Author Archives: BHAC
Top 30 for Harriers at Mansfield – New PB’s for Tim, Joe & Ben at Abbey Dash 10k – Joanne Wins Through The Villages with Vets Wins for Gary and Janine – Lancaster Half PB for Sean – John on a Fell Double Header
National Cross Country Relays – Saturday 4th November
The Mansfield National Cross Country Relays is just one of those key dates in the Cross Country Racing calendar when the best of the country’s athletes get an opportunity to go head to head on a great Course with tremendous viewing for spectators.
The U13 Boys Team for the Harriers saw Isaac Butler, Zach Walmsley and Dexta Thompson featuring in their first ever National Cross Country Championship event and they did themselves proud, coming home in 28th place out of ninety seven teams taking part. The lads were just nineteen seconds off making a top 20 place with Isaac on Leg (1) running a time of 7.21, Zach on Leg (2) in 7.58 and Dexta on Leg (3) clocking 7.36.
Team Manager Chris Thompson was happy with the way the lads performed at their first outing together in an National Championships, telling the Club “We took a team of under 13’ boys down to the nationals, a team that had not competed together before so I didn’t know how they would do together. All three ran their own race and ran really well on what is a fantastic cross country course against the best runners in the country. Having placed 28th out of 97 teams is a good starting place for when two of the boys also have a chance of returning again next year in the same race with them being the older ones in the category. Overall it was a good trip out and the boys enjoyed themselves which is the important bit.
I would also like to thank all those who have competed in the relays over the past few months at Blackpool,Manchester, Birmingham and Mansfield. It’s been a pleasure doing the team manager although it has been stressful at times doing team selection with the club having such a great bunch of athletes to choose from and all the athletes wanting to be in certain teams, tough decisions were made and I thank the coaches for their help and support on these on these choices but that’s what happens with so many good athletes so once again I thank you all for your support and hopefully we can do then all again next year”.
After the Championships Isaac Butler reflected on the day telling the Club “I was really nervous on the line but as the gun went off, I dug deep and ended up finishing strong. I really enjoyed my first National Cross Country Race” with Zach Walmsley commenting “the course was nice, not too muddy a bit like a trail run and we did really well as a team”.
The men’s Senior Race saw two Blackburn Teams out among the one hundred and seventy eight teams contesting the Race with the ‘A’ Team consisting of Rob Warner, Jack Hindle, Chris Davies and Ben Fish and the ‘B’ Team with Paul Guinan, John Chaplin, Danny Maynard and Karl Billington.
Men’s Team Manager Paul Guinan spoke to the Club commenting “another good day for the Senior Men, 2 teams running and one finishing in 30 place, all runners gave it everything, two stand out performances had to be Rob running 16:11 and Karl running inside 20 minutes great to see him making progress, well done once again everyone”.
Rob Warner was off on the first Leg clocking an excellent 16.11 to set the Harriers up in 23rd spot before handing over to Jack Hindle – making his senior debut in a cross country championships – with a 17.10 clocking who in turn, handed over to V40 Chris Davies on Leg (3) running a time of 18.20. Ben Fish took the final Leg picking up eight places with a time of 16.43 which saw the team finish in 30th position overall and afterwards Ben reflected on the day saying it was a “Great result by the team, Rob ran a blinder to get us off to a flying start, then top runs from Jack and Chris. I was happy with my run and thrilled we made top 30. Well done to our B team Danny, Guiny, Chappers & Karl! some great team spirit in the club. Looking forward to more relays in the future!”
The ‘B’ Team saw V45 Paul Guinan on Leg (1) posting a time of 19.09 before handing over to V60 John Chaplin who clocked 21.43. Danny Maynard took on Leg (3) running 21.03 with Karl Billington running just inside 20 minutes (19.58) on Leg (4) which meant the Team finished in 118th spot. Karl is getting fitter by the week and told the Club that it was a “great day out with the senior guys, enjoyed the race for once and well done to the other chaps that ran”. Danny also enjoyed the day telling us that it was “A relentless course which is a classic for every cross country season. It was fantastic for the club to get two strong teams out along with some excellent individual performances”.
After running at the Manchester University Cross Country Relays the week before where she clocked a time of 11.45 for the 3k course, Blackburn Harrier Katie Buckingham was also running at Mansfield as part of the University of Nottingham’s Senior Women’s Team who placed 33rd overall out of one hundred and twenty eight teams which saw Katie clock a time of 11.47 on Leg (3).
(Katie Buckingham at Mansfield)
(Katie Buckingham at Manchester University XC Relays)
Leeds Abbey Dash – Sunday 5th November 2017
This Race is one of those in the Race year where everyone is looking to run a personal best time and with that in mind – Tim Raynes, Joe Monk and Ben Costello all entered – optimistic that they could all revise their PB’s over the 10k distance. And they did just that.
With the first fourteen athletes all in under 30 minutes, the pace at the front was pretty tasty. Tim Raynes set a new PB by five seconds in 39th place overall with a time of 31.13 and there is little doubt that he is knocking on the door of a sub 31 minutes soon. Tim spoke to the Club later in the day telling us that “Training has been going well over the last few weeks, and I knew I was in good shape coming into the race. Ran fairly evenly but wasn’t able to kick on as much as I had hoped in the second part of the race. Can’t complain with a PB though, just leaves me with that bit more motivation to break it again at Ribble Valley. Well done to Joe and Ben too for great runs!”
Joe Monk was the next one to improve his personal best as he came home in 66th place overall cutting fourteen seconds off his previous best to set a new PB of 31.57. Afterwards Joe reflected on his Race telling the Club that it was a “Tale of two halves. didn’t feel brilliant for the first half of the race, legs just wouldn’t go with it. Went through 5k in around 16:10, some 25-30 seconds off what I wanted. Managed to find my rhythm in the last 2.5 miles and came through strongly. Definitely had too much left, so it gives me the motivation to strive for 31:30 at Telford. Well done to the lads on their runs, great to see Ben making massive improvements, gone from looking at sub 34 to knocking on a sub 33 clocking”.
