Category Archives: Track & Field
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.
Isaac Wins Mid Lancs – Steven Wins Bleasdale Circle – Vet Wins for Joanne, Mat & Chris – BUCS Indoor T&F Championships
After the fifth fixture of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League and with one to go up at Ulverston in March the Harriers are well placed to pick up Team Medals at U11, U13, U15, Senior Women and Vets Categories.
The U11 Girls are lying in 2nd place overall and finished 5th on Saturday, the girls being led home by Hannah Davies in 18th out of the sixty four runners in a time of 8.22 with Imogen Robinson just behind in 16th place (8.28). Next across the line came Isabelle Hartley in 32nd (8.51) followed home by Amelia Burton in her first competitive race for the Club in 35th clocking 8.54. Then came Ayesha Vose in 47th place (9.27) and Lulu Sharp finishing 53rd in a time of 9.51.
Our U11 Boys Team are in second place in the League following this fixture where they finished 3rd team overall on the day. Seventy four youngsters contested the Race – fourteen of whom were Blackburn Harriers. ‘Pocket Rocket’ Sam Aspey led the lads home in 8th place (7.23), Daniel Smith was one place and four seconds further back in 9th (7.27) with Matthew Smith in 14th posting a time of 7.36. One second and one place separated Oliver Gill in 23rd (7.51) and William Grundy in 24th (7.52). More good packing from the lads saw Harry Sambrook run a time of 8.00 in 30th position, the same time as George Ramsden in 31st, also 8.00 and Harry Russel in 32nd clocking 8.06. Charlie Haworth was next home in 37th with a time of 8.12 and he was followed in by Findlay Carroll (44th) in 8.23, Alexander Brien running 8.48 in 61st, Daniel Brotherton (68th) and George Holman 69th both running the same time of 9.13 and Sam Craven in 74th place with a time of 10.47.
The Harriers U13 Girls are still in 1st place even though they finished 4th on the day which saw Leah Hoole lead the girls home in 12th place (9.18) supported by Hollie Cubbon in 19th spot with a time of 9.30, Kate Cookson in 25th clocking 9.44, Keira Haxton 27th in a time of 9.47 and Caroline Woodworth in 28th (9.48), Eva Knowles (50th) in 10.51 and Libby Neal finishing in 60th spot recording a time of 11.34.
One of the highlights of the day was the win of Isaac Butler in the U13 Boys Race featuring sixty runners. Isaac won by seven seconds in a time of 10.57 from Tobias Swarbrick in 2nd. Going into this fixture in 2nd place, the lads consolidated that position with a 2nd placed finish in the Team competition. In 9th and 10th came David Holman (12.05) and Hayden Mercer (12.08) and they were backed up by Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 14th with a time of 12.22, Rory Teare in 22nd (12.48), Codie Dewhurst, another young athlete who continues to improve in 24th (12.51), Saul Sharp running a time of 13.09 in 32nd place and Sebastian Burton 13.23 in 35th position out of a sixty strong field.
Only two girls out in the U15’s which saw Amy Davies place 6th in a time of 12.58 and Eleesha Charnley 7th clocking 13.05. The U15 Boys started the day in 1st place in the League and ended the day still in first place as they won the team event on the day from Kendal in 2nd and Helm-Hill in 3rd. First home for the boys came Matt Ramsden in 3rd posting a time of 13.29, with Sam Hodkinson in 4th (13.34), Leon Thomas in 5th (13.35) and Jamie Teare in 11th place with a time of 14.23.
After three wins and a 2nd in the previous four races, the Harriers Senior Women were on top of Division 3. On Saturday there were just two Senior Women competing – Joanne Nelson and Lindsay Davies but the Senior Women’s Team were still in 1st position at the end of the day. Joanne had another great run finishing 7th overall out of one hundred and twenty nine runners (23.55), was 1st V45 and 1st Vet overall in the Race won by an U20 Scarlet Dale. Lindsay had her best race so far in the Mid Lancs with a very good 29th place in a time of 27.51. In the Senior Men’s Race, there was an excellent finish from Chris Davies taking 8th place out of one hundred and seventy eight in a time of 34.27 which won him the V40 category and 1st Vet overall on the day. Mark Chippendale came home in 25th place clocking 37.06 and Craig Greenough ran a time of 47.07 for 137th spot.
The Bleasdale Circle Fell Race attracted one hundred and seventeen runners on Saturday February 18th which was won by Blackburn Harriers Steven Snape. who had a cracking run to win the Race in a time of 37.25 in front of 2nd placed Rob Jebb (37.41). Speaking to the Club, Steven commented about his race, describing it as “A short fell race at the beautiful Bleasdale area. The first part is like XC which I enjoy. It then goes up a tough climb all the way to the summit it sorts out the runners who went off to fast. This was my best part. The descent was fun and the legs were pretty dead on the last flat bogfest section where I had to dig in. Great cake afterwards too!”
