Thursday, 19 August 2010

WORLD BLIND FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS (see LINKS >>>) is the site for video highlights of the 2010 WORLD BLIND FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS (in which only the goalkeepers are sighted) and latest news and results. I can tell you that England are doing much better in the tournament than the sighted players did in South Africa. And as you might expect some of the skills of the blind Brazilian and Argentinian players are truly amazing.

Could there be an England v.Brazil semi-final? Tonight England, having defeated Japan and South Korea, will play Colombia for a place in the semi-final. The rain is falling in Hereford where the games are being played. This will make progress tricky. In similar conditions the England team suffered their only defeat, 0-1 against Spain. Good luck tonight to the boys! A capacity crowd will be right behind them.

GROUP 'A' RESULT: England 1 - 0 Colombia

SEMI-FINAL RESULT: Brazil 5 - 1 England

Final matches*
THE FINAL: Spain 0 - 2 Brazil
3RD PLACE PLAY-OFF: China 1 - 0 England

*8:02 video of these two games and interview with Gordon Banks at the LINK>>>


Saturday, 10 July 2010

Is walking the answer?

I have completed two races this year. Unfortunately not without injury. I think that now I'm in my mid-60's I have to be a little more circumspect. A running injury that took 3 or 4 weeks to get over can now take much longer, several months in fact. And so I'm looking for an alternative form of exercise, at least until my injury settles down. Nature must always be given a chance to heal. I recall about ten years ago I injured my foot;perhaps a minor fracture somewhere in the arch. It felt like that anyway. It took 12 months to get back to running. Maybe my groin strain will also take that long. If so, then I'm mentally prepared to adapt. And so I've recently bought a pair of entry level Nordic Walking Sticks.
The shop assistant gave me a 10-minute course in the technique up and down the wide aisles of the multi-national sports-equipment supermarket and confidently sent me on my way. After 3 tentative days, during which small children laughed at me and big dogs bellowed as I passed, I found that I'd mastered the basic skills involved. In fact, I soon found that I was even inserting one or two confidence boosting flourishes into my walking style. And so I go on. My shoulders and upper arms appear to appreciate the work out, and without the pounding involved in mountain running my legs now have the opportunity to recover from the strains imposed upon them. A shelf full of cups, medals and trophies won since I was 60 are a sign that I've been pushing myself a little bit too hard.
So, is walking the answer? It could well be. Ask me again in 6 months.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Pink Ribbon Fun Run 2010

The Pink Ribbon Fun Run 2010 takes place in Vienna on Saturday 17th April 2010. The blue line shows the route, which begins and ends at the red spot.

The anti-clockwise city centre course is 2.5kms long. The finish line is the finish line that will be used in the Vienna City Marathon, which takes place the following day.

The purpose of the Pink Ribbon Fun Run is to raise money for breast cancer victims. Entry is a €15 donation which may be made at the Heldenplatz start field from 10:00am onwards on the day. The race starts at 2:00pm.

There will be no official results, printouts of race times, or any prize presentations after the race. Every participant is a winner!

Good luck to us all!
(runner no. 20609)
Result: 700 runners = €10,000 for the charity!

Friday, 9 April 2010

A new trail running magazine!

A quarterly magazine dedicated to trail running is to be launched in the UK. Publishers of the magazine 'Trail' are behind the venture. The first two issues of 'Trail Runner' will be bagged together with 'Trail'. More information about this exciting project is available via Bard on the Run's MS&T link >>>
...and don't forget to send your used running shoes, provided they are in a reasonable condition and have more than 100km+ of tread left on them, to:
Shoe 4 Africa
PO Box 6943

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Looking ahead

Jon S. at the 3-Peaks: Ingleborough, Pen-Y-Ghent and Whernside

Yes, it's that time of year again. The thaw has set in and there's energy in the air. You can feel it, or at least I can. It's palpable. Suddenly there's sunlight about the place. There's a new freshness abroad. Why, some people are even smiling.
And so, it's time to renew and replenish. Away with the aches and pains of old age. Out with the running shoes! Show me a mountain. I want to run up it. But not yet.

It's a case of slow and steady at first. A routine must be got into. The body must become accustomed to the new regime. In a few weeks, with 5 kgs less to carry about, this Bard will be flying. It's been a long time, a long winter. But the running season is definitely on the horizon. This cheers me immensely.

Mountains, lakes and riverside paths are still covered with snow. In another month or two the paths and trails will be free. I look at my prizes; running trophies for sexagenarians! Yes, once again, I'll be ready. The call of the trails is irresistible. I can hardly wait.
The FRA Calendar 2010 features mountain and hill races in GB; everything from the Chelmorton Chase (Derbyshire) to the Cader Idris Mountain Race (Wales) and much more, in fact 500 races in all. We don't know how lucky we are! I hope to be over for one or two during the year, if I can escape from the Alps.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


The colour of the earth hereabouts is brown. It had no choice in the matter. In other places the earth is yellow, red, white, black, blue, grey, orange; and hundreds of other shades of these and many other colours; often depending on the light and other factors. Of course, we are all differently coloured too.
I mention this because a poll is taking place today to decide if a holding station for refugees should be built. The local populous at the proposed site is expected vote massively (85%)* against the scheme, despite a plea from the local priest to 'help our brother in his hour of need'. But then, if a man's skin is a different colour to mine is he my brother? Yes, local politics has its colour too.


choose your colour if you can,
take the colour they give you,
be yourself and be all colours
be no colours
just be


*final result: 89.8% voted against the plan.
On the night of this Volksabstimmung a bus carrying Kosovo-Albanians returning to their new homeland in Germany crashed in Austria with tragic consequences. Early reports are of 6 dead and 35 injured. The Austrian media often speaks of asylum seakers being untergetaucht or disappeared below the radar and therefore living in a shady world of criminals and drug dealers. In reality, these untergetaucht people make their way to Germany where they figure they'll get a better deal. For Austria it's a convenient and inexpensive way of dealing with a perceived problem. Auslander angst or fear of foreigners is a major political and moral issue in this Alpine republic. The bus accident is Sod's Law.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Looking for Eric; Monsieur Cantona that is.

The Ken Loach film Looking for Eric is a must for anybody with the slightest interest in the beautiful game. The interspersed sports newsreel footage alone is worth the price of the cinema ticket.

To see the skills of Cantona at intervals on the big screen is a treat not to be missed. There's a wonderful slow motion clip of Cantona's favourite moment; his unforgettable outside of the foot pass to Irwin. "You have to trust your teammates" says the flawed genius. Irwin tucks it away. The pass is the metaphor.

Ex-Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona, and his alter ego - postman Eric Bishop, a man with a troublesome son called Ryan and a pair of blue suede shoes, battle bravely against all odds. They get mixed-up with criminals, with the fairer sex, have stress at work, are kind to children, smoke harmless roll-ups, share a bottle of wine and even go jogging together. And like good heroes, yes, they come through it all together. If they didn't there wouldn't be much point to the film.

The many sayings of Cantona are there and like the sardines they are fed to the seagulls. Friends in the end are discovered to be much more than friends and, as happens in the real world, the petty mobsters and psychopaths are found to be unscrupulous and cruel. But they will be punished for it. We have more choices than we believe, says Cantona. And so, after a brainstorming session down at the pub, the crooks are finally defeated.

Drama, comedy and Cantona on the ball - and all for the price of a match programme and the half-time meat pie.

Go follow your trawler!