Yet another very good performance from Blackburn Harriers Senior Men’s team, saw them maintain a 100% win record in this years Red Rose Cross Country League. The first fixture saw Ben Fish winning the race and the team winning with a total of 51 points from Rossendale in second place (161). Fixture 2 took place at Bolton where Bolton’s Jonathan Kay won the race with Blackburn winning the team competition with 75 points from Rossendale in 2nd (99). In the third and decisive race at Todmorden – a tough course in very demanding conditions – the Harriers took the win again with a points total of 46 to Rossendales 99 in 2nd place.
The Harriers won the Senior Men’s Title in 2016, 2017, 2018 and with a 187 point lead going into the last fixture are sure of having won it again for the fourth year in a row.
Ben Fish was in imperious form again, taking the win in a time of 35.13, a full minute in front of Bolton’s Jonathan Kay in 2nd place (36.17) and after the race he spoke to the Club about the race commenting “Conditions were tough, very muddy. Grant Cunliffe forced the pace on the first lap. I managed to claw him back and take the lead during the 2nd lap. From there I just tried to push on, so I was very pleased to win by such a margin. Well done the the rest of the team, a really good number turned out and put in excellent performances”.
L-R Chris Balderson – Allan Hartley – Ben Fish – Tim Raynes – Chris Davies – Tom Blaney – Calum Holmes – Dominic Walton – John Horrocks – Ben Costello
One of the strengths of the Harriers squad is their ability to pack well in all competitons as they did again yesterday with eight in the first 18 places. Backing up Ben Fish who won the race were excellent races from Tim Raynes placing 4th in a time of 37.01 and followed by Ben Costello in 8th (38.17), Josh Holgate in 10th (38.40), Chris Davies in 11th clocking 38.53) and winning the Vet 40 age category for the 3rd time in a row, Tom Blaney just four seconds further back in12th (38.57), John Horrocks coming home in 16th place with a time of 39.59 and Dominic Walton in 18th, posting a time of 40.09. Calum Holmes was next across the finish line for the Harriers in 32nd position (42.49) with V55 Chris Balderson in 62nd and 2nd V55 with a time of 46.07 and Allan Hartley in 173rd spot (62.25).
The Senior Women’s race – won comfortably by Bolton’s Laura Lombard (23.01) – only had two senior women from the Harriers because of the clash with the Mid Lancs Cross Country League on the same day. Ellen Sagar-Hesketh had another very good run as she came home in 11th place with a time of 26.28. Ellen came 21st in the first fixture, went up to 14th in the second at Bolton and has finished higher again in this, the third fixture of four. Lindsay Davies has been consistent with two finishes in the 30’s and one in the 20’s as she clocked 28.51 in 37th spot on the day.
Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (244)
Lindsay Davies (187)
Again, because of the clash with Mid Lancs, there were only two juniors at Todmorden for the Club – Hannah Davies in the U11 Race who ran an excellent time of 8.13 in 2nd place and just one second behind Chorley’s Isabel Goodman and her highest position to date after placing 5th and 6th in the firstt wo fixtures respectively. Isabelle Hartley ran in the U13 Girls race featruing 45 runners in totasl where she placed 33rd in a time of 12.29.
Hannah Davies (228)
Isabelle Hartley (255)