Red Rose Cross Country – Marl Pits – Saturday November 30th

Cold and plenty of mud greeted the athletes on the last fixture in this years Red Rose Cross Country League held at Marl Pits which turned out to be a good day for the Harriers as they cemented the Men’s Senior Team title again and also took the Senior Men’s Title with Ben Fish winning all his counting races as well as Chris Davies taking the V40 Title. 



L-R Allan Hartley – Ben Fish – Chris Davies – Paul Brindle – Marc Hartley – John Horrocks – Tom Blaney

The Men’s Senior Race quickly turned into a four man race for the lead in the early stages featuring Blackburn Harrier Ben Fish, Rossendale’s Matty McKay, Bury’s Ben Coop and Todmorden’s Andrew Worster. On the second lap, Ben Fish and Matty McKay established a lead which seemed to be decisive in terms of the first two places, the only question being, who would come out on top. As they came onto the start field area for the last time Ben Fish made a break to which Matty McKay didn’t respond and from then on Ben extended his lead winning by nearly half a minute at the end.

Chris Davies had won the V40 category in all his races and wanted to end the series in 1st place again and that is exactly what he did, coming home in 8th place overall in a time of 35.02 and 1st V40 for the Race and for the Series. Tom Blaney followed in 14th place with a time of 35.18 as Marc Hartley clocked 35.38 in17th place and John Horrocks running 36.13 in 21st spot.

Chris Davies (143)

Tom Blaney

Marc Hartley (150)John Horrocks (154)

Chris Balderson had a good race too as he claimed the 2nd V55 place for the Race and for the Series finishing in 49th with a time of 39.46. Paul Brindle isn’t the happiest of athletes when it comes to the mud, but nevertheless, took one for the team as they say coming home in 53rd place (40.10) and followed home by Danny Teare in 125th (49.52) and Allan Hartley running a time of 57.45 in 155th position. All of which meant that on the day Rossendale Harriers took the team win with 100 points with Blackburn Harriers just 4 points further back in 2nd and Series Champions on 104 points and Bury in 3rd (114 points) which demonstrated how competitive it was between the leading teams.

Chris Balderson (129)Paul Brindle (2011)Danny Teare (171)Allan Hartley (149)

In the Senior Women’s Race which had 120 runners in it Ellen Sagar Hesketh come home in her highest position of the Series – 8th in a time of 25.16 – and cemented a top ten place for herself in the overall Series. Lindsay Davies came home in 39th spot (28.44) on the day and placed 35th overall and 4th for the Series in the V45 standings.

Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (204) Lindsay Davies (187)

The Harriers only had a few Juniors out on the day as most of them have concentrated on the Mid Lancs League, but they all ran really well and none more so than U11 Hannah Davies who has had a very good Series finishing 5th, 6th, 4th and then her highest place of all –  3rd – in today’s race clocking a time of 8.40 which means that she has placed 5th overall this season in the individual standings.

Hannah Davies (228)

Liam Bennison and Charlie Haworth were among the fifty nine U11 Boys with both having very good runs. Liam came home in 9th spot clocking 8.28 with Charlie home in 13th place (8.47). Charlie placed 11th over all in the Series having finished in 15th, 9th and 13th places in his three counting races.

Liam Bennison (215) & Charlie Haworth (220)

Three lads ran in the U13 Boys Race which had a total of 49 in the field. Harry Sambrook finished in 24th spot clocking 11.40 with Findlay Carroll in 31st running a time of 12.22 and Daniel Nuttall in 40th place in a time of 13.14.

Harry Sanbrook (243)Findlay Carroll (134)Daniel Nuttall (1841)

Podium 5k – Saturday November 30th

Athletes braved the weather on Saturday night as the temperatures dropped resulting in not the best of conditions for fast times. Andrew Smith from Pudsey & Bramley won the ‘A’ Race in a time of 14.52 with St Helens Matthew Crehan in 2nd (14.54). The ‘B’ Race was won by Chorley’s Daniel Lilley in 17.01.


Ben Costello was the first home for the Harriers in the ‘A’ Race (31st) clocking 15.52 with Karl Billington just three seconds further back in 32nd place (15.55). Next across the finishing line in 47th was Josh Holgate who ran 16.35 and he was followed home by Dominic Walton who was making his debut over the distance finishing 63rd in a pretty solid time of 17.13.

