Author Archives: BHAC
Senior Men & Women win at Red Rose – Sportshall with the Harriers youngsters – Gary & Jonathan tackle an Ultra – Helen is back
What a tremendous performance by the Harriers at the latest fixture of the Red Rose League held at Leverhulme Park in Bolton on Saturday. In a week in which the Club mourned the passing of its President – George Kirby – the athletes dedicated their runs in his memory and the work that he did over nearly seventy years in the world of athletics, and central to that, Blackburn Harriers & AC.
Senior Men’s Team Captain – Paul Guinan – summed it up saying “Another great performance from Blackburn Harriers, a real team spirit has developed with a healthy competitive edge, the results don’t lie. A fitting tribute to the great George Kirby”.
Senior Women’s Team Captain – Joanne Nelson – echosed those sentiments as she told the Club about the Senior Women’s performances and what it meant “Fantastic team effort for the Blackburn Harriers Ladies with our highest amount of runners this season taking part at Bolton. Annabel Ralph was first back in 4th place followed by Victoria in 6th, myself 7th, Katie 8th and Carmen 9th which was fantastic “packing” and made for a really exciting race. Ellen was “lucky for some” in 13th and Carly followed in 17th. Lindsay was next in 41st and Jan was 103rd. The ladies team is going from strength to strength with everyone giving their absolute best. The results were a fitting tribute to George Kirby with first ladie’s team and first ladie’s vets team.
The day couldn’t have turned out better with the Men’s Senior Team winning both the Senior Race and Team alongside the Women’s Senior Team who won the Team and Vet’s Team 1st places. Added to that Joanne Nelson won the Women’s V45’s, Carmen Byrne won the Women’s V40’s, Chris Davies won the Men’s V40’s.
(L-R – Lindsay Davies – Ellen Sagar-Heaketh – Katie Buckingham – Jan Buckingham – Cary Edwards – Joanne Nelson – Carmen Byrne – Annabel Ralph – Victoria Mousley)
It was a great debut for Annabel Ralph having recently joined the Harriers, she led the team home in 4th place overall clocking a time of 21.15. Great packing by the team saw Vicci Mousley run 22.10 in 6th place, Joanne Nelson with a time of 22.06 in 7th, Katie Buckingham (22.22.) in 8th, just one second further back – Carmen Byrne 9th with a time of 22.23 which gave the Harriers 5 places in the top ten.
(Joanne Nelson & Victoria Mousley)
Ellen Sagar-Hesketh was the next home in 13th position (23.00) with Carly Edwards in 17th spot (23.28). Lindsay Davies came home in 41st place running a time of 25.45 and it was good to see Jan Buckingham back out racing as she finished in 103rd place (30.43).
Wearing Black Ribbon in memory of our Club president – George Kirby
(Back Row – Mark Almond – John Chaplin – Chris Davies – Paul Brindle – Jack Hindle – Karl Billington – Tim Raynes – Marc Hartley —- Front Row – Ben Costello – Paul Bradshaw – Calum James – Josh Holgate – Danny Collinge – Allan Hartley)
Tim Raynes is in very good form and showed that by taking his second successive win in the Series in a time of 34.57 after winning at Leigh, some ten seconds in front of 2nd placed Benjamin Coop from Bury. After the Race was over, Tim commented to the Club that “It was great to see so many Harriers out in force again today with great performances across the board. Given all George’s work at Blackburn Harriers over many years, it felt like a fitting tribute to him”. Just like the Senior Women there was great packing from the Men as they secured 8 out of the first 18 places. Jack Hindle was next home behind Tim in 5th spot (35.29) followed by Ben Costello in 7th (35.58), Josh Holgate in 8th place (36.04), Karl Billington in 12th (36.50), Danny Collinge (14th) running a time of 37.35, Marc Hartley in 17th (37.49) and Chris Davies 18th just one second behind in a time of 37.50.
Start of Men’s Race VIDEO
Tim Raynes Jack Hindle Ben Costello
Jack Hindle said it was a “Great performance once again from Blackburn. As Braddy said, it was all about a great showing in memory of George. And it definitely was. Fantastic to see everyone giving 100%, with an awesome team spirit”.
Ben Costello commented “Another great performance from everyone at the club again. Great to see everyone turn out for George. Personally was happy with my run – absolutely fantastic group down at Blackburn“.
Josh Holgate Karl Billington Danny Collinge
Josh Holgate spoke to the Club at the end of day telling us that it was a “Top performance and turn out from all involved today. Personally it turned out to be a good run by myself so very pleased with that! Sadly never had the privilege to meet George but I heard plenty of interesting things about him pre race today, which makes me wish I had the chance. It was clear how well regarded and respected he was amongst all those involved at the club”.
Karl Billington added that it was a “Good overall team performance from the guys and girls. Not one I particularly enjoyed but on to the next one”.
