Blackburn Harriers & AC

Category Archives: Endurance

Comments Off on Harriers Girls at London Mini-Marathon Training Camp held at St Mary’s

Harriers Girls at London Mini-Marathon Training Camp held at St Mary’s

The Virgin London Marathon Camp has been running successfully at St Mary’s for a number of years. The programme it embraces enables young athletes to participate in group training sessions and Q&A sessions with international athletes, as well as receiving expert advice on topics such as nutrition, injury prevention and athlete lifestyle.

Two of the Club’s leading young Junior female athletes – Elizabeth Greenwood and Grace Handley were recently invited to attend the London Mini-Marathon Training Camp at St Mary’s College. The residential camp was attended by ninety athletes, between the ages of fourteen to seventeen, who were selected from their performances either at the London Mini Marathon, English Schools Cross-Country and National Cross-Country Championships.

The Club asked both girls if they would share with us their experiences and below are their thoughts.

Grace on the Barrier and Liz in the next line waiting to go

Grace on the Barrier and Liz in the next line waiting to go

Liz’s Memories

After arriving at St Mary’s College in Twickenham, slightly later than the other runners due to my holiday, I was excited to meet some of the other athletes. Everybody was really friendly and I made lots of new friends who I will see at upcoming races.

On my first morning I went on a steady 40mins run around Bushy Park followed by a drills session on the track. This was great as we were taught what we should be doing before a session in order to be fully warmed up and ready to run. After this was a psychology workshop and circuits. We had two special guests at night who were Ross Murray and Collis Birmingham who are both world class runners. These athletes told us about their careers and we were able to ask questions.

There were lots of options for meals however there was a seven point system where we weren’t allowed to go over seven points for our meal or else we had to pay. Each main course, for example pasta would be three points and any sides like vegetables and chips would be an extra point. Desserts were two points and drinks were one point. This was hard to stick to for some of us as we had big appetites, especially after lots of running.

On my second day we woke up at 7:30 in time for breakfast ready for a track session at 10:00. We warmed up using the drills we had learnt the previous day. The session was tough but really enjoyable and the coaches were very encouraging. Mick Woods ran the session and Steph Twell helped out along with others. After lunch was an anti-doping talk followed by running injury audit and a strength and conditioning class. We were told how to avoid common injuries in athletes our age which was very useful. In the evening we all watched the Diamond League from Stockholm.

Friday morning was another steady 40mins run followed by a steeplechase workshop. This was great fun especially when everybody jumped in the water at the end to cool off. Next was a nutrition workshop. We were split into small groups to make some recipes chosen by the nutritionist that were especially good for runners. This was really good however my group made fruit nuggets which didn’t look appetising at all and didn’t taste too good either. Some of the food other groups cooked was quite nice though as we were able to try them all at the end. At night we had a quiz in which all of the girls did terrible. Also we had a visit from Andrew Osagie who reached the Olympic 800m final and was 5th in the world champs a few weeks ago in Moscow.

On the last day we had a tempo session in Bushy Park led by Mick Woods before packing up and getting ready to go home. We had lunch, said goodbye to everyone and then got ready to make the four hour journey back home. Overall I really enjoyed the camp and think that I learnt a lot from it and gained more confidence. I hope that I will get the chance to go again in the future and meet some of the people again. It was very tiring but great fun!

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Grace’s memories

I was selected to attend the London marathon camp on 20th of August to the 25th-joining 89 other athletes. I was picked along with 14 other junior girls from the wide range of 100s from our age group. The camp lasted five long,hard,tiring days to leaving my body close to exhaustion when I returned home.

Day 1:
Once the junior girls and I got to know each other we all felt like we had known each other for years as we got on so well. Being around the likes of athletes like Lucy Jones-national champion-was a bit daunting at first,however it was a good thing to be around athletes like Lucy as I learned so much of her and what her training life style was like compared to mine. The first training session was that afternoon and by the time we had warmed up in the 26 degree heat I was already hot and tired, although with the adrenalin still pumping through me i started and finished the session well, keeping up with top athletes who I never thought I could keep up with.

Day 2:
With a 40 minute run at 9am a lie in was not a question on the first morning-as I got up at 7:15am to eat before 8am. Once the run was over there was no chance of a cold shower as we were straight onto the track learning new hurdle exercises and drills for two and a half hours! When I was finally able to shower and have lunch there was no time for rest as we were straight into more learning with a physiology and psychology talk-taking up 6 pages of notes to take home! As soon as we were finished we rushed for a drink and then to the sports hall for a circuit class which lasted a long hard hour. After the session it was straight to a cold shower and a well deserved piece of cake with dinner!

