Page 47 - Summer2016Gazette
P. 47

At the time of the
        Olympiad he was
        working as a building site
        manager and the fact that
        he had been selected for
        the Great Britain team did
        not universally attract much
        support. As he recalled to the
        Gazette in 2012 “I had no
        time off work so was not able
        to attend pre-games training”.   those who came
        His boss in the building firm   after him.
        would not even give him time   He gained his selection for
        off for the games. Telling   the Olympic team by finishing
        his story to Athletics Weekly   in the top three in the Open
        in 2011 he said “The team   Championships at the White
        manager got in touch with   City Stadium. His training for
        him and was told that ‘if he   the games varied, consisting
        wants to run, he runs in his   of distance for stamina
        own time not mine’. I asked   or repetitions of routes at
        him and he said the same”.   various speeds with emphasis
        In the end he took two days   on stride patterns. He asked
        off unpaid. There was no   the B.A.A.B for a coach
        help with training or food   but they couldn’t supply
        parcels and no special diets   him one so he would rely on
        were available; this was just   advice from such athletes as
        after the War and austerity   Sydney Wooderson although
        defined these games, especially   he did not agree with all of   “His 14 minutes of  fame.”
        for countries such as Great   his recommendations for a   his previous) and finished
        Britain struggling to recover   training program prior to   fourth behind Dutchman
        from the loss and damage   the games. Training time was   Wil Sliijkhuis. Other personal
        of six years of war. In issue   when not at work such as   bests included 2:36.44 for the
        658 of the Gazette covering   weekends and evenings,   Poly Marathon in which he
        the Summer of 2012 I ran   After the 1948 Olympics   finished 6th and 13:51.10 for
        a feature article called ‘The   he was to compile many   the Southern 3 miles, both of
        Games they are a-changing’   achievements. He won the   which were held within a week
        which compared the various   Surrey 3 miles title and held it   of each other in 1955. By now
        Olympic experiences of four   until 1952 being succeeded by   he was being trained by Franz
        athletes at different eras of   Gordon Pirie. At the AAAs   Stampfl the famous Austrian
        Olympic competition after the   3 miles championships he   athletics coach who also
        War. Jack’s own experience   ran a lifetime best of 14:24.4,   trained Roger Bannister and
        was certainly in contrast to   (20 seconds better than   pioneered interval training.
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