Marc Hartley Chris Davies
Tom Blaney was the next Harrier across the line in 22nd position (38.34) with Calum James making his cross country debut for the Club one place further back in 23rd (38.42). Paul Bradshaw finished in 27th place with a time of 39.07 followed by Paul Brindle in 40th place (40.21), Mark Almond (85th) clocking 44.02, Chris Balderson in 87th with a time of 44.06, Craig Greenough (113th) in 46.16, V60 John Chaplin running 46.28 in 116th place and Allan Hartley (178th) with 53.14.
Tom Blaney Calum James Paul Bradshaw
Calum James said he “Really enjoyed my first Cross Country for Blackburn Harriers, finished top 25 (23rd Place) overall and five minutes quicker than last year time was (38.42) was a tough course but excellent team performance from everyone”.
Paul Bradshaw spoke for all the athletes and the Club when he said that it was a “Top performance by everyone. George Kirby and his legacy was a topic of conversation pre race and I’m sure he would of been looking down watching today’s performance by all the clubs runners with a smile and sense of personal achievement at what he has helped to build and lead over the years”.
Paul Brindle Mark Almond Chris Balderson
John Chaplin told us that it was
“Another great club performance. George would have been proud”.
Craig Greenough John Chaplin Allan Hartley
At the Junior end of the Race the U11 Boys finished 4th out of 14 teams with Matthew Smith, Oliver Gill and Findlay Carroll being the Teams counters. Matthew was the first one across the line for the Club in 6th place overall in a field of ninety two, clocking 6.51. He was followed in by Oliver in 10th place running a time of 6.58 with Findlay in 34th spot (7.30), Archie Bolton in 54th place (8.04), George Holman (62nd) running a time of 8.14 and Isaac Smith in 84th (9.18). In the U11 Girls Race featuring ninety runners, Hannah Davies finished in 16th position running 7.53 – with just seven seconds separating 12th place through to 18th.
(Back Row – Oliver Gill – Matthew Smith – Isaac Smith – Archie Bolton — Front Row – Findlay Carroll – George Holman)
Ten teams and fifty four runners in the U13 Boys race which saw the Harriers place 4th overall. Ben Livesey and Saul Sharp battled it out for the first Harrier to finish which Ben edged it narrowly by one second in 17th place (12.45) and Saul 18th in a time of 12.46. Codie Dewhurst was the next one in (22nd) with a time of 13.04 followed by Daniel Smith in 26th place (13.19).
Keira Haxton had a really good run in the U13 Girls race to finish 12th in a time of 13.10 in the sixty seven strong field – the team finishing 8th out of 11 teams competing on the day. Next home was Kate Cookson in 17th place clocking 13.26 with Caroline Woodworth in 39th (14.23) and Isabelle Hartley in 49th with a time of 14.42. Ethan Barbarewicz finished 12th in the U15 Boys race which had thrity nine runners, posting a time of 16.12.
Sportshall – Sunday 4th November
Last weekend it was the turn of the Harriers youngsters to compete – in the first Sportshall competition of this years 2018 – 2019 season and they did pretty well with Eleesha Charnely winning the Athlete of the Match at the Blackpool competition and Alisha Lehner U11 Girls Athlete of the Match.
Competing for the U11 Girls were — Alesha Hindle, Alisha Lehner, Annabelle Logan, Brooke Szatchowski, Charley Capstick, Charlotte Sousa, Demi Casey, Emelia Stockton, Evie Fort, Hannah Davies, Imogen Robinson, Leah Walker, Lulu Sharp, Poppie Turner….for the U13 Girls were Isabelle Hartley and Uma Mcgoy and U15 Girls — Eleesha Charnley, Holly Sousa and Myah Booth“.
Lindsay Davies – Girls Team Manager commented on the day telling us that it was a “Great day and a lot of our athletes doing it for the 1st time, quite a few tears at the beginning due to nerves but once they all got competing together they all started having fun. New to Sportshall little pocket rocket Demi Casey was very enthusiastic, asking me every two minutes “when am I next on”. So proud of my girls, they really put the effort in. Alesha Lerner was crowned U11 girls athlete of the match with a great performance of two 1st places in her events.
Eleesha Charnley was also crowned athlete of the match in the U15’s. Fantastic U15 Relays team with Eleesha and Myah Booth romping it home, Myah and Eleesha stormed to victory with a huge lead. U13’s Relays saw Lulu Sharp and Alesha Hindle step up from the under 11’s to join Isabelle Hartley and Uma McGoy, they gave it their all against some tough opposition. There were two under 11 teams. The scoring team was Hannah Davies, Brooke Szatchowski, Imogen Robinson and Alisha Lehner. It was a very fast race and they finished in 2nd place. The non scoring team was Leah Walker, Charley Capstick, Demi Casey and Emelia Stockton, all of these were doing this competition for the first time and they all said they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thank you to all my girls.