Day 3:
With a training session at 10am on the track we were up early once again to have breakfast before we trained. With the rain gently falling from the sky we started out the session already soaking wet, however with it being 23 degrees we never felt the cold. Even though track isn’t my favourite terrain I performed  well-already showing my progression from the training the day before. Once dry and fed we all walked to our classes with my group attending two more talks one about anti-doping and one about injury-both being very interesting and had sections I can relate to my athletic life-style. Once the notes making was over and my brain was fit to burst with all this new information 29 other athletes and I attended a running robustness class, which helped enlighten us about the many ways to prevent injury, that take up only 10minutes of our day!

Day 4:
With an intention to run at 9am everyone was up early again ready for another exciting day however with the group so big the younger groups did a later session at 10am giving us an hour after breakfast to have a power nap in our rooms before we went out for our run. 10 minutes after our run we were straight into a steeplechase workshop-as we learnt to hurdle and jump onto the steeplechase and into the water. I really enjoyed this part of the camp as I’ve always wanted to try steeplechase but I’ve been to scared because of my small height. Once we were finished we showered, had lunch and attended:a lifestyle talk by Jessica Judd’s coach,a training method/major championship talk and a nutrition cooking class! With all this packed into one afternoon we were all shattered by 10 and all returned to bed.

Day 5:
With the end of the camp that afternoon everyone was up early to pack before the last training session at 10am. The rain was pouring down all night, leaving the ground soaking wet so once we arrived at Bushy Park the terrain was very muddy. However being one not to complain at mud I pushed myself to the absolute max through the tempo session-getting everything I could out of it. Running back to the camp from the park my two other friends and I jogged at the back in pain from pushing ourselves so much! After a gruelling 20minutes of running we made it back to shower and got ready to leave.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of meeting 3 famous Olympic athletes, shattering training sessions and educational talks and I hope I can keep up my standards to be selected again next year.


Comments Off on Coast to Coast – Capenhurst – Wagon & Horses – Horwich Jubliee Race 4 – Pendleton – Golf Ball – Burnsall……read on!

Coast to Coast – Capenhurst – Wagon & Horses – Horwich Jubliee Race 4 – Pendleton – Golf Ball – Burnsall……read on!

You know the old saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. Well this certainly applies to Helen Leigh, one of our Senior Woman athletes. She could have found a nice little local race or even a local tri-athlon, but instead she thought she might have a go at something a little different – the Four Day Coast to Coast Event!!

Full Results HERE

Spot Helen on the Video HERE

Here is Helen’s ‘take’ on the Event ” Not one to do things by halves I went in at the deep end for my first attempt at adventure racing, entering the four day Coast to Coast race ( from Whitehaven to Robin Hoods Bay over four days of continuous stage racing around 8 hours a day.

I started off incredibly well, and was in 2nd place to Sally Ozane from Team Mountain Hardware, smashing the kayak sections in choppy sea and lakes and was still strong on Thirlmere and Ullswater on day two.. maybe I’ve missed my calling here! Equally had great runs over Robinson and Helvellyn. Unfortunately near the end of day two I was tanking it down a road about 35mph downhill and my map blew off my board, opened up and covered my face. I went flying, covered in road rash on face, legs, arms and mashed my hand. Suspected fracture and also got infected immediately. Very fat sore hand.

But in true Helen style I put A&E on hold and battled on to finish the ride and the last two days. I dropped to 6th because the mountain biking sections were huge and it was excruciating. but earned some hard as nails points from the adventure racing community! Glad to finish, the last two days were definitely just run on willpower and a battered body. I will be returning for the next one in 2015 and I WILL be on that podium “



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Capenhurst 5K

Chris Barnes, under the watchful eye of his Coach George Woodburn, who, according to Chris suggested to him that “experimenting by racing as often as possible up to the weekend of Capenhurst with the more races the better……..seemed to work as in the final weeks leading up to Capenhurst the strength was starting to show“. The upshot is that Chris has now reduced his 5k PB by 14 secs over the course of the year to date with a 16.41 clocking.