Great to see John Horrocks back out racing again. John has had a bad time with injuries and has only run a couple of Park runs in January after last racing in May 2017. On the day John had a very good run to place 14th over in a time of 43.12 and told the Club after the Race that it was “Good to be back racing after so long out! Really enjoy doing this race every year and for once we had good weather with a decent view from the top. My race went ok, climbed really well but struggled from then on. Well done to Steven on the win, great run!”
Derek Reilly was also on the comeback trail after a period of injuries and took on the Windy Hill Race on February 10th which saw two hundred and three runners complete the course. Won by Shaun Godsman in a time of 61.57 – Derek finished in 14th spot with a time of 69.37 and 2nd V45.
BUCS Championships – February 16 – 18th
Four Blackburn Harriers competed in this years Bucs Indoor T & F Championships held at the EIS in Sheffield. Great to see Joe Pearse back out in the High Jump after a nightmare injury year in 2017, his last competition being the BUCS outdoor championships in May 2017. Joe qualified from his heat with a clearance of 1.93m and went on to clear 1.90m in the Final for 9th place. Joe was just pleased to be back in competition and told the Club that “It is so great to finally jump again, for me it was an achievement to even be at BUCS having only had one high jump session prior to the comp after being out with an injury since last May. There are lots of promising signs and although I was disappointed with the result I was just to tired to jump higher after qualification. Hopefully now I can work on reducing the pain in my ankle and getting back in shape”.
Roxanne Oliver was racing at her last Indoor BUCS in the 60m Hurdles running just shy of her seasons best with a time of 9.26 which brought her home in 5th spot in her Heat. Afterwards Roxie spoke to the Harriers about the her Championships telling us that she “Had a great time competing at my last indoor BUCS! Was hoping for a PB in the hurdles and I felt in shape to do so, but since it was a straight final and no semis it wasn’t to be. I much prefer outdoors though so I’m looking forward to the 100m hurdles instead of the 60m hurdles!”
Morgan Angland was also contesting the 60m Hurdles but suffered a DQ for a false start. These things happen as they say and something that she will learn from as she commented to the Club afterwards. Overall it had been “a really good experience at my first BUCS. Really disappointed with my performance since I false started in my hurdles and got disqualified. But I will learn from it and hopefully do a lot better in outdoor BUCS”.
Katie Buckingham was another athlete who enjoyed the weekend and learned some invaluable lessons about pace judgement as she placed 8th in the ten strong field in a time of 11.06 for the 3000m telling the Harriers at the end of the Championships that she had “had a great weekend watching some top class performances, didn’t have my best race, the pace set of fast and burnt out earlier than I’d hoped but we live and learn, onto the outdoor season well done to everyone else repping Blackburn and Notts!”
Central Lancs 5k – Sunday February 18th
Three hundred and nine runners lined up for this local 5k Race won by Michael Cayton in a time of 15.41, just one second in front of 2nd placed Jonothan Kay. Mat Nuttall had a good run to come home in 10th place overall in a time of 17.31 which saw him win the V45 category. The Harriers Senior Team Manager – Paul Guinan also had a solid run (18.39) for 25th place overall and 3rd V45.
Great North West Half-Marathon – Sunday February 18th
This Race saw twelve hundred and twenty one complete the event which was won by Paul Fausett of 74.34. V50 Jonathan Bridge flew the flag for the Harriers crossing the line in 40th position overall, clocking a time of 84.38 and 2nd V50.
Ben Wins Four Villages Half-Marathon – Chris & Paul set new PB’s at Inskip Half-Marathon – Ben PB’s at Sportscity – Lindsay & Lorna running London Marathon for good causes
Four Villages Half-Marathon – Sunday January 21st
One thousand five hundred and sixty five runners finished this Race – starting and finishing in pretty horrible weather conditions by any standard. In 2017 Ben Fish came second in this Race to Mohammed Abu-Rezeq but managed to turn the tables this year in finishing ahead of him to win the Race in a time of 69.09.
Ben spoke to the Club about the Race and his win telling us that the “First three miles in hailstone and I knew that a fast time would be impossible in those conditions. Road was slushy and slippery too. Abu-Rezeq had a small gap of 50 metres up to about 8-9 miles then it was neck and neck. I think he was having a tough time in those conditions, as usually he pulls away and holds the gap. We reached 10 miles in a slow 53:20. Got a small lead around the 11th mile. Mo needed assistance at the end, but thankfully he seemed ok afterwards”.
(Thanks to Mick Hall Photography for these Race Photos)
Inskip Half-Marathon – Sunday January 21st
Three hundred and fifty two finishers in this Race run like the Four Villages Half-Marathon in pretty grim weather conditions to say the least. Four Blackburn Harriers competed – Chris Davies – Paul Brindle – Joanne Nelson – Carol Reilly in the Race which was won by Stuart Robinson in a time of 70.59.
