Monthly Archives: October 2015
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Chris Jones – the CEO of England Athletics and Dean Hardman – Head of Business Development and Communication – recently approached the Club to ask if they could come down to Witton Park on one of the Harriers Training Nights to see the Club in action.
They had heard a lot about the Club and the new Facilities that had been built by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and were keen to see how these developments had affected athletics in the area, including of course, Blackburn Harriers.
Tony Wood – the Club Chairman – welcomed Chris Jones and Dean Hardman to Witton and introduced them to Claire Ramwell from BwDBC and Graham Harris who is the Facilities Manager and Club President George Kirby.
In explaining the background to the developments at Witton Park, Tony Wood was able to portray to the visitors from England Athletics, an understanding of some of the history of the Club and the relationship it has with the Local Authority, a relationship of substantial length going back over half a century and one that has been very fruitful for both organisations.
The Full Report on the England Athletics Website can be read
There was also ample opportunity for the England Athletics representatives to see the various Training Groups in action and to meet and speak with some of the Coaches and Athletes on the night and overall, the visit was very much appreciated and went down well.
Two hundred and eight six runners at this years popular local road race – The Accrington 10k. Among them were ten Blackburn Harriers, some of whom were racing for the second time in two days having run in the Mid Lancs Cross Country League at Towneley Hall the day before.
Full Results HERE
(Photo’s courtesy of Richard Taylor)
First Harrier home was Chris Davies – one of those who ran at Burnley – in 3rd place with a good time on this course of 37.01. Chris commented that “My second double header weekend and it’s been a good one again. Finished 3rd overall my time was a few seconds more than what this shows, I think it was 37:04ish. Watch malfunction at the beginning of the race mucked me their. Pleased never the less after running Burnley Mid Lancs XC yesterday. Try to push on now to get the times down a bit more and look for a strong run at the end of the year at the Ribble Valley 10”.
Chris was followed by U17 Liz Greenwood who also ran at the Mid Lancs winning the U17 Women’s Race and the winning ways continued when she finished in 12th spot with a time of 39.46, a run which also won here the 1st Woman’s prize to boot. The first Senior woman home behind Liz was Kaylie Panaro in 47.32 (101st) and considering the climb in this Race, was a pretty solid time.
V40 John Cookson, again doubling up on the weekend, took 35th place in 42.40, with another V40 Bryan Searby not far behind in 51st with a time of 44.30. V45 Michael Sharp, just back from a week in Malta, found the going a little tougher on the back half of the Race and came in 90th with 46.41.
Next Harrier in was V50 Jan Buckingham (147th) in a time of 51.37 and again, given the course was a good run and followed in by Carol Cookson who was also on a double header having run at Towneley Park and finishing 184th in 54.57. V50 David Morris had his own battle with Lindsay Davies (who ran at Burnley) which saw him edge just in front with a time of 59.44 (230th) to Lindsay’s 59.46 in 231st position. Lindsay was well pleased with her weekends effort and told the Club that she ran “A double header this weekend, I was really happy with my time at Burnley yesterday and going to Accrington today for my first 10k I knew it was going to be tough on the legs. First three miles was all relatively down hill so I used this to my advantage to gain some momentum for the hills later on in the race. Mile 4 was a gradual climb and at this point I knew I had to dig in for my sub hour PB. Mile 5 I could see David Morris up the road in the distance and I knew he was my next target so that I could get my PB. Mile 6 I knew that this was it, so I dug in and my legs were like dead weights but I caught up to David and tried to pass him but just didn’t have enough in me, the finish was in sight I went for it and I got my sub hour. So proud of what I have achieved and it is all thanks to you and the rest of the coaches at Blackburn Harriers”.
Park 5k Runs
Witton Park Results HERE
Witton’s 5k Park Run seems to be holding the numbers week by week with 163 at the latest one on 24th October which included four Blackburn Harriers – V45 Jason Harbour running one of these for the first time, coming in 3rd overall in 18.56 followed by Mark Almond, also a V45, in 10th place with a time of 20.24. V60 John Hughes was also out in his first ever run in the event and came in 18th in 22.33and 1st V60. John recently ran in the Jimmy Cricket’s 70th Birthday Run at Whitworth (Results) and told us that he “finished 23rd of a field of 102 in 21.34 – going the right way in training”. 10yr old Samuel King set a new PB of 26.42 finishing 47th which was a great effort by him.
