British Fell And Hill Relay Championships – Saturday 17th October
Full Results HERE
(Some photo’s by courtesy of Woodentops.org)
Team Manager John Sutton reported on the day with a magical report which takes the reader ‘into’ the Race “The heavy hand of UK Athletics’ rules and regulations meddling in the non-specific world of fell running ensured that Blackburn Harriers couldn’t field ladies for this event this year and one or two senior men also missed the cut either through the default of age category or down to the margin of how quickly they replied to an email… nearly a year ago! But the shadow cast in the build up and the clouds cast by UKA could not mar a splendid atmosphere in the camp on the day – nor the blessing of Mother Nature who provided a perfect Autumnal day for fell running at Barley.
In the end we were permitted two teams and our hand was forced to put forth a Men’s Open and a Men’s Vet team. The loss of a resurgent Paul Guinan through injury was a late blow and other niggles had to be accounted for as the teams went through a late reshuffle leading up to race day.
Chris Davies and Richard Taylor were the first Harriers away on the solo Leg 1 which was a 4.5 miler with a considerable climb of 1450 feet, most of which was up against the wall of the north eastern edge of Pendle’s notorious ‘big end’. Progressive road and cross country runner Chris is by no means a fell running regular but put in a solid performance and tagged home in 41:57 for the Open team, 44th of the 147 teams at the starting line. Richard paced himself around just inside his target time of 55 minutes to set the stall out for the Vets.
Leg 2 pairing Gary Pearse and Mick Toms were drafted in to the Open team after Guiny’s unfortunate adductor strain and the wily fifty something’s upped their game accordingly. Gary and Mick whizzed around the 9.3 mile course with just over 2000ft of climbing in just 79 minutes and pushed the team up to 43rd. Contrary to the official results, Jason Harbour’s partner on this leg was John Sutton. Hamstrung and off the boil John struggled to cope with an exuberant Jason whose strength and form would not have disgraced an Open team place. But the former Clayton runner got what he could out of John despite numerous tumbles, including a nasty roll around in the rocks coming off the trig – hard man Harbour was on his feet in an instant to push the pair home in 1hr 26mins and regain over sixty places for the Vets team.
Leg 3 is the well renowned maker or breaker of many a team in this competition. The navigation leg sees runners pick up a map on their way out on to the fell with eight or nine checkpoints to find in often unscrupulous places. Sabden’s Shaun Livesey, our regular nav man, was on home turf and with Mat Nuttall beside him had high hopes of smashing this one. All was going well early on with the 16th best time at the first checkpoint and with a few more bagged the pair had lifted the Open team’s overall placing to 25th. The potential of a top twenty finish wasn’t looking out of the question until checkpoint five turned in to a nightmare to find and somehow in the space of a 15 minute period, Shaun and Matt had slumped an unforgiving 37 places. Back on track, they clawed back past another 19 teams to at least maintain 43rd. But the frustration was clear and particularly from Shaun after 80 minutes of tussock hopping felt like it was all in vain. In contrast John Orrell and Danny Teare enjoyed a steady round for the Vets team without much drama to report. The pair completed the tough course in a creditable 1hr 42mins.
The fourth and final leg saw Jack Hindle complete a day’s work for the Open team. The young international had been hampered by a virus in recent weeks but after a steady start made great strides along this 5 miler with over 1300ft to ascend. During the second major climb Jack came in to his own and was able to let go of the reins, finishing with the 18th fastest Leg 4 of the day and nudging the Open team up to 42nd overall. With Jack’s good show, a top 20-25 finish would have been a more justifiable ranking but that’s the damage that bad luck on the navigation leg can do to a team’s hopes.
Finishing off for the Vets team was, contrary to official results again, Jonathan Bridge. Jon had a few problems with man flu himself leading up to the race but had recovered in good enough fettle to enjoy the run and pick off a few places to bring the Vets team home in 103rd.
