Category Archives: Track & Field
Chris Wood is a Life Member of Blackburn Harriers having joined the Club in 1965. On the night he received his Life membership Award at St Marks Club along with another Harriers Legend – Chris Fay, Chris commented on how much Blackburn Harriers had meant to him and what the Club had done for him. He represented the Club as an athlete during which time he won the Jersey Marathon in a time of 2.28, went on to serve on the Harriers Executive Committee as Secretary and then dedicated himself to a lot of hard work in becoming a Starting Official where he has gained a considerable reputation leading to recognition at national and international level. Even though he has reached a very high level of competence, officiating as he does at the top athletic meetings, he can still be found on a Saturday officiating at grass roots athletics in the Mid Lancs Leagues and other similar events, always intent on putting back the maximum into the sport he loves.
Chris was recently informed that he had been elected to sit on the UKA Officials’ National Peer Group as one of three representatives of the starting fraternity. This involves assesing and recommending people for promotion to L4 and the National Active List as well as drafting the selections for those who will be appointed to officiate at National, International and televised meetings.
To give some idea of what a successful candidate has to have done in order to become eligible for election to the Peer Group you need to have been a chief official at a major L5 meeting – in 2018 Chris was Chief Starters’ Assistant at both the Athletics World Cup and the Manchester International. He was also a starter at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix and the Muller Diamond League at Birmingham. At the latter Steve Cram commented on TV how measured and polite he was in instructing the athletes!
At the next level down Chris was Start Coordinator at both the indoors and outdoors BUCS as well as the EA Senior Indoor CE at which he caused a stir by refusing to start a BMC 3k as there were too many in the field for safety! This got Chris an “A” assessment from the National Technical Delegate for making the correct call and then not backing down.
In addition to receiving recognition at the above Chris has been heavily committed to developing an electronics start system, working closely with Nigel Holl of UKA. Chris outlined what had been involved – telling the Harriers that “Every two years European Athletics makes innovation awards in five categories; this year is a competition year. Back in June Nigel suggested that we make a submission for TESS (The Electronic Start System), which we did with only three days to go before the deadline. I received an email today from European Athletics in Lausanne to advise that we had won the “Technology” category! The winners of the five categories are then taken forward to be assessed as the overall winner to be awarded in Lausanne next month”.
Many congratulations from everyone at Blackburn Harriers
Winning Start for Harriers in Cross Country Season – Jess 4th at Cardiff Cross Challenge – New PB’s for Chris and Calum at Manchester Half-Marathon – Charlotte & Matt Shine at Hammer Circle – John Debuts in Duathlon
Contrasting conditions at the start of the cross country season with good weather at Leigh for the Red Rose league fixture and pretty wet, muddy and windy at Ulverston which hosted the first Mid Lancs fixture of the season.
(ALL RED ROSE PHOTOS COURTESY OF RICHARD MARCHANT)
Great Start for the Club at Leigh in the opening fixture in the Red Rose League as the Senior Women won both the Team and the Vet Team after great running and packing by the athletes. Leading the Club home to the Team win was Katie Buckingham who finished 3rd overall clocking an impressive time of 20.41 with Carmen Byrne in 5th (20.49), Joanne Nelson in 6th (21.04), Victoria Mousley in 7th (21.17), Carly Edwards 16th (21.59) and Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (20th) with a time of 22.39 securing the win. The winning Vet Team win was headed by Carmen Byrne in 2nd place, Joanne Nelson in 3rd and Victoria Mousley in 4th.
Women’s Team Manager – Joanne Nelson – was really pleased with the teams performances and commented at the end of the day that it was “A fantastic start to the Red Rose cross country season from the ladies. A great turn out in Leigh with 2 teams. First home was Katie in an outstanding 4th place. She was well supported by Carmen in 6th and myself 7th which resulted in first team. Victoria was next to finish which secured first vets team too. Double whammy!! Carly and Ellen ran well to ensure Harriers had a second team. A fabulous day. Looking forward to the next fixture at Bolton. Great team work, ladies!“
The Senior Men also had a cracking day which saw Tim Raynes win the race outright and the Harriers winning the Team as they had all six counters home in the first 14 places. Tim headed the field of nearly two hundred athletes winning by nearly half a minute in 33.45, backed up by some very good runs from Ben Costello in 3rd spot (34.20), Karl Billington in 7th place (35.00), Josh Holgate 8th (35.09), Jacob Watson 12th (35.54) and Marc Hartley 14th in a time of 36.13.
Paul Bradshaw was the next Harrier across the line in 31st position clocking 38.13 followed by Paul Brindle in 33rd (38.23), John Horrocks (43rd) running a time of 39.38, Thomas Marchant 55th and 3rd U20 on the day with a time of 40.57, V50 Chris Balderson in 68th place (42.01), V45 Craig Greenough (8th) in 42.53, Mark Almond running 43.55 in 99th place and Allan Hartley in 169th posting a time of 50.35.
With most of the Harriers Junior athletes competing in the Mid Lancs at Ulverston, there were just a few competing at Leigh with Harry Sambrook in his first year as an U13 placing 40th out of a field six in a time of 11.45 – Isabelle Hartley running in the U13 Girls Race coming home in 39th out of 63 with a time of 11.48 and George Whittaker finishing 18th out of forty one in the U15 Boys Race (14.26).
Success for the Harriers continued at the Mid Lancs fixture at Ulverston, this time for the Harriers Juniors which saw the Club produce four team wins, a 2nd, 3rd and 4th team place, two individual outright wins and a win in the Men’s V50 category.
The U11’s got the Club off to a good start as the Girls came 2nd in the team event overall with Hannah Davies (7th) in 9.21, Eve Coulson in 8th (9.26) and Imogen Robinson clocking 9.29 to finish just three points behind Kendal-Helm. Isabella Pacelli ran a time of 10.19 in 20th with Lulu Sharp in 36th (11.17) and Emelia Stockton in 39th.
The U11 Boys went one better winning the team race as Mathew Smith came home in 2nd place (8.15), with Sam Aspey in 5th (8.34) and Oliver Gill 12th in a time of 8.52 which helped them finish twelve points in front of Lancaster & Morecambe. Charlie Haworth and William Grundy finished in 15th and 16th respectively, both being given the same time of 9.04 with Findlay Carroll another six seconds further back in 18th spot (9.10). Liam Bennison (28th) in 9.44, Loucas Lancashire (31st) in a time of 9.46, Alexander Brien in 10.21 (42nd), Evan Potter in 47th (11.13), Isaac Smith 50th in 11.36 and Sam Craven 51st (11.38) made it twelve U11 Boys and six Girls who braved the weather to compete and all credit to them.
