The worse conditions for a few years greeted this years Sefton Park Cross Challenge fixture, combining the Mid Lancs and Merseyside Cross Country Leagues. The Harriers had a great turnout with over 50 athletes competing on the day.
When separated out, the Harriers did pretty well in the Mid Lancs results with the U11 Boys taking 2nd place in the Team competition and beaten by just one point, U13 Boys won the Team in their age group, the U15 Girls came 3rd and the Senior Men 2nd. Individually there were good runs by U13 Matt Ramsden who came 2nd and Jamie Teare 6th, U13 Amy Davies also 2nd, U15 Girl Maddie Elliott 7th, U17 Woman Liz Greenwood 2nd, Ben Fish 3rd in the Senior Men’s with Rob Warner 9th making the top ten.
Mid Lancs Results HERE
Cross Challenge Results HERE
In the Men’s Senior Race – with a record field of 574 combining all three competitions – the Team was led home by Ben Fish – in only his second cross country race of the year – with a time of 32.32 and 69th overall. Ben said afterwards that he “got off to a slow start, but was happy with how I moved through the field, as usual I struggled in the sections that were very muddy. I think with I’ll keep improving with cross country throughout the season, provided my ankle doesn’t give me anymore grief!” Also running impressively was Rob Warner in 106th overall (33.28) who commented that it “Was great to have so many of the Blackburn guys in there this year! Really happy with my run especially in the toughest conditions I’ve ever ran in on that course!” Karl Billington wasn’t far behind in a time of 33.54 (120th) followed by Tim Raynes who is good form taking 135th place in 34.32 and telling us that he “really enjoyed racing in such a strong field, and as part of a good Blackburn team. I found the last lap tough, but fairly pleased with my run overall”.
U23 Jack Hindle was next in (161st) with a time of 35.53 and was pleased with his run saying that it was the “First time in the senior race at Liverpool, I knew it was going to be fast but I paced it well all the way round. I finished with a strong pace. Great to have been part of a strong team again”. Jack was followed home by Shuan Livesey (180th) in 36.34 and Chris Davies (181st) in 36.55, which was a reversal of the 2014 race when Chris pipped Shaun in the home straight. Shaun said after the race that he had a “different strategy this time and just stayed behind Chris Davies and then hoped to out kick him at the end. It seemed to work this time”.
Chris commented that he had “enjoyed the race yesterday, thought I ran reasonably well considering the tough conditions. I had another good battle with Mr Livesey again but he just out did me this time. Another great team effort as well from the senior guys, we’ve had some strong teams out this year and it would be great if that can continue till the end of the XC season. I think it’s been great for us all. I think it’s making us all run quicker and harder to get a good team score at the end of it all. Well done to all the other age groups as well on what was a tough and cold day”.
Men’s Race Video HERE
Mark Chippendale was the next Harrier home placing 209th in 37.23. After watching daughter Isabelle run in the U11’s Race, Allan Hartley finished 342nd with a time of 42.14 followed by V40 John Cookson (419th) in 45.10 and V60 Evan ‘never seen with mud on his boots before’ Cook in 420th with a time of 45.13. John said after the race that it was “Not my fastest time at this years event but conditions underfoot were probably the wettest I’ve known at Sefton Park. The race plan was simple. Don’t get lapped by the lead runners, which has happened to me each year bar 2014. Well I nearly pulled it off, but for the sake of about 50 metres, as the race winner just caught me before I went into lap 3. So I went into the last lap peeved and then to cap it all, with half a lap to go, our very own Evan Cook floats passed me and opens up a reasonable gap between us! So it was a case of head down to see if I could close the gap. Lo and behold, we both turned into the finishing straight neck and neck and I just about had enough fuel in the tank to pip him on the line. Honours even therefore after Evan took bragging rights between us at the recent Preston 10 mile road race. Best of 3 Mr Cook?”
Danny Teare placed 479th in 48.17 and commented that he has “attended several of these Sefton Park meetings now, but it was the first time I was in a position to run. Took it steady from the start and just tried to maintain it. Found it very heavy going on the boggy sections, but was pleased that my pace seemed steady right through to the end. Getting lapped by the leaders towards the end of lap 2 was sobering – they hardly seemed to be touching the ground! Left my shiny new spikes at home for some reason – must be better prepared next time. In short, it was all “mud and corners”, but great to be on the course with GB athletes”.