There was a second competition taking place aside from the running as Blackburn Harriers’ canvas coverage became the The Great Barley Bake-Off tent. Reigning champion Shaun Livesey sited his arrival by pedal power as unpractical for carrying bakes and so submitted the throne without defence. In the sweet corner was Mick Toms with a fine array of fancies from Blueberry Lemon Cake, Tiffin Traybake, Choc Dipped Flapjack and the unusual but wonderful Nanaimo Bars. Danny Teare was armed with an Apple & Walnut cake whilst in the savoury corner John Sutton supplied generously filled pies which ranged from Chicken, Leek & Sweetcorn, Pepsila Style Curry and Potato, Cheese & Bacon with Basil & Chives. The ooohs and aaaahs the mmmms decided it it the end – Mick Toms was a worthy champion with some high class confectionery indeed. John was left rueing the fact he had to fridge his entries overnight and only wishes the judges could have tasted straight from the oven.
Overall, a great day had with good camaraderie. Not quite a true reflection of our Open team’s potential in the results list, but nobody let it spoil their day”.
The 16th Green Drive Five – 18th October
(Incorporating Lancashire AA 5 Mile Championships)
Three hundred and three runners lined up for the Green Drive Five Race today, a Race which incorporates the Lancashire 5 mile Road Championships; And it was Blackburn Harrier Karl Billington following up his win in the Red Rose XC League at Leigh last weekend, who came out on top with the win and Lancashire title after a real battle with David Rigby who came 2nd just two seconds adrift. His winning time of 25.18 was a new PB by a massive 56 seconds. Karl commented after the Race that it “feels great to win this race despite deciding fairly last minute to do it, really enjoyed the course and would defiantly do it again. On to the next one next week!’ Adding to this Karl, Joe Monk and Chris Davies took the 2nd Team Prize (18 points) behind Preston with 10.
Full Results HERE
Another Blackburn Harrier – U20 Joe Monk – had a quality run to finish 7th overall, 1st Male Junior and set a new PB by over a minute with his time of 27.02. As expected, Joe was delighted with his run and said “Pleased with the run today, good course and conditions. Hopefully this puts me in good stead for Leeds Abbey Dash” Chris Davies looks to have got over his recent niggles coming 10th in a new PB time of 28.04 and told the Club that “After running at the Pendle Relays on Saturday I wasn’t sure how today’s 5 mile race would pan out. I knew what I wanted to do which was to do each mile at 5:40 pace which would have given me a knew PB. My legs were still a little sore from Pendle but once the race got under way I soon settled into the race. Everything was going well up to the 4 mile mark and then I started to feel it a bit. Dug in near the end to get a better time than I originally expected to get so overall it’s been a good weekend of running”.
David Almond took the 2nd V45 prize when he finished 15th in a new PB time of 28.55 whilst Evan Cook who will have his 65th birthday in December, took the 3rd V60 prize, finishing 73rd in 33.02. V40 Bryan Searby placed 100th overall in a time of 34.59, with Kaylie Panaro in 134th (37.13) which was also a new PB by nine seconds.
There was a Junior One Mile Race which had sisters Amy and Hannah Davies competing in a seventy six strong field. Amy had a good run to finish 2nd girl in 9th position with a time of 5.58, whilst Hannah ran a time of 7.31 which gave her 45th place and 1st of the three 7yr old girls who ran it.
Park 5k Runs Round Up
Wittton Park Blackburn Results HERE
One hundred and seventy three runners this week at the Witton Park run which seems to be keeping entries up to a good level since it started, just a few weeks ago. Nine Blackburn Harriers out this week with Mark Almond the first one home in 12th place (20.14) and a new PB. Not far behind in 14th spot was first timer – John Cookson – in a time of 20.38 and 16yr old Nicholas Smith another couple of places further back in 17th in 21.21. 14yrold Hannah Cookson – also a first timer at Witton – was chasing her dad and came in 20th in 22.02. Paul Wilkinson took 25th spot in a new PB of 22.53 and David Billington also set a new PB in 38th place (25.29). An amazing run by 10yr old Oliver Gill who also set a new PB with a time of 25.53 in 46th position. There were also new PB’s for daughter and mother with 7yr old Hannah Davies setting a time of 27.38 in 65th and mum Lindsay Davies 27.49 in 67th.
Towneley Park Burnley Results HERE
Three hundred and twelve runners turned up for this Park Run at Burnley won by Matt Lalor. Only one Blackburn Harrier at this race which saw Liz Greenwood run a quality race, taking 8th place overall and first Woman home in a new PB time of 18.38.