It was 3rd place for the U13 Girls Team as Kate Cookson finishing 14th out of 40 in the field (10.49), Keira Haxton (16th) in 10.53 and Molly Grinshaw in 18th spot (11.11) were the three counters for the team. Ten seconds separated Amelia Burton in 22nd (11.20), Caroline Woodworth (23rd) in 11.22 and Eva Knowles (24th) clocking 11.30 as Kiera Booth came home in 28th place (11.40), with Libby Neal in 36th (12.58) and Madison Bontoft in her first ever cross country league fixture in 40th (14.16).
Isaac Butler had a very impressive indidvidual win in the U13 Boys race coming home fourteen seconds in front of second place and leading the boys to another team win on the day. Isaac won the race in 10.09 with back up from Jonathan Brindle in 13th place (11.15), Daniel Smith in 17th (11.34), Codie Dewhurst in 19th (11.37), Saul Sharp (24th) with a time of 11.52 and Umair Rafiq in 27th position (12.25).
Eleesha Charnley, Leah Hoole and Rebecca Ramsden teamed up to record another team win for the Harriers in the U15 Girls which saw Eleesha place 3rd overall, clocking 11.05 with Leah in 5th place (11.49) and Rebecca in 17th (13.17). The U15 Boys finished 4th team on the day and were led home by Kyle Taylor-Pomfret who took 16th place in the 42 strong field (17.21) with Hayden Mercer in 23rd (17.46), Danny Woodcock (29th) in a time of 18.49, Thomas Brooks 35th in 19.58 and Sebastian Burton clocking 20.33 in 38th spot.
There was an individual and very comfortable win for Amy Davies in the U17 Women’s Race as she clocked 17.31 – nearly 50 seconds in front of 2nd place. The U17 men took the fourth team win of the afternnon as they finished just five points clear of Blackpool with Matt Ramsden taking 2nd spot in 23.20, Sam Hodkinson coming home in 4th place (24.07) and Harry Wilkin in 14th with a time of 27.59. Mark Chippendale had a very good run in the Senior Men’s race coming home 12th overall out of two hundred and fifty one and winning the V50 age category in a time of 36.30. Lindsay Davies competed in the Senior Women’s Race to come home in 36th place overall (32.39) out of a field of one hundred and fifty eight.
Cross Challenge Series 2018
The first race in this years Cross Challenge Series which took place in Cardiff on Saturday October saw Jess Judd come home in 4th place overall (22.04) behind the winner – Anna Moller from Denmark (21.48), Kate Avery 2nd in 21.52 and Emily Hosker-Thornhill 3rd in 21.54.
The second race takes place in Liverpool’s Sefton Park on November 24th and is one of the highlights of the cross country calendar in the North West.
Manchester Half-Marathon – Sunday October 14th
Four Blackburn Harriers contested this race featuring some ten thousand runners last Sunday. Ben Fish was the first athlete home for the Club clocking a time of 68.09 and 10th overall in the race.
Chris Davies had a fabulous race, one which he had targeted all year, as he came home in 35th place and 4th V40 in a new PB time of 73.33 – some two minutes faster than his previous best time for the distance. Also getting a massive new PB was Calum James, who was making his debut for the Harriers – Calum ran a time of 84.08 in this same race in 2017 and then reduced that time to 78.57 this year at Blackpool. On Sunday he chopped nearly three minutes off his best time to set a new personal best of 76.06. V45 Paul Guinan came home in 126th position and just seonds outside breaking 80 minutes as he placed 9th V45 in a time of 80.03.
Hammer Circle Reunion – 13/14th October – Hull
More very good performances for Harriers athletes and this time in Field events at the Hammer Circle Reunion event held in Hull over the weekend.
U15 Matt Heywood won the 4kg Hammer throw with a distance of 44.81m, finished 6th in the 5kg Hammer competition with a throw of 40.08m and 1st in the Weight (16lb) with a distance of 16.81m.
U17 Charlotte Williams had a great weekend as she won the Hammer (3kg) with a throw of 54.61m and then threw a new PB of 54.12 in the Hammer (4kg) and 1st U17.
Lancaster Duathlon – Sunday October 14th
John Cookson made his debut at this local Duathlon at the weekend and was reasonbly pleased with the outcome telling the Club that he “Thoroughly enjoyed it. 5K run, 24K bike and then same 5K run again. A super event for a novice. Only 76 competing on the day. I even managed a top half finish coming 28th. The run was more like a xc taking place as it did through farm land and by the canal. The bike route was undulating so I got found out a wee bit on the up climbs by the more experienced cyclists but I made sure I got my own back on the second run!!”
Fastest Leg of the day for Jess at Northern Road Relays – Jack Wins Suunto Adventure Triathlon Series
A windy but bright day was the setting for this years Northern Athletics Road Relays at Sportscity and for the Harriers, there were twenty two Teams contesting all of the age groups, both male and female which followed on from running twenty eight Teams at the North West Relays held in Delamere a couple of week ago.
The Women’s ‘A’ Team finished in 9th place out of nearly a 100 Teams with Carmen Byrne (23.04) in 32nd spot, Maddie Elliott 23.45 pulling back eight places, Victoria Mousley 23.39 winning back another five places along with the individual run of the day from Jess Judd who anchored the Women’s ‘A’ Team clocking the fastest leg of the whole day (19.52), pulling back another nine places.
The Harriers ‘B’ Team placed 43rd overall with Janine Fallon (26.50), Katie Buckingham (23.30), Hannah Cookson (26.33) and Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (25.57) followed by the ‘C’ Team of Lindsay Davies (27.27), Catherine Guinan (29.02), Freya Black (27.31) and Becky Shorrock (26.35) coming home in 66th position.
