Category Archives: Track & Field
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!!
New Club Record for Anthony – Joanne Wins Trimple 20 – Rachel is 2nd at Hampton Court Half-Marathon – English Schools Cross Country Championships – Chris Wins Vets at Bispham 10 – Sportscity Indoors – Trimple 20 – Chester Ultra with Paul
Blackpool Open Meeting – Saturday March 17th
We start this report, not with a mention of the athletes, but of the Officials. Not the weather for a Track & Field Meeting, that’s for sure, as these scenes from Blackpool yesterday testify. But this highlights once again, the invaluable contribution by the unpaid Officials who give up all their time, not just for a single event, or an hour or two, but the whole day, week after week, month after month, throughout the whole year. They can be found at the Track, on the Road, Cross Country and Fells, at Indoor Fixtures, County and Regional Championships and in some cases – National Championships. Without them we don’t have competition. For anyone who wants to make a contribution to this most important of roles – DON’T HESITATE – contact the Club and get involved in officiating. It gets warmer from here on in!!
The weather didn’t seem to deter Anthony Kent as he threw a new PB and new Club Record for the U20 Men’s Shot (6kg), winning the event with a throw of 11.81m, backing that up by winning the U20 Discus (1.75kg) with a throw of 36.65m for a great start to his season. Anthony is one of a number of throwers coached by Jim Kerrigan and he wasn’t the only one who has improved after this winters training. U15 Matthew Heywood set a new PB in the Shot (4kg) with 8.30m well over half a metre improvement, took 2nd in the Discus with 20.60m before going on to add 9m to his previous personal best in the Hammer, winning the event with a massive new PB of 32.19m. U15 Kyle Taylor-Pomfret has been doing some training for the Hammer with Coach Mick Hitchon and this has paid off as Kyle set a new PB of 22.65m in the Hammer (4kg), adding six metres to his previous best. Nicky Saunders opened her early season with a 2nd in the Discus (1k) of 23.48m and 4th in the Hammer with a throw of 19.34m. Tony Balko, last seen under a blanket trying to keep warm came 4th in the Senior Men’s Shot (9.11m) and 4th in the Hammer with 31.92m. U11 Madison Bontoft tried her arm at the Shot Putt (2.72kg) throwing 4.85m to finish 8th which was a new PB by over 20cm.
In the prevailing weather conditions on the day, it is a wonder that anyone managed to perform at their best in the Field or Track events and yet they did. Many of the youngsters were competing in their first ever track and field events, so all credit to them for persevering with the weather. U11 Matthew Smith had a cracking day winning the 80m in a time of 12.6, placing 3rd in the 600m (1.59.5) and then took 2nd spot in the Long Jump out of 20 competing with a leap of 3.79m. Felix Thompson also ran the U11 Boys 600m clocking 2.23.2 in 17th place. Imogen Robinson took on three events placing 2nd in the U11 Girls 80m (13.9), 7th in the 600m with a time of 2.23.7 and 8th out of twenty one in the Long Jump with a jump of 3.00m. Brooke Szatkowski placed 3rd in the 80m with 14.6 and 11th in them Long Jump (2.83m) whilst Alesha Hindle ran a time of 16.0 in the 80m (5th) and jumped 2.06m in the Long Jump (20th).
In other Sprint races U13 Aidan Downes ran 16.3 in the U13 Boys 100m. U17 Bailey Madden won her Heat of the 100m in 13.1 – the fastest time of all three Heats, with Millie Coy winning her Heat in a time of 13.3. Abigail Stratton (U15) placed 7th in her Heat of the 100m (15.9) with Hannah Eccles taking 6th in her 200m Heat in a time of 33.8. Charlie Coy won the Senior Women’s 100m in 15.00 whilst Ross Liddle finished 2nd in the Senior Men’s Heat (1) 100m in a time of 11.9, the same time as the winner. Dominic Bretherton contested Heat (2) winning in a time of 11.8 with Daniel Hamilton in 5th place (13.3). A special mention to Huzaifa Hanif who ran 61.8 for 3rd spot in the Senior Men’s 400m. Huzaifa hasn’t raced since 2015 when he had set a then personal best time of 54.5 for the 400m. In the last three years he has had a number of surgeries and rehab programmes to deal with and has always maintained that he would be back. All credit to this young man and no doubt he will now push on to hopefully realise his full potential over the one lap event.
