C. 317 Colin Young R.I.P
Colin was a very well known and well liked race walker not only in the UK, but also in France and further afield. Colin passed away on 17 December 2019 and our sport bids farewell to one of its most memorable characters who made a huge contribution to athletics - both as a long distance race walker, and as a founder member of the NUTS (National Union of Statisticians).
Colin took up race walking in 1947, aged 12, and by his early twenties was already winning races competing for Newham & Essex Beagles clocking times of 1:39:27 for 20km in 1962 and 4:35:20 for 50km in 1963.
Colin proved to be a formidable and gutsy competitor and he achieved Centurion status in 1960 at the Walton 24 hours track race covering 131 miles and 37 yards in 24 hours. His 100 mile time was 17:48:05. Two years later he walked from London to Brighton in 8 hr 7 min 42 sec and in 1966 he won the international 100km race in Lugano.
In 1970 Colin (pictured left during the S-P) became the first British race walker to complete the 512km Strasbourg-Paris race coming 5th in 74 hours 24 minutes. This was less than a month since his 2nd place at the Rouen 24 hour race. The following year, Colin won the Rouen 24 hours with a 215,835km and went on to place 3rd in the Strasbourg-Paris covering the 520km in 73 hours 38 minutes. In 1972, Colin won the Rouen 24H again with a distance of 212,015km and went on to compete in the Strasbourg-Paris 513km that year but did not finish.
Colin continued to compete for several more decades, winning numerous international medals as a veteran. Colin was considered to be the expert on reporting the UK and world walking scene and from 1967 to 1986 was the highly respected and ever enthusiastic walking correspondent of Athletics Weekly. For over 60 years he remained a member of the NUTS committee.
There have been many tributes to Colin on Facebook:
from Chris Maddocks: RIP Colin Young, British ultra-distance walks legend 1935-2019. Utmost respect for this inspirational man. Grabbing me by the shoulders as was his want whenever we met, if he talked, I listened. ... Colin had an encyclopedic knowledge for sports names. Another fond memory was his words during and after the 1983 World Cup 50kms. During the race his tough shouting inspired me to finish 9th with a new GB record of 4.02.37. Afterwards he said I should've gone sub 4. He was right of course. RIP Colin. Proud to have been a friend.
from Alain Moulinet:
My friend Denis has just announced a very sad news: Colin Young's death in his 85th year.
Extremely friendly character who marked the March of grand background of the 70s. Winner twice of the 24 h of Rouen in 1971 and 72 with a better performance of 215 km835, he also illustrated himself brilliantly On the first three editions of the Strasbourg-Paris in 1970 5th-71 3th. In particular, he came to the lead at the first mandatory rest in 1970.
You can find the details of these editions in my book "the circle of missing walkers".
My friend Colin, everyone who had the chance to walk by your side is very sad today.
With your so delicious British accent, your look is so original and your brown and curly hair that the wind will shine so cheerful, you will forever stay in our memories.
Goodbye Colin, rest in peace.
Denis Dugast: J'ai rencontré Colin dès 1971 à Londres et Brighton,avec les déplacements organisés par Francis Herbet(avec Alain).Ce fut le début d'une grande amitié sportive avec Alan Buchanan,qui nous présenta les NIHILL PAUL MILLS ROGER,DAVE BOXALL COLIN YOUNG...etc...la marche athétique alors en Angleterre étant une discipline majeure.Pendant des décennies,les champions se sont succédés.Nous avons eu ainsi le privilège de parler à Monsieur WHILOCK HAROLD-Champion olympique à Berlin-1936:50kms en 4h30'31"4!. Nous avons marché à Brighton,il était juge,souvenir inoubliable.Nous avons marché souvent chez nos amis outre manche,et nous avons eu beaucoup d'échanges (Alan Buchanan, Peter Marlow, Bob Dobson(record de GBR à St Denis-50piste),Ken HARDING EDDERSHAW COLIN YOUNG (100piste 24hpiste)…Alain a brillé en Angleterre(8hpiste,50k,Hastings Brighton,London Brighton…),que de souvenirs.Que d'aventures avec Dave Boxall (200K Strasbourg Paris),avec Alan Bob et Colin.Toute la famille Marche pense à lui.
Alain Moulinet: Merci Denis pour ces souvenirs impérissables au royaume des pedestrians. Belle époque incontestablement de la marche athlétique avec des personnages hors du commun. Des amitiés profondes qui dépassaient le cadre du sport. Je souhaite aux générations futures de revivre de tels moments. Nous étions à des années lumières du sport spectacle d'aujourd'hui. Comme le chante si justement Christophe Maé "c'est con le bonheur, car c'est souvent après qu'on sait qu'il était là" ...
John Cannell: Beyond words about Colin . A massive hero of mine. He won our first three T.T walks and was the first man to break 6 hours. The first Brit I think to finish the Strasbourg to Paris. He was one tough man who sadly was always in the shadow of Don Thompson,as everyone was. Loved meeting him. His knowledge about sport was incredible. Race walking,Tour de France etc. He deserves a massive tribute in the media which of course will not happen. So much can be said about this remarkakable man. RIP Colin
Gilbert Sibiril Belver: j aime l hommage et triste a la fois pour lui et ses proches
Pascal Pioppi: Je l'avais accompagné en vélo quelques km à la sortiei de Meaux. Il était au bout de ses forces mais nous avions échangé quelques mots. Un homme solide dans sa tête. Un grand !
Gérard Goujon: UN TOUT GRAND MARCHEUR
Jean Pierre: Chapeaux Un champion ne meurt jamais
Benoit Olmeta: Adieu a un très grand Marcheur de Strasbourg Paris que j'ai connu et apprécié en 1971 qu il repose en paix
From Carl Lawton: I new Colin from the late 60's when I fell into the walking circle. Two events come to mind, one was the GLC 10 at Battersea, in the snow, when he managed to get round without any problem and I slid and slithered to a disastrous race, promising never to race in snow again,
The other was at Brockwell Park, the Lambeth 5, I think Colin had just finished the Strasbourg suffering from sunburn and Pat Duncan slapped him on the back. That did not go down too well. We always had the connection that we shared the same birthday along with Golubnichy.
He was a man I would make an effort to cross a room to talk to and he would talk to anyone.
TIm Erickson'sfull tribute can be read on the Centurion Achievements page