Category Archives: Endurance
Top half finish for the Harriers at National 12 Stage Road Relays – PB’s for Nicky and Win for Sam at Liverpool – Ellen debuts at Sheffield
What a change in the weather! Sunshine and warmth was the order of the day as sixty three Teams battled it out at the National 12 Stage Road Relays in Sutton Park on Saturday April 14th. After finishing 8th in the Northern 12 Stage at Birkenhead, the Harriers were hoping to do well at the Nationals. Even though, like other teams, we lost some athletes from the Northern Team, the athletes ran solidly all day and throughout the team, to take 29th spot overall. Lots of controversy though over the mass start on the final Leg with tannoy announcements not being heard by a number of athletes on one side of the park and also criticism of all but the first four teams being told that they all had to go on the mass start at 4.00pm.
(Final Leg Mass Start)
The 12 Stages consisting of six long (5.8k) and six short legs (3.1k) saw Ben Fish (Leg 5) overcoming his recent illness to post the fastest Long Leg of the day for the Club with a time of 26.53 followed by Tim Raynes – recent winner of the Ackworth Half-Marathon in 70mins – on Leg (1) with 27.04, Rob Warner – who ran 8.35 for 3000m ten days ago at Watford – on Leg (3) in 27.21, Tom Blaney on Leg (9) with 30.40, Thomas Marchant (30.59) on Leg 7 and Josh Holgate on Leg (11) clocking 31.00. Great debut in the blue and white vest for Tom Marchant in his first competitive race for the Club and for Josh Holgate running only his second Relay for the Harriers.
Ben Costello ran the fastest short Leg (10) for the team posting a time of 17.11, just in front of Chris Davies on Leg (2) with 17.17, Joe Howe on Leg (4) in 17.40, Karl Billington on the mass start final Leg with 17.49 and Matt Nuttall (Leg 8) with a time of 17.50, a remarkable time considering he ran the whole thing in pain and Team Manager Paul Guinan (18.48) on Leg (6).
Amy Davies ran in the U15 Girls 5k Championships and had a pretty solid run placing 12th in the 20 strong field in a time of 21.17 the race being won by Katie Goodge from Tonbridge (19.05) comfortably from Megan Dingle (Vale Royal) in 19.36.
More photo’s courtesy of Richard Marchant
From the Road to Track & Field »»»»»»»
Sam Gaskell opened his competitive season in very good form as he won the U17 Men’s Hammer at the Liverpool Jumps & Throws Fixture on Saturday April 14th.
Six U17 Men competed in the Hammer alongside U15Boys, U20 and Sen Men. The athletes in the U17 competition came from Preston, Leigh, Kidderminster, Cannock and Blackburn with Blackburn Harrier’s Sam Gaskell coming out on top with a throw of 54.92m. U15 Girl Nicky Saunders was also competing at her second event in the last week which saw her open up on the day with a 2nd placed throw of 24.67m and just shy of her personal best of 25.15. In the Hammer Nicky placed 3rd but set a new personal best with her throw of 21.89, nearly a metre better than previously and then went on to finish 2nd in the Javelin with another new PB – by just one cm – as she set her best throw of the event with 24.82m.
Ellen Sagar-Hesketh was making her debut for the Club this weekend as she ran the 800m Race at the Sheffield Festival of Athletics on Saturday April 14th – her opening race of the season – clocking a time of 2.27.94. After the Race, Ellen spoke to the Club telling us “Very happy to be out racing as a Blackburn Harrier for the first time, a good benchmark to work from and hopefully due for a PB soon in the 800m!”
Holly finishes 4th in Commonwealth Pole Vault Final – Chris Wins Keswick Round The Houses – Victoria Wins Rivington 10 – Pauline Wins Thirsk 10 – Wigan Open – Manchester Marathon – West Lancs Sprint Tri
Blackburn Harrier Holly Bradshaw finished 4th in the Final of the Pole Vault at the Commonwealth Games being held on the Gold Coast in Australia. Fourteen athletes contested the Final won by Alysha Newman of Canada with a clearance of 4.75m with Eliza McCartney in second place from New Zealand (4.70m) and Nina Kennedy from Australia in 3rd (4.60m) the same height cleared by Holly who was placed 4th. Coming against the background of a lot of injuries Holly can be proud of her performance here. Sophie Hitchon – Olympic Bronze Medalist from Rio 2016 – competed in the Women’s Hammer Final and although things didn’t go to plan for her as she gets to grip with a new and changing technique, nevertheless, she beleives that her hard work and application of these changes will reap big rewards in the longer run. Both Women were competing on the World stage, in Finals, which is where they both belong. All credit to them for continually competing and maintaining world level standards. Blackburn Harriers are so immensely proud of their achievements.