Ben Stratton started his season well finishing 2nd in the U13 Boys 1200m in a time of 4.13.0, his first time over the distance. U13 Girls Keira Haxton (4.39.2) and Isabelle Hartley (4.54.9) went in the 1200m race placing 3rd and 6th respectively whilst Codie Dewhust (a new PB of 1.59.7) and Harry Sambrook (2.05.0) contested the U13 Boys 600m placing 3rd and 6th too. Codie’s run was exceptional and proved once again, the benefit of cross country which helps build aerobic endurance, as he knocked a massive thirteen seconds off his previous best time. Another example of this was the run of Hayden Mercer in the U15 Boys 800m which he won in a new PB time of 2.21.9, cutting three seconds off his previous best. Sophie Stanworth too, was another young athlete starting off well and benefiting from the cross country season as she won the U15 Girls 800m in a time of 2.31.8 which also saw Ellie Singleton place 7th in 2.57.4 and sister Paige Singleton 8th in 3.01.2. In the other middle distance events, Kyle Taylor-Pomfret came 2nd in the U15 Boys 1500m (5.17.3) – Isabel Hartley ran a time of 5.35.4 in the U17 Women’s 100m – Abigail Stratton came 2nd in the U15 Girls 1500m in a time of 5.40.3 with Hannah Eccles setting a new PB by eight seconds placing 5th in 5.50.5.
In the Hurdles Jasmine Schofield came 4th in the U13 Girls Heat (1) 70m Hurdles posting a time of 14.5 with Isabelle Hartley 6th in 15.8 and Kady Thompson 6th in 17.0 (Heat 2). Codie Dewhurst took 2nd spot in the U13 Boys 75m Hurdles in a time of 17.6 whilst Myah Booth won the U15 Girls 80m Hurdles clocking 12.4. As always, there were massive fields in the Long Jump which saw Niamh Gater place 17th out of 28 in the U13 Girls Long Jump (3.00m) and Keira Haxton 28th (2.09m). Harrison Allcock came 10th out of eighteen in the U13 Boys Long Jump (3.35m) with Aidan Downes 14th (3.04m) and Codie Dewhurst 17th (2.94m). Liberty Thompson cleared 1.30m in the High Jump to take 2nd place with Abigail Stratton clearing 1.20m for 6th place in the U15 Girls event.
English Schools Cross Country Championships – Saturday March 17th
The English Schools had a number of Blackburn Harriers athletes qualifying to run for Lancashire, the highest placed being the Intermediate Boys team who finished 3rd out of the forty four counties competing. Two Blackburn Harriers ran in the team which saw Matt Ramsden come home as 4th counter (six to count for the team) in 42nd overall in a time of 18.47. Sam Hodkinson finished 124th overall clocking a time of 19.38.
Race Videos (Courtesy of Tonbridge AC)
The Junior Boys came 11th overall out of the forty five teams with Harvey Ashworth from the Harriers placing 243rd out of 346 runners in a time of 16.21. The Senior Boys came home 14th overall and the Junior Girls 22nd. In the Intermediate Girls Lancashire came in 33rd with Blackburn Harrier Amy Davies finishing 122nd overall in a time of 15.42 and first counter for the team. The Senior Girls Lancashire team came home in 20th place which saw Maddie Elliott from the Harriers take 2nd counting place in 81st place (17.51) with Harriers Hannah Cookson in 217th (19.29) and Freya Black 297th in 21.35 both counting for the team in 5th and 6th places respectively.
Hampton Court Half-Marathon – Sunday March 18th
Over three thousand runners took part in this Race, now in its fourth year, the latest being won by Kojo Kyereme in a time of 72.05. Rachel Wood came home in 33rd place clocking a time of 85.47 to taken 2nd in the Women’s Race, just 37 seconds behind the winner Lucy Niemz and pointing to a good time for Rachel in the London Marathon this year.
