Monthly Archives: March 2018
Former Blackburn Harrier Mick Wilkinson has died aged 63.
Mick (‘Wilky’ to his running comrades) joined the Harriers in 1983. Even in his running prime, he was built more like a cruiserweight boxer than a long distance runner. When he joined the Harriers he was an overweight, boozing ex-Man United tearaway whose exercise regime had consisted mainly of fleeing the police presence at away grounds in England and across Europe.
But Wilky was a dogged character who applied his bloody-mindedness to his training regime. He decided that he was going to be a ‘proper runner’. And by 1985 he had become fit enough to stay with the ‘A’ group of senior men (Pete Banks, Bob Shorrock, George Woodburn, Tony Wood and co.) who belted out a hard twelve miles every Wednesday night.
What followed were half a dozen years as a genuinely competitive club runner over road and cross country. Wilky ended up with a bunch of London marathons to his credit and with a PB of 2 hours 37 minutes. As a man who loved to win ‘a man on a stick’ rather more than any kind of voucher or practical race prize, he happily garnered an extensive collection of road race trophies with PBs of 69½ minutes for the half, 52.15 for 10 miles and 32½ for 10k.
In truth, Wilky had no right to be running those times. But 70-80 miles a week and his general appetite for hard training were legendary in the club. So was his weekend ritual of driving round the moorland roads every Saturday night, summer and winter, to position a set of water bottles over the 20 mile route of his meticulously measured Sunday morning run.
Wilky went on to serve as Men’s Cross Country team captain, and his mum Jean is fondly remembered for her role collecting the discs and recording the Harriers’ finishers at the end of many a Mid Lancs and Northern cross-country.
Wilky himself was a man of strong opinions, often strongly expressed. He often hid his softer heart well, but it was there. The last 2 years of his life were blighted by the cruellest of illnesses. He recognised his steady descent as the hardest marathon of his career, but in the end he died peacefully, on his final day happily remembering runs and races in the Harriers vest he wore proudly for a decade.
(L-R Paul Wilson and Mick Wilkinson – Lancaster Half-Marathon)
Information on the Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as the Club has them.
Samantha is 5th in Los Angeles World Cup – Eleesha is Sportshall Regional Champion – PB’s for Josh at Salford 10k & Daniel in Liverpool Half
A great performance by Samantha Murray as she finished 5th in the World Cup 2 event held in Los Angeles which sees her in great form as she prepares for the next World Cup 3 event to be held in Hungary starting on May 3rd.
Samantha spoke to the Club at the end of the Final commenting “I had a solid competition and am really happy with my fencing and running performances. I was in the lead going into the the riding event, however I let myself down and didn’t control the horse as I should have! A lesson learnt. This set me back 21 seconds to start the run in 5th 19 seconds from the leader. There is still some work to do for the rest of the season. However 5th place is a great start to the season. Very happy. “
Sportshall Regional Finals – Sunday March 25th
A great day too for U15 Eleesha Charnley (Lancashire) who became Sportshall U15 Regional Champion on Sunday, qualifying for the National Finals on April 14th after coming first in front of Melissa Booth (Gt Manchester) and Stephanie Robertson (Merseyside) who were both in joint 2nd place. Eleesha was one of eight Blackburn Harriers who had been selected to compete for Lancashire in the Regional Finals including Liberty Thompson who finished 22nd overall in the U15 Girls. In the U11 Boys Blackburn Harriers Sportshall members Harrison Allcock and Aidan Downes were selected as were Niamh Gater and Isabelle Hartley for the U11 Girls Team with Isaac Butler and Saul Sharp also in the U13 Boys Lancashire Squad. Saul had recently competed in the British Schools Biathlon Championships in London finishing 11th overall in the competition after having the event affected for him by the weather. Due to the weather and the track having ice on it the organisers cancelled the run, which was very disappointing given that Saul was due to run at 11.00am and by 11.30am it was fine. However, Saul had a fabulous swim and got a new personal best, winning his heat and coming 6th overall in the swim. It was a brilliant experience for him and is now looking forward to the next event.
Eleesha joined Blackburn Harriers in July 2011 as an 8yr old and we can’t recall a single occasion when she has turned up for training or competition without a smile on her face – an absolute joy to have in the Club and a brilliant attitude in all that she does. Always modest and never making a great deal of her achievements, she finally agreed to let us have some thoughts about her win, telling the Club “It was a fantastic day and I really enjoyed it ! Well done to All Blackburn Harriers who were chosen to represent Lancashire, there was a lot of tough competition so much to my surprise at the end I found out that I had won the U15 girls all round competitor coming 1st in the speed bounce, 2nd in the 4 lap and 3rd in standing long jump. I now go forward to the UK Finals which I am looking forward to in April. A special thanks to Caer”.
