Blackburn Harriers & AC

Monthly Archives: November 2016

Comments Off on Meet Lancashire’s future Olympic heroes

Meet Lancashire’s future Olympic heroes

Up and down the country, Coaches will be telling all their young athletes, in whatever discipline they are involved in, that somewhere among them is a future Olympian; And, it is true. Somewhere among all those young athletes, giving it all they have in their weekly Training Sessions, there is an Olympian in the making.

At Blackburn Harriers we have been fortunate to see some of our athletes develop and grow into world class athletes, competing in European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic Championships. In 1978 Mick Morton won the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh. Holly Bradshaw (Pole Vault), Sophie Hitchon (Hammer) and Sam Murray (Modern Pentathlon) have all gone on to compete at the very top of the sport, with Samantha winning a Silver Medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and winning the World Individual Championships in 2014. Sophie won Bronze Medals at the Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympic Games and Holly won Bronze in the Indoor World Championships in 2012 and Gold at the European U23 Championships in 2011 to name just a few of the Medals and Titles they have all won over the years.

What all these athletes had in abundance was the drive to succeed, a drive that saw them overcome injuries, sometimes serious and a mentality, a mental toughness that transcended summer training and warm nights to apply themselves similarly on those dark wet, dark cold, dark wet and cold nights during winter training.

There are other athletes who have gone on to achieve at National and International level at the Harriers and the one thing that they all had and have in common, is this same desire, the focus, the commitment and the understanding that through hard work, they can achieve their dreams.

Instead of watching other champions on television, they want to be the champions on television!

2BR Radio recently came down to Witton Park to interview and observe two young Hammer Throwers at the Club – Jacob Roberts and Charlotte Williams – training under the watchful eye of  their Coach Mick Hitchon, who was central to his daughter Sophie’s success in the Hammer in her earlier years.

On a freezing night the reporter said that even in the freezing cold they still believe they can do it, that they they can achieve their aim of becoming Olympians. And why not?  Olympian Sophie Hitchon proved it is possible. 2BR were keen to see what the future holds for these two young athletes saying that  “We’ve be down to the club where it all began for Sophie and the likes of Samantha Murray and Holly Bradshaw – Blackburn Harriers. Jacob Roberts is a young hammer thrower and is the Northern Champion U17 winning 17 out of the 20 competitions he’s been in this year and coming second in the other three”

[Jacob is in full swing at practice]

Jacob told 2BR “their success and especially Sophie’s showed him anything is possible: It shows that the hard work does pay off – as she started out at the same age as me and look where she is now. My main aim is to get to the Olympics and Commonwealth Games but that’s going to take time and effort. I’m just amazed when I let go of the hammer and it goes that far. It’s incredible feeling when you think it’s been thrown by a little guy like me.”

[Practice makes perfect for Charlotte]

Charlotte Williams is another young hammer thrower who has seen a lot of success during her short career. She’s second in the national rankings and won the Northern U15 Girls Hammer Championships with a throw of 55.82m which was a new Championship Record and finished the season with a throw of 57.10m. That was Charlotte’s 14th Hammer competition of the year and she’s only failed to win one of them and she told 2BR what it takes to reach her level:
“A lot of hard work and effort – training near enough every day – we only have one miss day. We don’t get any holidays in the year – maybe one if we’re lucky! So, it just takes a lot of hard work. But you can just feel it when you let go and you’re turning smoothly; And it feels really good and then you have to go back and wait for the result.”

Both Jacob and Charlotte were keen to highlight the importance of their Coach – Mick Hitchon – in their development as Hammer Throwers at National and hopefully international level as well as the support they receive from the Club itself. Their Coach is with them at every training session and every competition and the effort, work and commitment he puts in is an integral part of the success that the athletes have achieved to-date and can never be under-estimated.



