Wow! I don't know how many of you have followed the U-Tube link to watch Johanna Jackson's performance in Australia but to knock so much off her P.B. is awesome and I'm hoping going to be my inspiration to dip under 100 minutes for the first time.
She stayed at the Welbeck last year with her sister and parents, so I was lucky enough to have ferried them around and talk to them a fair amount. She really has improved beyond recognition since then and she lapped me at least twice as it was. Johanna knocked nearly six minutes off her time in Douglas which was her then P.B.
Saturday's H.S.B.C. Security Services Manx Open meeting with due respect to the Manx Mountain Marathon, the Marathon proper and the Easter Festival is probably the premier athletics event to be held on the Island most years as it is the only one which regularly attracts top international competitors.
Although we are a little short of first class males in the 20k so far (the Irish Team has yet to be announced,) the former British record holder, Lisa Kehler and former Commonwealth Games contender Niobe Menendes have both entered. U.K. No.1 junior, Ben Wears is walking in the 10k and of course our own Lauren Whelan will be battling against the best of the young Ireland entrants.
It's disappointing that more of our local walkers haven't entered. It would seem that some are intimidated by having such a high quality field but even on my debut in 2005 when I finished in a ripping 2:15:32 nobody laughed at me (not to my face anyway) and everyone was friendly at the social event afterwards.
It's a shame Robbie Callister doesn't enter any more because I reckon I could beat him at this distance. So far, I've never beaten him in any walking race, although my claim to fame (I'll be telling this one until I'm a great grandfather,) is that I overtook him in the the 2004 Syd Quirk Half Marathon run. Such are the tales of an athletic journeyman.