Paris-Brest-Paris Race 1st qualifier – Completed! by Glyn Marston

Sunday 29th of March – Vale of Belvoir audax 2011k ride.

I set off from the start in Lichfield and headed off towards fradley. It was a windy day and had started to rain. The early stages of the ride was pleasant despite the weather and the scenery was really amazing. Everything was going well until I tried to reach the first check Point. I rode left at the last junction instead of right, when I realised my error, I had to speed on to make the check Point before it closed. This made the next 40 miles more of a catching up with lost time excerise than a steady paced ride. When I reached the halfway point, I reached the check Point a few minutes ahead of my planned schedule, and after a quick bite to eat and a hot drink, I was off towards Loughborough. By now the rain was torrential and was to be that way for many miles, the open fields of the surrounding countryside offered no shelter from the battering I was getting from mother nature. I eventually got to Loughborough barely an hour ahead of plan. From Loughborough I was heading for Lichfield and the finish, the hills out of Loughborough were gruelling, we had many hills along the way but now these hills felt steeper (unless I was getting more tired). The last 30 miles seemed to drag out longer than expected, my pace had dropped and so had my enthusiasm, eventually the dark of the night had swept over me and visibility was low but this helped in a way as I wanted to get home as quickly as possible and so my speed began to pick up again. I reached the finish in Lichfield at 8.25 pm, that’s almost 12 and a half hours of riding, but my first qualifier in the bag.

Just had my information for my next qualifying event in Essex, a 305km ride that starts at midnight and finishes at around 8pm on the 11th of April. This will be the second of four qualifying events for the pbp challenge in France.

Glyn Marston

Glyn Marston - PBP Challenge

Walsall Warriors do Battle by Glyn Marston

Saturday, 28th March – Junior dodgeball tournament in Leicester.

The kids had been attending dodgeball sessions in Willenhall for fun and fitness but the last six months most of them had been training for the junior dodgeball tournament and on the day their training and hard work paid off. The under 16s had six matches (30 games) before reaching the knock out stages, the under 13s had 8 matches (24 games) before reaching their knock outs. Both teams performed so well that they didn’t lose a game all day, both teams drew on game and won the other games (only two points off gaining the maximum points that could be earned). It was an emotional day as I watched each match and paced the touchline like a football manager, shouting instructions etc. The parents who turned up to support the kids were in awe of the way the players of both teams played with pride and sportsmanship. A day I will never forget.

Glyn Marston

Glyn trains for non-stop charity race

A sports endurance enthusiast will raise money for Cancer Research UK while taking part in a gruelling race this year.

Supporting Cancer Research

Supporting Cancer Research


Photo Source – Express and Star

Glyn Marston has teamed up with the Willenhall Ay We voluntary group to collect cash for their chosen charity by completing the non-stop 750km challenge.

The 52 year-old is tackling the Paris-Brest-Paris race in August on an Elliptigo bike.

Read Full story here via Express and Star

Glyn Marston gearing up for ultimate challenge

An avid sport endurance enthusiast is gearing up for a 90-hour non-stop race.

Glyn Marston will be tackling the 2015 Paris-Brest-Paris race, a 750km bike race starting on August 16 this year.

But the 52-year-old from Willenhall won’t be competing on a normal bike, he will be racing on an Elliptigo bike, a combination between a cross-trainer – a machine used to simulate stair walking and hill climbing – and a normal bicycle.

Glyn started training for the race last year in November after being called up by a member of the British Elliptigo team.

Read full Express and Star story here

Flying at last! Willenhall raises its own flag by Express and Star

Ex-serviceman Arthur Utley, who took part in the Normandy landings, was given the honour of running the standard up the flagpole above Willenhall library which will be its permanent base.

Visitors from Willenhall’s twin town of Drancy in France were among special guests at the launch.

The red and blue flag, featuring padlocks and keys reflecting the town’s leading part in the lock manufacturing industry, was chosen from 68 entries in a competition organised by community website willenhallaywe.co.uk.

A panel of judges picked the best six and left it to the public to choose their favourite. The flag, designed by Adam Leonard, has since been officially registered with the Flag Institute.

A plaque on the front of the building recording the achievement was unveiled by Councillor Peter Smith, Mayor of Walsall. A flag was also presented to the French visitors.

Full story by Express and Star

Official Flag launch & unveiling of plaque outside Willenhall Library with A Flag Presentation to our visitors from Drancy FRANCE, our twinned town. Sat 8th November 2014

We will be officially flying the flag high outside Willenhall Library which is home to the towns permanent flag pole after having been granted permission from Walsall Council along with our plaque which has been donated by Brett Quinton Funerals and made by Lasting Memorials based in Willenhall, both which will be a permanent reminder of Flying the Flag for Willenhall and putting Willenhall back on the map!

This has been tied in with our overseas visitors from Drancy, FRANCE (via The Willenhall/ Drancy Twinning Association) who will officially receive our town flag on behalf of Drancy.

We are honoured to have amongst the guests, Mr Arthur Utley who is an ex-serviceman who took part in Normandy Landings who has represented Willenhall in Drancy for the 8th May Commemorations, who will raise the flag for Willenhall which will also be a mark of our remembrance for WW1 Commemorations.
Councillor Peter Smith, Mayor of Walsall on behalf of willenhallaywe.co.uk will unveil the plaque outside the library before presenting our town flag to our visitors.