Ben Costello ran a massive new personal best by one minute and fourteen seconds to set a new PB of 33.14 as he came home in 150th place. Ben joined the Harriers in August 2016 and has made massive progress and there is no doubt that there is much more to come. After the Race Ben spoke to the Club saying “Going into the race after a few good weeks of hard training i knew i was in shape for a PB. Before the race i had a target of 33.40 in mind to beat that just shows that hard work does pay off. Over the moon to be honest. Didn’t think i was in shape for a low 33 but the weather and the race was prefect. Well done to Tim and Joe on 2 quality times”.
More Club News
Congratulations to Blackburn Harrier Chris Wood who has been reappointed to the IMO list for 2018 (International Meet Officials). This is the Pool from which selections are made for the big televised athletic events. In this Pool Chris is a Starter’s Assistant, one of just 9 in the UK.
Through The Villages – Sunday November 5th
Two hundred and eighty two finishers in this Race won by Nick Barry in a good time of 46.06. New member Gary Vose (V45) had a great debut for the Harriers clocking a time of 50.55 to place 5th overall and 1st V45 and just two places further back came Paul Brindle in 51.24 to take the 2nd V45 place. U17 Joe Gebbie also had a very good run in 25th position overall and 2nd Junior male in a time of 55.09. Joanne Nelson, looking stronger by the week won the Race as she finished 1st Woman and 1st V45 Woman in 56.04 and 39th overall. Janine Fallon (V40) also won the Vets 1st Prize as she came home in a time of 63.30 in 84th followed in by V55 David Morris in 271st place (92.37).
Lancaster Half-Marathon – Sunday November 5th
Four hundred and sixty two runners took part in this local Half-Marathon won by Simon Croft in a time of 74.11. Among the runners were three Blackburn Harriers – Nick Smith, Sean Procter and Carol Reilly.
Nick Smith…..was running his first ever Half-Marathon and even though he hadn’t got the kind of mileage in that he would have wanted, he nevertheless ran well to finish 16th overall in a time of 86.18. Thinking about his Race and how he ran it, Nick told the Club that he was a “Bit disappointed with that, not what I wanted and I know it’s because I raced it wrong. Went in hoping to stay steady until about 10k, pick it up there and again at 10miles like we’d discussed, but got carried away at the start and ended up with a stitch at around 3 miles which I didn’t manage to shake off until between 9 and 10 Miles. Happy with my last 5k though, and considering my lack of long runs and the bad strategy I produced, I’m fairly happy with the time, just felt I could’ve had it faster”.
Sean Procter came home in 23rd spot and 4th V45 in a time of 87.12 which was a new PB by nearly a minute and a happy Sean commented that “I set out today with nothing more than just seeing how it would pan out not knowing anything about the route other than it finished up a steep hill to the castle, and just under the 13 mile point it’s steep and it hurts. As the race turned out I still felt good at the turnaround point and kept pushing trying to make up 1 or two places before the hill, managing 1 more place on the hill to finish with a new 1/2 PB of 1:27:12”.
Carol Reilly….ran a couple of minutes outsider her personal best as he finished in 119th spot in a time of 1hr 42.23. However she won the V45 Women’s first prize which was a good end to the Race as she told us “today for me was to go out and just run. Ive lost my mojo a bit lately, I think it’s due to a year and half of injuries and other things. Anyway the first 4 miles are always tough for me, it takes me that long to get into a race, that’s why I hate 10k’s!!!!!! I felt better in the 2nd half but there’s a really brutal hill at the finish so I’m quite chuffed with 1.42.23 and 1st in cat. It gives me something to build on”.
A Double Header Weekend on the Fells with John Orrell
John Orrell is racking up the Fell Races with two more in the bag over the last couple of weeks. Firstly at the Really Wild Boar placing 79th in a time of 65.55 after which, he described the Race saying “Fell races 23 and 24 of 2017, a doubleheader weekend. Saturday was the Really Wild Boar. Living up to its name it was really wild. 5 miles, 1401 ft of ascent. Strong headwinds up to CP2, and buffeting making for arduous running across the summit plateau to CP3. The clag was well and truly down by now as CP4 was passed before I launched myself off the top. Compass needed to find CP5. Delighted to come out of the fog straight on it. Even more pleased to pass some of the fast guys going in the opposite direction still looking for CP5. I was away to the finish and claimed some scalps. 1.05.55 or thereabouts and 79th”.
Day two saw John tackle the Bronte Way Fell Race featuring two hundred and seventy three finishers which saw Joe Dale run out the eventual winner in 54.20, just one second in front of second placed Ian Holmes. John finished in 179th place clocking a finishing time of 85.46 and commented “Better conditions on Sunday for The Bronte Way, a point to point from Wycollar to The Fleece Inn, Haworth and a free pint. 7.5 miles across the moors and 1152ft of ascent. Entries on the day swelled race numbers to around 280. The organisers ran out of numbers and the start was delayed around 40 mins to accommodate everyone. Once underway and off the track it’s a steady slog across those moors with some tricky single track thrown in for good measure. Up and down dale, across Bronte Bridge and I was beginning to run out of steam. After a full frontal (not Monty!) face plant in the mud I just held on to finish only a couple of minutes outside my best time. 179th in 1.25.46. And that pint? Timothy Taylor’s Poulter’s Porter. Well earned!”
Accy 10k wins for Ben & Pauline + Harriers Win Men’s and Women’s Team and 5 wins in Vet Categories – 2nd for Joe at Green Drive 5 – Grand Day Out In Cumbria with John Orrell – Clare runs the Yorkshire Marathon
The sun shone on the Accrington 10k on Sunday Morning – 29th October – as five hundred and twenty four runners completed the Race which was run on a new course for the first time. Miles 3 and 4 were the toughest part of the race with a lot of climbing and they were followed by a downhill finish which was quite steep in places. The sun also shone on the Harriers performances who had a clean sweep virtually of all the prizes as they won the Race, won the Women’s Race, won the Men’s & Women’s Team Races as well as winning 5 of the Veteran Age Group Categories.
Ben Fish led the Harriers home winning the Race in a time of 32.46 which is now the benchmark for others to chase on this new Course. Ben Costello was next home in 6th spot with his second fastest 10k time of 34.51 followed by Chris Davies in 9th clocking 35.51 – the three of them all counting to win the Team Race. Chris won the V40 1st Prize and he was followed in by Paul Brindle just two places further back in 11th with a time of 36.46 which won him the 1st V45 Prize.In 70th spot came V45 John Cookson clocking a time of 42.57 with new member V40 Paul Jeffries coming home 83rd in 43.55. V50 Ian Clarkson posted a time of 46.48 in 133rd place followed in by V55 Paul Clarke in 144th (47.18), with V55’s Martin Kerry in 151st with a time of 47.41 and Michael Nolan (49.13) in 173rd place.