Keswick Round The Houses – Tuesday April 11th
Two hundred and ninety nine runners completed this Race held in the picturesque town of Keswick in the Lake District with Blackburn Harrier – Chris Arthur – coming home to win the Race in a time of 27.38, some two and half minutes in front of the second placed athlete – Paul Graves (30.12).
Chris was very enthusiastic about the Race telling the Club “It’s an absolutely brilliant old school race; a random distance, no road closures, no medals or goody bags – just a good blast around the town of Keswick with a huge number of supporters all along the course to shout encouragement. It’s an undulating route so not the fastest but I can’t recommend it enough for the atmosphere”.
Rivington 10 Mile Trail Challenge – Sunday April 8th
Over three hundred finishers in this Rivington 10 Mile Trail Race won by Tom Carson in a time of 65.41 – and what a run by Blackburn Harrier Victoria Mousley as she won the Women’s Race, coming home in 13th place overall – posting a time of 76.23.
Victoria spoke to the Club afterwards, commenting “I wanted to enjoy this race as I haven’t felt the love for racing and haven’t actually done a race for a good few months with chest infections again. The course was brilliant, trail, fell, hills, a real mixture. I felt good today and ran hard and got a great result”.
Thirsk 10 Mile Road race – Sunday April 8th
Nearly seven hundred runners finished this race won comfortably by Dominic Shaw in 50.30, nearly four minutes in front of the second placed runner – Carl Jones (54.13) and 3rd placed Craig Shearer in 54.15.
Pauline Powell had a great race coming home to win in 35th position overall and clocking a time of 62.23.After the Race, Pauline told that Club that she“Really enjoyed it although wasn’t too keen on the course! Was pleased with how i ran to say its only my third race back!”
Wigan Open Meeting – Sunday April 8th
U15 Myah Booth is looking to get the English Schools qualifying standard for the 75m Hurdles this year and got her attempts off to a good start at the weekend. On Saturday at the Mid Lancs she won her Race in a time of 12.0sec (Hand timed). The day after she went to Wigan and ran in an electronically timed race where she placed 2nd in a time of 11.7 – just one tenth of a second outside the qualifying standard. Also competing at Wigan was U15 Nicky Saunders in the Javelin finishing 8th with a throw of 21.05m.
Manchester Marathon – Sunday April 8th
The popularity of Marathons has never been greater it seems as over nine thousand runners turned out at the Manchester Marathon this year – won by International – Shadrack Tanui in 2hr 21.19 some four minutes clear of the second placed athlete – Ben Johnson from Southport Waterloo (2h 25.04)
Three Blackburn Harriers ran on the day with the first one home – V50 Jonathan Bridge whose personal best for the distance is 2hr 51.16 set in 2009. Manchester was his first Marathon since 2015 when he clocked 3hr 17.49 at Chester. At the weekend and three years later, Jonathan ran faster as he placed 997th in a time of 3hr 14.04. V45 Carol Reilly set her PB in London in 2015 posting 3hr 38.49 and here she was, three years later running a time of 3hr 48.27 which is really solid running from her. Last but by no means least came Paulo Sousa who has a 3hr 18 time to his name for the Marathon. For Manchester, he had what might be called, an unusual warm up event for his race. THE DAY BEFORE MANCHESTER Paulo drove to Kent to do the Spartan Event which included the type of events seen in the photos here:
before driving all the way back from Kent the same day to run the Marathon the day after!! Going through half way in 1hr 34.46 Paulo suffered in the back half and even more so after becoming sick consuming a Gel to try and keep some energy going. In the end Paulo clocked 3hr 47.08, which given the circumstances of the twenty four hours leading up to it, is quite good.
Paul Wilkinson was out in a Triathlon once again – this time in the West Lancs Tri held on Sunday April 8th in Ormskirk. This Triathlon consists of a 400m swim in the pool followed by an 18.5k bike ride and a 5k run taking in the trails around campus before finishing on the running track.