Full Results HERE



Wagon & Horses Half-Marathon

Chris Davies has also been in the PB business again and the latest gained in the Wagon & Horses Half-Marathon on Sunday 25th August.

Full Results HERE

Chris went into the race with a PB of 81.00 for the Half and was looking to improve as he has done all year and at all distances; and he didn’t let himself down in this Race either, finishing in 7th place and cutting 35 secs off for a new PB of 80.25 and not far short of breaking the 80 minute barrier.

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Horwich Jubilee 5 Mile Road Race 4

In the last Race of the Series, won by Anthony Valentine in 26.20, there were some excellent runs by the Harriers.

Full Results HERE

Packing close to the front of the Race, Brian Fogarty finished 6th (28.41) just edging out Jack Hindle 7th (28.43), quickly followed home by Paul Guinan – returning after a long bout of injuries – in 8th (28.54). Jack was the first U17 in the Race and Paul won the V40 Category. These three were followed home by Allan Hartley in 39th (33.05); Mick Nolan (V50) in 79th (37.02) and V60 George Woodburn 86th (38.34) – The Team was placed 2nd overall (57 points), consisting of Brian, Jack, Paul and Allan and not that far behind winning Team Horwich (45 points).

When all the 4 Races Results were totted up, Brian Fogarty finished 3rd overall in the Men’s Individual Standings; Allan Hartley placed 20th and Mick Nolan 32nd.

Series Results HERE

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Pendleton Fell Race

Nearly a 100 runners turned up to run the Annual Pendleton Fell Race including a number of Harriers. In the Race won by Josh Tighe in 36.30, Chris Barnes, fresh from his PB at the Capenhurst 5k came 10th (42.17) with just 10 seconds separating 8th to 12th place. Next Harrier home was Gary Pearse in 21st (44.05) followed by Beckie Taylor 48th (48.22) and 3rd Woman home and mum Jackie Taylor 72nd (52.34) and 3rd Woman V40.

Full Results HERE


Golf Ball Fell Race

V60 Stuart Furness is still going strong racing at the recently held Golf Ball Fell Race on August 21st. He finished in 112th place (57.29) after a bit of a battle with V65 Graham Breeze from Wharfedale who finished one place in front in 57.26

Full Results HERE


Burnsall 10 Mile Road Race

Allan Hartley tackled the hilly Burnsall 10 Mile Road Race on Bank Holiday Weekend finishing 43rd (70.56) out of 122 finishers.

Full Results HERE




Comments Off on Darwen Gala Race and Results Round Up

Darwen Gala Race and Results Round Up

On a wet day and not always in the best of conditions, the annual Darwen Gala Race, organised by Darwen Dashers, attracted 63 hardy runners who didn’t let the weather put them off.

Full Results HERE

First Harrier home was Jack Hindle in 6th place (26.17) which was a minute and a half quicker than he ran the Race in 2012. Jack was also the first Junior Male. Next Harrier home was Chris Davies 9th (27.17) followed by Helen Leigh first Senior Woman in 13th (28.48) and Grace Handley 2nd Junior Woman in 19th (29.24).

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in 27th place (30.59) was Allan Hartley who took 42 seconds off the time he ran the Race in 2012. Ben Armstrong one of the Club’s Sportshall Coaches placed 36th (33.43) and Jackie Taylor (44th) ran 35.06.


Stuart Furness was amongst the V60’s competing on the day and came in 49th (37.35).



No Rest For The Wicked Isle Of Man Series

This series of Races took place between August 11th – 16th and consisted of a Marathon and Half-Marathon on Sunday; Hill Run on Monday; Northern 10k on Tuesday; Colden Killer Mile on Wednesday, the Foxdale 6 on Thursday and rounded off on Friday with the Peel Heritage Trail Race.

Our own intrepid Chris Barnes happened to be in the locality during this week and decided to do races on the days he was there. On Tuesday he tackled the Colden Killer Mile ( Results HERE ) and had a cracking run to finish in 3rd place just 16 seconds behind top class Fell Runner Lloyd Taggart. Encouraged by his success on Wednesday he took to the Start Line on Thursday for the hilly Anna Maria Cutillo Foxdale 6 and did even better, finishing 2nd in 34.40, just ten seconds behind the winner, Stephen Garrett from Manx Harriers ( Results HERE )

Could this be a club trip in 2014?


