Ken Fozard – Harrogate A.C. and Harrogate Harriers

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you all that on Saturday 8th November we lost one of our founding members, Ken Fozard.  Members who are relatively new to the club may not be aware of Ken and his achievements, but please let me assure you he was one of the very best athletes ever to come out of Harrogate and I’d like to recount some of his athletics history:

He took up running at the age of 25, having already played football and hockey.  In the mid 60’s he and a group of runners resurrected Harrogate Athletic (the forerunner to this club), there were just 5 members and the headquarters was a bench on the Stray, but graduating later to his garage, Almsford playing fields and Harrogate Cricket Club.

Ken was a prolific trainer, running between 80 and 120 miles a week.  He raced most weekends on road, trail, fell and track, often travelling by bus and train.  To list all his successes and achievements would be impossible but I am sure the following will show what a formidable athlete he was:

He ran over 40 marathons with a PB of 2 hours 31 minutes and was proud that all of his finishing times started with a “2”

Besides running a huge amount of 10K’s, 10 milers and half-marathons) where his PBs are 32.20, 54.35 and 72.29 respectively) he also competed in a wide variety of races, most of which do not exist today:

  • He has ran the 3 Peaks in 3.15
  • The Lyke Wake Walk (40 miles off-road) in 5.10
  • London to Brighton (a distance of 52.5 miles in 6.16)
  • In 1986 Harrogate staged a 12 hour race going around the town centre where he covered 72 and a half miles
  • At an inter-county track meet he was persuaded to enter the 3000 meter race walk which he did and won
  • He was part of the 1977 winning bed race team, for which the prize was 9 gallons of beer and a bottle of champagne.

He was a consistent winner throughout his senior and vet years and was a great club member. He started the Point to Points and the Almscliffe Handicap, which of course we still do today.

He played an integral part in our 10K, he always helped me put out the no parking cones on the Saturday night, he was first there in the morning with his wife Anne, putting up the mile markers, laying the start and finish lines, he started the race and organized the finish funnel and it was all done with great attention to detail and enthusiasm.

This little piece really only skims the surface of his 50 years in running and you may be interested to read the contents of this email that I received from Tim Godolphin – another great Harrogate runner – as it gives more insight into a remarkable life.  Above all, Ken was a great bloke, a modest man of the old school with great values and someone I will really miss.

Tony Essex
Harrogate Harriers & A.C.