Pauline Powell maintained her 100% record in winning 10k Races this year, this one being her fourth win on the trot in a time of 37.40 and she also won the 1st V40 Women’s Prize too. Victoria Mousley was the next Harrier in for the Women’s team in 32nd overall (39.46) winning the V35 1st prize as well, followed by Joanne Nelson in 41st place (40.26) who also won the V45 1st Women’s Prize – the three of them combining to win the Women’s Team Race. Carol Reilly was the 2nd V45 Woman in 139th position (47.05) and Lindsay Davies ran a new PB of 47.47 in 152nd spot overall.
Green Drive 5 – Sunday October 23rd
The Race featured 321 finishers and was run in pretty bad wet and windy conditions. Joe Monk who last week smashed his half-marathon personal best in Manchester – (70.45) – leaving him 5th in the National U20 Half-Marathon Rankings was out again on Sunday coming home 2nd in this 5 mile Race in a time of 27.23.
Carly Edwards ran a very good race to take 47th spot in a time of 34.51 just seconds outsider her previous best time and was happy with how the Race had gone for her commenting“I am really happy with my performance at the Green Drive 5. I am always attracted to races with a quality field. I knew I would get that with it being a championship race. The conditions on the day were less than favourable with flooding and a headwind from mile 2-4.5. I managed to run just 5 seconds off my pb which i am happy with and it shows the recent changes to my training are working”.
V65 Evan Cook had his second outing inside two weeks. After winning the V65 category at the Rochdale 10k Evan placed 69th at the Green Drive 5 and 3rd V65 in a time of 37.00.
A Grand Day Out in Cumbria – Sunday October 22nd
Rain and more rain impacted upon the Race which had to be shortened because of the conditions but that didn’t stop John Orrell from taking the Race on. Back on the Fells racing after having a break from his last round of Fell exploits which included the famous Ben Nevis Race John came in 23rd overall in the up and down race with a time of 32.01.
After drying off, John told the Club about the race and its background saying “A Grand Day Out in Cumbria was set up to raise money to help those that were effected by Storm Desmond back in 2015. This weekend in the Langdales, Storm Brian dampened the fund raising efforts somewhat, but I still had my Grand Day Out! The Stickle Grind was shortened to the half Stickle as the route to the top of Harrison Stickle was considered too risky by the race organisers. It was really wet and windy and Stickle Ghyll was in full flow. The route across the stepping stones was impassable so we were turned back early. What was an up hill time trial became a short rough technical there and back. I finished 23rd in a time of 32.01. Once dry I rewarded myself with Herdwick lamb and stout stew with a pint of Dry Stone stout to wash it down! Next week it’s the Really Wild Boar. The race I mean not another casserole!”
(Photo courtesey of James Kirby)
Well done to V50 Clare Wilkin who recently completed the Yorkshire Marathon in 3064th position with a time of 4hr 54.21 – Clare hadn’t been able to do the training she would have liked because of injury but neverthless, went ahead and did it.
Afterwards Clare spoke to the Club about her experience – the first time she had ever run the distance telling us “I survived my first marathon! Almost didn’t do it as severely hurt my back at work 4 weeks ago, not long after Garstang. I even struggled to walk then. Only got back up to 8 miles the week before the Marathon. I ran the whole marathon in a lumbar back brace and it held up! Did think it would be a walk/run but ran the whole lot and got interviewed whilst running in my Harriers vest, not sure if Channel 4 or 5?” Probably not the best idea to do it injured but being a stubborn 52 yr old I didn’t think I’d get the chance again! My older son did the 10 mile event there and looked after me!
Great weekend for the Harriers with XC wins in Mid Lancs Red Rose & Leagues – Rob makes top 20 in Cardiff – Joe smashes Half-Marathon PB in Manchester – Pauline wins Cheshire 10k in new Course Record
This years Cross Country racing got under way at the weekend with the Harriers athletes competing in the Mid Lancs League, Red Rose League and Cardiff in the Cross Challenge Series opening fixture.
Over sixty athletes turned out for the Club at the first fixture in this years Mid Lancs League held at Cuerden Valley producing some great results on the day including four Team wins, three second places, one third place and fourth. For a number of the younger runners, this was their first ever competition for the Club in Cross Country and they certainly rose to the occasion. Some of the youngsters had already run their schools cross country race in the morning as well!
The U11 Girls had ten runners and came 2nd in the Team Race with Molly Grimshaw the highest placed runner in 7th, Hannah Davies 10th, Kady Thompson 13th made up the three Team counters with Isabelle Hartley in 16th, Ayesha Vose (23rd), Grace Brady (25th), Faith Gillibrand 35th, Imogen Robinson 37th, Tippi Francis 44th and Charlotte Sousa 48th.
The U11 Boys had sixteen running with great packing at the front of the Race which meant they won the Team Race from Liverpool PS in 2nd. Daniel Smith came home in 7th with Harry Sambook in 8th and Oliver Gill in 9th being the three counters for the Team. In 16th came Findlay Lewis followed by Samuel Aspey in 18th, Matthew Smith in 19th spot, Jacob Joyce in 24th, Charlie Hawarth (27th), George Ramsden (36th), Findlay Carroll 41st and Felix Thompson in 42nd with Aidan Downes just two places further back in 44th, Harrison Waite in 50th, Alexander Brien in 54th, Alfie Ward in 56th place and Daniel Bretherton in 61st – – and what about this for commitment – Lulu Sharp missed the start of the U11 Girls Race because she had been in a dance competition and then went and asked to run in the U11 Boys race, which she did in 58th place.
Hollie Cubbon (13.48) was first home for the U13 Girls in 8th position and backed up by Leah Hoole (14.32) in 14th and Caroline Woodworth (15.00) in 18th spot all combining to take 2nd place in the Team Race. Keira Haxton (15.01) was just one place and one second behind Caroline in 19th with Eva Knowles (15.51) in 32nd and Megan Jones (16.19) in 39th overall.
