Blackburn Harriers & AC

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Comments Off on Harriers Girls at London Mini-Marathon Training Camp held at St Mary’s

Harriers Girls at London Mini-Marathon Training Camp held at St Mary’s

The Virgin London Marathon Camp has been running successfully at St Mary’s for a number of years. The programme it embraces enables young athletes to participate in group training sessions and Q&A sessions with international athletes, as well as receiving expert advice on topics such as nutrition, injury prevention and athlete lifestyle.

Two of the Club’s leading young Junior female athletes – Elizabeth Greenwood and Grace Handley were recently invited to attend the London Mini-Marathon Training Camp at St Mary’s College. The residential camp was attended by ninety athletes, between the ages of fourteen to seventeen, who were selected from their performances either at the London Mini Marathon, English Schools Cross-Country and National Cross-Country Championships.

The Club asked both girls if they would share with us their experiences and below are their thoughts.

Grace on the Barrier and Liz in the next line waiting to go

Grace on the Barrier and Liz in the next line waiting to go

Liz’s Memories

After arriving at St Mary’s College in Twickenham, slightly later than the other runners due to my holiday, I was excited to meet some of the other athletes. Everybody was really friendly and I made lots of new friends who I will see at upcoming races.

On my first morning I went on a steady 40mins run around Bushy Park followed by a drills session on the track. This was great as we were taught what we should be doing before a session in order to be fully warmed up and ready to run. After this was a psychology workshop and circuits. We had two special guests at night who were Ross Murray and Collis Birmingham who are both world class runners. These athletes told us about their careers and we were able to ask questions.

There were lots of options for meals however there was a seven point system where we weren’t allowed to go over seven points for our meal or else we had to pay. Each main course, for example pasta would be three points and any sides like vegetables and chips would be an extra point. Desserts were two points and drinks were one point. This was hard to stick to for some of us as we had big appetites, especially after lots of running.

On my second day we woke up at 7:30 in time for breakfast ready for a track session at 10:00. We warmed up using the drills we had learnt the previous day. The session was tough but really enjoyable and the coaches were very encouraging. Mick Woods ran the session and Steph Twell helped out along with others. After lunch was an anti-doping talk followed by running injury audit and a strength and conditioning class. We were told how to avoid common injuries in athletes our age which was very useful. In the evening we all watched the Diamond League from Stockholm.

Friday morning was another steady 40mins run followed by a steeplechase workshop. This was great fun especially when everybody jumped in the water at the end to cool off. Next was a nutrition workshop. We were split into small groups to make some recipes chosen by the nutritionist that were especially good for runners. This was really good however my group made fruit nuggets which didn’t look appetising at all and didn’t taste too good either. Some of the food other groups cooked was quite nice though as we were able to try them all at the end. At night we had a quiz in which all of the girls did terrible. Also we had a visit from Andrew Osagie who reached the Olympic 800m final and was 5th in the world champs a few weeks ago in Moscow.

On the last day we had a tempo session in Bushy Park led by Mick Woods before packing up and getting ready to go home. We had lunch, said goodbye to everyone and then got ready to make the four hour journey back home. Overall I really enjoyed the camp and think that I learnt a lot from it and gained more confidence. I hope that I will get the chance to go again in the future and meet some of the people again. It was very tiring but great fun!

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Grace’s memories

I was selected to attend the London marathon camp on 20th of August to the 25th-joining 89 other athletes. I was picked along with 14 other junior girls from the wide range of 100s from our age group. The camp lasted five long,hard,tiring days to leaving my body close to exhaustion when I returned home.

Day 1:
Once the junior girls and I got to know each other we all felt like we had known each other for years as we got on so well. Being around the likes of athletes like Lucy Jones-national champion-was a bit daunting at first,however it was a good thing to be around athletes like Lucy as I learned so much of her and what her training life style was like compared to mine. The first training session was that afternoon and by the time we had warmed up in the 26 degree heat I was already hot and tired, although with the adrenalin still pumping through me i started and finished the session well, keeping up with top athletes who I never thought I could keep up with.

Day 2:
With a 40 minute run at 9am a lie in was not a question on the first morning-as I got up at 7:15am to eat before 8am. Once the run was over there was no chance of a cold shower as we were straight onto the track learning new hurdle exercises and drills for two and a half hours! When I was finally able to shower and have lunch there was no time for rest as we were straight into more learning with a physiology and psychology talk-taking up 6 pages of notes to take home! As soon as we were finished we rushed for a drink and then to the sports hall for a circuit class which lasted a long hard hour. After the session it was straight to a cold shower and a well deserved piece of cake with dinner!