The Senior Men had four Teams competing on the day with the ‘A’ Team just missing the top ten by just two seconds placing 11th overall out of one hundred and twenty eight teams. Tim Raynes ran a great Leg (1) in 14th place (20.34) handing over to Rob Warner on Leg (2) clocking 20.38 and pulling back four places to leave Marc Hartley in 10th spot on Leg (3). Marc ran 21.51 in 14th place overall followed by Ben Costello on Leg (4) with 21.47 and Chris Davies on Leg (5) 21.42 and anchored by Ben Fish with another superb run of 19.50 which took him to within four seconds of the top ten fastest legs on the day and 13th fastest overall on the day.
The Men’s ‘B’ Team put together very consistent times between them as they came home in 34th place U20 Joe Gebbie leading off on Leg (1) in 23.04 and coming in 64th. Karl Billington ran the fastest leg of the Team in 22.12 which brought the team back to 52nd followed by another U20 Thomas Marchant picking up another place on Leg (3) with a time of 23.38. Tom Blaney got us another three places on Leg (4) running 22.47 with Zac Howe clocking 22.28 and gaining another nine places on Leg (5) before Josh Holgate on the last leg secured another 5 places with his run of 22.25.
Our ‘C’ Team came home in 77th position and the ‘D’ Team 108th. Jonny Murphy, making his debut for the Club took on Leg (1) with a time of 23.34 and the fourth Leg in the 23 second bracket produced by the lads. Leg(2) saw U20 Nick Smith clock 26.21 before handing over to Paul Bradshaw on Leg (3) who ran 23.32, pulling back ten places. On Leg (4) with a time of 27.10 it was a welcome return for Mat Nuttall who has suffered from injury for quite a time now and he handed over to Team Captain Paul Guinan on Leg (5) with a time of 23.26 followed by the fastest Leg of the team by Paul Brindle of 23.18.
John Cookson led the ‘D’ Team off on Leg (1) with a time of 27.33 and he was followed by five Legs which all improved the position of the team by a number of places after every Leg. On Leg (2) it was Sean Procter in 27.15 followed by John Chaplin on Leg (3) in 26.35, Leg (4) Allan Hartley in a time of 29.00, Paul Jeffries on leg (5) recording a time of 27.13 and the fastest Leg of the Team was run by Danny Maynard (25.56) on Leg (6).
Great to see a whole lot of Harriers out in the Junior Races and team maanaged by Chris Thompson, Danny Teare, Michael Sharp and Andrew Knowles who had also team managed for the North West Relays at Delamere.
Girls team manager – Michael Sharp – commented at the endo fhte day “A perfect day to race at Sportscity and The girls did themselves proud.They all got there in plenty of time warmed up together with smiles on their faces.We had a couple of the girls who had been Ill this week,one didn’t make it and wasn’t fit to run today and Rebecca who came did amazing to help her team mates out.Very proud of them all and they should be proud of themselves.With the Cross country season coming soon the girls will turnout in force and I can see a great season ahead for them all”.
Boys team manager – Chris Thompson had similar thoughts as he told us after the Junior Races had been completed “This time around only having three teams to manage made it all easier, all my lads turned up in plenty of time allowing me to relax and enjoy every minute of it all. There was some team changes from last time at Delamere but looking results it all worked fine, I know Ben wasn’t keen to go first but showed he was more than capable of doing so and the relays are great for this helping them bring out their strengths, Issac ran a fantastic third leg helping his team close a few places so overall the lads did great and I know it’s tough for them but I hope they all enjoyed it. We were of of only two teams who were able to field three teams on the day which shows how good the cross country will be when we can show our strength in numbers”.
Thirty teams in the U17 Men’s Race which included two teams form the Harriers. The ‘A’ Team saw Jamie Teare lead off on leg (1) coming home in 28th spot in a time of 13.44 followed by Sam Hodkinson on Leg (2) who clcoked 12.35 and gained back five mre places before handing over to Matt Ramsden who ran 11.51 – the 11th fastest leg of the day in the U17 men – brining the team home in 13th and another improvement ten places. Our ‘B’ Team came 30th with Tom Betty running 15.15 on Leg (1), Findlay Sullivan running the fastest on Leg (2) with 13.43 and Harry Wilkin clocking 14.19 on Leg (3).
Nineteen teams contested the U17 Women’s race which had one team from the Hrriers competing. Running the 15th fastest Leg of the day, Amy Davies led the team off with a time of 14.10, followed by Hollie Oldham on Leg (2) with a time of 16.34 and Chloe Gardner on Leg (3) with 18.45 leaving the team in 17th place.
Two Boys Teams were in the thirty seven strong team field in the U15’s whcih saw the ‘A’ team finish in 24th spot consisting of Hayden Mecer on the first Leg (12.13), handing over to George Whittaker on leg (2) running a time of 13.12 and Kyle Taylor-Pomfret on the final Leg clcoking 13.02. Our ‘B’ Team came in 36th with Zac Walmsley running a time of 12.36 on Leg (1), Rory Teare (14.30 on Leg (20) and Sebastian Burton (14.43) on the last Leg.
The Harriers ran two Teams in the U15 Girls who finished 24th and 42nd. The ‘A’ Team was led off by Eleesha Charnley with a 13.09 clocking followed by Sophie Stanworth on Leg (2) in 14.53 and Hollie Cubbon running a time of 14.31 on the final leg. Rebecca Ramsden who ran to support the team not feeling well, led off the ‘B’ Team on Leg (1) with a time of 16.11 and backed up by Molly Nicholls on Leg (2) in 15.57 and Eleanor Allsop on Leg (3) with a time of 17.28.
Dexta Thompson brought the U13 Boys home in 10th place after a first Leg run of 13.05, before Theo Watson in his debut season clocked 13.24 on Leg (2) to drop to 13th position. Isaac Butler had a cracking run on the final Leg to run the 6th fastest Leg of all the U13 Boys (12.17) to help the team finish in 7th spot overall out of 37 teams. The ‘B’ Team did really well too finishing 16th overall and led off by Ben Livesey, also in his debut season as he clocked 13.28 on the first leg and backed up by Umair Rafiq on Leg (2) with a time of 13.47 and Codie Dewhurst who clocked 13.20 on the last Leg. The ‘C’ Team ran solidly, led off by Saul Sharp on leg (1) with 15.06, Lewis Hardman another first season debuatant on Leg (2) running a time of 16.25 and Stephen Alberts on the last leg (14.43).
