News & Info
Following the Commonwealth Games, Sophie Hitchon was back in competition at the Brutus Hamilton International held in California on April 28th. The competition turned out to be a very good one for Sophie as she won with a consistent set of throws. After a foul in the first Round she improved her distance with each successive throw:
Round 2 71.44m
Round 3 71.82m
Round 4 71.98m
Round 5 72.36m
Round 6 73.22m
Rob opens Track Season in good form – Harriers at Anniversay Waltz and Three Peaks – Geoff Doggett Memorial 5k
BMC Gold Standard Races – May 2nd
Rob Warner is into this years Track season in pretty good early form. On April 4th he ran a 3000m at Watford to finish 3rd in 8.35.91, then won a 3000m at Loughborough on April 28th in a time ten seconds quicker (8.25.78) and followed that up with his first appearance over 1500m at the Watford BMC on May 2nd. Rob set new personal best at all distances from 800m through to 10000m on the track last year, finishing with a 1500m PB of 3.49.12. Wednesday saw Rob finish 3rd in the Watford BMC meeting in a time of 3.52.40 which is some three seconds faster than his opening 1500m in 2017 and a pointer to another lowering of personal bests this year too. Pleased with his seasons opening races, Rob spoke to the Club saying “very pleased with how the first few races have gone, in a much better place for the 1500 than this time last year so looking forward to see if I can get down under 3:47 this year!“
Anniversary Waltz Fell Race – April 22nd
This was the last ever Anniversary Waltz and won by Sam Stead in a time of 1hr 40.04 – and was run in memory of Steve Cliff who was remembered on the Race Website “On January 11th 2018 Steve lost his couragous battle with MND. Steve was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, friend and colleague and one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. His drive and passion to support the MND Association in trying to wipe out this dreadful disease was second to none. Since his diagnosis in 2015 Steve has been instrumental in raising an incredable £775,000.00 through his own individual challenge events and with his colleagues at Credit Suisse.Steve’s lasting legacy is his detemination and defiance of this terrible disease and that one day we will have a world free from MND”.
Four Blackburn Harriers paid their own tribute to Steve Cliff and the Race by running – Steven Snape, Craig Greenough, John Orrell and Richard Taylor. Steven crossed the finish line for the Harriers in 6th position overall with a time of 1hr 48.36 followed by Craig in a time of 2hr 22.15 (140th). V50 John Orrell finished in 337th place with a time of 2hr 52.15 with Richard Taylor in 3hr 16.53 (424th) who had his own personal and emotional reasons for running the race as he explained to the Club “The Anniversary Waltz was my first Lakeland Fell race 10 years ago. This year was my 4th time. It carries some of my best memories and is without doubt my favourite race and means a lot to my family. Jackie and I took part together for our Silver Wedding in 2013 and it was perhaps Beckie’s best race in 2012, when she won aged only 18. The race was set up in the 90s to celebrate the wedding of Steve and Wynn Cliff of Bowland Fell Runners. Unfortunately Steve passed away recently following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease diagnosed around two years ago. So this was to be the last running in his memory and hence the record turnout. I’d just like to say thank you to Wynn and Steve for providing my family and I, and a host of runners, with fantastic memories that we can treasure.”
Three Peaks Race – Saturday April 28th
Seven Hundred and one completed the Race won by Tom Owens in a time of 2hr 49.08 from Murray Strain in 2nd (2hr 52.36 and Ricky Lightfoot in 3rd (2hr 53.48). Craig Greenough and Ian Clarkson ran the race for Blackburn Harriers which saw Craig who had run the Anniversary Waltz the week before, clock a time of 4hr 27.53 to come home in 352nd spot and Ian Clarkson in 621st crossing the finish line in 5hr 06.59.
Geoff Doggett Memorial 5k Cowm Race – May Day 2018
Onne hundred and thirty seven athletes ran in this race won by Salford’s Billy McCartney in a time of 16.50. Blackburn Harriers Carly Edwards..had a very good run finishing 27th overall, 4th Woman and in a good time of 20.35. Carly spoke to the Club after the Race telling us “I’ve recently upped my training and have been extending my longer runs with a view to taking part in a couple of target races later in the year. I’ve been running my longer runs at a decent pace and feel that in order to maintain speed it’s important to include a few mid week burnouts. I think I’m more of a distance runner but I’m hoping by keeping my quality sessions along with a few week mid races that I will improve my times in all distances. I’m currently averaging at around 40-50 miles per week with around 3 decent sessions and my longer run being as close to target pace as possible. It’s all about building confidence”.