Chris Davies was the first Harrier home in a new personal best time of 75.32 and told the Club after the Race “Today was just about seeing were my form was at in preparation and for my training for the London Marathon. When arriving I wasn’t feeling to optimistic due to the weather being really poor. It was really cold with some wind which made some parts of the course difficult. I’ve been running for a while now and I have to say that’s the coldest race I’ve taken part in. That said I am pleased with how things went. After 3 miles I found good rhythm in my running and felt good up to the 10 mile mark. Unfortunately my right calf began to tighten which made for uncomfortable last 5K. I managed to dig it out though and managed to knock a second of my PB. It’s not much but a PB is still a PB and it’s a good way to start the New Year in my races. I know I can run quicker and in better conditions I know I can get under 1:15. A terrible day for racing but a good outcome which made it all worth while in the end”.
Paul Brindle had a tremendous run chopping four minutes off his previous best time of 83.55 to record a new PB of 79.56 in 21st place. Joanne Nelson was the first V45 Woman home and 3rd Woman overall in the race as she placed 68th in a time of 88.26. Carol Reilly finished in 159th spot clocking 1hr 41.45.
Ben Boocock’s been doing the Sale Harriers indoor athletics series at Sportscity in Manchester continuing to improve as the series has gone on. On Sunday he was pleased that he managed to knock 0.28 of a second off his previous best time and set a new PB for the 60m Hurdles of 9.98 (3rd) and the first time he has managed to dip inside ten seconds. Although Ben was pleased with his run he still believes he can improve on that time and it’s his first year as an U15 and he wanted to thank Paul and Bob for all their coaching and support.
Two Blackburn Harriers – Lorna Sharp and Lindsay Davies are running this years London Marathon in aid of their two favoured Charities.
Lorna is doing it for Get Kids Going. If you would like to get involved by sending a donation you can access Lorna’s Virgin Give Money Site HERE
Lindsay is running her challenge for Mind.
‘We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect’.
If you would like to get involved by sending a donation you can access Lindsay’s Virgin Give Money Site at:
Get Kids Going! is a national charity which gives disabled children and young people – up to the age of 26 yrs – the wonderful opportunity of participating in sport. We provide them with specially built sports’ wheelchairs so they can do: athletics, marathons, tennis, skiing, rugby, sailing, boccia, basketball, sledge hockey, table tennis, fencing, shooting, archery, powerlifting and many more sports. Get Kids Going! inspires British disabled youngsters to compete in sporting events, from start to paralympic level, by also giving them sports grants to help with their; training, physiotherapy, travel, competition fees, design and development of sports’ equipment etc. With your help many can become world record holders and paralympic champions!
Win for Samantha at Bath – Morgan & Nick at Northern Indoor Championships – 2nd for Steven at Ashurst Beacon – 2nd for Matt at East Lancs 10k – Nine Standards Fell Race
Olympic medalist and 2014 Modern Pentathlon World Champion – Samantha Murray – got her 2018 season off to a great start with a win at the Pentathlon GB National Ranking Competition 1 at the University of Bath on Saturday January 13th. In achieving the win Samantha took first place in the Swim, second in the Fence, sixth in the Ride and 4th in the Combined Event for a total of 1304 points.
UIPM Report HERE
Northern Athletics Indoor Championships
Morgan Angland was competing in her first Senior Championships over 60m Hurdles at the weekend in Sheffield and finished in 4th spot clocking a seasons best time of 9.55. At the end of the day, Morgan spoke to the Harriers commenting that she was “really happy with my race, I did a lot better than I expected for my first time racing as a senior getting a season’s best. Gutted I couldn’t push myself a little more to get 3rd but I’m looking forward to BUCS and more open meetings to hopefully improve on my time”.
U20 Nicholas Smith had gone to the Indoor Championships with the hope of a good time in the 3000m but it didn’t work out quite the way he would have liked as he finished in 6th spot in a time of 10.34. Second fastest on paper entering the Race Nick told the Club that he “Didn’t really run that how I wanted. The first few laps were really slow, so I took the lead and pushed the pace for a lap, trying to make it a faster race …………After I’d done that everybody else stopped the tactical race and went for it, and I couldn’t keep up, so think after I’d seen how slow the first km was, rather than pushing for the time I’d have been better sticking behind and racing tactically”.
Ashurst Beacon Race – January 13th
Steven Snape was racing for the first time in quite a while after a time out through injury. There were one hundred and thirty nine finishers in this Race at Newburgh won by Carl Bell with Steven in 2nd place and afterwards he spoke to the Club about the day saying “This local fell race is a heart and lung buster from the start with a steep downhill for a couple of kilometres. Crossing through fields, streams and trail paths the second half is mainly uphill with the the finish at the top of the beacon in Ashurst. Fantastically well ran and marked I’ll definitely do it again next year. My first race in 3 months but I’m happy with the result even though my legs aren’t happy today”.
