As New Years Eve approached for Blackburn Harriers 2023 Ribble Valley 10k Race, the thought went to the weather as forecasts of rain, wind and everything else threatened. Come race day and almost perfect calm as volunteers arrived at 6.30 in the morning to set up the course infrastructure and check the race route itself to ensure it was safe for everyone to race on. The weather was near perfect thoughout the morning as some of the best endurance athletes in the country did battle over the closed roads of Clitheroe. An enormous thank you to all those Marshals and volunteers who make sure this race is well organised and is put on each year – without them, we wouldn’t have a race at all. Thanks also to our Race Sponsors forbessolictors and to Northern Athletics and Ken Smith who once again agreed to hold their 10k Road Championships at our race which didn’t disappoint.
What a race it turned out to be between Marc Scott, the Race record holder and Emile Cairess who ran 2hr 08.07 at this years London Marathon. Running together as they approached the hill near the end of the course, Emile took a few metres out of Marc as they both anticipated a sprint over the last 400m to the finish line. Coming up the home straight in front of a cheering crowd shouting for each of the athletes, Marc sprinted to the front to take the win in a great time of 28.46 with Emile in 2nd running 28.52 as Olympic 3000m stepplechaser Zak Seddon came 3rd (29.39), Richard Allen 4th in this years National cross country Championships placing 4th in a time of 29.42 and US based Jacob Cann in 5th with a time of 29.43. Emile Cairess led the Leeds team home to a double team victory – in the Northern Athletics 10k Road Championships and in the Open Race too.
Presentation Photos courtesy of Steve Bateson
L-R Tim Raynes – Daniel Bebbington – Matt Ramsden – Mick Hill
Twenty athletes from Balckburn Harriers contested the race and leading the Club home to a Silver Medal in the Northern 10k Championships was Daniel Bebbington who came across the finishing line in a fine time of 29.47 in 6th place with team mates Matt Ramsden in 7th running 29.50 and 3rd counter for the team Tim Raynes in 20th with a seasons best time of 30.53 following a year of injuries and working his way back. Jess Warner-Judd won the Women’s Race in a time of 32.41 even though she wasn’t that well and along with Maddie Elliott who knocked off 20 seconds from her previous best to run a new PB of 37.38 and Eleesha Charnley running 40.56 made up the three counters who took the Bronze medal in the Northern 10k Road Championships to add to the individual Gold Medal that Jess had also won. Emily Kearney took 2nd place in the Women’s Race with a time of 33,59 and Border’s Olivia Mason in 3rd spot in a time of 34.00. Blackburn Harriers Ben Fish won the V40 prize coming hiome in 32.00.
David Holman who is home from the US at Wingate University for Christmas had a fine race, setting a new PB by over a minute as he came home in 48th spot with a time of 32.12. He was followed in by Rob Warner-Judd in 7th place (33.02), V40 James Bretherton (120th) in a time of 34.34 and new PB by over half a minute, Paul Bradshaw was just a second away from a seasons best as he ran 35.09 in 143rd, V55 Matt Nuttall finishing in 279th with a time of 38.51, V45 Ste Turner running 39.43 in 320th for a big new PB by over two minutes, V40 Rebecca Ward in 441st place (42.35) for a massive new PB by over three minutes, Matthew Maynard in 473rd position running 43.14, U20 Leah Hoole also running a new PB by 24 seconds of 43.31 (481st), V45 Paul Jeffries (552nd) in a time of 45.26, V65 Michael Blacklidge rolling back the year in 695th with a time of 49.12 and V50 Lindsay Davies in 774th spot in 51.42.
These photos courtesy of David Belshaw