Four hundred and thirty nine finishers in this event which saw Paul come home in 117th spot in a combined Swim, Run, Bike time of 1hr 13.44.
Gold, Silver and Bronze for Harriers at Lancashire Fell Championships – Lots of PB’s and Wins for Harriers at Mid Lancs – PB for Jack at Podium 5k – Braddy Down Under
Good weather and good results for the Harriers at this years Lancashire Fell Championships held at Pendle on Saturday. Matthew Smith won the U11 Race – featuring forty four runners – in his first ever fell race. His mother watched the race and commented that he “was lying in 4th or 5th position by the turn (at the highest point in the race), but then flew down through the gates, past the sheep and through the mud and stream, to win by 4 seconds”. Great start for the young athlete to come away with a Gold Medal. His sister Charlotte had a good run too in the U9 race placing 16th out of thirty runners. In the U13’s Race with forty runners – Libby Neal came home in 36th spot (21.38) in her first ever run at Pendle and only her second ever fell race. Thirty nine runners contested the U15 Race which saw Umair Rafiq come home in 22nd spot in a time of 24.53. The second Championship Medal of the day was won by Eleesha Charnley in the U17 Race as she came home in 3rd place with a strong run to take a Bronze Medal (28.38).
The Senior Race featured one hundred and seventy seven athletes which saw Rob Hope take the win and the Gold Medal in a time of 31.24 – just 11 seconds in front of Blackburn Harrier Steven Snape who took the Silver Medal in 2nd spot clocking 32.33 with Callum Davidson in 3rd place (32.44).
Steven was very happy with his run for the Silver and the fact that he had been selected to run for Lancashire at the Inter-Counties Fell Championships as he told the Club “Great race to hold the Lancashire team selection. The fast start on road quickly turns off onto the fells with steep climb up Big End always in the back of your mind to come. 4 of us quickly broke away then it was me and Rob. He was too strong on the smaller climb but I’m very happy with my progress so far in the season with more to come and can’t wait to represent Lancashire in the inter counties come May”.
(L-R Steven Snape – Rob Hope – Callum Davidson – Photo courtesy of www.woodentops.org.uk)
Mid Lancs T & F League – Witton Park Saturday April 7th
It turned out not to be as bad as feared but nevertheless it was a wet and grey day that greeted the athletes gathered for the first fixture of the season which saw a great turnout by Blackburn Harriers with over seventy athletes from the Club competing and setting thirty two new personal bests.
The Club’s Sprint Squad had a number of athletes out in the different age groups from U13’s through to Seniors. The Squad’s Coach – Ramzi Dabbar – was particularly pleased and commented at the end of the day “It was a day full of personal bests and I couldn’t be prouder of all of my athletes at the club. They all performed outstanding on the day! It just goes to show what hard work and resilience can do, Well done everyone”.
Harrison Allcock placed 3rd in Heat (1) of the U13 Boys 100m with 14.60 and Aidan Downes clocked 15.50 in Heat 2 as these 11yr olds sampled their first outdoor fixtures after several years in Sportshall – Aidan went on to record a run of 31.80 in the 200m (4th). There was a big new PB for George Whittaker in U15 Boys 200m (27.00) in 3rd place with Zachary Walmsley in 5th (29.90). There were two wins in the U15 Boys 100m with Ethan Downes clocking 12.30 in Heat (1) – a new PB by three tenths – and Kyle Mashiter 12.20 in Heat (2) – equalling his personal best. Ben Whittaker placed 3rd in the U17 Men’s 200m with 25.20 after posting 12.40 in the 100m (3rd) with Jonathan Gough 4th in the same Heat in a time of 12.40 – this was just a tenth outside his personal best and after missing a huge amount of training because of injury, this was a very good result. In the Senior Men’s 200m John iLunga placed 3rd in Heat (2) with 27.30 after recording a new PB in the 100m (12.80) in 4th with Daniel Hamilton also setting a new PB in the same Heat (12.80).
