a good tea being provided.

Cutler's Relay, Sheffield, October

1) Birmingham (Thewlis, Kearns, Gilmour, Holden, Smedley) in a new record.

A good start to the season by the first-team. Good to see Holden running well. The freshers Mike Kearns and Nick Murray were a little disappointing, but, as with those that ran against St Paul's, have plenty of time to improve. 

BUSF at Surrey

A tremendous victory! The expected close challenge from Oxford and Cambridge did not occur, both being reduced in strength by injuries. However, it must be noted that even at full strength neither would have beaten the inform Birmingham squad.

Ian Gilmour and Ray Smedley ran sound races in fourth and fifth respectively, while Mike Kearns had his best performance to date in university colours. On this form he should make the English Junior team. (He finished 14th in the National).

The major disappointment was the loss of the second team championships by not fielding a complete team. A turnout of 13 for the major event of the season is dismal.

1973 – 1974

Captain: Mike Kearns

Freshers include it Mike Ridout, Jack Lane a postgraduate St Paul's refused an early fixture (probably because we had the first six home last year)

Sheffield Relay

Birmingham 1st.

All the “A” team ran as expected… Jack Lane had run 28.30 for 10,000m the day before so was honestly a little tired.

AAA 6 Stage Road Relay

Birmingham second, behind Bolton. Team: Smedley, Perry, Kearns, Lane, Lawrence, Gilmour.

Having realised the University's potential, the cross-country club ended its first national road relay. If I didn't think the university could win we would have travelled down to University College and cleaned up there. We needed outstanding runs from everyone if we were to win and on the day we just fell short. Though what other university could finish 10th, never mind second?

BUSF, Guildford

Champions again! – But only just!

1) Birmingham 92; 2) Cambridge 92

Well, we only made it despite our supposedly invincible team. What can you say about Ray Smedley? He has been quietly confident of doing really well, if not winning, and as it happened he did!….Cambridge were working hard to try to wrest the title from us and were 30 points ahead of us team wise after the first lap. After the second lap it was down to about 10 and with a mile to go Brum still had to make up five places!

PS: just as a little note – over 30 pairs of spikes were found around the course afterwards, caused by the mud!

Cannock 21M, 10th March

No one ran! '21' is a long, long way!

Post Script To The Season

Well the 1970 – 71 season had been the best in the history of the University, I think that during the past season we have done as good if not better. The University set records at Hyde Park and Osterley Park and won the BUSF event, these three being the premier three on the University calendar.

1974 – 1975

Captain : Paul Sanderson

Freshers included Mike Deegan and Ian Logan

BUSF at Keele

Champions again! This time we made no mistake with a 75 point advantage over Oxford.

National XC Championships, Luton 

A surprisingly easy victory for the Junior team – with a margin of 55 points over city of Hull. Surprise of the day was Mike Deegan in fifth position… In the seniors Ray Smedley couldn't quite keep up with Simmons and Tuck and finish 4th – still a good run – some people are never satisfied however!

Mike Kearns ran reasonably well for 86th position – not bad for his first outing in the seniors.

International – Morocco

Our representative staggered back just before the club dinner with the news that Ray Smedley was 7th, Ian Gilmour 108th ; Michael Longthorn and Mike Deegan 6th and 33rd in the Junior and Christine Tranter (the universities women's national champion 18th.)

1975 – 1976

Captain : Ian Logan

Freshers included Adrian Murphy, David Cowles, Steve Emson and Paul Rowland.

BUSF, Stirling

A successful day once again to the team as we comfortably retained the team title. Ray made it a hat-trick by winning again from a tired Jim Brown.

Birmingham League (two weeks after BUSF victory)

An atrocious turnout for this, the final Birmingham League of the season, the team being made up to strength by getting reluctant athletes, Mike Longthorne, Stuart Paterson and Ian Logan to run after they had flu, been up all night beforehand….

I cannot possibly see how we possibly could do any worse than today's performance – absentees included Ray Smedley (in Munich for the European indoor), Mike Kearns (who didn't want to run), Aidan Murphy (out for another eight weeks due to injury), Paul Rowland (injured), Steve Emson (not wishing to risk it after a recent bout of glandular fever), Martin Bening (pressure of work), and am almost forgotten Dave Wright (recovering from an operation on his Achilles). We must be thankful still to be in division one!

National XC, Leicester

This year, although we entered a senior team, nobody ran for the University, those eligible preferring to run for their clubs.

The Junior team had a disappointing day, only managing to come second to sale Harriers, the irony being that sales first scorer was Paul Mylrea, Birmingham student.

Our first man in was Mike Deegan in seventh place. Mike Longthorne seems to have lost all enthusiasm to running after flu prevented him from doing well in the inter-counties so his position of 20th were satisfactory considering his recent lack of consistent training. From here on as is a tale of world, Steve Empson finish of the season for is by coming 50th and he still has yet to run well for us in a meaningful fixture. Paul Rowland lost a shoe at the start and stopped to put it on and finally managed to get through to 71st. Once again I overrated my own race fitness (92nd) when picking the team.

