Andy Holden (athlete)

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Andy Holden
Personal information
Birth nameJohn Andrew Holden
Born22 October 1948(1948-10-22)
Leyland, Lancashire, England
Dee'd4 Januar 2014(2014-01-04) (aged 65)
KintraUnited Kingdom
Event(s)Lang-distance rinnin
ClubPreston Harriers, Tipton Harriers

John Andrew Holden (22 October 1948 – 4 Januar 2014) wis an Inglis lang distance rinner that's athletic career peaked in the 1970s. His strangest event wis the 3000 m steeplechase, fur whilk he represented his kintra in the 1972 Simmer Olympics.

Holden's best performance in the steeplechase wis 8:26.4 in September 1972, pittin doon a British record. He still haudit a national aw-time tap 20 whan he deet 42 year later.[1] Efter his track career cam tae an end, Holden teuk up road racin, whaur he conteena'd tae race in the veteran categories for mony years. His best o 28:29 for the 10 km road race is a British record for ower-35s.[2]

Biography[eedit | eedit soorce]

Holden wis brocht up in the Lancashire town o Leyland, an represented Preston Harriers as a junior,[3] typically in cross kintra. In 1968, he went tae the University o Birmingham tae study dentistry. Whiles at university, he won the junior title in the 1969 Inglis Cross Kintra Championships, beatin futur warld 10,000 m record hauder Dave Bedford.[4]

Holden's first experience o senior international contest cam in 1969, whan he wis waled for an international cross kintra meeting in Braaschaat, Belgium. The race finished wi a British 1–2–3 in that Holden wis seicont, ahint Ron Hill an aheid o Bedford.[5] Twa month later, Holden wis pairt o the Ingland team that won the team competition at the 1969 International Cross Kintra Championships; Holden placed 24th.[6] On the track, Holden finished third in the 3000 m steeplechase in the AAA Championships,[7] but wis owerleuked in the selections for the 1969 European Championships.[8] His first win in an international meeting cam in Verona in August 1969. His time wis at first thocht to be a British record for the steeplechase, but the course wis fand tae be short whan remeasured.[9]

1970 stairtit weel for Holden; he won the British University cross kintra championship for the seicont year in a row.[10] In his first major track championship, the 1970 British Commonweal Gemms, Holden placed 5th in the 3000 m steeplechase.[11] The neist month, he won the AAA title.[12] Holden then won silver in the 3000 m steeplechase in the 1970 Warld Student Gemms, ahint European champion Mikhail Zhelev.[13] As the saison cam tae a close, Holden faced Kip Keino, the 3000 m warld record hauder, in a 3000 m race at an indoor meetin. Holden raced frae the front an pushed the Kenyan hard, but wis owertaen in the final 100 m.[14]

Holden keppit his AAA steeplechase title in 1971.[15] A meetin at Crystal Palace in September saw Holden face Dave Bedford for the British steeplechase record. Holden wis ahint Bedford bi fower seiconts efter three laps, but caucht his rival wi 800 m left. Bedford won in a sprint finish, bi a margin o 0.2 seiconts.[16] Tho he lost tae Bedford, Holden's time of 8:28.8 wis twa seiconts faster nor the foregaun record, set bi Gerry Stevens.

Holden wisna able tae tak a third successive university cross kintra title in 1972. Racing anely twa-three week efter haein an appendectomy, he finished seicont.[17] Holden represented Great Britain in the 3000 m steeplechase in the 1972 Simmer Olympics, but finished fift in his heat an wis eliminatit.[18] At the close o the ootdoor track saison, at the same meeting he haed tussled wi Bedford the year afore, Holden set a British record for the 3000 m steeplechase. At 8:26.4, the time wis 2.2 seiconts faster nor that set bi Bedford.[19]