The U13 Girls featured forty two teams and among them, two from Blackburn Harriers. Just forty four seconds in total spearated the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Teams with the ‘A’ team placing 23rd overall in a combined time of 44.36 and the ‘B’ team 27th in 45.20.
Kiera Booth came home in 38th place after Leg (1) with a time of 15.32, after which Caroline Wood worth picked up seven places to move the team to 31st with a time of 14.42 and followed by the fastest leg run by Kate Cookson (14.22) which took another seven places. Keira Haxton ran the 2nd fastest leg of the U13 Girls as she clocked 14.23 on the first leg, handing over to Lucy Ramsden who ran 15.12 and followd don the last leg by Isabelle Hartley running a time of 15.13.
Due to illness the third U13 Girls team was incomplete but that didn’t stop Amelia Burton and Kady Thompson whop wanted to run irrespective and clocked times of 14.41 and 16.17 respectively, so well done to both of them.
Suunto Adventure Triathlon Series
Featuring the famous Slateman, Snowman and Sandman triathlon races, the series is one of Europe’s best loved collection of adventure races. Jack Hindle won the first (Slateman) and the second (Snowman) of the three races and entered the Sandman at the weekend, looking to win the whole Series.
Jack finished 2nd on the day but won the overall Series which was his main aim at the start of the season. He had the second fastest Swim, the fourth fastest bike ride and the fastest run of the day to come home in a total time of 2hr 28.15 behind the winner who clocked 2hr 24.26. Afterwards, Jack spoke to the Harriers about the Series and the difference between amateur and professional competition saying “2018 has been a fantastic season for me. Multiple race wins and an overall national series title, is more than I could have hoped for. I’ve had to work hard all year and it certainly hasn’t been an easy task. It’s a stepping stone on a long journey. I’ve been asked throughout the year, whether I have intentions to turn professional as a triathlete. But the bottom line is, I have to be extremely realistic. If I did go into the professional fields, how competitive would I be. How much money would I actually make. At this moment in time, I do myself any justice and would just get swallowed up in the professional ranks, not doing myself justice, sponsors justice and most of all I don’t think I would enjoy myself. This isn’t me saying I’m afraid of the competition or afraid of losing, but professional fields are for the professional athletes. And for me if you can’t go with the pace of the swim/bike or run. Then there’s no point in you being there. Yesterday proved that to me, racing against a newly registered professional, and still being just under 4 minutes back, says to me I am not ready to make the transition. I’ve got a career to establish first, which will allow me to hopefully one day, achieve a dream. But for now it’s back to running around a muddy park somewhere in Lancashire, away from the glitz and glamour of triathlon. Loving every second of a sport that has become part of me. Thanks to the Club for all the support”.
Tony sets New PB at World Masters in Malaga – New PB’s for Harriers at Wigan Open – Ben in Top Five at Bury 10k
World Masters Track & Field Championships – Malaga September 4th – 16th 2018
V50 Tony Balko who has been one of the mainstays of the Men’s Senior Throws Squad for the last ten years had two targets for 2018 – the first to help the Club get back into Division One of the Northern League which we accomplished by winning Division 2WC and then going up with the Isle of Man via the Promotion Match held in Doncaster on August 25th. His other main target was the World Masters Championships held recently in Malaga in the Throws Pentathlon.
Tony did himself proud as he finished the Championships in 13th place overall out of a field of twenty eight and set a new PB of 2981 points after throwing 36.98m in the Hammer; 10.82m in the Shot Putt; 37.21m in the Discus; 35.35m in the Javelin and 12.74m in the Weight.
A roll call of what he has achieved over the season speaks for itself as his competitions included setting seven new personal bests and finishing the season UK V50 ranked No.2 in Throws Pentathlon; No. 3 in Weight (11.34kg); No. 6 in the Discus (1.5kg); No. 6 in the Hammer (6kg); No. 13 in the Javelin (700gm) and No.20 in the Shot Putt (6kg) – alongside medalling at Lancashire County, Northern Masters and British Masters Championships.
World Masters Championships – 13th place Throws Pentathlon 2981 points
British Throws Pentathlon Championships – Gold Medalist
British Masters Championships – Bronze Medal 6kg Hammer
British Masters Championships – Bronze Medalist 6kg Shot
Northern Masters Championships – Gold Medalist 6kg Hammer
Northern Masters Championships – Gold Medalist 1.5kg Discus
Lancashire County Championships – Silver Medalist 2kg Discus
Lancashire County Championships – Bronze Medalist 7.26kg Hammer
Tony is already thinking about 2019 where his target will be the World Masters Indoor Championships to be held in Poland in March.
Arnold Seddon Open Meeting – Wigan Sunday September 16th
The rain and wind didn’t stop five young Blackburn Harriers from competing at one of the end of season Open Meetings at Wigan – George and Benjamin Whittaker – Isaac Butler, Matt Heywood and Nicky Saunders – yielding 5 wins and three new PB’s.
It was a great day for U15 Matt Heywood as he secured three wins in the Shot Putt with 8.12m; the Discus with 30.48m and his best of the day, a new PB by over three metres in the Hammer of 46.40m which takes him to No. 1 in the North West and 8th in the British Rankings. George Whittaker took 2nd place to Matt in the Discus throwing a distance of 30.35m – a new PB by a metre.
U15 Nicky Saunders wasn’t far off her personal best in the Discus as she won the event with a throw of 27.34m going on to take 2nd in the Javelin (23.88m).
U13 Isaac Butler took on the 800m and ran a time of 2.34.6 in 7th position as brothers Benjamin and George Whittaker tackled the 200m – George clocked 26.40 to win his Heat of the U15 Boys 200m and a new PB by four tenths as Benjamin ran a time of 25.00 in the U17 Mens race (6th).
Asda Foundation Bury 10k – Sunday September 16th
Over fourteen hundred finishers in this Race run on Sunday with the winner – Benjamin Coop – clocking a time of 32.23 to win comfortably by over a minute from second placed Jonathon Walton.
After a fair period out with injury, Ben Costello was back racing and ran a very solid race, his first in nearly two months to come home in 4th place overall with a pretty solid time of 35.36.