Simon Pollard – Boys Team Manager – was equally happy with the performance of the lads, outlining how it all went. “Two under 15 boys supported the club last Sunday with Hayden Mercer taking best advantage and being awarded athlete of the match for his efforts. Hayden achieved first place in the 2 lap (not his preferred distance but he fancied giving it a go) with a time of 22.1 seconds. This was followed up with a 6.94m standing triple jump, again achieving first place and a score of 75 in speed bounce, also gaining first place. Kyle Taylor-Pomfret, in his first outing at Sportshall, achieved second place in the 4 lap with a time of 51.2 seconds, 70 in the speed bounce for 4th place and a leap of 5.94m in the standing triple jump at his first attempt at the event. Hayden and Kyle then teamed up to win the 2x lap relay. A great way to round of the day”
In the Under 13 Boys “Harrison Allcock took a Sunday out of his usual Sunday Football Schedule to support the club achieving 79 in speed bounce for second place, a 24.0 second 2 lap for 4th place and a 1.98m standing long jump for 5th place. Harrison then led out the relay team to compete in the 1 lap relay, supported by 3 of our newer under 11s who did themselves credit”.
In the U11 Boys “A number of them were making their debuts for the club at this event, having recently joined the Sportshall team. Team spirit was high, as was the level of effort displayed on the day. Finlay Carroll achieved a time 15.0 seconds in the high stepper and a standing long jump of 1.40m. This was followed by a time of 26.8 secs in the 2 lap and a score of 7 in target throw. Jack Duxbury, making his debut, achieved a score of 30 in speed bounce, a time of 14.5 seconds in the 1 lap, a standing long jump of 1.40m and a distance of 3.50m in the chest push. All of these are PBs for Jack so he has times and targets to aim to beat at the next meeting. Kingston Turner achieved 48 in the speed bounce, a height of 39cm in the vertical jump, a score of 4 in target throw and 13.4 secs in the 1 lap. Mason Bowman started with scoring 45 in speed bounce, a time of 13.0 seconds in the 1 lap ((9th place), followed by a standing long jump of 1.66m and a chest push of 4.25 m. Matthew Smith, coming off a great outdoor season achieved 5th place in speed bounce with a score of 52 (without the distraction of an officials whistle in the one lap his score would have been higher), followed by a standing long jump of 1.82m for 7th place. This he then followed with a 2 lap time of 25.1 seconds and a chest push distance of 6.25m gaining him 2nd place in this event……………………….
(Jean Hoyle officiating at Sportshall)
……………”Rohan McGoay, another sportshall debutant kicked off his season with 31 in speed bounce followed by a height of 24cm in the vertical jump. In the 2 lap Rohan achieved a score of 27.9 second and he rounded off with a 3.0m chest push. Sam Craven achieved 42 in speed bounce and a height of 30cm in the vertical jump, a distance of 4.0m in chest push and a time of 30.2 seconds in the 2-lap. Debutant Tom Hunt completed the high stepper in 17.6 seconds, gained a height of 25cm in the vertical jump, achieved a score of 4 in target throw and completed the 2 lap in 30.5 seconds. Tom now has markers to beat in the forthcoming meets in December and January”………………“The Under 11s relay team, consisting of Finlay Carroll, Kingston Turner, Matthew Smith and Mason Bowman competed strongly and special mentions should be made of Jack Duxbury, Sam Craven and Rohan McGoay who all stepped up to support Harrison Allcock in the under 13s relay. High levels of commitment, behaviour and team spirit made a great day of action with more to come in future sportshall meets”.
Short Circuit Ultra – November 2nd
This is a 33 mile long race organised by Pink Panther Ultra Marathon Events who specilaise in these types of Endurance running races.
Basic Route Details: Starting in Otley the route goes straight up the steps to Surprise View at the top of the Chevin it then heads over to Bramhope then Cookridge. Then around the runway of Leeds Bradford Airport (outside the fence!) Over to Yeadon Tarn then Guiseley Woods, up to Hawksworth, then Menston up onto the moors towards Ilkley and the famous Cow and Calf Rocks, down through Ben Rhydding and up to Timble then across to Norwood along the beautiful Lindley Wood Reservoir through Leathley to the finish at Pool-in-Wharfedale.
Gary Pearse and Jonathan Bridge have embarked on a new stage of their endurance careers, taking on this 33 mile race. The Race featured ninety two finishers, with the winning time for Alastair Murray 4hrs 45.42. Gary and Jonathan – both V50’s – did really well at their first attempt finishing in joint 20th place with times of 6hr 01.19 – only the first five runners actually broke 5 hours.
After the Race Gary told the Club that “Had the idea that getting ever slower may as well try the challenge of going further so an ultramarathon at relatively short notice was entered and coerced Jonathan in joining me post his Amsterdam Marathon. The unaptly named Short Circuit around the hills/tracks/roads/fields/moors surrounding Otley and Ilkley. 33miles/53km with over 4000 feet of climb, completed in a time of 6.01 as we finished together joint 20th. The bonus of a couple of vet prizes made for a memorable day. Never eaten or drunk so much in a race in what was an exceptionally well organised event. Next up the the Tour of Pendle if legs allow!”