Some very good performances in the Women’s Sprints too. In the Senior Women’s 100m there was a new PB and win for Roxanne Oliver (12.90), a new PB and 3rd for Charlie Coy (13.50) with Chloe Bleeks in 4th in a time of 13.80. The new PB’s and wins kept coming when Teigan Fawcett won the Senior Women’s 200m in 29.10 Heat (1) and Charlie Coy won heat (2) also in a new PB time of 27.50. Bailey Madden won the U17 Women’s 100m Heat (1) in 13.00 with Emily Warren in 2nd place (13.10) – great battle between them. Megan Tippett took 2nd place in Heat (2) with a time of 13.80, also a new PB whilst yet another new PB was set by Aysha Karolia in Heat (3) as she placed 2nd in 14.00 – an improvement of three tenths. It was one/two again in the U17 Women’s 200m with Bailey Madden securing her second win of the day in a new PB time of 26.50 with Emily Warren in 2nd (27.20). Another new PB by three tenths saw Millie Coy win Heat (2) of the U17 Women’s 200m as she clocked 27.20. Aysha Karolia topped off her day with a win in the U17 Women’s 300m running a time of 46.60 – her first time ever over the distance. Amy Wiggans equalled her personal best (14.1) placing 4th in the U15 girls 100m whilst Leah Hoole ran her first ever 200m to record a time of 30.20. Four Heats of the 100m in the U13 Girls which saw Kate Cookson set a new PB by over half a second placing 3rd (14.50) in Heat (1) with Isabelle Hartley in 6th (15.90) and also a new PB. A very good debut for Niamh Gater over the 100m as she placed 2nd in Heat (4) in 15.70 with Keira Haxton finishing 2nd in the U13 Girls 200m (33.50) and Kady Thompson 4th in her first effort over the distance in 36.70.
In the Throws events – Anthony Kent threw 9.65m in the Senior Men’s Shot Putt for 3rd place and then went on to win the Senior Men’s Discus achieving a distance of 32.09m with Tony Balko in 2nd spot (30.56m) and Lucas Davies in 6th with 20.95m. It was a second win of the day for Anthony as he won the Javelin with 31.79m – Lucas Davies finishing 2nd with 27.64m. Tony Balko threw solidly in the Hammer to post a distance of 34.51m (2nd). Cameron Harris carried on where he left off last season as he stepped up to the new weight in the U17 Men’s Javelin – winning with a throw of 44.35m. U15 Matthew Heywood set a new PB in the Shot Putt with 8.77m (3rd) before placing 4th in the Discus (21.88m) with George Whittaker in 5th, setting a new PB of 19.69m. George cracked on from there and set yet another new PB in Javelin by nearly two metres as he placed 3rd (26.60m). It was a one / two in the U15 Boys Hammer as Matthew Heywood won the event with a distance of 31.01m whilst Kyle Taylor-Pomfret set a new PB in 2nd place (24.68m). In the U13 Boys Throws Harrison Allock 5th (5.35m) and Codie Dewhurst 6th (4.24m) had a go at the Shot Putt. Moving up in weights didn’t seem to be much of a problem for Millie Coy as she came in 3rd in the U17 Women’s Javelin (32.91m) whilst Abigail Brown finished 2nd in the U17 Women’s Hammer with a huge new PB of 33.38m. Myah Booth kicked off the U15 Girls Throws as she won the Shot Putt with 9.86m with Izzy Thompson in 8th spot (7.21m). Nicky Saunders set a new PB in the U15 Girls Discus as she placed 2nd with a throw of 26.07m as Izzy Thompson placed 3rd with a distance of 21.24m. Nicky was just cms shy of a new personal best in the Javelin as she finished 2nd (24.71m) and just missed a new personal best in the Hammer by 2 cms as she came 4th with 21.07m.
Some very good results in the events from 400m upwards. U17 Solomon Brown just showed what solid Winter training can do for you as he smashed his 400m time to set a new PB by nearly four seconds in winning the 400m in 55.90. In the Senior Men’s 800m Joe Gebbie just blew his personal best time away by nearly ten seconds as he came home in 3rd place with a new PB time of 2.05.70 with Aqua Damour in 4th place (2.06.90) and Marco Maggio in 6th posting 2.13.80. Bradley Meikleham chopped over six seconds of his time to set a massive new PB of 2.06.30 as he finished 2nd in the U17 Boys 800m with Sam Hodkinson also running a new PB time by three seconds of 2.08.90 in 3rd spot with Leon Thomas in 4th (2.10.10) and Jamie Teare 8th (2.22.70) which was a good run after a period out with injury. Matt Ramsden was tenths outside his personal best in the U17 Men’s 1500m as he ran solo from the end of the first lap to win the Race in 4.27.10. U17 Harry Wilkin also got amongst the new PB’s as he ran 4.54.50 knocking over three seconds off his previous best time.