Bispham 10 – Sunday March 18th
Where do you want to be in freezing temperatures and driving winds – a 10 mile race next to the sea? One hundred and fifty nine runners braved the conditions at the Bispham 10 on Sunday won by Rob Affleck in 56.21.
Four Blackburn Harriers took part with Chris Davies taking 3rd spot overall in a time of 57.12, adding 1st V40 to his prize list as well as the Gold Medal in the Northern Vets Championships. Next home for the Harriers came Daniel Whittaker in 17th overall posting a time of 68.40 and 4th V40. Lindsay Davies finished in 46th place and 2nd V45 Woman with a time of 77.18 and she was followed home by Paul Wilkinson (V45) in 67th place with a time of 81.23.
Sportscity Indoor Series – Sunday March 18th
Five Harriers went over to Sportscity for the last in this years Indoor Series, all concentrating on the 60m and 60m Hurdles. In the 60m bottom of age U20 Nick Massey finished 3rd in a time of 7.90 with U17 Solomon Brown coming home in 3rd in the U17 Race clocking 7.86. U23 Morgan Angland ran 8.37 when finishing 2nd in her 60m race whilst Aysha Karolia set a new PB for the Indoor 60m, placing 2nd in a time of 8.96. In the 60m Hurdles, Morgan took 2nd spot in 9.70 and Ben Boocock also finished 2nd in the U15 Boys race with a time of 10.09.
(L-R Aysha Karolia – Ben Boocock – Solomon Brown)
Trimple 20 – Sunday March 18th
This Race went ahead, against expectations with over five hundred finishers, which was amazing given the weather and the fact that so many races had had to be cancelled.. The race was won in a swiftish 1hr 55.47 by Martin Green in front of Blain Rooney in 2nd (1hr 56.07). Paul Brindle was the first Blackburn Harrier across the line in 13th place clocking 2hr.09.51 and winning the V45 age group. Jonathan Bridge was next home for the Club in 2hr 18.35 (32nd) and 3rd V50. Winner of the Women’s Race was Joanne Nelson and V45 winner too, with a time of 2hr 19. 40. Carol Reilly (V45) finished in 142nd spot, running a time of 2hr 45.08. A great effort by all the athletes in those conditions.
What do you do when you are approaching 60yrs of age? Paul Clarke who will be 60 in September this year decided to celebrate early and take on the Chester Ultra – 52 miles long. Paul spoke to the Club about why he did and how saying “Its my 60th year so I thought I would do an Ultra. I chose the Chester Ultra 52 miles of a mixture of road canal and mainly trail. It is a great route, the first 26 miles mainly flat and the second half hilly. The second half was tough due to at least 23 miles of thick gooey mud which just made it impossible to run for a good length of time , slipping and sliding all over the place. We set off at 6am and I finished just after 7pm position 157 earning a silver trophy which I was over the moon with as expected a bronze with it being my first ultra”.
Top 30 for Rob & U15 Boys first Northern Team at National XC Championships – Ben Wins Thorpe Half-Marathon – Pauline 3rd in Wrexham Half-Marathon – Ben Costello has good run in Lostock 6 – Harriers set five new PB’s Indoors at Sportscity – Blackpool 10k
Turned out be a very good day for the Harriers at this years National Cross Championships on the iconic course at Parliament Hill in Hampstead and highlighted by top 30 individual finishes in the Men’s Senior and U15 Boys Races.
Two thousand three hundred and twenty eight finishers in the Men’s Senior Race over 12k won by Adam Hickey in a time of 39.35, nine seconds in front of the second placed athlete Andrew Maud. The Harriers Men’s Team featured Rob Warner, Ben Fish, Tim Raynes, Jack Hindle, Mat Nuttall, Paul Guinan and John Chaplin, with George Woodburn, Karl Billington and Evan Cook the main cheerleaders. One hundred and sixty two Clubs contested the Championships with the Harriers finishing in 22nd overall.
