Blackburn Harriers & AC

Monthly Archives: November 2016

Comments Off on Great run from Rob at Cross Challenge & Mid Lancs at Sefton Park – 3rd for Joe at Wesham 10k – David Staff Race

Great run from Rob at Cross Challenge & Mid Lancs at Sefton Park – 3rd for Joe at Wesham 10k – David Staff Race

Cross Challenge and Mid Lancs League at Sefton Park – November 26th

Apart from the continual mist that enveloped Sefton Park, the conditions were almost perfect as a record number of Entries gathered to contest the Cross Challenge, Mid Lancs and Merseyside Cross Country Leagues. The Harriers had a good turnout too with 45 athletes all competing.

Great run from Rob Warner finishing 52nd in the Cross Challenge (30.55), a race which attracted 632 entries and he told the Club that he was so happy with the race today, probably my best race I’ve ever had on the cross country! It was quite difficult to focus on the race beforehand after watching jess the race before, I was probably more nervous for her race than mine! But I found that once I got going and started moving through on the 2nd lap that I knew I was on for a good run if I could keep it going on the last lap! Was very surprised to see that I finished 52nd and 17th U23, really nice to see that the hard work I’ve been putting in since changing coaches is paying off!”


Tim Raynes who is having a very good cross country season also had a good run placing 113th in a time of 32.10 and commented afterwards that “It’s always fantastic to be running in big events alongside quality athletes, so was really looking forward to racing. I’ve not been feeling 100% over the last few weeks, but went into it thinking that somewhere around the top 100 might be achievable. I started off the race fairly conservatively and managed to work my way up through the field throughout the race. Although I ended up just outside the top 100, I felt like I had a decent run. Well done to all who ran, it’s great to see us consistently putting out strong teams!” Jack Hindle also ran the Cross Challenge for the Harriers, having a pretty solid run in the U20 Men’s Race and was the 4th Lancashire athlete home in 83rd place in a time of 22.35. 



Maddie Elliott entered the U17 Women’s Cross Challenge which had a field of 81 athletes and was the first Lancashire athlete home in 37th place with a time of 16.59. She had been looking forward to testing herself against the best athletes and said that she really enjoyed the race on Saturday although it was very tough and cold. I would have liked to have gained a better position but it was a great experience racing against some of the best athletes in the country.”


One hundred and fifty six girls contested the U15 Cross Challenge Race with Amy Davies placing a very solid 39th place (11.38) which translated into 4th place in the Mid Lancs League on the day; And it was another big field in the U13 girls race featuring one hundred and forty seven athletes which saw Eleesha Charnley come home in a very good 38th place with a time of 12.16. In the U15 Boys, one hundred and thirty nine athletes contested with Matt Ramsden having an excellent race to place 27th with a time of 10.16.



In the Mid Lancs part of the day there some very good performances with the U11 Girls featuring 60 young runners – Keira Haxton 13th in 8.18, followed by Caroline Woodworth (15th) in 8.23, Kate Cookson (24th) in a time of 8.36 and Isabelle Hartley coming home in 37th spot (9.05) – all of which meant that the Girls were 3rd Team out of the 10 Teams competing. In the U11 Boys, it was Saul Sharp who came home first for the Harriers in a very good 12th place (7.56) out of the 51 strong field and he was backed up by Oliver Gill in 31st (8.19). Big fields were the order of the day and none more so than in the U13 Girls with 88 runners. It was Eleesha Charnley and Leah Hoole in this one with Eleesha placing 12th (12.16) and Leah 19th in a time of 12.34.





It was a 6th place out of 9 for the U13 Boys Team led home by Ethan Barbarewicz in 22nd (12.00), Joseph Joyce just one second and one place behind in 23rd (12.01), Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 26th (12.11), George Whittaker in 27th (12.20) and Rory Teare in 36th with a time of 13.01.




Also nine teams contesting the U15 Boys with the Harriers coming home in 2nd spot led by Matt Ramsden in 4th place (10.16), Leon Thomas (18th) in a time of 10.54 with Jamie Teare one second and one place behind in a time of 10.55, Bradley Meikleham in 22nd (11.02), Ethan Joyce (34th) in 11.47, Luke Ingleson 37th in 12.02 and Harry Wilkin 39th with a time of 12.13.




Maddie Elliott (4th) in 16.59 was first counter for the U17 Girls Team which took 3rd place, supported by Hannah Cookson in 9th (18.22), Charlie Coy in her first race for the Club in 16th (19.28) and Freya Black 20th in 20.16. Joe Gebbie went in the U17 Mens Race placing 27th in a time of 20.29). After the Race Maddie spoke to the Club and told us I really enjoyed the race on Saturday although it was very tough and cold. I would have liked to have gained a better position but it was a great experience racing against some of the best athletes in the country.”






