Lancashire Cross Country Championships
It is important to recognise the role of all those who were responsible for putting on the Championships in particular Richard Taylor who created the Course and organised all the Marshaling on the day – Steve Duxbury and Lancashire Athletics Association for organising all the Entries and promoting the Championships – and – last but by no means least all those volunteers who officiated on the day and the Marshals who ensured that the Races took place without incident. Also a big thank you to Rossendle & Pendle Mountain Rescue Team, who themselves are all volunteers and who provided an extraordinary service.
As predicted, the rain stopped at 10.00am and stayed off for the whole day, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t mud and plenty of it, making the conditions pretty tough.
Blackburn Harriers had a great day winning a total of sixteen medals including three Team Golds, five Team Silvers, three Individual Golds, two Individual Silvers and three individual Bronze medals.
Full Results HERE
The Clubs U11 Boys go from strength to strength. Having won the Red Rose League they backed it up with another win here taking the County title by just seven points from Clayton in second. With three in the first eleven led by Saul Sharp in 9th (7.40), Edward Lee (10th) in 7.41, Rory Teare (11th) in 7.42 and backed up by Kyle Pomfret (15th) in 7.55, and Ben Duxbury (37th) with a time of 9.13, the boys deservedly won the Gold Medal.
The U11 Girl’s Team also had a great day taking the Silver Medal behind Chorley AC & TRi who took the title by just nine points. Leading the Harriers home was Hollie Cubbon in 3rd place to take the Individual Bronze Medal as well in a time of 7.33, with Leah Hoole in 10th (7.49), Kate Cookson (23rd) in 8.13 and Eleanor Alsop (24th) in a time of 8.15 making up the four counters for the Team. Just eleven seconds separated Amelia Tyson in 32nd (8.41) and Molly Nicholls in 34th (8.52) and they were followed home by Isabelle Hartley in 40th place (9.08), Georgina Bleeks in 42nd (9.11) and new member Eva Knowles in 44th (9.15).
Matt Ramsden who is having a very fine season led the Harriers U13 Boys Team to the County title and Team Gold Medal winning impressively by a margin of 32 seconds in a time of 11.55. Leon Thomas was the second counter for the Team with a good run in 7th place (12.44), supported by Jamie Teare in 11th (12.59) Harvery Ashworth (23rd) in 14.20, new member Jasper Smith just one place and one second further back in 24th (14.21), Luke Ingleson 26th in 14.31, Daniel Brown 28th (14.37) and George Whittaker (37th) with a time of 17.04.
Amy Davies emulated the Boys when she won the U13 Girls Race in a time of 13.24, thirteen seconds in front of second placed Erin Moffatt of Lancaster. With Eleesha Charnley in 13th (14.40), new member Charlotte Corrigan in 20th in a time of 15.48 and Jess Watson in 29th (16.10) the four girls took the Silver Medal behind Blackpool.
The U15 Girls were next up with Maddie Elliott, another young athlete who has come on leaps and bounds this year leading the Club home to a Team Silver Medal and in the process finishing 2nd in a time of 15.32 to secure the Individual Silver Medal for herself. Hannah Cookson was next Harrier in (13th) in 17.18 with Chloe Bleeks (19th) in 18.10, Anna Lonsdale 25th in 18.57 and Freya Black 28th (19.54). U15 Aires Woo another young runner who has recently joined the Club ran his second cross country run and placed 31st in a time of 19.23. It was a tough baptism for the young lad but good experience.
Liz Greenwood in a time of 22.53 took the U17 Women’s Title and Gold Medal with a comfortable victory by 17 seconds from Blyth Fourie in second place and told the Club that “I found myself in a good position after the first lap of the course and just tried to hold onto my lead for the remainder of the tough and muddy course. I am really pleased to have won a county title and am looking forward to representing Lancashire at the inter counties”. Nick Smith ran in the U17 Men’s Race but we don’t have his result at the moment. In the U20 Women’s Race Katie Buckingham finished 8th in 33.07 whilst in the Men’s U20 Race there was a Team Silver Medal for the Harriers being led home by Joe Monk (4th) in 38.25, Jack Hindle (5th) in 38.36, Joe Howe (10th) in 40.52 and Marco Maggio (17th) in 50.41.