Mid Lancs T&F League – Saturday April 28th
Seventy one Harriers competed at the first fixture in this years Mid Lancs T&F League held at Witton Park, this figure being exceeded in the second fixture at Preston yesterday when well over eighty Harriers turned out to represent the Club and setting over thirty new personal bests.
The day always starts off with the Hammer at 11.00am which saw Tony Balko win the Senior Men’s event with a seasons best throw of 35.25m followed up by a 9.66m effort in the Shot Putt (4th) and another season’s best 31.32m in the Discus for 3rd spot. U20 Anthony Kent took on three of the Senior Men’s Throws setting a new PB with the 7.26kg weight as he placed 2nd (10.95m), posted another new PB in the 2kg Discus with 33.75m to win the event and rounded it off in the Javelin with his third new PB of the day in 4th place with 34.27m. Also in the Senior Men’s Javelin was Lucas Davies who placed 7th overall with a new PB of 29.52m. U15 Matthew Heywood who has only been competing since July 2017, followed on from his hat-trick of wins in the UKYDL last week with a win in the Hammer (33.83m), set a new PB throw of 9.29m in the Shot Putt (3rd) before attempting the Javelin for the first time ever in competition placing 8th with 18.57m. Kyle Taylor-Pomfret was just 10cms outside his personal best in the Hammer finishing 2nd (24.58m). U15 Joe Sims threw 4.86m in the Shot Putt and 5.75m in the Javelin whilst Kieran Carroll came 3rd in the Discus (23.11m) and set a new PB in the Javelin in 3rd spot with 30.81m, over a metre further than he had thrown previously. Completing the U15 Boys throws for the Harriers was George Whittaker who just missed a new PB in the Javelin by a few cms placing 4th (28.87m) and then set a new PB in the Discus finishing 4th with 22.87m – three metres further than ever before. The U13 Boys Throws events saw Dexta Thompson set a new PB by over half a metre in the Javelin in 2nd place with 23.75m, as Codie Dewhurst placed 4th in the Discus with 10.81m at his first ever attempt in the event and Harrison Allcock set a new PB in the Shot Putt with 5.67m. U17 Abigail Brown set a new PB in the Hammer as she placed 4th with a a throw of 34.29m, an improvement of nearly a metre and then took a good 3rd place in the Discus with 23.09m alongside Millie Coy who took 2nd spot in the U17 Women’s Javelin, throwing 30.50m. U15 Myah Booth had a day off from the Hurdles and duly won the Shot Putt with 9.96m and came in 5th in the Javelin (22.12m). U15 Grace Bontoft made her debut for the Club coming 8th in the Shot Putt with 6.53m and 5th in the Discus (15.25m) with sister (U13) Madison Bontoft setting a new PB in the Discus with 12.63m (6th), coming 7th in the Shot Putt (4.59m) and 7th in the Javelin with 8.47m. Tilly Pollard in her first competitive season came 3rd in the U13 Girls Shot Putt with 6.23m – her first ever attempt at the event. U15 Nicky Saunders had a good day in the Throws winning the Discus with 25.71m, finished 3rd in the Javelin (24.66m) and 3rd in the Hammer (21.80m).
In the Jumps events – U17 Jonathan Gough was just 8 cms way from a new personal best as she finished 2nd int he Long Jump with 5.57m with Rory Teare also just missing out on a new best performance in the Long Jump placing 9th with 4.09m before going on to equal his personal best in the High Jump with 1.45m (7th). Three youngsters took on the U13 Boys Long Jump which saw Harrison Allcock finish 8th (3.79m) with debutants Stephen Alberts in 12th (2.50m) and Joshua Hudson – also 2.50m in 13th. Teigan Fawcett set a new PB in the Senior Women’s High Jump in 2nd place with a clearance of 1.45m as Liberty Thompson also placed 2nd in the U17 Women’s High Jump (1.30m). In the U13 Girls Molly Grimshaw leapt to a big new PB of 3.23m (19th) as Tilly Pollard placed 22nd out of the twenty six young athletes competing with 3.03m which was a new PB and Amelia Burton continued the run of new PB’s, clearing 1.10m in the High Jump in her first season of competitive athletics.