Rob Warner started off the year with a 4th place in the Lancashire County Championships before finishing in 39th spot at the Northern Championships in Leeds at the end of the month. He followed that up with a tremendous run in the Nationals to finish 27th overall in a time of 41.41, one of his best races ever over cross country as he commented to the Club after the Race had ended saying that it had been ”Great day down at parliament hill with the lads, was such a great team atmosphere and everyone had really strong runs! Always enjoy nationals as it’s usually the biggest field of any race in the year so it makes for a class atmosphere. On a personal note, I would have to rank this as the best race of my life so far! My plan was to go off pretty hard up the first hill and try not to fall away too badly, and thankfully I didn’t and felt as though I finished quite strongly actually. Was a massive surprise as the cross season hasn’t been that great for me so far, so I was thinking that a best possible result would be to sneak in the top 50 so over the moon to get into the top 30! Well done to all the lads again, some great results from the guys!”
Ben Fish got boxed in at the start and was somewhere around the 200’s as he tried to get clear. George Woodburn said that Ben finished like a train as he passed loads of athletes to take a fantastic 48th place, clocking 42.20. Ben was delighted with his run as he told the Club ”wow what a run by the team. Superb run by Rob for top 30, incredible stuff! I was happy with my result, 48th is my highest finish since a good few years ago. Got off to a poor start but came through well. 22nd place for the club is some achievement, great team effort!”
Tim Raynes has had a great 2017 setting new personal bests at everything from 800m through to 10k and has carried on in 2018 in the same vein, just missing out on a top 100 finish by one place as he came home in 101st posting a time of 43.25. At the end of the days events, Tim spoke to the Harriers saying ”It’s been a great weekend down in London, don’t think anything can quite top the atmosphere at the National XC. Particular well done to Rob for a phenomenal run, backed up well by Ben after a tricky start. On a personal note, managed to get a good start and have an ok run … disappointing to just miss out on the top 100 though! Great result to be 22nd team, rounding off some consistently solid XC team results this season. Bring on the relays!”
Jack Hindle who had a very good run at the Northerns in Leeds in January and part of the Men’s Senior Team who won the local Red Rose League Title, was next home for the Harriers with another very good run as he came home in a time of 44.31 in 153rd place. Jack was really pleased with his run and the way that all the Harriers had performed, commenting that it had been ”a fantastic day out for Blackburn Harriers. Impressive runs from the U15 boys to start the day off and then for Rob and Ben to both be in the top 50, shows our quality. Well done to all the lads on their runs. A fantastic atmosphere and great team spirit. It’s rounded off what has been one of our best ever Senior Men’s XC seasons”.
With a time of 48.54, Mat Nuttall was the Club’s 5th counter in 492nd spot with Senior Men’s Team Captain Paul Guinan in 739th place clocking a time of 51.24. Paul reflected on his first season as Team Captain and the days events, telling the Club “What a great way to end the XC Season, a truly iconic race with racing conditions near perfect, what an effort by all, finishing 22nd team is impressive. Rob W confirming he ran the race of his life finishing 27th is fantastic, thanks to all the team for a great season and I get the feeling things are going to get even better, finally having George, Karl & Evan here really did put the icing on the cake, a brilliant weekend”. V60 John Chaplin was the final runner home for the Club with a time of 61.22 in 1703rd. Katie Buckingham who is having a very good cross country season, ran for the first time in the Senior Women’s race featuring one hundred and twelve Clubs and eleven hundred and thirteen finishers, coming home in an impressive 193rd spot with a time of 35.32. Katie said she “Really enjoyed my first senior nationals, it’s a great experience to be in such a huge field. All the mud churned up by earlier races and the endless 8k of hills made for some difficult running – I can see why people call it a love hate course! Shame about the lack of women but a great shift by all the guys”.
Less than twenty four hours after ‘finishing like a train’ at the National Cross Country Championships, Ben Fish ran the Thorpe Half-Marathon along with seventeen hundred and sixty two other runners winning it in a time of 69.06 – a minute and a half in front of the second placed athlete, Kojo Kyereme and Russell Bentley in 3rd.
