The Harriers Senior Men’s Team are going really well at the start of the cross country season having kicked off with Team wins at Ulverston in the Mid Lancs League and at Leigh in the Red Rose League. Saturday just gone – October 26th – a very wet and muddy Leverhulme Park at Bolton hosted the second Red Rose League fixture, at which the Harriers pulled off another win (75 points) in a close fought contest with Rossendale (99 points) and Bury (118 points).


Great packing by the lads saw us take 7th, 8th, 9th,10th, 17th and 26th for the Team counters. Leading the team home this time was Chris Davies who once again won the V40 category as he came home in a time of 38.29 with a fast finishing Tom Blaney in 8th (38.49), Dominic Walton kicking like an 800m runner in the home straight to take 9th place in a time of 39.03 and Marc Hartley in 10th clocking 39.08. John Horrocks had worked his way through the field with a strong run to take 17th spot in 40.29 with 6th counter Calum Holmes – having caught two trains and two buses to get to the fixture – 26th in a time of 41.26.

Chris Davies (143)

Tom Blaney (132)

Dominic Walton (172)

Marc Hartley (150)

John Horrocks (154)

Calum Holmes (153)

Team captain Paul Guinan was the next Harrier home in 36th place (42.26) which gave him the 2nd V50 on the day followed by V55 Chris Balderson (2nd V55 on the day) in 72nd place with a time of 45.45. Next came V50 Gary Pearse in 83rd (46.32), Craig Greenough (V50) in 107th with a time of 48.19, V50 Jonathan Bridge making a welcome appearance in the mud in 113th spot clocking 48.39, Paul Smith (V50) running a time of 50.30 in 142nd place and V50 Mark Almond (149th) in 50.55.

Paul Guinan (148)

Chris Balderson (129)

Gary Pearse (165)

Craig Greenough (192)

Jonathan Bridge (135)

Paul Smith (169)

Mark Almond (127)

The Senior Women’s team was light on the day with just three runners which saw Ellen Sagar-Hesketh have a very strong run taking 14th place overall in a time of 24.43 out of the 134 strong field. Next across the line for the team came V45 Lindsay Davies in 27th spot clocking 26.17 followed by V55 Jan Buckingham in 67th spot running 31.25.

Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (204)

Lindsay Davies (187)

Jan Buckingham (184)

Just 8 seconds separated the first six runners in the U11 Boys race won by Trawden with 10 points from Blackburn with 21 and Leigh in 3rd spot (27). The Harriers were led home by Sam Aspey in 4th place with a time of 7.05 followed by Liam Bennison in 8th (7.37) and Charlie Haworth in 9th clocking the same time as they battled for the places. Jack Carrington who is in his first competitive season had a very good run to come home in 20th place out of the race total of 56 with a time of 8.08.

L-R Liam Bennison – Charlie Haworth – Sam Aspey

Sam Aspey (214)

Liam Bennison (215) – Charlie Haworth (220)

Just two runners in the U11 Girls which saw Hannah Davies continue her good form placing 6th overall in a time of 7.59 out of a field of 72 youngsters braving the weather and followed home by 8yr old Charlotte Smith in 30th position in a time of 8.50.

Hannah Davies (228)

Charlotte Smith (231)

6th place for the U13 boys race featuring 65 which saw the Harriers led home by Daniel Smith in 10th place clocking 12.52. Ben Ham was next home for the team in 17th place (13.18) followed by Oliver Gill in 21st (13.29), Matthew Smith in 36th (14.25), Findlay Carroll in 38th running a time of 14.36, Harry Sambrook clocking 14.45 in 42nd, Daniel Nuttall in 52nd place (15.22) and Issac Smith in 64th (21.30).

L-R Daniel Smith – Isaac Smith – Matthew Smith – Oliver Gill – Daniel Nuttall – Ben Ham – Harry Sambrook

Daniel Smith (244)

Benjamin Ham (237)

Oliver Gill (236)

Matthew Smith (246)

Findlay Carroll (234)

Harry Sambrook (243)

Daniel Nuttall (1841)

Isaac Smith (245)

It was another 6th place too for the U15 Girls as they had five girls competing in the race featuring 42 runners in total. Keira Haxton was the first athlete home for the Club in 17th position in a time of 19.08 and backed up by Leah Hoole in 20th place (19.25), Molly Nicholls clocking 20.22 in 27th spot, Hollie Cubbon in 30th with a time of 20.50 and Millie Sambrook in 32nd place running 20.58.

