Blackburn Harriers & AC

Monthly Archives: November 2019

Comments Off on Harriers Senior Men Win Again at Red Rose – 5 Team Wins for the Harriers at Mid Lancs – Annabel Wins Windmill Remembrance 10k

Harriers Senior Men Win Again at Red Rose – 5 Team Wins for the Harriers at Mid Lancs – Annabel Wins Windmill Remembrance 10k

Yet another very good performance from Blackburn Harriers Senior Men’s team, saw them maintain a 100% win record in this years Red Rose Cross Country League. The first fixture had Ben Fish winning the race and the team winning with a total of 51 points from Rossendale in second place (161). Fixture 2 took place at Bolton where Bolton’s Jonathan Kay won the race with Blackburn winning the team competition with 75 points from Rossendale in 2nd (99). In the third and decisive race at Todmorden – a tough course in very demanding conditions – the Harriers took the win again with a points total of 46 to Rossendales 99 in 2nd place.

The Harriers won the Senior Men’s Title in 2016, 2017, 2018 and with a 187 point lead going into the last fixture are sure of having won it again for the fourth year in a row.


Ben Fish was in imperious form again, taking the win in a time of 35.13, a full minute in front of Bolton’s Jonathan Kay in 2nd place (36.17) and after the race he spoke to the Club about the day commenting “Conditions were tough, very muddy. Grant Cunliffe forced the pace on the first lap. I managed to claw him back and take the lead during the 2nd lap. From there I just tried to push on, so I was very pleased to win by such a margin. Well done the the rest of the team, a really good number turned out and put in excellent performances“.

L-R Chris Balderson – Allan Hartley – Ben Fish – Tim Raynes – Chris Davies – Tom Blaney – Calum Holmes – Dominic Walton – John Horrocks – Ben Costello

One of the strengths of the Harriers squad is their ability to pack well in all competitons as they did again yesterday with eight in the first 18 places. Backing up Ben Fish who won the race, were excellent races from Tim Raynes placing 4th in a time of 37.01 followed by Ben Costello in 8th (38.17), Josh Holgate in 10th (38.40), Chris Davies in 11th clocking 38.53 and winning the Vet 40 age category for the 3rd time in a row this year.

Tom Blaney just four seconds further back in 12th (38.57) was the next one in for the team, with John Horrocks coming home in 16th place in a time of 39.59 and Dominic Walton in 18th, posting a time of 40.09. Calum Holmes was next across the finish line for the Harriers in 32nd position (42.49) with V55 Chris Balderson in 62nd and 2nd V55 with a time of 46.07 and Allan Hartley in 173rd spot (62.25).

The Senior Women’s race – won comfortably by Bolton’s Laura Lombard (23.01) – only had two senior women from the Harriers because of the clash with the Mid Lancs Cross Country League on the same day. Ellen Sagar-Hesketh had another very good run as she came home in 11th place with a time of 26.28. Ellen came 21st in the first fixture, went up to 14th in the second at Bolton and has finished higher again in this, the third fixture of four. Lindsay Davies has been consistent with two finishes in the 30’s and one in the 20’s as she clocked 28.51 in 37th spot on the day.

Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (204)Lindsay Davies (187)

Again, because of the clash with Mid Lancs, there were only two juniors at Todmorden for the Club – Hannah Davies in the U11 Race who ran an excellent time of 8.13 in 4th place and just one second behind Chorley’s Isabel Goodman – her highest position to date after placing 5th and 6th in the first two fixtures respectively. Isabelle Hartley ran in the U13 Girls race featuring 45 runners in total where she placed 33rd in a time of 12.29.

Hannah Davies (228) Isabelle Hartley (255)

Mid Lancs Cross Country League – November 9th

Though the Red Rose and Mid Lancs clashed with their fixtures, the Harriers were still able to send winning teams to both competitions and followed up their success at Todmorden (Red Rose League) by taking 2 Individual Race Wins, 5 Team wins and 2 second places.


U11 Races

Just two girls in the first race of the day – Emily Smith and Lulu Sharp which saw Emily in her first competitive cross country race for the Club come home in 21st place (10.50) with Lulu three places further back in 24th running a time of 11.01.

Emily Smith (258)Lulu Sharp (611)

The Boys had a very good day as Sam Aspey won the race in a time of 8.19, some 7 seconds in front of Lancasters Ben Brassington in 2nd. Theo Robinson had a fine run to take 5th spot in 8.34 with Liam Bennison continuing his good form in 8th place (9.06), the three of them combining to win the Team Race ahead of Leven Valley.

