UKYDL – Division 1
Last year the Harriers won Division 2 of the UKYDL to gain promotion to Division 1, which was a great performance by them and one which showed real consistency throughout the season. Stepping up to Division 1 meant that the Club lost some of the promotion team as they graduated to U17 age group competition whilst at the same time, gaining a whole group of new U13’s emerging from Sportshall competition and junior cross country, who had very little competition experience at this level. But what a team performance they put on as they took on Crewe & Nantwich AC, Lancaster & Morecambe AC, Menai AC, Team I.O.M and Trafford AC winning the fixture overall from Crewe & Nantwich in 2nd place and Trafford in 3rd. Showing great consistency throughout the day, the Harriers scored more Points in the Field Events than any other Team and were just behind Trafford in Track Points won.
It is difficult to include every last performance on the day covering so many athletes and events. The U15 Boys excelled posting nine wins, six second and three third places as well as putting in sixteen new personal bests. The U15 Girls took five wins, four second and seven third places and posted ten new personal bests. In the U13 age group, many of whom were competing at this level and in their events for the first time, the boys posted one win, five second and four third places alongside setting eight new personal bests whilst the girls had four wins, five second and four third places and set thirteen new personal bests. Overall that meant the Team had nineteen wins, twenty second and eighteen third places coupled with a massive forty seven new PB’s. Young athletes always post a succession of new personal bests but they still have to perform. Big congratulations to all of them, their Coaches who support them throughout the year and their Team Managers – Danny Teare for the Boys and Chris and Nicola Thompson for the Girls.
Thanks to U17 Sam Hodkinson who finished his Training Session in the morning and then stayed the rest of the day to support the Team and take photos of many of the athletes and to the Announcer on the day – John Cookson.
Highlights included the emergence of new sprinting duo in the U15 Boys which saw Kyle Mashiter and Ethan Downes win both the 100/200m double – Kyle running 11.8 and 24.6 whilst Ethan posted 12.1 and 24.9 all new PB’s. Harvey Ashworth set a new PB in the 800m by four seconds with his 3rd placed 2.16 whilst Hayden Mercer literally destroyed his time as he finished 2nd in his 800m race (2.13.9) some eight seconds quicker than he has run before. Jackson McKay continued the theme of big PB’s as he knocked 15 seconds off his 1500m time to set a new PB of 4.40.6 with David Holman also earning himself a new PB in the 1500m (4.59.3). In the Field Events Kyle Mashiter won the Long Jump in his first competitive outing in this event with a leap of 5.39m as Rory Teare set a new High Jump personal best with a 1.45m clearance. Matt Heywood had a great day too finishing 2nd in the Shot Putt with a new PB of 8.98m, 1st in the Discus with an new PB of 27.31m and 1st in the Hammer with a new personal best throw of 36.18m along side Kyle Taylor-Pomfret who also won the ‘B’ Hammer with a new PB of 24.68m. More PB’s were set in the Field Events which saw Kieran Carroll place 2nd in the Javelin with 29.46m and George Whittaker 1st in the ‘B’ Javelin with 28.97m.
Myah Booth dominated the ‘A’ 75m Hurdles Race winning in a time of 11.9. Amy Wiggans set a new PB in the U15 Girls ‘B’ 100m with a time of 13.60 (3rd) as did Maia Bowman in the ‘B’ 200m with her time of 29.9 (3rd). Eleesha Charnley cut a second off her 300m personal best time to clock 44.4 for 3rd place alongside Abigail Armas who reduced her 300m personal best by two seconds in the ‘B’ Race (50.40). Eleesha then went on to break her 800m personal best time by six seconds as she clocked 2.24.6. In the Field Events Emma Love set a new Long Jump PB with a leap of 4.26m before equaling her High Jump PB of 1.40m alongside Danielle Probert setting a new personal best in the ‘B’ High Jump with 1.35m, an improvement of 15 cms. Myah Booth won the Shot Putt with a Grade 1 throw of 10.35m as Izzy Thompson won the ‘B’ with a new personal best throw of 7.82m and then went on to set a new PB in the Hammer with 22.72m (1st). Nicky Saunders also set a new PB in the ‘A’ Hammer with a massive new PB by over 5 metres (26.12m).