16 Team Medals for Harriers at Relays – Jess 3rd In Mile Race & Holly Wins PV at Great North Games – Ben is 2nd at Lake Vyrney – Top 5 for Jacob & Chris at Wigan 10k and PB for Lindsay – Victoria & Paul at Great North Run – Brian Wins Sundowner Triathlon & is 7th at Wales Ironman – Junior Harriers excel at Triathlon – New PB’s and Wins for Harriers youngsters at Blackpool
North West Road Relays – Saturday 8th September
Delamere Forest was the venue for this years North West Relays run on a trail surface throught the forest rather than road. The glorious summer weather we have enjoyed was replaced by rain throughout the day but that didn’t stop the enthusiasm of either athletes or spectators and none more so that in the ranks of Blackburn Harriers who fielded twenty eight teams in every age group, both male and female. Great efforts by the Club athletes mean that we came away with four Lancashire Gold Medals, six Lancashire Silver Medals, five Lancashire Bronze Medals and a North West Silver Medal.
The day started with the U11’s featuring 32 Boys teams of which five were from Blackburn Harriers and 34 in the Girls of which two were Blackburn. The Boys teams placed 6th (Jacob Joyce 4.30 – Oliver Gill 4.36 – Sam Aspey 4.31), 15th (George Ramsden 4.45 – Charlie Haworth 4.48 – William Grundy 4.50), 16th (Theo Robinson 4.45 – Felix Thompson 4.57 – Findlay Carroll 4.43), 29th (Loucas Lancashire 5.03 – Alexander Brien 5.32 – Harrison Waite 5.10) and 32nd ( Issac Smith 5.22 – Sam Craven 6.24 – Evan Potter 5.34) overall, taking the team Silver Medal in the Lancashire Championships as the other Hrriers teams finished 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th.
U11 Photo’s courtesey of Sub-4
The U11 Girls teams came home in 16th (Hannah Davies 5.14 – Isabella Pacelli 5.19 – Imogen Robinson 4.56) and 34th (Tippi Francis 5.41 – Lulu Sharp 5.38 – Leah Smith 5.59) overall and also won a Team Silver Medal in the Lancashire Championships along with a 5th place. In terms of Fastest Legs the U11 Boys had four of the fastest ten times in Lancashire, replicated by the U11 Girls who did exactly the same. The U13 Boys put in a great performance to finish 2nd in the North West (Dexta Thompson 11.41 – Jonathan Brindle 12.10 – Isaac Butler 11.24), 8th (Codie Dewhurst 12.43 – Benjamin Livesey 12.36 – Theo Watson 12.24), 22nd (Harry Sambrook 13.56 – Daniel Smith 12.36 – Saul Sharp 14.00), and 23rd (Lewis Hardman 14.04 – Umair Rafiq 13.23 – Jack Paget Fowler 13.14) and winning Gold and Silver Team medals in the Lancashire Championships, clocking two of the top ten fastest North West Legs and seven of the fastest ten Lancashire Legs.
Chris Thompson Team Manager for U11 Boys & Girls plus U13 Boys ……. “I was really proud of my teams, having 5 boy teams in the under 11’s which it’s self was amazing and 2 girl teams was very nerve racking wondering if they would all turn up on the day, I know most of them were first timers so you always have that doubt if they would turn up especially in the weather conditions etc but each and everyone of them did themselves proud on the day and it was a great introduction to these events for the future. It’s also great to see all the parents cheering on all the other little harriers also. The under 13 boys also did great also, unfortunately I had to adjust the team slightly but was once again so pleased that all my 4 teams turned up and managed to run as complete teams and like the younger age groups we have quite a few first timers who enjoyed them selfs so much I can’t wait to do it all again at sportscity”.
The U13 Girls won Gold and Silver Team Medals in the Lancashire Championships placing 12th (Kate Cookson 13.34 – Caroline Woodworth 13.52 – Keira Haxton 14.00), 16th (Molly Grimshaw 13.31 – Isabelle Hartley 14.33 – Lucy Ramsden 14.18) and 24th (Keira Booth 13.35 – Eva Knowles 15.08 – Amelia Burton 14.34) overall in the North West and included six of the fastest ten Lancashire Legs. Two teams in the U15 Girls placing 10th (Leah Hoole 13.16 – Hollie Cubbon 13.35 – Eleesha Charnley 12.09) and 27th (Rebecca Ramsden 14.32 – Sophie Stanworth 14.15 – Emelia Cussans 14.41) overall which was good enough to win them the Team Gold for Lancashire, and clock the fastest Lancashire Leg – (Eleesha Charnley) – with another three of the athletes included in the fastest ten times.
Michael Sharp & Andrew Knowles Joint Team Managers U13 & U15 Girls commented after the Championahips “Really proud of all the u13 and u15 Girls.On a day when it was more suited for river rafting ,they ran with true grit and determination and did the club proud.They are a great bunch who are always there for each other.Would like to mention the under 11s,for some the first relays were brilliant.Their race was chaotic to say the least.Well done everyone”……. Andrew Knowles “U15 and U13 Girls, Great to have 5 teams out, and what a result, Double Gold in the North West Relay Championships, but i was equally delighted for our U13 Girls B team who took Silver with Molly Grimshaw running the fastest leg! Well done girls”.
The U15 Boys did really well with 10th (Hayden Mercer 11.43 – Kyle Taylor-Pomfret 11.50 – Harvey Ashworth 11.10) and 24th (Ethan Barbarewicz 11.51 – Sebastian Burton 13.59 – George Whittaker 12.26) places overall, taking Silver and Bronze in the Lancashire Championships with Harvey Ashworth posting the 2nd fastest Lancashire time with another five in the top ten fastest Legs.
Just one team in the U17 Men’s Relays who came home in 7th (Jamie Teare 11.45 – Sam Hodkinson 10.41 – Matt Ramsden 10.14) position overall – Matt Ramsden posting the 7th fastest North West Leg – and taking a Lancashire Bronze Team Medal with Matt Ramsden running the 2nd fastest Leg and Sam Hodkinson the equal 6th of the fastest ten Legs in the Lancashire Championships. In the U17 Women’s team there was just one team also which saw them finish 8th (Amy Davies 11.58 – Alex Taylor 15.07 – Chloe Gardner 15.21) overall and 2nd in the Lancashire Championships earning them a Silver Medal and had Amy Davies running the 7th fastest North West Leg.