Sam Aspey (684)Theo Robinson (676)Liam Bennison (674)

Charlie Haworth having another solid run came home in 10th place with a time of 9.11 – then came three Harriers altogether – Harry Smith in his first competitive cross country race for the Club (9.34) in 17th, followed by Alexander Brien in 18th spot (9.38) and Jack Carrington, another youngster in his first season (19th) clocking 9.39 – just five seconds separating the lads – and George Holman in 31st place running a time of 10.22.

Charlie Haworth (677)Harry Smith (259)Jack Carrington (895)George Holman (675)

U13 Races

The Girls finished in 4th place in the team competition which was reasonably close with just 18 points separating the first four teams. Amelia Burton led the team home finishing in 11th spot overall out of a field of 41 with a time of 12.25 and backed up Eve Coulson in 19th clocking 12.50, Imogen Robinson, one place behind in 20th (12.53) and Isabela Thompson in her first competitive season (27th) with a time of 13.18.

Amelia Burton (626)Eve Coulson (619)

In the Boys race, the team finished in 2nd place (21 points) behind the winners Preston (14). Jonathan Brindle had a very strong run in 4th place (11.45) as he held off athletes from Preston and Blackpool who were both just two seconds behind. Ben Ham and Oliver Gill then had a great tussle as Ben crossed the line in 8th spot with a time of 11.55 and Oliver right on his heels in 9th place (11.56).

L-R Oliver Gill – Jonathan Brindle – Isaac Smith – Daniel Smith – Matthew Smith

Jonathan Brindle (699)Daniel Smith (702) – Ben Ham (688) – Oliver Gill (697)

Daniel Smith was next home for the Harriers in11th place (12.06) followed by Matthew Smith in 17th in a time of 12.51 with a hard chasing Ben Livesey one place behind in 18th (12.53). Harry Sambrook came home in 21st place clocking 13.00 followed by Daniel Nuttall in 33rd (14.42) and Isaac Smith in 40th (19.47).

Matthew Smith (691)

Ben Livesey (698)

Harry Sambrook (700)

Daniel Nuttall (114)

Isaac Smith (690)

U15 Races

Seven Blackburn Harriers contested the Girls Race which saw them pull off a narrow victory totalling 25 points to Preston’s 29 points in 2nd place. Leading the way home was Leah Hoole in 5th place running a time of 12.50 with Keira Haxton pushing hard behind her in 6th (12.55). Eva Knowles had a strong run to place 14th – ensuring the team win – as she ran a time of 13.24 backed up by Molly Nicholls in 17th (13.35) with Kiera Booth in 22nd (13.52), Millie Sambrook (23rd) with a time of 14.17 and Bella Durkin making her debut this year in 29th position with a time of 15.39.

L-R Bella Durkin – Kiera Booth – Eva Knowles – Keira Haxton – Leah Hoole – Kate Cookson – Molly Nicholls – Millie Sambrook

Leah Hoole (634)

Keira Haxton (631)

Eva Knowles (630)Molly Nicholls (635)

Kiera Booth (629)

Millie Sambrook (637)

Bella Durkin (638)

Another 1st place for the Boys Team and again a very narrow margin between the Harriers and  Blackpool. Dexta Thompson had a very good run taking 2nd place overall in a good time of 13.09, well clear of 3rd place. David Holman came home with another solid run in 4th (13.25) and along with Jack Paget-Fowler who gets stronger with each race, having another good run in 7th spot (13.57) and 800m specialist Hayden Mercer in 9th (14.01), that gave the Harriers three finishers in the first 7 to secure the team win and four inside the top ten.

Dexta Thompson (710)

David Holman (719)

Jack Paget-Fowler (712)

Hayden Mercer (716)

Sebastian Burton also continues to improve in endurance events as he clocked a time 14.41 in 18th spot followed by Jake O’Toole in his first competitive season for the Club clocking 14.43 in 19th. Codie Dewhurst was next home in 26th running 15.07 with Saul Sharp in 29th (15.12), Umair Rafiq in 33rd (15.49), Thomas Brooks (35th) in a time of 15.51 and Danny Woodcock one place further back in 37th (15.58).

Sebastian Burton (713)

Jake O’Toole (326)

Codie Dewhurst (704)

Saul Sharp (708)

Umair Rafiq (709)

Thomas Brooks (717)

Danny Woodcock (720)

U17 Races

The U17 age group categories produced team wins for both Women and Men. Amy Davies led the Harriers home to the win as she crossed the finishing line in 4th place in a time of 15.21 followed by Eleesha Charnley in 6th running 15.55, Rebecca Ramsden in 14th (18.21) and Ella Hardman in 15th place (23.00).

