Copyright 2021 - Dundee Roadrunners

Davie Morris

In July 1983 I was promoted to Duty Officer at the Lochee Swimming and Leisure Centre. I think it was the following month that my mates Eric Fair and Davie Roy who worked in the Valentines card factory and ran for Valentines Harriers came in to see me and asked if they could use the pool and shower facilities after they went out for a run.


They came in a few times a week and also the weekend and in the beginning there was usually about six of them. More and more started to join them and I am sure it was about October 1983 when they decided to change the name to Dundee Roadrunners.


The deal then was that members met at the Lochee Baths and paid ten pence to the club. Some members then decided that they would like a swim or shower so they came in and paid for the facility plus ten pence to the club. I can remember some nights when you could not get moving for bodies and when the club really got going we started to run out of lockers for the swimmers as they were all taken up by people going out running. One night I remember counting 93 ten pences and that happened on regular occasions.


Iím sure at the beginning Davie Roy was president†and Eric Fair was treasurer. We had many fund raising nights in the canteen of Valentines and also many dances throughout the year.  I can remember dances in the Coldside library hall and also Valentines canteen in the early days of the club.  I can also remember a barbecue in the Belmont Arms after the first hill race on the Sidlaws.


There was a bus leaving the baths nearly every week going to such places as Forfar, Glenrothes, Inverness, Dunfermline, Arbroath, Crieff, Falkirk, Glasgow and Wolverhampton as well as the trip to Germany.


One story I remember was when we did†the Arbroath half marathon at Seaton Park, it was a scorcher of a day and there were stalls all over the park and also barbecues for the spectators and competitors when they finished the run.


Eric Fair won the first veteran that year but when it came to the prize giving the organiser Ron Ritchie could not find Eric. All of a sudden an announcement was made over the tannoy asking for Mr Eric Fair to come and collect his prize followed by 'we believe you are in the beer tent'. The roar that went up must have been heard in Dundee as most of the roadrunners were in the tent with him.


Another trip was when myself and Bert McGovern went to do the first Glasgow marathon, we decided not to go on the roadrunners bus and to do it in style and stay at the newly built Skean Dhu hotel.


We were invited to a pasta party in the hotel where believe it or not all lager was free of charge. The night started well and we got our photo taken with Jimmy Savile who was staying at the hotel and running the next day. During the party we noticed that we were the only ones using the bar facilities, anyway to cut a long story short we got refused any more drink at 3am.


We made it to the start line and after four miles I ran off course and was sick over a wall, someone else was also sick beside me and we both burst out laughing when I found out it was Davie Roy who also must have had some vino the night before, two miles later Bert did not want to be left out so he to was sick in some poor personís garden.  Being true Dundee Roadrunners we went on and finished the race before nightfall.


At the Glenrothes half marathon in 1984 we again left the baths for another adventure, Eric this time decided to take his car but I slummed it on the bus. At the end of the race Eric as usual finished half an hour before most of us but was complaining about a sore foot after he was all showered and dressed for home. The bus was ready to go when Eric discovered he had lost his car keys, everybody got off and searched the stadium, their bags and any other place possible, an announcement was put out to no avail. I told the bus driver just to go and I would stay with him until we sorted something out. Just then Mr Fair came out of the toilets grinning saying 'I've just found my car keys they were in my left shoe' which had been on his foot, no wonder his foot was sore, everybody saw the funny side and headed to Ladybank for liquid refreshments.


Last story was told to me by our Honorary member John McInally who used to run the Ben Nevis hill race in his younger days. John said you raced up to the top on the same route but on the descent you could go any way you wished. John always got to the top first but the same person always beat him on the way down. He decided the next time he would follow him to the top then follow him down and he knew he could beat him in a sprint finish. The race started, John followed him, he also followed him down and by this time the mist had came down quite badly, his rival†raced on and disappeared down a 20 feet drop. Not to be outdone John followed and both ended up next to one another in Fort William hospital with various broken bones. This did not put John off and he was still running well into his 70's. He of course also has a race named after him by the club. (This is a true story)

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