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)

Mid Lancs Cross Country League – November 9th

Though the Red Rose and Mid Lancs clashed with their fixtures, the Harriers were still able to send winning teams to both competitions and followed up their success at Todmorden (Red Rose League) by taking 2 Individual Race Wins, 5 Team wins and 2 second places.


U11 Races

Just two girls in the first race of the day – Emily Smith and Lulu Sharp which saw Emily in her first competitive cross country race for the Club come home in 21st place (10.50) with Lulu three places further back in 24th running a time of 11.01.

Emily Smith (258)Lulu Sharp (611)

The Boys had a very good day as Sam Aspey won the race in a time of 8.19, some 7 seconds in front of Lancasters Ben Brassington in 2nd. Theo Robinson had a fine run to take 5th spot in 8.34 with Liam Bennison continuing his good form in 8th place (9.06), the three of them combining to win the Team Race ahead of Leven Valley.

Sam Aspey (684)Theo Robinson (676)Liam Bennison (674)

Charlie Haworth having another solid run came home in 10th place with a time of 9.11 – then came three Harriers altogether – Harry Smith in his first competitive cross country race for the Club (9.34) in 17th, followed by Alexander Brien in 18th spot (9.38) and Jack Carrington, another youngster in his first season (19th) clocking 9.39 – just five seconds separating the lads – and George Holman in 31st place running a time of 10.22.

Charlie Haworth (677)Harry Smith (259)Jack Carrington (895)George Holman (675)

U13 Races

The Girls finished in 4th place in the team competition which was reasonably close with just 18 points separating the first four teams. Amelia Burton led the team home finishing in 11th spot overall out of a field of 41 with a time of 12.25 and backed up Eve Coulson in 19th clocking 12.50, Imogen Robinson, one place behind in 20th (12.53) and Isabela Thompson in her first competitive season (27th) with a time of 13.18.

Amelia Burton (626)Eve Coulson (619)

In the Boys race, the team finished in 2nd place (21 points) behind the winners Preston (14). Jonathan Brindle had a very strong run in 4th place (11.45) as he held off athletes from Preston and Blackpool who were both just two seconds behind. Ben Ham and Oliver Gill then had a great tussle as Ben crossed the line in 8th spot with a time of 11.55 and Oliver right on his heels in 9th place (11.56).

L-R Oliver Gill – Jonathan Brindle – Isaac Smith – Daniel Smith – Matthew Smith

Jonathan Brindle (699)











Jonathan Brindle (699)Jonathan Brindle (699)Daniel Smith (702) – Ben Ham (688) – Oliver Gill (697)

Daniel Smith was next home for the Harriers in11th place (12.06) followed by Matthew Smith in 17th in a time of 12.51 with a hard chasing Ben Livesey one place behind in 18th (12.53). Harry Sambrook came home in 21st place clocking 13.00 followed by Daniel Nuttall in 33rd (14.42) and Isaac Smith in 40th (19.47).

Matthew Smith (691)

Ben Livesey (698)

Harry Sambrook (700)

Daniel Nuttall (114)

Isaac Smith (690)

U15 Races

Seven Blackburn Harriers contested the Girls Race which saw them pull off a narrow victory totalling 25 points to Preston’s 29 points in 2nd place. Leading the way home was Leah Hoole in 5th place running a time of 12.50 with Keira Haxton pushing hard behind her in 6th (12.55). Eva Knowles had a strong run to place 14th – ensuring the team win – as she ran a time of 13.24 backed up by Molly Nicholls in 17th (13.35) with Kiera Booth in 22nd (13.52), Millie Sambrook (23rd) with a time of 14.17 and Bella Durkin making her debut this year in 29th position with a time of 15.39.

L-R Bella Durkin – Kiera Booth – Eva Knowles – Keira Haxton – Leah Hoole – Kate Cookson – Molly Nicholls – Millie Sambrook

Leah Hoole (634)

Keira Haxton (631)

Eva Knowles (630)Molly Nicholls (635)

Kiera Booth (629)

Millie Sambrook (637)

Bella Durkin (638)

Another 1st place for the Boys Team and again a very narrow margin between the Harriers and  Blackpool. Dexta Thompson had a very good run taking 2nd place overall in a good time of 13.09, well clear of 3rd place. David Holman came home with another solid run in 4th (13.25) and along with Jack Paget-Fowler who gets stronger with each race, having another good run in 7th spot (13.57) and 800m specialist Hayden Mercer in 9th (14.01), that gave the Harriers three finishers in the first 7 to secure the team win and four inside the top ten.