Day 3:
With a training session at 10am on the track we were up early once again to have breakfast before we trained. With the rain gently falling from the sky we started out the session already soaking wet, however with it being 23 degrees we never felt the cold. Even though track isn’t my favourite terrain I performed  well-already showing my progression from the training the day before. Once dry and fed we all walked to our classes with my group attending two more talks one about anti-doping and one about injury-both being very interesting and had sections I can relate to my athletic life-style. Once the notes making was over and my brain was fit to burst with all this new information 29 other athletes and I attended a running robustness class, which helped enlighten us about the many ways to prevent injury, that take up only 10minutes of our day!

Day 4:
With an intention to run at 9am everyone was up early again ready for another exciting day however with the group so big the younger groups did a later session at 10am giving us an hour after breakfast to have a power nap in our rooms before we went out for our run. 10 minutes after our run we were straight into a steeplechase workshop-as we learnt to hurdle and jump onto the steeplechase and into the water. I really enjoyed this part of the camp as I’ve always wanted to try steeplechase but I’ve been to scared because of my small height. Once we were finished we showered, had lunch and attended:a lifestyle talk by Jessica Judd’s coach,a training method/major championship talk and a nutrition cooking class! With all this packed into one afternoon we were all shattered by 10 and all returned to bed.

Day 5:
With the end of the camp that afternoon everyone was up early to pack before the last training session at 10am. The rain was pouring down all night, leaving the ground soaking wet so once we arrived at Bushy Park the terrain was very muddy. However being one not to complain at mud I pushed myself to the absolute max through the tempo session-getting everything I could out of it. Running back to the camp from the park my two other friends and I jogged at the back in pain from pushing ourselves so much! After a gruelling 20minutes of running we made it back to shower and got ready to leave.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of meeting 3 famous Olympic athletes, shattering training sessions and educational talks and I hope I can keep up my standards to be selected again next year.


Comments Off on Coast to Coast – Capenhurst – Wagon & Horses – Horwich Jubliee Race 4 – Pendleton – Golf Ball – Burnsall……read on!

Coast to Coast – Capenhurst – Wagon & Horses – Horwich Jubliee Race 4 – Pendleton – Golf Ball – Burnsall……read on!

You know the old saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. Well this certainly applies to Helen Leigh, one of our Senior Woman athletes. She could have found a nice little local race or even a local tri-athlon, but instead she thought she might have a go at something a little different – the Four Day Coast to Coast Event!!

Full Results HERE

Spot Helen on the Video HERE

Here is Helen’s ‘take’ on the Event ” Not one to do things by halves I went in at the deep end for my first attempt at adventure racing, entering the four day Coast to Coast race ( from Whitehaven to Robin Hoods Bay over four days of continuous stage racing around 8 hours a day.

I started off incredibly well, and was in 2nd place to Sally Ozane from Team Mountain Hardware, smashing the kayak sections in choppy sea and lakes and was still strong on Thirlmere and Ullswater on day two.. maybe I’ve missed my calling here! Equally had great runs over Robinson and Helvellyn. Unfortunately near the end of day two I was tanking it down a road about 35mph downhill and my map blew off my board, opened up and covered my face. I went flying, covered in road rash on face, legs, arms and mashed my hand. Suspected fracture and also got infected immediately. Very fat sore hand.

But in true Helen style I put A&E on hold and battled on to finish the ride and the last two days. I dropped to 6th because the mountain biking sections were huge and it was excruciating. but earned some hard as nails points from the adventure racing community! Glad to finish, the last two days were definitely just run on willpower and a battered body. I will be returning for the next one in 2015 and I WILL be on that podium “



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Capenhurst 5K

Chris Barnes, under the watchful eye of his Coach George Woodburn, who, according to Chris suggested to him that “experimenting by racing as often as possible up to the weekend of Capenhurst with the more races the better……..seemed to work as in the final weeks leading up to Capenhurst the strength was starting to show“. The upshot is that Chris has now reduced his 5k PB by 14 secs over the course of the year to date with a 16.41 clocking.

Full Results HERE



Wagon & Horses Half-Marathon

Chris Davies has also been in the PB business again and the latest gained in the Wagon & Horses Half-Marathon on Sunday 25th August.

Full Results HERE

Chris went into the race with a PB of 81.00 for the Half and was looking to improve as he has done all year and at all distances; and he didn’t let himself down in this Race either, finishing in 7th place and cutting 35 secs off for a new PB of 80.25 and not far short of breaking the 80 minute barrier.

