Saturday July 4th heralded the 5th Blackburn Harriers Lockdown Challenge – a day dominated by rain, some wind, but above all, enthusiasm by the Clubs athletes to be involved in these Club wide competitions, albeit individually. This latest Challenge followed the monumentalllly successful Lands – End to John O’groats Weekend which saw the Harriers – some 160 of them – run 3140 kilometers in 36 hours!

July 4th wasn’t about distance, but speed. Just select either a 2 mile or 4 mile route and run it as fast as you can. As it turned out, although the weather wasn’t brilliant, Sunday July 5th witnessed 40/50 mile per hour winds and driving rain, so Saturday was undoubtedly the best of the two days to do it. On the day 65 Harriers turned out from U11’s through to Vet 65’s which was great.

Trying to run fast in less than ideal conditions means that athletes have to approach their run with a lot of focus and commitment and those qualities were most certainly on display throughout the day. Some athletes went out first thing and others waited for opportune times, whilst others did their run before or after work. U13  Boys Sam Aspey and Oliver Gill along with V55 Richard Taylor kicked off the day, with all of them selecting the 2 mile distance – Sam clocking 12.23, Oliver 12.26 and Richard 16.45. U20 Joe Gebbie has a ‘passion’ for doing hard runs early in the day and Saturday was no exception as he clocked a very good time of 10.20 for his 2 miles along with fellow U20 team mate Nick Smith who clocked 11.12 on the same route. But the prize for the earliest run of the day went to U17 Sam Hodkinson, who although he was working during the day, got himself up to do his 4 mile Time Trial at 6.50 in the morning to post a five and half minute miling run of 21.59. Picking 4 miles, V55 Jan Buckingham caught the rain big style as she ran 33.53 and in fact was the only female runner to take on the 4 mile distance – all the others choosing 2 miles, with perhaps the weather in mind. meanwhile V45 Catherine Guinan chose the 2 mile distance and ran 15.07.

L – R  Sam Aspey – Matthew Smith – Oliver Gill – Daniel Smith



 Richard Taylor                                    Joe Gebbie                                        Sam Hodkinson  


 Jan Buckingham

Catherine Guinan

So early in the morning seemed to be a continuing theme as Senior Tim Raynes, V50 Paul Guinan and Senior Jonny Murphy decided to follow the trend. By 9.27am Tim had set the pace for the 4 mile distance with an excellent sub five minute miling run of 19.45 followed by Jonny in 22.15 and Paul clocking 23.48. Senior Mark Magee followed on just after 10.00am with a 20.45 clocking alongside Senior Ben Costello who was the seond athlete on the day to run a sub 5 minute miling time of 19.48 – just three seconds behind the pace set by Tim Raynes. Senior Rachael Gavin took off on her 2 mile run before noon and temporarily led the Women’s 2 mile times as she clocked 12.48. Senior Callum Davidson who had run a solo 3hr 20 min Three Peaks the week before waited until dinner time and ran a rapid 20.10 for the 4 miles which moved him into third place on the 4 mile Leaderboard.

L – R Jonny Murphy – Paul Guinan – Tim Raynes

Mark Magee    

Rachael Gavin

Callum Davidson

In the morning, a number of athletes, met up at Witton Park, setting off at different times ensuring good social distancing with all of them selecting the 2 mile distance. George Woodburn had set up the route which was exactly 2 miles with potential for good times, not withstanding the interference of the weather! Indeed, the route was so accurate that when he ran it later, it was absolutely spot on for 2 miles. U20 Maddie Elliott posted the quickest time of the morning with her run of 12.40 followed in order by U17 Amy Davies (12.59), Senior Carly Edwards (13.30), U17 Eleesha Charnley (13.33), U13 Matthew Haxton (13.34), his sister U15 Keira Haxton (13.38), Senior Charlotte Atkinson (13.45), Senior Johnny Hoole (13.47), U15 Eva Knowles (13.53), U15 Leah Hoole (13.57), U13 Hannah Davies (14.00), Senior Andrew Knowles who is in training for a Half Ironman (14.08), U15 Molly Nicholls (14.23), U15 Kiera Booth (14.37), Senior Lindsay Davies (14.49), U15 Eleanor Allsop (15.14), U15 Hollie Cubbon (15.24), V65 George Woodburn (16.24) and V50 Nikki Hartley (16.51).

