English Schools Cross Country Championships

Saturday March 5th 2016


Blackburn Harriers had four athletes at the English Schools representing Lancashire in the Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Inter Girls and Senior Girls and they all did themselves and their Counties proud.

All Results HERE

Matt Ramsden featured in the Junior Boys Race contested by 337 runners and finished 2nd Counter for Lancashire in 58th spot (16.29) just three seconds behind the Counties first counter – Matthew McKay. Lancashire finished in 17th position out of 44 County Teams on the day. This has been a tremendous season for Matt over the Cross Country, going from strength to strength and he commented afterwards that he really enjoyed the atmosphere and it was great to take part in such a big race”. Another young athlete having a great Cross County season is Amy Davies who contested the Junior Girls Race featuring 339 runners with Lancashire finishing 30th of the 44 Teams. Amy finished 1st Counter for Lancashire in 93rd spot with a time of 13.51 and said There was a lot of tough competition and a lot of good athletes but the tough competition didn’t stop Lancashire“.

In the Inter Girls Race of 343 athletes, Maddie Elliott finished 2nd Counter for Lancashire in 174th place (14.59). Maddie has had a cracking season so far and was a little disappointed by her run here saying I really struggled today after being ill last week so I was disappointed with my run, but I had a great weekend with the team and I was really happy to be part of the event“. In the Senior Girls Race of 307 athletes, Liz Greenwood took the 1st counter position for Lancashire, finishing in 43rd spot with a time of 17.50 with Lancashire placing 25th of the 37 Counties on the day. Liz told us afterwards  I was slightly disappointed with my race at the weekend compared with my form at the Northerns but all in all I had a great weekend and am happy to have represented Lancashire”.


(Maddie 3rd from the right with the Lancashire Squad)

Ron Hill 10k – Sunday March 6th

A pretty good day greeted the 408 runners who entered this Race and among them were seven Blackburn Harriers on a reasonably tough course. All PB’s won on this one were really well earned. Ben Fish (1st) along with Karl Billington (7th) and Sean Proctor (12th) won the Men’s Team Prize from 2nd placed Trawden.

Full Results HERE

Ben Fish who had finished 4th – (15.00) – the evening before in the Podium 5k, led the Harriers and the entire field home, winning comfortably in the end by well over a minute from Danny Collinge and said “It was a tough course today and was given a challenge by Danny Collinge in the early stages” 


Next home came Karl Billington in 7th place with a time of 37.15 which given he has had little training and an illness wasn’t too bad a run in the circumstances. He was followed by Sean Proctor who set a new PB placing 12th in 39.43. He had been targeting a sub 40min 10k and was delighted with the way the Race went for him telling us that heCouldn’t have asked for better conditions for today no wind snow held off, and a new PB! had my eyes on a sub 40 from the start and it all went to plan. it’s all down to the track training with the Harriers I’ve seen my times start to come down. Would like to thank the coaches for all their help”. Sean made it a great day for himself when he also won the V40 1st Prize.

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Michael Sharp who has been struggling with injuries for a long time had a solid run in all the circumstances coming in 89th in 47.26 commenting Happy to get out racing again at the Ron Hill 10k in Accrington. The bugs have been lingering around the sharp household to long now. Just a pity Lorna couldn’t run today on Mothers day thru illness. Really enjoyed the changed route today,1 st mile and a bit flat, then came just over 2 1/2 miles of climb which took you along the path up to Manchester Road. I found the back end of this section tough today, blowing a bit. The last 2 miles all downhill back into Accrington town centre, to finish just outside the town hall. I am glad i ran today, still way off pace, got some hard training to put in now and catch up with the rest of my training partners. A great win for Ben today, by a big margin. Karl and Sean brought home the Men’s team win, well done guys”. One of recent new members – Paul Clarkecame in 114th (49.01), followed by Claire Bridge in 207th (54.25) and husband Jonathan Bridge 208th (54.26). Claire has a PB of 53.17 and given

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In the Fun Run there were a few young Blackburn Harriers including Charlotte Corrigan, Saul Sharp, Lulu Sharp and Emily Snape.

Full Results HERE

Charlotte was 1st U12 Girl in 6.19, Emily was 3rd U14 Girl in 7.30, and Saul was 2nd U10 Boy in 6.45. Lulu was 5th U10 Girl in 8.40.


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Podium 5k – Saturday March 5th

With pretty good conditions for a change the Two Races at the latest Podium 5k race produced some great racing, good times and beloved of all runners – new Personal Bests.


(Winners Eilish McColgan and Chris Parr – Photo courtesy of Podium 5k)

Full Results HERE

In the ‘A’ Race of 40 athletes and won by Chris Parr in 14.49, Ben Fish finished 4th in a time of 15.00 and just six seconds separating the 2nd, 3rd and 4th places with Ben commenting afterwards that it was a “Great race, found it hard going just dug in and managed a respectable time. Quality runners out there tonight, was happy to manage 4th. Great performances by the lads, pbs for Tim, Braddy and Bryan. Great to see John Sutton banging out a decent race too”.