Michael Sharp was 501st in 49.27 telling the Club that he“Really enjoyed today, starting to get my teeth into the XC running. Its not great getting lapped, the elite guys at the front made it look so easy. Great to be a part of it. Big thanks to Danny and John for sorting out base camp” and Paul Wilkinson 509th in a time of 49.54 rounded off the Senior Men’s team.
Four of the Harriers Women’s Team competed and for some of them it was their first experience at this level and all ran pretty well on the day. It was quite an experience in another way too as they were all in the same field as athletes of the calibre of Gemma Steel, the race winner, Kate Avery, Steph Twell, Laura Muir, Ellie Vernon, Rebecca Murray, Louise Damen and Jess Judd.
New Member Carly Edwards was the first Harrier home in 151st with a time of 38.32 followed by Jan Buckingham (197th) in 43.44 who said after the race that “it was a great race, well organised and fantastic turn out given the weather forecast. Well done all you senior ladies. I don’t think anyone has ever said to me ‘wanted to keep Jan in my sights’, thanks Lorna” Lorna Sharp came in (210th) in 45.07 and said she “wasn’t really up for this race, I had sore thighs and I knew it was going to hurt!! It was a case of just running and keeping Jan in my sights. Felt fab after”. Lindsay Davies finished in 245th with a time of 48.07 and commented that she had “dreaded this race because of the extra distance but found it a lot easier than Hyndburn, great to run in a fantastic race with an excellent atmosphere, secretly enjoyed it“.
Women’s Race Video HERE
Seventy five runners in the U11 Boys Race which saw Edward Lee and Kyle Pomfret battle it out for the first Harrier home – Edward just edging it in 22nd (8.01) and Kyle 23rd in 8.03. Not far behind in 29th place was Rory Teare (8.16) and Saul Sharp in a time of 8.24 (36th). Oliver Gill in his first season gets really stuck in and placed 64th in 9.04. Great to see these young lads pushing one another on.
Seventy five in the U11’s Girls Race with six youngsters from the Harriers running and led home by Leah Hoole who is having a very consistent cross country season. Leah placed a very good 15th in 8.27 and was supported by Elaeanor Allsop (32nd) in 8.54, Kate Cookson (46th) in 9.10, Amelia Tyson 47th in 9.12, Isabelle Hartley (61st) in 9.43 and Georgina Bleeks (64th) in 9.52.
A quality run by Matt Ramsden in the U13 Boys where he finished 9th overall in a time of 10.39 in a field of 136 runners and first Lancashire Runner home. Jamie Teare was next in (31st) in 11.20 backed up Leon Thomas in 55th place (11.53) and Daniel Brown 81st in 12.27 battling it out with Luke Eagleson who was also given a time of 12.27 in 82nd.
Another big field in the U13 Girls (118 runners) and another quality run by Amy Davies who placed 13th overall in 12 minutes dead and like Matt Ramsden the first Lancashire athlete home. Eleesha Charnley finished in 58th spot (13.08), backed up by Jess Watson in 83rd (13.51).
A hat trick of Lancashire individual wins – joining U13 Boy Matt Ramsden and U13 Girl Amy Davies – on the day was served up by Maddie Elliott in the U15 girls race when she finished 28th overall in a time of 11.47. Hannah Cookson also ran well and came in 56th in 12.26 with Chloe Bleeks in 81st (13.35) and Freya Black worked hard all the way round to place 89th in 14.19.
U17 Liam Atkinson lined up in the 130 strong U17 Men’s Race and ran pretty solidly for a time of 20.11 in 86th place in his first cross country race a this level. Liz Greenwood also had a good run in the U17 Women’s Race to take 24th spot in a time of 16.59.
LEE VALLEY – NOVEMBER 28TH 2015
Three Races in this event – 5k – 10k – 10mile. Rachel Wood, fresh from her recent half-marathon win braved the conditions and entered the 10mile Race and duly won it in a time of 65.49.