East Lancashire Hospice 10k – Sunday January 14th
(Thanks to David Belshaw for the Photos)
Matt Nuttall was racing for the third time since New Years Eve with his latest outing in this local 10k road race featuring five hundred and thirty four finishers and won by Danny Collinge. Matt’s time of 35.07 earned him 2nd place overall and 1st V45. Paulo Sousa was next across the line for the Harriers in 17th spot clocking a time of 39.10. V60 Mike Blacklidge finished 111th overall in a time of 47.03 and he was followed home by V50 Mark Wilkin (140th) with a new PB time of 48.59, Lorna Sharp in 26th place (55.41), U17 Chloe Gardner (58.51) in 332nd and Clare Wilkin with a time of 59.52 in 340th place.
Prior to the main race there was a 2k fun run which had seventy four youngsters running which was won by U15 Harry Wilkin in a time of 8.52. Hollie Cubbon (11th) and Leah Hoole (12th) with an identical time of 10.32 also ran along with Charlotte Collin in 22nd spot (11.45), Charlotte Sousa 25th in a time of 12.03 and sister Holly Sousa in 31st (12.34).
Fun Run RESULTS
In other Races – Saturday January 13th saw the latest in the 3 -1- 5 Series (RESULTS) held in Lancaster which saw Daniel Whittaker finish 7th in the 10k race with a time of 41.11. Catching up on the Fells – John Orrell and Janine Fallon were out on New Years Day at the Nine Standards Race (RESULTS) featuring 133 finishers which saw Janine come home in 81st spot (78.53) with John in 85th (79.46).
A packed out evening at the Mill Hill Working men’s Club saw Blackburn Harriers celebrate the success of all our athletes over the previous year across all disciplines – Track & Field; Cross Country, Road, Fell and Sportshall.
Club Chairman Tony Wood started the evening with a special mention of the first of our two Guest Presenters – Samantha Murray. Samantha who joined the Club as a 15yr old went on to achieve magnificent success in the Modern Pentathlon winning the Silver Medal in the 2012 Olympics and became World Individual Champion in 2014 – outstanding achievements along side so many others over the years including winning the British Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2017.
First Award of the evening – The Junior Squad Trophy – goes traditionally to the Sportshall Group which sees the Coaches nominate three Boys and three Girls. The Boys Nominations were Harrison Allcock, Thomas Flynn, Matthew Smith and the Girls Niamh Gate, Kady Thompson, Molly Grimshaw with Harrison and Niamh taking the Award.
The U11 Endurance Award is given to recognise the efforts of the junior endurance athletes particularly during the 2016-17 cross country season. For the Boys the winner was Oliver Gill and for the Girls Isabelle Hartley.
Junior Team Contribution to Track and Field Award goes to the junior athlete that has competed in most Club fixtures through the 2016 Track and Field season in the UKYDL, Mid Lancs and Lancashire County Championships. Kyle Taylor-Pomfret took the U13/U15 Boys Award followed by three winners of the U13/U15 Girls – Amy Davies, Eleesha Charnley and Leah Hoole. In the U17/U20 Male age category there were also three winners with Ben Whittaker, Jacob Roberts and Nicholas Smith and in the Female category Emily Warren and Chloe Bleeks were the winners.
Junior Merit Award is presented to athletes new to the UKYDL who have impressed their respective team managers and coaches throughout the season with the winners in the U13’s being Kate Cookson, Nicky Saunders, Kyle Taylor-Pomfret and Rory Teare with Queen Tanimowo, Millie Coy, Sam Hodkinson and Jonathan Gough taking the Award in the U15’s.
This award – Senior Team Contribution to Track and Field – goes to the athlete that has competed in most Club fixtures through the 2017 Track and Field season with a combination of Northern Senior League, Mid Lancs and Lancs Champs used to decide the winners. For the Men the winners were Chris Davies and Tim Raynes and for the Women Anna Peers.
Junior Team Contribution to Cross Country Award goes to the Junior athlete that has competed in most club XC fixtures through the season. Red Rose and Mid Lancs Leagues, Lancs, Northern and National Champs. Boys Winners Ethan Barbarewicz (Total of 10 MLL XC and Red Rose XC as well as County and Northern) Girls Winner Amy Davies (4 out of 5 MLL XC and all 4 Red Rose XC plus the Lancs XC, Northern and National). For the Seniors the Award went to Chris Davies (4 out of 5 MLL XC and all 4 Red Rose XC plus the Lancs XC, Northern and National and for the Women, Lindsay Davies took the Award (4 out of 5 MLL XC and 3 Red Rose XC plus the Lancs XC, Northern and National).
The next two Awards presented on the night covered the U13/U15 and U17/U20 Age Groups, the first of which was for the – Most Promising Young Athlete – an Award that highlights athletes that are usually new to the Harriers or just starting with the juniors and have started to make good progress through training and competing regularly and particularly look to have great prospects ahead for them. For the U13/U15 Age Category the Boys Winner was Dexta Thompson and for the Girls Hollie Cubbon. In the U17/U20’s the Winners were Bradley Meikleham and Emily Taberner. The second of these Awards – the Most Improved Young Athlete – went to Matt Ramsden for the U13/U15 Boys, to Myah Booth for the U13/U15 Girls, Ben Whittaker and Chloe Bleeks for the for the U17/U20’s.