On to the Sprints which saw Dominic Bretherton run 11.70 (3rd) in the Senior Men’s 100m with Daniel Hamilton in 7th (13.30). Dominic went on to dip on the line as he won the 200m in 24.30. Long Hurdler Solomon Brown ran 12.2 in the U17 Men’s 100m (4th), his first attempt at the event since 2014 with Ben Whittaker clocking 12.50 (4th) in Heat 2 and new member Tope Oladipo finishing 5th in Heat 3 with 12.90. Ben Whittaker ran very solidly in the 200m to place 2nd in 25.40 whilst Solomon Brown ran 56.20 in the 400m. Ethan Downes who had won the 100m/200m double at the UKYDL fixture the week before, maintained his winning form, coming home first in the U15 Boys 100m in 12.50 (Heat 1). U13 Tobi Oladipo running his first race for the Harriers clocked 13.80 in the 100m for 2nd place in Heat 1 with Harrison Allcock coming in 3rd (14.60) and Stephen Alberts 5th in 16.50 (Heat 2): And it was another new PB for Codie Dewhurst in Heat 2 of the U13 Boys 200m as he won the race in 31.00.
The Women’s Sprints had Charlie Coy 3rd in the Senior Women’s 100m (13.60) with Chloe Bleeks in 5th (13.70), Chloe going on to place 2nd in the 200m (28.60) with Charlie 1st in the 400m won comfortably by five seconds in a time of 61.90. First year as an U17 for Bailey Madden and she has started out as she finished last year with a new PB of 12.80 in the 100m (2nd – same time as the winner) and a win in the 200m (26.70) in Heat 1. Megan Tippett equaled her personal best in Heat 1 of the 100m with a time of 13.80 – Millie Coy set a new PB by two tenths in Heat 1 of the U17 Girls 200m (27.00) whilst Hollie Oldham, in her first ever run over the distance, won Heat 2 of the 200m in a time of 28.90 and Aysha Karolia finished 3rd in the 300m with a time of 47.90. The U15 Girls 100m saw Amy Wiggans clock 13.70 in Heat 1 (5th) with Abigail Armas 6th in Heat 2 (14.00), Maia Bowman 6th in Heat 3 in a time of 14.30 and Abi Stratton in Heat 5 (15.80) in 4th place. Rebecca Ramsden entered the 200m for the first time and clocked 30.70 in Heat 2 of the U15 Girls race whilst in the 300m U15 Girls Race Heat 1 – Eleesha Charnley placed 2nd in 44.80 and Sophie Stanworth set a new PB by over a second of 46.60 in 3rd spot.
Amelia Burton ran her first ever 100m to place 7th in Heat 1 (15.60) as did Keira Haxton in Heat 2 (16.00) in 6th position and Eva Knowles in Heat 3 (15.90) – a new PB by a tenth. In Heat 4 Tilly Pollard came home in 4th spot (16.30) with Caitlin Clarkson in 5th (17.70) both girls attempting the distance for the first time. The new PB’s continued with Kate Cookson running 30.70 in 3rd place in the U13 Girls 200m with Lucy Ramsden 5th in the same Heat (32.40) and her first time over the distance as was the case with Amelia Burton who clocked 32.50 in Heat 2.
A huge new PB was posted by Rebecca Ramsden in Heat 2 of the U15 Girls 800m as she came home in 2nd place with a new personal best by over six seconds of 2.40.40 – the same time as the winner in a very exciting end to the race. In the same Heat, Hannah Eccles equaled her personal best of 2.50.70 in 9th with Ella Hardman placing 11th in 3.22.10. Abi Stratton chopped a whopping eight seconds off her previous best time to set a new PB of 5.18.80 in the U15 Girls 1500m (4th). The U13 Girls Heats of the 800m Race saw Keira Booth clock 2.51.60 in 8th, Isabelle Hartley (2.55.40) in 9th, Eva Knowles – a new PB of 3.01.20 in 11th and Kady Thompson (3.04.10) in 12th. Four Harriers in the U13 Girls 1500m Race, the first Harrier home being Kate Cookson in 2nd place who smashed her previous best time by fifteen seconds to set a new PB of 5.24.20 followed in by Keira Haxton in 3rd (5.31.90) – her first time over the distance. Molly Grimshaw was next across the line in 6.01.20 (10th) and again another massive new PB by nearly half a minute with Libby-Kate Neal in 11th clocking 6.45.20 and another youngster who was tackling this event for the first time.
U20 Joe Gebbie ran in the Senior Men’s 1500m winning it in a new PB by over three seconds of 4.23.50. It was 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th in the U17 men’s 800m with Bradley Meikleham setting a new PB by just a tenth in 2nd spot (2.06.20) with Matt Ramsden in 3rd (2.08.30) which was a massive new PB by seven seconds. In the same Race Findlay Sullivan got his rewards from his training, clocking a massive new PB by 13 seconds for 2.17.40 and Thomas Betty in his first ever race over the distance came 9th in 2.25.20 Sam Hodkinson ran 4.29.60 to take 2nd place in the U17 Men’s 1500m with Harry Wilkin coming home in 8th spot (5.52.90). Fourteen runners started in the U15 Boys 800m with three Harriers among them – first across the line with a new PB was George Whittaker (5th) in 2.27.60 followed by Ethan Barbarewicz in 6th with a massive new PB by ten seconds of 2.31.90 and Joe Sims with an ever bigger new PB of 3.02.50 in 14th spot – Joe’s previous best being 55 seconds slower, so great effort by Joe. Another big field in the U13 Boys 800m – 18 runners – saw Harry Sambrook clock 2.57.40 (14th).
