On Sunday, in Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar Walking Club who have in recent years produced Beijing hopeful, Johanna Jackson and Ben Wears who recently starred over here at the Bowl in his first ever 20k race, are hosting the National 50k Road Racewalking Championship.
Although by Parish Walk standards, the entry of 31 seems paltry, it does actually represent a good improvement on recent years despite lacking the King twins who are currently No.1 and No.2 in the rankings.
In the Women's race, to my mind, favourite has to be our own Marie Jackson who has the pedigree to challenge champion, Maureen Noel and the other leading ladies if she gets it right on the day.
The current holder of the Men's title is Scott Davies who has won this event for the past three years and there is nobody in this race who would seem to be of his calibre.
Second place is very much up for grabs and with Steve Hollier not making an appearance, the leading contenders would seem to be Paul Evenett, Glen Blythman and Michael George (that's me for those slow on the uptake)
Paul came to the Island for the Manx Open in March when he didn't really have the best of days as we had a very good battle, with me holding him off quite easily as he tried to pass me on the last lap. However, since then, he has been on fire with another 20k of 97 mins and a 10k last weekend of 46:45. Although, I would expect him to beat me on Sunday, he has been disqualified and not finished in the only two 50k races I can find record of him entering, so there is still a question mark over his stamina.
Local man, Glen Blythman, I am told is expected to do very well and though his race c.v.times wouldn't suggest anything special, I believe he has targeted this race for a long time and you wouldn't bet too heavily against the Redcar Stable.
For the lower placings, Ian Richards, the amazing Arthur Thomson who is 70 years old! and John Constandinou should feature.
I'm hoping to finish in about 4:50 depending on the weather.
Wish me luck!