Great packing by the U13 Boys with six in the first eleven places meant another Team win. Dexta Thompson (13.42) led the way home in 5th with David Holman (13.48) in 6th and Isaac Butler (13.52) in 8th being the three counters in the race. Just one place back came Zach Walmsley (14.09) in 9th, Hayden Mercer (14.15) in 10th, Kyle Taylor-Pomfret (14.16) in 11th, Rory Teare (14.55) in 15th and all backed up with solid runs from Codie Dewhurst (16.25) in 34th, Saul Sharp clocking 16.49 in 39th spot and Sebastian Burton in 40th place with a time of 17.04.
Eleesha Charnley was first home for the U15 Girls as they finished 4th in the Team Race – Eleesha having a great run in 2nd spot (14.44) with Amy Davies in 4th (15.12), Lucy Brady 32nd in 20.52 and Ella Hardman 41st in 25.13. Jamie Teare led the U15 Boys home into 3rd in the Team Race as he finished strongly in 9th (14.08), followed by good runs from Findlay Sullivan in 18th place (15.16), Harry Wilkin (19th) clocking 15.17, Ethan Barbarewicz (30th) in a time of 16.42 and Luke Ingleson 33rd in 17.27.
Maddie Elliott had a good run in the U17 Women’s Race placing 3rd in a time of 16.05 after battling with Briony Holt who just pipped her in by two seconds. Freya Black (11th) in 19.43 and Chloe Gardner 12th in 20.02 meant that the Team came first as no other team had three competitors. Bradley Meikleham made an impressive debut in the U17’s Race coming home in 9th place in 21.21 whilst Joe Gebbie who has missed quite a bit of training through injury ran well to take 12th spot in 21.52.
Cracking results for the Senior Women too on the day as they won the Team Race with Joanne Nelson placing 3rd in 22.15, Victoria Mousley 8th in a time of 23.07 and Carly Edwards 16th posting a time of 25.11. Janine Fallon (23rd) in 26.01, Lindsay Davies (53rd) in 28.31 and Michelle Teare (57th) clocking 29.20 combined to take the 12th Team spot. Added to that was a 2nd place in the Vet Women’s Race with Joanne, Victoria and Janine taking the three counting spots – they had exactly the same number of points as the winners – Barlick – but came second on countback.
Five athletes in the Senior Men’s Race led home by Mark Chippendale in 27th in a very solid time of 40.41 followed by new member Martin Hawarth in 45th (42.56), Allan Hartley (155th) with a time of 52.11, Andrew Knowles in 168th place (53.03) and Danny Teare 172nd clocking 53.41.
The Senior Men have targeted the Red Rose League this year and got off to a brilliant start – winning the Men’s Team and Vets Team Races by getting seven athletes home in the top twenty finishers out of the fourteen senior men competing on the day.
The Team was led home by Tim Raynes in a time of 35.19 when he finished second to the race winner – Jonathan Kay (34.46). Next home came Jack Hindle just three places further back in 5th (35.54) followed by Shaun Livesey in 10th (37.50), Mat Nuttall (13th) clocking 38.43, Ben Costello in 15th position (39.05), Chris Davies in 16th (39.12) and Paul Brindle 20th in a time of 39.41. Team Manager Paul Guinan was next home in 33rd spot (41.20) followed by Paulo Sousa in his first cross country race for the Club in 39th with a time of 41.39. Chris Balderson was the tenth Harrier home in 50th place (43.24) followed in by Tom Anderson (75th) in 45.09, Danny Maynard (79th) running a time of 45.34, John Chaplin 90th in 46.15 and Gary Pearse 108th (47.57). Alison Armour ran in the Senior Women’s race placing 96th in a time of 31.38…………….Shaun Livesey (2nd V40), Mat Nuttall (1st V45), Chris Davies (4th V40) and Paul Brindle (3rd V45) combined to win the Vets Team. This double win sets the Team up nicely for the Series.
Men’s Team Manager Paul Guinan was pleased with how the day worked out for the Harriers telling commenting “What a great turnout for the Seniors at Leigh this afternoon, solid performances all round, and a Team win from Todmorden in 2nd place and Leigh in 3rd. A pleasure sorting things out for this bunch, what a great set of athletes, once again well done everyone, already looking forward to the next race”.
(L-R Jack Hindle – Chris Balderson – Paul Guinan – Tim Raynes – Paulo Sousa – John Chaplin – Tom Anderson – Ben Costello – Shaun Livesey – Chris Davies – Paul Brindle – Mat Nuttall)
British Athletics Cross Challenge
A great start for Rob Warner in the opening fixture of this years Cross Challenge held in Cardiff which saw him take 19th place in a time of 29.01 and afterwards he spoke to the Club about the day commenting “The result of the race wasn’t bad, especially as it’s the first one of the season, but the way I ran wasn’t great! I went off a bit too hard at the start as I was inside the top 10 for the first lap! I then had a really rough 2nd lap where I fell through the field quite badly and was into the 30s at one point I think. However, I managed to really dig in on the last lap, made sure I didn’t lose any more places and took about 6 or 7 on the last lap. So overall quite pleased with the result (19th in the cross challenge and 23rd, I think, overall) but definitely lots to work on for next time”.
Manchester Half-Marathon – Sunday October 15th
Joe Monk goes from strength to strength having had a cracking year and his latest race proved no exception when he finished 18th over all in a fantastic new PB of 70.45, nearly four minutes quicker than his previous best time. Delighted, Joe summed up his feelings about this race by telling the Club that he “can’t believe it, was hoping for around 71:30. Managed to get in a group of 8 but there wasn’t much impetus to push on the pace. 3 of us got away and kept the pace in the low 5:20 range. Justifies the hard training that I have put in, looking forward to Leeds now”.
Bartletts Farndon 10k – Sunday October 15th
Also having a great run at the weekend was Pauline Powell who won the Bartletts Farndon 10k in a Course Record time for Women of 36.46 when she finished 13th overall. This was Pauline’s 3rd 10k win on the roads this year and she told the Club afterwards that she was “was pleased with my race today, the course was very undulating and windy in places, but i felt good and really enjoyed it”.
National Road Relays and Silver for U15 Boys – Track & Road Veteran wins for Chris, Shaun and Evan – Wins for Charlotte, Jacob and Sam at Hammer Circle Reunion Open Meeting
National Road Relays day at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday October 7th enjoyed very good weather and some great racing. For Blackburn Harriers, the U13 Boys Squad who had won Gold in the Lancashire Championships and Silver in the North West Championships going on to win Silver in the Northern Championships, had another cracking day finishing in the top 25 with David Holman (14.38), Kyle Taylor-Pomfret (15.04) and Dexta Thompson (15.00) combining to place 23rd Team overall which has capped a great four weeks of competition for them.