The U13 Girls had a great day posting new personal best in nearly all the events. Kate Cookson (2nd) in the 75m cut a second off her time finishing with 10.80 as Lucy Rishton also set a new personal best in the ‘B’ Race with 11.40 (3rd). Kate was at it again in the 150m with another 2nd place in a new PB time of 22.30 alongside Niamh Gater who also set a PB in the ‘B’ Race with 23.60 (4th). Caroline Woodworth had an impressive day for the U13’s placing 2nd in the ‘A’ 800m with a six second new PB of 2.38.3 then won the Shot Putt with a PB throw of 6.17m and the Javelin with another PB throw of 22.32m. Kady Thompson in her first year as an U13 cut four seconds off her previous best 800m in the ‘B’ Race with a time of 3.01.9 (3rd). In the 1200m there was a big new PB for Keira Haxton by 20 seconds as she finished 3rd in 4.19.5. Over on the Field – Lucy Rishton placed 2nd in the ‘A’ Long Jump with a new PB of 3.88m along with another new personal best for Niamh Gater in the ‘B’ as she jumped 3.67m to win. Madison Bontoft had two wins on a very good day for her as she set new personal best in both events – winning the Shot Putt with 5.82m and the Javelin with 10.67m.
Harrison Allcock set the tone for the U13 Boys as he recorded a new PB in the 100m ‘A’ Race with 14.60 (2nd). Two new personal bests were set in the 800m which saw Codie Dewhurst come home in 3rd place with a time of 2.34.2 in the ‘A’ and Harry Sambrook, also 3rd in the ‘B’ with 2.46.4. Codie then went and set a new PB in the 75m Hurdles with 17.6 (2nd) as Harrison Allock also recorded a second new PB on the day with his 3rd placed 3.80m leap in the ‘A’ Long Jump. Harrison and Codie then combined to set new personal bests in the Shot Putt with Harrison placing 3rd in the ‘A’ (5.47m) and Codie 2nd in the ‘B’ (4.94m) alongside another personal best for Dexta Thompson in the Javelin with 23.17m (2nd).
On a day which was dominated by the hype around whether the world record would be broken in both the Men’s and Women’s Elite Races and whether Mo Farah would break the British Record, the heat came to be the overarching factor which would have an impact on the days proceedings. Among all the speculation around the race – thirteen Blackburn Harriers – all with their own ambitions of PB’s and raising money for very worthwhile causes – Ben Fish, Chris Davies, Joanne Nelson, Paul Brindle, Lindsay Davies, Lorna Sharp, Rachel Wood, Matt Wood, Simon Pollard, Paul Slone, Janine Fallon and Allan Hartley – made the trip down to London for this years Race, run in some of the hottest conditions ever and there was no doubt that it had an impact on all the athletes.
Ben Fish was the first Harrier across the line in 2hr 26.55 followed by Chris Davies (2hr 53.18), James Keir (2hr 56.06), Rachel Wood (3hr 07.37), Joanne Nelson (3hr 08.22), Paul Brindle (3hr 13.47), Paul Slone (3hr 29.21), Matt Wood (3hr 43), Janine Fallon (3hr 45.23), Lindsay Davies (4hr 27.54), Allan Hartley (4hr 49.02), Lorna Sharp (4hr 51.54) and Simon Pollard (5hr 49.17).
After such a tough day, a number of the athletes shared their thoughts about the Race and the conditions with the Club. Ben Fish said it was a“Very tough day out there, so big congrats to everyone. Even on the start line it felt hot and by 10 miles I wasn’t feeling good. Pace slowed and I focused on keeping up the intensity as best I could. I stopped looking at the watch after that. I made up a couple of places after 20 miles and seemed to be going ok. 2hr26:55. Not what I wanted but will do for now”. Chris Davies told us “I would like to start off by saying well done to everyone who took part today. Not just the Blackburn Harriers but the Road Runners, Dashers, Barlick and any of the other local clubs. The conditions were so tough. We have all trained in awful cold conditions for this marathon and to run in something like that today has been a shock to the system for everyone. Well done to everyone that finished and coming away from it safely as well. On a personal note I was on target at the half marathon mark but the heat cranked up and it was pretty much ” Game Over ” at the 16 to 17 mile mark. I new that a PB wasn’t on so I ran at a sensible pace just to get back in one piece. Disappointed that a PB couldn’t be achieved but in those conditions I have to be pleased. It was so hard and brutal and the toughest run I’ve done since starting running. There will be other Marathons and I will live to fight another day. Well done everyone again though, you should all be proud of your achievement today”.
It was Matt Wood’s first ever London Marathon and with not the best of preparation behind him as he told the Club afterwards “Really enjoyed my first London marathon, I went into it just wanting to enjoy the experience rather than go for a time, mainly due to a few injuries which meant a lack of training but ended up getting excited over the first few miles and going too quick for my fitness and paying for it later. Lesson learned”.