Danny Teare U15 & U17 Men’s Team Manager told the Club that he “Felt like a big step up for the U15 boys and U17 boys (the latter now badged as ‘men’!). They were running against some big units but did themselves very proud. Some last minute leg order changes but all came good. They did themselves proud. In the Lancs champs, the U15b team claimed 2nd and 3rd place, with the u17 men (!) claiming 3rd. Fantastic all round!!“
Injuries robbed the Senior Women of three complete teams which concluded in two teams plus a third team with just two runners competing. Great runs saw them finish 5th (Pauline Powell 23.34 – Maddie Elliott 25.47 – Rachel Wood 25.05) and 15th (Carmen Byrne 24.34 – Hannah Cookson 27.13 – Ellen Sager-Hesketh 28.10) overall which earned them a Lancashire Gold Team Medal. Pauline Powell ran the 8th fastest North West time and 2nd fastest Lancashire time with Carmen Byrne 3rd fastest, Rachel Wood 6th and Maddie Elliott 7th. Lindsay Davies led off the 3rd Team which unfortunately was incompleteeand ran 29.09 with the second Leg clocking (33.46).
Joanne Nelson Senior Women’s Team manager said afterwards that she was “So pleased we managed to get 8 ladies to participate in the relays; almost 3 full teams which certainly would have been met had it not been for injury and illness in the week leading up to the event. A superb effort by all the ladies in what were horrendous conditions (I noticed the rain only stopped when the 2nd leg of the men’s started; typical!) A great day out, even if a bit soggy. Looking forward to the next one”.
The Senior Men fielded five Teams who came home in 5th (Jack Hindle 20.22 – Marc Hartley 22.02 – Tim Raynes 20.13 – Chris Davies 21.50), 18th (Karl Billington 21.05 – Thomas Marchant 22.23 – Joshua Holgate 22.00 – Paul Brindle 22.50), 31st (Joe Gebbie 22.32 – Zachary Howe 21.49 – Paul Guinan 22.55 – Joseph Howe 25.13), 53rd (John Foster 25.02 – Sean Procter 25.05 – Nicholas Smith 25.07 – John Chaplin 26.03) and 69th (John Cookson 27.00 – Andrew Knowles 29.04 – Paul Jeffries 25.37 – Mark Almond 29.12). The ‘A’ team won the Bronze Medal in the Lancashire Championships which saw Tim Raynes post the 3rd fastest Lancashire time and Jack Hindle the 5th.
Speaking to the Club at the end of the day, Paul Guinan Senior Men’s Team manager remarked “Another excellent turnout from the Senior Men, 5 Teams in total, every runner giving their all, could not ask for any more, to top it all off the A Team taking 3rd Lancashire Team. Brilliant”.
Great North Games in Gateshead – Saturday 8th September
Jess Judd and Holly Bradshaw ended their seasons by competing at the Great North Games at the weekend with Jess running the One Mile Road Race and Holly competing in the Pole Vault. Jess ran the Senior Women’s race featuring nine international athletes in total and ran a season best time of 4.35 taking it on from the start to come home in 3rd place behind Susan Krumins (4.33) in 2nd and Laura Muir, the winner also in 4.33. The week before at the Watford Open Meeting just missed a seasons best 800m by a tenth of a second as she clocked 2.04.39 and then ran 8.57.65 for the 3000m less than an hour later.
Holly has had a pretty good year as her list of achievements can testify: Winning Bronze in the European Championships, Winning her 10th British Title, Winning the World Cup held in the Olympic Stadium and is ranked 3rd in Europe and 6th in the world and a seasons best clearance of 4.80m. Her last competition at Gateshead saw her take another win with a clearance of 4.55m.
Lake Vyrnwy Half-Marathon – Sunday September 9th
This is a very popular Half-Marathon race, set in picturesque surroundings around the lake and a great clurse for fast times. Thirteen hundred and sixty three runners enetered and finished this years race which was won by Stuart Hawkes in a time of 66.44.
Ben Fish ran a seasons best by 50 seconds as he came home in 2nd place clocking a time of 67.03, a very good run following a bout of illness of late. Later Ben told the Club about his race commenting “Stuart was in excellent form and it was neck and neck for most of the race. He had a fine run knocking 2 mins off his best. I’ve still got some work to do before relays and Manchester Half“.
(L-R Ben Fish – Stuart Hawkes – Callum Rawlinson)
Wigan 10k – Sunday September 9th
One thousand five hundred runners took part in this race won by Dan Cliffe in a pretty swift time of 31.51. Among the runners were three Blackburn Harriers – Jacob Watson, Chris Davies and Lindsay Davies. Jacob was running only his second 10k Race of the year and wasn’t far away from his personal best time as he came home in 4th place overall in a time of 33.37 with Chris one place further back clocking 33.57 in 5th position – both times being seasons best for the lads. Chris also won the 1st V40 Prize as Lindsay Davies cut seven seconds off her previous best to set a new PB time of 46.17 in 236th place.
Great North Run – Sunday September 9th
Blackburn Harriers Victoria Mousley and Paul Wilkinson joined the 40,000 other runners at this years Half-Marathon race won for the fiftth year in a row my Mo Farah in a fabulous time of 59.26 which equates to an average mile pace of 4.32!
Victoria had an entry into the Elite Women’s Race – Number 204 – and was well spotted on the television in the blue & white as she finished 29th with a time of 88.52. V45 Paul clocked a time of 2hr 02. 28 in 7696th position.
(Blackburn Harriers Victoria Mousley and Holly Bradshaw at the Pole Vault on Saturday)
Cheshire 20 – Sunday September 2nd
Rachel Wood won this Race for the Club in 2017 clocking a time of 2hrs 15.16 and this year, Joanne Nelson was attempting to win it again for the Harriers and nearly did it as she came home 22nd out of a field of one hundred and weighty four with a time of 2hr 21.14 to place 2nd Woman after battle with Katherine Cousins. Joanne was also 1st Woman Vet and 1st V45.