Eleven Teams contested the Senior Women’s Race and the Harriers came a creditable 5th overall. Helen Leigh who has been running some monster mileage races felt the benefit of her strength on the tough course and finished 8th in a time of 27.35 to lead the Harriers home and told us after the Race that “After no speed training or xc this year due to focusing on ultras I just wanted to have a solid run. The boggy ground helped slow the pace and my strength paid off on the last lap gaining quite a few places for 7th in a good field which I’m pleased with”. New Member Eve Smith had a great debut when she came in second counter for the Team (23rd) in 31.38 and also took the Bronze Medal for the V35. Carly Edwards also had a great run in 26th with a time of 32.00 and she was followed by Katie Buckingham (36th) in 33.07, Lorna Sharp (66th) in 39.57 and Lindsay Davies 68th (42.15). Joanne Nelson who will be running for the Harriers on the Track this year came in 11th overall and won the Silver Medal in the Women’s V40 Category.
In the keenly awaited Men’s Senior Race, the two favourites for the Team Title were last years winners – Blackburn Harriers and last years runners up – Salford Harriers. Congratulations to Salford who reversed the tables this year winning the Title with Blackburn having to settle for Silver this time. Congratulations also to Simon Deakin a great run, winning by eighteen seconds to take the Individual Title and Gold Medal. The Harriers Vets Team also delivered the goods with Matt Nuttall, Shaun Livesey, Paul Guinan and Stephen Schofield combining to win the Men’s Veteran Title.
A great turnout by the Senior Men with 20 of them competing in the Championships. Ben Fish led the Harriers Team home coming in 9th (36.09) and commented after the Race “that was a tough day out there. The lads ran really well and with a bit more luck we’d have got closer to Salford, especially if I had placed where I should have. I see no reason why we can’t have a few runners pack out the top 10 next year and I’m sure that could secure us a win next time”. In form Tim Raynes was the second Harrier home in 21st spot (38.03) and said that Tim “I found it tough today, with the saucer actually feeling surprisingly easier compared to the main fields! Thanks to everyone for the support round the course, and well done to everyone running for a great team effort once again”.
Another in form athlete – Joe Monk was next in (23rd) in 38.25 who said that he was “Really pleased today with qualifying for Lanacshire. I actually preferred running up the ‘saucer’. Glad to be part of a great team!” Just two places further back was Jack Hindle having one of his best cross country races in 25th place with a time of 38.36 and told the Club that it was a “great team performance and happy to be part of that team! Once again I’m chuffed to qualify for the inter counties”. Fifth counter for the Team was Karl Billington in 29th place (38.49) and in 6th came Matt Nuttall (32nd) in 38.56 making up the six counters for the team.
There was really good packing at this stage of the Race with Zak Howe (33rd) in 39.01, Shaun Livesey 34th in 39.06 and the Silver Medal Winner in the V40’s, Chris Davies in 39th (39.31) and Paul Guinan (40th) in 39.48 who was pleased with the day and said “really impressed again by the commitment from the senior runners, all of them, a new lease of life l think, the next few years are looking healthy………well done all” Afterwards Shaun told us that “Conditions were tough today and I new I had to have a outstanding race to figure in the top 6 for the open mens team. However my main focus was to race hard and try and secure a podium for the vets team. I had a good run and a good battle with matt nuttall and andy stubbs ( clayton) matt managed to stay ahead on the last lap however I managed to bag stubbsy. All in all a great event on a true x/c course well done to every involved”. Chris also said that“I new I would have to run well to get in the top six this year but we have so many top senior men at the moment running well it was always going to be tough to do that. Pleased with my run overall, good strength work for the marathon. Well done everybody. Hopefully the Northerns will bring better conditions”.
Next home came Joe Howe in 50th (40.52) who commented “Well done to the whole team; there were some great performances. I personally have not found the conditions at the lancs harder than they were yesterday” and followed by Richard Fogarty (66th) in a good time of 42.39 who told us that this was “only my 2nd ever cross country today and really enjoyed it. Tough conditions and surprisingly the hills felt easier than the flat. Well organised and looking forward to the next one!” New member Stephen Schofield had a great debut finishing 73rd in 43.09 and picking up a Gold Medal as part of the Harriers Winning Team. Gary Pearse (80th) in 43.55, Chris Balderson 90th in 45.00, in 105th place came Allan Hartley (47.41) and a couple of places further back – John Cookson in 109th (48.51). Next in 111th place and in his first outing for the Club – Warren Smith (49.17), Marco Maggio (117th) in 50.41, Danny Teare 123rd in a time of 52.33 and Michael Sharp (137th) in 55.55.