Another season past, the BUSF retained yet again but not the national Junior championship….I found the captains job hard work, especially when trying to get people to run in our less 'glamorous' (?) Fixtures. I can only hope that next year's freshers will give more lasting support than this year's, this lot of first years may have had the talent, but that is no use if they won't run for you.

1976 – 1977

Captain : Mike Ridout

Freshers included Mark Bateman, Roger Hackney and Adrian Howden

Cutler's Relay, Sheffield

This year's trip north to Sheffield for what is traditionally become the opening fixture of the new cross-country season, was one of mixed fortunes for the various university teams.

Unfortunately, return starting a week later than usual, there was not time to assess the ability and fitness of freshers and consequently I felt unable to select any of them for the first team. A close look at the times will reveal that this was particularly unfortunate in the case of Roger Hackney who ran a particularly good second leg for the 'B' team, with the consequence that it was not until leg four that the 'A' team finally overhauled the 'B' team!

As it is, Loughborough have already got first 'kill' of the season.

Past vs Present Mob Match, November

The inaugural “Past vs Present” match got off the ground with a fair degree of success, thanks principally to Andy Holden and the rallying round of those present students have been around for some time.

Holden won the race, ahead of Smedley.

Osterley Park Relay, December

1) Loughborough; 2) Birmingham; 3) Borough Road; 4) Loughborough 'B'; 5) Birmingham ‘B’

Adrian Murphy joined the already impressive injury list of Mike Kearns, Mike Deegan and Roger Hackney, the team which would arguably have beaten the actual team put out. This was a disappointing results….Further disappointment as our 'B' team were pipped at the post for the first 'B' team prize by guess who….Loughborough 'B'.

This despite good intelligent running by second-team style warts Paul Rowland and Adrian Howden. Stuart Paterson on the first leg was second at one stage before 'blowing up' to finish 19th. On the last leg, David Cowles, the mileage man supposed to be informed, lacked both leg speed and experience to deal with Loughborough's Pete Clark. It's a pity he hasn't managed to turn out for the university a little more frequently so that he gets more experience.

Report In The Guardian, Friday, 4th February

Birmingham University, who have dominated men's and women's cross-country at student level for the last four years, could well be hard pressed to retain their British student titles at the University of Surrey, Guildford, tomorrow.

Loughborough, their great rivals on the track, are at last able to select cross-country teams of similar stature to their men's track team.

BUSF, 5th February

1) Birmingham 60 points (record); 2) Loughborough 158 points.

With the article above appearing in the Guardian the day before the race, the team had no doubt who was going to win. The challenge of Loughborough never materialised in Brum had five in before their first man and six before their second.

Having won the race for the last three years Ray Smedley was clearly favourite for this race, but the mud, a slow start and lack of cross-country races having been on the boards so much this year, combined to give Ray only third position. Fears that Steve Empson would also falter in the mud was soon seen to be unfounded and he finished sixth, nine seconds in front of Mike Deegan. For Mike this was a tremendous run. Running the first lap with Mike Longthorne, it was the latter who dropped off and the former who gained a few places – his second race back since injury in October.

Mike Kearns to rose to the occasion, finishing 12 after a months training following trouble with his Achilles tendon. Mike Longthorne certainly wasn't too pleased at being outkicked by him. Where is Kearns looked relaxed in his running, Longthorne was struggling after his first lap, but put in a really gritty performance, especially since he went up to his waist in mud at the ditch on the first lap to be hauled out by Deegan. Completing the scoring was Ian Logan, at last gaining a BUSF vest. Hackney won the second team race.

1977 – 1978

Captain : Roger Hackney

Ray Smedley seems to be starting his last year at university. Apart from winning races, the social side of the club and the general high spirits are a top priority. One thing is certain, we will miss the terrible trio of Longthorne, Logan and Deegan, both in terms of first-team strength and liveliness in the gun barrels.

BUSF, Keele

A record six wins in succession. In view of all the prerace doubts, the lads really produced a brilliant performance, six runners totalling under 70 points. At the front, Peter Baker of Borough Road were sent of course, it appeared, dropped his position to second. Very nobly, Mike Kearns in second, allowed him to regain the lead. Unfortunately the men of the press misinterpreted his action, assuming Baker was outsprinting Kearns – a likely story! Ray Smedley was fourth on 30 miles a week, a magnificent achievement.

Midland XC Championships (Juniors)

1) Tipton, 2) Birmingham

An hour and a half delay, as Mike Kearns and Ian Gilmour change the wheel of the minibus, did not help the team at all, and after a panic ridden drive to Tipton we arrived with less than 20 min to the start. Even so, we would have retained title easily, had Mark Bateman remained in the race. The hard, icy ground did not help is tend in the tall and sensibly he dropped out. (Birmingham turned the tables on Tipton to win the national junior title for the second year running.)

