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Many Happy Returns to Richard

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Many Happy Returns to Richard

Richard Vlotman (Centurion 529) who completed the 1974 Leicester-to-Skegness Walk in 19.55.23 will celebrate his 80th birthday on January 6th 2017.
Still active - he enjoys a recreational walk and plays bowls to a good standard. Richard, despite now living in Canada, was the first to book tickets for our 2011 Centurions' Centenary Dinner at the House of Commons - and he came over for it with his wife (combining his visit with a holiday based around Scotland & France).

Richard only came into race walking by accident. He was a racing cyclist and somebody nicked his bike. He couldn't afford a new one at the time, so took up walking and joined his local Club (Brighton & Hove AC).
His sub-20 hours' timing didn't get an award in those days...19 hours & 55 minutes guarantees top 3 finishes today but in 1974 saw several ahead of him. His Clubmate Dave Boxall (C464) won this race in the 17 hours' time bracket - so bringing a hat-trick of victories in successive years.
There were no immediate presentations then (we returned to Leicester for a Presentation Dinner after their annual Open 7 Miles in September), so Dave disappeared. Dave was going to arrange a lift for Richard, to get him back to Leicester (where he had a return railway ticket to Brighton). Somehow arrangements got mixed up and Richard was stranded. I'd booked a B&B room for Saturday night (no problem in Skegness), along with my attendant (Bill Newhill) and the late late Ralph Morris (C546). I drove Ralph, Bill & Ralph back to Leicester on the Sunday (all '70s races were Fridays/Saturdays).

Dave Ainsworth
30 December 2016

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