Hilary McEwan 1952-2006

I am sorry to have to report that Hilary McEwan, who was a Strider from 1984 to 1996, died on Sunday 15th May 2006, aged 54.

He was principal of West Oaks School in Boston Spa, near Leeds and also Yorkshire and Humberside network coordinator for the National College of School Leadership. Last year he received a CBE for services to special needs education.

His biggest race win was the Pontefract half marathon in a time of 1:11:27. In the first ever Striders news, in 1985, he wrote about a trip to the Glasgow Marathon, where, supported by Stuart StJohn, Hilary ran 2:29:13, Angie Pain (Leeds City) won the women's race in 2:37:06 and John Anderson ran 2:37:50. Hilary was also runner-up in the Cardinal Heenan (his old school) 10k in 1989, this race, most local to the Striders, used to attract around 500 runners each year.

Terry Lonergan and Steve O'Callaghan phoned me with the sad news. John Hallas and Tony Haygarth have emailed me. I hope some of you more senior Striders will send me other results and recollections of Hilary, and I will collect these together for the website.

The funeral will be on Monday 23rd May, but I believe there will also be a memorial service later.

Condolences and reminiscences from Striders

From John Hallas:

I am both sorry and shocked to hear the bad news about Hilary. Many newer members will not know him but he will be missed by those who remember him. I am not sure if he was still a Strider or not

He was a good runner but a fine person as well and always friendly and chatty whatever level of runner you were. He was a regular on the Tuesday night runs about 18 years and I can still remember some of his stories as he was getting changed ready to go out for the 10 mile race, as it was in those days.

He had devoted his life to teaching and to be struck down at the early age of 54 whilst doing that job is even more poignant.

I must admit I have not seen him for at least 10 years but I have nice memories of him and feel so sorry for his family.

From Tony Haygarth:

I have just been told the sad news that Hilary McEwan an early and extremely talented member of the club, died on Sunday. I don't know the circumstances but it must have been sudden as he was still teaching in Boston Spa. Several of us will remember running with him.

From Paul Briscoe:

Hilary was indeed a fine person - one of the nicest you could hope to meet and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

I knew Hilary both through the club and through our shared friendship with Angie Hulley (Pain), who Hilary selflessly supported through her running career. He always had meaningful contributions to make to any conversation and his humour made light of less happy times.

From Kathy Kaiser:

Ken and I just wanted to add our sorrow and shock at the sad news about Hilary.

I did not know him, but some years ago, we used to see him every Monday lunch time, disappearing into the distance with Angie Hulley and Veronique Marot, as we all sent off on our training runs from the University Sports Hall, towards Woodhouse Moor.

We send our love and condolences to his family, friends and work colleagues.

Kathy and Ken

From Stuart StJohn (Chief Strider 1982-1992):

I was really sorry to hear from Steve 'O' last week about Hilary's death. I sent a card of condolence to Suzanne his partner (I don't think they ever married) and I hope the service was well attended.

I've all sorts of stories about the boy, and knowing me some are cheeky, but yes we did all go up to Glasgow in Hilary's Saab Turbo. Five of us one Friday evening; Hilary driving, John Anderson of AC/DC fame (ask Steve 'O'), Martin Hopson, Angie (who was quite fit!) and me. It pissed it down from getting on the M6 @ Kirkby Lonsdale and did not stop until Skipton on the way back on Sunday night! The car reached speeds in excess of a ton with 5 in and it was blasting out 'Born in the USA' by Springsteen over and over and whenever I hear that song I think of that weekend. We dossed at Hilary's uncle's flat which had had the heating left on for several days so it was like the tropics and his Mum fussed over us like a mother hen. Martin and I were running support around the course and ended up in St. Enochs station at one point, drenched hungry and frozen stupid. My one enduring memory of that trip was (remember this was before I got to know the Jocks for what they are) blokes being held by their ankles off a bridge over the Clyde trying to catch the floating whisky barrels that had been washed into the river by all the rain! They were too drunk/daft to realize that the reason they were floating was because they were empty. But anything for a free 'swallie'. The one good thing was Hilary got a P.B. and was chuffed to bits. Martin drove the car back just as fast. It was one of many happy and memorable times I had with fellow Striders.

I could go on for ages, but I'll finish by sending my love to all and to say that I hear that they have put up a plaque at the Hill Inn at Chapel-le-Dale stating that 'Geoff Webster stopped here'!

P.S. I am now working as a Tour Guide at a big castle near home so let me know if you want any info' on historic events!

From Glen Minford (Strider 1985-1994):

Just heard the sad news about Hilary. I remember him as great company on the Sunday(one time when we all piled into a quarry lake on a baking hot Sunday morning) and Tuesday runs. I saw him not too long ago having a quiet pint in a bar in Leeds and we had a few pleasant reminisces.