Catching up with Joanne after the race she told us that she “decided to run the South Cheshire 20 miles as an alternative to the Lancaster Golden Ball race which was on the same date. After reading the reviews I was not disappointed. An early start at 9.30am ensured an early get up, but also a fairly early finish. The price of £12.50 to enter was an absolute bargain in comparison to other races. The course was perfectly marked out with tonnes and tonnes and even more enthusiastic marshals. There were plenty of water stations available and martials on bikes with water and gels attached continuously riding past and asking if we were ok. (Or maybe i just looked rough, not sure) A few killer hills for good measure meant it was just like running at home! The presentation was super fast, with prize money given (always a bonus and £40 for 2nd lady can’t be frowned upon). There was even a physio there giving pre and post race massage for a donation and for the hungry runners there was a cake stall too. A little goodie bag with porridge (standard), chocolate biscuit, bottles water and tshirt all included in the price. Not my best time at 2 hrs 21, but fairly happy with a 20 miles under the belt and gives me something to aim for. Definitely one for the diary for next year. Oh, and the race organisers also has a race photographer who puts all the pics on the internet for you to download for free”
Sundowner Middle Distance Triathon – Saturday September 1st
Brian Fogarty won this Middle Distance Triathlon which included a 1900m Swmim, 90k Bike Ride and 21k Run in a total time of 4hrs 08.31 nearly two minutes in front of the second placed triathlete with over 450 finishing the event held at Allerthorpe Lakeland Park in Yorkshire.
“1/2 Ironman event was a last minute decision to race as a tough training session for my big Race this week at Wales Ironman. After a tough few months I felt a needed a good blast to blow off some cobwebs. It’s a good event and I really enjoyed it. It turned out well and I was happy with how things went. Hopefully I can build on this, going in to the race this week”.
One week after winning the Sundowner Triathlon, Brian had an excellent result in the Wales Ironman finishing 7th overall in a combined time of 9hrs 30.51 – the winner Matt Trautman posting a time of 8hrs 53.21 an the only athlete to come home in under 9hrs. Brian took the 4th fastest bike time (5hr 01.31) and the 9th fastest time in the Marathon Leg (3hr 11.57).
After the Race Brian spoke to the Harriers about how he felt the day went saying “Really pleased with my performance on Sunday at Ironman Wales. Nowhere near the level I feel I can get to but all things considered it was as good a race I could have hoped for. Amazing place to race in Tenby and unbelievable atmosphere. I’ll definitely be going back. I hope to now build on this race and finish the season well after a frustrating year”
St Annes Triathlon – Sunday September 9th
Junior Harriers take 1st & 2nd at Fleetwood Triathlon!
Some of the Juniors at Blackburn Harriers are also involved in the Triathlon as well as running for the Club, just like Senior athletes such as Brian Fogarty, Jack Hindle, Mark Bleasdale, Richard Fogarty. Showing their skills last weekend at the St Anne’s Triathlon were Matthew Smith, William Grundy, Emily & Harry Smith.
On a damp and dull morning all 4 faced getting their bikes and kit into transition in the rain, not a prospect anyone looks forward to! However they all persevered and by the time they started racing the rain had stopped and the skies brightened a little. In the entry level Tristart category for 8 year olds, Harry Smith took part in a 50m swim followed by a 1500m bike then finishing with a 600m run, Harry had a fantastic race finishing 7th in a time 13 minutes 22 seconds.
In the Tristar1 category for 9/10 year olds, Harriers had 3 athletes competing. In the female race was Harry’s older sister Emily Smith, she completed the T1 race of 150m swim, 4000m bike then 1200m run in a time of 23 minutes and 53 seconds finishing in a solid 5th place.
In the male T1(9/10yr) race it was anticipated that the battle for top spot was going to be between two Harriers in a re-run of the St Annes triathlon earlier in the year, with 10 year old Matthew Smith and 8 year old William Grundy going head to head. With both boys entering times of 2mins 45 seconds for the swim, this time it was William who was to set off first with Matthew 20 seconds behind. Unfortunately it appears the full timing chip results for each discipline haven’t become available, however on the day Matthew caught up with William on the bike section and they headed into transition near enough together to get onto the run course, throughout the 1200m run both athletes pushed themself constantly with the on course lead changing throughout. The battle continued right until the line with William crossing the line 1 second ahead of Matthew, meaning on timing chip Matthew took 1st place by 19 seconds in a time of 17 minutes and 17 seconds with William securing 2nd place in a time of 17 minutes 34 seconds a total of 1 minute and 8 seconds ahead of 3rd place. A fantastic race by both in a popular age group of 20 male competitors.
(Report courtesy of Jonathan Grundy)
Blackpool Open Medal Meeting – September 9th
As the Track & Field season comes to a close there are still opportunities for young athletes to compete in Open medal Meetings, the latest of which took place at Blackpool at the weekend.
U13 Jessica Cole got the day of to a great start by winning her Heat and posting the fastest time of both Heats in the 70m Hurdles clocking 12.7. U15 Ben Boocock had a good day and end to the season as he cut a tenth of his 80m Hurdles previous best to set a new PB of 12.7 (3rd). U9 Charlotte Smith who runs with great enthusiasm came 4th in 80m Heat in a time of 14.4. U11 Girl Alisha Lehner followed that new personal best with a new PB of her own as she ran 13.2 in her 80m Heat – an improvement by over a second; Lulu Sharp ran her first ever 80m on the day and finished 7th in 15.5 and then clocked 2.32.1 in the 600m for 9th place in the 14 strong field.
U11 Findlay Carroll also set a new PB by nearly a second in his Heat of the 80m, placing 6th in 13.5 as Loucas Lancashire clocked 13.4 (3rd) in his 80m Heat. U13 Girl Hannah Eccles equaled her personal best of 14.9 as she came 6th in Heat 2 of the 100m. U11 Matthew Smith followed up his 600m win at Burnley the week before with another win in a time of 1.55.0 as he headed a field of eleven runners which also included Findlay Carroll (7th) in 2.14.8. Saul Sharp (U13) and one of those youngsters who had run at the North West Relays the day before at Delamere ran 2.46.2 in the 800m for 4th spot.
In the Field events Matthew Smith who had won the U11 High Jump at Burnley a week before clearing 1.41 for a meeting record, set another new PB of 1.43m as he came 2nd with the same height as the winner. The U9 Girls Long Jump which had seventeen youngsters competing saw Charlotte Smith leap out to 2.55m (5th) and Lulu Sharp jumping 2.08m in 13th as Alisha Lehner placed 10th out of 19 with a jump of 2.98m in the U13 Girls Long Jump and a new PB by 28cms.