In the U15 Boys 800m Kyle Taylor-Pomfret set a new PB time of 2.29.20, some three seconds faster than he has run previously to place 5th with Zachary Walmsley in 7th (2.34.20) – his first time over the distance. David Holman place 6th in the 13 strong U15 Boys 1500m race in a time of 5.15.50. There was a new PB for Saul Sharp in the U13 Boys 800m as he clocked 2.42.30 in 5th place with Daniel Smith (9th) in 2.50.40 and Harry Sambrook 10th (2.52.40) – the first time for both of them over the distance. Dexta Thompson was back to form as he had a great battle with George Denye in the U13 Boys 1500m placing 2nd in 4.58.40. Great effort by Codie Dewhurst too as he tried the U13’s 1500m for the first time and running well for 6th place in the 15 strong field for a time of 5.24.80.
Just four athletes in the Senior Women’s 800m Race which saw the Harriers take first (Maddie Elliott in 2.25.20), second (Katie Buckingham 2.26.90) and third Freya Black (2.31.20). Freya was particularly delighted as she chopped over six seconds off her time to set a new PB. Five runners in the U17 Women’s 800m Race which saw the Harriers finish 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. Amy Davies came 2nd in 2.34.70 followed by Hollie Oldham in 3rd (2.43.30), Liberty Thompson 4th (2.51.40) and Alex Taylor 5th (2.54.20). Leah Hoole placed 4th out of 12 in the U15 Girls 800m (2.40.60) with Rebecca Ramsden running her first ever 800m in 7th place (2.46.80) and Ella Hardman in 12th (3.27.20. In the U15 Girls 1500m Sophie Stanworth placed 3rd in 5.20.70 with Hollie Cubbon in 4th (5.25.70) and Megan Jones 8th in 6.38.30. There were two new PB’s for Kate Cookson in the U13 Girls 800m as she came home 5th in 2.42.50 followed by Caroline Woodworth in 6th (2.44.20). In the U13 Girls 800m there were debuts for Caitlin Clarkson (11th) in 3.17.10 and Kady Thompson (7th) in 3.05.50 as they moved up from U11’s and Kiera Booth who finished 8th in 3.07.70. Molly Grimshaw tried the U13 Girls 1500m for the first time and finished 3rd in 6.27.40.
In the Jumps John iLunga came 2nd in the Senior Men’s Long Jump (4.41m) as Jonathan Gough came 3rd in the U17 Men’s event with a leap of 5.45m. There was a new PB for Rory Teare in the U15 Boys Long Jump – 8th (4.19m) and a personal best equaling clearance of 1.40m in the High Jump (=6th). Aidan Downes and Harrison Allcock teamed up in the U13 Boys Long Jump with Aidan setting a new PB by half a metre (8th) with 3.54m and Harrison finishing 9th with 3.49m. Emma Love moved up to U15 this year and started off well with a clearance of 1.35m in the High Jump for 3rd place. Niamh Gater and Caitlin Clarkson competed in the massive field of 29 youngsters in the U13 Girls Long Jump which saw Niamh place 13th with a leap of 3.46m for a new PB and Caitlin in 27th clearing 2.44m.
Great to see Hurdles competition being retained by the League which saw two Heats of U13 Girls over 70m with Kady Thompson making her debut, finishing 5th in Heat (1) in 17.60. Myah Booth won the U15 Girls 75m Hurdles very comfortably in a time of 12.00sec. The irrepressible Codie Dewhurst finished 3rd in the U13 Boys Hurdles in a time of 17.60 and in the U15 Boys Hurdles Ben Boocock placed 3rd (13.30), Rory Teare (4th) in 15.80 and Kyle Taylor-Pomfret 5th clocking 16.80.
Podium 5k – Saturday April 7th
The Race Record was broken for the second consecutive time as Tom Lancashire won the ‘A’ Race in 14.19 from Matthew Crahan in 2nd (14.22), Dane Blomquist in 3rd (14.33), Marc Brown 4th in 14.47 and Rob Danson 5th (14.48). Altogether fifty one athletes contested the ‘A’ Race with another thirty seven in the ‘B’.
