Blackburn Harriers & AC

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Harriers Success

Holly Bleasdale continued her great start to the season. Winning the Pole Vault in Glasgow last weekend with a vault of 4:70, this week in Moscow, Holly put another 5 cms on and won that competition to with a vault of 4:75m beating in the process, Brazil’s 2011 World champion Fabiana Murer and Cuba’s 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist Yarisley Silva.



Next Came Luke Evans who started off in early January running 7.06secs for the 60 metres and  22.34secs for the 200m at the Indoor meeting at Sportscity. This weekend at Sportscity, Luke has lowered these times, and created new Club Records in the process by running 7.00secs in the 60metres and 21.76 secs in the 200metres.


Ben Fish, who finished 5th in this years Ribble Valley 10k with a time of 30:14, went to the Alsagar 5 Mile Road Race on Sunday and finished 2nd in a field of 794. Ben was credited with the same chip time as the winner in 23:57minutes but given 23:58 on Gun Time which placed him second. This is probably one of the fastest if not the actual fastest recorded time for 5 miles for a Blackburn Harrier.


In the Lancashire Schools Cross Country Championships held at Witton Park on Saturday, Blackburn Harriers athletes did really well, especially the girls with the following athletes all qualifying for the English Schools Championships:

Junior Girls

Elizabeth Greenwood    who won the Race
Grace Handley               2nd in the Race
Deni Impett                    3rd in the Race

Year 7 Girls

Natalya Irvine                  who won the Race
Hannah Cookson            2nd in the Race
Maddie Elliott                  4th in the Race

Inter Boys

Jack Hindle                 finished in 9th place and and ran a fine race against quality                                                                 opposition, is first reserve for the Team



In the newly promoted and first time held Witton Park Trail Relay Race and organised by Richard Taylor, the Club had 12 Teams of three athletes competing on the day. A big thank you to all the Volunteers who turned up on the day and helped officiate and marshal. None of this could be done without you.

In the Junior Race, 22 Teams competed and the Harriers U14 Girls Team of Deni Impett; Natalya Irvine and Grace Handley won their Age Group and also finished 3rd Team overall with only two boys teams in front of them. Girl Power or what!!

Two other Harriers Teams ‘Taylors Trailblazers’ consisting of Hannah Cookson; Megan Clarkson and Maddie Elliott finished in 3rd place in their age groups whilst the other Team ‘Cool Runnings’ consisting of Brenna McPartlan; Georgia Turgoose and Charlotte Taylor finished in 4th position.

Our U14’s Boys Team of Jack Wilkinson; Thomas Harbour and Kristian McKinery finished 4th Team overall and 2nd in their age group to Rossendale.

Our Junior Girls won their Age Group with a Team called “It’s A Mystery’ and comprising Elizabeth Greenwood; Rhiannon Wickham and Katie Buckingham.

In the Senior Event there were 80 Teams with some very inventive Team Names – the Harriers who had 9 Teams competing finished 2nd (Barnes Stormers); 3rd (He Scores When He waannts!);  6th (Those Pesky Varmints); 7th (Headless Chickens);  13th (The Dark Horses);  20th (Oh Danny’s Boys); 41st (The 3 Amigos); and 43rd (That’s Howe You Do It).


Back to the Indoors, where Alison Leonard and Paul Bradshaw were selected to compete for England in the Indoor Vienna Classic last week in the 1500m and 800m respectively. Both had really fine races with Alison recording 4:19.37 in the 1500m and Paul running 1:49.91 in the 800m.


Comments Off on Grace Handley had a fantastic performance

Grace Handley had a fantastic performance

In atrocious conditions at Knowsley Park on Saturday, Grace had a tremendous run to take the Silver Medal in this years Northern XC Championships.

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NYAL Sports City

The event went well.


Comments Off on Ribble Valley 10km 2012 Race Report & Video

Ribble Valley 10km 2012 Race Report & Video

Race Report

The Ribble Valley 10k normally produces plenty of last gasp attempts to rise up the 2012 10k rankings and despite the wind and rain the 2012 edition proved no exception.

