Cross Challenge and Mid Lancs League at Sefton Park – November 26th
Apart from the continual mist that enveloped Sefton Park, the conditions were almost perfect as a record number of Entries gathered to contest the Cross Challenge, Mid Lancs and Merseyside Cross Country Leagues. The Harriers had a good turnout too with 45 athletes all competing.
Great run from Rob Warner finishing 52nd in the Cross Challenge (30.55), a race which attracted 632 entries and he told the Club that he was “so happy with the race today, probably my best race I’ve ever had on the cross country! It was quite difficult to focus on the race beforehand after watching jess the race before, I was probably more nervous for her race than mine! But I found that once I got going and started moving through on the 2nd lap that I knew I was on for a good run if I could keep it going on the last lap! Was very surprised to see that I finished 52nd and 17th U23, really nice to see that the hard work I’ve been putting in since changing coaches is paying off!”
Tim Raynes who is having a very good cross country season also had a good run placing 113th in a time of 32.10 and commented afterwards that “It’s always fantastic to be running in big events alongside quality athletes, so was really looking forward to racing. I’ve not been feeling 100% over the last few weeks, but went into it thinking that somewhere around the top 100 might be achievable. I started off the race fairly conservatively and managed to work my way up through the field throughout the race. Although I ended up just outside the top 100, I felt like I had a decent run. Well done to all who ran, it’s great to see us consistently putting out strong teams!” Jack Hindle also ran the Cross Challenge for the Harriers, having a pretty solid run in the U20 Men’s Race and was the 4th Lancashire athlete home in 83rd place in a time of 22.35.
Maddie Elliott entered the U17 Women’s Cross Challenge which had a field of 81 athletes and was the first Lancashire athlete home in 37th place with a time of 16.59. She had been looking forward to testing herself against the best athletes and said that she “really enjoyed the race on Saturday although it was very tough and cold. I would have liked to have gained a better position but it was a great experience racing against some of the best athletes in the country.”
One hundred and fifty six girls contested the U15 Cross Challenge Race with Amy Davies placing a very solid 39th place (11.38) which translated into 4th place in the Mid Lancs League on the day; And it was another big field in the U13 girls race featuring one hundred and forty seven athletes which saw Eleesha Charnley come home in a very good 38th place with a time of 12.16. In the U15 Boys, one hundred and thirty nine athletes contested with Matt Ramsden having an excellent race to place 27th with a time of 10.16.
In the Mid Lancs part of the day there some very good performances with the U11 Girls featuring 60 young runners – Keira Haxton 13th in 8.18, followed by Caroline Woodworth (15th) in 8.23, Kate Cookson (24th) in a time of 8.36 and Isabelle Hartley coming home in 37th spot (9.05) – all of which meant that the Girls were 3rd Team out of the 10 Teams competing. In the U11 Boys, it was Saul Sharp who came home first for the Harriers in a very good 12th place (7.56) out of the 51 strong field and he was backed up by Oliver Gill in 31st (8.19). Big fields were the order of the day and none more so than in the U13 Girls with 88 runners. It was Eleesha Charnley and Leah Hoole in this one with Eleesha placing 12th (12.16) and Leah 19th in a time of 12.34.
It was a 6th place out of 9 for the U13 Boys Team led home by Ethan Barbarewicz in 22nd (12.00), Joseph Joyce just one second and one place behind in 23rd (12.01), Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 26th (12.11), George Whittaker in 27th (12.20) and Rory Teare in 36th with a time of 13.01.
Also nine teams contesting the U15 Boys with the Harriers coming home in 2nd spot led by Matt Ramsden in 4th place (10.16), Leon Thomas (18th) in a time of 10.54 with Jamie Teare one second and one place behind in a time of 10.55, Bradley Meikleham in 22nd (11.02), Ethan Joyce (34th) in 11.47, Luke Ingleson 37th in 12.02 and Harry Wilkin 39th with a time of 12.13.
Maddie Elliott (4th) in 16.59 was first counter for the U17 Girls Team which took 3rd place, supported by Hannah Cookson in 9th (18.22), Charlie Coy in her first race for the Club in 16th (19.28) and Freya Black 20th in 20.16. Joe Gebbie went in the U17 Mens Race placing 27th in a time of 20.29). After the Race Maddie spoke to the Club and told us “I really enjoyed the race on Saturday although it was very tough and cold. I would have liked to have gained a better position but it was a great experience racing against some of the best athletes in the country.”