(David Holman on Leg (1) Start in the U13 Boys Relays)
At the end of the day the three lads all reflected on their performance with David telling us that “It has been a great experience being able to compete in the national road relays. It was a difficult race and I am proud of what we achieved today” whilst Kyle said that he had “had a great day and has really enjoyed the experience. He also wants to say well done to the older boys” with Dexta commenting that he “found the hills and the overall course tough but it was a good experience for the future”
(L-R U13’s Kyle Taylor-Pomfret – Dexta Thompson – David Holman — U15’s Matt Ramsden – Sam Hodkinson – Leon Thomas)
Next team up for the Club – the U15 Boys Squad – have been in fantastic form over the Road Relay month winning Gold Medals at Lancashire, North West and Northern Championships and safe to say they entered the Nationals confident of a good performance albeit that this was, just like the U13 Boys, their first time competing at National level.
Leon Thomas led off on the first leg featuring seventy five other Teams, clocking 13.33 to come through in 27th spot. Sam Hodkinson charged after the field, pulling back nineteen places in a time of 13.02 to hand over to Matt Ramsden on the final leg. Matt ran the equal fourth fastest leg of the day (12.42) to pull back another seven places, overtaking the then 2nd placed athlete on the home straight to clinch a fabulous Silver Medal for the lads. What a run by all three of them and this is what they had to say after picking up their Medals:
Leon ………“Words cannot describe how proud I am with our Team effort, coming second in such a prestigious competition and winning a silver medal for Blackburn Harriers was the best feeling ever. Well done to all Blackburn Harriers”.
Sam………“I am really proud of myself and the team today. Expectations were high, but not that high. All that training and help from the coaches has paid off. I am on cloud 9. Well done lads”.
Matt………“I am so pleased with mine and the teams performance at nationals. With it being such a vastly talented race coming second exceeded what we expected and the race was such a great experience”.
On to the Senior Men’s Race for the Harriers which saw Swansea win impressively by over a minute in a combined time of 1hr 45.16. The Harriers finished in 35th spot with a total time of 1hr 55.14 less than twenty seconds behind Gateshead.
Team Manager Paul Guinan was pleased with how the day went commenting “Great to be back at Sutton Park competing in the National Relays, we definitely belong there, pitching ourselves against the country’s best, and no doubt doing a really good job of it as well. Solid performances throughout the team and hopefully something we can build on in the near future, a big thank you to all the athletes that ran and also a thank you to those athletes that helped get us there. The athletes are the most important thing about the Club without a doubt, but a big thank you to George, John and Karl for making the trip and supporting the team. The future is bright. Well done all”.
(L-R Most Welcome Guest Jess Judd – Rob Warner – Chris Davies – John Chaplin (Senior Coach) – Karl Billington (Leading Cheerer on the Course) – Chris Arthur – Jack Hindle – Mat Nuttall — Front Row – Paul Guinan (Team Manager) – Tim Raynes)
Rob Warner kicked off the first leg placing 33rd in a time of 18.27, handing over to Chris Arthur on Leg (2) who ran the fastest time of the day for the Club clocking 18.00 and pulling back another nine places. Mat Nuttall went on Leg (3) running a solid time of 20.41 before handing over the Chris Davies on Leg (4) who posted a time of 20.18. Jack Hindle went on Leg (5) and by that time the Team had slipped to 51st place but pulled one back at the end of Jack’s good run in 19.19. Tim Raynes blasted off on leg (5) running a time of 18.29 to pull a massive 15 places back.
At the end of the day the lads spoke to the Club about the Championships with Rob Warner telling us that it “Was a fantastic day for the team yesterday, I felt everyone ran solid legs and in most cases ran quicker than we would have down on paper before the race! Like Chris said, we’ve got a really strong senior men’s side at the moment and if we can keep pushing on we’ll have some great results! On a personal note, I was satisfied with my run out. First time I’ve raced the course at Sutton Park and I really enjoyed it! I’m never quick to be back in top shape after my end of season break after the summer but I felt that I gave a team a solid start and I’m a lot fitter at this time of the year than I have been in previous years!”
Chris Arthur commented “As a relatively new and somewhat sporadic member of the team I’ve really enjoyed the relays as a chance to put faces to names and get to know people a bit better. I can only really echo others sentiments that everyone ran brilliantly and it was great to have the support out on the course. I was very pleasantly surprised by my leg time; I can only assume my ignorance of who I was racing worked to my advantage”.
Mat Nuttall speaking at the end of the day echoed the other athletes when he said “I thought the day went extremely well, every team member gave 100% effort and focused on the job in hand. All of our efforts were galvanised by a great Team Manager and Coaches”.
Chris Davies said that “It’s always great to run for the club and yesterday didn’t disappoint. On a personal note I was looking forward to this one, it had been quite a while since I had run at Sutton Coldfield, nearly five years to be exact so I was keen to see how I would fair this time round. It’s a tough course. It was just over 3 1/2 miles and the first 2 are the toughest. Once their out the way then it’s good running to the finish. I was happy with my time of 20:18, a good solid run so no complaints their. As a team we were all outstanding. Every person (Rob,Chris,Matt,Jack and Tim) all ran great and were a credit to the club and I feel we did ourselves proud with a good solid performance. Team spirit was great and hopefully we can carry on like this and I’m sure in the near future we will come away with a really big result. The Senior group is strong at the moment and is proving to be a good group of runners. Keep it going guys because I’m sure their is a big result coming for us soon”.
Jack Hindle who had such a brilliant event at the Helvellyn Triathlon recently told the Club“It was great to be racing at the national road relays in the seniors for the first time. Pleased with my run, which contributed to an overall strong team performance. Well done to the lads and U15 boys on a fantastic performance”.
Tim Raynes spoke afterwards saying that he “Really enjoyed the day yesterday. As the other lads have said, great runs from everyone in the team. It was obvious that everyone was giving it all for the club! Really solid position from the club, a foundation that we’ll hopefully be able to keep building on. Top 20 next year?! It was great also to have George, John, Guiney and Karl down to support – made it a top day. Particular congratulations too to the U15 boys for winning the silver. Future is looking bright!”