Full Results HERE
After the Race Rachel spoke to the Club and said that “It was great to race at one of my brother’s runthrough events at the weekend. I usually volunteer to help out but on this particular morning, I was feeling competitive so decided to race! The course consisted of 10 laps around Lee valley velopark in the Olympic park. It was a good race for pacing but the only downside was the wind which was against me most of the way. Nonetheless, it was a decent training run and I enjoyed winning the race”.
(Rachel 2nd from the left with Race Organiser and brother Matt Wood all in yellow)
Wesham 10k – Saturday 28th November
Full Results HERE
Dave Almond gave the cross country a miss and raced the Wesham 10k which worked out well for him finishing 14th overall and first V45 in a time of 36.38 which was a good run in the conditions. Kaylie Panaro also took the road option and had a good run placing 139th in the nearly 400 strong field with a time of 46.13 which wasn’t that far from her PB. Given good conditions it looks as though Kaylie will break that soon.
David Staff Race – Sunday 29th November
In about as bad a set of conditions weather wise that you can imagine, one hundred and twenty eight runners lined up for this race in honour of local Darwen Dasher David Staff. Six Harriers turned out and Jack Hindle was the star of the day, winning the Race in a time of 29.11 and given his exertions at the Liverpool Cross Challenge the day before, wasn’t a bad effort at all. In 20th came Allan Hartley who also ran at Liverpool in a time of 34.07 as did Paul Wilkinson in 81st (41.15) were followed by Richard Taylor 89th in 42.49, Ian Clarkson 96th in 44.40 and Jack Wilkinson back racing (116th) in a time of 50.11.
Full Results HERE
The Story Behind the Race and David Staff
David turned 17 years of age on 5th December 1994 which then allowed him to compete as a senior for the Dashers. His first race (and last) as a senior was in the Clitheroe 10k on 27th December 1994. David collapsed and died by the road side at 5 miles from a condition called Hyperthropic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy, which in laymans terms is an abnormal thickening of the heart muscles which interrupted the electrical pulses which keeps the heart working. This condition takes the lives of approximately 8 so-called fit and healthy young people a week, most of them are actively engaged in sport, but it is not the sport that kills; it is the exertion that acts as a trigger. The race is run in memory of David Staff, who joined the Dashers as a 15 year old and competed in many fun runs as a junior. In September 1994, he completed the Great North Run in 1 hour 49 minutes 02 seconds along-side his dad Granville wearing his Blackburn Rovers home and away kit, needless to say the comments along the route in Newcastle cannot be repeated. David was a very likeable person who got on with everybody he came into contact with; young and old and had a very bright future ahead of him, not only as a young man preparing to take his A-levels at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School but also as a member of Darwen Dashers.
We host this race to raise funds for Cardiac Risk in the Young, the charity that David’s father Granville actively supports. The funds raised are used to provide heart screening in the young; so far over 60 people have had heart defects identified as a result of Granville’s fund raising. Since David’s death, Granville has raised over £100,000 and we are proud to continue to support this cause.
This trophy is – the Paul Dickenson Award – awarded to the Hammer Circle member who has combined prodigious distance with a good competitive record in the preceding season at Under 15 level. Blackburn Harrier Charlotte Wilkinson won the award after a great first season at the event and told the Club that the “The award means a lot to me to say I had only been doing hammer for half the season and I managed to get this amazing reward. I feel really proud of myself and thankful of my coaches”.
Park 5k Results
Witton Park – 21st November – Results HERE
A much smaller turn out at the latest Witton Park run with ninety five runners involved including nine from Blackburn Harriers. V45 David Almond was the first Harrier in and 2nd overall with a new Park Run PB of 18.32 and not far behind came V50 Michael Toms in 5th place (19.04) in his first run on this course. V55 John Chaplin was just four seconds outside his PB when he took 8th spot in a time of 19.48 and had V45 Mark Almond one place behind in 9th and new Park Run PB of 20.04. Carly Edwards in her second Race after quite a time out with injury ran well for 18th and a time of 22.44. Sarah Toms ran this course for the first time and finished 28th in 24.30 and followed by a welcome return to racing by U17 Megan Clarkson – another athlete returning from a long term injury, running solidly in 33rd (25.08). Another new Park Run PB for V60 George Woodburn in 42nd (26.40) and also from 10yr old Samuel King who came home 49th in 27.37.