In the second part of their interview with Shaun Pickering, Steve Green and Matt Long unpick how the forthcoming BMC Virtual 1km Time Trial can be of assistance to the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund
Part one of the interview can be found here.
Shaun Pickering, the son of the late, great BBC commentator Ron Pickering, is keen to talk about recent charity work involving The 2.6 Challenge.
With enthusiasm he says: “We recently asked our friends and some of the athletes we have helped to take on The 2.6 Challenge where they challenged each other to 26 press ups on the day the London Marathon was due to take place.
“We also had one of our trustees, Goldie Sayers, throw a javelin a total of 2.6 miles that same day and raise over £2,000 for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (RPMF).”
2.6 challenge for @RunforRon. 26 press ups in 26 seconds. @RunforRon has helped me massively aswell as 1000's of other young athletes over the years. They continue to give future champions a start. Please donate! pic.twitter.com/5Yp91iTubM
— John Lane (@85_lane) April 27, 2020
Shaun is keen that people are aware that they can still sponsor the affectionately-named ‘Ronners’ as they train for the London Marathon and support future young athletes in need. Anyone that wishes to donate to the RPMF can go to the website: www.rpmf.org.uk/donate
While not an endurance athlete himself, as a well-respected athlete and person within athletics Shaun discusses the value of the British Milers’ Club in the wider sport.
“I am definitely built more for comfort rather than speed, but I personally have always been a fan of the BMC and all they do for the middle-distance community, in particular providing a great resource of material for coaches and athletes, but also well-organised competition opportunities at a variety of levels to encourage and help athletes to improve,” he says. “It is a great model that all event groups can learn from.”
The Pickering family also has a long history with some of the key protagonists in the mile event, as Shaun fondly recalls: “My mother, then Jean Desforges, was part of the same training group as Roger Bannister, Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, under the guidance of the great Franz Stampfl, when they combined to break the four-minute barrier in May of 1954.
“We were also great family friends of Diane Leather (later Charles) who was a similar barrier-breaker with the first sub-five-minute mile for women.”
Many readers of a certain age will always relate Ron Pickering to the ‘golden age’ of middle-distance running. With more than a hint of nostalgia, Shaun reflects: “My father also got to commentate on some of the great races of that wonderful purple patch in the late 70s and early 80s when Ovett, Coe and Cram were world-beaters in the mile in particular.
“I have a picture of my father up on the wall in my office of my father interviewing the ‘big three’ for BBC at one event in the mid-1980s, which holds a special place in the history of our sport. Seb Coe also joined and trained at the Haringey AC club that my dad was president of and was a very special club in that period.”
The free-to-enter British Milers’ Club 1km Time Trial, taking place on May 22-25 is raising money for the RPMF at justgiving.com/fundraising/bmc1k
It is the BMC’s second foray into the world of virtual events, with over 1200 having completed the first event – the Bannister Mile – which raised over £1700 for Turn2US.
As reported, Piers Copeland (pictured, 4:02) and Lilly Coward (4:38) returned the fastest times over the three days. The 1km event has over 1500 entries and promises another weekend of distance time trials over a shorter distance.
Athletes can enter at data.opentrack.run/x/2020/GBR/bmc1k before midnight BST on Tuesday May 19.