One hundred and forty one runners counting in the Women’s Senior Race won by Rachael Burns in 28.42 from Helen Clitheroe in 2nd (28.53) showing some very good quality at the front end of the field. Beckie Taylor who is getting stronger, coming back into regular training had an excellent run to place 10th in 33.49, commenting after the race “I love the course and the distance really suited me. I was really happy and surprised with my position as the senior race is extremely competitive. I was happy with how I paced the race and believe it’s the best I have ran in a long time!” Beckie was followed by Phoebe Howe in 71st (40.36) and Lindsay Davies 118th in a time of 46.32. The Harriers finished 19th Team out of the 32 contesting.
The Men’s Senior Race, won very impressively by Patrick Dever (29.48) featured 301 runners which saw the Harriers take 3rd spot on the day out of 33 Teams competing and just 8 points off 2nd place. The Team was led home by Rob Warner in 3rd (30.55), and supported by Tim Raynes 11th (32.10), Chris Davies 30th (34.25), Tom Blaney 36th (34.39) who told the Club “I thoroughly enjoyed the race on saturday a top quality field and an atmosphere to match it. I was very pleased with my performance its good to see consistant racing and Tuesday night track work paying off! Managed to keep Chris in my sights which dragged me round and kept me at a decent pace. Well done to all the Harriers involved and thanks a lot for the support”, Andy Buttery 52nd (35.50) who also commented “I haven’t done the Sefton Park fixture since 2008 so I was looking forward to it a little like a new event. On the day I felt a bit below par from upping my sessions since the Bolton fixture and also work related travel (which I’m finding affects me more as I get older). However, I took some positives and was pleased to run an even pace and get another solid XC under the belt. There were some cracking runs from the other lads, so always feels good to be racing with such a strong and talented club. Looking forward to the Lancs champs in January.” Mark Chippendale came home in 57th position (36.13), Craig Greenough 177th (42.08), Allan Hartley 240th (45.28), Andy Hatton 261st (47.29) and Danny Teare 267th (48.03).
Wesham 10k – Saturday 26th November
Four hundred and fifty eight runners lined up for the ever popular Wesham 10k and even though it was held on the same day as the Cross Challenge at Liverpool, it still sold out.
Joe Monk had another good run going under 33 minutes again as he finished 3rd in a time of 32.54 and just four seconds off second place. V45 Paul Guinan came home in 14th spot with a time of 36.15 and 3rd V45 on the day. Next in came Ben Costello – 22nd in 36.59 – who is in his first season of racing, his first mile of 5.10 being a little over ambitious. U17 Nick Smith took on his first ever 10k and did really well to come home in 44th place with a time of 39.21 which was a pretty good opener for his debut over the distance. Great to see Grace Handley back racing after a long time out with illness and injuries and the Race saw her make her debut at this distance, coming home in 45th position in a time of 39.25 and she reflected on her result telling the Club “Wesham 10km was my first 10km race. On the day I went knowing that underfoot it wasn’t the best conditions as most of the paths were icy and slippy, so I thought aiming for a sub 40min was a good aim. But after just 2km I suffered with a nose bleed which lasted for the rest of the race, therefore at the time I thought this would of slowed my pace as for the remaining 8km I was constantly trying to stop it bleeding. However I ended up finishing first junior woman, 3rd senior woman and got a time of 39:25″. Anthony Walton placed 116th in the Race, posting a time of 44.23.
David Staff Memorial Race
This Race is held in Memory of a young man – David Staff – who died of a heart condition in 1994 and attracted one hundred and one runners and was won by Joe Crossfield (Halifax) in a good time of 28.33.
You can read about David and the Race on the Darwen Dashers Website
Four Senior Men ran the Race which saw V40 Bryan Searby first home for the Harriers in 62nd place in a time of 40.03, followed by V50 Ian Clarkson in 75th spot (41.29), V50 Richard Taylor 80th in a time of 43.29 and V40 Paul Wilkinson (88th) in 46.12.
(Photo courtesy of Woodentops.org.uk)
(Photo courtesy of Woodentops.org.uk)