Ian Hague

This Saturday i make the return to a venue, where in January 1977, i won the Sheffield Schools City Cross Country Championships.

On Saturday i will run the Graves Park parkrun.

The events of thirty eight years ago remain to this day, the proudest moment. And when i say this, its not so much to do with winning on the day, but the people i remember back to, who have left their mark and legacy with me.

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One in particular, Ian Hague. His short life epitomised the spirit to which he afforded those fortunate enough to run under his singular example of rare guidance. His ability as a mentor and coach extended far beyond the usual relationship of pupil and PE teacher. His, was an unpicking of the students presence of being, embellished with an enthusiasm for athletics which carried forth and with the same verve of witness, extended to the occasion when i last saw him, shortly before his passing, for what must have been his own tortuous inquiry into the nature of a terminal illness, but again with a relentless enthusiasm ironically, with life maintained.

He was one of those chaps that had voice, it still resonates when i think back on him to this day.

Never seen without his tracky bottoms or brightly coloured shorts, his was a presence of uplift at any cross country or athletics course.

It was not always plain sailing and he eventually barred me from running for the school team. Here again was a lesson in fortitude for the young pupil. When i reflect back, i think he was right to have done so, i was an impatient arrogance burning up however, when we met again a number of years after i had left school, he corrected my assumption by surprisingly stating that he thought the stand i had made, had been the right choice at the time. Again, i am left wondering if this was not just another life affirming coaching lesson from himself to the younger man.

Ian was a close friend of Seb Coe, a former pupil of the school. I have to say, in 2012, with all the fanfare of the Olympics, a part of me wished that Seb would somehow mark Ian’s legacy.

In my view, it is the Ian Hague’s of this world who we all have to remember. The wisdom of the Friday team talks picking up on what shoes one might be wearing and WHY?

But Ian, although large in character would i am now sure, not be the one for the light fantastic in memory or indeed, the over quoted ‘legacy’, his was the unassuming departure of grace and dignity as remarked by his elegance of running style akin to Mr Coe’s himself.

When i run on Saturday it is a birthday present to self, to return to this park, but it is a present to be in the memory of his presence, Ian Hague’s, who i will embrace with each and every stride i RUN around the 5 kilometer course. Just as when i entered the finishing funnel on that day back in 1977, it was Mr Hague i ran to, to embrace, for getting me there.

Each and everyone, IS for you Mr Hague.

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Thank you Sir!

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~ by lloydsloops on July 21, 2015.

3 Responses to “Ian Hague”

  1. A lovely post. I was at Brunts School in Mansfield and I am fairly certain that our respective schools used to have an annual cross country match, I certainly remember marshalling a home one around 1973 – it may have been several Grammar Schools but I think that by the time I was on the fringes of the school team and would have been ready to be the lanterne rouge I think the fixture had stopped.

  2. thank you sir
    well wouldn’t you know, running paths of old criss-cross
    i recall the north midlands championships which was an annual invitational between participating schools in the region and very possibly a cohort of grammers
    it sounds as if it could have been this, i will dig around and see if i have some results
    further memories released so again, thank you, fond, fond thoughts of past

  3. Lloyd, I have only just come across this post, sad to hear Mr Hague is no longer with us. I was searching to try to find him to say thank you for his efforts some 36 years ago. I ran with you in the Abbeydale Grange School team, well ran behind you to be more precise of course. Would love to get in touch with the rest of the team. Best wishes Ian Paramore

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