We are sad to report the death of Graham Dugdale, who died at home on the weekend of the 5th/6th May. TVH members Paul Oppe and John Offley share their memories of Graham.
Graham joined TVH in September 1973 and played a prominent part in the TVH Road and Cross Country success of the 1970s. Graham was a well-liked and respected member who provided leadership and inspiration to many TVH members. I first met Graham when I came down to join TVH in September 1976. I had recently joined a local company as an Operational Research Analyst, a fairly obscure profession and was amazed to find myself jogging round Linford Christie stadium with a fellow Operational Research practitioner. Graham recovering from a recent marathon quickly got me involved in the TVH Middle Distance Group under Les Pulman. Graham was the leader, inspiring a group of athletes who provided the nucleus of the winning 1978 Southern Cross Country and 12 stage Relay teams. It was Graham who suggested the 12 stage prize of a gallon bottle of whisky be donated to the Clubhouse fundraising raffle. Without a doubt the success of TVH Road running from 1974-1980 was hugely influenced by Graham.
Graham helped set up memorable training camps on the sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr in South Wales and was a fellow member of the TVH Sunday Night Drinking Club which met at various pubs on the Piccadilly Line. Graham’s best achievement was 3rd place in the 1977 AAA marathon in 2hr 17m 16 sec. Graham took an interest in all disciplines in the club, supporting the British Athletics League team and up and coming youngsters. Graham moved away from London in 1980 and I would suggest that between 1973 and 1980 he was known by all members active, coaching or committee. He continued to support the club with several significant donations as well as popping up as a spectator at events all over the Country, the last such occasion being the National Road Relays in Birmingham in April 2018. – Paul Oppe
Soon after Graham joined TVH he won the Club 10 mile cross country Championship from Dai Davies, and followed it up with success in the tough Isle of Wight Marathon. Chris Brasher persuaded us to be part of the back-up crew for Joss Naylor’s Pennine Way record attempt, with Graham accompanying him on the first leg over the Cheviot Hills and Joss finally set a new best time. In 1976 Graham won the Belgrave 20 in 1:47:14; in 1977 his marathon personal best in the AAA’s race at Rugby was followed up with a win in the Etienne Gailly Marathon in Belgium. This prefaced quite a few races abroad, including a second place in a half marathon in Switzerland with a PB of 67:57. His last marathon of note was 4th place in the 1979 Milton Keynes race, just over 20 seconds slower than his best. Outside the marathons, Graham was a valuable member of the Club’s teams on the road and over the country and contributed much to their successes. In the 80s work took him to the Midlands, where he moved to Ashby-de- la Zouch and joined Notts AC. He became interested in hill walking, culminating in LEJOG (i.e. Lands End to John-O’-Groats!), which he achieved successfully in 2002. I suspected he regarded this as his greatest achievement. He moved to Devon soon after, and we visited him in Chudleigh in 2005 on our way to the British Orienteering Championship, and we have wondered if this encouraged him to try the sport. Graham joined the Devon Orienteering Club and in recent years took on the roles of membership secretary and organising events. – John Offley
What a first night of competition for the TVH Vets!
On Saturday 14th April TVH’s team of six placed a fantastic 6th English club (7th overall) in the National 6 Stage Road Relays at Sutton Park. The race also doubled up as the South of England Road Relay Championships due to the bad weather cancellation last month.
With not a cloud in sight and the sun shining, the ladies quietly hoped that they would be taking home a South of England medal. But with stiff competition from the likes of Cambridge and Coleridge, Highgate and Southampton this would be no walk in the park. Fortunately, a combination of outstanding and solid performances ensured the bronze medal was theirs.
TVH’s name was up in lights down under as two of our female stars celebrated Commonwealth Games glory on Australia’s Gold Coast.
TVH’s long jumper Lorraine Ugen showed her world-class sprinting speed by anchoring the England team to gold in the 4x100m relay in a new English national record. Lorraine has not run a relay for almost four years, but an injury to Corinne Humphreys, who had run in the semi-final, meant she was asked to step in.
After just 10 minutes of practice with the baton she ran the final leg, holding off Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson to secure victory for the English quartet in 42.46. Lorraine, the British record holder and world indoor bronze medallist in the long jump had earlier finished fourth in her main event.
“I did my first changeovers earlier today,” said Lorraine. “But it went pretty well. I knew if I was going to get called up that I’d only accept it if I knew I could do a good job. The girls gave me a really big lead so all I had to do was hold it. All I was thinking was ‘keep running, keep running’.”
Julia Ratcliffe came back from a back injury in the best possible style to win the hammer, going even better than her silver medal in Glasgow 2014. Her throw of 69.94m was just short of her New Zealand’s national record of 70.75m that she set for TVH in the Southern Athletic League match at Linford Christie Stadium two years ago.
British junior pole vault record holder, Molly Caudery, who vaults for TVH as a higher competition athlete was England’s youngest competitor having just turned 18. Molly only just missed out on the medals by 20cm in her first major senior championships as she finished in an impressive 5th place.
Zoey Clark was coming off the back of gold medal success in the World Indoors narrowly missed out on the final of the 400m individual but can take consolation from her Scottish National record in the 4x400m.
Amelia Stricker was hampered by a recent calf tear but did very extremely well to finish 9th in the shot final in her first Commonwealth Games.
Amongst the men, our second claim athlete Kevin Seaward had Northern Ireland’s best- ever Commonwealth Games marathon finish with an excellent 4th place finish in very hot conditions.
Congratulations too to Track Academy athlete Amar-Mazigh Aichoun, who has come through TVH’s Youth Development League teams, and finished 8th in the T38 100m.
Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia, 8th -15th April 2018, Results:
Amar-Mazigh Aichoun 100m T38 8th 12.14
Amelia Strickler Shot Put QA 4th 16.57m; Shot Put Final 9th 16.78m
Julia Ratcliffe Hammer 1st GOLD 6.94m
Kevin Seaward Marathon 4th 2:19:54
Lorraine Ugen Long Jump QB 3rd 6.42m; Long Jump FInal 4th 6.69m, 4x100m Final 1st GOLD 42.46 English National Record
Molly Caudery Pole Vault Final 5th 4.40m
Zoey Clark 400m Heat 2 2nd 52.07; 400m Semi-Final 1 4th 52.06, 4x400m Final 6th 3:29.18 Scottish National Record