(Saul) (Isabelle & Niamh) (Liberty)
(L-R Saul Sharp – Eleesha Charnley – Isaac Butler)
Salford 10k – Good Friday March 30th
Six hundred and thirty finishers in this sold out Race held traditionally on Good Friday. The latest winner was John Ashcroft (Liverpool Harriers) crossing the line in a very good time of 30.18 from Matthew Grieve in 2nd (30.33) and William Mycroft in 3rd (30.34).
Three Blackburn Harriers ran the race which saw Joshua Holgate have a great run to set a new PB time of 34.16 as he placed 42nd overall. After posting a time of 36.06 on the tough Winter Warmer 10k in February and having a very good run in the 12 Stage, it was clear that a revision to his 10k personal best was coming and he duly delivered on the day. Josh commented after the Race “After a good run at the 12 stages last Sunday I was feeling confident that a 10k pb was on the cards, but to take almost 2 minutes off my previous best was quite a surprise and is definitely something to build on now. It was a great day overall and quite a good course, after a fast first 5k I struggled around the second lap but managed to hold on until the end. It was a shame Ben had to pull out halfway due to an injury as he seemed to be running really well, I hope he recovers soon! “ V60 Tony Greenwood also had a very solid run as he placed 156th in a time of 38.59 which gave him the 3rd V60 place. Tony has suffered over the last three years with injury as he explained to the Club after the Race saying “I’m a tad disappointed with my run but I guess couldn’t really expect much more following three years of constant patella tendinitis, result sporadic to no training.. Good news tendon doesn’t seem to be getting any worse and today was the first race I’ve managed to complete in over a year.. So hoping onwards and upwards!”
Also taking 3rd place in the Women’s V40 age category was Carmen Byrne in 167th overall, clocking a time of 39.30 which was pretty good considering she picked up an injury in the second half of the race telling us “this was my first 10k since getting rid of the orthotics so was a little unsure what to expect. I was completely pain free for the first 5k going through about 18.20 but then Achilles pain struck and I pretty much hobbled the last 5k. Hopefully everything will balance out again soon”.
Liverpool Half-Marathon – Sunday March 25th
Nearly four thousand runners in this Race in which Daniel Whittaker was hoping for a new personal best. The race was won emphatically by Jonny Mellor in a time of 63.35 – some four minutes in front of second placed athlete Dejene Gezimu (67.25).
Daniel was delighted with his run as he came home in 178th with a time of 85.57 which was a new personal best and told us that he “seem to be going faster since training with the Harriers now so at least it’s paying of”. More to come, that’s for sure.
Top Ten for the Harriers in Northern 12 Stage – Matt Wins Silver Medal in 5k Northern Champs – Pauline Wins Garstang 7 – Jacob 3rd in Darwen Half
What a great venue for this years Northern 12 & 6 Stage Road Relays, also including the U15 and U17 5k Road Championships – Birkenhead Park. Wide roads which allowed for good separation between athletes and those who would normally use the park, made it feel much safer than has been the case sometimes in the past. Great weather also added to the atmosphere as Clubs shouted encouragement to their athletes all throughout the day.
The Harriers had two senior Men’s Teams, one Senior Women’s Team and a number of U15 and U17 athletes running in the 5k Championship Race.
Tim Raynes led the Harriers ‘A’ Team off on Leg (1) bringing us home in 7th place at the end of the first of the four Long Legs clocking 23.35 – a great performance which put him 10th in the fastest of the Long Legs on the day. Ben Costello took Leg (2) the first of the eight Short Legs in a time of 12.30 which was the second quickest Short Leg for the Team. Rob Warner took over on Leg (3) after running the Home International 24 hours earlier and finishing in the top ten, he still turned out for the Team running 24.31 as he handed over to Paul Bradshaw (13.36) on Leg (4) who came home with the Club in 15th place. Ben Fish who had been ill for a couple of weeks took on the next Long Leg (5) and pulled back five places with a time of 23.37 followed by Karl Billington on Leg (6) in a time of 13.03. Chris Arthur ran Leg (7) in a time of 24.07 to keep the Club in 11th position overall. With all Legs remaining being short ones, Mat Nuttall again kept the team in 11th on Leg (8) with a time of 12.56 followed by Joe Howe who pulled a place back to put us in the top ten, running a time of 12.42. Debutant Josh Holgate ran really well on Leg (10) in a time of 12.36 keeping us in 10th as Chris Davies on Leg (11) with 12.38 and Jack Hindle on Leg 12 with the fastest Short Leg of the day for the Club (11.58), both pulled back a place each to leave the team in 8th overall and an automatic qualification for the Nationals.