The next Award presented on the night – Outstanding Junior Commitment – went to athletes that have shown commitment and application beyond what would normally be expected in order to improve themselves or support their team mates. Cameron Harris won the Award for the U13/U15 Boys for achieving a National Standard 45.54m in the Javelin at English Schools and ending the season on top of the North West Rankings and 19th Nationally. Eleesha Charnley took the U13/U15 Girls Award for her contribution in T&F, XC and Fell as well as being a key member of the road relay squad. Anthony Kent won the U17/U20 category after finishing the season ranked number one in the North West, 12th in the country and reaching the English Schools Final – Coach Jim Kerrigan receiving his Award. Maddie Elliott took the Female U17/U20 Award for competing more XC than any other in this age group, at T&F, and a key member of the relay squad.
The Club’s next award – Club Road Running Award – is made to an athlete who has represented the club with great credit on the roads and conducts themselves in a manner that is a great example to the other members around them. The Women’s Winner was Rachel Wood who won the San-Francisco Marathon and South Cheshire 20 and for the Men the Award went to Joe Monk for a season which saw him set new personal bests at 10k, 10mile and Half-Marathon.
At this point in the evening it was time for the introduction of our next Guest Presenter – George Woodburn. The Club Chairman introduced George as a long standing member of the Harriers, joining way back in 1964. After a successful career as an endurance runner which saw him run 30mins for 10k, 67 mins for the half-marathon and 2.26 for the marathon and after 53 years membership George has continued to be extremely active in the Club as a Coach and Committee member.
The Club Fell Running Award – is made to an athlete who has represented the club with great credit on the fells. The deserved winner was Dexta Thompson who had a great season placing 3rd in the U13 FRA Champs – the English Junior Fell Champs 6 race series. He backed that up with 2nd in the BOFRA U12s, taking the Lancashire U13 Fell title and also winning his age category in the Junior Burnley and Pendle Grand Prix Series.
Going from juniors to veterans, the winners of the Best Veteran Athletes Award went to Ben Fish who during the course of the season competed on the Track at 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, 10000m and Steeplechase as well winning eight road 10k and half-marathon races. For the women, this Award went to Victoria Mousley after winning the 5k Veteran title at Horwich and recording six other wins at 10k and half-marathon. There was a second Veteran’s Award which was a Merit Award for Road Running and this was won by Carmen Byrne who recorded four wins at 10k and 10 mile.
Normally there is just one Award for the Triathlete of the year but this year there were two. Our first Winner was Brian Fogarty after a tremendous performance in the British Ironman Championships where he placed 11th overall and first amateur. Our second Winner was Jack Hindle after a a stunning win at the Helvellyn Triathlon where he won the event by a full twelve minutes in front of the previously undefeated professional.
Many of our junior athletes participate in a variety of events, even if not true multi-eventers, This award – Best Junior All Round Track and Field Performance – reflects their versatility and the overall contribution they make to the Track and Field squad. Our Boys Winner was George Whittaker who competed in ten different events during the season for the Club whilst the Girls Award went to Liberty Thompson who competed in nine events overall throughout the year.
The Best Senior All Round Track and Field Performance went to John iLunga who competed in eleven events for the Club during the season as well as taking on a Decathlon at the Lancashire County Multi-Events Championships. The Women’s Winner was Anna Peers who competed in all the Throws events for the Club in the Northern league amassing a massive one hundred and four points.
Our next two Awards cover firstly – Best Junior & Senior Field Performance and and secondly – Best Junior & Senior Track Performance. Starting with the Juniors for the Field Award, U15 Jonathan Gough won for his 11.70m Triple Jump at Blackpool whilst for the Girls Emma Love won the U13/U15 Award for her 1.40m High Jump at Bury in the UKYDL. Jacob Roberts threw 65.64m at the Blackburn Open which won him the U17/U20 Award whilst Charlotte Williams won the U17/U20 Girls Award for her throw of 60.53m at Loughborough (Ann-Marie receiving on behalf of Charlotte). For the Senior Awards, these went to Joe Pearse for his High Jump of 2.00m at the Bucs Championships in Bedford (Esme Pearse receiving on behalf of Joe) whilst the Women’s Award went to Olympian Holly Bradshaw who broke her own National Record with a jump of 4.81m (Bob Groves receiving on behalf of Holly)
The Junior Awards for Best Performance (U13/U15) were won by Matt Ramsden for his 3000m time of 9.24.4 at Blackpool in August and Myah Booth for her 11.6 70m Hurdles time at the Blackburn Open. For the U17/U20’s age group Ross Liddle was the male Winner for his time of 50.6 in the 400m at a Northern League fixture in Liverpool and Emily Warren took the female Award for her 12.6 sec in the 80m Hurdles at the Blackburn Open. Rob Warner was the Winner of the Senior Award for his 3.49.1 1500m run at Trafford whilst Alison Leonard took the Women’s Award for 1500m run in Germany clocking a time of 4.24.4. Rob’s Trafford time also saw him win the prestigeous Arthur Almond Trophy which is presented to the athlete with the best Track performance throughout the season.
