Blackburn Harriers & AC

Monthly Archives: September 2016

Comments Off on Six Medal positions and some good performances by the Harriers at the North West Road Relays

Six Medal positions and some good performances by the Harriers at the North West Road Relays

Creatively described as the North West Road Relays, warm weather and little wind greeted the teams from all over the North West in Delamere Forest for the 2016 Championships. Apart from the fact that the course was actually all on Trail and there was a ‘little’ punishing hill at the finish – twice for the Seniors, there was plenty of good racing with lots of support around the Course.


The day kicked off extremely well for the Harriers U11 Girls Team who finished 3rd overall in the North West, picking up a Bronze Medal and taking the Lancashire Title to win themselves a Gold Medal. A great performance by Kate Cookson, Caroline Woodworth in only her third ever competition and Holly Turner in her second. Caroline also finished with the 6th fastest Leg of the day whilst in the Lancashire Championships Caroline was the fastest runner with Kate and Holly tied for 2nd fastest. (U11 RESULTS)


(L-R Caroline – Holly – Kate)

An injury mean that in the U13 Girls the Harriers had one complete and one incomplete team on the day with Eleesha Charnley (14.22), Hollie Cubbon (15.35) and Leah Hoole (15.05) taking 7th place over all in the North West out of 28 teams contesting the Championships with Eleesha taking the 7th fastest Leg of the day. The three of them earned Blackburn their third medal of the day finishing in Silver Medal place in the Lancashire Championships. Christie Sturgess (17.07) and Kirsty Coleran (17.07) put in very good efforts running as an incomplete team and earning good race experience. (U13 RESULTS)


(L-R Kirsty Coleran – Christie Sturgess- Hollie Cubbon – Eleesha Charnely – Leah Hoole)

Maddie Elliott (13.43), Hannah Cookson (14.45) and Natalya Irvine (14.40) made up the Harriers U17 Women’s Team finishing 8th out of the sixteen Teams competing. Maddie posted the 5th fastest Leg in the Lancashire Championships and the girls efforts gave them the Lancashire Silver Medal and made it the fourth medal of the day for the Club. (U17 RESULTS)


(L-R Natalya Irvine – Hannah Cookson – Maddie Elliott)

Sixty five teams lined up in the Senior Women’s Race with the Harriers pulling off a pretty good performance considering that Leg 2 athlete Grace Handley hadn’t raced for over nine months and Leg 3 athlete Beckie Taylor has been carrying an injury for quite a while and was also short of racing fitness. Carly Edwards kicked off Leg (1) in 31st spot with a time of 30.05, followed on Leg 2 by Grace Handley (28.32) and Beckie Taylor (30.30) on Leg 3. Grace’s time was 6th fastest in the Lancashire Championships and the teams efforts gave them a Bronze Medal which was a good result for them. (Senior Women RESULTS)



In the U13 Boys Kyle Pomfret, Rory Teare and George Whittaker made up the Harriers Team with new member Zak Mala also having a run in his first competition. Kyle kicked off in Leg (1) with a time of 13.35 with Rory on Leg (2) 14.19 and George (16.32) on Leg (3). Zak ran a time of 16.47 in his first ever competitive race. The lads finished 18th overall in the North West Championships but picked up a Silver Medal in the Lancashire Championships to register the fifth medal of the day for the Club.



Two Teams contested the U15 Boys with the ‘A’ Team of Matt Ramsden (12.20), Jamie Teare (12.32) and Leon Thomas (12.27) all complimenting one another with similar times to just miss out on a Bronze Medal in the North West Championships placing 4th and their performance was good enough for them to win Silver in the Lancashire Championships taking the Club tally of Medals to six on the day. The ‘B’ Team saw new member Sam Hodkinson post the fastest time of the Team (12.39) with Ethan Joyce on Leg (2) running 14.37 over a distance that he hasn’t competed on before and Bradley Meikleham on Leg (3) in his first ever competition (13.44). The ‘B’ Team finished 18th overall and 5th in the Lancashire Championships. In the top ten fastest times of the Lancashire Championships Matt Ramsden came 3rd (12.20), Leon Thomas 4th (12.27), Jamie Teare 6th (12.32) and Sam Hodkinson 8th (12.39) which is very good consistency and packing. (U15 RESULTS). Joe Gebbie ran on his own in the U17 Men’s Race which was his first ever Relay Race and did pretty well to finish 17th in Leg (1) with a time of 27.52. (U17 RESULTS).