Dexta Thompson (710)

David Holman (719)

Jack Paget-Fowler (712)

Hayden Mercer (716)

Sebastian Burton also continues to improve in endurance events as he clocked a time 14.41 in 18th spot followed by Jake O’Toole in his first competitive season for the Club clocking 14.43 in 19th. Codie Dewhurst was next home in 26th running 15.07 with Saul Sharp in 29th (15.12), Umair Rafiq in 33rd (15.49), Thomas Brooks (35th) in a time of 15.51 and Danny Woodcock one place further back in 37th (15.58).

Sebastian Burton (713)

Jake O’Toole (326)

Codie Dewhurst (704)

Saul Sharp (708)

Umair Rafiq (709)

Thomas Brooks (717)

Danny Woodcock (720)

U17 Races

The U17 age group categories produced team wins for both Women and Men. Amy Davies led the Harriers home to the win as she crossed the finishing line in 4th place in a time of 15.21 followed by Eleesha Charnley in 6th running 15.55, Rebecca Ramsden in 14th (18.21) and Ella Hardman in 15th place (23.00).

Amy Davies (643) Eleesha Charnley (642)Rebecca Ramsden (640)Ella Hardman (641)

Matt Ramsden took the honours in the Men’s race as he paced it well in the first half of the race, taking over the lead in the second half and coming home a comfortable winner in a time of 21.48, eight seconds in front of 2nd place Rhys Ashton (Lancaster).

Matt Ramsden (724)

Sam Hodkinson and Jamie Teare packed well together with Sam in 6th spot (23.16) and Jamie in 7th (23.20) which meant that the team had all their counters home in the first 7 places. Ethan Barbarewicz was next home in 17th position (25.49) with Harry Wilkin in 22nd (27.00) and unfortunately picking up an injury in the process.

Sam Hodkinson (728

Jamie Teare (727)


Ethan Barbarewicz (723)

Harry Wilkin (725)

Senior Races

The clash with the Red Rose fixture on the same day seriously disrupted the Senior races and meant that there wasn’t full teams for the Women’s and Men’s Races. Annabel Ralph had a very good run in the Women’s Race to come home in 10th place out of 164 runners with a time of 27.32. with Michelle Teare in 78th running 33.36 and Helen Dawson-Smith in 93rd spot (35.12). The three combined to finish 16th team out of 33 complete teams finishing.

Annabel Ralph (652)

Michelle Teare (665)Helen Dawson-Smith (669)

The Men were just one runner short to make a team as five Harriers ran on the day in a field of 274 finishers. Mark Chippendale carried on in good form as he was the first V50 home in 24th place overall in a time of 39.57. Next home for the Harriers was bottom of U20 age group – Ben Makin – having just returned from winning Gold and Silver Medals at the World Biathlon Championships in Florida. Ben was making his debut over the senior distance in cross country and did really well finishing in 60th spot in a time of 42.43. He was followed in by V50 Ian Clarkson in 151st (48.11), V50 Paul Smith running 49.18 in 163rd and Danny Teare in 215th position with a time of 54.07.

Paul Smith (769)

A heads up for U15 Caroline Woodworth who couldn’t run in the Mid Lancs Team at Hyndburn because she was part of her school team trying to get to the Finals of the ESSA Cross Country Cup – and that is exactly what Caroline and the team achieved. After coming first in the County Competitions for the ESAA 2019 Cross Country Cup, Caroline’s School team progressed onto the North West regional finals at Stadt Moers Park, Whiston. Here St Christophers came third place and are now looking forward to the Grand Final in Spinkhill, Derbyshire in four weeks time.

Caroline Woodworth (118)

Windmill Remembrance Day 10k – Sunday November 10th

It has been a tough but rewarding weekend for Annabel Ralph. After a top ten finish in very difficult conditions at Hyndburn on Saturday in the Mid Lancs League, she turned her attention to the roads one day later in the Windmill Remembrance 10k.


Over 2000 runners took part in this race which saw Annabel finish 34th overall and 1st Woman. She was just 25 seconds shy of her PB as she won the Women’s Race in a time of 38.48.68 and well over a minute clear of 2nd placed Zoe Gmerek (40.09.51). Paul Jeffries also ran and came home in 93rd spot with a time of 42.03.08 followed by Mark Wilkin who set himself a massive new PB by over three minutes as he ran 44.43.58. Paul Wilkinson came home in 440th spot clocking 50.06.18.

Annabel Ralph

Paul Jeffries (1063)

Mark Wilkin (2007)





















Paul Wilkinson (2454)