Mens Race

With late dropouts in the Men’s race from last years winner Jonny Mellor, Andy Vernon and Tom Lancashire the elite race was blown wide open. With GB Internationals and a whole host of sub-30 minute 10k runners the race was bound to be competitive.

The race started at a steady pace with a very large group including Antony Ford, Matt Clowes, Andi Jones, Ben Fish in the forefront. After the first mile it was Joe Bailey, Andrew Wiles and James Tartt pushing the pace. The athletes were running into the wind and rain which meant there was plenty of tucking in and a little bit of bumping and barging. After about 2k Matthew Bowser who decided enough was enough and he pushed the pace on, there was no takers and Bowser ran alone for a while before Bailey and Clowes reeled him back in. Bowser didn’t look to affected by the increase in pace and settled back in the bunch. It was then Joe MacDonald who then decided to push forward with Bailey and Clowes keeping him in track.

Going through 5k in around 15.12-15.18 the group were still tightly bunched. At the turn around point there was a gradual drop off of a number of the athletes and the group had whittled down to around 10. With Clowes pushing the pace. It was here that David Bishop started to make a move toward the front of the smaller group and covered the breaks of Bailey, Clowes and MacDonald.

Approaching the 3k to go mark it was Wiles in the lead with Bishop, Bowser, Clowes and Bailey. With Fish, Ford, Tartt, Rob Samuel, Aaron Scott, Dan Garbutt, Jack Martin not far behind. Coming to the 2k to go mark, Clowes who had a grimace on his face sharply pulled up and moved to the side. Which then left 3 athletes in the forefront Wiles leading from Bowser and Bishop.

Bowser then moved to the front in a attempt to stretch out the field. All 3 athletes are quick over 1500m, Bishop with the better PB at 3.37, Wiles and Bowser at 3.43. Coming into the final 600m it looked like Wiles was going to really push on and run away with it but the hill seemed to have taken it out of him and with around 300m left it was Bowser in the lead but the with about 200m left Bishop unleashed his phenomenal kick finish to run away with it. The time of 30.03 was a PB for Bishop in his first 10k, with the tactical nature of the race and the weather the way it was his time was rather impressive. Bowser taking the North of England title.

The strength in depth of the race was there for all to see with 41 athletes breaking 32 minutes.

Women’s Race

In the Women’s race it was Alyson Dixon who found herself alone and unsheltered for large chunks of the race but came away with the women’s race and the Northern title. The Women’s race at the Ribble Valley always attracted a good quality field with Helen Clitheroe and Katrina Wootten not in the field today, GB International Dixon who ran a 32 minute 10k only a few months ago was favourite on paper.

The race allowed most of the female athletes to spread themselves out without having to run on their own, it was only through Dixon’s attempt to push for a fast time which left herself unsheltered. Coming in toward the finish Katie Hewison (Ingram) was closing down on Dixon but she managed to hold off her charge as well as that of Felicity Abram and Kate Avery. Hewison, a former winner at the Ribble Valley 10k  and World Duathlon Champion looked in great shape and with Australian Triathlete and former ITU World Junior Champion as well as GB Junior International Kate Avery finishing behind her, it makes her performance that little bit more impressive.

There were 10 female athletes below the 37 minute mark, PB’s were hard to come by but the strength in depth was there in the women’s as it was the mens.

With around 1100 finishers and almost 1500 entries on a wet and windy day in Clitheroe the Ribble Valley 10k was a tremendous success and the team at Blackburn Harriers once again put on a well organised event to end the year 2012 in style.

Comments Off on Congratulations to our three London 2012 Olympians Holly Bleasdale, Sophie Hitchon and Sam Murray.

Congratulations to our three London 2012 Olympians Holly Bleasdale, Sophie Hitchon and Sam Murray.

Good luck and best wishes from all of us at Blackburn Harriers.

Sam & Sophie