It was, we believe, a first ever for the Harriers, as the Men’s ‘B’ team got underway with Team Manager Paul Guinan running Leg (1) in 28.46 to be followed by his son Elliott – making his debut for the Club – running the second Leg in a time of 14.50. Great to see John Horrocks back running regularly now after a long period of injury as he took Leg (3) with a time of 28.21 to leave the Club in 53rd place. John Cookson maintained that on Leg (4) with 15.17 followed by Tom Blaney, another athlete who has been out for a long while after an accident, who posted the fastest Long Leg of the day for the ‘B’ Team (27.09), pulling back four places. Danny Maynard pulled another place back on Leg (6) with a time of 14.07 as Paulo Sousa ran the last Long Leg of the day in 29.53 to see the team in 50th place on Leg (7). Paul Brindle ensured we didn’t lose any places as he ran 13.54 on Leg (8). That position was improved on Leg (9)) as Tom Anderson who ran 13.53, pulled back another three places. Sean Procter clocked 15.03 on Leg (10) and he was followed in by Mark Almond (14.45), taking another place and Derek Reilly on the last leg with the fastest Short Leg in the ‘B’ Team of 13.25 pulling another three places back to leave the team in 44th overall.
Two Long Legs and four Short Legs in the Women’s forty seven strong Club 6-Stage which saw Katie Buckingham lead the team off on Leg (1) with a solid time of 31.05 to put the team in 25th position as she handed over to Carmen Byrne on Leg (2) who ran ran the fastest short Leg of the day in 14.45 bringing the team home four places better off in 21st spot. Carly Edwards then ran 15.16 on Leg (3) to claw another three places back as she handed over to Joanne Nelson on Leg (4) in 18th position. Joanne’s time of 30.44 helped pull back another four places to leave the team in 14th spot overall. Lindsay Davies maintained that on Leg (5) clocking 17.15 whilst Carol Reilly on Leg (6) running a time of 16.45 saw the Club finish in 16th place overall.
(L-R Lindsay Davies – Joanne Nelson – Carol Reilly – Carly Edwards – Katie Buckingham)
The 5k Championships kicked off with the U17 men first up followed by the U17 Women, the latter race being very disappointing in that there was only ten runners in it. Bradley Meikleham and Joe Gebbie ran in the U17 Men’;s Race with Bradley finishing 16th out of the twenty seven athletes competing in a time of 17.51 and Joe just one place further back in 17th (17.57). These times represented new PB’s for both athletes with Bradley cutting nineteen seconds off his previous best and Joe even more has he chopped thirty three seconds off his previous best.
In the U15 age group the Harriers had two in the top ten with Matt Ramsden having a great battle with the winner, taking the Silver Medal after just failing to catch him in the closing stages as he ran 16.12 to the winners time of 16.10. Sam Hodkinson placed 7th in thirty seven strong field clocking a time of 16.50, the same time as that given to the 8th placed athlete. Amy Davies had a good run too in the U15 Girls race to finish 6th in a time of 19.53 out of the twenty seven athletes racing.
Garstang Gallop 10k – Sunday March 25th
One hundred and forty seven runners completed this Race in ideal weather conditions. Pauline Powell recorded yet another win as she finished 7th overall, 1st Woman and 1st Woman Vet clocking a time of 43.07.
Darwen Half-Marathon – Sunday March 25th
Another sell out for this very popular local race, won this year by Adam Stokes in a time of 75.13. Four hundred and forty one finished the Race which saw three Blackburn Harriers taking part.
First in for the Harriers was Jacob Watson in 3rd place overall clocking a time of 80.22, just 20 seconds off setting a new Course personal best for himself. He was followed home by V50 Ian Clarkson (124th) in a time of 1hr 46.15 which was a new PB by over a minute and previously set on the same course. Paul Wilkinson (V45) was next home in 228th with a time of 1hr 57.33.
New Club Record for Anthony – Joanne Wins Trimple 20 – Rachel is 2nd at Hampton Court Half-Marathon – English Schools Cross Country Championships – Chris Wins Vets at Bispham 10 – Sportscity Indoors – Trimple 20 – Chester Ultra with Paul
Blackpool Open Meeting – Saturday March 17th
We start this report, not with a mention of the athletes, but of the Officials. Not the weather for a Track & Field Meeting, that’s for sure, as these scenes from Blackpool yesterday testify. But this highlights once again, the invaluable contribution by the unpaid Officials who give up all their time, not just for a single event, or an hour or two, but the whole day, week after week, month after month, throughout the whole year. They can be found at the Track, on the Road, Cross Country and Fells, at Indoor Fixtures, County and Regional Championships and in some cases – National Championships. Without them we don’t have competition. For anyone who wants to make a contribution to this most important of roles – DON’T HESITATE – contact the Club and get involved in officiating. It gets warmer from here on in!!