Photo’s courtesy of David Belshaw
Jack Hindle was the first Harrier home in 14th place in a massive new PB by 24 seconds of 15.36. Tom Blaney who is now getting back into regular training and racing was next across the line in a time of 16.25 and followed in by Matt Nuttall in 34th place (16.34), Josh Holgate in 35th with a time of 16.37 and Karl Billington in 36th (16.41) a half a minute quicker than his previous Podium 5k run recently. Paul Guinan also ran nearly half a minute quicker than his previous Podium race finishing with a time of 17.37.
And finally…..Paul Bradshaw who is down in Australia to watch his wife compete in the Commonwealth Pole Vault Championships couldn’t resist entering a Half-Marathon in Brisbane as part of his build up to the Liverpool Marathon and ran well considering the travel involved to get there as well as the impact of surfing all day, the day before. That lad really knows how to taper!! Paul finished in 88.06 which was pretty solid running.
Wins for Holly & Sophie as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games – Tim Wins Ackworth Half-Marathon with huge PB – PB’s for Harriers at Trafford – Knowles on Tour – Libby ‘wide-eyed’ at Rivingtonton Pike
Blackburn Harriers – Holly Bradshaw and Sophie Hitchon had good wins as they prepared to compete for GB in the Commonwealth Games being hosted on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia beginning on April 4th.
The Women’s Hammer Final featuring Sophie takes place on Tuesday April 10th and the Women’s Pole Vault Final with Holly is on Friday April 13th
Holly competed at the International Invitation Meet in Sippy Downs on Saturday March 31st and came away with a win clearing 4.70m, whilst Sophie was in the US competing in the Stanford International on the same weekend, also coming away with a winning throw of 71.41m. Holly spoke to the Club about her competition telling us that “It’s great to be back competing after the small injury that kept me from competing indoors. Training has been going great and I’ve been building confidence here in Australia with my pole vaulting. The competition was great fun and another progression towards full fitness. To jump 4.70 in my first competition was awesome but a bit unexpected. I still have a few weeks now to move closer to where I want to be for the commonwealth games but the main thing is that I am enjoying myself and loving being back jumping”.
Ackworth Half-Marathon – Easter Monday
Tim Raynes celebrated Easter in style as he won the Ackworth Half-Marathon in a time of 70.39 some six minutes in front of the second placed runner. Given the weather – cold and windy along with rain – this was an excellent run by Tim as he recorded a new personal best by close to nine minutes in only his second ever attempt at the distance.
After the Race, a delighted Tim spoke to the Club commenting that he “been thinking about maybe targeting a HM in the Autumn, so wanted to get a rough idea where I was at by having a run at one before the summer. Already having a number of races planned though, it was tricky to find a HM to do that would fit in. I ended up deciding to run the Ackworth Half over in West Yorkshire. Having only ever ran one HM before (just before I joined Harriers), I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As the race set off, I started to open up a lead and I ended up running on my own until the finish. I knew the course was fairly undulating and so just tried to maintain a consistent effort without getting too worried about time. In the end, fairly pleased with my run (can’t complain about a 9 min PB), which I will hopefully look to build on in the Autumn. Not the most local, but would recommend the race. Fantastic organisation in pretty grim conditions.”
Trafford Medal Meeting – Easter Monday
Three young Harriers – Niamh Gater, Isaac Butler and Nicky Saunders – braved the weather on Monday to take part in an early season T&F meeting, recording three new PB’s in the process.
U13 Niamh Gater had a very good day setting a new PB in the 75m as she finished 3rd in Heat 3, clocking 11.96 to chop four tenths off her previous best. Onto the 150m, a distance she hadn’t previously run and another good performance, placing 3rd in Heat 3 in a time of 24.07 before going on to record her second new PB of the day as she leapt to 3.29m in the Long Jump – over 20 cms further than she had previously jumped. Isaac Butler (U13) who has had a great cross country season was keen to get a time for 1500m under his belt before going off on holiday at his first time over the distance. His race featured 16 runners – 14 of them U15’s – as he finished 11th in a good debut time of 4.59.16. There is no doubt that there is much more to come as he managed to go slightly awry with his pacing, going through the first 400m in 68 seconds!! A good day too for U15 Nicky Saunders as she took on Shot Putt, Discus and Javelin. In the Discus she placed 7th with a throw of 6.86m before coming in 2nd in the Discus recording a throw of 24.16m. Her best result of the day was a new PB in the Javelin as she placed 2nd with 24.81m – over a metre further than she has thrown before.