Similar big field in the U13 Boys 1500m won by Isaac Butler in a time of 5.06.50 with Dexta Thompson in 4th (5.21.70), Codie Dewhurst in 5th with another new PB of 5.23.80, Ben Stratton in 6th (5.24.80), his first time over the distance, Saul Sharp in 11th with a time of 5.33.80 which was a massive new PB of over eighteen seconds and Daniel Smith (15th) in 5.42.50. U20 Hannah Cookson ran a time of 5.31.00 in the Senior Women’s 1500m whilst Amy Davies won the U17 Women’s 1500m in a time of 5.13.50. In the U17 800m Hollie Oldham came home 3rd in 2.46.50 with Liberty Thompson 4th (2.52.90). Eleesha Charnley was less than a second outsider her personal best as she clocked 2.25.70 in the U15 Girls 800m (4th in Heat 1) with Sophie Stanworth in 7th (2.28.30), Leah Hoole in 9th clocking 2.36.10 and Hollie Cubbon in 11th spot with a new PB of 2.36.80.
The 3000m is always the final endurance event of the day and features a mixture of age groups including men and women. Thomas Marchant who hadn’t run a track Race for something like three years made his return in his first Track Race for Blackburn Harriers since joining the Club recently. The first Lap was taken out too slowly forcing Thomas to the front to lift the pace as he won comfortably, clocking 9.43.70 from Nick Smith in 2nd place (10.07.80).
Final Track event of the day was the Hurdles which featured five athletes in the U13 Boys 75m Hurdles where Daniel Smith came in 5th (18.50) and Rory Teare winning the U15 Boys 80m Hurdles Heat 2 Race in 15.70. In Heat 2 of the U13 Girls Hurdles – Isabelle Hartley came 3rd in 15.80 with Kady Thompson 5th in 17.60.
Trafford Grand Prix – Tuesday April 24th
First Grand Prix Race night at Trafford this year saw some of the Harriers have their first experience of competing on one of these nights.
U20 Nick Smith ran his first ever 800m race and came out the winner with a rapid finish in the home straight – Heat 5 – clocking a time of 2.10.75.
Harry Wilkin in his first year as an U17 posted a new PB time of 4.54.5 at the Blackburn Mid Lancs fixture three days before entering at Trafford. He knocked a further two seconds off his time to set two new PB’s in three days in 4.52.15 and 7th in the field of thirteen.
Joe Gebbie, also a first year U20 ran in Heat 4 and came home in 3rd spot with a time of 2.06.86 which followed his personal best time of 2.05.7 set at the Mid Lancs Meeting just three days before.
Twenty one athletes in Heat 2 of the 3000m which saw bottom of age U17 Matt Ramsden compete against U17, U20, U23 and Senior Men and set another PB for himself, clocking 9.22.31 – two seconds quicker than his previous best.
Joe Howe who is running the 3000m Steeplechase at Bucs this year had his first outing, winning the 3000m S/C on the night with a time of 10.16.72.
Mid Cheshire 5k – Friday April 27th
Great run for the Harriers Ben Costello in this Race as he finished 74th out of a field of over five hundred and in a new PB time of 15.50. This was the first time under 16 minutes for Ben and represent a new PB by sixteen seconds. V45 Mat Nuttall also had a very good run taking 127th place overall on the night, was the 6th V45 and clocked a time of 16.42. This is obviously a race to target for athletes who want to improve their 5k Road times as can be seen by the results showing the first 25 all under 15.00 minutes.
National Sportshall Final – Sunday April 15th
Eleesha Charnley, an U15 young athlete and a member of Blackburn Harriers since she was seven years of age and just a couple of months short of her 8th birthday, recently became the Northern Sportshall Champion which qualified her for the National Championships held at Sportscity.
And what a great performance she put in – taking on the 4 Lap Race, Speed Bounce and Standing Long Jump against the other U15 Girls who had qualified from all over the country. Eleesha finished joint 10th overall out of seventy three athletes – placing 8th in the 4 Lap Race – 5th in the Speed Bounce and 10th in the Standing Long Jump. She was delighted with her qualification and performance at the Championship Final and told the Club after that “It was the most amazing experience to walk out at the front of my team carrying the banner. The standard was phenomenal but I felt very pleased that I could compete in such a good field of competitors and give them a run for their money. Although I did not get in the the winning medal position it was still great that I could get there. Thanks to Blackburn Harriers once again for making this possible”.