Chris Davies was out again the day after the National Road Relays competing in the Northern Masters 10000m track race at Ashton (October 8th) – the first time he had run the distance on the track. “Like the National Road Relays I was looking forward to this simply because I had never tried to do a 10K race before on the track. The strategy has to be slightly different to the road simply because their is no rest bite on the track, it’s just all full on. The strategy was to hit 5:40 pace which I managed to do, in fact I was averaging 5:35 pace which was very pleasing having run the Nationals the day before. I ran the race well, I stuck behind another runner up to the 5 mile mark and broke away with 4 laps to go. I got the win so that’s 2 for 2 in the Northern Masters on the track and a good way to finish my track season this year. Probably would have got under 35 minutes but I was having to run wide a lot when lapping other people. Still a good result though”.
Out on the Roads Shaun Livesey who recently won the Cragg Vale 10m – (Cragg Vale Results) – was back on the roads competing in the Cheshire Half-Marathon at the weekend (Sunday October 10th) and it turned out be a pretty good day for Shaun as he finished 2nd over all out of a field of five hundred and sixty four and took the 1st V40 prize with a time of 75.04.
Shaun spoke to the Club with his thoughts about the race saying “After my success at the GP series of races I decided to have another go at the half marathon distance. With some reasonable outings at the two road relay events and a good performance at the cragg vale 10m road race ( placing 1st) I knew that I was in the shape to run 75/74 mins. However shortly after the cragg vale race I started to develop a heavy cold which set my training back. I had chosen to do the cheshire half at Arley hall knowing that the ground was flat and mostly tree lined roads. The day before the race I did a little session involving some short strides to see how my breathing was, from that I decided to race, but still not 100%. Come the day of the race the weather was ideal, I knew the race attracted some fast runners and I had hoped I could get involved in a group and work together. However this did not materialize, I basically ran the whole race on my own, turning it into a time trial. I hit 5m in 28:10 and then onto 10m in 57:05, then the last three miles were a big effort trying to keep my pace under 6min/mile, the crowd certainly helped at this point. I crossed the line in 1:15:04 2nd place and 1st vet 40. With everything considered this could prove to be one of my best every races”.
Evan Cook was on the winning trail again too taking the 1st V65 prize at the Rochdale 10k run on Sunday October 8th. Evan clocked a time of 44.45 which brought him home in 42nd spot out of a race featuring four hundred and thirty five runners.
Hammer Circle Reunion Open – October 7th & 8th
Just one more competition for the Club’s Hammer Throwers which took place at Hull over the weekend featuring wins for U17 Charlotte Williams, U17 Sam Gaskell and U20 Jacob Roberts.
Jacob Roberts went in to the U20 competition (6kg) with a personal best of 65.64m and nearly broke that when he won his event with a throw of 65.50 which he was delighted with as he explained to the Club that it was “a brilliant end to my 2017 competition season with consistent throwing and 14cm off my PB….onwards now to winter season. Thanks to my Coach – Mick Hitchon – and my training partners”. Also just cm’s outside his personal best of 59.11m was U17 Sam Gaskell who threw 59.03m (5kg) to finish 3rd in his event. U17 Charlotte Williams broke her previous personal best in the 4kg Hammer, not once, but twice – throwing 51.94m on Saturday for 3rd place and then extending that new PB on Sunday to 52.23m. Reflecting on her performance with the Club, Charlotte commented “So the last competition of the season ended in great success. Competing in the u20’s, getting a new PB adding an extra 3 metres and also winning the u20’s as a bottom end under 17’s was a really good way to end my season. On to winter training now and hopefully big distances next year. Thankyou to my coach Mick, mum and dad, the club and training partners for the continuous support. Looking forward to the 2018 season”.
And just to round off this latest Post for the Harriers – with thanks to David Belshaw for this photo – of some Blackburn Harriers at the Burnley Junior Park Run on Sunday morning, many of them will be running their first ever cross country Club Race next weekend.
Results Round Up – 10k Wins for Joe, Ben & Pauline – Brian comes 2nd in Sundowner Triathlon – Sub 3hr for Rachel in Berlin – Veteran wins for Chris, Tony, Derek, Carol & Lindsay – English Schools Fell Championships
Due to holidays we are a little behind with Results, so a less than comprehensive run down of recent activities by Blackburn Harriers in this latest Post with apologies for any omissions.
Rachel Wood ran the Berlin Marathon finishing 86th in the Women’s Race clocking her second sub 3hr time of 2hr 59.26 which was just twenty four seconds outside of her previous personal best set in the 2016 London Marathon. She is looking forward to attacking that mark in the 2018 London Marathon. (Berlin Marathon Results)
Joe Monk carried on with his good form on the Roads winning the Southport 10k by over a minute and a half in a time of 32.43. (Southport 10k Results)……….and it was great to see Pauline Powell racing on the roads after winning the Bolton 10k in April (37.54) she won the Burnley Fire 10k on October 1st in a time of 37.44 placing 6th overall and 1st V40 Woman……….in the same Race Ben Costello placed 3rd overall in 35.44 whilst V40 Mark Lord finished 51st overall setting a new PB of 49.17 with V55 David Morris coming home 89th in 61.14. (Burnley Fire 10k Results). Ben Costello has been in good form and on September 17th he won the Burnley Leisure10k in a time of 36.21 and told the Club that.“After a great first leg for the ‘B’ Team at the Northern Road Relays i wasn’t sure how i would perform at the Burnley Leisure 10k. The race started very slow and i sat just off the leader up until the 3k mark where i took the lead. I then controlled the next 4k and at this point i made my move and it paid off by the 9k mark as i knew i had won. It’s an amazing feeling to get my first win so early on in my running career”. (Burnley Leisure 10k Results)
Brian Fogarty is building up to the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii and the latest race in his build up came at the Sundowner Triathlon on September 16th which featured three hundred and eighty finishers in pretty warm conditions. Brian finished 2nd overall and 1st in his age category (30-34yrs) in a time of 4hrs.00.08 just twenty seven seconds behind the winner.The Race combines a 1900m Swim, 56 mile Bike Ride and a 21k run. Richard Fogarty had a very good race too finishing 7th in his age category (35-39) and 58th overall with a combined total time of 4hrs 54.55.