Holden wis an amateur the hale o his athletic thrift. Efter he qualified as a dentist, Holden flittit tae the West Midlands, an practised dentistry fu-time alangside his athletic activities. He wis kent for his ability tae keep at competitive levels despite drinkin muckle amoonts o alcohol. He is alleged tae hae drunk ten pints o beer the nicht afore winnin the 1979 Bermuda marathon in a course-record time, an he ance ran 100 mile (160 km) an drank 100 imperial pint (57 l) o beer in a single week.[20]

In later years, Holden focused on the marathon; his personal best at the distance wis 2:15:17,[3] a performance that gied him third place in the 1980 AAA championship.[21] His marathon wirk includit the first European Marathon Cup in 1981, in that he finished 26th.[22] His best marathon performance in the AAA championships wis seicont in 1981.[23] An unco mishap stappit him frae claimin victory in the 1986 Belfast Marathon, efter the heid car twice teuk a wrang turn, at 7 an 22 mile. The lost time pruived crucial; Holden wis caucht with 400 yard tae gang an lost bi 10 seiconts.[24] Holden representit his local club Tipton Harriers, whaur he coached, for several decades, an keppit up wi the racin intil the 1990s.[25]

Holden deet on 4 Januar 2014, efter tholin heal problems sin an aortic aneurysm three year syne.[25]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "Ranking List". British Athletics power of 10. Retrieved 19 Januar 2014.
  2. "Andy Holden". British Athletics power of 10. Retrieved 19 Januar 2014.
  3. a b "Tribute to a former Olympian Andy Holden". Lancashire Evening Post. 7 Januar 2014. Archived frae the original on 4 Mairch 2016. Retrieved 16 Januar 2014. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "lep" defined multiple times wi different content
  4. "Andy Holden – R.I.P." Tipton Harriers. 5 Januar 2014. Retrieved 16 Januar 2014.
  5. "Hill wins in Belgium". The Guardian. 13 Januar 1969. p. 12.
  6. John Rodda (24 Mairch 1969). "England's cup overflowing". The Guardian. p. 19.
  7. Christopher Brasher (3 August 1969). "Five titles go West". The Observer. p. 20.
  8. John Rodda (3 September 1969). "British now at strength in Athens". The Guardian. p. 16.
  9. John Rodda (18 August 1969). "Sherwood to the rescue". The Guardian. p. 14.
  10. "Holden wins". The Observer. 1 Februar 1970. p. 24.
  11. "Results for Athletics – 3000m Steeplechase – Men". Commonwealth Games Federation. Archived frae the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 16 Januar 2014.
  12. Christopher Brasher (9 August 1970). "Wilkinson turns on the steam". The Observer. p. 15.
  13. "Britain keep up to scratch". The Guardian. 7 September 1970. p. 17.
  14. John Rodda (23 November 1970). "Holden attacks in vain". The Guardian. p. 20.
  15. Neil Allen (26 Julie 1971). "Bedford escapes to Swedish isolation". The Times. p. 7.
  16. Neil Allen (11 September 1971). "Bedford sets steeplechase record". The Times. p. 15.
  17. Neil Allen (27 Mairch 1972). "Race with Bedford can justify Lane's belief". The Times. p. 9.
  18. "Andy Holden". Sports Reference. Archived frae the original on 18 Apryle 2020. Retrieved 19 Januar 2014. Archived 2020-04-18 at the Wayback Machine
  19. Neil Allen (16 September 1972). "Holden banishes post-Olympic blues". The Times. p. 15.
  20. "Andy Holden – obituary". Daily Telegraph. 14 Januar 2014. Retrieved 16 Januar 2014.
  21. Christopher Brasher (4 Mey 1980). "Return of the loner". The Observer. p. 31.
  22. Cliff Temple (14 September 1981). "Sickness hits British hopes". The Times. p. 7.
  23. John Rodda (11 Mey 1981). "Jones the master of demanding course". The Guardian. p. 17.
  24. "Holden lead astray by the lead car". The Times. 6 Mey 1986. p. 37.
  25. a b "Tipton Harriers legend Andy Holden dies". Birmingham Mail. 7 Januar 2014. Retrieved 16 Januar 2014. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "bhammail" defined multiple times wi different content