Trossachs Night Trail Series 2018/19
Each race will follow forest trails and fire roads in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, courses will be marked with reflective tape and head torches are mandatory. In the event of bad weather the race may be cancelled or the route changed.
Helen Leigh is back – who would have doubted it, and what a race to come back in as she told the Club “Did a race George!! Hips held together (kind of) and smashed the race. Was 2nd lady and only by a few secs, 30th overall so nice to have a blast out and felt pretty strong considering”.
Finally Paul Wilkinson and David Morris had a run out in the Through The Villages Race recenlty with Paul placing 212th out of 360 finishers in a time of 75.00 and David 333rd in 92.31.
Blackburn Harriers & AC are deeply saddened to report the death on Thursday 8th November 2018 of George Kirby aged 95. It would not be an over estimation of George to say that he, more than anyone, had more influence on the sport of athletics in the Lancashire area and beyond than almost anybody since the end of the Second World War.
Having served in the RAF as a bomber pilot George returned to teaching in the Blackburn area and very soon became involved in the resurgence of Blackburn Harriers after the war. He enthusiastically argued for the laying of the athletics track at Witton Park which was opened in 1958 and in the following 60 years became an integral part of everything that was Blackburn Harriers as President, Chairman, coach and official.
During that time he graduated into regional and then national athletics. He became a senior AAA coach and Grade 1 Judge and was an international field events official and referee. In 1975 he was appointed coach to the Great Britain Athletics Team in addition to being a AAA Northern Staff coach for the discus. He was frequently seen on television both as a judge and an official at international, European and national championships.
In the 1960’s he was instrumental in arranging extremely popular invitation events at Witton Park to which many international athletes came, including Derek Ibbotson, Bruce Tulloh, Ron Hill, Barrie Kelly, Dorothy Hyman and Mary Peters. He ensured that Witton Park became the venue for Northern Cross Country Championships, National Women’s Cross Country Championships and the Women’s International Cross Country Championships.
George held numerous offices in the British Athletics League and was one of the founder members who set up the league being official’s secretary for many years. He was an athletics correspondent for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph for more than a quarter of a century and was the person to go to if any information on the history of local athletics or national athletics was needed.
He remained actively interested in athletics right up to the end of his life, including this year attending a Northern League fixture at Witton Park. He had been President of the Club for many years, President of Lancashire Athletic Association as well as being Chairman of the Northern Counties Officials Association. He was particularly proud to see the club have three Olympians in 2012 and 2016 including a bronze medal in Rio for Sophie Hitchon in one of his favourite events.
The Club and athletics in general were blessed when George came along all those years ago to play a part in our sport and in particular to put all his energies into ensuring it was enjoyed by so many people over so many years. He will be sadly missed and our thoughts go to his wife Marion and his family at this sad time.
Funeral details will be announced in due course.
(George being honoured by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council at the naming of the new George Kirby Stand at Witton Park Arena)
(George with Blackburn Harriers Chairman Tony Wood at the naming of the new George Kirby Stand at Witton Park Arena)
(The George Kirby Stand)
National Cross Country Relays with the Harriers (Jess runs 2nd fastest Leg of the day) – New 10k PB’s for Ben, Jacob and Calum at Abbey Dash – Top Ten for Paul in Leicesteshire 10k – Can you support Ryan
Windy but very dry conditions for this years National Cross Country Relays held at Mansfield at the weekend which featured some greating racing and competition amongst all the age groups.
First up for the Harriers were the U13 Boys race in which the Club had three teams entered in a field totalling eighty eight teams with another eighteeen part teams. The lads did really well finishing in 22nd, 43rd and 66th positions and for a number of the youngsters, this was their first taste of Championship competition, acquiting themselves in the best possible way by giving it everything they had.
U13 Boys RESULTS
(Back Row – Isaac Butler – Theo Watson – Dexta Thompson – Daniel Smith – Sauls Sharp – Photobomber – Front Row – Oliver Gill – Codie Dewhurst – Jonathan Brindle)
The ‘A’ Team of Dexta Thompson – Jonathan Brindle – Isaac Butler finished in 22nd spot with Dexta running the fastest leg of the team in 7.12 to hand over to Jonathan in 17th place. Jonathan ran a time of 8.10 to pass on to Isaac on the final Leg in 42nd place. Isaac had a cracking Leg as he clocking 7.15, pulling back twenty places.
Our ‘B’ Team which had Ben Livesey, Codie Dewhurst and Theo Watson saw Ben lead off on leg (1) in a good time of 7.53 to hand over to Codie in 73rd place who ran a solid time of 8.05 – pulling back fifteen places, bringing the lads back to 58th place. Theo ran the final Leg, running the fastest time of the team (7.26) – also winning back fifteeen places – to bring them home in 43rd.
The ‘C’ Team had Daniel Smith on Leg (1), Oliver Gill on Leg (2) and Saul Sharp on Leg (3). Consistent running by the lads saw them produce times which only had them separated by twelve seconds. Daniel lead off with a clocking of 8.24 to hand over to Oliver on Leg (2) in 101st. Oliver ran a time of 8.11 – the fastest of the team – to win back a massive twenty three places as he handed over to Saul on Leg (3) in 78th. Saul continued clawaing back places for the team winning another twelve places with a time of 8.13.