The weather didn’t seem to deter Anthony Kent as he threw a new PB and new Club Record for the U20 Men’s Shot (6kg), winning the event with a throw of 11.81m, backing that up by winning the U20 Discus (1.75kg) with a throw of 36.65m for a great start to his season. Anthony is one of a number of throwers coached by Jim Kerrigan and he wasn’t the only one who has improved after this winters training. U15 Matthew Heywood set a new PB in the Shot (4kg) with 8.30m well over half a metre improvement, took 2nd in the Discus with 20.60m before going on to add 9m to his previous personal best in the Hammer, winning the event with a massive new PB of 32.19m. U15 Kyle Taylor-Pomfret has been doing some training for the Hammer with Coach Mick Hitchon and this has paid off as Kyle set a new PB of 22.65m in the Hammer (4kg), adding six metres to his previous best. Nicky Saunders opened her early season with a 2nd in the Discus (1k) of 23.48m and 4th in the Hammer with a throw of 19.34m. Tony Balko, last seen under a blanket trying to keep warm came 4th in the Senior Men’s Shot (9.11m) and 4th in the Hammer with 31.92m. U11 Madison Bontoft tried her arm at the Shot Putt (2.72kg) throwing 4.85m to finish 8th which was a new PB by over 20cm.
In the prevailing weather conditions on the day, it is a wonder that anyone managed to perform at their best in the Field or Track events and yet they did. Many of the youngsters were competing in their first ever track and field events, so all credit to them for persevering with the weather. U11 Matthew Smith had a cracking day winning the 80m in a time of 12.6, placing 3rd in the 600m (1.59.5) and then took 2nd spot in the Long Jump out of 20 competing with a leap of 3.79m. Felix Thompson also ran the U11 Boys 600m clocking 2.23.2 in 17th place. Imogen Robinson took on three events placing 2nd in the U11 Girls 80m (13.9), 7th in the 600m with a time of 2.23.7 and 8th out of twenty one in the Long Jump with a jump of 3.00m. Brooke Szatkowski placed 3rd in the 80m with 14.6 and 11th in them Long Jump (2.83m) whilst Alesha Hindle ran a time of 16.0 in the 80m (5th) and jumped 2.06m in the Long Jump (20th).
In other Sprint races U13 Aidan Downes ran 16.3 in the U13 Boys 100m. U17 Bailey Madden won her Heat of the 100m in 13.1 – the fastest time of all three Heats, with Millie Coy winning her Heat in a time of 13.3. Abigail Stratton (U15) placed 7th in her Heat of the 100m (15.9) with Hannah Eccles taking 6th in her 200m Heat in a time of 33.8. Charlie Coy won the Senior Women’s 100m in 15.00 whilst Ross Liddle finished 2nd in the Senior Men’s Heat (1) 100m in a time of 11.9, the same time as the winner. Dominic Bretherton contested Heat (2) winning in a time of 11.8 with Daniel Hamilton in 5th place (13.3). A special mention to Huzaifa Hanif who ran 61.8 for 3rd spot in the Senior Men’s 400m. Huzaifa hasn’t raced since 2015 when he had set a then personal best time of 54.5 for the 400m. In the last three years he has had a number of surgeries and rehab programmes to deal with and has always maintained that he would be back. All credit to this young man and no doubt he will now push on to hopefully realise his full potential over the one lap event.
Ben Stratton started his season well finishing 2nd in the U13 Boys 1200m in a time of 4.13.0, his first time over the distance. U13 Girls Keira Haxton (4.39.2) and Isabelle Hartley (4.54.9) went in the 1200m race placing 3rd and 6th respectively whilst Codie Dewhust (a new PB of 1.59.7) and Harry Sambrook (2.05.0) contested the U13 Boys 600m placing 3rd and 6th too. Codie’s run was exceptional and proved once again, the benefit of cross country which helps build aerobic endurance, as he knocked a massive thirteen seconds off his previous best time. Another example of this was the run of Hayden Mercer in the U15 Boys 800m which he won in a new PB time of 2.21.9, cutting three seconds off his previous best. Sophie Stanworth too, was another young athlete starting off well and benefiting from the cross country season as she won the U15 Girls 800m in a time of 2.31.8 which also saw Ellie Singleton place 7th in 2.57.4 and sister Paige Singleton 8th in 3.01.2. In the other middle distance events, Kyle Taylor-Pomfret came 2nd in the U15 Boys 1500m (5.17.3) – Isabel Hartley ran a time of 5.35.4 in the U17 Women’s 100m – Abigail Stratton came 2nd in the U15 Girls 1500m in a time of 5.40.3 with Hannah Eccles setting a new PB by eight seconds placing 5th in 5.50.5.