1978 – 1979

Captain : Mark Bateman

Freshers included Mark Burnhope and Paul Magner


For the first time in many years the club will be starting out on its usual challenging programme of fixtures without a senior track or cross-country international. The main aim of the club is to retain all titles won last year, especially the BUSF and national junior and regain a few temporarily 'loaned' to other teams for last year for the national.

Maybe the club will this year finish a team in the senior 'national' may be its last chance to do so. It's no secret that many influential people in the higher echelons of the cross-country world have no love for university cross-country clubs (especially the successful ones!) As a club we must not give these people any more ammunition by appearing to abuse the system by not entering teams in senior area and national championships.

BUSF, Stirling

An almost perfect result, (won BUSF, but beaten by Borough Road, who were the college's champs.)

1979 – 1980

Captain : Basil Martyniuk


We have a fairly strong team with some promising pressures coming in. Roger Hackney deserves special mention. Roger gained his senior vest in September when he ran the steeplechase against the USSR. Amidst all the euphoria of the UK beating Russia, Hackney was proclaimed a hero after his gallant run and has never been the same since. Anyway, well done Roger!

Birmingham League, Worcester, November

1) Staffs Moorlands, 2) Tipton; 3) Birmingham

All you had to do was take one look at this course and you realised that this was not going to be a normal league race. The conditions were terrible! Nothing wrong with mud and plough but when 150 people have to charge over double styles and barbed wire fences, ditches and streams, then things start getting dangerous. Even the 'iron man' of cross-country, Roy Fowler, asked the organisers if they had taken out an insurance policy on this course!  I felt sorry for the newcomers to this kind of racing….I wouldn't have blamed anybody for dropping out.

Past vs Present, November

Another really miserable, cold and wet day but there was an excellent turnout, if not for the race, then for the party at our place afterwards. It was good to see Holden Kearns run; the latter having decided to give up running out because of recurrent trouble with arthritic toes – though it waits to be seen how strong this decision is.

Leeds Relays, December

1) Birmingham; 2) leads

For me, this day had everything that makes the sport so enjoyable: a really exciting race, a win in a course record time, Hackney's own course record and a really good booze up afterwards with the Leeds blokes.

BUSF, Loughborough

1) Loughborough; 2) Birmingham; individual winner Hackney.

Well, here it is! The long run finally comes to an end. On a wet, muddy and uninspiring course we were beaten by Loughborough on their own ground – a well drilled team who quickly group at the front shortly after the start and left us to make the moves, trying to pull back people in the mud.


Yet another long, and for me, difficult season has passed, one in which I felt great pride and pleasure in the team and one in which I have also felt many lows…

On the social side, the team are a mixed bunch. Some like boozing, others don't. Okay, some say athletes shouldn't drink but I don't think I could take Mark Burnhope's spartan regime in any situation. But each to his own!… Finally, I've enjoyed the year on the whole despite the setbacks. The crowd here are really good; good in victory, good in defeat. It's a sport where friendliness is quickly developed.

We trained together, eat together afterwards, travel and race together and drink together….They are all my good friends and I hope I am theirs.

1980 – 1981

Captain : Paul Magner

Freshers included Andy Bristow: also Tony Milosorov (education) and Pete Griffiths (diploma in mental health)


I hope Mark Burnhope will establish himself as a real 'star'. He's gone overboard with solid. Maybe he will not burn himself out by Christmas.

Cutler's Relay, Sheffield

1) Birmingham

A very encouraging start. Many of us recorded faster times than last year. Burnhope and Lauter (Mike, brother of (in particular were worthy of special note – we returned home with kettles and beer kits – a happy start indeed!

Birmingham League

1) Tipton; 2) Birmingham

Individual: 1) Hackney; 4) Milosorov; 7) Burnhope; 8) Magner.

I felt the particular pressure was on Mark Burnhope – he could at least run over 6 miles as well as he had done over two?… Run of the day was from you and Barber. His 38 contrasted with placings in the 70s and 80s last year. He really has come of age. No more does he just go for a daily five-mile burn up. He goes for a 10 mile burnouts. He must be one of the quickest trainers and I implore and plead with him to slow down and avoid the risk of injury.

Leeds Relay, December

1) Birmingham

Burnhope never ceases to amaze me. He was initially indifferent about his run until he was told that it was the third fastest of the day (fastest and second fastest were Brum runners Hackney and Milosorov respectively). He also did a 10 mile warm down.

Definitely a lesson to us all (not the 10 mile warm down – just the dedication he shows) Leeds were way behind though they were without Glyn Harvey and a couple of others. They will be a strong team at the US F but should not prove too much of a problem…

BUSF, Keele

Second again… Obviously were all bitterly disappointed by the results, but all credit to Leeds. Their runners all ran superbly on the day where is our team performed inadequately to say the least. Leeds beat us fairly and squarely on the day. We could not look to any excuses. Okay, Hackney went down with flu the night before and couldn't run, but Leeds were without Rothwell and Johnson. Having said that, Hackney's absence was the one factor that made all the difference.

National, London

Seniors: 12) Hackney (running for Aldershot), 15) Milosorov (running for Tipton) 21) Burnhope (running for Birmingham).