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  • #16
    Originally posted by jhc68
    How do they time now days at Stawell? Anyone here ever actually been to the meet? Is it as much fun as it sounds?
    Do you mean what timing mechanism?

    Electronic like at normal meets...that shift happened in 1982 (for a full list of winners, times handicaps etc see http://www.stawellgift.com/images/stori ... 201878.xls)

    I attended 6 or 7 in a row from early 1990s. It was a huge amount of fun, especially as you can bet on the races. Also is at the end of Aussie track season, so most folks are in party mode. Completely takes over what is otherwise a pretty sleepy township...

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    • #17
      Originally posted by paulthefan
      Originally posted by Daisy
      Originally posted by paulthefan
      I will go out on a limb and say that they had grass even in the stone age.
      Not bowling green quality, which was Kuha's main point.
      yes, there were no streams, brooks or hills on the course. point well taken. I suspect that you lost a bit running on that soft as silk surface relative to later cinder surfaces and more than a bit relative to the future's synthetic surfaces.
      My point was quite simple: the track we see in these films is really beautiful, flat as a pool table, and obviously tended very well. MANY folks today tend to think of the "early days" as very crude--but that is clearly not necessarily true.

      And, speaking from experience, a fine grass track is far better than an average cinder track.

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      • #18
        Fabulous stuff! Only regret I have is we did not see Alvin Kraenzlein performing.
        He did appear in the 1901 Huddersfield clip but did not run the hurdles in the 1902 Birmingham clip. I believe Kraenzlein must have been one of the first hurdlers to use the straight ahead lead leg.

        I was also very impressed by the 3 rotation Hammer thrower.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Per Andersen
          Fabulous stuff! Only regret I have is we did not see Alvin Kraenzlein performing.
          He did appear in the 1901 Huddersfield clip but did not run the hurdles in the 1902 Birmingham clip. I believe Kraenzlein must have been one of the first hurdlers to use the straight ahead lead leg.

          I was also very impressed by the 3 rotation Hammer thrower.
          I agree re Kraenzlein. This is the only motion picture I've seen of him. By not showing his race at the 1901 AAA, what we miss was him running 15 2/5, a world record for a grass track (his cinder track wr was 15 1/5 from 1898. He retired in January '02.

          Kraenzlein was recognized at the time as revolutionizing the hurdles, with his straight lead leg and right angle hurdle clearance. I suspect however, that the form must have been evolving to this position, as Stephen Chase had run 15 2/5 at least three time in 1895-96.

          Kraenzlein had superior flat speed (10 even) to Chase, and better hurdling technique, so Chase couldn't have been doing something too different than Kraenzlein.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by kuha
            My point was quite simple: the track we see in these films is really beautiful, flat as a pool table, and obviously tended very well.
            The Birmingham event was held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. The first game of cricket was played there in 1886 and it's still a leading venue for test matches (international games between England and visiting national teams). Here's a picture taken last year:

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            • #21
              Originally posted by marknhj
              Originally posted by kuha
              My point was quite simple: the track we see in these films is really beautiful, flat as a pool table, and obviously tended very well.
              The Birmingham event was held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. The first game of cricket was played there in 1886 and it's still a leading venue for test matches (international games between England and visiting national teams). Here's a picture taken last year:

              Back in 1997 I was there on the first day when England bowled out Australia for 118 and Nasser Hussein batted for 207.

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              • #22
                The most famous early track in Birmingham was the 501y "oval" at Aston Lower Grounds. It was nearly rectangular in shape and was placed around a cricket pitch. It also had some up- and down-hill segments to it...

                By the way, does everyone know about: www.runtrackdir.com?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by dj


                  I agree re Kraenzlein. This is the only motion picture I've seen of him. By not showing his race at the 1901 AAA, what we miss was him running 15 2/5, a world record for a grass track (his cinder track wr was 15 1/5 from 1898. He retired in January '02.

                  Kraenzlein was recognized at the time as revolutionizing the hurdles, with his straight lead leg and right angle hurdle clearance. I suspect however, that the form must have been evolving to this position, as Stephen Chase had run 15 2/5 at least three time in 1895-96.

                  Kraenzlein had superior flat speed (10 even) to Chase, and better hurdling technique, so Chase couldn't have been doing something too different than Kraenzlein.
                  i dug out an old F.A.M. Webster book. He writes briefly about an A.C.M. Croome who was at Oxford. Croome was supposed to be a student of the event and developed a straight lead leg. Webster notes 2 times for him, 16 2/5 against Cambridge and later 15 2/5 (probably questionable as Croome competed around 1885)
                  Webster does not mention the year for these times but indicates that Kraenzlein developed the technique further.
                  My copy of Webster's book is in a Norwegian translation and who knows how accurate the translations were.

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