In the Hurdles Jasmine Schofield came 4th in the U13 Girls Heat (1) 70m Hurdles posting a time of 14.5 with Isabelle Hartley 6th in 15.8 and Kady Thompson 6th in 17.0 (Heat 2). Codie Dewhurst took 2nd spot in the U13 Boys 75m Hurdles in a time of 17.6 whilst Myah Booth won the U15 Girls 80m Hurdles clocking 12.4. As always, there were massive fields in the Long Jump which saw Niamh Gater place 17th out of 28 in the U13 Girls Long Jump (3.00m) and Keira Haxton 28th (2.09m). Harrison Allcock came 10th out of eighteen in the U13 Boys Long Jump (3.35m) with Aidan Downes 14th (3.04m) and Codie Dewhurst 17th (2.94m). Liberty Thompson cleared 1.30m in the High Jump to take 2nd place with Abigail Stratton clearing 1.20m for 6th place in the U15 Girls event.
English Schools Cross Country Championships – Saturday March 17th
The English Schools had a number of Blackburn Harriers athletes qualifying to run for Lancashire, the highest placed being the Intermediate Boys team who finished 3rd out of the forty four counties competing. Two Blackburn Harriers ran in the team which saw Matt Ramsden come home as 4th counter (six to count for the team) in 42nd overall in a time of 18.47. Sam Hodkinson finished 124th overall clocking a time of 19.38.
Race Videos (Courtesy of Tonbridge AC)
The Junior Boys came 11th overall out of the forty five teams with Harvey Ashworth from the Harriers placing 243rd out of 346 runners in a time of 16.21. The Senior Boys came home 14th overall and the Junior Girls 22nd. In the Intermediate Girls Lancashire came in 33rd with Blackburn Harrier Amy Davies finishing 122nd overall in a time of 15.42 and first counter for the team. The Senior Girls Lancashire team came home in 20th place which saw Maddie Elliott from the Harriers take 2nd counting place in 81st place (17.51) with Harriers Hannah Cookson in 217th (19.29) and Freya Black 297th in 21.35 both counting for the team in 5th and 6th places respectively.
Hampton Court Half-Marathon – Sunday March 18th
Over three thousand runners took part in this Race, now in its fourth year, the latest being won by Kojo Kyereme in a time of 72.05. Rachel Wood came home in 33rd place clocking a time of 85.47 to taken 2nd in the Women’s Race, just 37 seconds behind the winner Lucy Niemz and pointing to a good time for Rachel in the London Marathon this year.
Bispham 10 – Sunday March 18th
Where do you want to be in freezing temperatures and driving winds – a 10 mile race next to the sea? One hundred and fifty nine runners braved the conditions at the Bispham 10 on Sunday won by Rob Affleck in 56.21.
Four Blackburn Harriers took part with Chris Davies taking 3rd spot overall in a time of 57.12, adding 1st V40 to his prize list as well as the Gold Medal in the Northern Vets Championships. Next home for the Harriers came Daniel Whittaker in 17th overall posting a time of 68.40 and 4th V40. Lindsay Davies finished in 46th place and 2nd V45 Woman with a time of 77.18 and she was followed home by Paul Wilkinson (V45) in 67th place with a time of 81.23.
Sportscity Indoor Series – Sunday March 18th
Five Harriers went over to Sportscity for the last in this years Indoor Series, all concentrating on the 60m and 60m Hurdles. In the 60m bottom of age U20 Nick Massey finished 3rd in a time of 7.90 with U17 Solomon Brown coming home in 3rd in the U17 Race clocking 7.86. U23 Morgan Angland ran 8.37 when finishing 2nd in her 60m race whilst Aysha Karolia set a new PB for the Indoor 60m, placing 2nd in a time of 8.96. In the 60m Hurdles, Morgan took 2nd spot in 9.70 and Ben Boocock also finished 2nd in the U15 Boys race with a time of 10.09.
(L-R Aysha Karolia – Ben Boocock – Solomon Brown)
Trimple 20 – Sunday March 18th
This Race went ahead, against expectations with over five hundred finishers, which was amazing given the weather and the fact that so many races had had to be cancelled.. The race was won in a swiftish 1hr 55.47 by Martin Green in front of Blain Rooney in 2nd (1hr 56.07). Paul Brindle was the first Blackburn Harrier across the line in 13th place clocking 2hr.09.51 and winning the V45 age group. Jonathan Bridge was next home for the Club in 2hr 18.35 (32nd) and 3rd V50. Winner of the Women’s Race was Joanne Nelson and V45 winner too, with a time of 2hr 19. 40. Carol Reilly (V45) finished in 142nd spot, running a time of 2hr 45.08. A great effort by all the athletes in those conditions.