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Horwich Jubilee 5 Mile Road Race 4

In the last Race of the Series, won by Anthony Valentine in 26.20, there were some excellent runs by the Harriers.

Full Results HERE

Packing close to the front of the Race, Brian Fogarty finished 6th (28.41) just edging out Jack Hindle 7th (28.43), quickly followed home by Paul Guinan – returning after a long bout of injuries – in 8th (28.54). Jack was the first U17 in the Race and Paul won the V40 Category. These three were followed home by Allan Hartley in 39th (33.05); Mick Nolan (V50) in 79th (37.02) and V60 George Woodburn 86th (38.34) – The Team was placed 2nd overall (57 points), consisting of Brian, Jack, Paul and Allan and not that far behind winning Team Horwich (45 points).

When all the 4 Races Results were totted up, Brian Fogarty finished 3rd overall in the Men’s Individual Standings; Allan Hartley placed 20th and Mick Nolan 32nd.

Series Results HERE

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Pendleton Fell Race

Nearly a 100 runners turned up to run the Annual Pendleton Fell Race including a number of Harriers. In the Race won by Josh Tighe in 36.30, Chris Barnes, fresh from his PB at the Capenhurst 5k came 10th (42.17) with just 10 seconds separating 8th to 12th place. Next Harrier home was Gary Pearse in 21st (44.05) followed by Beckie Taylor 48th (48.22) and 3rd Woman home and mum Jackie Taylor 72nd (52.34) and 3rd Woman V40.

Full Results HERE


Golf Ball Fell Race

V60 Stuart Furness is still going strong racing at the recently held Golf Ball Fell Race on August 21st. He finished in 112th place (57.29) after a bit of a battle with V65 Graham Breeze from Wharfedale who finished one place in front in 57.26

Full Results HERE


Burnsall 10 Mile Road Race

Allan Hartley tackled the hilly Burnsall 10 Mile Road Race on Bank Holiday Weekend finishing 43rd (70.56) out of 122 finishers.

Full Results HERE




Comments Off on Samantha Murray adds World Championship Team Gold Medal to her European Team Gold Medal

Samantha Murray adds World Championship Team Gold Medal to her European Team Gold Medal

Samantha Murray has had a great year and a half by any measure. Last weekend in Chinese Taipei Sam was part of the GB Team trio of Kate French, Samantha Murray and Mhairi Spence who successfully defended the title won by Murray, Spence and Heather Fell in Rome last year; And if it hadn’t been for an issue with kit protocol which incurred a 10 second time penalty, Sam would have won a Silver Medal in the Mixed Relay as well.

Full Team Results HERE

Sam now has Two World Medal Team Golds to add to her Team European Championships Gold won earlier this year and they sit proudly alongside the Individual Olympic Silver Medal she won so dramatically on the last day of the London Olympics, although, like many athletes, she is still critical of her own performance at times even when she has won so much at such a young age.

Full Individual Results HERE

This is what Sam had to say following the World Championships:-

” Taking team gold was the highlight of these world championships. Collectively, we had consistent and strong performances across 5 disciplines which shows that we are doing the right work in both training and preparations. Personally,  I am really ashamed and disappointed with myself. This is the third time this season that I’ve started the combined (4 shoots + 4 x 800m run) in the medals and all three times my shooting has not been up to the mark. I’m insecure about my shooting and when under pressure, my face and eyes seem to glaze over and not communicate with the messages from my brain. Anxiety can bring out strange reactions in us, and this time, mine was a blank, zoned out one. It has been a tough journey here in Taiwan due to the extreme weather conditions. We have experienced a typhoon which basically means lots of relentless rain and heavy wind. Asia is tricky for European athletes anyway, but with this added to the list, it was made stressful and unpredictable. The day after my 2 day long final,  I competed for a fifth day in a row (yes I did question my sanity) in the mixed relay. I was ready to finish the season on a positive. I did everything well, and even shot like a champion, reminding myself of what I can do when I am present in my performance. I am now exhausted and around 3kg lighter than when I left the UK 8 days ago. This afternoon I’m taking the high speed train to Taipei, going to find myself one big glass of wine and then board the plane to Bali. I’m going on holiday! I will make my way over 3 weeks to my final destination, Singapore, and then fly back to London on the 16th September. Thank you to everyone for your support and to Blackburn Harriers. This setback has given me that hunger for success next season. Hopefully I’ll be running in blue and white during the winter at some stage. Thanks and best wishes to everyone. Sam

Here Sam talks about how it was to cope after winning her Olympic Medal and the impact that is had on her.