Lorna Sharp had a crack at the Fairclough 5 and it looks as though her weeks holiday in Malta did her good. Lorna set a new PB of 43.15 when she finished in 74th place – a run which knocked nearly a minute off her previous best. Results HERE
Karl leads the Harriers to Mens Senior Team Win at Burnley and fine runs from the Clubs young athletes
Predictions were that the athletes would be in for a bad day weather wise, but thankfully the day went off well with no rain and some blue sky in the afternoon. Some really good results for the Harriers too, topped by the Senior Men winning the Team Race led home by Karl Billington who said after the Race that it was a “Great performance by the team, well done guys“.
Full Results HERE
The Men’s Senior Race had over 300 runners in it competing for twenty seven different Clubs and it was the Harriers who came out on top by 20 points from Barlick in 2nd place. Karl Billington finished (5th) in 32.12 and there was just 14 seconds separating 3/4/5/6th places. Rob Warner had a good last lap and pulled through to 11th (33.29) telling us that it was “Was great to be back doing a Mid Lancs cross again and some very strong packing from the team – well done everyone” and followed by Tim Raynes who worked his way through the field to come in 16th (33.43) remarking afterwards that it was “Great to be running in a winning team, brilliant effort by everyone!” Joe Monk made it four Harriers in the first twenty (20th) in 33.58 and 2nd U20 Male and saying that he was “really pleased with the team performance and to have 4 runners in the top 20 is a great effort“.
Completing the six places for the Team 1st Prize were U20 Jack Hindle in 31st (35.22) who said afterwards that it was a “Great performance by everyone! Proud to be part of a winning team and happy to see Blackburn on top!“ and Tom Blaney who has suffered from a long period of injuries coming back in style with a time of 35.46 in 39th place and commenting that “It was great to be finally back racing again and even better to contribute towards the team win, well done and thanks everyone“.
Next home for the Club came Chris Davies in 42nd (36.05) and Mark Chippendale (63rd) in 37.20. V40 Allan Hartley finished 104th in 39.33 with joint Team Manager John Cookson in 180th (43.01) and David Billington 286th (51.56).
The younger athletes didn’t disappoint either with some cracking individual and team performances. The U11 Girls with 84 runners and U11 Boys with 66 runners both took the 2nd Team Prize on the day. The U11 Girls Team of Leah Hoole, Eleanor Allsop, Hollie Cubbon, finished with a total of 37 points which was just 3 points behind Blackpool who were first. Leah was in a real battle going towards the line and just held on to 5th spot (7.48) by one second. Also having fine runs were Eleanor in 12th (8.02) and Hollie 24th 0n 8.23.
Kate Cookson was next home in 30th (8.35) and she gets better with each race. Amelia Tyson also ran well to come in 34th (8.40) as did new member and first time ever competitor – Georgina Bleek and just 8yrs of age who took 59th spot in 9.18 and actually sprinted at the end!! Next home came Isabelle Hartley in 64th (9.31) followed by Alayna Irvine in 66th (9.37).
There was a cracking Race in the U13 Girls with Amy Davies battling with eventual winner Skyler Bowes and Charlotte Edwards coming down the slope together as they neared the finish. Just four seconds separated the three girls with Amy taking a fine 2nd place in 11.28 and showing real determination.
Another great run from the Harriers U13 Boys Team winning the the Team Race by three points from second placed Horwich. Matt Ramsden, who is having a great season so far in the cross country led the team home in 2nd place (11.07) being supported by Jamie Teare with another fine run in 6th spot (11.39) and Leon Thomas 17th in a time of 12.09. Next came Luke Ingleson in 34th (12.59), Daniel Brown just two places further back in 36th (13.03) and George Whittaker (45th) in 13.34.
Hannah Cookson led the U15 girls to 3rd Team finishing 7th overall in a time of 12.54, backed up by an improved run by Chloe Bleek in 14th (13.24), Natalya Irvine in 16th (13.35), Anna Lonsdale (20th) in 14.04, Freya Black in 23rd (14.32) and Keturah Bradley (27th) in 15.23.
Another fine run by U17 Liz Greenwood who came away a very comfortable winner in her race winning by 22 seconds from Meg Beckett in a time of 16.02. One hundred and ninety runners in the Senior Womens Race featuring thirty two Clubs. The Harriers finished in 29th place with Michelle Teare taking 114th place in 31.44, Carol Cookson (123rd) in 33.01 and Lindsay Davies (148th) in 34.52.