Tim Raynes  was the next Blackburn Harrier home in 12th place (15.23) which was a new PB and his second in the last week over 5k and 10k. Tim told the Club that he “Really enjoyed running this race as I always seem to come away with a PB, and tonight didn’t disappoint! It was great to have a strong field out there racing and, having worked together in a group with a few runners for most of the race, I was delighted to come away with a 20 second PB. Well done to all the other Harriers running tonight, some great performances”.

Paul Bradshaw was another Harrier posting a new PB on the night when he took 26th place in 15.55. Paul said he “really didn’t know what to expect. Track has been going well recently but to run 15.55 is a sign that fitness is certainly coming back. Hopefully it will translate to track in the summer”. Paul then said he hadRan a good 800 time trial last week then a 50 sec 400 15 min later. Hope to run in the northern league again this year!

John Sutton had a pretty solid run placing 37th in a time 17.28, this being his first Race on the road since March 2015 at the Northern 12 Stage. He told the Club that “Aside from October’s Fell Relays my first race since July. I’ve been putting the miles in this year but had Achilles issues so haven’t been able to do speed sessions unfortunately. Given that I’ve not done any running below 6.20minute miling I’m pleased with an average of 5.37 and more the fact I felt strong and ran my own race. The Achilles is biting this morning so it’s more ice ,ibuprofen gel and perhaps a rain check on one or two other road races lined up. Great course and set up at Podium – highly recommended”.

Forty Four runners lined up in the ‘B’ Race with David Bagot the eventual winner in a good time of 16.39 and among the forty four were two Blackburn Harriers – Michael Toms and Bryan Searby. Michael came in 27th (18.56) and was pleased with his run saying that he went to do a steady run at around 20 minutes after dropping out of the last Podium race with a calf problem so happy with my time and now need to build up the miles and be ready for Captain Johns fell running selection over the summer”

Bryan is definitely in PB mode at the moment. Last week he chopped four minutes off his 10k time and at the Podium he set another new PB finishing in 37th place in a time of 20.14 which was nearly half a minute faster than his previous best so no surprise when he said that heEnjoyed the Podium 5k tonight – my aim was to get under 20 but to be fair 41 seconds was a bit to much to knock off –  I went off steady managed to over take a few. Weather conditions were perfect. Felt strong at the finish with a time of 20-14. Great turn out from the Club. Great to be part of the team“.

Stan Bradshaw Round – Saturday March 5th

Two Hundred and five runners contested this Race in not ideal conditions and among them five Blackburn Harriers – Shaun Livesey, Andy Heys, John Orrell, Richard Taylor and Ian Clarkson.


Full Results HERE

(All photo’s Courtesy of www.woodentops.org.uk)

Shaun Livesey finished in 14th place with a time of 79.48 – Jack Wood taking the win in 72.15. Shaun told the Club Crazy as it may seem, I penciled this race in as part of my Manchester marathon prep. A Stella field was present for this year’s Stan Bradshaw with Karl Bell and Rob Jebb to name but a few. This year’s race had a slight route change near the end! Which meant missing out a small climb. What a total contrast to last year’s race, with deep snow on the top of Pendle. I reached the top in good shape and well in the top 10. However my achilles heel when it comes to fell running is the descent, this proved to be the case again. Within a 2 mile stretch I must have fallen over 5-6 times which made me ease of the pace and with it places. With the final climb on me I managed to pass two Bowland runners and finish 14th. It was a really good race and preferred the new finish. On to next Saturday when I make my 1st race on the lovely tarmac up in Dent for the 14m road race”.


Andy Heys who has been putting a few races together of late had a solid run too coming in 82nd in 94.49 and told the Club “It was great to be out once again sporting the blue and white vest. It was my first outing on Pendle this year and my first running of the Stan Bradshaw. I took it really easy in the first half of the race and pushed on from the mid-way point picking up a few places along the way and finishing strong. Absolutely loved the whole event which was made even better by scenery reminiscent to the snow covered Alps on the top section of Pendle”.    Andy was followed home by John Orrell in 155th with a time of 1hr 48.36. John commented after the Race that After 2 away fixtures at High Cup Nick on Saturday and Loughrigg & Silverhowe Chase on Sunday I was looking forward to a home run today on Stan Bradshaw’s Pendle Round. The conditions were challenging with snow right across the top and with boggy conditions most of the way around. The race organisers diverted the route slightly to accommodate land owners wishes but this did not make the race any easier. A tough day out on the fells today. Pleased to get round in 1.48.36, finishing 155th”.



Richard Taylor was the next Harrier home in 160th with a time of 1hr 50.10 and said “I set off to Barley only 7 1/2 hours after getting home from holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the race. Pendle is a fantastic, fascinating almost mystical lump of earth and every time I run up there I love it. I lacked a little on the climbs, partly due to travel but mainly due to my general lack of ability. Thanks to Clayton for another great event”.


Ian Clarkson in only his third race in the last 14 months and his first in 2016 placed 193rd (2hr 02.46) and commented A good but very tough run out on Lancashire’s finest, Pendle Hill. Full credit to the organisers and marshals for braving the elements and well done to everyone”.