By Alastair Aitken
Bill Adcocks was fifth in the Mexico Olympic Marathon IN 1968 and before that 2nd in the Commonwealth Marathon in Kingston Jamaica in 1966. He held the Athens  Marathon course record (2:11.07.2 1969) for a very long time and he was a product of the 'Great' Coventry Godiva club of the 1960s that produced European, Commonwealth Champions and Olympic marathon medallists.

In talking to him at the 'National 12 Stage' Road relays and mentioning someone like Chris Thompson of Aldershot deciding not to do the relay as he was going to do the London Marathon 8 days later?
You used to run relays consistently to get sharp for the marathon?
" Very much so. In 1970 i went to Japan and won the marathon  on the  Sunday (2:13.46 at Otsu on 12th of April 1970). I Ran here at Sutton Park on a Long Leg the following Saturday. That was the way you did it You loved running, you got in there and did it. Now many people are finding a reason not to do things not a reason to do things. It is a whole mind set altogether. If they were better as a result you would have to stand back and say, well fair enough! You have got it right where we got it wrong but it is the converse. It is not that way round. They are not doing so well.'..
'They are not doing things which I think are fundamental to their education, social well being within the sport. A whole range of skills and inter-actions that are so important."
When you used to run races like the Athens Marathon record you did lots and lots of relays?
" Yes indeed. For couple of months up to the relays. I did not run the 'National'  because I had been injured but nearly every week there was a relay to do and that got me sharp. I was getting the miles in but this was my fast work. 5 miles hard, you should be able to do that.

There should not be a reason why you are not doing it. You should be adding to the icing on the cake a week before. You don't go to bed for a week! The trouble is a lot of people that are coaching have never done it. They have only learnt it in a book.

It is what I call 'The Emperors New Clothes Syndrome' Somebody says something and they are all standing there, nodding' I am the little boy at the side saying 'Hang on he has got no clothes on!'

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Posted Date: 11th Apr 2014