Birchwood 10k

764 Runners lined up at the ever popular Brichwood 10k last week which was won by Tarus Ely of Salford in 31.02. Stephen Chew took 6th place (32.49) in the race and cut one minute and 45 seconds off his PB set in 2012. V35 Shaun Livesey took 26th position in 36.02. V60 Graham Pomfret, back racing after some horrific injury problems over the last couple of years had a fine run in 179th (44.09) and took the 3rd V60 place overall. Graham’s wife Mary, also a V60, finished 757th in 76.31.

Full Results HERE





Comments Off on Harriers Success at the Northern 5k Road Championships

Harriers Success at the Northern 5k Road Championships

Another cracking day for the Harriers at the 5k Sale Sizzler on August 15th, a Race which also included the Northern 5k Road Championships within it.

Full Results HERE

With thanks to Steve Bateson at for the photos.

Northern Athletics Report HERE

Among the 460 runners who turned up at the Race were fifteen Harriers led home by Ben Fish who finished 2nd overall (14.39) winning the Individual Gold Medal which was a great performance. The night before, Ben had raced at the Saddleworth 6 and won that in 29.58, showing he is in a rich vein of form as he approaches the Berlin Marathon.

Saddleworth Results HERE

The Men’s Team Gold Medal was also won by the Harriers with Ben Fish in 2nd, Karl Billington 16th (15.57) and Rob Warner 17th (16.00) ahead of Sale in Silver Medal position and Salford in Bronze Medal place. This Gold Medal was really well earned with Karl Billington finishing the Race with a pulled chest muscle hampering his breathing.

Speaking after the Race Ben told us that “I knew it would be a tough race with the quality of runners here, but I’ve been running well in training and won the Saddleworth 6 the day before. I didn’t run with a watch and just flogged it as hard as I could. Debele got away with a rapid turn of pace before 4km and I managed to get James Walsh on the line by half a second. Very happy with 14:39. A win for the Harriers team is a briliant result and another good result for the women with Bronze”.

Rob Warner chopped 14 seconds off his 5k PB said that he was “quite happy with it but felt I blew up a bit on the last km, wanted to go under 16 too………. happy with the time in less than ideal conditions and happy to come away with the team gold medal!’

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In another Medal winning performance our Woman athletes took the Team Bronze with Beckie Taylor 120th (19.11) and 2nd U20 Woman; Becky Shorrock 151st (19.51 and Sam McCreedie 186th (20.31) so congratulations to them.

There were some good runs from other Harriers on the night too. John Chaplin finished 2nd V55 and 84th overall (18.17) just one second away from the V55 winner Andrew Yates from Sale – must have been a battle that one. Ella Gregory was the 2nd U17 Woman finishing in 242nd place (21.49). Tom Blaney took 47th place (17.13); Danny Maynard 103rd (18.45) and U17 Joe Monk was 112th (18.58).


Allan Hartley took 148th place (19.44) which took a whopping big 28 seconds of his existing PB; Shelley Tattersall was 199th (20.57); Kaylie Panaro took 18 seconds off her PB (23.23) in 323rd place and David Billington finished in 378th (25.22).

Candice Heys (2nd Claim for Blackburn on the Track) and running for Clayton Harriers was placed 101st (18.41).


Comments Off on World Mountain Running Trials at Keswick August 11th

World Mountain Running Trials at Keswick August 11th

This was a pretty tough race going by the comments of the Harriers who contested the event and hoping to secure a GB Vest for the World Championships with the Up and Down Race being held on September 8th  and the Up Hill only Race on September 29th in Krynica-Zdroj, Poland.

Senior Men’ & U23 Men’s Results HERE

Senior Women’s & U23 Women’s Results HERE

Gary Priestley (2nd Claim for Blackburn on the Track) and running at the Trials for Salford Harriers finished in 8th place (62.04) and said after the Race that  “I have mixed emotions about my performance, gutted that I missed a place on the GB team by 2 places but also pleased with another fairly consistent run. The course was tough with a long climbs and long descents on each lap making the 9 mile+ race a real challenge”.

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Karl Billington 20th (71.27) and 7th in the U23 Age Category had no doubts as to the severity of the Race for him saying “the race was the toughest and furthest I have ever done, it was even harder then the 10000metre Track Race I did at the European Junior Championships in Talinin (July 2011) which was run in thirty five degrees of heat”.