Harriers Win UKYDL Division 1 Match – 13 Harriers Run London – Matt 2nd North West Counter in Mini-Marathon – Ben 2nd at Ron Hill 10k & Pauline wins Women’s Race – Jack Wins Clitheroe Triathlon – More Results
UKYDL – Division 1
Last year the Harriers won Division 2 of the UKYDL to gain promotion to Division 1, which was a great performance by them and one which showed real consistency throughout the season. Stepping up to Division 1 meant that the Club lost some of the promotion team as they graduated to U17 age group competition whilst at the same time, gaining a whole group of new U13’s emerging from Sportshall competition and junior cross country, who had very little competition experience at this level. But what a team performance they put on as they took on Crewe & Nantwich AC, Lancaster & Morecambe AC, Menai AC, Team I.O.M and Trafford AC winning the fixture overall from Crewe & Nantwich in 2nd place and Trafford in 3rd. Showing great consistency throughout the day, the Harriers scored more Points in the Field Events than any other Team and were just behind Trafford in Track Points won.
It is difficult to include every last performance on the day covering so many athletes and events. The U15 Boys excelled posting nine wins, six second and three third places as well as putting in sixteen new personal bests. The U15 Girls took five wins, four second and seven third places and posted ten new personal bests. In the U13 age group, many of whom were competing at this level and in their events for the first time, the boys posted one win, five second and four third places alongside setting eight new personal bests whilst the girls had four wins, five second and four third places and set thirteen new personal bests. Overall that meant the Team had nineteen wins, twenty second and eighteen third places coupled with a massive forty seven new PB’s. Young athletes always post a succession of new personal bests but they still have to perform. Big congratulations to all of them, their Coaches who support them throughout the year and their Team Managers – Danny Teare for the Boys and Chris and Nicola Thompson for the Girls.
Thanks to U17 Sam Hodkinson who finished his Training Session in the morning and then stayed the rest of the day to support the Team and take photos of many of the athletes and to the Announcer on the day – John Cookson.
Highlights included the emergence of new sprinting duo in the U15 Boys which saw Kyle Mashiter and Ethan Downes win both the 100/200m double – Kyle running 11.8 and 24.6 whilst Ethan posted 12.1 and 24.9 all new PB’s. Harvey Ashworth set a new PB in the 800m by four seconds with his 3rd placed 2.16 whilst Hayden Mercer literally destroyed his time as he finished 2nd in his 800m race (2.13.9) some eight seconds quicker than he has run before. Jackson McKay continued the theme of big PB’s as he knocked 15 seconds off his 1500m time to set a new PB of 4.40.6 with David Holman also earning himself a new PB in the 1500m (4.59.3). In the Field Events Kyle Mashiter won the Long Jump in his first competitive outing in this event with a leap of 5.39m as Rory Teare set a new High Jump personal best with a 1.45m clearance. Matt Heywood had a great day too finishing 2nd in the Shot Putt with a new PB of 8.98m, 1st in the Discus with an new PB of 27.31m and 1st in the Hammer with a new personal best throw of 36.18m along side Kyle Taylor-Pomfret who also won the ‘B’ Hammer with a new PB of 24.68m. More PB’s were set in the Field Events which saw Kieran Carroll place 2nd in the Javelin with 29.46m and George Whittaker 1st in the ‘B’ Javelin with 28.97m.
Myah Booth dominated the ‘A’ 75m Hurdles Race winning in a time of 11.9. Amy Wiggans set a new PB in the U15 Girls ‘B’ 100m with a time of 13.60 (3rd) as did Maia Bowman in the ‘B’ 200m with her time of 29.9 (3rd). Eleesha Charnley cut a second off her 300m personal best time to clock 44.4 for 3rd place alongside Abigail Armas who reduced her 300m personal best by two seconds in the ‘B’ Race (50.40). Eleesha then went on to break her 800m personal best time by six seconds as she clocked 2.24.6. In the Field Events Emma Love set a new Long Jump PB with a leap of 4.26m before equaling her High Jump PB of 1.40m alongside Danielle Probert setting a new personal best in the ‘B’ High Jump with 1.35m, an improvement of 15 cms. Myah Booth won the Shot Putt with a Grade 1 throw of 10.35m as Izzy Thompson won the ‘B’ with a new personal best throw of 7.82m and then went on to set a new PB in the Hammer with 22.72m (1st). Nicky Saunders also set a new PB in the ‘A’ Hammer with a massive new PB by over 5 metres (26.12m).