Sundowner Triathlon Results
After the Race Brian spoke to the Club saying that “this race was always planned to be a tough training day to prepare for Kona in 4 weeks time. Without any sort of taper i was still looking for a solid performance. Stupidly i managed to forget my wetsuit which meant i had to borrow one which was to small, i struggled to breath so it made it one of my poorest swims for a long time. I managed to make up lost time on the bike and take the lead with the fastest bike split of the day. I ran well my best 1/2 ironman run to date but unfortunately got caught by a better athlete on the day. Taking everything into account i had to be happy with the day. My brother and fellow Blackburn Harrier also competed and did very well”.
Derek and Carol Reilly were out at the Pilling 10k last weekend which saw Derek finishing 5th overall and taking the V45 1st prize in a time of 36.57. Carol went and emulated that by also winning the Women’s V45 category coming home in 40th place and clocking a time of 46.07. (Pilling 10k Results).
In the Audi Run Preston 10k Chris Davies finished 11th overall in 35.14 and 1st V40 with Ben Costello one place behind in 12th clocking 35.27. V40 John Cookson came home in 113th spot (44.27) and V55 David Morris finished 725th (62.20).
In the 5k Race U15 Amy Davies came home in 17th place with a time of 22.21 and was also 1st Female whilst Lindsay Davies also took a prize in winning the V45 Category in 44th place overall clocking 24.08.
Northern Athletics T&F Masters Championships – September 17th
Tony Balko was competing in his final fixture of the 2017 season and finished off in good style with V50 wins in the Hammer; Shot; Discus and Javelin. Afterwards Tony spoke to the Club telling us that he had a “Decent Hammer 35.94m (1), good Shot 10.32m (1 – New PB), Decent Javelin 31.34m (1) and a below par Discus 31.77m. That really is it for the 2017 season. Time to get into the gym and get fitter, faster and stronger to hopefully come out in the 2018 season in better competitive shape”.
Chris Davies took on his last Track Race of the season in the 3000m among a field of twenty one veteran athletes. Chris was a comfortable winner and commented to the Club “I won today at the Northern Masters at Bury. My time was 9:35. I won easily, I was out in front on my own from the off. Having raced yesterday I can’t grumble with the time. It’s been a solid weekend of racing”.
U15 Harry Wilkin ran in the Ron Hill 79th Birthday 5k in Rochdale and did really well in finishing 8th overall out of a field of one hundred and twenty four and was 1st Junior on the night too, posting a time of 20.37. Harry’s dad – V50 Mark Wilkin – also ran the race coming in 39th with a time of 24.53. (Ron Hill Rochdale 5k Results)
(Harry Wilkin with running legend Ron Hill)
The English Schools Fell Championships held at Settle on September 24th saw a number of Blackburn Harriers competing. In the U13 Race of one hundred and three Boys and Girls – won by William Hall in 12.52 – Dexta Thompson finished fourth overall in a time of 13.18 after a real battle with the third place (13.15) and second place (13.11). In the same Race Eva Knowles placed 67th in 18.50 with Alexander Galiatsatos in 96th position (21.17). The U15 race saw one hundred and seventy five boys and girls competing and there was an excellent performance by Jackson McKay (competes for Blackburn Harriers on the Track) in finishing 5th overall with a time of 18.48. Also having good runs were Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 66th (23.00) and Hollie Cubbon placing 89th in a time of 24.04. Ninety five runners in the mixed race for U17’s which saw Harry Wilkin having a pretty solid run in 47th place (32.39).
U15 Boys win Gold and U13 Boys win Silver at Northern Road Relays – Ben Fish 3rd Fastest Leg in Senior Men’s Relays
Another good day for the Harriers in this years Northern Road Relays staged at Sportscity. Eight days ago at the North West Road Relays the Harriers won 8 Team Medals and added to that a Northern Gold Medal for the U15 Boys and a Silver Medal for the U13 Boys.
Paul Guinan who has taken over as Team Manager along with Ben Fish spoke to the Club after the days events had finished and told us “Taking over the position of Senior Mens Relays Team Manager didn’t really need that much thinking about, l have been at the Club for many many years !! I don’t really think l can fail, taking over at a great time with plenty of senior athletes available for selection and great foundations in place, a testament to all the hard work that has been done by my predecessors, so onwards and upwards we go together. I have really enjoyed the last two weekends, the first being the North West Relays followed by the Northerns, my first as Team Manager. l could not ask for any more from the athletes that took part, some great runs in both relays showing what we are about and thats performing the best you possibly can. That was evident throughout all teams, so a big thank you. The A team has qualified for the Nationals in early October after a fantastic performance in taking 8th place at the Northerns, which included a “stunning” run by Ben Fish, running the third fastest leg of the day in 19:36, some 14 years since the “great” Mike Green ran the third fastest leg at Birchwood, a team in which l was apart of ! Thanks Richard T. Just to confirm to you all that Ben is my assistant in this venture, he will be involved in team selection and any other business that needs addressing. An area that is really important to myself and Ben is that all Senior runners are valued and important to us, each athlete will play an important part in the direction we want to go as a team”.
The Senior Men’s Race was contested by one hundred and eleven Teams which saw the Harriers come in 11th and 77th and also running an incomplete third team with five runners. The ‘A’ Team secured automatic qualification for the National Road Relays on October 7th and are looking forward to that. Some great running by the lads with Joe Monk going off on 1st leg running a cracking time (20.01) to hand over to Chris Davies (21.52) in 13th. Chris Arthur took over on Leg 3 in 27th and pulled that back to 21st with another cracking time of 20.05. Tim Raynes then took back eight places, running a time of 20.19 to hand over to Shaun Livesey in 13th spot. As Shaun came in lying in 15th position in a time of 22.16 he handed over to Ben Fish on the final leg – and what a leg he ran, clocking 19.26, the third fastest leg of the day. Ben actually ran a faster time then every other athlete in the first five teams and only one athlete ran faster in the first ten teams!
Ben who told told the Club that he was very “happy with his form” also made the point that it was “Top running guys, Lincoln won by a long way, but looking at Joe, Chris and Tim’s times we’re not that far behind. I think we’re close to nailing top 5 next year and beyond”.
