The sun shone – all day – tents were up, deck chairs aligned around the outside of the track whilst officials got everything ready in anticipation of the start of this years Lancashire T&F Championships held at Witton Park on the weekend of May 13 & 14th. Sunday was much the same, a little overcast at times with a breeze, but overall, a great weekend for athletics in the County. Thanks to the Lancashire Athletic Association and all of the Officials who travelled to be at the Arena for 8.00am each day and were there right through to the end on Sunday evening – everyone one of them a volunteer, giving up their time to ensure the competition went ahead.
It was a great weekend to for Blackburn Harriers who recorded a total of 30 Gold, 29 Silver and 9 Bronze medals added to which were 55 new personal best performances, three new Club Records, two Championship Best Performances and a run that was just two tenths outside of the British record for U13 Boys 15000m.
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Gold Medals were won by U13 Jack Baranowski in the 1500m (4.18.6) which was a new Club record, a championship best performance and missed the British record by just two tenths of a second; Caris Peter-Thomas in the U13 100m (13.0) and a new Club Record; Charlie Clanford in the U15B 300m (39.1); Sam Aspey in the U15 B 1500m (4.25.7); Charlie Unsworth in the U17M 100m (11.1); Daniel Smith U17M 1550m (4.12.7); Oliver Palk in the U17M Javelin with a throw of 40.67m; U17 Kara Dacosta in the 300m (40.6); Alisha Lehner in the U17W 80m Hurdles (13.2); David Holman in the U20M 1500m (3.58.4); Abigail Stratton U20W 1500m (4.32.7) and a new Championship record; Anthony Kent in the Senior Men’s Discus (41.14m); Eleesha Charnley 18.34.9 in the Senior Womens 5000m; Caris Peter-Thomas U13 200m (26.6) and a new Club Record; Charlie Clanford U15B 200m (24.9); Sam Aspey U15B 3000m (9.37.0); Jack Duxbury U15B Long Jump (4.68m); Harry Pilkington U15 B Hammer (21.21m); Charlie Unsworth U17M 200m (22.5); Ben Stratton in the U18M 800m (2.06.5); Jack Lamb U17M 3000m (9.33.4); Daniel Smith U17M 1500m Steeplechase (4.42.00); Ben Boocock U20M 400m Hurdles (64.1); George Williams with a throw of 34.47m in the U20M Hammer; Poppy Preece 1.50m in the U20W High Jump; Emma Harrison in the U20W Hammer (44.76m); John iLunga Sen M 400m Hurdles (70.8); Ben Makin Sen M 3000m Steeplechase (10.07.4); Anthony Kent Sen M Shot Putt (12.20m); Anthony Kent in the Sen M Hammer (48.64m).
Silver Medals went to U15B Luke Watson (11.9) in the 100m; U15 George Camara in the 80m Hurdles (12.9); Harry Pilkington in the U15B Discus (26.82m); Evie Fort in the U15G 300m (46.6); Agatha Taylor U15G 1500m (4.58.4); Daniel Nuttall U17M 100m (11.5); Oliver Palk U17m 400m (53.9); U17 Millee Schofield in the 100m (12.7); U17 Charlotte Robertshaw 1500m (5.07.7); U17 Kady Thompson in the Javelin (27.41m); George Whittaker SenM 100 (11.4); Dexta Thompson U20M 1500m (3.58.4); George Whittaker SenM 110m Hurdles (17.1); Keira Haxton U20W 1500m (4.59.9); Amy Davies SenW 1500m (4.48.2); Keir Michie U15B 200 (26.3); Theo Robinson U15 B Long Jump (3.73m); U15 Agatha Taylor in the 800m ( 2.21.9); Millee Schofield in the U17W 200m (26.1); Imogen Robinson U17W High Jump (1.35m); George Whittaker SenM 200m (22.9); Dexta Thompson U20M 800m (1.58.6); George Whittaker in the U20M Shot Putt (11.10m); Evie Taylor (10.45.9) in the U20W 3000m; Grace Bontoft in the U20W Hammer (39.47m); Poppy Preece (2.30m) in the U20W Pole Vault; Matthew Heywood (47.87m) in the SenM Hammer.
Bronze Medals came from U15 Daniel Bretherton in the 300m (41.2); U15 Jack Duxbury 200m (26.7); Harry PIlkington U15 Shot Putt (9.19m); Leila Pilkington U15G Shot Putt (7.99m); Oliver Palk in the U17M 200m (23.6); U17 George Ramsden in the 800m (2.11.7); Isabel Holt U20W 3000m (10.54.0); Kiera Booth in the U20W 400m Hurdles (79.2); Tony Balko SenM Hammer (30.37m).