The presentation will take place above the library where the Willenhall Council Chambers still exist today with our guests and those of The Willenhall/Drancy Twinning Association along with the French Delegation which consist of Mr LASTAPIS Michel (A deputy mayor with responsibility for housing and health, Mme BOUTHORS Jacqueline (A councillor with special interest in the Food Market
Mr BOUTHORS Stéphane (Chairman of the Drancy Twinning Committee)
Mme SERVAIS Michèle ( Treasurer of the Drancy Twinning Committee)

We will have Glyn Marston; flag design winner Adam Leonard and other key guests who have supported us all the way right upto where we find ourselves today! Our very own permanent flagpole to fly the flag for Willenhall.

For our guests a buffet will be provided, which has been kindly provided by The County Pub, fantastic support from local business ‘ as always including AFB Community who has supported us with all our events and on this occasion helping with providing a photographer to mark this auspicious occasion.

We look forward to seeing you all outside Willenhall Library on Saturday Nov 8th at 11.30am.

The Willenhall/Drancy Twinning Association

Willenhall first became twinned with Drancy in 1959 when Willenhall had
its own council. When it became part of Walsall (as Walsall already had
a twinning with Mulhouse) some of the committee members decided to
continue the twinning and received a small grant from Walsall Council
which ceased several years ago. The Mayor of Drancy, Maurice Niles,
understood the problem and was happy to continue the twinning even
though Willenhall no longer had its own separate council.
Since 1959 many different types of exchanges have taken place including
children’s exchanges, various sports exchanges, art exchanges, music
exchanges, trades unions, ex servicemen and women and old people.
During the current year there has been an art exchange, a running club
exchange and an ex serviceman’s exchange. A delegation from the Drancy
Twinning Committee is present in Willenhall from 7th – 10th November
this year in order to receive the new Willenhall flag on behalf of
Drancy, to take part in the walk to Lane Head Cenotaph on Remembrance
Sunday and to attend a Protocol Meeting with the Willenhall Twinning
Committee in order to plan future exchange visits.
James Mills (Chairman)
Sandra Buckley (Vice Chairman)
Brian Bucklely ( Treasurer)
Norma Mills (Secretary)

Willenhall Drancy Exchange Association

Willenhall Drancy Exchange Association

Pedal power! But not as we know it

He has crossed the line in more than 60 marathons and raised thousands of pounds for charity – now former running man Glyn Marston has taken up a new challenge.

A knee injury forced the sports fanatic to give up racing on his own legs.He explains how a failed attempt to compete at the London Marathon on stilts last year after previous efforts to use a wheelchair led him to take up the ellipitigo – a stand up cycle described as a cross trainer on wheels.

Glyn completed 65 marathons and 45 ultra-distance races, varying from 32 to 153 miles, after taking up running in 1993.

Just this summer the 52-year-old, of Willenhall, completed the Elliptigo European Championships in Aix-Les-Bains in the French Alps. He tackled a 13-mile race up Mont Revard on his stand up cycle. Of the 85 who took part only four of the competitors were English.

He completed the course in 3hrs:58mins. But it took him just 34 minutes to cruise back down the mountain on his bike – showing just how steep the climb was. He also earned ranking points in the world league table by taking part in the championships.

“It was really tough but I enjoyed it and I hope to take part next year. It’s 13 miles uphill all the way.”

“I use the elliptigo regularly. I do get quite a bit of attention. People point at it and make comments about what they think it is. It is very popular in some countries and very big in the US,” he adds.

He now plans to ride it from John O’Groats, in Scotland, to Land’s End, in Cornwall, next June in aid of the charity Cancer Research UK in support of friends and family members who have undergone the illness.

Full Express & Star story here

Winning flag is unveiled for Willenhall by Walsall Advertiser

A NEW flag has been unveiled for Willenhall following a long-running competition.

Pubs, homes and businesses around the town are set to fly the striking design by Adam Leonard, who was announced as the competition winner at Willenhall Carnival.

“I feel very proud to have my design as Willenhall’s new flag,” said an ecstatic Adam, from Ashmore Park.

“Putting Willenhall back on the map with a flag to represent it is a huge achievement and I hope it will bring the community together.”

More than 70 designs entered the competition, which was organised by voluntary group Willenhall Ay We.co.uk.

These were then shortlisted to six, which then went to a public vote.

The winning flag was unveiled by local fund-raiser Glyn Marston.

He said: “The flag is a symbol of the community of Willenhall coming together and making things happen for the town.

“Willenhall folk are great folk and we deserve a flag to showcase our pride.”

Adam, who works at Middleton Foods, also received £100 prize money, kindly donated by The Royal George Pub in Willenhall.

“I truly hope that this is the starting point of putting Willenhall back on the map,” said Kalie Plant, of Willenhall Ay We.co.uk.

Story here

Many thanks to Walsall Advertiser for their support and promotion of our project.

Local fundraiser will launch Willenhall Flag

Willenhall will not be disappointed and should be very proud to have it’s very own flag, its very own mark and identity that will be used to literally fly the flag for our hometown!

The honors will be done by local born & bred Willenhall man, Mr Glyn Marston.

We had no hesitation of putting Glyn forward for this occasion as the whole project has been about promoting Willenhall and putting Willenhall back on the map and what better way than by local man Glyn.  Many of you will know the hard work that Glyn has put into fundraising over the years, running over 100 marathons.

#flyingtheflagforwillenhall

#flyingtheflagforwillenhall

Glyn Marston said, “ I am really overwhelmed by the request to launch the flag for Willenhall. Being Willenhall born and bred I am so proud of our little town and its heritage. To see Willenhall get its own official flag is great for our community and I am so proud to be launching the flag.  A lot of hard has gone into making the flag a reality which in itself shows just how proud Willenhall folk are of their town and the flag will signify that we love Willenhall.  It will definitely be one of my most proudest moments when I launch the Flag of Willenhall.”

We hope you all join us in launching the flag which will take place at this years Willenhall Carnival at Willenhall Memorial Park on 14th June!