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Launch of Run Fast Birmingham
RUN-FAST BIRMINGHAM is a new initiative that supports a team of eight elite middle and long-distance runners based at Birmingham University. The launch of this new team took place alongside the second edition of Bud’s Run on Saturday afternoon.
The team is the brainchild of Run-Fast Sports Management Agency and marks the first time that a British university is partnering with a management agency for the purpose of establishing a more professional training environment for its elite athletes. The team will be sponsored by adidas and all eight team members are aiming for selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.
Peter McHugh, Managing Director of Run-Fast, says that the formation of the team is “an attempt to bridge the gap” in British distance running between athletes who receive WCPP funding from UK Sport and athletes aiming for international success with far lower levels of financial support. “Making that step-up to international level is never easy, and for many can be even harder without adequate support. By forming this team we hope to offer more support to athletes at a critical stage of their development and foster a more professional approach to their sport.”
Aged between 21 and 27, the eight athletes on the team represent a stock of rising talent. Five of the eight athletes have already won national titles; six have represented their country at international championships. All eight live and train at Birmingham University under the guidance of former international athlete Luke Gunn and renowned national endurance coach Bud Baldaro. In recent years Birmingham has come to be considered as one of Britain’s elite performance centres for middle and long-distance running.
The Run-Fast Birmingham team members are Jonathan Davies (handicap-5.2) aged 20; Ben Waterman (handicap -4.8) aged 22; Andrew Heyes (handicap -5.4) aged 25; Rich Peters (handicap -3.3 ) aged 25; Pippa Woolven (handicap 3.8) aged 22; Sara Treacy (handicap 0.0) aged 26; Alison Leonard (handicap -1.4) aged 25; and Julia Cooke (handicap -0.7) aged 27.
Speaking about the new team, Luke Gunn, Head of Athletics at Birmingham University, said: “Run-Fast Birmingham will make a real difference for our top athletes. Our programme is built around group training, so the formation of this new team will only strengthen this. Partnering with Run-Fast will increase the support we can offer to the athletes and help raise their sights towards achieving greater international success.”
This is a great boost for Blackburn Harrier – Alison Leonard who came to the Club as a 15yr old and came under the wing of Arthur Almond, the long time Middle Distance Coach for the Club. It was clear then that Alison had potential which can be seen by her record as a Junior where she had great success as can be seen from the following :
Domestic Championships Record as a Junior
2005 – 3rd AAA U17 Championships 800m
2006 – 1st ESAA Championships 800m, 1st AAA U17 Championships, 3rd AAA Indoor U17 Championships 800m, 3rd England Athletics U20 Open Championships 800m, 3rd AAA U20 Championships 800m
2007 – 3rd England Athletics U20 Championships 800m
2008 – 1st England Athletics U20 Open Championships 800m
2009 – 1st England U20 Championships 800m
Noteworthy performances as a Junior
2007 – 2nd World Youth Championships 800m
2008 – 4th World Junior Championships 800m
2009 – 4th European Junior Championships 800m
Alison – now in the Senior ranks – has won international 800m Races in Belgium this year, was selected to run for GB in the European Team Championships in Russia and, as well as winning the BUPA Westminster Mile, also ran the qualification time for the World Championships. She has taken the very courageous decision to go full time even though this has meant having to finance herself.
Currently placed 5th in the 800m National Rankings with a personal best time of 2.00.08, the Club is very confident that she has made the right decision and will go on to bigger and better things. Alison explained to the Club, what it means to her to be selected:
“I was invited to become part of the new Run Fast Birmingham group this autumn and was really keen to be involved with a group that fits with the way I see our sport; with a love for athletics and interest in athlete development at the heart of everything.
The transition from junior to senior especially when leaving university is difficult for many and Run Fast are hoping to support eight of us to take that step to the next level, by helping us get into races, securing us kit from Adidas and general support.
It’s also great to be part of a team with people I already know and love training with; I’ve known some of the team since I was a fresher at Birmingham in 2008.
I’m excited to see what this opportunity will bring especially in the build up to Rio next year; I need to give myself the best possible chance of making the team, and I think being part of Run Fast Birmingham is really going to boost my chances”.
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