L-R Keira Haxton – Hollie Cubbon – Leah Hoole – Molly Nicholls – Millie Sambrook

Keira Haxton (287)

Leah Hoole (288)

Molly Nicholls (290)

Hollie Cubbon (285)

Millie Sambrook (292)

Leeds Abbey Dash – Sunday October 27th

Some great times were posted at the Leeds Abbey Dash with the quality of the race evidenced by the fact that the first 29 all clocked sub 30 minutes for the renowned fast Leeds course. Rob Warner, Jess Judd and Ben Costello all lined up for the Harriers in this one.


What great results for Rob and Jess on the day. Rob absolutely hammered his personal best, improving by a massive 46 seconds to set a new PB of 29.31 to finish in 17th place overall whilst Jess did the same, chopping a huge 31 seconds off her previous best, clocking a new PB of 32.11 and coming home 4th Woman overall. After the Race Rob told the Club that he was really, really happy with the race, was hoping if everything went well I could sneak under 30 but to get 29:31 is just amazing! Went out relatively hard in 14:42 for the first half and was surprised at how I managed to hang in well until the end!”

Similarly for Jess as she told us that she had Only been back in training for 2 weeks and have only done 2 key sessions so wasn’t really sure what to expect so just wanted a benchmark for the rest of the season, so to get a big pb Is much better than I could have expected and gives me confidence moving on from here!

Ben finished in 155th spot overall in a time of 32.58 and afterwards, reflected on his day, telling the Club that he Went into the race in the best shape I’ve ever been but that does not gaurentee you’ll run the best you can as the time shows. Went off at the target time pace after the first 1 mile my legs just didn’t want to know and it was long race after that managed to dig in deep and finish the race. Happy enough with the run but there is so much more in me im sure of it. Well done to the Harriers who ran this weekend at Accy and Bolton”.

Accrington 10k – Sunday October 27th

Close to five hundred runners in this race which saw a 1st and 2nd for the Harriers and 1st and 3rd in the Women’s added to which was the Team win, on a course hardly renowned for fast times.


Josh Holgate and Karl Billington made it a 1/2 in the overall race as Josh secured his first race win in a time of 33.57 and Karl in 2nd place clocking 34.19 with Karl adding his “Congratulations on a great run from Josh to take his first ever race win, fully deserved”.  Josh spoke to the Club afterwards about the Race and told us Well done everyone, it’s not the easiest course but I like the event and Accy road runners do a good job of hosting. Happy to take the win despite not racing for a while and also good to get the team prize as well! Lastly, well done to Annabelle for taking the win in the woman’s race“.

Josh Holgate

Karl Billington

Annabel Ralph made it a double win on the day as she ran a very good time of 40.28 on this course which generally assumes a minimum of a minute slower for the amount of climbing in the race, to come home in 28th position and 1st Woman. Post Race Annabel commented on her day Tough course as you can’t get away from the gradual incline. I remained strong all the way round and blasted it down hill for the last mile which was the only decent one in the race. I was very glad to finish first Lady”.  3rd placed Woman on the day was the Harriers Victoria Mousley in 36th clocking 41.44 and in 36th spot with U17 Harry Wilkin just one second behind her (41.45) in 37th. Mark Wilkin (V50) ran a time of 47.43 in 113th position which was an impressive new PB by 14 seconds given the nature of the course.

Annabel Ralph

Victoria Mousley

Harry Wilkin

Mark Wilkin

Limassol Triathlon – Sunday October 27th

A pretty good weekend for Blackburn Harriers Sarah Toms who won the Limassol Triathlon, and after the event was over Sarah told the Harriers that she was Pleased to take the win today, it was a rare race where I felt strong all the way round. Some good weather too, compared to the weather I’ve seen this weekend at Bolton”.

Fairclough 5 – Sunday October 27th

Rachael Gavin joined a hundred other runners at this local 5 Mile Race won by Wesham’s Rob Danson in a time of 26.35. Rachael clocked a time of 33.43 in 16th place to take the 2nd Woman’s Prize behind Women’s Winner, Lytham’s Markham Maddy (13th) in a time of 33.24.

Rachael Gavin (76)