The U13 Girls had a great day posting new personal best in nearly all the events. Kate Cookson (2nd) in the 75m cut a second off her time finishing with 10.80 as Lucy Rishton also set a new personal best in the ‘B’ Race with 11.40 (3rd). Kate was at it again in the 150m with another 2nd place in a new PB time of 22.30 alongside Niamh Gater who also set a PB in the ‘B’ Race with 23.60 (4th). Caroline Woodworth had an impressive day for the U13’s placing 2nd in the ‘A’ 800m with a six second new PB of 2.38.3 then won the Shot Putt with a PB throw of 6.17m and the Javelin with another PB throw of 22.32m. Kady Thompson in her first year as an U13 cut four seconds off her previous best 800m in the ‘B’ Race with a time of 3.01.9 (3rd). In the 1200m there was a big new PB for Keira Haxton by 20 seconds as she finished 3rd in 4.19.5. Over on the Field – Lucy Rishton placed 2nd in the ‘A’ Long Jump with a new PB of 3.88m along with another new personal best for Niamh Gater in the ‘B’ as she jumped 3.67m to win. Madison Bontoft had two wins on a very good day for her as she set new personal best in both events – winning the Shot Putt with 5.82m and the Javelin with 10.67m.
Harrison Allcock set the tone for the U13 Boys as he recorded a new PB in the 100m ‘A’ Race with 14.60 (2nd). Two new personal bests were set in the 800m which saw Codie Dewhurst come home in 3rd place with a time of 2.34.2 in the ‘A’ and Harry Sambrook, also 3rd in the ‘B’ with 2.46.4. Codie then went and set a new PB in the 75m Hurdles with 17.6 (2nd) as Harrison Allock also recorded a second new PB on the day with his 3rd placed 3.80m leap in the ‘A’ Long Jump. Harrison and Codie then combined to set new personal bests in the Shot Putt with Harrison placing 3rd in the ‘A’ (5.47m) and Codie 2nd in the ‘B’ (4.94m) alongside another personal best for Dexta Thompson in the Javelin with 23.17m (2nd).
On a day which was dominated by the hype around whether the world record would be broken in both the Men’s and Women’s Elite Races and whether Mo Farah would break the British Record, the heat came to be the overarching factor which would have an impact on the days proceedings. Among all the speculation around the race – thirteen Blackburn Harriers – all with their own ambitions of PB’s and raising money for very worthwhile causes – Ben Fish, Chris Davies, Joanne Nelson, Paul Brindle, Lindsay Davies, Lorna Sharp, Rachel Wood, Matt Wood, Simon Pollard, Paul Slone, Janine Fallon and Allan Hartley – made the trip down to London for this years Race, run in some of the hottest conditions ever and there was no doubt that it had an impact on all the athletes.
Ben Fish was the first Harrier across the line in 2hr 26.55 followed by Chris Davies (2hr 53.18), James Keir (2hr 56.06), Rachel Wood (3hr 07.37), Joanne Nelson (3hr 08.22), Paul Brindle (3hr 13.47), Paul Slone (3hr 29.21), Matt Wood (3hr 43), Janine Fallon (3hr 45.23), Lindsay Davies (4hr 27.54), Allan Hartley (4hr 49.02), Lorna Sharp (4hr 51.54) and Simon Pollard (5hr 49.17).
After such a tough day, a number of the athletes shared their thoughts about the Race and the conditions with the Club. Ben Fish said it was a“Very tough day out there, so big congrats to everyone. Even on the start line it felt hot and by 10 miles I wasn’t feeling good. Pace slowed and I focused on keeping up the intensity as best I could. I stopped looking at the watch after that. I made up a couple of places after 20 miles and seemed to be going ok. 2hr26:55. Not what I wanted but will do for now”. Chris Davies told us “I would like to start off by saying well done to everyone who took part today. Not just the Blackburn Harriers but the Road Runners, Dashers, Barlick and any of the other local clubs. The conditions were so tough. We have all trained in awful cold conditions for this marathon and to run in something like that today has been a shock to the system for everyone. Well done to everyone that finished and coming away from it safely as well. On a personal note I was on target at the half marathon mark but the heat cranked up and it was pretty much ” Game Over ” at the 16 to 17 mile mark. I new that a PB wasn’t on so I ran at a sensible pace just to get back in one piece. Disappointed that a PB couldn’t be achieved but in those conditions I have to be pleased. It was so hard and brutal and the toughest run I’ve done since starting running. There will be other Marathons and I will live to fight another day. Well done everyone again though, you should all be proud of your achievement today”.