Amy Davies (643) Eleesha Charnley (642)Rebecca Ramsden (640)Ella Hardman (641)

Matt Ramsden took the honours in the Men’s race as he paced it well in the first half of the race, taking over the lead in the second half and coming home a comfortable winner in a time of 21.48, eight seconds in front of 2nd place Rhys Ashton (Lancaster).

Matt Ramsden (724)

Sam Hodkinson and Jamie Teare packed well together with Sam in 6th spot (23.16) and Jamie in 7th (23.20) which meant that the team had all their counters home in the first 7 places. Ethan Barbarewicz was next home in 17th position (25.49) with Harry Wilkin in 22nd (27.00) and unfortunately picking up an injury in the process.

Sam Hodkinson (728)Jamie Teare (727)Ethan Barbarewicz (723)Harry Wilkin (725)

Senior Races

The clash with the Red Rose fixture on the same day seriously disrupted the Senior races and meant that there wasn’t full teams for the Women’s and Men’s Races. Annabel Ralph had a very good run in the Women’s Race to come home in 10th place out of 164 runners with a time of 27.32. with Michelle Teare in 78th running 33.36 and Helen Dawson-Smith in 93rd spot (35.12). The three combined to finish 16th team out of 33 complete teams finishing.

Annabel Ralph (652)Michelle Teare (665)Helen Dawson-Smith (669)

The Men were just one runner short to make a team as five Harriers ran on the day in a field of 274 finishers. Mark Chippendale carried on in good form as he was the first V50 home in 24th place overall in a time of 39.57. Next home for the Harriers was bottom of U20 age group – Ben Makin – having just returned from winning Gold and Silver Medals at the World Biathlon Championships in Florida. Ben was making his debut over the senior distance in cross country and did really well finishing in 60th spot in a time of 42.43. He was followed in by V50 Ian Clarkson in 151st (48.11), V50 Paul Smith running 49.18 in 163rd and Danny Teare in 215th position with a time of 54.07.

Paul Smith (769)

A heads up for U15 Caroline Woodworth who couldn’t run in the Mid Lancs Team at Hyndburn because she was part of her school team trying to get to the Finals of the ESSA Cross Country Cup – and that is exactly what Caroline and the team achieved. After coming first in the County Competitions for the ESAA 2019 Cross Country Cup, Caroline’s School team progressed onto the North West regional finals at Stadt Moers Park, Whiston. Here St Christophers came third place and are now looking forward to the Grand Final in Spinkhill, Derbyshire in four weeks time.

Caroline Woodworth (118)

Windmill Remembrance Day 10k – Sunday November 10th

It has been a tough but rewarding weekend for Annabel Ralph. After a top ten finish in very difficult conditions at Hyndburn on Saturday in the Mid Lancs League, she turned her attention to the roads one day later in the Windmill Remembrance 10k.


Over 2000 runners took part in this race which saw Annabel finish 34th overall and 1st Woman. She was just 25 seconds shy of her PB as she won the Women’s Race in a time of 38.48.68 and well over a minute clear of 2nd placed Zoe Gmerek (40.09.51). Paul Jeffries also ran and came home in 93rd spot with a time of 42.03.08 followed by Mark Wilkin who set himself a massive new PB by over three minutes as he ran 44.43.58. Paul Wilkinson came home in 440th spot clocking 50.06.18.

Annabel Ralph

Paul Jeffries (1063)

Mark Wilkin (2007)


Paul Wilkinson (2454)


Comments Off on Gold & Silver World Championship Medals for Ben in Florida – Top ten for Andrew and New PB for Eva in Mallorca

Gold & Silver World Championship Medals for Ben in Florida – Top ten for Andrew and New PB for Eva in Mallorca

The UIPM2019 Biathle-TriathleRunWorld Championships took place in Saint Petersburg, Florida, between the 23rd and 27th October. Selected to represent GB was Blackburn Harriers Ben Makin which saw him compete in the U19’s Mixed Biathlon Relays and the Individual and Team U19 Biathlon. And what a performance from Ben – winning World Championship Gold and Silver Medals.