Comments Off on Senior Men’s Team leading Red Rose XC League after Fixture (3) – New PB’s for Senior Women at Cheshire 10k – Windmill 10k

Senior Men’s Team leading Red Rose XC League after Fixture (3) – New PB’s for Senior Women at Cheshire 10k – Windmill 10k

Red Rose XC League – November 12th

Another good day for the Harriers at the third fixture in this years Red Rose Cross country League which saw the Club achieve on the day:

3rd Team in the U11 Girls  —  3rd Team in the U13 Boys  —  2nd Team in the U13 Girls  —  2nd Team in the U15 Boys  —  4th Team in the Men’s Senior.



In the Series to-date the Harriers Teams have the following positions as they go into the last fixture at Marl Pits on December 3rd: U11 Boys Team (8th)  —   U11 Girls (2nd)  —  U13 Boys (2nd)  —  U13 Girls (1st)  —  U15 Boys (2nd)  —  Senior Women (6th)  —  Senior Men (1st).

SERIES RESULTS (after three fixtures)

In the Individual standings Tim Raynes is in 1st position for the Senior Men  —  Chris Davies is 1st in the V40’s  —  Andy Buttery is 3rd in the V45’s  —  Chris Balderson is 6th in the V50’s  —  Matt Ramsden is 2nd in the U15 Boys  —  Amy Davies is 4th in the U15 Girls  —  Eleesha Charnley is joint 5th in the U13 Girls with Hollie Cubbon in 9th and Leah Hoole in 10th  —  Harvey Ashworth is 6th in the U13 Boys  —  Kate Cookson and Caroline Woodworth are joint 6th in the U11 Girls.

The U11 Boys came in 8th Team of eleven being led by Saul Sharp in 24th in a time of 7.40,  supported by Oliver Gill in 37th place (8.02) and George Ramsden 49th in the field of 81 runners, posting a time of 8.26. Over in the U11 Girls, the Team finished in 3rd place, just one point behind second placed Team Bury. Caroline Woodworth in her first competitive year is making great strides and led the Team home in 7th place (7.55) as is Keira Haxton, also in her first year who placed 13th out of the 75 runners in a time of 8.09. Jasmine Schofield in her first season for the Club came just two places further back in 15th (8.18) whilst Hannah Davies, the youngest member of the Team came home in 23rd (8.36), with Isabelle Hartley in 46th (9.05). Great team spirit among all these youngsters.


The U13 Boys race with 44 runners saw Harvey Ashworth put in another really good performance finishing 7th overall (12.26) and helped lead the Team to 3rd place on the day. Another young athlete who is coming on and putting in consistent performances is Ethan Barbarewicz, placing 13th in a time of 13.09 and backed up well by George Whittaker in 21st (13.30), Jasper Smith (24th) in 13.45, Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 25th place (13.52) and Rory Teare in 30th position (14.19).



(L-R  Ethan Barbarewicz – Kyle Pomfret – Rory Teare – Jasper Smith – George Whittaker)

Eleesha Charnley once again ran a great race finishing 4th in a time of 13.13 which saw just four seconds cover the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Girls in the 68 strong field. Eleesha led the Team home to 2nd place on the day with good runs again from Hollie Cubbon in 7th (13.25) and Leah Hoole (10th) in a time of 13.38. Lucy Brady another young athlete in her first season coming home solidly in 39th spot (15.19) and similarly Kirsten Coleran in 53rd with a time of 16.16).




It was Matt Ramsden who led home the U15 Boys Team in 2nd place with Rossendale winning on the day. Matt finished 2nd overall in 14.40 with Jamie Teare placing 10th (15.51), Leon Thomas 13th in 16.05, Sam Hodkinson (15th) in 16.21, Bradley Meikleham in 17th position (16.40), Luke Ingleson (27th) in a time of 17.58, and Harry Wilkin in his first ever competitive race for the Club coming home in 33rd with a time of 19.16. With the last fixture at Marl Pits on December 3rd, there is everything to play for as Blackburn Harriers and Rossendale Harriers are both on 39 points. Should be a great end to the Red Rose Cross Country season for all the lads in the two teams. In the U15 Girls, Amy Davies had another good run to place 4th in a time of 17.37 and she is in 4th position for the Series overall. A good run at Marl Pits may take her into the top three. Chloe Bleeks had a run out in the U17 Women’s race taking 13th spot in a time of 28.50.




