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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Video: 1974 Commonwealth Games Marathon

"One of those Boys Own stories : Ian Thompson,an average 5K British club runner, runs a marathon for his club to make up numbers in the 1973 AAA marathon,duly wins it,gets picked to represent England in the Commonwealth Games to be held in New Zealand a few months later ,which he goes on to win in the second fastest time ever run ( 2.09.12-- just 39 seconds outside of Clayton's world best).Equally remarkable was the man in second place:Jack Foster ,born in England, moved to NZ in his twenties, took up running at 32 years of age and here,at 41 ran a world masters best of 2.11.18.!! In third was Richard Mabuza of Swaziland (this country's only ever track medal?).Not having such a good day were marathon legends Ron Hill (18th) and Derek Clayton(dnf).Thompson went on to win the gold at the European Championships the same year and although running some fine times in a long career,sadly never quite found this form again."

What prompted me to dig out this video is I have been corresponding with Duncan Macgregor who was 6th in 2:14:15.4 - you can see him in the video early on wearing the royal blue vest of Scotland.  What a classy field!  I was at the 1974 Games cheering on my sister, Lorraine, who competed in the 800m - the longest distance for women at the time.  Jack Foster was amazing.  No "juicing" among these marathon runners and look at their times - amazing!

A couple of things I loved about the video: the dog running out on the course, the cyclists manically trying to get ahead of the field, the confusion of cars following and leading the race and - of course - the fashion statements!  Love the moustaches! 

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