Other interesting news

British & Irish Masters Cross Country International, 11 November 2023

Scotland is hosting the 2023 British & Irish Masters  international cross country races at Tollcross Park, Tollcross Road, Glasgow G32 8TF on 11 November.The venue has good facilities and the course, which has been used regularly for international and national competitions, is challenging with a good view at the top of the hill!

The match features five teams: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.  

Each country has its own means of application and selection.  

England, under the auspices of EMAA (England Masters Athletics Association), will hold two trial races on 14 October 2023. The races will be held within an existing North Midlands Cross Country League fixture at Markeaton Park, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 4AA. 

Those applying for selection for the England team are strongly advised to enter the trial races. Entry is via the BMAF Open Track system. The closing date is 26 September.  

Details and Online Entry for the England Selection Races on 14 October . 

In order for the England area selectors to have sufficient information about an athlete’s 2023 achievements, it will also be necessary to complete an application form and send it to your Masters area club’s representative on the selection panel. This will be required from both those competing in the selection races and those who are not able to compete in the trials but still wish to be considered for selection.  

Click here for  Further Details and an Application Form for selection for the England team 

Selection for the England team at the trial races will be as follows  : The first four in the trail for the teams of six will be automatically selected. The first three in the trial for the teams of four will be automatically selected. Age categories for teams of six are - M35, M40, M45, and M50. Age categories for teams of four are – W35 to W75+ and M55, M60, M65, M70, M75+. The remainder of the teams and reserves will then be selected by the area selectors immediately after the trial races by considering the results of the trials and the information provided on the application forms. Please supply details of all performances that you feel are relevant, including 5k and 10k road and cross country races.

VAC Committee Member, Mike Mann, is VAC’s representative on the England team’s selection panel. Completed application forms should be sent to him by 30 September. Mike is happy to provide further advice. Email mcmann90@yahoo.co.uk 

It’s an honour to be picked to represent your country and VAC is proud of those who are selected to represent any of the five nations. It would be great to see lots of VAC members wearing the VAC vest in Derby for the England selection races, and to see VAC members in the final selections.

VAC featured in Runner's World!  2-06-20

The July 2020 issue of Runner's World includes a great article about VAC. Click to view the article. The journalist spoke to Ros Tabor, VAC's Chairman, and elicited quotes from two of our members. He has captured the spirit of the Masters scene as well as admiring our members for defying age and continuing to compete, with many successes. The article should appear in due course on the Runner's World website.

VAC Members Track & Field Competitions Survey 2020

On 10 January 2020, the Membership Secretary sent a survey by email to 492 members of VAC who have a track and field interest. 66 responses were received.

Here is a Summary of the Responses to the T&F Survey as of 7 March 2020.

More responses are welcome during 2020. See the background below and follow the link to the VAC Track & Field Survey. Send responses to Peter Kennedy at memsec@vetsac.org.uk.

Conclusions of the Committee

1. There is full support for continuing to have a traditional championship.

2. There is moderate support for multiple meetings when members would be competing against those of similar ability, leading to overall winners for the whole season.

3. A significant number of members would be willing to help in the organisation of the club’s T&F events.

Action Plan proposed by the Committee

1. Incorporate VAC championships into both indoor and outdoor South of England Masters Championships.

2. Continue to organise the VAC 5,000m and 10,000m Championships, as well as entering teams in the inter-area competitions.

3. Investigate whether both 2nd Claim and 1st Claim VAC members could compete in the Rosenheim League as guests or as a team.  Identify T&F Open Meetings which VAC members could compete in to make up a summer series, not necessarily the same meetings for each discipline (sprints, hurdles, middle distance, throws, pole vault, high jump, long/triple jump), leading to overall winners at the end of the year in each discipline and age group.

4. Give further consideration to awards for best age graded performances in each discipline.

5. Approach those members who said they might be willing to help in order to identify who would be willing to be part of a team to organise 2-4 above instead of having a single Track & Field Secretary.

Background to the survey

We are at a turning point in VAC in that in 2019 we lost Mike May, who was the driving force behind the track and field side of the club.  He had planned and organised championships and other events for many years, with help from the other members of the Committee. We now need to re-establish VAC’s direction with a view to maintaining what works well and thinking of new ideas for what could be even better.

What works well, we believe, are our separate 5000m and 10000m championships and what could be better is our overall T&F championship. In order to make decisions, we are seeking your views on what to do by your answers to the questions in the
 Track & Field Competitions Survey

The Committee urgently needs help to plan and organise VAC’s T&F activities, either by one person who attends committee meetings or by a group of people who share the responsibilities and do not have to attend the committee meetings or preferably a mixture of the two. The distinction between committee members and other volunteers can also start to blur if we hold meetings via video conference on specific topics.  This technology is used within the BMAF and will be the basis for new groups established to listen to members’ views on the BMAF.  Anyone invited to a virtual meeting can participate via their home PC (if sufficiently modern), laptop or tablet or smartphone.  It is even possible to join such conferences by an ordinary phone, although you miss out on seeing the other committee members.


This is the story of 42 marathon runners who were created as the ‘Ever-presents’ by the London Marathon in 1995 after they had run 15 consecutive Londons.

Their story is a testimony to a ‘never say die’ spirit that has sustained them during the thousands of marathons they have run all over the world.

Dale Lyons, one of the last 15, has combined a detailed factual record from his research, with many heart warming anecdotes and astonishing hardship stories in tracking the Ever-presents’ journey for 33 years since 1981.

Their triumphs and cruel disappointments, the amazing sums they have raised for countless charities, their incredible running records at home and abroad, their entertaining media coverage and their fascinating and colourful lives away from the marathon treadmill provides absorbing and enlightening reading.

This is a book to honour their commitment to the London, one of the great city Marathons and provides a lasting tribute to a rapidly diminishing group, decimated by injury, accident, illness and death.

The book will provide information, inspiration and motivation not only to marathon runners but to those watching the London each year thinking “that could be me!”

Available January 2014 price £6.99 + £2.60 pp.

Paperback version. 230 pages with photos.

For orders contact Dale Lyonse-mail  dale@5rhg.co.uk

5 Richmond Hill Gardens, Edgbaston Birmingham B15 3RW

“This remarkable book is a tribute to everyone of the Ever-presents. The London Marathon salutes them all!”
John Bryant. Author of The London Marathon book and Chairman of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.