One hundred and eighteen runners in the Women’s Senior Race won very comfortably by Laura Riches in 21.41 by half a minute from Katie Buckley in 2nd. Becky Taylor is back in racing mode and had another solid run to take 13th place in a time of 23.50, with mum Jackie Taylor also returning to racing in 71st position (28.33) and followed by Lindsay Davies in 99th (33.42).



The Men’s Senior Team went into this fixture with Team wins in the first two rounds and individual wins in both. At Bolton, the young East Cheshire athlete – Joe Steward – showed everyone a clean pair of heels winning by a minute and twenty one seconds in a very, very good performance.

Tim Raynes, winner at Leigh in Round One and leading the Series, once again was the first Harrier home in 4th place (36.52) with Tom Blaney in 13th spot (38.40) and Chris Davies 16th in a time of 38.51. In 22nd place came Andy Buttery (39.25) and then our next counter in that part of the Race had to drop out with an injury. Chris Balderson was next in for the Club (71st) in 43.59 with Aqua Damour in 105th (46.38), Warren Smith 110th (47.01), Craig Greenough (115th) in a time of 47.40, Allan Hartley in 174th place (51.41), Danny Teare in 189th (53.14) and Richard Taylor 214th (56.35).







Cheshire 10k at Arley Hall – November 12th

One thousand, three hundred and ninety one runners completed this annual race in the picturesque setting of Arley Hall in Cheshire, the race being won by Mohammed Abue-Rezeq in 30.27 in pretty bad weather conditions overall.


Ben Fish was the first of five Blackburn Harriers contesting the Race, coming home in 3rd place with a time of 31.20 followed by V40 Shaun Livesey in 26th place (34.15) and 3rd V40 on the day.



Catherine Guinan, Jan Buckingham, and Michelle Teare had a good day and one to remember with new PB’s for Michelle and Catherine.


(L-R Michelle Teare – Jan Buckingham – Catherine Guinan)

V45 Catherine placed 464th in a time of 49.04, setting a new PB, nearly a full minute faster than her previous best, whilst V50 Jan came home in 510th spot with 49.49 just twenty seconds away from her PB and just five seconds further back in 514th, came V40 Michelle in 49.54 which was a new PB by a massive two and half minutes. Meanwhile, Claire Bridge popped over to Lytham to run the Windmill 10k along with nearly a 1000 other runners – RESULTS – placing 311th in a time of 53.31.




Comments Off on Harriers at National XC Relays in Mansfield – New PB for Joe at Abbey Dash – Team Win for the Harriers Women at Through The Villages

Harriers at National XC Relays in Mansfield – New PB for Joe at Abbey Dash – Team Win for the Harriers Women at Through The Villages

National Cross Country Relays – November 5th

Last week we reported on the achievements of Blackburn Harrier Chris Wood who has reached an international level as a Starter. This week, as we set up the Tent HQ at the National XC Relays, we saw another Blackburn Harrier – Lee Thompson – helping run the Championships as Assistant Referee which was great to see. Congratulations to Lee who has been the mainstay of the Club’s Endurance Officials Team.

In the Championships themselves we had three Teams in the Senior Men’s and two in the Senior Women’s. First off were the Women with the ‘A’ Team finishing 30th out of the one hundred and twenty three Teams competing and the ‘B’ Team 99th. GB International Alison Leonard on the 1st leg for the ‘A’ Team came home in 16th spot (10.10.55) followed on Leg (2) by Rachel Wood (25th) in a time of 11.24.95 and Beckie Taylor on Leg (3) finishing 30th with a time of 12.16.40.

Senior Women’s RESULTS




Carly Edwards led off for the ‘B’ Team on Leg (1) in 86th spot (12.49.25) and was backed up on Leg (2) by Carol Reilly in a time of 13.30.20, maintaining 86th position and Lindsay Davies on Leg (3) who posted a time of 16.26.95 to finish in 99th place.