What do you do when you are approaching 60yrs of age? Paul Clarke who will be 60 in September this year decided to celebrate early and take on the Chester Ultra – 52 miles long. Paul spoke to the Club about why he did and how saying “Its my 60th year so I thought I would do an Ultra. I chose the Chester Ultra 52 miles of a mixture of road canal and mainly trail. It is a great route, the first 26 miles mainly flat and the second half hilly. The second half was tough due to at least 23 miles of thick gooey mud which just made it impossible to run for a good length of time , slipping and sliding all over the place. We set off at 6am and I finished just after 7pm position 157 earning a silver trophy which I was over the moon with as expected a bronze with it being my first ultra”.
Lancashire Win Silver and Gold at Inter-Counties Championships – Bob is King of the Hills – Chris Wins Roddlesworth and Harriers Win the Team – New Course Records at Podium 5k
Mud, Mud and more Mud was the order of the day for the athletes at this years Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships held at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough. The Lancashire Senior Men had a great day, winning Silver in the six man Team and taking Gold in the nine men Team Championships.
Thirsty one Counties featuring two hundred and eighty four athletes contested the Championships won by Middlesex by just four points from Lancashire. Three Blackburn Harriers had been selected for the County Team – Rob Warner, Chris Arthur and Tim Raynes all of whom counted in the winning six man Team with some cracking runs. None more so that that of Rob Warner who is finishing the Cross Country season with a real bang after finishing 27th in the National Championships a fortnight ago. Rob placed 16th overall in these Championships with a time of 44.54 to come home as 1st counter for Lancashire. Delighted with his own and the Team’s performance, Rob spoke to the Harriers at the end of the day saying that it had “Was a great effort from the team to come away with two medals and only 4 points off of gold in the 6 man! Some fantastic packing from all the guys and especially from Chris and Tim, getting 3 Harriers back in the top 50 shows the strength we’ve got in the senior team at the moment! I definitely didn’t expect to improve on my position from nationals, I came in thinking that a top 50 would be really good, especially given the conditions so I was really surprised that I was able move from being in the 30s at the start of the first large lap and then into the top 20 coming into the last lap and to finish 16th at the end was amazing! Feel as though the last two races have been a big step forward for me so looking forward to the track now! Again, a big well done to all the team and especially to Tim and Chris!”
Next home for Lancashire came Oliver Lockley in 18th place in a time of 45.00 with 3rd counter Blackburn Harrier Chris Arthur taking 25th position clocking a time of 45.33. Chris, like the other athletes was really pleased with the results on the day and commented to the Club he could “only really echo what Tim and Rob have said. It was great to be part of such a strong team, especially as it’ll be my last time with Lancs. I think all of us who ran last year improved on those results so you can’t not be happy about that! Rob had the run of the day for sure in my eyes; top ten for him next year!” Gary Priestley was next through the line for Lancashire placing 37th in 46.19, followed by 5th counter Chris Livesey in 42nd (46.31). Tim Raynes completed the team for Lancashire with a 6th counting place of 47th and clocking a time of 46.49, a run which Tim described as one of his best in the event. Afterwards Tim told the Harriers that he was “Still buzzing now after a fantastic team effort! I knew we stood a good chance in the 9 man team before the race, but to come second in the six man team and so close to gold was a fantastic result. Well done to Rob and Chris, who both absolutely smashed it! I felt like I had a pretty solid race, perhaps my best ever cross country race. I got a decent start, and then just managed to keep on gradually moving up through the field. I started to become aware of how close we were as a team during the last mile. Knowing every place mattered, I gave it all I could to gain a few places. A fantastic team effort, and a pleasing individual performance to finish 40 places higher up than last year”. Having won the Silver Medal in the six man team race, they went on to win the Gold Medal in the nine man team race which saw Callum Davidson finishing in 57th with a time of 47.08, Alan Corlett in 74th (47.39) and Robb Webb in 110th (48.47). Congratulations also to Lancashire’s Senior Women Team who took the Silver Medal behind Surrey who won the Gold. Lancashire’s Team featured Sarah Astin in 8th overall (34.06), Katie Hewison 10th in 34.14, Rachael Franklin in 30th (36.06), in 49th place Carla Davies (36.39), Nichola Jackson 57th clocking 37.13 and Ruth Jones in 67th place 37.43.
Lancashire placed 10th in the U20 Men’s Race with Thomas Marchant in 108th place in a time of 35.03 and Nicholas Smith 159th (39.20). It was 13th in the U20 Women’s Race, 14th in the U17 Men’s and 20th in the U17 Women’s Races which saw Maddie Elliott finish 3rd counter for Lancashire as she placed 104th in the two hundred and seventy eight strong field, clocking a time of 26.08.After the Race Maddie told the Harriers that she “really enjoyed running in the Inter-Counties on Saturday, especially in all of the mud. Disappointed with my position but hopefully can improve on that at English Schools next week. Well done to everyone else and the Harriers”.
