Wolverhampton Marathon 1986 Short on Measured Distance
The fault of the marathon distance has been today requested an explanation by participant Kevin Roche.
Billy Wilson states yes I did resign my voluntary position as Race Director in 1988. The event stopped until 2002 whence Carvers restarted it for advertising. Now it has been cancelled in September 2018 because of very low entry.
Wolverhampton 1982-84 was British Premier Marathon alongside London and Glasgow.
1986 Course Director Terry Guy was and still is a very good friend and a good runner.
Totally voluntary Terry as Course Director drove a 2CV Citroen ahead of Andrews beautiful racing car as lead vehicle.
Terry Guy knew the route then in the euphoria of the race crowd of cheering supporters. Terry stopped at friends drink station. Andrews racing car lead vehicle continued with the 6500 runners following. Without the route director the lead vehicle missed a turn added to make up the distance causing a short cut of the measured distance.
History can never be altered. We can all recall and remember the good times and pray that Wolverhampton Marathon may return to bring together the wonderful community spirit.
For the history books true facts are here in my Express and Star scrapbook. Billy Wilson did the following absolutely voluntary with major events calling for Billy’s enterprise. Hyde Park 1980, Sunday Times Fun Run, Billy Wilson starred in the event.
London Marathon 1983 20 Years Service
2 coach loads of Wolverhampton Marshals letter boxed the whole route then organised and controlled London Marathon Expo, thence marshalled the finish area. Billy Wilson was on a truck leading the lead vehicle with a team of pirate catchers to prevent publicity seekers harassing front runners.
By 1986 Chris Brasher and John Disley Olympic Medallists had recognised Billy Wilson renowned Jogger and Billy’s creative mind. Under guidance from Chris and John, Billy created British Association of Marathon Runners then with Vince Regan Bolton created AIMS – Association of International Marathons. All proudly to put Wolverhampton on the map of the world.
Billy Wilson welcomed friendships from all over Britain giving directions for other City Marathons, operating in a secretariat here in Wolverhampton. 5 years of solid devotion on one condition :- that all meetings were held here at Wolverhampton. Even the bosses of Amateur Athletics Association came here to pay homage. They offered to Billy Wilson a key job based in London, Billy was far too devoted to the kids and Horse Sanctuary plus our local running club with a series of events. 1978-79 Boxing Day Jolly Holly Jog, January 1st resolution run, Feb 14th Valentines Run, May 1st 1979 first May Day Half Marathon, South staffs Half Marathon, Perton Wild Good Chase, Pattingham Bells (still going 28 years), Wombourne 10, Darlaston Dash, Bilston Bash, Wolverhampton Road Runners, Black Country 20, Wolverhampton Marathon, Wolverhampton Millennium Walk, May 1986 Hyde Park Sport Aid Bob Geldolf, 4 coach loads of Wolverhampton marshals to control the start of 80,000 runners. Were you on those coaches? We never got paid for the transport, Sport Aid went into liquidation!!!! So who pocketed the cash??
1987 Marathon launches the town carnival atmosphere with 32 vintage vehicles from 1921 to 1949 parading in front of marathon runners for the whole 26.2 miles led by ex-policeman Joe Davies, with hundreds of marshals lining the route for over 4000 runners with 20 community ass., 16 schools, 12 sponsors led by Express and Star and Mander Centre.
May 1982 the Tories won Wolverhampton Council Politics, they decided to not sponsor marathon funds for March 1988. So Billy Wilson and Pete Boot said we cannot take a year off! So together we funded and put on the Black Country 20 miles, same route as the Marathon. We hired Molineux Football Stadium for the start and finish, increased the carnival show with vintage vehicles and sideshows. It was a beautiful sunny day for a grand finale (videos are available).
Then the town council marathon committee reassembled to congratulate our organisation saying ‘let us make 1989 marathon a sensation’. Billy Wilson said ‘off you go with the best of luck’. I have retired from the marathon to concentrate on Tough Guy® and Tettenhall Kids and Horse Sanctuary. Hence I believe the marathon committee disbanded.
Wolverhampton Marathon was restarted in 2002 as a promotion for Carvers with Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletic Club to organise. This marathon has now been cancelled for September 2018.