BACK ROW L-R – Eleanor Allsop – Molly Nicholls – Keira Haxton – Eva Knowles – Leah Hoole – Hollie Cubbon – Matthew Haxton — MIDDLE ROW L-R  – Nikki Hartley – Maddie Elliott – Charlotte Atkinson – Carly Edwards – Kiera Booth – Andrew Knowles — FRONT ROW L-R  – Eleesha Charnely – Amdy Davies – Hannah Davies – Lindsay Davies

George Woodburn

Around mid day – V60 Ian Barnett who has just moved to Chichester ran his 4 mile Time Trial round a route close to his new home, clocking 26.09 and telling us that As a first year V60 I’m not to displeased with that“. Just before 1.00pm in the afternoon Senior Luke Betts ran an excellent time of 9.35 to rocket to the top of the men’s 2 mile Leaderboard saying he “proper enjoyed the racing feel”. Senior Ryan Bradshaw also had a very good run as he clocked 10.18 for the 2 miles which placed him at that time – 2nd on the 2 mile Leaderboard. Mid day seemed to be a popular choice as Senior Jacob Watson ran 20.57 for the 4 miles moving him at that point into 4th spot for the 4 miles.


  Ian Barnett                                         Luke Betts                                           Jacob Watson

Just after 1.00pm U17 Matt Ramsden had an excellent run of 10.08 for the 2 miles which moved him into 2nd place on the 2 mile Leaderboard as U15 David Holman also having a fine run, ran a time of 10.45 for his 2 mile Time Trial with U11 brother George Holman running 18.01. Senior Ben Fish commenting that it felt like “hard work” moved into 4th position on the 4 mile listing with his time of 20.11 just before 1.00 o’clock in the afternoon.


 Matt Ramsden                                     David Holman                                     George Holman     

Ben Fish

U11 Liam Benninson did himself proud as he ran a very good 12.47 on his 2 mile Time Trial choosing a good flat route, whereas U15 Codie Dewhurst did exactly the opposite and chose a 2 mile run with nothing but hills and finishing with a time of 22.19. U15 Hayden Mercer chose the 2 mile distance and clocked 11.40 as Senior Annabel Ralph flew round her 2 mile Time Trial to finish at the top of the Leaderboard with a very fiine run of 10.42. U15 Abby Stratton moved into 3rd place over all in the 2 mile Leaderboard clocking 12. 47 at the same time as Jenny McAndrew clocked 15.09 for the 2 mile distance. Just after 2.00pm Senior Calum Holmes ran 11.12 for his 2 mile Time Trial making that the 48th Blackburn Harrier to complete the Time Trial Challenge alongside number 49 – V45 John Cookson with 12.08 for his 2 mile Time Trial.


        Liam Benninson                                 Hayden Mercer                                   Abigail Stratton


        Calum Holmes                                         John Cookson

U20 Ben Makin – a GB Pentathlete – placed 8th overall on the 2 mile Leadboard as he ran a fine time of 10.33 followed by more very good runs from Seniors Marc Hartley who clocked 10.15 and Josh Holgate (10.09) who moved into 4th and 3rd places respectively. V45 Chris Davies added to the good runs with a rain sodden 10.21 to place 7th overall as V45 Andy Payne – opting for the 4 mile distance – came home in a time of 22.22. U17 Harry Wilkin also chose the 4 miles and ran 26.23 to complete the list of men who ran 4 miles on the day.



