A perfect day for cross country racing greeted the athletes at Witton Park in the 2nd Round of this years Red Rose League. The Men’s Senior Team got off to a great start at Leigh in the first fixture with an individual and Team win. Could they do it again at the second fixture? The answer was a convincing yes, with debutant Chris Arthur running very impressively to win the Race followed by five other Blackburn Harriers in the top eleven places.
The Harriers posted Individual Wins in the Senior Men, U15 Boys and U17 Girls and V40’s adding Team Wins in the Senior Men and U15 Boys along with 2nd Team in the U13 Boys, 2nd Team in the Vets, 3rd Team in the U13 Girls, 2nd Individual in the U20 Women and 2nd Individual in the U15 Girls.
Great to see GB International Jessica Judd competing too, winning the Women’s Senior Race by well over a minute (17.44) from Laura Riches in 2nd place (18.55).
Chris Arthur in his debut for the Team led the Harriers home winning in a time of 30.26 from Rob Warner in 2nd place (31.07). Chris attacked the Saucer on the second lap and never looked back.
Tim Raynes – winner of the Leigh Race – was next home in 5th (31.42) with Jack Hindle – (2nd U20) – in 7th spot (32.29), Joe Monk – (3rd U20) – 9th in 32.34 and Chris Davies being the 6th counter for the Team in 11th (33.10)…Chris was also 1st in the V40’s.
Next home came Andy Buttery – (2nd V45) – 16th in a time of 33.52 with Tom Blaney three places further back in 19th with a time of 34.07. Great to see Richard Stones racing again in 28th place (35.03) followed by Ben Costello who is in his first season of competitive running, just one second behind in 29th (35.04). V40 Sean Proctor was next in for the Harriers in 61st (37.50) with V45 Mark Almond in 76th (39.29) and another V45 Craig Greenough in 91st (40.31). Aqua Damour is another athlete who is making his competitive debut placing 128th in 43.00 and he was followed in by new member Antony Walton in 143rd spot (45.03), V40 Allan Hartley (150th) in 45.55.
The U11 Girls came home 3rd Team at the first fixture at Leigh and went two places better at Witton Park winning the Team Race and led home by Kate Cookson in 4th place (7.17) with Caroline Woodworth in 5th spot (7.19) and Keira Haxton in 11th (7.48). Jasmine Schofield (17th) and Hannah Davies (18th) battled it out with just a second separating the two of them at the finish with respective times of 8.05 and 8.06. Eva Knowles was just three seconds behind Hannah in 22nd (8.08) with Isabelle Hartley (24th) just one second adrift with a time of 8.09. 9yr old Georgina Bleeks finished in 49th position in a time of 9.02. Over in the U11 Boys we had just two out in a field of eighty seven which saw Oliver Gill place 29th in 7.24 and George Ramsden 46th in a time of 7.46.
The U13 Boys took 2nd Team on the day and they were led home by Harvey Ashworth who attacked the Race from the beginning which was great to see. Harvey finished 3rd overall in a time of 10.32 and had great support from Ethan Barbarewicz (15th) in 11.15, Joseph Joyce (16th) in 11.26 and Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 17th (11.33) which was solid packing from the lads. Rory Teare came home 23rd in 11.45 with Jasper Smith in 25th spot and George Whittaker 31st in a time of 12.21.
Third Team on the day for the U13 Girls with Eleesha Charnley leading the girls home in 6th position (11.34) with Leah Hoole in 11th (11.43), Hollie Cubbon (13th) in 11.48 and Kirsten Coleran in 54th with a time of 14.30.
Matthew Ramsden who was 3rd in the first fixture at Leigh, set off with real intent and aggression in the U15 Boys and it brought him the reward of winning the Race in 13.26 – 25 seconds in front of 2nd place and helped lead the Team home to victory with really good runs from Leon Thomas in 6th (14.15) and Jamie Teare just one second behind in 7th (14.16). Bradley Meikleham had a good solid run in 14th spot (14.08) as did Ethan Joyce 21st in a time of 16.05 and Luke Ingleson (23rd) in 16.11. In the U15 Girls Amy Davies had a much better outing than at the first fixture in Leigh and ran a good race for 2nd place in a time of 16.04.
Maddie Elliott carried on her with her very good start to the season with a win in the U17 Women’s Race (19.54) some twenty seconds clear of 2nd place. Chloe Bleeks was also having a run out for the first time this season and took 11th spot in 24.58. In the 17 Men’s Race Aires Woo had his first Race of the season placing 15th in 24.55, whilst in the U20 Women’s Race, Grace Handley continued with her comeback after a long lay off with a solid placed 2nd in a time of 20.11.
In the Senior Women’s Race, the Club took 7th place out of the 15 Teams with Grace Handley coming home as 1st counter in 5th place (20.11) Followed by Carly Edwards in 21st place with a time of 22.01, Jackie Taylor (67th) in 26.16 and Lindsay Davies 85th (29.26).
Accrington 10k – Sunday 30th October
The popular local 10k saw a number of runners doubling up over the weekend having raced at Witton Park in the Red Rose Cross Country League the day before. Among them were a number of Blackburn Harriers.
Chris Davies was first in for the Harriers in 4th place in a time of 35.24 followed in 6th by Ben Costello with a time of 36.38. Not only is this Ben’s first season of competitive running, it is also the first time he has raced back to back races. Bryan Searby came 39th in 43.05 which was well over a minute faster than his time on the same course in 2015. John Cookson wasn’t too far behind in 41st (43.24) with daughter Hannah Cookson (U17) taking 88th spot in 48.01. Kaylie Simpson was just seconds behind in 48.08 (90th) and Lindsay Davies came home in 191st position out of a field of 268 (58.58).
Good to see Sarah Toms out competing again in her first run since June this year. Sarah was out at the Abingdon Park Run and and came home 86th out of 300 running on the day along with dad Michael who took 6th place in a time of 19.16, both of them running this course for the first time.
Another athlete who has started the winter season well is Joseph Howe who ran a leg for his University (Manchester) team last week in the Manchester Relays (3k) in 9.24 with the team finishing 8th overall. Joe ran the South Manchester Park Run on the 29th October and won it in a PB time of 16.22 and this despite having to stop as he went the wrong way. Plenty in the tank!! (RESULTS) Katie Buckingham, also at University (Nottingham) was competing in the North Midlands League and finished 30th out of 179 in the Senior Women’s Race in a time of 28.52. (RESULTS)
Unfortunately the Mid Lancs and Red Rose League fixtures clashed on the same day which meant that with the Red Rose fixture being at Witton Park, the Club’s athletes prioritised home turf. At the Mid Lancs fixture at Cuerden Valley, the Club had just two runners – Daniel Brown 30th in the U15 Boys in a time of 17.30 and Mark Chippendale in the Senior Men’s Race (33rd) in 37.11. (RESULTS)