Seventy six Teams in the Senior Men’s Championships won by Liverpool in a time of 1hr 31.21. The Harriers had three teams out on the day finishing 13th (‘A’ Team 1hr 37.02) – 24th (‘B’ Team 1hr 41.44) and 41st (‘C’ Team 1hr 48.11). (Senior Men RESULTS) – in the Lancashire Championships the Teams finished 5th – 6th – 10th respectively.


Zac Howe led off the ‘A’ Team handing over in 14th place (23.28) to Jack Hindle (23.39) handing over in 15th to Andy Buttery (24.57) holding 15th place to Shaun Livesey (24.58) picking up two places for 13th.

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Matt Nuttall led the ‘B’ Team on Leg (1) in a time of 25.16 (39th) handing over to Paul Guinan in 34th (25.56) and then Tom Blaney who pulled back 8 places (26th) in a time of 25.01 with Derek Reilly in his first competition for the Harriers picking up another two places with a time of 25.31.



The ‘C’ Team saw Conrad McKee (25.31) start off in 40th spot handing over to Karl Billington who reeled in eleven runners to take the team through to 29th (25.01), then new Club Member Ben Costello (28.07) coming in 36th with John Cookson taking the last leg in a time of 29.32 (41st).



Comments Off on Blackburn Harriers celebrating with their Olympians

Blackburn Harriers celebrating with their Olympians

As the words of the song suggest it ‘was just one of those nights’ down at Witton Park Arena on Wednesday evening. Sunny, warm and a packed house of athletes waiting eagerly to celebrate the achievements of our double Olympians – Holly Bradshaw, Sophie Hitchon and Samantha Murray – and it turned out to be a great night.

These three young women who have risen to the very top of the athletics world in their events, who have won, among them, Youth, Junior and Senior Medals at Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic level in their athletic careers are the epitome of what hard work, commitment, and dedication can bring.

IMG_0876There are lots of words spoken and written about ‘role models’ these days. It is almost as if anyone who gets their photo in a newspaper becomes a ‘role model’. These three young women are the real deal. Grounded, with their feet on the floor, humble and always wanting to ‘give something’ back as Sophie Hitchon said last night. To see Samantha and Sophie get so involved with the youngsters at the Club last night, speaking to them, having their photo’s taken with them, answering loads of questions, watching them training demonstrates the point more clearly than ever that these are the type of role models the sport needs. Inspirational is not an over used word when it comes to these three Blackburn Harriers.

Welcome Home Video

(With many thanks to Radio 2BR for this film)

IMG_0875Messages were received and read out by the Club’s Chairman Tony Wood from the Mayor, Kate Hollern MP for Blackburn – and – in attendance alongside Olympians Sophie Hitchon and Samantha Murray were representatives of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council – Claire Ramwell – along with the Managers and Staff of Witton Park Arena, all of who have provided so much help for the Harriers in the development of the Arena with its newly laid track, new floodlights, Throws Cage and Indoor Track. Just one special guest missing was Olympian Holly Bradshaw who unfortunately couldn’t be there as she is competing in the Diamond League this week, but she will be down at Witton Park soon to share her experiences with the athletes.




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Comments Off on Jack Hindle is selected to run for England in Junior Home International – Shaun & Carly in Garstang Half-Marathon

Jack Hindle is selected to run for England in Junior Home International – Shaun & Carly in Garstang Half-Marathon

As Blackburn Harrier – Jack Hindle – approached the Trial Race on Skiddaw he knew that his form at the moment gave him a great chance of being selected to run for England in the U20 Junior Home International to be held in Keswick on September 17th.

But like all things, it has to be delivered on the day and that’s exactly what Jack did when he finished 2nd in a time of 33.49 – just five seconds behind the winner – Tyler Hutchinson – and sealed an automatic qualification place.



When an athlete targets something, has an ambition to achieve something, when it comes off, there is no better feeling. Jack expressed his delight when speaking to the Club saying I’m delighted to have made it into the squad after a season that has been really more road focused. I never thought I’d have managed to get a country vest in my junior career. My training has changed a lot over the past 6 months, and I’ve really found my form. Going into the race I knew I had some good training in the bank, so I gave it everything I had. I was so happy to finish 2nd at the trial which guaranteed me automatic selection, which I’ve never done before. In the race it is a grueling 4 mile climb from the foot of Skiddaw to the summit of Skiddaw little man. Fortunately the selection race was run on exactly the same course as the JHI, so I’m hoping I can use the knowledge of the course to help me perform. It’s key to pace it and in the trial it came down to a sprint for first between me and Tyler Hutchinson who narrowly beat me by 5 seconds. Usually I have gone into the races content with just qualifying. But this year I want to go to the race and medal. And I’m going to give it everything to go for the win. Lastly a big thanks to everyone who has supported me”.