Dominic Walton (116)

Winter Indoor Series at Sportcity

Nine Blackburn Harriers turned out at the first of this years Indoor Meetings held at Sportcity Jayden Riley – Ben Boocock – Imogen Mansfield – Thoms Monks – Hayden Mercer – Eleesha Charnley – Codie Dewhurst – Rory Teare – Ben Branton.


Four of the athletes took on the 60m which saw bottom of age U17 Jayden Riley carry on where he left off from last season as he won his first outing in a time of 7.40 which was the first time he had run over 60m Indoors. Ben Boocock – also bottom of age U17 – went into his Heat of the 60m with a personal best of 8.14 and went past that in his opening race by clocking 8.12 in 4th place and then went and clocked 9.46 in the 60m Hurdles placing 2nd.

U17 Imogen Mansfield was a fraction outside her previous best 60m time as she clocked 8.75 in 5th spot and then going on to finish 10th out of 34 in the Long Jump with a leap of 4.48m. U15 Thomas Monks – in his first season with the Harriers – opened his account in the Indoor season with a 2nd place in the 60m running a time of 8.12. Three athletes tackled the 600m with U15 Hayden Mercer coming home in 4th place with a time of 1.35.31 in his Heat followed by Eleesha Charnley (U17) clocking 1.43.32 also in 4th spot and Codie Dewhurst running a time of 1.52.97 (4th) which was a new PB by some seven seconds. U15 Rory Teare equaled his outdoor personal best of 2.30m in the Pole Vault by clearing 2.30m indoors to come 6th whilst U17 Ben Branton leapt out to 5.52m in the Long Jump to place 4th out of the 12 contestants.


Hayden Mercer                                                                     Codie Dewhurst

Blackburn Harriers Annual Presentation of Awards Evening – November 29th

Another year and another celebration of what our athletes and teams have achieved over the course of the previous year. There have been some massive highlights – Holly Bradshaw coming so close to a medal in the World Championships as she cleared 4.80m in the Pole Vault Final only to finish 4th; Jess Judd winning the World University 5000m Gold Medal, Charlotte Williams winning her GB Vest, setting a new PB in the Hammer (62.84m) and ending the season ranked No.1 in Britain; Sam Gaskell setting a new PB of 69.39m with the 6kg Hammer and ranked No. 3 in the country; U15 Jayden Riley ranked No. 8 in Britain for the 100m; U15 Nicky Saunders ranked N0.3 in the country for Discus; U17 Matt Ramsden ranked 16th nationally in the 3000m. When you take all of that and add to it the Individual and Team Titles won in Track & Field, Cross Country and Road as well as seeing the emergence of new young athletes, there was plenty to celebrate.

Guest of Honour to make the Awards was Stan Taylor, someone who has graced the sport of athletics for many years, first as an athlete recording a personal best of 3.58.1 for the mile, was a GB athlete and represented England in the 1962 Commonwealth Games held in Australia in the then 880yds and 1 mile. He was the President of Northern Athletics in 2019 and was a former President of Lancashire Athletics Association. He is currently a Senior Endurance Coach and is a Chief Timekeeper seen at athletics fixtures throughout the year. A great stalwart of the sport of athletics and it was an honour to have him present the Awards to our athletes alongside our Club President – Tony Wood.

Some highlights of the evening featured a video message of support from Jess Judd and Rob Warner who weren’t able to attend but wanted to send their congratulations to everyone on the night. Similarly with Holly Bradshaw who spoke to the audience via Skype, set up by Lee Thompson who puts on a fantastic presentation for the Club every time. Holly was able to speak about her career, her achievements and setbacks as well as her involvement with the Club and share that with everyone in the room. Marc Hartley was impressed with the evening and commented  “I thought the level of effort and attention to detail put in to the Harriers presentation night was first class. Everyone who was involved in organising the event deserves a massive thank you from all members, as it was undoubtedly a great success. The preparation of having the video links to ensure all our athletes were part of the night was remarkable and gave the night a real mini “sports personality” feel to it. Again this was a night that made you proud to be part of Blackburn Harriers, as we are such a well run club that delivers both in the competitive field and off it. Thank you again, and here’s to another successful year”.