There was another new PB for Findlay Carroll as he placed 7th out of 15 in the U11 Boys Long Jump as he leapt out to 3.19m. U13 Madison Bontoft came home in 4th place in the Shot Putt with 6.01m as sister Grace Bontoft finished 3rd in the U15 Girls Shot Putt with 6.70m and 3rd in the Hammer (26.47m). U15 Matthew Heywood competed in the Shot Putt and Discus finishing 5th in the Shot with 8.60m before going on to win the Discus with a throw of 30.31m and the Hammer with a new PB of 43.15m. In the Senior Women’s Discus Anna Peers continued to rack up wins for the season taking this latest competition with a distance of 33.75m.
Results Round Up – Seasons Best for Tom at Trafford – Victoria Wins Hunter 5k Series – Holly 4th in Zurich Diamond League – Matthew Posts two new U11 Meeting Records – Top Ten for Jonathan and Derek at Golden Ball 20 – Top 5 for Paul at Garstang Half – Southport Open meeting – Burnsall Fell Race
Trafford 10k – Sunday September 2nd
Some great racing at the Trafford 10k on Sunday which incorporated the National 10k Championships which saw Ribble Valley 10k winner – Marc Scott – take the victory in a time of 28.57 from Andrew Butchart (28.28).
Blackburn Harrier Tom Blaney ran in this Race posting a time of 34.25 in 76th place out of a field of 1000 runners which was a seasons best.
Victoria Mousley ran the Hunter 5k Series this summer consisting of four races in which she was pretty consistent winning the Series overall. Victoria finished 10th, 2nd woman and 1st Vet in the May Race in 19.22; 10th again in the June Race with a time of 19.30, 1st woman and 1st Vet; 13th in the July Race (20.12) – 2nd woman and 1st vet and in the final Race on August 28th she wrapped up the Series placing 12th overall, 2nd woman and 1st Vet in a time of 19.48.
Holly Bradshaw competed at her penultimate meeting of the season at the Diamond League Fixture held in Zurich last week where she finished in 4th spot clearing 4.57m. Among the highlights of the season for Holly was her Bronze Medal jump of 4.75m in the European Championships, her win for GB in the Athletics World Cup in the Olympic Stadium and her 3rd place finish in Jockrim where she cleared 4.80m.
Burnley U11 Open medal Meeting – Sunday September 2nd
This is a popular local meeting held annually which gives youngsters from U8’s through to U11’s a chance to compete against one another in a number of Track and Field Events and this one featured quite a few Blackburn Harriers. Junior Endurance Coach – Lorna Sharp – commented “I just wanted to say well done to all the kids who competed today in the Burnley U11 meet. This was a great opportunity for the U11’s to get a chance to compete in a local event and for some of them their first competition, the nerves were quickly subsided, lots of medals were won and lots of smiles which is always good see the kids having fun whilst competing”.
One of the stand out performances of the day was that of U11 Matthew Smith who set a new meeting record of 1.41m in winning the high jump and then set a new record time for the 600m – winning the race in a time of 1.51.3 and some two seconds clear of the 2nd placed runner. He wasn’t that far off a hat-trick of wins either as he leapt out to 3.82m in the Long Jump to take 3rd place. Sister Charlotte Smith got into the winning act too as she came 1st in the U8’s 50m in 9.0sec, came 3rd in the 150m (28.5) and won the Long Jump with a leap of 2.55m – and she is only 7yrs old! Quite a few of the youngsters were competing for the first time which was the case for U9 Liam Bennison who finished 3rd in the 50m (9.8), 3rd again in the 150m in 29.4 and 4th in the Long Jump with a distance of 2.31m. U9 Lulu Sharp ran 31.0 for the 150m, came 2nd in the Cricket Ball (14.15m) and 5th in the Long Jump with a leap of 2.28m. Alexander Brien (8th) and Felix Thompson (10th) ran the U10 Boys 75m clocking 13.0 and 13.2 respectively which Felix followed up with a 2.12.2 600m placing 4th overall with Alexander in 10th spot (2.26.9). U10 Loucas Lancashire also contested the 600m in this race coming home in 5th position in a time of 2.16.7 and then finished with a jump of 2.72m for 7th place in the Long Jump. On to the Cricket Ball which saw Loucas take 3rd spot throwing a distance of 28.25m as Felix placed 5th in the same competition with a throw of 26.72m.
In the U10 Girls Hannah Davies had a good day too as she won the 600m in 2.05.8 and then took 2nd spot in the Long Jump with 3.12m. U11 Isaac Smith ran a time of 12.9 in the 75m (7th) before clocking a time of 2.31.8 in the 600m for 7th position and 7th spot in the Cricket Ball (23.28m). U11 Lydia Houghton was one of 15 runners in the 75m as she finished equal 12th with a time of 13.6 and going on to throw 3.86m in the Shot Putt. U11 Findlay Carroll took to the Cricket Ball competition in style, winning it with a throw of 30.74m and finished his day with a leap of 3.01m in the Long Jump.
Golden Ball 20 – Sunday September 2nd
V50 Jonathan Bridge had a pretty good day in this race clocking 2hr 17.39 in this 20 mile race to come home in 6th spot overall with V45 Derek Reilly another four places further back in 10th spot running a time of 2hr 23.51.
Garstang Half-Marathon – Sunday September 2nd
Just down the road from Lancaster, V45 Paul Brindle ran the Garstang Half and finished in 4th place and 2nd V45 in a time of 86.43.
Southport Waterloo Open Meeting – Saturday September 1st
Myah Booth currently lies in 10th place in the National Rankings for 75m Hurdles with a time of 11.34 clocked at the English Schools Championships this year. Next year she moves up to U17’s and decided to tackle that distance – 80m Hurdles – for the first ever time at the Open Meeting over the weekend and didn’t too badly at all, winning her event in a time of 12.7. Also competing on the day for the Harriers was U15 Matt Heywood who placed 5th in the Shot Putt with 8.57m and 4th in the Javelin with a throw of 24.88m.
Burnsall Fell Race – Sunday 2nd September
Dexta Thompson had a run out at this latest in the Bofra Series contesting the U14 Race which featured Boys and Girls running together. Dexta finished 5th in the Boys Race with a time of 8.12.
For Athletics News from around the UK, race videos & interviews and discussion on the sport check out eightlane.org
Click here to have a look at eightlane.org.