Running in the Antipodes
The Knowles family are In Australia at the moment and enjoying themselves as they get ready to watch the Commonwealth Games and in particular – Blackburn Harriers athletes Sophie Hitchon in the Hammer and Holly Bradshaw in the Pole Vault. Whilst down there, they took the opportunity to run a local race described by Andrew as the “Knowles family “Down Under”…..The Wildhorse Criterium is a trail race with distances form 11k to 12 hour Ultra, Andrew ran the former finishing in 10th place in 57.28, reporting he was quite worried about some waste deep river crossings and the creatures in there. The temperature was very debilitating over the last few k. Eva ran the junior 1.5k and finished 3rd overall and got rewarded with chocolate!”
Eva and Andrew
Rivington Pike – Saturday March 31st
A very cold day didn’t stop three hundred and fifty four runners tackle this traditional Easter weekend Race which was won by Nick Swinsburn (17.43) from Michael Cayton in 2nd (17.54) and Dan Haworth in 3rd place in a time of 18.26.
Just one Blackburn Harrier in the main Race – Paul Wilkinson who placed 226th clocking a time of 30.57. Young Libby Neal had a go at the Junior Race earlier in the day and enjoyed it as can be seen with the expression in her face!!
Former Blackburn Harrier Mick Wilkinson has died aged 63.
Mick (‘Wilky’ to his running comrades) joined the Harriers in 1983. Even in his running prime, he was built more like a cruiserweight boxer than a long distance runner. When he joined the Harriers he was an overweight, boozing ex-Man United tearaway whose exercise regime had consisted mainly of fleeing the police presence at away grounds in England and across Europe.
But Wilky was a dogged character who applied his bloody-mindedness to his training regime. He decided that he was going to be a ‘proper runner’. And by 1985 he had become fit enough to stay with the ‘A’ group of senior men (Pete Banks, Bob Shorrock, George Woodburn, Tony Wood and co.) who belted out a hard twelve miles every Wednesday night.
What followed were half a dozen years as a genuinely competitive club runner over road and cross country. Wilky ended up with a bunch of London marathons to his credit and with a PB of 2 hours 37 minutes. As a man who loved to win ‘a man on a stick’ rather more than any kind of voucher or practical race prize, he happily garnered an extensive collection of road race trophies with PBs of 69½ minutes for the half, 52.15 for 10 miles and 32½ for 10k.
In truth, Wilky had no right to be running those times. But 70-80 miles a week and his general appetite for hard training were legendary in the club. So was his weekend ritual of driving round the moorland roads every Saturday night, summer and winter, to position a set of water bottles over the 20 mile route of his meticulously measured Sunday morning run.
Wilky went on to serve as Men’s Cross Country team captain, and his mum Jean is fondly remembered for her role collecting the discs and recording the Harriers’ finishers at the end of many a Mid Lancs and Northern cross-country.
Wilky himself was a man of strong opinions, often strongly expressed. He often hid his softer heart well, but it was there. The last 2 years of his life were blighted by the cruellest of illnesses. He recognised his steady descent as the hardest marathon of his career, but in the end he died peacefully, on his final day happily remembering runs and races in the Harriers vest he wore proudly for a decade.
(L-R Paul Wilson and Mick Wilkinson – Lancaster Half-Marathon)
Information on the Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as the Club has them.
Samantha is 5th in Los Angeles World Cup – Eleesha is Sportshall Regional Champion – PB’s for Josh at Salford 10k & Daniel in Liverpool Half
A great performance by Samantha Murray as she finished 5th in the World Cup 2 event held in Los Angeles which sees her in great form as she prepares for the next World Cup 3 event to be held in Hungary starting on May 3rd.