One hundred and forty one runners counting in the Women’s Senior Race won by Rachael Burns in 28.42 from Helen Clitheroe in 2nd (28.53) showing some very good quality at the front end of the field. Beckie Taylor who is getting stronger, coming back into regular training had an excellent run to place 10th in 33.49, commenting after the race I love the course and the distance really suited me. I was really happy and surprised with my position as the senior race is extremely competitive. I was happy with how I paced the race and believe it’s the best I have ran in a long time!Beckie was followed by Phoebe Howe in 71st (40.36) and Lindsay Davies 118th in a time of 46.32. The Harriers finished 19th Team out of the 32 contesting.



The Men’s Senior Race, won very impressively by Patrick Dever (29.48) featured 301 runners which saw the Harriers take 3rd spot on the day out of 33 Teams competing and just 8 points off 2nd place. The Team was led home by Rob Warner in 3rd (30.55), and supported by Tim Raynes 11th (32.10), Chris Davies 30th (34.25), Tom Blaney 36th (34.39) who told the Club I thoroughly enjoyed the race on saturday a top quality field and an atmosphere to match it. I was very pleased with my performance its good to see consistant racing and Tuesday night track work paying off! Managed to keep Chris in my sights which dragged me round and kept me at a decent pace. Well done to all the Harriers involved and thanks a lot for the support”, Andy Buttery 52nd (35.50) who also commented  I haven’t done the Sefton Park fixture since 2008 so I was looking forward to it a little like a new event. On the day I felt a bit below par from upping my sessions since the Bolton fixture and also work related travel (which I’m finding affects me more as I get older). However, I took some positives and was pleased to run an even pace and get another solid XC under the belt. There were some cracking runs from the other lads, so always feels good to be racing with such a strong and talented club. Looking forward to the Lancs champs in January.” Mark Chippendale came home in 57th position (36.13), Craig Greenough 177th (42.08), Allan Hartley 240th (45.28), Andy Hatton 261st (47.29) and Danny Teare 267th (48.03).






Wesham 10k – Saturday 26th November

Four hundred and fifty eight runners lined up for the ever popular Wesham 10k and even though it was held on the same day as the Cross Challenge at Liverpool, it still sold out.



Joe Monk had another good run going under 33 minutes again as he finished 3rd in a time of 32.54 and just four seconds off second place. V45 Paul Guinan came home in 14th spot with a time of 36.15 and 3rd V45 on the day. Next in came Ben Costello – 22nd in 36.59 – who is in his first season of racing, his first mile of 5.10 being a little over ambitious. U17 Nick Smith took on his first ever 10k and did really well to come home in 44th place with a time of 39.21 which was a pretty good opener for his debut over the distance. Great to see Grace Handley back racing after a long time out with illness and injuries and the Race saw her make her debut at this distance, coming home in 45th position in a time of 39.25 and she reflected on her result telling the Club Wesham 10km was my first 10km race. On the day I went knowing that underfoot it wasn’t the best conditions as most of the paths were icy and slippy, so I thought aiming for a sub 40min was a good aim. But after just 2km I suffered with a nose bleed which lasted for the rest of the race, therefore at the time I thought this would of slowed my pace as for the remaining 8km I was constantly trying to stop it bleeding. However I ended up finishing first junior woman, 3rd senior woman and got a time of 39:25″. Anthony Walton placed 116th in the Race, posting a time of 44.23.



David Staff Memorial Race


This Race is held in Memory of a young man – David Staff – who died of a heart condition in 1994 and attracted one hundred and one runners and was won by Joe Crossfield (Halifax) in a good time of 28.33.

You can read about David and the Race on the Darwen Dashers Website


Four Senior Men ran the Race which saw V40 Bryan Searby first home for the Harriers in 62nd place in a time of 40.03, followed by V50 Ian Clarkson in 75th spot (41.29), V50 Richard Taylor 80th in a time of 43.29 and V40 Paul Wilkinson (88th) in 46.12.


(Photo courtesy of



(Photo courtesy of







Comments Off on Good Start by the Harriers Sportshall Squad in Blackpool

Good Start by the Harriers Sportshall Squad in Blackpool

It was the first fixture in this years Sportshall Competition, held as always at Blackpool Indoor Arena in Stanley Park and a good day for the Harriers who ended up with the U11 girls and U13 girls Teams both finishing in 3rd place. The U11 boys really pushed themselves and ended up placing second behind Preston with only 8 boys in the Team which was a cracking effort. In the Relays the U11 Girls placed 3rd whilst the U11 Boys came home in 2nd spot.