Silver Medalist in the Mixed Relays for GB

Ben linked up with Freya Stanger in the Mixed Relays, which saw them come through to win the Silver Medal on the first day of the competition. On Day 4 of the World Championships, Ben finished in a strong 5th place in the race consisting of a 1600m run, 200m swim and another 1600m run & together with his 2 other GB teammates managed to secure Team Gold, a great result given all 3 GB boys are some of the youngest in this category and will compete in the same age group next year. With athletes competing from 33 different nations, the GB Team certainly performed to their best and returned home from St Petersburg with a vast collection of medals and a great experience.

Gold Medalists for GB


The Harriers were on Tour in Spain as Andrew Knowles and daughter Eva participated in the Long Course Weekend, Mallorca 2019. Andrew competed in the Half Long Course weekend whilst Eva raced in the 5k.

Half LCW Results

Run 5k Results

Andrew had a good weekend as he claimed  8th place overall with a combined time of 4hrs 53.33 for the race behind the winner who posted a time of 4hr 17.42. Andrew kicked of with a 1.5k swim of 32.53 followed by the 112k Bike ride of 2hr 34.10. In the Half-Marathon following he clocked 1hr 46.29 and told the Harriers afterwards that “Long Course Weekends are just that, you do one discipline per day, hence the Long!” You can also choose to do just one discipline for example the bike day, so 200 cyclists set off at once, riding through Alcudia at 30mph was ‘hairy’. After 20km there were about 50 of us in the lead group and we went along a drag to Llubi, and the race blew apart, I got in the 3rd group of about 15 riders working to the finish at 90k and won the sprint from the group to finish 27th Overall but importantly 6th in the LCW. Lost a couple of places the following day on the half marathon to finish 8th overall after 3 days racing”.


Eva Knowles – an U15 athlete – ran a great 5k race coming home in 15th place overall to set a new PB of 21.23, and placing 6th female overall.



Comments Off on Blackburn Harriers at National XC Relays at Mansfield

Blackburn Harriers at National XC Relays at Mansfield

This years National Cross Country Relays were run in what the announcer described “as the worst conditions in thirty years”. It was ‘classic’ cross country weather, rain, wind and mud – the kind of conditions that help hone an athletes pyschological and physical strength.


The Harriers Senior Men had their best result since 2006 as they finished in 16th place overall out of the one hundred and sixty one teams entered from all regions of the country. Rob Warner – one week after clocking 29.31 at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k – ran a stunning Leg 1 in a time of 16.20.30 which was the 14th fastest Leg of the day and just 3 seconds slower than Marc Scott who won the Great South 10 mile recently in 46.55. Rob handed over to Tim Raynes in 11th place who clocked a time of 17.47.40 before sending off Ben Fish on Leg 3 in 17th spot. Ben pulled back six places to take the team back into 11th spot with his time of 17.04.95, passing over to Karl Billington on the final leg who ran 18.42.10 to finish with the team in 16th overall – 1st Lancashire, 1st North West and 5th Northern Team on the day.

Rob Warner (A21)Tim Raynes (B21)Ben Fish (C21)Karl Billington (D21)

The Harriers 2nd Team consisted of Chris Davies, Paul Bradshaw, Paul Guinan and Dominic Walton which saw them come home in a very solid position of 54th with a combined time of 77.06.35. Chris went off on Leg 1 and ran the fastest Leg for the team with his clocking of 18.17.40  in 62nd place. On Leg 2, Paul Bradshaw who ran the Amsterdam Marathon only two weeks ago in a new PB time of 3.03, ran 19.30.45 to come back in 69th spot before handing over to Paul Guinan on Leg 3. Paul ran 20.26.20, picking up another place to see Dominic run the final Leg in 18.52.30 which meant he had pulled back a whoppping 14 places to bring the team home to its 54th finishing place. Unfortunately a flurry of injuries meant that the Club’s third team was reduced to just one runner – Danny Maynard who went on Leg 1 and ran 21.07.60.

Chris Davies (A22)Paul Bradshaw (B22)Paul Guinan (C22)Dominic Walton (D22)Danny Maynard (A23)

Two teams in the Senior Womens Race represented by Annabel Ralph, Jess Judd and Ellen Sagar-Hesketh and for Team 2 Lindsay Davies, Michelle Teare and Jan Buckingham. Annabel set off on Leg 1 coming across the hand over line in 49th place having run 11.43.35. On Leg 2 Jess – who clocked a new 10k PB of 32.11 at Leeds Abbey Dash – ran a phenomenal race pulling back 41 places and clocking the third fastest Leg of the day with her 10.11.05 to hand over to Ellen on Leg 3 who ran 12.48.35 to see the team finish 23rd overall out of one hundred and twenty seven teams.