John Horrocks echoed the thoughts expressed by Marc telling us that he “Really enjoyed the Harriers presentation evening on Friday. It’s a great way to celebrate everyone’s success throughout the year and hear about what other people are doing in other areas of the club that you don’t always hear about. The awards given out and performances talked about just shows how dedicated everyone is both in the background of running the club and the training people put in. Thank you to everyone involved in putting the night together. Hope next year is just as good for the club”.

In recognition of Stan Taylors period of office as President of Northern Athletics,Tony Wood, current Chairman of Northern Athletics presented Stan with an Award honouring his role in that position.

Awards Categories & Winners

1. Junior Squad Trophy — These athletes are nominated by the coaches of the Sportshall Group.

Boys Winner was Mason Bowman with Jack Duxbury in 2nd and Rohan McGoay in 3rd whilst in the Girls it was Hannah Davies who won with Leah Walker in 2nd and Alexandra Peacock in 3rd.

The U 11 Endurance Award – Given to recognise the efforts of the junior endurance athletes particularly during the 2017-18 cross country season went to Matthew Smith and Hannah Davies.

Matthew Smith Hannah Davies

For the Best Track perforamnce of the Year – the Men’s Winner was Rob Warner for his 14:08.54 5000m at Milton Keynes in July AAA Grade 1 and to Jess Judd for her 15:16.47 5000m at Olympic Park in Julyl AAA Grade 1 and World’s qualifying time.

Rob Warner  Jess Judd

The Athlete of the Year goes to the athlete who has performed to the highest standards during the year and this Award also went to Rob Warner & Jess Judd.

The Junior Team Contribution to Track and Field sees one athlete selected from each of the age groups for boys and girls and goes the junior athlete that has competed in most Club fixtures through the 2018 Track and Field season with a combination of UKYDL, Mid Lancs and Lancs Champs used to decide

U13/U15 Boy’s Winner Oliver Gill U13/U15 Girls Winner Madison Bontoft U17/U20 men’s Winner Anthony Kent U17/U20 Women’s Winner Millie Coy

The Harriers Junior Merit Award is presented to athletes new to their age group in the UKYDL who have impressed their respective team managers and coaches throughout the season.

U13 Winners Tilly Pollard and Matthew SmithU15 Girls Winner Nicky Saunders (being collected by training partner Grace Bontoft)

U15 Boys Winner Jayden Riley

Our Award for Senior Contribution to Track & Field went to Anthony Kent and Anna Peers alongside the Senior Leagues Track & Field Merit Award which went to Dominic Walton and Ellen Sagar-Hesketh.

Men’s Winner Senior Contribution to T&F Anthony Kent

Women’s Winner Senior Contribution to T&F Anna Peers

Senior Leagues Merit Award Winners Ellen Sagar-Hesketh and Dominic Walton

There were eight athletes sharing the Award for Junior Contribution to Cross Country and given to the Junior athlete that has competed in most club XC fixtures through the season. Red Rose and Mid Lancs Leagues, Lancs, Northern and National Champs are used to calculate and Champs to decide in the event of a tie.

L-R Boys Winners Matt Ramsden – Dexta Thompson – Stan Taylor (Presenting) Isaac Butler – Sam HodkinsonL-R Girls Winners Isabelle Hartley – Amy Davies – Stan Taylor Presenting – Eleesha Charnley – Leah Hoole

Thje Senior Contribution to Cross Country goes to the Senior athlete that has competed in most club XC fixtures through the season. Red Rose and Mid Lancs Leagues, Lancs, Northern and National Champs are used to calculate and Champs to decide in the event of a tie.

L-R Men’s Winners Marc hartley – Allan Hartley – Stan Taylor Presenting – Chris DaviesWomen’s Winner Lindsay Davies

This award – Most Promising Young Athlete – highlights athletes that are usually new to their age group at the Harriers or just starting with the juniors and have started to make good progress through training and competing regularly and particularly look to have great prospects ahead for them.

U13/U15 Boys Winner Hayden Mercer

U13/U15 Girls Winner Kate Cookson

U17/U20 men’s Winner Kyle Mashiter

U17/U20 Women’s Winner Imogen Mansfield

The award for Most Improved Young Athlete recognises established juniors in their age group who have really made a step up in their level of training and performance in the last year.