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(Thanks to John Cookson for the Photos)

The U11 Girls featured some first time competitors, namely Caitlin Clarkson, Emily Cottam, Hannah Davies, Imogen Robinson, Kady Thompson and Holly Turner, so well done to all of those youngsters. Rimini Bellusci scored points for the Team placing 2nd in the speed bounce with 54. Niamh Gater was very nervous on the day and went on to score points with a 6th place in speed bounce with 50, 3rd place in chest push with 5.00 and was also fastest under 11 Blackburn Harrier on the day with 13.2, another very good perforamnce. Also scoring points on the day were Jadyn Armstrong who registered new PB’s in Long Jump 1.53m, Speed Bounce 48 and 1 Lap 14.0 and secured a second place in the target throw with 14. Kate Cookson was equal 4th in the Long Jump with 1.62m and 1st in Speed Bounce with 55. Natasha Hill was 2nd in Long Jump with 1.68m and 3rd in Speed Bounce with 53 and also placed 3rd in the target throw with 13, Caroline Woodworth who ran in the Cross Country the day before, was 2nd in chest push with 5.25. For the U13 Girls Eleesha Charnley who had competed in the U13 Cross Challenge on Saturday at Sefton Park made it a great double for the weekend, placing 1st in the Long Jump with 2.22m, 1st in the Speed Bounce with 84 and 2nd in the 6 Laps and 3rd in the 2 Laps Event. Leah Hoole was another youngster who had also run at Sefton Park the day before and took 3rd equal place in Speed Bounce with 79 and 5th in the 6 Laps.

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Some very good performances came from the U11 Boys who finished 2nd Team on the day with Harrison Allcock earning 3rd in the Long Jump with 1.77m, 5th in Speed Bounce with 49 and 4th in the 1 Lap with 12.5. Isaac Butler took a win in the long Jump with a leap of 1.91m, came 2nd in Javelin with 19.25m, 5th in the 1 Lap Race (12.6) and 5th in the 3 Lap with 40.4. Codie Dewhurst placed 2nd in Speed Bounce with 51 with Thomas Flynn equal 5th in Target Throw, Sam King 2nd place in Speed Bounce with 51, Jack Probert equal 2nd in Chest Push 5.25, Matthew Smith equal 2nd in Chest Push 5.25 and Dexta Thompson won the Javelin with a throw of 19.75, came equal 5th in Speed bounce with 49 and 4th in the 3 lap 3 lap with 39.6.


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And finally……the Harriers Head Coach at Sportshall giving some advice on dietary requirements when competing!!



Comments Off on Preston 10 – Chorley 10k – Tour of Pendle

Preston 10 – Chorley 10k – Tour of Pendle

Shaun Livesey went over to contest the Preston 10 where he finished 10th out of the four hundred and thirteen finishers in a time of 57.13 and was also 3rd V40 on the day. Afterwards Shaun, being a little harsh on himself, spoke to the Club and said he “went there with high hopes and expectations hoping to post a low 56, however after 5 miles I started to have negative thoughts and totally stopped running. I was close to calling it a day but I started again and managed to keep my place. I need to be tougher come the ribble valley 10km”.




Joe Monk is in a rich vein of form, a product of very good and consistent training throughout the year. Recently he set a new PB for 10K ( 32.36) at the Leeds Abbey Dash, going under 33 minutes for the first time. The Chorley Race was run in not the best of conditions but Joe still managed to put in a very good performance, placing 3rd in a time of 33.15 and first Junior Man. Joe spoke to the Club commenting that he was “really pleased with the run, conditions were quite bad for about a mile of each lap with ice so I had to slow quite a bit to avoid any mishaps. Looking good for the Wesham 10k now”.



(Joe picking up another prize)

Tour of Pendle


They say that Fell Runners are tough, well to complete this years Tour of Pendle Race in the conditions required physical and mental toughness in spades. The Fell looked a little different on the day of the Race!


Among the three hundred and thirty finishers in the Race, won by Jack Wood in 2hr 39.30 and just ten seconds in front of second placed Karl Gray, were Blackburn Harriers – Craig Greenough and Ian Clarkson.



Craig came home in 186th position in a time of 3hr 44.44 with Ian in 284th spot (4hr 19.49). Ian told the Club after the Race that it was “just short of 17 miles and about 4800 ish feet of ascent of up hill and down dale with many a wide stream and brooks to cross!!The weather was pretty wild with snow, hail, clag, freezing strong winds coming from all directions and descents and ascents that were slushy and icy! With 340 fell runners lined up at the start, it was going to be interesting, those on a mission, those going for it, and us lot taking up the rear having a Grand Day Out, but we all faced the same brutal, mentally and physically challenging Tour that was to unwind in the next few hours!! Not just runners were out there on the day, their was the army of marshalls and officials to make it happen and man all the checkpoints to account for everyone. Many thanks and appreciation to all those involved. All in all, it was a classic and I’ll be there again next year”.


(Marshals and Officials – extraordinary volunteers and where would we be without them!!)