Garstang Half Marathon – September 4th

Shaun Livesey and Carly Edwards were among the one hundred and forty finishers in this Half-Marathon won by Michael Kellenberg in 71.19.


Shaun finished 6th overall and 2nd V40 in a time of 79.13 whilst Carly came home in 51st place with a time of 1.43.24 and 4th woman home on the day.



Comments Off on Jacob PB’s & wins Silver Medal at UK School Games – Another win for Charlie at Southport Open – Helen and John at Ben Nevis – PB for Bryan at Salford

Jacob PB’s & wins Silver Medal at UK School Games – Another win for Charlie at Southport Open – Helen and John at Ben Nevis – PB for Bryan at Salford

Sainsbury’s UK School Games

Jacob Roberts currently 2nd in the National Rankings has had a great season which has been topped off with a new PB by over a metre and a half of 68.43m when winning the Silver Medal at the UK School Games held at Loughborough over the weekend.



After the weekend Jacob reflected on his Silver Medal and his victory at the Southport meeting the following day saying “I competed at the  Sainsbury’s UK School Games at Loughborough last Saturday, went down to the event on a coach with the north west team which I was part of. There were teams from all over the United Kingdom, competing in loads of events not just athletics, over four days.  I enjoyed the whole experience from competing to socialising with other athletes. The day of the completion was a rainy day, conditions were not that good and my hammer competition was the first event on. I felt relaxed and began to throw and my first throw was a no throw, but gained good consistent throws with the next five around my old PB of 66 meters pretty happy with them. On my last throw I gained a new PB of 68:43 meters. I was quite happy it was a distance that I had been working on most of the season ( European UK qualifying distance U18) that throw put me ahead of the current leader for the second time in the competition, unfortunately he throw 50 centimetres further on his last throw .

But I was more than pleased with my performance and distance which gave me a Silver medal and a new massive PB, which keeps me a close second in national rankings (a meter behind the no 1), 15th in the under 17 All Time UK rankings  and 24th in European under 18 Rankings.  After Friday at  Loughborough I was buzzing, but reality has to kick in to the next comp on Saturday at Southport Open and did not expect to do well after such a good time at Loughborough. Weather again was bad  but I managed to throw over my previous PB of 66 meters three times and throw one over 66 one over 67 and again over 68 a few centimetres just short of my new PB. To say I was happy is an understatement. To say I am happy is not enough, I cannot thank all the support I have received from the Harriers, Anne Marie who helped with little niggles ( healing hands), people who are involved in the throws section , Sophie’s inspiration and tips throughout the year and especially a big thank you to Mick  Hitchon my coach who has helped me over the last couple of years and expressed that consistency is the key, looking forward to the rest of the season and comps, gunning for  bigger and better things to come in the future”.



UKFast City of Salford 10k

Two thousand six hundred and eighty two runners completed this race and among them was Blackburn Harrier Bryan Searby and what a good race he had finishing 183rd overall in a time of 43.02 which was a new PB by nearly a minute and a half. Good reward for all the hard work that Bryan has put in through his training.




Southport Waterloo Open

Charlotte Williams like Jacob is currently standing at 2nd spot in the National Rankings and she too has had a fantastic season. Still chasing longer distances and new PB’s Charlie went out in pretty horrible conditions at the Southport Open and in winning the Hammer again was only 40cm off her best throw of the year! Afterwards, once she had dried off, she told the Club“Today I got 55.41 meters in terrible throwing conditions because it was windy and pouring down withrain. But besides that I felt on form today and threw good and if the weather was a bit better maybe further. I’ve still got a few open meetings before winter training so hoping for good weather there”.

After taking the Silver Medal at the UK School Games on Saturday at Loughborough, Jacob Roberts was in action again at Southport the day after winning with another 68m plus throw (68.36m).



Also out at Southport were U13 Izzy Thompson, Kyle Taylor-Pomfret, U15 Cameron Harris, U11 Dexta Thompson, U15 Liberty Thompson and U13 Charlotte Corrigan. Whilst conditions like these are never good for athletes producing their very best, it does say something about the mental strength and commitment of these youngsters to get stuck in when the conditions are not in their favour. So well done to all of them.

U13 Izzy earned two 2nd places with a throw of 20.41m in the Javelin and 7.93m in the Shot Putt.


