JOCK WADDINGTON - PLOTTING THE RISE

Jock Waddington photographed in March whilst assisting his club, the Isle or Man Veteran Athletes' Club, lap score for the Leinster Management 20 mile road running championships.

 

Jock Waddington is going to produce statistics and graphs for the new White and Healthy End to End Walk website endtoendwalk.org edited by Adrian Cowin. I thought it was time that I should plot Jock's own rapid rise from charity fund raiser to one of the top competitors in the Parish Walk.

It was only in 2004 that Jock first toed the line in a walking race. He entered the Clerical Medical Parish Walk to raise funds for the International Myeloma Foundation and Macmillan Nurses (IoM) in memory of his friend, Robert Greatbatch. He covered the 39 miles to Kirk Michael in 8 hours 59 minutes. Three months later he walked the White and Healthy End to End Walk and reached the Sound in 9:25:21.

It was the following month that the seeds were really sown for where he is today.  After completing his first two walks he didn't know what to do next. He was invited to join Allan Callow's training sessions at the National Sports Centre in Douglas and on the night he first attended the Isle of Man Veteran Athletes' Club were holding their autumn handicap races. He joined the club and listened to Allan's coaching advice before he developed too many bad habits.

Jock soon became a regular at most of the local events and the coaching and training saw him achieve his first Parish Walk finish nine months later in 21:43:59. Although this was a good performance, he was able to improve by a staggering 3:19:03 the following year (2006) - that is almost two and a half minutes per mile faster.

Before that he had taken his End to End Walk time down by over an hour to 8:17:39 but he was to miss the 2006 version of this event. I had assumed that this had something to do with a little 100 mile stroll around the National Sports Centre the previous month but in fact it was for personal reasons. His wedding anniversary falls on 23 September and Jock has resolved that, if the End to End Walk remains on its now customary weekend at the end of September, he will probably miss two out of seven of the walks.

He won't take part if his event falls on his club's event or if the walk is held the day after his anniversary, unless his wife Teri is in an understanding mood! It will be their 19th anniversary this year and they have two children Nicki (13) and Stephen (5). The family must be big supporters of his walking, however, as he is to be rewarded with a 42" Plasma TV, which he has longed for, if he finishes in the top five at the Parish Walk.

Jock finished 9th in his 100 mile debut in 20:57:35 but his split times tell the story of how he slipped from 6th place at 80 miles (where he was ahead of Kevin Marshal, Eammon Harkin and Catherine Lowey and only just behind Michael George). Here are those 20 miles split times: 3:58:16, 3:54:59, 4:09:01, 4:05:24 and 4:49:55. The times talk for themselves and you can feel the pain of the last 20 miles.

Jock has not raced off the Island but is considering the possibility of doing another 100 mile walk in the UK or overseas. Maybe his son Stephen will beat him to it as he did his first race walking with Liz Corran and Michael George this week and he is keen to continue.

The Waddington family live on Belmont Hill in Douglas and Jock was in the Merchant Navy for almost 13 years, and then at Mannvend for just over 12.  Nicki was born the week he started at Mannvend.

In 2007 he improved his Parish Walk time by another 1:36:38 and his personal best now stands at 16:48:18. His time for the End to End Walk was reduced to 7:11:14.

But it's for his technique and his form over the short distances that I am marking his card as a future Parish Walk winner. Now aged 44, he only took up walking less than four years ago after a sport free life until then. He has already knocked 5 minutes off his 20km time in 2008 to record 1:49:53. That is a speed of 8 minutes 51 seconds a mile and is faster than many of the top Parish Walkers.

Last year he felt he started too steadily. Whilst most athletes feel like this when they finish strongly when it is sometimes the good pace judgement that takes them to a good result, there is doubt that he will start faster this year - and stay faster.

Maybe the experience of Sean Hands and Robbie Callister will keep them clear this year, and Michael George carries even more speed than Jock, but I think in a year or two we will see Jock among the favourites.

Jock's career has taken a new direction and he is now Courts Administration Manager utilising the IT skills he developed at Mannvend. His address is Deemsters Walk. We've known for a few year how well deemsters walk but now they have been left behind by their managers!

Parish Walk

End to End

2004

09:25:51

2005

21:43:59

08:17:39

2006

18:24:56

2007

16:48:18

07:11:14

Murray Lambden - 14 March 2008

Jock Waddington picture gallery (photos by Murray Lambden unless stated otherwise)

Parish Walk 2004 at the Round Table

Finishing the End to End in 2004 (Juan Bimson)                

Kirk Michael in 2005

Ramsey in 2006      

A centurion in 2006

Glen Lough in 2007 (Mike Lambden)

 

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