Comments Off on Samantha wins Silver Medal at Champion of Champions Event in Doha

Samantha wins Silver Medal at Champion of Champions Event in Doha

On the 10th November Samantha Murray flew out to Doha to take part in the Modern pentathlon Champion of Champions Event and came away with a great Silver Medal behind the German athlete – Schleu Annika who was ranked 5th in the World.



UIPM Report

Samantha spoke to the Club after her event and told us “I was happy to go out to Doha for some warmer weather and a competition for pure enjoyment without expectations. My positive mindset kept me smiling – I won the fence and rode a perfect round in the show jumping on a beautiful dapple grey gelding called Crossfire. I started the combined event in 1st place. After a strong first shoot, I was out in the lead, however took a wrong turn on the run course! As I came back to the course I was back in 3rd! Unbelievable I know! From there I held a consistent pace and shot fine to bring me home in the silver medal position. I was absolutely delighted and felt a sense of pure happiness. Everything is better when you smile. I stayed on a few extra days in Doha to speak at schools. Here I held fencing workshops and answered questions from young children about the Olympics and the Modern Pentathlon. It was an excellent trip”.

Samantha always enjoys going into schools to promote her event to children and Doha was no exception as she led a school class in one of the disciplines involved in the Modern Pentathlon and you can see from the Video how enthused the children were.


Comments Off on Sophie Hitchon – Runner Up in BASC Athlete of the Year Awards

Sophie Hitchon – Runner Up in BASC Athlete of the Year Awards

Congratulations to Blackburn Harrier – Sophie Hitchon – on taking the runner up spot at the BASC Athlete of the Year awards won by Mo Farah with Laura Muir in third place. Non other than the great Daley Thompson remarked that Sophie’s Bronze Medal at the 2016 Olympics was one of the standout performances of the whole Games.


Sophie was the first British athlete and first Woman to win an Olympic hammer throw medal for 92 years when she won the Bronze with a dramatic final and last throw of 74.54m which broker own British National Record.

To be recognised by the grass roots of the sport is a tremendous achievement and shows, as ever, that an athlete who works hard, gives it everything they have, battles through all the different adversities that they encounter, wins the hearts of athletic supporters everywhere and deservedly so.

These were some of the comments that came in from Members of BASC in putting forward her Nomination: ‘It is great to see a Brit, especially a female Brit, achieve such success in what has traditionally been an unfashionable event. I am sure Sophie will prove inspirational to others especially those who may feel they don’t have the physique to be the next Jessica or Mo – Denise

I believe Sophie’s improvement over several years from a junior through to the senior ranks and her great Bronze Medal performance in Rio demonstrate why she should be nominated for this award. Not only did she win a bronze medal, she became the first British woman to win an Olympic medal in the Hammer and the first British woman to win a field event medal for 28 years – Robert

Sophie is a great role model, and we hope she will encourage more athletes to take up field events – Christine


Comments Off on Statement from Northern Athletics to members of all athletic Clubs in the Northern Region

Statement from Northern Athletics to members of all athletic Clubs in the Northern Region

Northern Athletics Survey

Statement from Northern Athletics:

‘In early 2014, Northern Athletics (NA) faced a situation whereby financial reserves would run out within 2 to 3 years and asked athletes, coaches and volunteers to complete a survey, to establish the level of support and the key priorities for NA (from those responding to the survey) to be identified.

Thanks to the responses we received (1642 in total) there was an overwhelming majority (97.7%) wanting NA to continue to provide competition beyond 2015 and 89.6% saying they would be willing to contribute £3 each year to secure the future of NA.

Thanks for the support shown in the 2014 survey, due to that we have been able to secure some grant funding from England Athletics (EA) from 2014 through to 2016, During those years NA also focused on reducing costs where possible, with the result that in 2016/17 we are looking to break even although we are still reliant on the EA grant and the Start Fitness sponsorship.

We now need to ask for your support again. Why? There is a likelihood of a reduction in the grant provided by Sport England to EA next year and as a result EA are indicating to us that they can only commit at present to a six month grant for 2017/18 to the areas.

During the years since the first survey, we have done our best to persuade EA that a fixed proportion of the athlete registration fee should be ring-fenced and used to fund the grassroots competition & development of our sport. We used the 2014 survey figure of £3, in our discussions, but our representations have been unsuccessful.

We now need to get further information from you to enable us to argue on behalf of the grassroots of the sport – the clubs, athletes, coaches, volunteers and officials – to make our sport successful and sustainable long term. This survey will be duplicated this time by the Midlands Counties AA and the South of England AA. Remember we are not seeking Sport England or Treasury funding, we simply believe that some of the money that is generated by the athletes in the sport, should go to the grass roots of the sport.

Please help us by completing the survey; adding any comments you wish to those questions where the facility exists’.

Click ⇒  Northern Athletics Survey