In the Senior Women’s Race the Harriers had one full team and a part team featuring Katie Buckingham, Ellen Sagar-Hesketh, Jess Judd and Lindsay Davies. Katie led off on the first Leg – the ‘Race’ – clocking a solid time of 11.18 to come home in 55th place. Ellen then took on Leg (2) pulling back eight places as she ran a time of 11.57 to hand over to Jess on Leg (3) in 47th position. Jess absolutely ‘flew’ on the final Leg as she ran the second fastest Leg of the day in 9.23 and picked off another twenty two places to bring the team home in 22nd position overall out of a field of one hundred and sixteen full teams. Lindsay ran the first Leg for the ‘B’ incomplete Team and had a good run to finish three minutes faster than she clocked for the same race last year (13.21).
Senior Women RESULTS
In the Men’s Senior Race – featuring one hundred and fifty three complete teams – the Harriers were one short of completing two teams. The ‘A’ Team consisted of Tim Raynes, Jack Hindle, Chris Davies and Ben Fish whilst the ‘B’ had Dominic Walton, John Chaplin and Paul Guinan.
Senior Men RESULTS
(L-R – Tim Raynes – Chris Davies – Ben Fish – John Chaplin – Jack Hindle – Paul Guinan – Dominic Walton)
Tim led off for the ‘A’ Team clocking a very good time of 16.08 on the first Leg to come in home in 42nd place. Jack was on Leg (2) and held that place as he ran a time of 16.52 handing over to Chris on Leg (3). Chris ran a time of 17.25 to come home in 43rd spot as he in turn, handed over to Ben on the final Leg. Ben ran the fastest time of the team (16.04) to win back ten places and in the process ensuring that the Harriers were the first Lancashire Team on the day.
Dominic – an 800m speclialist – was running his first race for the Harriers as part of the ‘B’ Team which was incomplete and ran a very solid time of 16.56 on Leg (1). John (V65) ran Leg (2) in a time of 21.19 before Paul clocked 18.38 on Leg (3).
Abbey Dash 10k – Sunday November 4th
Three Blackburn Harriers entered this race with a view to breaking their previous best times over 10k – and they all did just that.
What a great day for Ben Costello at the Abbey Dash which saw him smash his 10k personal best by over three quarters of a minute which is a massive improvement. Understandably elated with his performance, Ben spoke to the Harriers after the Race telling us that he was “Absolutely over the moon with a PB today…7 weeks ago coming back from injury i didnt think i would get close to one.the last few weeks of training given me belief and i was hitting times in training ive never hit before.the conditions for the race was as good as they could be really.the target time was 32.50 i set off at that pace but i felt i could push in the middle of the race and i did.i went through 5 mile in under 26 mins so i knew i was on for a PB.The target at start of year was to break 33 min and i managed it in my last 10k of the year.would like to say massive thanks to all the coaches down at blackburn and everyone of the athletes that have been clipping away at my heels over the past few weeks that have pushed me to my limits and beyond”.
Next up for a new PB by six seconds came Jacob Watson who told us that it “feels good to be running back at my best”. Having run times of of 33.37 at Wigan and 33.59 at the Burnley Fire 10k in September, it was clear that Jacob was ready to revise his personal best and he did just that in the Abbery Dash to clock 33.08 and a whisker away from breaking into the 32 minute mark.
A happy Calum James ran a nine second new PB as he clocked 35.10 in the Race and told the Harriers afterwards that “Fair happy to beat my 10k pb by 9 seconds at Leeds Abbey Dash with a time of 35.10, dissapointed not to get a better time as a clocked in a 16.40 5k!! But struggling massively in the last 4k think I’ve learned a lesson not to travel all the way to London and back in the same day the day before a race, but in all fairness really happy to get a Personal Best for 10K, I’ll also like to congratulate my friends Mark,Ryan,Ben,Jacob, Matt and Jon for their outstanding efforts today and also achieving their pbs too. I think everyone I’m currently working with my coach Phil and most importantly the group at Blackburn Harriers are bringing me on massively, Ive only been running since June 2017 and to go from 39 minute 10ks to 34/35s is a massive achievement in a short space of time, I’m very glad and greatful to be running with Blackburn and my next focus is cross country which is every week from now till mid December starting at Bolton this Saturday and also aiming for a pb at Ribble Valley 10k”.
Leicestershire 10k – Sunday October 28th
Paul Bradshaw was one of seven hundred and twenty eight runners who completed this Race organised by Run Through. Nick Samuels ran out as the winner in a time of 32.34. Paul bagged a top ten place for himself (10th) clocking 36.22.
Can you sponsor Ryan
Blackburn Harrier – Ryan Walmsley – has undertaken a massive feat of committment and endurance as he embarked on a year long campaign – starting on January 1st 2018 – to raise money for Derian House. His quest to raise the maximum amount of money was to run every single day of the year!!!