After the Race Tim told the Club “Great runs from all the lads, from Joe starting us off so well up to Ben’s phenomenal final leg. On a personally note, reasonably happy with my leg. Having faded last week, I set off a bit more conservatively and was able to finish strongly (although perhaps just left a little too much in the tank in the early part of the leg)”.
Joe Monk also commented “Great result for the team, came through very strongly. Over the moon with the run, but an unbelievable run by Ben on the last leg to pull us back to 11th”.
Chris Davies was happy about the day when speaking to the Club saying “I had a good start, middle two laps were steady and my last mile was the quickest, so happy with that”
The Harriers ‘B’ Team came home in 77th spot being led off by Ben Costello on Leg (1) in the fastest of the six legs clocking 22.04 with Danny Maynard 24.40 on Leg (2). John Cookson took on Leg (3) running 26.29 before Matt Nuttall on Leg (4) ran 22.44 followed by Karl Billington on Leg (5) with a time of 25.23 – a big improvement from the the North West Relays and John Chaplin on Leg (6) running 24.54.
The Men’s C Team was unfortunately just one runner short which had Danny Teare (29.00) on Leg (1), Marco Maggio (26.27) on Leg (2), Andrew Knowles (27.37) on Leg (3), Mark Lord (29.22) on Leg (40) and Mark Bleasdale (24.01) on leg (5).
Just one team in the Senior Women as a number of our athletes were unfortunately not available. Carmen Byrne led off on Leg (1) alongside eighty two other athletes coming home in 22nd spot with a time of 22.42 commenting “I knew it’d be a quick start so wanted to set off at a decent pace without getting too carried away. I started picking people off after the first 1.5k ish and finished strongly. Some tight turns on the course made me realise I have the turning circle of a van, so that’s something to work on”. Catherine Guinan who hasn’t run much lately took on Leg (2) coming home in 55th spot (29.40) before handing over to Lindsay Davies on Leg (3) coming in 54th in 28.01 – the final leg was run in 28.14 leaving the team in 56th position.
What a brilliant eight days for the Harriers U15 and U13 Boys squads. At Blackpool the U15 Boys Team won the North West and Lancashire Gold Medal whilst the U13 Boys won Silver in the North West and Gold in the Lancashire Championships.
Fast forward eight days to the Northern Road Relay Championships – a much stiffer task – and the squads came up trumps again with some fabulous performances. Leon Thomas led off the U15 Boys in a pretty fast leg coming home in 11th place in a time of 11.25 to set the stage for the team to go on. Leg (2) saw Sam Hodkinson run the third fastest time of the Leg (11.06) to pull back 8 places and leave Matt Ramsden on the final Leg (3) setting off some twenty seconds behind the then leaders – Durham. Matt ran the second fastest time of the Leg and the 5th fastest Leg of the entire day (10.50) to overtake the teams in front and turn a twenty second deficit into a seventeen second victory to secure Gold. Our ‘B’ Team came home in 29th place which saw Harry Wilkin on Leg (1) running 12.12, Ethan Barbarewicz on Leg (2) clocking 12.41 and Jamie Teare running a great Leg (3) picking up seven places and posting a very good time of 11.48. After the Race Sam summed up everyone’s feelings telling us that he was “very pleased with our performance and hopefully we can do Blackburn Harriers proud in the Nationals……and I’m buzzin”.
The U13 Boys squad also go from strength to strength. Like the U15 Boys, they are a squad of young athletes all pushing for a place in the ‘A’ Team which is great to see. Leg (1) saw Hayden Mercer – “I’m so proud of how the team ran and I love wearing my Blackburn Harriers vest” – finish in 21st place (12.24) handing over to Kyle Taylor-Pomfret on Leg (2) who had another amazing run following his exploits at the North West Road Relays the week before. Kyle took back nine places in running the 6th fastest time of the Leg (12.18) to hand over to Dexta Thompson on the final Leg (3) in 12th place. Another great run by Dexta saw him clock 11.40 – the third fastest time of the Leg and the third fastest of the entire day – and overtake ten of the eleven athletes in front of him to bring home the Silver Medal for the Team. The Club’s ‘B’ Team was led off by David Holman who ran a great first Leg to clock 12.19 in 15th place. Rory Teare took over on Leg (2) running 13.29 and handing over to Isaac Butler in 24th spot who ran 16.13. Our ‘C’ Team had Saul Sharp on Leg (1) running a time of 14.06 handing over in 51st place to Sebastian Burton (15.09) who pulled back four places and Codie Dewhurst taking three more places which meant the team finished 43rd, Codie clocking a time of 14.21.
Forty seven teams lined up in the U13 Girls Race with the Harriers coming home in 13th which was a pretty solid performance and just 23 seconds away from a top ten position. Leah Hoole ran the fastest time on Leg (1) in 13.17 to hand over to Kate Cookson on Leg (2) in 14th place. Kate clocked 13.58 passing on to Hollie Cubbon on Leg (3) who pulled back two places with a time of 13.30. Caroline Woodworth ran leg (1) in a time of 14.17 in an incomplete team.
Two teams out in the U15 Girls featuring forty one teams overall. Amy Davies, Hollie Oldham and Eleesha Charnley ran for the ‘A’ Team with Charlotte Collin, Alex Taylor and Rebecca Ramsden competing for the ‘B’ Team. Amy placed 23rd on Leg (1) with a time of 13.24 before handing over to Hollie on the second Leg who ran 15.03 (29th) before Eleesha (13.14) pulled back nine places on Leg (3) to bring the team home in 20th position. The ‘B’ Team saw Charlotte run 15.23 (39th) on Leg (1), Alex clocking 15.31 in 35th on the second Leg and Kirsten (15.20) pulling back one place on Leg (3) to finish 34th.
Harvey Griffin ran Leg (1) for the U17 men coming in 16th with a time of 11.56 out of the forty strong field. Leg (2) saw Bradley Meikleham pull back another two places to move the team up to 14th with a time of 12.14 who in turn, handed over to Joe Gebbie (12.35) on the final leg to keep the team in 14th place overall. The U17 Women’s team just missed out on a top ten place finishing 11th. Maddie Elliott ran 13.37 on the first Leg to hand over to Hannah Cookson in 10th place (14.20) who pulled back a place to come home 9th setting Freya Black off on the final leg. Freya ran 15.50 which meant the team finished 11th just one second in front of Preston to be first Lancashire Team home.
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