U13/U15 Boys Winner Jayden Riley

U13/U15 Girls Winners L-R Amelia Burton – Grace Bontoft – Stan Taylor Presenting – Keira Haxton

U17/U20 Men’s Winner Matthew Ramsden

U17/U20 Women’s Winner Bailey Madden

For Outstanding Junior Commitment – given to athletes that have shown commitment and application beyond what would normally be expected in order to improve themselves or support their team mates, the winner was Eleesha Charnley.

The Club Cross Country Award goes to an athlete who has represented the club with great credit on the country and conducts themselves in a manner that is a great example to the other members around them.

Men’s Winner Tim Raynes Women’s Winner Annabel Ralph

This years the Club fell Running Award went to two athletes who have regular competitors and have particpated in Championship Races as well as many others with the Winners being John Horrocks and Tom Marchant.

John Horrocks

The Harriers have a growing band of veteran athletes who sometimes perform in specific masters events and at other times in regular club fixtures. This award recognises their achievements for both Men and Women. There is also a Veteran merit Road Running Award and this was won again by Chris Davies and Joanne Nelson.

L-R Men’s Winner Chris Davies – Stan Taylor Presenting – Paul Brindle (picking up for partner Women’s Winner Joanne Nelson)

Blackburn Harriers have a number of triathletes within the club and this award recognises their achievements. This years Award went to one of our Junior Saul Sharp  who has competed at Biathlon and Triathlon North West Triathlon Series T3 Catagory and took 6th place overall with 5158 points out of a possible 6000.

Calculated against the AAA Grade 1 for each event, the Best Junior Field Perforamnce went to athletes in the different Junior Age Groups.

U13/U15 Boys Winner Matthew Smith U13/U15 Girls Winner Nicky Saunders (being collected by Grace Bontoft) U17/U20 Men’s Winner Sam Gaskell U17/U20 Women’s Winner Charlotte Williams

Similarly the Best Senior League Field Perforamnce is calculated against the AAA Grade 1 for each event.

U17/U20 Women’s and Men’s Winners Charlotte Williams and Sam Gaskell

The Clubs Best Junior Track Perforamnce is once again calculated against the AAA Grade 1 for each of the Age Groups.

U13/U15 Boys Winner Jayden Riley U13/U15 Girls Winner Amelia Burton U17/U20 men’s Winner Matthew Ramsden U17 Women’s Winner Bailey Madden

Donated to Blackburn Harriers by Sylvia Almond, in memory of her husband Arthur Almond who was a long serving Middle Distance Coach at the Club, this Trophy is given to a performance over 800m during the course of the year.

Winner of the Arthur Almond Trophy for his 1.59 800m at the Lancashire T&F Championships Joe Gebbie

Best Schools Championship Perforamnce of the Year is presented to the athlete that has produced the best performance in a Schools Track and Field event during the season.

Boys Winner Jayden Riley Girls Winner Nicky Saunders (Being collected by Grace Bontoft)

The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Track & Field went to Holly Bradshaw for her 4th place in the World Championships Pole Vault Final where she cleared 4.80m in 4th place and Jess Judd for her Gold Medal in winning the World University Games Final.

The Club Championships Award is gievn to first, second and third in both men and Women’s categories and is based on the results over the season where a number of races must be completed to be able to take part.

L-R John Horrocks – Stan Taylor Presneting – Lindsay davies – Chris Davies

Men’s Winner Ben Fish with John Horrocks in 2nd and Chris Davies 3rd – Women’s Winner Victoria Mousley with a tie for 2nd place between Joanne Nelson and Lindsay Davies

The Winner of the Bob Groves Trophy for this year was Ben Boocock who set new personal bests throughout the season culminating in qualifying for English Schools and winning medals at the Northern Indoor and Outdorr Championships.

Our Young Athlete of the Year went deservedly to Jayden Riley and Nicky Saunders.

Male Winner Jayden Riley Female Winner Nicky Saunders (Collected by Grace Bontoft)

And rounding off the evening was the presentation of the Round Chase Trophy which was donated to the Club many years ago by its former President and sadly missed – Mr George Kirby. This years winners were the Northern League Senior Track & Field Team who won the Division One Title after winning Division 2 and promotion in the previous season.

L-R Tim Raynes – Stan Taylor Presenting – Anna Peers Some of the athletes in the Harriers Northern League Division1 Winning team