Hear we are in November and he has completed every day up until now and is determined to carry on and complete it. Eleven months into his challenge and Ryan has smashed his target, raising £1,346 so far, and even throwing in the odd competitive race for 💚Team Derian.
Ryan said: “There is something about Derian that brings out a determination and commitment that I struggle to find myself. Please donate generously, I promise you every donation goes a long way.”
If you would like to support Ryan you can do so by donating via this Link:
Accrington 10k – Sunday October 28th
Proving to be popular once again, over five hundred runners completed this local, and quite tough 10k Road Race won by Ben Fish in a excellent time of 31.32 as he led the Harriers to a clean sweep of Individual and Team wins. Taking into account the nature of the course, the time posted here plus those by the other Harriers show them to be in very good form.
Speaking to the Club after the Race Ben told us “What another great result by the club. Like Chris said, people are really starting to notice the progress we’ve made. It’s a really great time to be a Blackburn Harrier. I was happy with my own run, recent form has been poor, so to run that time on this course is a good boost and hopefully I can string together some decent 10k times to end the year on”
Race Finish Video (courtesy of mcmediaand film)
(All photos of the Race courtesy of David Belshaw)
It was a very good day for the Harriers as they took 8 out of the first 12 places. Jack Hindle took second place clocking 33.4, commenting that the day saw “Fantastic Running from everyone today. Really doing the Blue and White proud. From a personal perspective, it was a solid run for me after a hard block. It’s good to see that I am running some good times, with still 2 months till the Ribble Valley 10k. Now to knuckle down and hopefully bring the times down”.
Ben Costello was the next Harrier to cross the finish line in 3rd spot with a time of 33.48 which smashed the time he ran in the race last year. Happily Ben told us that “Going into the race i was hoping to improve on last years time and i did that by over a minute. The conditions where as good as they could be for a 10k. Well done to all the Harriers that ran today absolutely fantastic and a race well dominated”.
Karl Billington is improving with every race and took 4th place in a good time of 33.57 and saying that it was “Great running for everyone today, showing that we are becoming a dominant force in the county. Enjoyed the race today despite the hills and my fastest 10k in 3 years”.
Josh Holgate made it five Harriers in the first five places as he ran really well to take ten seconds off his previous best to set a new PB of 34.06 which means a lot more given the toughness of the course.
Chris Davies was the next, in 7th position posting a time of 34.44 and was very happy overall with his own and the teams performance on the day commenting “I would like to say well done to all the team, another impressive display from everyone. To get 7 finishes in the Top Ten is fantastic. You can tell out on the course that people are impressed by us at the moment, their is a lot of positive and nice comments coming our way at the moment which is great. On a personal level I was more than happy with my run knocking over a minute off from last year when things weren’t going to well. Also having only done the Manchester Half two weeks ago and still training at a high level I didn’t know how well I would do today. I felt tired after training on Thursday so just eased down a little bit over the last couple of days and it seemed to pay off. Well done again though guys, great team performance and keep up the good work”.
Calum James was making his debut for the Club and had a very good run with a time of 35.45 to finish just one place further back in 8th place to give the Harriers seven out of the first ten places in the Race. Afterwards Calum spoke to the Club saying “This morning at the Accy 10k Blackburn Harriers owned the race finishing best team and I’m happy to have finished within the top ten with overall 8th place spot. I managed to beat last years time ( 38.52 )by three minutes on the same course with (35.45) in the popular blue and white vest, I would like to thank everyone for their massive help and support and a massive well done to everybody who took part”
Paul Brindle continued the Club’s very good performances in the Race with another solid run in 12th spot clocking a time of 37.13 which made an impressive eight Blackburn Harriers in the first twelve places.
Danny Collinge came home in 47th place with a time of 43.12 and he was followed by Lindsay Davies in 87th position in a time of 46.11 and a new PB by six seconds, which is an even better run on this type of course, and Ryan Walmsley just a place further back – 88th – in 46.16. Lindsay commented after the Race that she “Felt really good in the race today, legs not tired and felt good on the hills, kept in front of the 45 marker most of the way but lost him at mile 4, kept pushing all the way and ended up with a new PB knocking another 6 seconds off. Accrington is a relatively tough course now and found that having my new job at the top of Buncer Lane and running to work helped massively”.
(Ryan Walmsley & Lindsay Davies)
Big congratulations to Rebecca Woodworth who – having been ‘encouraged’ by one of the Clubs Coaches – she had her first ever competitive run for the Harriers after recently starting to take up running; And she made an impressive debut as she came home in 343rd place with a time of 59.34.
Great Cumbrian Half-Marathon – Sunday October 7th
There have few unluckier athletes than Samantha McCreadie. ‘Sam’ as she is affectionately known, has managed to put just three races together since running a time of 39.44 – nearly four years ago – at the 2014 Ribble Valley 10k.