Our next Award of the evening – Best Schools Championship Performance of the Year – was presented to the athlete that has produced the best performance in a Schools Track and Field event during the season. Winner of the Girls Award for her Silver Medal throw of 59.41m in the English School Hammer Final was Charlotte Williams (Brother George receiving her Award) whilst the Boys Award was won by Ross Liddle for his time of 54.3 in the 400m Hurdles Final.
Four Awards for the Club Championship which is conducted throughout the year over varying types of Races on Road, Cross Country, Trail and Fell. Fifteen Races in total with the best eight performances counting towards the eventual winners. This year saw Lindsay Davies win both the Women’s Club Championship and Club Handicap whilst Chris Davies won the Men’s Club Championship and Ian Clarkson won the Club Handicap.
A very special Award made by the Harriers Club Committee was made to Joe Fleming, the Club’s High Jump Coach. This Award is made in recognition of a contribution made by a member of the Club who has shown commitment and dedication in working for the betterment and improvement of the Clubs athletes and the Club itself. Over many years Joe has displayed all of these characteristics and was a very deserving winner.
At the Club’s Annual General Meeting held recently it was announced that Richard Taylor was standing down as a Committee Member after a number of years in that role, as was the Club Secretary George Davies. George continues on the Committee and was elected Vice-Chairman with Wendy Hitchon being elected the new Club Secretary. In recognition of the work they had done, the Club made awards to both Richard and George which were presented by Wendy.
One of the highlights of the evening was the awarding of Life Memberships to Olympians Sophie Hitchon, Holly Bradshaw and Samantha Murray. In introducing the Awards, Club Chairman Tony Wood told the assembled Harriers that granting Life membership was a an indication of the contribution that these three athletes had made not only in their own specific events but to the support and development of the Club as a whole and that it was fitting to mark those achievements and contributions in this way. George Davies presented the Award to Samantha whilst Bob Groves received the Award for Holly Bradshaw as she was unfortunately unable to be there and Wendy Hitchon was presented with Sophie’s Award as she was in the US at a training camp.
The Bob Groves Trophy which is presented by the Club’s Hurdles Squad was won by Solomon Brown recognising his step up to 400m Hurdles and his improvement throughout the season. Bob took the opportunity to highlight the progress that Solomon had made throughout the year alongside Club record holder for 400m Hurdles – Ross Liddle.
Charlotte Williams and Jacob Roberts, two of the Clubs very successful Hammer Throwers were presented with International Awards, an Award which recognises the increasing number of athletes that have represented the Club at International level during the year and in 2017 both athletes were selected to compete for England.
On to the Athlete of the Year for Juniors and Seniors which highlighted some great performances. Junior Male Winner was U15 Matt Ramsden for his 3000m time of 9.24.4 which puts him at the top of the North West Rankings by over half a minute and in the top twenty in the Nationally. The Female Junior Winner was Charlotte Williams for her throw of 60.53m in the Hammer, finishing the season 2nd in the North West rankings and 2nd Nationally.
Senior Male Winner was Rob Warner for his personal best time of 3.49.12 whilst the Female Winner Holly Bradshaw won after breaking her own British Outdoor Pole Vault Record with a clearance of 4.81m.
The Final Award of the evening is the Round Chase Trophy, a trophy that has been in the Club for well over eighty years. And it was fitting that George Woodburn who has contributed so much to Endurance running in the Club was able to present the Cup and the individual medals to the U15 Boys Endurance Squad who have had a fantastic year. They came 2nd in the Red Rose Cross Country League – 1st in the Mid Lancs Cross Country League – won the U15 Lancashire Road Relays and North West Road Relays in Blackpool – followed that up by winning the Northern Road Relays at Sportscity and capped it off with a Silver Medal in the National Road Relays at Sutton Park.
(L-R Back Row: George Woodburn presenting the Award – Luke Ingleson, Jamie Teare, Matt Ramsden, Leon Thomas & Sam Hodkinson – L-R Front Row: Harry Wilkin, George Whittaker & Ethan Barabarewicz)
National Road Relays and Silver for U15 Boys – Track & Road Veteran wins for Chris, Shaun and Evan – Wins for Charlotte, Jacob and Sam at Hammer Circle Reunion Open Meeting
National Road Relays day at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday October 7th enjoyed very good weather and some great racing. For Blackburn Harriers, the U13 Boys Squad who had won Gold in the Lancashire Championships and Silver in the North West Championships going on to win Silver in the Northern Championships, had another cracking day finishing in the top 25 with David Holman (14.38), Kyle Taylor-Pomfret (15.04) and Dexta Thompson (15.00) combining to place 23rd Team overall which has capped a great four weeks of competition for them.