Ben is an On Ambassador and ran the Race as part of their programme commenting after the weekend that he “just went into the race with an open mind. I figured if I ran hard on heavy legs it would be a good indicator to a halfway split for the marathon. Good event and I pulled away from fellow On Ambassador Kojo Kereme after 5 miles to win by just over a minute”.
After winning Bronze at the Northern Cross Country Championships in January, the U15 Boys team of Matt Ramsden, Sam Hodkinson, Harry Wilkin, Jamie Teare and Leon Thomas went to the Nationals confident of another good performance. The Race featured 52 Teams and 504 four athletes which saw the Harriers finish 10th Team overall and 1st Northern Club which was a great result.
Matt Ramsden who had lost a month of training at the Christmas period is getting back into his stride, had a tremendous run to place 27th overall in a time of 16.17 and just six seconds away from claiming a top twenty place. Just eight seconds behind, Sam Hodkinson also had a cracking run to come home in 34th place in a time of 16.25 commenting that it had been “An amazing experience and a great day of running. We are all pleased with how we ran and are hoping to keep this up for upcoming events.” Next home came Jamie Teare in 186th place with a time of 17.51 with Leon Thomas close behind by one second in 189th (17.52). Harry Wilkin clocked a time of 19.58 to cross the line in 410th position. After the Race Jamie told the Club that it had been “Great conditions for the race. Enjoyed it even though the start took a lot out of me. Glad the team did well, Top 10 and also the highest placed Northern team! Well done to all the Harriers that competed” whilst Harry commented that it had been a “great venue to run at and I’m pleased with a strong finish considering I’ve been out of training for a short while”.
The ever popular Lostock 6 took place on Sunday February 25th attracting three hundred and forty two runners in a Race which was won by Jonathon Kay in 29.57. Ben Costello who had hist first ever race for the Harriers in October 2016 has really progressed in the eighteen months since and his latest outing demonstrated that with a 7th place finish, clocking 32.47. (RESULTS) Ben was pleased with his run and told the Club ”With having Trafford 10k next week I just needed a race to see where I am at and what type of shape I am in. Judging from todays performance i am in good shape again after a few bad months of running and training not quite going to plan. Glad to be back running pain free and it’s time for me to proper push on this year now”. Good to see V50 Martin Kerry out in this race too as he finished in 80th place with a time of 42.09 along with V50 David Morris who came home in 320th (61.54).
Pauline Powell travelled down to Wrexham and ran the Half-Marathon there which featured two thousand two hundred and eighty seven runners. Pauline had a great run, finishing 3rd woman behind much younger athletes Sophie Cowper from Rotherham (1st in 77.25) and Laura Riches from Leigh (2nd in 81.10). Wrexham Results
Also running at the weekend was Paul Wilkinson who entered the Blackpool Stanley Park 10k Day (1) – Saturday February 24th – finishing 111th out of three hundred and ninety two finishers. Paul clocked a time of 49.13. BLACKPOOL RESULTS
Sportscity Indoor Meeting – Sunday February 25th
Four Blackburn Harriers went to the latest fixture in the Sale Harriers Winter Indoor Series, all held at Sportscity and came back after contesting six events with five new personal bests.
U17 Aysha Karolia set new personal best in the 60m placing 5th in a time of 9.01, down from her 9.05 clocking at the previous fixture and made it a double new PB on the day by three tenths, running a time of 29.54 in the 200m to finish in 2nd spot. Solomon Brown (U20) also ran the 200m to post a massive new PB of 25.32, placing 3rd in the race. U15 Ben Boocock continues to improve his times over the Winter Indoor Series with his latest outing in the 60m Hurdles saw him come home in 3rd position with a new PB time of 9.93 – down from his previous best of 9.98. U15 Myah Booth won her 60m Hurdle Race in a new personal best time of 9.57 and then went on to take 2nd in the Shot out of fourteen athletes, throwing 9.40m.
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