(Sam McCreadie – with big smiley face)
Sam has suffered multiple injuries and she would have been forgiven for ‘calling it a day’ after nearly four years of doctors and physio’s, searching for answers. However, she has battled through it all to make a comeback in this Half-Marathon where she finished 132nd overall and 11th woman in a time of 98.39 saying it “Was great to be back in a Harriers vest “ and that she was “Just happy I can get out running again and start getting back to racing”.
British Fell Relays Championships with the Harriers – U11 & U13’s at Northern Cross Country Relays – New PB for Carly at Green Drive 5 – Amsterdam Marathon with Jonathan
Two hundred and thirty nine teams lined up for this years British Fell Relays Championships, said to have been one of the hardest for quite a while. Just five minutes separated the first five teams and just 29 seconds beteween 2nd and 3rd spots behind eventual winners – Pudsey & Bramley.
A big thank you to John Orrell who organised the Blackburn Harriers ‘Wainwright Warriers’ team of Thomas Marchant on Leg (1); John Horrocks & Mark Bleasdale paired on Leg (2); Craig Greenough & Danny Teare together on Leg (3) and John himself on the final Leg (4) as they finished in 160th position with a collective time of 5hr 46.21.
(Team Managers Privileges!!)
(Thanks to Richard Marchant and Ian Clarkson for all the photos)
Thomas Marchant on Leg (1) commented “The day was very well organised and set out. I was on 1st leg with the pressure to bring the team back in a good position ready for the second leg. The climb was very steady and steep towards the last section of the climb. I set off at a steady place hoping to build up through the race and gain places, which I did. Steady climb and a very fast decent despite the slippery conditions, I allowed my self to let go even if i hit the deck. Overall a fantastic race coming back in 63rd and a great day with a great team”.
(Leg (1) and ready for the off with Thomas Marchant)
(Thomas Marchant finishing on Leg (1)
John Horrocks also spoke to the Club after the race telling us “Fantastic day out in Grasmere for the Fell Relays and great running by everybody. Thanks John for the organisation and credit to Ambleside for a well organised event. Myself and Mark on leg 2 6.8 miles and 2800ft, started with a very steep climb to CP1 just below stone Arthur and then following walkers paths into the cloud on to Great Rigg CP2 and Fairfield CP3. Onto Cofa Pike, very rocky and technical running down to CP4. All down hill then to the finish, last steep decent we had people sliding passed us rather than running it was that slippy. I’ll definitely be running the route again!”
(Mark Bleasdale & John Horrocks finishing on Leg (2)
(Craig Greenough & Danny Teare off on Leg (3)
Commenting on the days events, Danny Teare said “Craig G and I subconsciously aligning on outfits was a good omen, or so I thought. With just enough fuel on board, John H and Mark B tagged us and we were away. We collected the map after 300m and CP1 was just like ‘heading up the M6’ – great! CP2 was more of a challenge. The clag was in, we got to within sniping range but could not make out features on the map or by sight, with all the drizzle. We got drawn into 2 or 3 packs who were seemingly as lost as us… and that didnt help… and we thought we’d blown it. We persevered and after 20+ minutes, we glimpsed the CP and got to dib in. Phew! The remaining CPs were more straightforward, albeit with some fierce climbing and rocky descending, and we just had to avoid injury and bring it in. We didnt quite manage to tag John O before his mass start – I will blame that on CP2! Many thanks to John O for top TM-ing!! The usual last minute, nail-biting changes to make but he landed it. Great event put on by Ambleside AC – iconic location and very well supported”.
Overall the day can be summed up by the coments of the athletes who contested the event and led by Team Manager John Orrell who gave his take on the day after it was all over, telling the Club “A big thank you to ‘my boys’ The Fell Fella’s. Your support was very much appreciated. I think we had a great day and did well too. A team with a 34 year age gap from 19 to 53 and we came home ahead of some teams from Chorley, Preston and Clayton too. Around 23 miles, 4 legs, 6 runners, well over 9000 ft of climbing, fog, mist, wind and rain. A Grand Day Out for Blackburn’s Wainwright Warriors. Leg 4 was a steady steep push up to Alcock Tarn. Then another ‘in your face’ climb to Heron Pike. CP 2 Herron’s south summit to CP 3 was a sneaky little trod bypassing the north summit. It was time to push on here in the fog as most in front had gone wrong and veered off right. Delighted to pop out the mist above Stone Arthur and the final CP in front of them before a near vertical decent to the finish fields. With a face full of mud and a bit of blood ’twas job well done!“
(Team Manager and Final Leg John Orrell)
Northern Cross Country Relays – Graves Park Sheffield – Saturday Ocotber 20th
This is not an event that the Harriers have been involved in over recent years, but after the weekends experiences by the U11 and U13’s, it seems pretty certain that this may become a regular for the Club.