(Maddie Elliott No. 2100 – photo courtesy of www.woodentops.org.uk)
The U15 Boys had two Blackburn Harriers representing Lancashire who finished 7th Team out of 42. Matt Ramsden was the 2nd counter for Lancashire in 42nd in a time of 19.16, Joel Taylor being the 1st in 20th (18.51). Max Cunningham was 3rd in 55th place and Rhys Ashton 59th. Sam Hodkinson, the second Blackburn Harrier selected for the County was the 5th placed Lancashire athlete in 88th position in a time of 19.56. The U15 Girls Lancashire Team finished 29th out of 42 and saw Blackburn Harrier Eleesha Charnley pull on the Lancashire Vest once again finishing 202nd out of 304 athletes competing (22.54) and 5th Lancashire runner home.
Blackburn Harriers had five athletes selected for the Lancashire U13 Boys Team who placed 18th out of 42 with the Harriers taking three of the first four counting positions. Having a great cross country season with cracking runs at the Northern and National Cross Country Championships is Isaac Butler who placed 29th overall in a time of 13.26 and was 1st counter for Lancashire. Second counter was Tobias Swarbrick in 47th (13.30) with Blackburn Harriers David Holman 3rd counter in 133rd place (14.20) and Kyle Taylor-Pomfret 4th counter in 138th, just one second further back, clocking 14.21. Robbie Smedley finished 5th counter (160th in 14.30), Joseph Ormerod (227th) in 15.01, Blackburn Harrier Dexta Thompson 254th in 15.14 and Connor Fletcher 281st (15.41).
King of the Hills – March 4th
It was the final race of the latest King of the Hills Series which featuring hundreds of runners tacking pretty tough races over a four month period. V55 Bob Shorrock has had another great season in these Races winning all three in the V55-59 Age Group. In January Bob finished 7th overall in the Race and 1st in his Vet category in a time of 4hrs 16.37, then in February came 4th overall in a time of 3hr 53.00 and again 1st in his age group and went on to make it a hat-trick of wins in March with a 3rd placed overall finish and 1st age group winner clocking 2hr 16.05.
After the March Race, Bob spoke to the Club about the Race which was changed at the last moment because of the weather conditions. “It was the last KOTH of the season last Sunday. The race was scheduled for 37K, 1800m of elevation gain but due to Thunder and Lightning warnings for the mountains the course was changed and we had about 24- 25K – with only about 900m of elevation. I was 3rd overall and 1st in my age group so very pleased with the run (although a few of the top guys were missing due to a 100K mountain race in Hong Kong the day before). I felt good for the first 20K but ran out of steam in the last few K. It was the first hot and humid day (25C and 90%+ humidity) and it seemed to affect me more than usual. Will get used to it in the coming weeks”. Bob’s next target race is the Mont Blanc Marathon (42k) on July 1st and there is little doubt that he will be a force to reckon with there too.
Podium 5k – Sunday March 11th
Two races at the latest Podium 5k with the ‘A’ Race attracting sixty six athletes and the ‘B’ Race fifty eight producing some excellent racing and times. New Race Records were set in the ‘A’ Race won by Mohammad Abu-Rezeq in a time of 14.24 and by Laura Weightman, winner of the Ribble Valley 10k Race, who set a new Race Record with a time of 15.25.
Ben Costello came home in 42nd spot with a time of 16.12 which was just six seconds shy of his personal best with V45 Mat Nuttall 50th place (16.43) and 2nd V45 followed in by Karl Billington in 61st clocking 17.14. Paul Guinan ran in the ‘B’ Race to place 11th overall and 1st V40 with a time of 18.03 along with U15 Harry Wilkin who set off a bit fast and had to hang on to come home in 32nd spot with a time of 19.29.
Roddlesworth Roller – Sunday 11th March
Chris Davies had been second in the previous two years at the Roddlesworth Roller and wanted to make it third time lucky in this Race which attracted two hundred and sixty six runners. Chris did just that winning the Race in a time if 33.19 in front of Keith Knott and Nick Leigh in 2nd and 3rd places.
The Harriers with four runners in the top ten, also won the Team Race on the day with Chris Davies 1st – backed up by Gary Vose in 6th spot running a time of 35.24, Jacob Watson in 8th clocking 35.43, John Horrocks in 10th place (36.00). Danny Maynard was the next Harrier across the line in 25th position (39.00) followed by John Cookson in 50th (42.40), Lindsay Davies (84th) in a time of 45.58, Paul Wilkinson (242nd) in 64.14 and David Morris 247th with a time of 66.34.
