British Athletics Fell & Hill Relay Championship 2014

Sunday 19 October 2014

Team Manager at the Championships – Gary Pearse – was pleased with the day and the Teams efforts saying “Thanks for the day, enjoyed all your company and help. Great day on the fells with you all”..


fra relay race 2014

Overall Results HERE

Leg One Results HERE

Leg Two Results HERE

Leg Three Results HERE

Leg Four Results HERE

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One Hundred and eighty seven complete Teams contest this years Fell Relay Championships won by  DPFR – Fairbrook – B (3hr 43.5) and amongst them were two full Teams and one incomplete Team (17 runners in total) from the Harriers amongst them.

The Team consisting of Chris Barnes/Matt Nuttall/Chris Davies/Sean Livesey/John Sutton/Alan Hartley finished 64th overall with the next Harriers Team of Mark Almond/Mark Bleasdale/Ian Clarkson/John Orrell/Tom Cubbon/John Chaplin in 137th place. The incomplete Team consisted of Jack Hindle/Beckie Taylor/Sarah Caskey/Jonathan Bridge/Gary Pearse

John Sutton who ran on Leg Three with Shaun Livesey said after the Race “what a cracking event it was this year. I’ve never run on the Middleton Fells but it was a cracking area with some good piste and off piste running. A chap in a Howgill vest was vocally relentless on the PA, stood in what looked like a borrowed security guard’s booth which was plonked in the middle of the finishing field. From there he watched all who came in down the hill and all who went out and there was an element of Paddy McGuiness about him. I thought he was a class act and certainly kept us all entertained during our wait in the starting pen. There was some confusion about the podium finishes with ‘vet’ teams beating ‘open’ teams but being specified as vets and so non-counters for overall honours. I believe this marred what was otherwise a brilliantly organised event between Howgill Harriers and Eden Runners. The Blackburn team I was in also had a bit of drama and I was a little disappointed that, having had Shaun ‘The Machine’ Livesey push me very hard on the climbs during our navigation leg (Shaun navigated, I clung on ten yards behind!) we had nobody to tag to for leg four. Not naming names or owt, there was genuine misunderstanding, but it was just a bit of an anti-climax for us after a reasonably good round with only one sneaky checkpoint hard to find”.

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(Photo’s courtesy of

 John Orrell on Leg Three with Tom Cubbon commented “I can only speak for myself, but I thought it was a great day. We had 3 teams entered, but on the day we were one short for the mixed team, so only registered 2 full results. Still to get 17 runners out was pretty good. Highlights for me included Jack Hindle finishing 16th on leg 1. What a start with only the likes of Rob Hope, the British Champ, and a few other top class runners ahead of him. Shaun and his grill providing egg and bacon butties in the club tent topped off a great days racing. Forgot to mention how much leg 2 runners will have enjoyed the strong winds, mist, drizzle and a drop down a 45 degree slope to find CP4, then scramble back up through bracken on none existent paths. Think hat might be Chris Davies’s highlight. Oh and a leg sucking mud bog just before the finish, when you thought it was all over. The mist didn’t affect the leg 3 navigation boys too much though, as we didn’t know where we were going anyway!”

 Jack Hindle who finished in a very good 16th place overall on his Leg One told the Club that “It was a fantastic event, great team spirit and can’t wait to do next years!”


2014 Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii

Full Results HERE

COURSE Information

Blackburn Harriers – Brian Fogarty – returned to Kona after qualifying yet again for the Ironman World Championships and he didn’t disappoint. Having recently completed Ironman’s in Austria and Bolton and carrying a foot injury for part of his training, Brian gave it everything again to improve upon his placing in 2013. He finished 202nd overall in the field and 184th in the 30 – 34 Age Group Category and is enhancing his reputation in the sport, year by year.10250083_10152330872893204_2478444420268983985_n15784_10152707400205395_3948840660157792537_n10509671_1480042582268100_191673242543158933_nThe Club asked Brian for his thoughts after this latest Championships and he told us………

………..“12 months on and I was back on the big Island for the World Championships in Hawaii Kona. After a long season and already competing in 2 Ironman’s this year I felt I was in good shape and better prepared than last year. This year was special because all my family made the trip to support which was amazing. The day came and I was expecting a tough day as all week the wind in kona had been bad, this was the case and it made the swim conditions hard and the bike conditions even harder. My swim time was worse than I had hoped on to the bike where tough conditions seemed to work in my favour, enabling me to make up a lot of places, nearly 1200!! On to the marathon and i felt good, unfortunately this only lasted about 8 miles until the 35 degree heat started to really hit me. At that point it was really a case of digging very deep and trying my best to hold a reasonable pace. In the end I managed a 3:24 marathon which wasn’t what I hoped for but due to the circumstances I was very happy with it.

My overall time was slightly slower than last year but so was everybody’s. I was 202 overall and 60 places better than last year. Although not totally happy I was satisfied that I gave everything i had and to have all the my there made it all extra special. I am now back in training and looking forward to good winter, and a good race at the fantastic Ribble valley 10k”.