Kyle (U13) got gold in hammer, bronze in the 1 mile and 5th in javelin in what he described as “awful conditions it was so cold and wet!” Among his events were new PB’s in the one mile finishing 6th in 6.06.3 which was 21 seconds better than his previous best. He set a new PB in the Hammer winning the event with a throw of 16.51m, nearly a metre and half better and finished his day off with a 5th placed throw of 19.25 in the Javelin.


U15 Cameron Harris contested the Javelin to place 3rd with a throw of 25.86m and in the Vortex event, Dexta Thompson placed 7th with 19.81m before going onto earn 2nd place in the 600m in a time of 1.55.3. Sister and U15 Liberty Thompson took 5th place in the 75m Hurdles in a time of 15.8 whilst U13 Charlotte Corrigan came 2nd in the 1200m in 4.22.1 and it could not have been pleasant at all to be running in the wind and rain.

Ben Nevis – Saturday 3rd September

An amazing four hundred and seventy nine runners finished this years Ben Nevis Race in very warm conditions and among them, two Blackburn Harriers – Helen Leigh and John Orrell. The Race was won by Finlay Wild in a time of 1.28.45 with local lad Sam Tosh (Rossendale) taking 3rd place in 1.34.29.




Helen finished in 165th position overall and 11th Woman in the Race which was good because as she says, she went the wrong way a ‘small bit’ commenting “After a frustrating year of niggles and injuries I was pleased to complete the Ben Nevis race in 2.16 and come away in one piece. It was ridiculously hot even though it was cloudy so it was really tough. The route changed a little this year and I went wrong for a small bit so even happier with my time considering I decided to make it even longer! Really hoping to make the startline of the Glencoe Skyline in two weeks and complete this brutal race!”


John finished in 465th place with a time of 3hr 22.47 and behind the Race and time lies a story of ambition which John has been chasing which is now complete, telling the Club that it had been 8 months of planning and preparation and a 600 mile round trip. Not sure it was worth it for a wooden spoon! It was a great race, run in perfect conditions thanks to a minor weather miracle, timed perfect for the race. I got to the top in good shape in 1.53.55 and still hoped to break 3 hours. My target of 2.56 went out the window though, after the scree decent trashed my legs and I took a few stumbles down the Red Burn through cramp. Trotted over the finish line glad still to be in one piece. 3 Peaks, 3 years, 3 races, Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis. Job done!” And we would add to that John – WELL DONE!!



Comments Off on Alison smashes her Mile personal best in New York’s Fifth Avenue Mile Race

Alison smashes her Mile personal best in New York’s Fifth Avenue Mile Race

New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile

Twenty three athletes contested the prestigious Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday September 3rd won by Jenny Simpson in 4.18.3 with Laura Muir in second place (4.18.4). Blackburn Harrier Alison Leonard lined up in a stellar field with a personal best of 4.33.00 to her name and she smashed that to pieces cutting nearly seven seconds off that time for a great new PB of 4.26.30.

She was delighted with her run, one that puts her in at Number 3 in the National Rankings for the mile. In the other rankings Alison is 3rd in the 800m and 9th in the 1500m rankings and told the Club after the event that it was completely crazy but overall went well! I was about 3rd slowest on paper so 14th/23 isn’t too bad! The times were fast because it’s overall downhill but still very happy with 4:26.3. Atmosphere was fantastic, felt surreal running so fast down 5th Avenue! Have had a brilliant few days out here, it’s been awesome! One more race to go at the Great North Mile next Saturday and then I’m done for the year”.




(Alison with Dad Ian and Mum Elaine)

Comments Off on Holly sets seasons best and beats the Olympic Champion in Zurich

Holly sets seasons best and beats the Olympic Champion in Zurich

After finishing in fifth place in the Olympic Pole Vault Final, Holly Bradshaw took on the Olympic Gold and Silver Medal winners in Zurich last night (31st August) and pulled out a tremendous performance to take the win. Following nearly three years of injuries it is a testament to Holly’s dedication, commitment and self-belief that she is now back where she truly belongs at world class level, competing for the biggest titles in the sport. Inspirational.


IAAF Report

In the competition Holly cleared a seasons best of 4.76m to beat Olympic Silver Medalist Sandi Morris and Gold Medalist Ekaterini Stefanidi. Understandably Holly was delighted with her performance and spoke to the Club after the competition saying that she was over the moon with my performance today! I’ve been rounding into some great shape over the past month so to jump another SB is great. 4.76m is my 3rd best height I’ve ever jumped so things are starting to get back to where I have been. I had a tough start to 2016 but to be rewarded with a good result after lots of patience and hard work is fantastic I am chuffed for myself and my whole team! I can’t wait for Newcastle next week and then 2017 now!