Home 
Information 
Blogs 
Feature 
Old features 
Statistics 
Sponsorship 
Videos 
Photos 
Archives 
Media 
Organising 
manxharriers 
manxathletics 
forum 

 

The Scottish Widows Parish Walk

Start time: 8 am on 26 June 2010

Record entry of 1710

PROGRAMME

 

Dave Fereday is one of only 21 people to have finished all 29 London Marathons. This year he returns to the Parish Walk after 50 years.

The start of the 1960 Parish Walk - Dave Fereday (in shorts) was one of the 35 starters and is seen behind Peter Lewthwaite (32)

Dave Fereday was born and brought up in Muswell Hill, north London and was "called up" for National Service in 1959.  He was chosen for officer training which meant that for 12 weeks in 1960 he was stationed in the Isle of Man.

During his brief residency in the Isle of Man the Parish Walk was revived and Dave took the plunge and entered the race. He was 22 years old in May 1960 and, although this was to be his one and only walking event (to date), he started running at the age of 19 when his football team had no match one weekend and he responded to an advert by Hampstead Harriers for a novice race - which he won.  He has kept a log of every race and training session since then. Although he ran 57:25 for 10 miles as a 22 year old he was not good enough to make his club team for the National Cross Country - how times change!

Three years before winning the novice race Dave won his school cross country race in 1954.

He didn't really know what he was letting himself in for when he started the Parish Walk and it was to be much later in his life before he found out just how good he was to be at endurance events. He recalls that he was ill-prepared without a change of clothes and when the rain came he suffered in the cold of the night and cramped up. He called a day at Jurby at 7 am, which was convenient to return to his barracks, exactly 12 hours after the Friday 7 pm start.

Until the 80s walkers used to have a card signed (later clipped) as evidence that they had reached each church. Here is Dave's 1960 card.

After his training at Jurby he was stationed at RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton for the remainder of his two years of National Service.  Many older people will remember RAF Cosford as the home of indoor athletics from where the BBC (and later ITV) used to regularly televise athletes racing around the wooden boards.  Dave's role at the RAF base was to teach maths and science.

Isle of Man Veteran Athletes Club Chairman Colin Watterson is pictured at RAF Cosford in the 80s.

Dave's working life has been spent with his family's engineering and manufacturing business of H. Fereday & Sons Ltd which has been operating for more than 140 years. He is the great-grandson of the company founder which is based in Harlow in Essex. Although Dave still works full time as Chairman and head of sales, he moved to Ryton in Tyne & Wear after marrying for a second time.

He played tennis and table tennis to a reasonable standard and he was 42 before he decided to run a marathon.  He says that he had been inspired by the 1948 Olympic Marathon in London but it took him 32 years to start the training!

The week commencing 10 August 1980 was his first week of marathon training and he planned to run the 1981 Isle of Wight Marathon.  But then along came Chris Brasher and Dave was amongst the 9,000 who completed the very first London Marathon.

The number of athletes who have finished every one has dwindled each year, Manxman Ian Callister did the first 15 and has done 20 in total.  Dave is one of just 21 people in that elite group.

Dave's first London Marathon took him 3:13:55 but within five years he had reduced his time to 2:44:12.

Dave (165) is pictured in the 1985 Belgrave 20 miles - the year he set his best marathon time

By 2008 he found that his knees would no longer allow him to run and, perhaps this was where his Parish Walk experience was helpful, he decided to race walk the 2008 London Marathon. He became a public advocate of race walking as this letter to Athletics Weekly demonstrates:

Dave is pictured walking the London Marathon last year, aged 71, in 5:38:02

Age

Year

Time

43

1981

3:13:55

44

1982

3:07:05

45

1983

2:48:44

46

1984

2:46:32

47

1985

2:44:12

48

1986

2:58:53

49

1987

3:04:47

50

1988

2:57:02

51

1989

2:55:14

52

1990

2:54:51

53

1991

2:55:26

54

1992

3:11:43

55

1993

3:22:26

56

1994

3:12:03

57

1995

3:44:44

58

1996

3:40:39

59

1997

3:23:25

60

1998

3:19:25

61

1999

3:26:56

62

2000

4:02:08

63

2001

3:49:53

64

2002

3:46:17

65

2003

3:37:53

66

2004

3:47:29

67

2005

3:54:09

68

2006

4:07:08

69

2007

4:06:32

70

2008

5:42:12

71

2009

5:38:02

Dave's London Marathon record

In 2007 Dave competed in the National Cross Country Championships 50 years after his debut as another letter to Athletics Weekly demonstrates.

In 2010 he intends to do the same with the Scottish Widows Parish Walk. He would like to walk the 45 miles to Jurby faster as a 72 year old than as a 22 year old.  He thought that if he completed the whole course he would be the oldest to do so but was delighted to learn that Michael Gray kept moving up the bar to its current height of 74.  Mind you, he could be the oldest person to complete the course for the first time!

Murray Lambden - 10 January 2010

Sources: Telephone interview with Dave on 10 January 2010; Athletics Weekly 23 April 2009; hferriday.com  everpresent.org.uk

manxathletics.com feature

Route

Rules

Sponsorship

Course map

Elizabeth Corran (race secretary)

Scottish Widows Parish Walk website

parishwalk.com is a part of manxathletics.com an independent site designed, edited and funded by Murray Lambden  The event is organised by Manx Harriers and sponsored by Scottish Widows neither of whom are responsible for the content of the site. The official entry forms, race information and results are published here on behalf of the organisers together with independent pictures, statistics and general information compiled by the editor.  The links to the live timing provided by SPORTident and sponsored by Manx Telecom are on a separate computer and not controlled by the editor.  He is, however, grateful to both parties for making the information available to him. Thanks to the Parish Walk committee of Manx Harriers for organising a great event..    Murray's Parish Walk Blog

 

tumblr hit tracking tool

 The only advert