(Thanks to Keith Gill and Michael Sharp for all the photos)
Another big thank you – this time to Chris Thompson who organised and team managed the six teams who entered and to the parents who supported the teams with travel to Sheffield and cheering through the day. The U11 Girls had two teams in a field featuring thirty teams where the Harriers finished 17th and 30th. The ‘A’ Team consisting of Imogen Robinson on Leg (1) 5.55, Hannah Davies 6.11 on Leg (2) and Eve Coulson on Leg (3) in 6.04 placed 17th overall. The ‘B’ Team of Lulu Sharp running 6.48 on Leg (1), Tippi Frances 6.53 on Leg (2) and Leah Smith (7.38) on Leg (3) finished in 30th position.
Twenty eight teams contested the U11 Boys Race with the Harriers teams coming home in 16th and 24th places. The ‘A’ Team were fantastically consistent with just two seconds separating the three of them as Findlay Carroll ran 5.44 on Leg (1) to hand over to Theo Robinson on Leg (2) running 5.45 and pulling back 5 places before George Ramsden clocked 5.43 – picking up two more places to being them home in 16th spot. The ‘B’ Team saw Charlie Haworth run the fastest Leg as he opened with a time of 5.52 followed by Alexander Brien on Leg (2) with 6.24 and Felix Thompson pulling back a place as he ran Leg (3) in 6.14.
The U13 Boys had a marginally bigger field which had thirty six teams competing. The ‘A’ Team just misssed out on a top ten spot by twelve seconds as they came home in 12th place. Theo Watson kicked off on Leg (1) with a time of 6.08, handing over on Leg (2) to Ben Livesey in 22nd place. Ben ran a solid Leg (2) in 6.15, pulling back four places to hand over to Dexta Thompson on Leg (3) in 18th. Dexta ran the fastest Leg of the team (5.54) to claw back six places, finishing in 12th. Just 12 seconds separated the three Legs run by the ‘B’ Team who finished in 23rd place – Daniel Smith ran 6.19 on Leg (1) followed by Oliver Gill running 6.31 on Leg (2) and gaining a place before handing over to Saul Sharp pn the final leg who ran 6.25 and also pulled another place back.
Green Drive 5 – Sunday October 21st
Always a sold out Race this one and over four hundred finished this years race won by Rob Danson in a time of 25.41 from Dave Norman in 2nd place (26.00).
Carly Edwards had a great run setting herself a new PB by a massive three quarters of a minute as she came home in 44th place overall, 5th woman and in a time of 32.30.
Amsterdam Marathon – Sunday October 21st
This race was won by Lawrence Cheroneo in a world class time of 2hr 04.06. Not quite as speedy was V50 Jonathan Bridge who finished with a time of 3hr 11.38 and a seasons best after clocking 3hr 14.04 in the Manchester Marathon earlier in the year. Claire, Jonathan’s wife who runs for Blackburn Road Runners also ran the race and clocked a good time of 4hr 13.29.
Chris Wood is a Life Member of Blackburn Harriers having joined the Club in 1965. On the night he received his Life membership Award at St Marks Club along with another Harriers Legend – Chris Fay, Chris commented on how much Blackburn Harriers had meant to him and what the Club had done for him. He represented the Club as an athlete during which time he won the Jersey Marathon in a time of 2.28, went on to serve on the Harriers Executive Committee as Secretary and then dedicated himself to a lot of hard work in becoming a Starting Official where he has gained a considerable reputation leading to recognition at national and international level. Even though he has reached a very high level of competence, officiating as he does at the top athletic meetings, he can still be found on a Saturday officiating at grass roots athletics in the Mid Lancs Leagues and other similar events, always intent on putting back the maximum into the sport he loves.
Chris was recently informed that he had been elected to sit on the UKA Officials’ National Peer Group as one of three representatives of the starting fraternity. This involves assesing and recommending people for promotion to L4 and the National Active List as well as drafting the selections for those who will be appointed to officiate at National, International and televised meetings.
To give some idea of what a successful candidate has to have done in order to become eligible for election to the Peer Group you need to have been a chief official at a major L5 meeting – in 2018 Chris was Chief Starters’ Assistant at both the Athletics World Cup and the Manchester International. He was also a starter at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix and the Muller Diamond League at Birmingham. At the latter Steve Cram commented on TV how measured and polite he was in instructing the athletes!
At the next level down Chris was Start Coordinator at both the indoors and outdoors BUCS as well as the EA Senior Indoor CE at which he caused a stir by refusing to start a BMC 3k as there were too many in the field for safety! This got Chris an “A” assessment from the National Technical Delegate for making the correct call and then not backing down.
In addition to receiving recognition at the above Chris has been heavily committed to developing an electronics start system, working closely with Nigel Holl of UKA. Chris outlined what had been involved – telling the Harriers that “Every two years European Athletics makes innovation awards in five categories; this year is a competition year. Back in June Nigel suggested that we make a submission for TESS (The Electronic Start System), which we did with only three days to go before the deadline. I received an email today from European Athletics in Lausanne to advise that we had won the “Technology” category! The winners of the five categories are then taken forward to be assessed as the overall winner to be awarded in Lausanne next month”.
Many congratulations from everyone at Blackburn Harriers
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