Beckie Taylor finished 12th (54.17) in the Senior Women’s Race overall and 5th in the U23 Age Category was impressed with “the good course, being good underfoot and run in a friendly atmosphere, but then said it was one of the hardest Races she had ever competed in”.




Comments Off on Road & Fell Results Round Up

Road & Fell Results Round Up

John Orrell, whose daughter can throw the Hammer a bit, decided to head up to the hills during this great summer we have been having and on July 27th turned up at the Blisco Bash. John was in good mood at the end of the race saying “This was an English and British Fell Championship counter. A short 5 mile, 2133ft of ascent straight up and down Pike O Blisco in the Langdales. It was blistering hot that day, and I was glad to be revived at the end by Rebecca. Headline reads,
‘Champion Hammer thrower cools off Dad after blitzing Blisco’. Well perhaps not that fast finishing 189th in 64.31″.


Full Results HERE

On the 10th August, John turned his attention to the Turner Landscape Fell Race which was another  English Championship counter. This is how John described the Race “This was a 10.6 mile race with 2986ft of ascent. The race visited 4 major Lakeland tops, Grey Friar 2536ft, Swirl How 2630ft, Old Man of Coniston 2633ft and Dow Crag 2554ft. A great race this finishing 201st in 2.07.08. Would have been quicker had I not rubbed all the skin off my ankle half way round. Funny when I took my blood soaked sock off my skin was still attached to the inside of it. Leave nothing on the fells except studmarks! Great to meet the legand that is Joss Naylor at the end”.


Full Results HERE


In good conditions for Road racing, three Harriers set foot on the start line at the Welcome Tavern 10k on 11th August. Tom Blaney had a great run cutting nearly 4 minutes off his previous best set in 2012 and came home in 4th place (36.43). Chris Davies also set a PB knocking 24 seconds off his previous best to finish 6th (37.15). John Cookson made it a trio of Harriers for the day with a solid run of 44.40 (42nd) in the field of 126 finishers.

Full Results HERE

Tom along with Joe Monk also raced in the Welcome Tavern 5k – 30th July – with Tom finishing 5th (17.26) and Joe 9th (18/06).

Full Results HERE


The 7th August saw the latest in the Astley Park Series where a number of Harriers athletes turn up to Race. The 4.4 mile Trail Race had V40 Paul Guinan as the leading Harrier in 18th (25.05) and just behind him a big battle between the Chris’s with Chris Barnes (21st) 25.11 edging out Chris Davies (23rd) 25.14. Beckie Taylor (73rd) 27.56 won the U20 Woman’s Race and there was another good run from Sarah Ridehalgh (2nd Claim for Blackburn on the Track) who came in 54th (27.05) and 2 Woman overall.

Eight other Harriers competed on the night in the 273 strong field. Allan Hartley was 88th (28.44); Mark Almond 97th (29.09); Samantha McCreedie 138th (30.39) and Sam also took 3rd Woman athlete’s prize in the overall series; Mick Nolan 155th (31.22); Ella Gregory 186th (32.59); George Woodburn 187th (33.05); Jackie Taylor 197th (34.04); Kaylie Panaro 210th (34.35) and Catherine Guinan 212th (34.50).

Full Race 4 Results HERE

Full Series Results HERE

Amy Davies, daughter of Chris and just 9yrs old ran in the Junior race finishing 20th in 6.13. In the Series, Amy was placed 7th out 0f 21 which was a really good effort.

Full Race 4 Results HERE

Full Series Results HERE


In another of the local 5k Races, this time the Sale Sizzler – August 1st – with 400 runners taking part, Chris Barnes took 35th place in a time of 17.24. Matt Lalor (2nd Claim for Blackburn on the Track) finished in 13th place (15.58).

Full Results HERE


Helen Leigh is a prodigous racer and is either on the Roads, Fells, Aquathons or Triathlons. One of her latest outings saw here at the final race in the Todmorden Park 5k series on August 7th.

Full Results HERE

Helen finished 37th and 2nd Woman in 19.43. She had also competed in all four races finishing 15th overall and pipped by just 11 seconds for the overall winning woman athlete in the series which was Michelle Hushion of Athletic Aurora.

Not forgetting the Fells and lining up with 118 other runners at the Worsthorne Moor Fell Race – August 4th – she finished in 28th place (48.08) and 3rd placed woman behind 2nd placed Sarah Tipler from Wharfedale Harriers and the winner Amy Green from Keighley & Craven AC.

Full Results HERE