As always, the Daffodil Doddle attracted a big field of youngsters – one hundred and thirty four in all – with a number of the Harriers Juniors competing. Daniel Smith was first Blackburn Harrier home in 9th place (8.30) with Oliver Gill not far behind in 15th (8.44) and followed in by Hannah Davies in 46th place with a time of 9.43 and Harry Wilkinson (82nd) in a time of 11.40.
A lot of trepidation setting out for this, the last of this years Mid Lancs Cross Country fixtures at picturesque Ulverston because of the weather. But what a difference when up there. A bright day with some sunshine, around three degrees and not much wind until the Senior Men’s Race.
It proved to be a good end to the League Cross Country season with individual wins in the U13 Boys for – Isaac Butler and U15 Boys – Sam Hodkinson. The provisional Series results show the Harriers winning Bronze in the U11 Girls, Bronze in the U11 Boys, Silver in the U13 Girls, Gold in the U13 Boys, Gold in the U15 Boys, Gold for the Senior Women (Division 3) and Silver for the Veteran Women’s Team. In the Individual Series Isaac Butler won Silver in the U13 Boys, Amy Davies won Bronze in the U15 Girls, Matt Ramsden won the U15 Boys with Sam Hodkinson taking Silver, Joanne Nelson won Silver in the Senior Women’s and Gold in the Senior Women’s Vets and Chris Davies won Silver in the Senior Men’s Vets.
The U11 Girls kicked off the days racing which saw the Harriers finish 5th team out of nine. Molly Grimshaw overtook a few runners in the run in to earn 13th spot (9.33) with Hannah Davies also finishing well in 17th (9.49) and Isabelle Hartley placing 33rd in a time of 10.42.
The U11 Boys finished 3rd team on the day with Sam Aspey coming home in 6th place out of the forty two strong filed in a time of 8.24. Good packing saw Daniel Smith come home in 11th spot (8.42), Matthew Smith in 12th (8.47) and Oliver Gill in 14th clocking a time of 9.00. Sam Craven ran a time of 12.14 in 42nd place. Although not named on the results – William Grundy finished in 15th (9.05) and Charlie Haworth 28th in 9.42. Thanks to Jonathan Grundy for the Race Video’s.
Thirty six runners in the U13 Girls saw Leah Hoole head the Harriers team home in 13th position (10.44) with the Club taking 18th, 19th and 20th places – Kate Cookson (11.06), Caroline Woodworth (11.08) and Hollie Cubbon (11.09) respectively. Keira Haxton place 23rd in a time of 11.10 with Keira Booth in 36th (12.42).
Isaac Butler hit the front of the field almost immediately and went on to an emphatic win by nearly half a minute in the U13 Boys Race (10.16), with Hayden Mercer going past like a train in the run in to clinch 4th place in 10.46, Kyle Taylor-Pomfret having a very good run in 9th spot (11.07), the ever improving Codie Dewhurst in 15th running a time of 11.46 with Saul Sharp just one place behind (16th) clocking 11.52 – all of which meant that the Harriers pipped Clayton to win the Team Race on the day.
The U15 Girls Team finished 2nd on the day after a very good run by Amy Davies who finished 2nd to Series winner Olivia Logan in a time of 11.02 with Eleesha Charnley in 7th place (11.28), Hollie Oldham in 13th clocking a time of 12.17 and Rebecca Ramsden in 22nd (13.49). Just one athlete out in the U15 Boys – Sam Hodkinson, who showed his form after finishing 34th in the Nationals last week. Sam went to the front of the race early on and stayed there to come home nineteen seconds in front of the second placed athlete, clocking a winning time of 15.14.
Just three Senior athletes out on the day – Chris Davies having an excellent run in the Senior Men’s Race to finish in 8th spot (34.19) and 2nd V40 on the day which cemented a Silver Medal for him over the Series. Allan Hartley finished 133rd in 45.35 whilst Lindsay Davies placed 36th in the Senior Women’s Race in a time of 33.02.
Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round – Saturday March 3rd
One hundred and fifty six runners completed the Race won by Alasdair Mcleod in a time of 54.03, some two minutes ahead of Bingley runner – Ian Holmes. The conditions were pretty raw and as important as the runners fitness was, the right clothing was a must.
John Horrocks was the first of the five Harriers to come home in 30th place clocking 65.03. Next across the line for the Club came V50 Gary Pearse in 67th with a time of 72.09 and followed home by V50 Jonathan Bridge in 72nd with a time of 72.51, Ian Clarkson in 118th (83.24) and John Orrell in 126th in a time of 84.32.
Photos Courtesy of David belshaw
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