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12th Sep, 2021, Alastair Aitken

MARTIN HYMAN (born 3rd July 1933 in Southampton, died 3rd April 2021 in West Lothian, Scotland). In addition to his achievements as an international athlete, Martin was a successful and inspiring athletics coach and a pioneer of orienteering in the UK.

As a runner, he was 4th in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games 6 miles in Cardiff in 1958 in 28:58.6 and in 1962 in Perth, Australia he was 5th in the 6 miles in 28:42.2. In 1962 in the European Championships in Belgrade Martin was 4th in the 10,000m in 29:02.0, exactly the same time as Roy Fowler of GB, who was 3rd. Before that in the 1960 Olympics in the heat of Rome he was 9th in the 10,000m in 29:04.8, just ahead of Gordon Pirie (29:15.2) who was 10th.

He was 3rd in the International (Old World Cross Country Championships) in 1961. At the end of 1961 he won one of the World’s most famous road races – the ‘New Year’s Eve race in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He finished ahead of the 1960 Olympic marathon champion, Abebe Bikila, who later went on to win the Olympic marathon in 1964 also. The race was over 7.3k.

Martin Hyman’s best time for six miles on the track was 27:36.09. I can remember seeing him several times winning races in two per country ‘duel’ matches, with the USA and Poland. He was easily recognisable at the White City Stadium.

In the Poland v GB two per side at the White City Stadium, he dead heated with Mike Bullivant, the Derby & County AC runner. Both were spattered with mud from the wet track with so many puddles. They were soaked from head to foot from the White City rain splashing on the cinder track but finished well clear of their Polish rivals. His time was 29:31.6. His club Portsmouth had a very impressive team at road relays and Martin Hyman ran the fastest lap in the winning team in the TVH relay, that had very good competitors. On the team in the Southern & National relays were excellent runners like Bruce Tulloh, Tim Johnston, and the Cooke brothers.

In the 1960’s who could forget the high-stepping, bespectacled Martin Hyman, cheered on by the White City crowds. He will be greatly missed by the running community.