Joanne Nelson who has survived a very difficult year said she was “Pleased to have completed my first marathon after an 18 month break due to injury and illness. Definitely a test both on your will power and and your ability to cope in the heat. Pretty pleased with the time I got, 3 hr 08 as it gives me a base to work on. Just need some new, blister free feet now. Well done to everyone for competing today”. Paul Brindle commented “What an amazing event, it is something spectacular to be part of. With being injured and thinking of deferring, I decided to race and came up with plan B. Then the weather forecast made plan C best option and at 10 mile plan D evolved, and by the time I got to 24 mile. I’d used up the alphabet of plans so I entered the emotional run hard zone and finish. I go away learning more about my body and sport of running. Well done to all the other Harriers who raced and supported”.
Janine Fallon echoed everyone’s feelings about the day when she told the Club “You never know what the London Marathon is going to throw at you, this year was the heat and humidity… We all conquered it so be proud!!”
Lindsay Davies was running her first Marathon and told the Club that she was “Glad to have finished my 1st marathon, it was horrendously warm, happy with my time considering I was gasping of thirst all the way round even though I took water at every station. The crowds were amazing the atmosphere was electric. Mile 20 is were my legs started to give up, my breathing was fine but my legs weren’t just having any of it”. Lorna Sharp, like Lindsay, was also doing her first ever Marathon saying “Well done everyone x it was ridiculously hot but I drank at every station and carried it with me throughout. The back of my knees/calf were hurting but I don’t stop at all x I’m feeling really proud of myself and everyone who ran!! We did it x”.
Simon Pollard was another Harrier who was raising money for a good cause and told us “Two weeks before the marathon my physio suspected I had a stress fracture of my right shin so I expected the day would result in a “sponsored walk” for the whole distance. In the end I managed 7 miles before having to resort to a brisk walk, finishing in 5:49:17. Given the circumstances this was good result for me but fund raising for my chosen charity Plan International, an international charity focused on improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest children, was always my main focus so am pleased to have raised over £2400. It was great day, with great atmosphere but was grateful when the finish line finally arrived.”
In the London Mini-Marathon the Harriers had two athletes selected to run for the North West in their respective age groups – Matt Ramsden in the U15 Boys and Isaac Butler in the U13 Boys. Seventy athletes from all over Britain were selected for this Race which saw Matt Ramsden finish 17th overall in a time of 15.52 for the three miles making him the second counter for the North West, just one second behind the first counter Fraser Sproul. Isaac Butler ran in the U13 Boys race with less than ideal preparation as he had just flown home from Florida on the Thursday and had to go back to London on the Saturday morning. Isaac enjoyed the experience though and we are sure he will be back next year, his time being 20.45 in 61st spot.
Ron Hill 10k – Sunday April 22nd
Three hundred and ninety runners competed in this Race named after the legendary Ron Hill, seen here at the Race with two other legends of Endurance – John Calvert and Harry Walker.
The race was won by David Rigby in 32.29 with Blackburn Harrier Ben Costello in 2nd place overall clocking a time of 35.18 on a pretty tough course. Pauline Powell won the Women’s Race in a time of 38.38 placing 8th overall and also 1st vet Woman to add to her Prize list.
Also running were V40 Daniel Whittaker 23rd in 42.02 – Jamie Teare 29th in 42.27 and 2nd MJ16 – V50 Mark Wilkin in 112th (49.02) – V50 Paul Whittaker (128th) clocking 50.18 – V55 David Morris (336th) in 68.33. There was also a win for Harry Wilkin in the earlier Junior Run who managed to get his photo taken along with European and Commonwealth Marathon Champion – Ron Hill.
Clitheroe Triathlon – April 15th
A very good start to Jack Hindle’s season as he won the Clitheroe Triathlon last weekend comfortably by over three minutes out of a 250 plus strong field with a winning time of 1hr 23.21 and telling the Harriers that he was “Really happy with how the first race of the season went. It’s always a worry when you’ve had a long winter, as you don’t know where your fitness is going to be at. And whether all three disciplines have been covered well over the winter. Overall I’m happy with where my fitness is for early season, there’s still alot to do and a lot bigger races. But it’s all positive and motivating”.
Richard Fogarty also had a very good event placing 17th overall clocking a combined time of 1hr 38.58 whilst Paul Wilkinson posted a time of 2hr 41.46 in 225th position.
Danny Maynard took on the Trawlerman Aquathon on Sunday April 22nd coming home 3rd in the Swim Run Event.