Hilary's Report on the Glasgow Marathon - 22 September 1985

A party of five athletes (I use the word loosely) piled into my car and headed north for what was billed the world's biggest on September 20th.

As we crossed the border back to civilisation at Gretna it started to rain, and the wind got up, in more ways than one. Ask our club captain about that - in front of a lady as well!

On arrival at Race HQ - my mother's, a good and hearty trough awaited, much awaited by our "hon.sec.". And so to bed. Stuart drew the short straw and had to sleep in Martyn's room.

Saturday dawned wet, cold and windy, cries of dismay were heard and much cursing about Scot's weather was in abundance. Believe me this rain is not typical of the Costa del Clyde.

Most of Saturday was spent eating and drinking in local hostelries and touring the more cultural areas of the city, i.e. Parkhead and Ibrox Park plus a visit to the Burrell Collection, this took about five minutes!

A quick drink at the Albany Hotel to drop off Angie and then home for an early bed for John Anderson and I. But our seconds stayed up half the night deciding how best we were to be helped on next day.

Surprise Surprise - Sunday morning arrived even colder, ever wetter and eve windier that Saturday. Perfect for P.B.'s. After Martyn had rubbed John down with baby oil we set off for the start. Chaos ... Glasgow Green had turned into a quagmire. It required a cross-country dash to the start by which time we were covered in mud.

9:30 am and we were off, a good start, not too fast and out of trouble. The race is more or less a figure of eight, there are a few hills but mainly in the first ten miles. Apart from that it is a good course but the cold wind and rain made it more difficult than it should have been.

Performances, however, were excellent. Angie won 2:37:06, yours truly ran a P.B. 2:29:13, John Anderson ran 2:37:50 a P.B. and Stuart froze to detah helping us.

After the race more trough, then we picked up Angie with her booty and headed south. It stopped raining as we crossed the border into England. Nobody minded, it was the results that mattered.

Results (Help required, please, to put dates on some of these)

Pontefract half marathon

   1 Hilary McEwan       V.S.            1:11:27
   4 Keith Cluderay      V.S.            1:13:26
   6 Terry Lonergan      V.S.            1:13:48
   8 Steve O'Callaghan   V.S.            1:14:52
  10 Steve Thirkell      V.S.            1:15:52
  13 Dick West           later V.S.      1:17:10
Glasgow Marathon - 22 September 1985

     Hilary McEwan       V.S.            2:29:13
     Angie Pain          Leeds C         2:37:06  1st W
     John Anderson       V.S.            2:37:50

London Marathon                        
     Terry Bean          V.S.            2:29:23
     Steve Thirkell      V.S.            2:33:53
     Hilary McEwan       V.S.            2:36:34
     Alan Desborough     V.S.            2:40:47
Bramley Half Marathon           
   1 Brian Eden          V.S.            1:06:58
   2 Richard Butterfield                 1:08:13
   6 Keith Cluderay      V.S.            1:10:10
   7 Hilary McEwan       V.S.            1:10:53
Cardinal Heenan 10k

   1 Tony Gill           Leeds C           31:50
   2 Hilary McEwan       V.S..            times unavailable
   6 Keith Cluderay      V.S.
   8 Steve Thirkell      V.S.
   9 Rob Jacobson        V.S.

Leeds Half Marathon (1986)

   1 John Convery        V.S.            1:06:59
   2 Brian Eden          V.S.            1:07:29
   5 Hilary McEwan       V.S.            1:10:03
  14 Chris Leggatt       V.S.            1:12:45
  Further results

Horsforth half marathon - 8 May 1988                                                              
   1 Malcolm Patterson   Dark Peak F R     68:49           
   2 Richard Butterfield Skyrac            69:24 later V.S.
   3 Hilary McEwan       V.S.              69:31           
   5 Keith Cluderay      V.S.              70:50           
   8 Steve O'Callaghan   V.S.              72:17           
   9 Mark Hoon           V.S.              72:26           
  10 Steve Thirkell      V.S.              72:38           
  Further results

Spen 20 (1989)

   1 Ron Smith           Airedale        1:50:55
   2 Steve O'Callaghan   V.S.            1:51:14
   3 Terry Bean          V.S.            1:53:23
   5 Keith Cluderay      V.S.            1:54:36
   6 Hilary McEwan       V.S.            1:55:04
   8 Angelo Feliciello   V.S.            1:55:25
  Further results

Otley 10 - 15 May 1991

   6 Terry Bean          V.S.              53.28 
   8 Paul Briscoe        V.S.              54.38 
  10 Steve O'Callaghan   V.S.              55.03 
  12 Angelo Feliciello   V.S.              55.08 
  15 Keith Cluderay      V.S.              55.52 
  18 Hilary McEwan       V.S.              56.27 
  Further results