 Ben Makin                                        Josh Holgate                                       Chris Davies   

 Andy Payne

Harry Wilkin

Later in the afternoon V45 Paul Brindle clocked  11.34 for his 2 miles as U13’s Matthew Smith and Theo Robinson were separated by just four seconds posting respective times of 12.52 and 12.56. V50 Michael Sharp after completing a recent Lands End to John O’groats virtual bike ride to raise money for charity – returned to planting two feet on the ground and ran 17.13 for his 2 miles. U13 Imogen Robinson ran a time of 14.05 for the 2miles as U11 Charlotte Smith clocked 15.24, V45 Judith Robinson also ran 15.24  with V45 Michelle Teare clocking 15.35 and V50 Helen Dawson-Smith 15.49.


     Paul Brindle                                       Matthew Smith                           Michael Sharp

Michelle Teare

L-R Imogen Robinson – Judith Robinson – Theo Robinson

Men’s 4 Mile Leaderboard

(1) Tim Raynes 19.45 — (2) Ben Costello 19.48 — (3) Callum Davidson 20.10 — (4) Ben Fish 20.11 — (5) Mark Magee 20.45 — (6) Jacob Watson 20.57 — (7) Sam Hodkinson (U17) 21.59) — (8) Jonny Murphy 22.15 — (9) Andy Payne 22.22 — (10) Paul Guinan 23.48 — (11) Ian Barnett 26.09 — (12) Harry Wilkin (U17) 26.23.

Men’s 2 Mile Leaderboard

(1) Luke Betts 9.35 — (2) Matt Ramsden (U17) 10.08 — (3) Josh Holgate 10.09 — (4) Marc Hartley 10.15 — (5) Ryan Bradshaw 10.18 — (6) Joe Gebbie (U20) 10.20 — (7) Chris Davies 10.21 — (8) Ben Makin (U20) 10.33 — (9) David Holman (U15) 10.45 — (10) Nick Smith (U20) 11.12 — (11) Calum Holmes 11.12 — (12) Paul Brindle 11.34 — (13) Hayen Mercer (U15 ) 11.40 — (14) John Cookson 12.08 — (15) Sam Aspey (U13 ) 12.23 — (16) Oliver Gill (U13) 12.26 — (17) Liam Benninson (U11) 12.47 — (18) Matthew Smith (U13) 12.52 — (19) Theo Robinson (U13) 12.56 — (20) Matthew Haxton (U13 ) 13.34 — (21) Johnny Hoole 13.57 — (22) Andrew Knowles 14.08 — (23) George Woodburn 16.24 — (24) Richard Taylor 16.45 — (25) Michael Sharp 17.13 — (26) George Holman (U11) 18.01 — (27) Codie Dewhurst (U15) 22.19.

Womens 4 Mile Leaderboard

(1) Jan Buckingham 33.53

Women’s 2 Mile Leaderboard

(1) Annabel Ralph 10.42 — (2) Maddie Elliott (U20) 12.40 — (3) Abby Stratton (U15) 12.47) — (4) Rachael Gavin 12.48 — (5) Amy Davies (U17) 12.59 — (6) Carly Edwards 13.30 — (7) Eleesha Charnley (U17) 13.33 — (8) Keira Haxton (U15) 13.38 — (9) Charlotte Atkinson 13.45 — (10) Eva Knowles (U15) 13.53 — (11) Leah Hoole (U15) 13.57 — (12) Hannah Davies (U13) 14.00 — (13) Imogen Robinson (U13) 14.05 — (14) Molly Nicholls (U15) 14.23 — (15) Kiera Booth (U15) 14.37 — (16) Lindsay Davies 14.49 – (17) Catherine Guinan 15.07 — (18) Jenny McAndrew 15.09 — (19) Eleanor Allsop (U15) 15.14 — (20) Hollie Cubbon (U15) 15.24 — (21) Charlotte Smith (U11) 15.24 — (22) Judith Robinson 15.24 — (23) Michelle Teare 15.35 — (24) Helen Dawson-Smith 15.49 — (25) Nikki Hartley 16.51.