It was Matt Wood’s first ever London Marathon and with not the best of preparation behind him as he told the Club afterwards “Really enjoyed my first London marathon, I went into it just wanting to enjoy the experience rather than go for a time, mainly due to a few injuries which meant a lack of training but ended up getting excited over the first few miles and going too quick for my fitness and paying for it later. Lesson learned”.
Joanne Nelson who has survived a very difficult year said she was “Pleased to have completed my first marathon after an 18 month break due to injury and illness. Definitely a test both on your will power and and your ability to cope in the heat. Pretty pleased with the time I got, 3 hr 08 as it gives me a base to work on. Just need some new, blister free feet now. Well done to everyone for competing today”. Paul Brindle commented “What an amazing event, it is something spectacular to be part of. With being injured and thinking of deferring, I decided to race and came up with plan B. Then the weather forecast made plan C best option and at 10 mile plan D evolved, and by the time I got to 24 mile. I’d used up the alphabet of plans so I entered the emotional run hard zone and finish. I go away learning more about my body and sport of running. Well done to all the other Harriers who raced and supported”.
Janine Fallon echoed everyone’s feelings about the day when she told the Club “You never know what the London Marathon is going to throw at you, this year was the heat and humidity… We all conquered it so be proud!!”
Lindsay Davies was running her first Marathon and told the Club that she was “Glad to have finished my 1st marathon, it was horrendously warm, happy with my time considering I was gasping of thirst all the way round even though I took water at every station. The crowds were amazing the atmosphere was electric. Mile 20 is were my legs started to give up, my breathing was fine but my legs weren’t just having any of it”. Lorna Sharp, like Lindsay, was also doing her first ever Marathon saying “Well done everyone x it was ridiculously hot but I drank at every station and carried it with me throughout. The back of my knees/calf were hurting but I don’t stop at all x I’m feeling really proud of myself and everyone who ran!! We did it x”.
Simon Pollard was another Harrier who was raising money for a good cause and told us “Two weeks before the marathon my physio suspected I had a stress fracture of my right shin so I expected the day would result in a “sponsored walk” for the whole distance. In the end I managed 7 miles before having to resort to a brisk walk, finishing in 5:49:17. Given the circumstances this was good result for me but fund raising for my chosen charity Plan International, an international charity focused on improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest children, was always my main focus so am pleased to have raised over £2400. It was great day, with great atmosphere but was grateful when the finish line finally arrived.”
In the London Mini-Marathon the Harriers had two athletes selected to run for the North West in their respective age groups – Matt Ramsden in the U15 Boys and Isaac Butler in the U13 Boys. Seventy athletes from all over Britain were selected for this Race which saw Matt Ramsden finish 17th overall in a time of 15.52 for the three miles making him the second counter for the North West, just one second behind the first counter Fraser Sproul. Isaac Butler ran in the U13 Boys race with less than ideal preparation as he had just flown home from Florida on the Thursday and had to go back to London on the Saturday morning. Isaac enjoyed the experience though and we are sure he will be back next year, his time being 20.45 in 61st spot.
Ron Hill 10k – Sunday April 22nd
Three hundred and ninety runners competed in this Race named after the legendary Ron Hill, seen here at the Race with two other legends of Endurance – John Calvert and Harry Walker.
The race was won by David Rigby in 32.29 with Blackburn Harrier Ben Costello in 2nd place overall clocking a time of 35.18 on a pretty tough course. Pauline Powell won the Women’s Race in a time of 38.38 placing 8th overall and also 1st vet Woman to add to her Prize list.
Also running were V40 Daniel Whittaker 23rd in 42.02 – Jamie Teare 29th in 42.27 and 2nd MJ16 – V50 Mark Wilkin in 112th (49.02) – V50 Paul Whittaker (128th) clocking 50.18 – V55 David Morris (336th) in 68.33. There was also a win for Harry Wilkin in the earlier Junior Run who managed to get his photo taken along with European and Commonwealth Marathon Champion – Ron Hill.
Clitheroe Triathlon – April 15th
A very good start to Jack Hindle’s season as he won the Clitheroe Triathlon last weekend comfortably by over three minutes out of a 250 plus strong field with a winning time of 1hr 23.21 and telling the Harriers that he was “Really happy with how the first race of the season went. It’s always a worry when you’ve had a long winter, as you don’t know where your fitness is going to be at. And whether all three disciplines have been covered well over the winter. Overall I’m happy with where my fitness is for early season, there’s still alot to do and a lot bigger races. But it’s all positive and motivating”.
Richard Fogarty also had a very good event placing 17th overall clocking a combined time of 1hr 38.58 whilst Paul Wilkinson posted a time of 2hr 41.46 in 225th position.
