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EIGHTY years ago saw the appearance on these shores for the first time of the person who would go on to become one of the world’s greatest athletes.

It was unusual for internationals to be held so far north in England in those days, but Blackpool had something of a exceptional year in 1936 within athletics, for at the end of March, the International Cross Country Championships (the precursor to the IAAF-sanctioned World Cross Country Championships), were held on land by Squires Gate, near Blackpool’s airport. England won both the individual and team titles that afternoon.

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AW – Athletics Weekly Magazine

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