BBC TV Interviews HERE


Comments Off on Alison Leonard smashes 1500m Club Record

Alison Leonard smashes 1500m Club Record

The existing Senior Womans Record for the 1500m stood at 4.18.52 and set by Alison In Cardiff at a BMC meeting in 2010.

Last week – 24th August – at another BMC Meeting, this time in Coventry, Alison took nearly 5 seconds off that time to win her Race in a time of 4.13.52 which places her 12th in the National Rankings. Taking into account her 4.42.39 at Oxford on the Track for one mile and her 4.40.00 in the Westminster Mile, shows Alison to be in really good form. In the National Rankings she is 7th in the 800m (2.02.59); 8th for the One Mile on the Track and 6th for the One Mile on the Road.

Full Results HERE

After the Race Alison said ”  I’m really pleased,  the race felt good start to finish,  and I’m so happy to get a pb after so long”.



Comments Off on Darwen Gala Race and Results Round Up

Darwen Gala Race and Results Round Up

On a wet day and not always in the best of conditions, the annual Darwen Gala Race, organised by Darwen Dashers, attracted 63 hardy runners who didn’t let the weather put them off.

Full Results HERE

First Harrier home was Jack Hindle in 6th place (26.17) which was a minute and a half quicker than he ran the Race in 2012. Jack was also the first Junior Male. Next Harrier home was Chris Davies 9th (27.17) followed by Helen Leigh first Senior Woman in 13th (28.48) and Grace Handley 2nd Junior Woman in 19th (29.24).

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in 27th place (30.59) was Allan Hartley who took 42 seconds off the time he ran the Race in 2012. Ben Armstrong one of the Club’s Sportshall Coaches placed 36th (33.43) and Jackie Taylor (44th) ran 35.06.


Stuart Furness was amongst the V60’s competing on the day and came in 49th (37.35).



No Rest For The Wicked Isle Of Man Series

This series of Races took place between August 11th – 16th and consisted of a Marathon and Half-Marathon on Sunday; Hill Run on Monday; Northern 10k on Tuesday; Colden Killer Mile on Wednesday, the Foxdale 6 on Thursday and rounded off on Friday with the Peel Heritage Trail Race.

Our own intrepid Chris Barnes happened to be in the locality during this week and decided to do races on the days he was there. On Tuesday he tackled the Colden Killer Mile ( Results HERE ) and had a cracking run to finish in 3rd place just 16 seconds behind top class Fell Runner Lloyd Taggart. Encouraged by his success on Wednesday he took to the Start Line on Thursday for the hilly Anna Maria Cutillo Foxdale 6 and did even better, finishing 2nd in 34.40, just ten seconds behind the winner, Stephen Garrett from Manx Harriers ( Results HERE )

Could this be a club trip in 2014?


Birchwood 10k

764 Runners lined up at the ever popular Brichwood 10k last week which was won by Tarus Ely of Salford in 31.02. Stephen Chew took 6th place (32.49) in the race and cut one minute and 45 seconds off his PB set in 2012. V35 Shaun Livesey took 26th position in 36.02. V60 Graham Pomfret, back racing after some horrific injury problems over the last couple of years had a fine run in 179th (44.09) and took the 3rd V60 place overall. Graham’s wife Mary, also a V60, finished 757th in 76.31.

Full Results HERE





Comments Off on Medals for the Harriers at the Northern U15 / U17 Championships

Medals for the Harriers at the Northern U15 / U17 Championships

A number of the Clubs emerging young throwers all contested the U15 / U17 Northern Championships at Wavertree on the weekend of August 17th & 18th. Nathan Billington ( Hammer); Rebecca Orrell (Hammer, Discus and Shot Putt) and Connor Davison (Hammer and Shot Putt) were all hoping to win a medal as was Ben Aspinall in the Triple Jump.

Full Results HERE

Northern Athletics Report HERE

Nathan Billington in the U17 Men’s Hammer threw a new PB by 2 metres with a distance of 41.46m winning the event and taking the Gold Medal.

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U17 Rebecca competed in in three events including the Hammer to finish 3rd and win a Bronze Medal with a throw of 37.60m, then threw 28.70m in the Discus for 4th place and 6th place in the Shot Putt (6.23m).

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U15 Connor also competed in two Throwing events and made it the third medal of the day for Harriers athletes in coming 3rd in the Hammer (33.70m) and winning a Bronze Medal. He then went on to contest the Shot Putt with a distance of 10.48m for 5th place.

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U17 Ben just fell short of making it four medals on the day for the Harriers when he jumped 12.45m for fourth place in the Triple Jump.