On the Road and Blackburn Harriers Ben Fish entered the Zurich Maratón de Sevilla run in Seville on Sunday February 19th. In 2022 Ben ran two marathons running 2hr 28.39 in the Wrexham Elite Marathon in April and then in October Ben clocked 2hr 23.41 at the Amsterdam Marathon in 39th place and the first British athlete home. Move forward to the Seville Marathon and Ben had a cracking run posting a time of 2hr 22.52 – 6th British athlete home and a time which took him to the top of the V40 National Rankings and 7th overall for all age groups. After the Race Ben spoke to the club about the day saying It went well, perhaps a tad slow early on as my first 5k was my slowest (17:23), but picked it up a bit and held it together. Had a good battle with another Brit, James Turner, who finished just ahead of me with a fine run. After some poor form in December and early Jan it’s good to be running well again.

(RACE VIDEO – Ben at around 2hr 40 on the film)

Blackburn Harriers Abigail Stratton, the Northern 800m & 1500m Champion a week ago ago had qualified for her first British National Indoor Championships in the 800m held at the Birmingham Arena on February 18/19th. On Saturday, Abigail was drawn in Heat 2 of three and had a right go at it with a very fast first lap which saw her place 5th in a time of 2.09.87 and after her race she spoke to the Club about her experience commenting that she Really enjoyed the experience of my first senior British champs, happy with my race overall after it going out in a 60sec first 400m, I am now looking forward to more competition like this in the outdoor season”.

Still on Indoor competition and this time with Blackburn Harriers Masters athlete Tony Balko competed in the British Masters AF Track & Field Indoor Championships held at the EIS Sheffield over the weekend winning the Silver Medal in the Shot Putt. Commentating later, Tony said that he was “Quite surprised to get a medal as in all honesty, my shot training and preparations have not been going well, but it’s been great to have an early season run out and catch up with the usual suspects throws gang. Well done and congratulations to all athletes. Also, massive thank you to all the officials, volunteers and event organisers👏

Over in America, Blackburn Harrier’s Charlotte Williams has had a couple of competitions in the Throws this year, taking on the WT9.08kg. At the DeLoss Dodds Invitational on January 20th Charlotte threw 16.80m for a new PB and then followed that up at the Steve Miller Invitational on 17th February which she won with a distance of 16.52m.

Tony Balko receiving his Silver Medal

Meanwhile, out of the Fells on February 11th Blackburn Harriers John Horrocks was among over 450 runners who lined up at the Parbold Hill race- (RESULTS). John finished in 11th place running a time of 45.30. The following week – 18th February – close to 200 runners lined up at the Flower Scar Race at Todmorden – (RESULTS). The race was won in a new race record by Chris Holdsworth (62.37) with Blackburn Harriers Josh Holgate in 2nd spot with a time of 66.48.

Josh Holgate at Flower Scar (204)  Photo courtesy www.woodentops.org.uk

John Horrocks at Parbold