Annabel Ralph (A1101)Jess Judd (B1101)Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (C1101)

Team 2 saw Lindsay Davies lead them off on Leg 1 with a time of 14.20.25, coming in to hand over on Leg 2 in 102nd place to Michelle Teare who gained back six places with her time of 15.35.95 to pass on to the final Leg in 96th, a position that was maintained with the last Leg time of 16.06.10.

Lindsay Davies (A1102)Michelle Teare (B1102)

Like Rob in the Senior Men’s Race, Matt Ramsden ran the 14th fastest Leg of the day in the U17 Men’s Race as he clocked 9.38.45 to come home in 17th place on Leg 1 – it’s possible he could have run even faster had he not run into a Marshal at the very start of his race!! Sam Hodkinson was on Leg 2 which saw him run a good time of 10.14.05, clawing back three places as he handed over to Jamie Teare on the final leg. In only his second cross country race since January Jamie clocked a solid 10.34.40 to see the team finish in 27th spot out of 82 teams.

Matt Ramsden (A705) Sam Hodkinson (B705) Jamie Teare (C705)

Only forty nine teams in the U17 Women’s race which arguably had some of the worst of the weather, saw the Harriers team of Amy Davies, Eleesha Charnley and Rebecca Ramsden finishing in 37th spot. Amy ran Leg 1 clocking the fastest time for the team with 10.11.10 in 40th position. Eleesha ran a time of 10.36.00 to pull back nine places before handing over to Rebecca on the last Leg who clocked 11.56.80.

Amy Davies (A293)Eleesha Charnley (B293)Rebecca Ramsden (C293)

The U15 Boys race had 86 complete teams and a staggering 30 incomplete teams, 21 of whom were just one athlete short of compoleting a team!!

Two Teams for the Harriers who finished in 49th and 63rd places. The ‘A’ Team had Dexta Thompson on Leg 1 with the fastest time of all the Harriers with his 7.33.00 in 64th place. Leg 2 had Theo Watson who clocked 7.53.45, pulling back 16 places to hand over to Kyle Taylor Pomfret on the last Leg who ran a solid 8.27.45.

Dexta Thompson (A960)Theo Watson (B960)Kyle Taylor-Pomfret (C960)

The ‘B’ Team Had Sebastian Burton on the first Leg and he ran strongly for his time of 8.09.10 (95th) and is improving all the time. Another young athlete who is coming on is Jack Paget-Fowler and on Leg 2 he ran the fastest time of 7.51.75 and the second fastest of all the U15 boys as he pulled back 29 places before handing over to Codie Dewhurst on Leg 3 which saw him run strongly for his 8.43.20 and picking up a further three places.

Sebastian Burton (A961)Jack Paget-Fowler (B961)Codie Dewhurst (C961)

Ninety eight teams participated in the U15 Girls Race with one Blackburn Harriers team of Keira Haxton, Caroline Woodworth and Kiera Booth. Keira Haxton ran the fastest time for the team on Leg 1 with her 8.32.05 clocking in 63rd place. Caroline took over on Leg 2 running a time of 9.14.55, coming across the line in 72nd before handing over to Kiera Booth on the last Leg where she ran a similar time of 9.16.70, gaining four places and beringing the team back to 68th place.

Keira Haxton (A827) Caroline Woodworth (B827) Kiera Booth (C827)

The Harriers U13 Boys team came home in 36th position from the 79 teams in the race – again, a good number of incomplete teams – 17 in all.  The lads improved throughout the race which was a good sign for them as Daniel Smith led off on the first Leg with the fastest time of 7.54.00 to come home in 52nd place. Leg 2 featured Oliver Gill who pulled back 9 places as he ran 8.11.90 before handing over to Matthew Smith on Leg 3 who clocked an almost identical time of 8.11.60 gaining another 7 places with his effort.

Daniel Smith (A380) Oliver Gill (B380) Matthew Smith (C380)

84 complete and 20 incomplete teams participated in the U13 Girls race which equals 20% of all teams entered finishing as imcomplete!! Faith Gillibrand, Amelia Burton and Imogen Robinson represented the Harriers in this one which had Faith – in her first competitive season and only 2nd  competitive cross country race – leading off on Leg 1, coming home in 53rd spot with a time of 8.32.55 and the fastest for the team. Amelia ran strongly on Leg 2 (9.13.75) to hold onto the place, handing on to Imogen on the final Leg who improved the teams position by two places with her 9.25.01 clocking which saw them finish in 51st.

Faith Gillibrand (A500) Amelia Burton (B500) Imogen Robinson (C500)