35th annual running of the Smarna Gora Mountan Race in Slovenia


Smarna Gora mountain running race 2013 signpost

England Athletics Report of the Race can be read HERE

Full Results HERE

 Gary Priestley who competes for the Harriers on the Track has won International call ups this year including competing for England in the World Mountain Running Grand Prix Final in Smarna Gora. We asked Gary to give us his thoughts about running in the Grand Prix Final where he finished an impressive 14th out of 117 finishers and also in the Limone Sky Race, the week after and this is what he said….

“Me and my girlfriend Lauren had planned a trip to Slovenia and Italy around 2 big end of season mountain races, namely Smarna Gora (WMRA World Grand Prix final) and the Limone Sky race (Final race of the World Skyrunner Series)”.

10712378_10204180358445886_9131421654047107130_o“First up was Smarna Gora which is approximately 10km in length with about 2200ft ascent over 2 climbs and one technical descent. Lauren (my girlfriend) wasn’t so keen at the thought of having to climb her 1st mountain alone in order to meet me at the finish.
I set off in the too 10 trading blows with top international mountain runners Alex Baldacini (Italy) and Mitja Kosovelj (Slovenia) for the 1st 3km or so until the track got narrow and the steep rocky climb kicked in. These are the sections where the Slovenians, Italians etc gain an advantage and I dropped a few places. However I reached the summit of the 1st climb 40secs faster than I ever have before. After getting boxed in on the technical descent (very frustrating!!!) I managed to shake off a couple of rivals and hold my position in 12th/13th place for the majority of the 2nd climb up to the finish until the last km where another Italian got the better of me to edge me out of the prize money All in all a good race posting my best ever position of 14th and a PB on the course by 12 seconds.
The race was won by Petro Mamu of Eritrea, 2nd fellow inov-8 athlete David Schneider (Switzerland) and 3rd Alex Baldacini (Italy). Fellow UK and Irish runners Josh Tighe, Will Neil, Ian Conroy, Killian Mooney, Sarah Tunstall (4th woman) Dionne Allen, Mel Hyder, Caroline Lambert and Greg Hull were also in attendance”.

In the Limone Sky Race there was a big field of 615 runners and although Gary struggled as he tells us below, he nevertheless managed to finish 76th overall.

“Next up was the Limone Sky race just a week after Smarna Gora and after mine and Lauren’s tour of Slovenia and Italy taking in Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Ljubljana, Venice, Florence and finally Lake Garda”.

Full Results HERE

“I met up with my team inov-8 colleagues on Thursday morning to recce part of the downhill with blogger and photographer Ian Corless. It soon became apparent that this race was going to be even harder than my lung busting, leg destroying race up Grintovec in July.
Having watched the Vertical km on Friday evening in the dark (won by Killian Jornet), Saturday morning came around. Unlike other races I was a little apprehensive at thought of what lay ahead of me in the coming hours. The course was 24.5km long with over 2000m of ascent and similar descent on terrain that I had never previously experienced. Could I finish the race? Would my legs give way? Would I be able to race the whole way or just survive? I simply didn’t know!! Especially given that before the race my longest ever run was 2hrs 15mins”.
“So there I was on the start line with inov-8 colleagues Tom Addison, Alex Nichols (USA), Eirik Haugsnes (Norway) and numerous others as the Sky running heroes were introduced to the crowd like football stars. The likes of Killian Jornet (Catalan) Ionut Zinca (Romania), Marco De Gasperi (Italy) and others. Off we went along the shores of Lake Garda and the village of Limone. I settled in the top 30 of a world class field with Tom just behind Alex and Eirik. As we got onto the 1st climb (approx 3km long with around 4000ft of arduous ascent) I moved up to the top 25. At this point I was feeling good, settling into a rhythm of race walk and jog as I was mixing it with some of the worlds best sky runners on my debut. This soon changed after we completed the 1st climb on a flatter section when my legs suddenly felt like they had been shot. This signalled the end of the race for me and the start of a survival challenge given I still had over 16km to go and over 800m of vertical ascent to go. I tried to rejuvinate myself with energy gels, fruit, chocolate and various liquids at the feeding stations but with little joy”.

“Needless to say I began shipping places at an alarming rate, which was hard to take but there was literally nothing I could do about it! The humid, sunny weather down in Limone soon changed into foggy, wet and cold conditions up in the mountains which became a little disorientating. After a couple of hours of pure suffering I hit the start of the main downhill to the finish which was unbelievably rocky, narrow and twisty and lasted a scary 4-5miles. It was here that I fell in a steep sided gulley where I clipped my toe on a rock and fell on my side slicing open my arm and back. I got up, arm covered in blood and in a fair bit of pain and continued to make my way down the mountain with legs and stomach cramping all the way.
On hitting the last mile I had my best section overtaking 6 people down to the shoreline and home straight, restoring some pride…until I eventually collapsed over the line with Ian’s camera in my face catching every painful moment. It took me around 3hrs to complete (didn’t time it) and I have no idea where I finished (I believe results are up now but the link wouldn’t work) but it wasn’t a good position at all! The race was won again by Petro Mamu, 2nd Killian Jornet, David Schneider 3rd and Marco DeGasperi 4th with great runs from other fellow inov-8 athletes Alex Nicholls, John Albon, Oli Johnson and Vic Wilkinson”.