Danny Maynard took on the Trawlerman Aquathon on Sunday April 22nd coming home 3rd in the Swim Run Event.
Mid Lancs Cross Country League Presentation Evening
A very good night in the Premier Suite at Blackburn Rovers saw the Harriers pick up Awards from the U11’s through to Senior and Vet Categories for their performances in this years Mid Lancs Cross Country League.
(1) U11Girls 3rd Team and Bronze Medal
(2) U11 Boys 3rd Team and Bronze Medal
(3) U13 Girls 2nd Team and Silver Medal
(4) U13 Boys 2nd Team and Silver Medal
(5) U15 Boys 1st Team and Gold Medal
(6) Sen Women 1st Team Division 3 and Gold Medal
(7) Sen Vet 35 Women 2nd Team and Silver Medal
(8) Sen V40 Men 1st Team Division 2 and Gold Medal
(1) U13 Boys Isaac Butler 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
(2) U15 Girls Amy Davies 3rd in Series overall and Bronze Medal
(3) U15 Boys Matt Ramsden 1st in Series overall and Gold Medal
(4) U15 Boys Sam Hodkinson 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
(5) Senior Women Joanne Nelson 3rd in Series overall and Bronze Medal
(6) Senior Vet Women Joanne Nelson 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
(7) Senior V45 Women Joanne Nelson 1st in Series overall and Gold Medal
(8) Senior V40 Men Chris Davies 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
Deeside Open Meeting – April 15th
Tony Balko who is targeting this years World Masters Championships took himself off to Deeside for the Open meeting there which turned out to be very productive.
Tony set a new PB in the Shot Putt (6kg) with 10.91m to place 2nd and then threw a seasons best in the Discus of 33.86m to win that event.
Stoke Open Meeting – April 15th
On the same day Nicky Saunders who is in her first year as an U15 attended the Stoke Open meeting. She finished 3rd in the Discus which was a mixed event of U15 and U17 Women, throwing 26.01m and 1st U15, threw 21.55m in the Hammer for 4th place and rounded off the day with a new PB of 26.70m in the mixed age group Javelin where she placed 2nd U15 overall.
Liberty Thompson had been targeting the Heptathlon at the Lancashire Multi-Event Championships having wanted to do the event for some time now. Her dad and the Harriers UKYDL U15 Girls Team Manager, watched her over the weekend and told the Club about her weekend saying “Liberty had been looking forward to the heptathlon event for quite sometime which is spread over two days one of which was nice weather followed by a day of grey sky with quite a heavy downpour midway through. Day one’s events were 80mh, 200m, high jump and shot put. First up was one of Liberty’s favourite events being the 80 metre hurdles, she ran a great race in a time of 14.4 and finished off in 3rd position, next up was also a favourite in the high jump which hasn’t had much practice on recently and reaching 1.35 on the day which then put her into joint 4th position. Following that was the shot put with a new pb of 6.25m before reaching the end of the day and finishing with a 200m, We thought this event would be one that she would do well in as sprinting is also a favourite but unfortunately it wasn’t to be this time and she finished in 6th position with a time of 31.9”.
“Day 2 was the final three events which included long jump, javelin and 800m. First event of the day was long jump in which liberty managed to get another pb in by jumping a distance of 3.50 but while watching her we knew she could of easily added quite a bit to because she kept jumping way to early each time but that’s something to work on, then came the javelin which was also another event she would of been able to gain higher points in but unfortunately her best throw of the day ended in being a no throw so her best recorded score was a throw of 12.61. As we came towards the end of the day we only had the 800m left. Having done our homework on the other girls and they had done the same on the Liberty by researching their times on each other liberty was a clear favourite going into the final event. This for us as parents is where liberty shined, not because she managed to win the 800m in a time of 2.52.6 but it was seeing her going into a race full of confidence, she set of in a pace to win and she did so. This was the highlight for me and Nicola. Unfortunately overall liberty finished 6th out of 6 but due to there only being 2 Lancashire athletes she was able to get selected for the next stage in June. She really enjoyed her weekend and is really focused to improve on all events for future events”.
In the Quadrathon, Dexta Thompson did the year 7 & 8 quadrathon on the Saturday along with Codie Dewhurst. First he did the 100m in which he finished 2nd to Codie, then came along the turbo javelin in which he also finished 2nd then had a not so good time at long jump finishing in 5th place putting him to second position overall on the points table but when he ran the final event of the 800m he ran a slower than normal time but it was enough to secure him a comfortable win and win the days event overall by one point. Kady and Felix Thompson also competed in the quadrathons which saw Felix just two points outside the Bronze Medal place.
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!”
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