(David Holman on Leg (1) Start in the U13 Boys Relays)
At the end of the day the three lads all reflected on their performance with David telling us that “It has been a great experience being able to compete in the national road relays. It was a difficult race and I am proud of what we achieved today” whilst Kyle said that he had “had a great day and has really enjoyed the experience. He also wants to say well done to the older boys” with Dexta commenting that he “found the hills and the overall course tough but it was a good experience for the future”
(L-R U13’s Kyle Taylor-Pomfret – Dexta Thompson – David Holman — U15’s Matt Ramsden – Sam Hodkinson – Leon Thomas)
Next team up for the Club – the U15 Boys Squad – have been in fantastic form over the Road Relay month winning Gold Medals at Lancashire, North West and Northern Championships and safe to say they entered the Nationals confident of a good performance albeit that this was, just like the U13 Boys, their first time competing at National level.
Leon Thomas led off on the first leg featuring seventy five other Teams, clocking 13.33 to come through in 27th spot. Sam Hodkinson charged after the field, pulling back nineteen places in a time of 13.02 to hand over to Matt Ramsden on the final leg. Matt ran the equal fourth fastest leg of the day (12.42) to pull back another seven places, overtaking the then 2nd placed athlete on the home straight to clinch a fabulous Silver Medal for the lads. What a run by all three of them and this is what they had to say after picking up their Medals:
Leon ………“Words cannot describe how proud I am with our Team effort, coming second in such a prestigious competition and winning a silver medal for Blackburn Harriers was the best feeling ever. Well done to all Blackburn Harriers”.
Sam………“I am really proud of myself and the team today. Expectations were high, but not that high. All that training and help from the coaches has paid off. I am on cloud 9. Well done lads”.
Matt………“I am so pleased with mine and the teams performance at nationals. With it being such a vastly talented race coming second exceeded what we expected and the race was such a great experience”.
On to the Senior Men’s Race for the Harriers which saw Swansea win impressively by over a minute in a combined time of 1hr 45.16. The Harriers finished in 35th spot with a total time of 1hr 55.14 less than twenty seconds behind Gateshead.
Team Manager Paul Guinan was pleased with how the day went commenting “Great to be back at Sutton Park competing in the National Relays, we definitely belong there, pitching ourselves against the country’s best, and no doubt doing a really good job of it as well. Solid performances throughout the team and hopefully something we can build on in the near future, a big thank you to all the athletes that ran and also a thank you to those athletes that helped get us there. The athletes are the most important thing about the Club without a doubt, but a big thank you to George, John and Karl for making the trip and supporting the team. The future is bright. Well done all”.
(L-R Most Welcome Guest Jess Judd – Rob Warner – Chris Davies – John Chaplin (Senior Coach) – Karl Billington (Leading Cheerer on the Course) – Chris Arthur – Jack Hindle – Mat Nuttall — Front Row – Paul Guinan (Team Manager) – Tim Raynes)
Rob Warner kicked off the first leg placing 33rd in a time of 18.27, handing over to Chris Arthur on Leg (2) who ran the fastest time of the day for the Club clocking 18.00 and pulling back another nine places. Mat Nuttall went on Leg (3) running a solid time of 20.41 before handing over the Chris Davies on Leg (4) who posted a time of 20.18. Jack Hindle went on Leg (5) and by that time the Team had slipped to 51st place but pulled one back at the end of Jack’s good run in 19.19. Tim Raynes blasted off on leg (5) running a time of 18.29 to pull a massive 15 places back.
At the end of the day the lads spoke to the Club about the Championships with Rob Warner telling us that it “Was a fantastic day for the team yesterday, I felt everyone ran solid legs and in most cases ran quicker than we would have down on paper before the race! Like Chris said, we’ve got a really strong senior men’s side at the moment and if we can keep pushing on we’ll have some great results! On a personal note, I was satisfied with my run out. First time I’ve raced the course at Sutton Park and I really enjoyed it! I’m never quick to be back in top shape after my end of season break after the summer but I felt that I gave a team a solid start and I’m a lot fitter at this time of the year than I have been in previous years!”
Chris Arthur commented “As a relatively new and somewhat sporadic member of the team I’ve really enjoyed the relays as a chance to put faces to names and get to know people a bit better. I can only really echo others sentiments that everyone ran brilliantly and it was great to have the support out on the course. I was very pleasantly surprised by my leg time; I can only assume my ignorance of who I was racing worked to my advantage”.
Mat Nuttall speaking at the end of the day echoed the other athletes when he said “I thought the day went extremely well, every team member gave 100% effort and focused on the job in hand. All of our efforts were galvanised by a great Team Manager and Coaches”.
Chris Davies said that “It’s always great to run for the club and yesterday didn’t disappoint. On a personal note I was looking forward to this one, it had been quite a while since I had run at Sutton Coldfield, nearly five years to be exact so I was keen to see how I would fair this time round. It’s a tough course. It was just over 3 1/2 miles and the first 2 are the toughest. Once their out the way then it’s good running to the finish. I was happy with my time of 20:18, a good solid run so no complaints their. As a team we were all outstanding. Every person (Rob,Chris,Matt,Jack and Tim) all ran great and were a credit to the club and I feel we did ourselves proud with a good solid performance. Team spirit was great and hopefully we can carry on like this and I’m sure in the near future we will come away with a really big result. The Senior group is strong at the moment and is proving to be a good group of runners. Keep it going guys because I’m sure their is a big result coming for us soon”.