New personal bests were set by:- U13 Caris Peter-Thomas (100m & 200m) – U13 Jack Baranowski (1500m) – U13 Imogen Boardman (100m & Long Jump) – U13 Alex McKinlay (100m & Javelin) – U13 Isabelle Pawson (100m & Long Jump) – U15 Jack Duxbury (100m & 200m) – U15 Theo Robinson (800m) – George Holman (800m & Javelin) – U15 Harry Pilkington (Shot Putt & Discus) – U15 Holly Moore (200m) – U15 Agatha Taylor (800m & 1500m) – U15 Bella McCredie (800m) – Leila Pilkington (Shot Putt) – U15 Luke Watson (100m) – U15 Keir Mitchie (100m) – U15 Jack Thompson (100m) – U15 Daniel Bretherton (300m) – U15 Matthew Haxton (300m) – U15 Sam Aspey (1500m) – U15 George Camara (80m Hurdles) – U15 Evie Fort (100m & 300m) – U15 Emily Dai (Long Jump) – (U17) Charlie Unsworth (100m & 200m) – U17 Oliver Palk (200m/400m/Javelin) – U17 James Tierney (200m) – U17 George Ramsden (800m) – U17 Ethan Cutler (800m) – U17 Daniel Smith (1500m & 1500m S/C) – U15 Imogen Robinson (200m) – U17 Charlotte Robertshaw (1500m) – U17 Kady Thompson (Javelin) – U17 Jacob Fisher (100m) – U20 George Whittaker (200m/100m/110m Hurdles) – Thomas Monks (800m) – Codie Dewhurst (800m) – U20 Evie Taylor (3000m) – U20 Kiera Booth (400m Hurdles) – U20 Keira Haxton (1500m) – SeniorM Anthony Kent (Discus & Shot Putt) – SeniorW Amy Davies (1500m).
The Inter-Counties Mountain Running Championships were held at Sedburgh on Sunday May 7th. Blackburn Harriers Josh Holgate had won selection to the Lancashire team and was looking forward to the race. Finishing 25th overall and 3rd counter for the County in a time of 64.32 – the team placing 4th with 49 points behind Scotland East, Scotland North and the Winners – Cumbria. Josh spoke to the Club about his run for the County telling us that “It was my first time representing the county and also my first time racing in Cumbria, so just wanted to enjoy the day. The course was two laps around the Howgills so I tried to take it steady on the first lap in hope I could pick a few places off on the second. This seemed to go to plan despite the second time up the main climb being tough going in the heat. Happy overall with the result and being 3rd counter for the Lancs team, hopefully I can push on from here and follow up with a good run at the Fairfield horseshoe next weekend.”
Four hundred and forty nine runners took part on a gloriously sunny and very warm day at this years Fairfield Horseshoe which was part of the English Championships. (RESULTS) The race was won by Rossendale’s Grant Cuncliffe in 78.11 just 5 seconds in front of William Cartwright (Matlock) in 2nd place (78.16 and Ilkley’s Ben Rothery (3rd) in 78.21. Blackburn Harriers duo Josh Holgatte & Marc Hartley ran this and had fine runs – Josh finishing in 32nd spot overall in a time of 87.05 and Marc (111th) with a time of 1hr 40.50. After the race both athletes spoke to the Club about their race and the day – Josh telling us that “It was my first Lakeland fell race and also my first experience at an English championship race. It was a well attended and organised event with some of the best fell runners in the country taking part. The race started with a long 4 mile ascent to the top of Fairfield before heading across to hart crag and finally a long descent back down to Rydal from Dove crag. I was climbing fairly well at the start but nearing the top of Fairfield my legs started to struggle and the heat was beginning to take effect, it was here I lost ground on a few runners. Luckily I managed to make up some time on the descent and take some places back but was almost crawling to the finishing line on the 1km flat section at the end, and I also was massively overheating at this point! On the whole I had a great time and I was happy with the result, moreover I there’s definitely room for improvement. Well done also to Marc Hartley, he had a great race especially not long after a tough time at the 3 peaks race a couple weeks back.“
Blackburn Harriers Josh Birmingham travelled down to Leicester on Saturday May 6th to tackle both the 5k and 1 mile races which were part of the Podium Asics 5k – (RESULTS). Josh told the Club that he was “happy with the one mile race for a season opener, I think I can definitely go faster this year“. In the 5k Josh was 7th overall in a time of 16.07 and then took on the Garmin Mile race clocking 4.33 in 5th place.
Also out on the road at the weekend was Rebecca Shorrock – May 13th – competing in the RunThrough Tatton Park 5k (RESULTS) Winning the Women’s race and in 7th position overall with a time of 21.20.
Out on the road too was Luke Betts at the Chorley 10k which had over 900 runners finishing the race won by Horwich athlete James Kevan in a time of 32.23.75. In second spot came Luke who posted a time of 33.08.71 in just his second race of the year.
The Blacksticks 10k run on Sunday May 14th had just over 150 finishers in a race won by David Lighfoot in a time of 34.56. Blackburn Harriers Stephen Hall and Nick Gaskell took top 5 finishes with V45 Stephen running 35.47 in 3rd place and V50 Nick posting a time of 35.56 in 5th place – both of them taking 1st place prizes in their age category.
Wednesday evening – May 10th – saw the running of the latest race in this years Pendle & Burnley Grand Prix Series – The Run Forrest Run Trail Race – (RESULTS) won by Rossendale’s Joe Ormerod in 31.18. Six Blackburn Harriers lined up in this race featuring 250 runners – Stephen Hall, Nick Gaskell, Louisa Powell-Smith, Ste Turner, Gary Pearse and Sianna Smith.
Stephen and Nick took top 10 finishes as Stephen came home in 5th place in 34.02 – 1st V45 and Nick placed 8th in a time of 34.53 and 1st V50. Next in came Louisa who as 2nd in the Women’s race with a time of 37.31 behind the winner – unattached Emma Hopkinson (36.57). They were followed in by V45 Ste in 57th spot running 40.55, V55 Gary in in 62nd place (41.39) and Sianna making her debut for the Harriers in 65th place running a very solid time of 41.45.