Samantha spoke to the Club at the end of the Final commenting “I had a solid competition and am really happy with my fencing and running performances. I was in the lead going into the the riding event, however I let myself down and didn’t control the horse as I should have! A lesson learnt. This set me back 21 seconds to start the run in 5th 19 seconds from the leader. There is still some work to do for the rest of the season. However 5th place is a great start to the season. Very happy. “
Sportshall Regional Finals – Sunday March 25th
A great day too for U15 Eleesha Charnley (Lancashire) who became Sportshall U15 Regional Champion on Sunday, qualifying for the National Finals on April 14th after coming first in front of Melissa Booth (Gt Manchester) and Stephanie Robertson (Merseyside) who were both in joint 2nd place. Eleesha was one of eight Blackburn Harriers who had been selected to compete for Lancashire in the Regional Finals including Liberty Thompson who finished 22nd overall in the U15 Girls. In the U11 Boys Blackburn Harriers Sportshall members Harrison Allcock and Aidan Downes were selected as were Niamh Gater and Isabelle Hartley for the U11 Girls Team with Isaac Butler and Saul Sharp also in the U13 Boys Lancashire Squad. Saul had recently competed in the British Schools Biathlon Championships in London finishing 11th overall in the competition after having the event affected for him by the weather. Due to the weather and the track having ice on it the organisers cancelled the run, which was very disappointing given that Saul was due to run at 11.00am and by 11.30am it was fine. However, Saul had a fabulous swim and got a new personal best, winning his heat and coming 6th overall in the swim. It was a brilliant experience for him and is now looking forward to the next event.
Eleesha joined Blackburn Harriers in July 2011 as an 8yr old and we can’t recall a single occasion when she has turned up for training or competition without a smile on her face – an absolute joy to have in the Club and a brilliant attitude in all that she does. Always modest and never making a great deal of her achievements, she finally agreed to let us have some thoughts about her win, telling the Club “It was a fantastic day and I really enjoyed it ! Well done to All Blackburn Harriers who were chosen to represent Lancashire, there was a lot of tough competition so much to my surprise at the end I found out that I had won the U15 girls all round competitor coming 1st in the speed bounce, 2nd in the 4 lap and 3rd in standing long jump. I now go forward to the UK Finals which I am looking forward to in April. A special thanks to Caer”.
(Saul) (Isabelle & Niamh) (Liberty)
(L-R Saul Sharp – Eleesha Charnley – Isaac Butler)
Salford 10k – Good Friday March 30th
Six hundred and thirty finishers in this sold out Race held traditionally on Good Friday. The latest winner was John Ashcroft (Liverpool Harriers) crossing the line in a very good time of 30.18 from Matthew Grieve in 2nd (30.33) and William Mycroft in 3rd (30.34).
Three Blackburn Harriers ran the race which saw Joshua Holgate have a great run to set a new PB time of 34.16 as he placed 42nd overall. After posting a time of 36.06 on the tough Winter Warmer 10k in February and having a very good run in the 12 Stage, it was clear that a revision to his 10k personal best was coming and he duly delivered on the day. Josh commented after the Race “After a good run at the 12 stages last Sunday I was feeling confident that a 10k pb was on the cards, but to take almost 2 minutes off my previous best was quite a surprise and is definitely something to build on now. It was a great day overall and quite a good course, after a fast first 5k I struggled around the second lap but managed to hold on until the end. It was a shame Ben had to pull out halfway due to an injury as he seemed to be running really well, I hope he recovers soon! “ V60 Tony Greenwood also had a very solid run as he placed 156th in a time of 38.59 which gave him the 3rd V60 place. Tony has suffered over the last three years with injury as he explained to the Club after the Race saying “I’m a tad disappointed with my run but I guess couldn’t really expect much more following three years of constant patella tendinitis, result sporadic to no training.. Good news tendon doesn’t seem to be getting any worse and today was the first race I’ve managed to complete in over a year.. So hoping onwards and upwards!”
Also taking 3rd place in the Women’s V40 age category was Carmen Byrne in 167th overall, clocking a time of 39.30 which was pretty good considering she picked up an injury in the second half of the race telling us “this was my first 10k since getting rid of the orthotics so was a little unsure what to expect. I was completely pain free for the first 5k going through about 18.20 but then Achilles pain struck and I pretty much hobbled the last 5k. Hopefully everything will balance out again soon”.
Liverpool Half-Marathon – Sunday March 25th
Nearly four thousand runners in this Race in which Daniel Whittaker was hoping for a new personal best. The race was won emphatically by Jonny Mellor in a time of 63.35 – some four minutes in front of second placed athlete Dejene Gezimu (67.25).
Daniel was delighted with his run as he came home in 178th with a time of 85.57 which was a new personal best and told us that he “seem to be going faster since training with the Harriers now so at least it’s paying of”. More to come, that’s for sure.
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