Jack Hindle who had such a brilliant event at the Helvellyn Triathlon recently told the Club“It was great to be racing at the national road relays in the seniors for the first time. Pleased with my run, which contributed to an overall strong team performance. Well done to the lads and U15 boys on a fantastic performance”.
Tim Raynes spoke afterwards saying that he “Really enjoyed the day yesterday. As the other lads have said, great runs from everyone in the team. It was obvious that everyone was giving it all for the club! Really solid position from the club, a foundation that we’ll hopefully be able to keep building on. Top 20 next year?! It was great also to have George, John, Guiney and Karl down to support – made it a top day. Particular congratulations too to the U15 boys for winning the silver. Future is looking bright!”
Chris Davies was out again the day after the National Road Relays competing in the Northern Masters 10000m track race at Ashton (October 8th) – the first time he had run the distance on the track. “Like the National Road Relays I was looking forward to this simply because I had never tried to do a 10K race before on the track. The strategy has to be slightly different to the road simply because their is no rest bite on the track, it’s just all full on. The strategy was to hit 5:40 pace which I managed to do, in fact I was averaging 5:35 pace which was very pleasing having run the Nationals the day before. I ran the race well, I stuck behind another runner up to the 5 mile mark and broke away with 4 laps to go. I got the win so that’s 2 for 2 in the Northern Masters on the track and a good way to finish my track season this year. Probably would have got under 35 minutes but I was having to run wide a lot when lapping other people. Still a good result though”.
Out on the Roads Shaun Livesey who recently won the Cragg Vale 10m – (Cragg Vale Results) – was back on the roads competing in the Cheshire Half-Marathon at the weekend (Sunday October 10th) and it turned out be a pretty good day for Shaun as he finished 2nd over all out of a field of five hundred and sixty four and took the 1st V40 prize with a time of 75.04.
Shaun spoke to the Club with his thoughts about the race saying “After my success at the GP series of races I decided to have another go at the half marathon distance. With some reasonable outings at the two road relay events and a good performance at the cragg vale 10m road race ( placing 1st) I knew that I was in the shape to run 75/74 mins. However shortly after the cragg vale race I started to develop a heavy cold which set my training back. I had chosen to do the cheshire half at Arley hall knowing that the ground was flat and mostly tree lined roads. The day before the race I did a little session involving some short strides to see how my breathing was, from that I decided to race, but still not 100%. Come the day of the race the weather was ideal, I knew the race attracted some fast runners and I had hoped I could get involved in a group and work together. However this did not materialize, I basically ran the whole race on my own, turning it into a time trial. I hit 5m in 28:10 and then onto 10m in 57:05, then the last three miles were a big effort trying to keep my pace under 6min/mile, the crowd certainly helped at this point. I crossed the line in 1:15:04 2nd place and 1st vet 40. With everything considered this could prove to be one of my best every races”.
Evan Cook was on the winning trail again too taking the 1st V65 prize at the Rochdale 10k run on Sunday October 8th. Evan clocked a time of 44.45 which brought him home in 42nd spot out of a race featuring four hundred and thirty five runners.
Hammer Circle Reunion Open – October 7th & 8th
Just one more competition for the Club’s Hammer Throwers which took place at Hull over the weekend featuring wins for U17 Charlotte Williams, U17 Sam Gaskell and U20 Jacob Roberts.
Jacob Roberts went in to the U20 competition (6kg) with a personal best of 65.64m and nearly broke that when he won his event with a throw of 65.50 which he was delighted with as he explained to the Club that it was “a brilliant end to my 2017 competition season with consistent throwing and 14cm off my PB….onwards now to winter season. Thanks to my Coach – Mick Hitchon – and my training partners”. Also just cm’s outside his personal best of 59.11m was U17 Sam Gaskell who threw 59.03m (5kg) to finish 3rd in his event. U17 Charlotte Williams broke her previous personal best in the 4kg Hammer, not once, but twice – throwing 51.94m on Saturday for 3rd place and then extending that new PB on Sunday to 52.23m. Reflecting on her performance with the Club, Charlotte commented “So the last competition of the season ended in great success. Competing in the u20’s, getting a new PB adding an extra 3 metres and also winning the u20’s as a bottom end under 17’s was a really good way to end my season. On to winter training now and hopefully big distances next year. Thankyou to my coach Mick, mum and dad, the club and training partners for the continuous support. Looking forward to the 2018 season”.
And just to round off this latest Post for the Harriers – with thanks to David Belshaw for this photo – of some Blackburn Harriers at the Burnley Junior Park Run on Sunday morning, many of them will be running their first ever cross country Club Race next weekend.
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