In the Senior Men’s Race where the ‘A’ Team placed 42nd out of a field of one hundred and sixty six teams and the ‘B’ Team 103rd, Rob Warner got the ‘A’ Team off to a good start with a great run to come home in 26th place in an excellent time of 15.42.25, supported with another good run by Tim Raynes (16.22.80) to hand over in 29th place to V40 Chris Davies (17.40.30) placing 39th and V45 Andy Buttery on Leg (4) who came home in 42nd spot with a time of 17.56.80.

Senior Men’s RESULTS





Richard Stones led off the ‘B’ Team placing 100th in a time of 17.59.80 followed on Leg (2) by Ben Costello, running with an injury, picking up two places to come home in 98th (18.58.85). Derek Reilly on Leg (3) who hasn’t run for four weeks because of an injury picked up another place to finish 97th in a time of 19.32.10 and V60 John Chaplin in only his third race since March finishing in 103rd position (21.36.55). Great effort by the lads here.





The Harrier’s ‘C’ Team had a withdrawal due to injury on the afternoon which meant it had run as a part Team, with Danny Maynard on Leg (1) Andrew on Leg (2) and Andy Hatton on Leg (3). As of this moment there are no results available for the Senior Men’s incomplete Teams.



Abbey Dash 10k – Sunday 6th November

Eight thousand, six hundred and thirty three runners completed this Race which is noted for providing fast times and attracting top quality fields. It was won by Jonny Mellor in 29.12 and had the first twelve athletes all ducking inside 30 minutes.


U20 Joe Monk had been targeting this Race with a view to bringing down his PB which stood at 33.12 before the Race and it was most definitely on the cards as his training and racing has been very good. In the event, Joe ran brilliant splits of 16.22 for the front 5k and 16. 14 for the back 5k to knock a massive 36 seconds off his old time to finish with a new PB of 32.36 in 83rd place and richly deserved for the work and effort he has put in. After the Race, Joe spoke to the Club and reflected on his Race saying that “I’m very proud to be part of a club that is going forward with top quality athletes. It was a great race, knew I had potential to run 32:45. Went through 5k in around 16:22 and felt very strong and manage to negative spit it, so to run 32:36 I’m over the moon. Great feeling knowing the training is paying off”.


Through The Villages – Sunday November 6th

Nearly three hundred runners braved the weather today at this Race which has been going for a long while now and always attracts a sizeable field.


The Harriers had seven runners out which saw them win the Women’s Team (Carly, Maddie & Grace) and win the Men’s Vet Team (Chris, Shaun and Paul). Should mention also that Joanne Nelson and Rachel Jones who compete on the Track for the Harriers were 2nd and 3rd women respectively overall in the Race with Joanne winning the Women’s V40’s and Rachel the V45’s.

First home for the Harriers was Chris Davies in 4th place with a time of 49.38 and having run at Mansfield yesterday in the National Cross Country Relays, that was a really good run. Behind him, just back from holiday came Shaun Livesey in 6th place (50.46) and Paul Guinan in 24th with a time of 53.51. In only her fourth race since January came Grace Handley in a time of 57.15 and crossing the line in 49th spot. U17 Maddie Elliott finished in 70th spot with a time of 60.34 followed by V45 John Cookson in 79th (61.34) and Carly Edwards – another athlete who ran at Mansfield – in 97th place (62.40). Carly gave us her thoughts on the weekend saying that Having raced at the xc relays the day before I set off quite reserved. I know the course and know there is a lot of climbing over the 8.5 mile distance. I started passing people at around 5 miles and definitely felt better during the second half of the race. It’s definitely a race I would do again”.


(L-R Carly Edwards- Maddie Elliott – Grace Handley)

And finally, V55 Paul Clarke relaxing after his recent run in the Dublin Marathon where he finished in 7869th position with a time of 4hr 08 38. Well done Paul.