Mid Lancs Cross Country League Presentation Evening
A very good night in the Premier Suite at Blackburn Rovers saw the Harriers pick up Awards from the U11’s through to Senior and Vet Categories for their performances in this years Mid Lancs Cross Country League.
(1) U11Girls 3rd Team and Bronze Medal
(2) U11 Boys 3rd Team and Bronze Medal
(3) U13 Girls 2nd Team and Silver Medal
(4) U13 Boys 2nd Team and Silver Medal
(5) U15 Boys 1st Team and Gold Medal
(6) Sen Women 1st Team Division 3 and Gold Medal
(7) Sen Vet 35 Women 2nd Team and Silver Medal
(8) Sen V40 Men 1st Team Division 2 and Gold Medal
(1) U13 Boys Isaac Butler 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
(2) U15 Girls Amy Davies 3rd in Series overall and Bronze Medal
(3) U15 Boys Matt Ramsden 1st in Series overall and Gold Medal
(4) U15 Boys Sam Hodkinson 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
(5) Senior Women Joanne Nelson 3rd in Series overall and Bronze Medal
(6) Senior Vet Women Joanne Nelson 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
(7) Senior V45 Women Joanne Nelson 1st in Series overall and Gold Medal
(8) Senior V40 Men Chris Davies 2nd in Series overall and Silver Medal
Deeside Open Meeting – April 15th
Tony Balko who is targeting this years World Masters Championships took himself off to Deeside for the Open meeting there which turned out to be very productive.
Tony set a new PB in the Shot Putt (6kg) with 10.91m to place 2nd and then threw a seasons best in the Discus of 33.86m to win that event.
Stoke Open Meeting – April 15th
On the same day Nicky Saunders who is in her first year as an U15 attended the Stoke Open meeting. She finished 3rd in the Discus which was a mixed event of U15 and U17 Women, throwing 26.01m and 1st U15, threw 21.55m in the Hammer for 4th place and rounded off the day with a new PB of 26.70m in the mixed age group Javelin where she placed 2nd U15 overall.
Liberty Thompson had been targeting the Heptathlon at the Lancashire Multi-Event Championships having wanted to do the event for some time now. Her dad and the Harriers UKYDL U15 Girls Team Manager, watched her over the weekend and told the Club about her weekend saying “Liberty had been looking forward to the heptathlon event for quite sometime which is spread over two days one of which was nice weather followed by a day of grey sky with quite a heavy downpour midway through. Day one’s events were 80mh, 200m, high jump and shot put. First up was one of Liberty’s favourite events being the 80 metre hurdles, she ran a great race in a time of 14.4 and finished off in 3rd position, next up was also a favourite in the high jump which hasn’t had much practice on recently and reaching 1.35 on the day which then put her into joint 4th position. Following that was the shot put with a new pb of 6.25m before reaching the end of the day and finishing with a 200m, We thought this event would be one that she would do well in as sprinting is also a favourite but unfortunately it wasn’t to be this time and she finished in 6th position with a time of 31.9”.
“Day 2 was the final three events which included long jump, javelin and 800m. First event of the day was long jump in which liberty managed to get another pb in by jumping a distance of 3.50 but while watching her we knew she could of easily added quite a bit to because she kept jumping way to early each time but that’s something to work on, then came the javelin which was also another event she would of been able to gain higher points in but unfortunately her best throw of the day ended in being a no throw so her best recorded score was a throw of 12.61. As we came towards the end of the day we only had the 800m left. Having done our homework on the other girls and they had done the same on the Liberty by researching their times on each other liberty was a clear favourite going into the final event. This for us as parents is where liberty shined, not because she managed to win the 800m in a time of 2.52.6 but it was seeing her going into a race full of confidence, she set of in a pace to win and she did so. This was the highlight for me and Nicola. Unfortunately overall liberty finished 6th out of 6 but due to there only being 2 Lancashire athletes she was able to get selected for the next stage in June. She really enjoyed her weekend and is really focused to improve on all events for future events”.
In the Quadrathon, Dexta Thompson did the year 7 & 8 quadrathon on the Saturday along with Codie Dewhurst. First he did the 100m in which he finished 2nd to Codie, then came along the turbo javelin in which he also finished 2nd then had a not so good time at long jump finishing in 5th place putting him to second position overall on the points table but when he ran the final event of the 800m he ran a slower than normal time but it was enough to secure him a comfortable win and win the days event overall by one point. Kady and Felix Thompson also competed in the quadrathons which saw Felix just two points outside the Bronze Medal place.