First fixture in this years Mid Lancs Cross Country League took place at Witton Park on Saturday October 15th, a day in which the weather held off to leave the event dry and comfortable for the seven hundred and eighty one runners across all the age groups……. 41 x U11G; 66 x U11B; 60 x U13 G; 54 x U13B; 58 x U15G; 59 x U15B; 26 x U17W; 27 x U17M; 5 x U20W; 148 x SenW; and 237 SenM.
(Thanks to David Belshaw and Dominic Walton for all the photos of todays Races)
Well done to Amelia Pacelli, Blackburn Harriers sole runner in the U11 Girls who came home in 26th place out of 41 in a time of 8.18. In the U13 Girls race the team finished 8th out of 11 Clubs with Agatha Taylor leading them home in 7th position overall with a time of 9.23. Team mates Charlotte Rothwell took 36th spot (11.14), Lyra Krige 39th (11.20) in her first competitive event for three years and Hetty Green just behind in 41st spot running 11.25 and only her second ever competitive race. Really well done to all the youngsters.
Four lads went in the U13 Boys Race – the team placing 4th out of 10 Clubs – and led home by Theo Robinson having a stong run in 8th spot in a time of 11.08, backed up by Liam Bennison in 2nd place for the team running 11.38 (18th), George Holman coming home in 30th position (12.22) and Abdolih Shriha running his first ever cross country race in 44th position with a time of 14.26.
5th place in the team race for the Harriers in the U15 Girls and leading from the front was Charlotte Robertshaw who got a good start and held that throughout the race to come home in 4th position in a time of 11.40. In 2nd spot for the Club was Isabell Pacelli (25th) in 12.52 with Hannah Davies, the third counter in 28th (13.01). Lily Green in only her second ever cross country race for the Club came 36th in a time of 13.35, Ellie Wilding – only the third time she has run cross country – was next home in 41st spot (13.52), followed by Tamzin Osborne in 43rd (14.00), Imogen Robinson (47th) in a time of 14.06, Freya Neild (53rd) running a time of 14.47 and Zoe Leslie, running her very first race for the Club in a time of 17.15.
The Harriers U15 Boys also placed 5th in the team event out of 10 Clubs – this time being led home by Sam Aspey. Leven Valley’s Will McNally took off right from the start and opened up a lead over the Harriers Sam Aspey who had a fine run to hold off the rest of the field and cross the line in 2nd place in a time of 14.17. Jack Wood was the Club’s second counter and after having a strong run at the Red Rose fixture recently, he had another good run here, finishing 12th in a time of 15.36. 3rd counter for the Harriers was Alex Rothwell coming across the line in 27th (16.25) after a battle with Roseendale’s Edison Marsden. Then came Ethan Cutler in 40th spot running 17.33 – another young Harrier running his first ever cross country race – follower by team mate George Ramsden in 57th position (20.13).
First team win of the day came in the U17 Women’s Race where our three counters finished in the first 8 places. The team was led home to the win with an emphatic run by Isabel Holt who won the race by 22 seconds in a time of 15.02 from Leven Valley’s Georgia Bell in 2nd. Finishing in 6th place was Evie Taylor (16.59) with Keira Haxton in 8th spot running 17.01 cementing the team win. The Club’s second team win of the day came in the U17 Men’s race in front of Lancaster & Morecambe. Dexta Thompson led the team to victory finishing in 2nd spot as he overhauled Clayton’s William Walker on the last lap to finish with a time of 15.50 backed up well by team mates Daniel Smith in 9th place (16.46), Jack Lamb 11th with a time of 17.10, Codie Dewhurst in 12th (17.26); Jack Paget-Fowler one place behind in 13th running 17.31 and Umair Rafiq in 16th position with his time of 18.11.
On to the Senior Women’s race which also incorporates the U20 Women and it turned out to be a good day for Club as they won both the U20’s Race and the Senior Women’s race. Only five U20 Women overall which saw Amy Davies come first in 18.32, Abigail Stratton (3rd) in 18.57 with Eleesha Charnley posting the same time in 4th to take the win.
In the Senior Women’s race the same three women filled the winning counters position as Amy finished 2nd overall (18.32) behind Clayton’s Nicola Moynihan, Abigail and Eleesha finishing 6th and 7th respectively and both with the time of 18.57. Good back up too from the rest of the team with Ellen Sagar-Hesketh having a strong run to take 10th spot overall in 19.22 with Becky Shorrock again running strong after her Todmorden Red Rose outing – finishing in 14th place (20.43) and Lindsay Davies next through the finish line in 48th place running 22.50.
The Club had all its six counters home inside the first 23 places out of the field of 237 runners in the Senior Men’s race which proved to be a very tight affair for the team prize – eventually being won by Rossendale with 89 points for the six counters, Blackburn Harriers in 2nd spot with 97 points. David Holman was the first counter for the Club finishing a fine 9th position in 33.28 – his first time over the senior distance as an U20 athlete which also meant he finished 2nd U20 on the day. Ben Makin was next home in 14th place (33.53) with Nick Gaskell one place behind in 15th running 34.00 and taking the 1st V50 place. Tom Blaney was the next counter for the Club running 34.32 in 22nd spot with Chris Davies in 23rd place (34.37) and 2nd V45 on the day. In 25th place came Marc Hartley running 34.47 with U20 Sam Hodkinson, also like David, running the senior distance for the first time coming home in 28th (34.58) and 3rd U20 on the day. One week after running a new PB in the Marathon, V45 Dan Grundy finished in 54th place (37.30) followed by Mark Chippendale in in 57th with a time of 37.37. Danny Maynard ran 38.38 as he came home in 79th spot and it was great to see Lee Casson back racing as he came home in 95th (39.33). David Almond ran 39.40 in 97th spot which meant he finished 2nd V55 on the day and he was followed in by Anton Krige in 117th place running 41.15 – his first cross country race for many a year and John Cookson (177th) in a time of 45.48.
On to the road and Ben Fish travelled over to Holland to run in the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday October 16th – the race being won in 2hr 04.49 by Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Getachew, 5 seconds in front of Kenya’s Titus Kipruto (2hr 04.54) and Ethipia’s Bazezew in 3rd (2hr 04.57). (RESULTS). Ben was the first British athlete in the race – coming home in 39th place with a time of 2hr 23.41 which takes him straight into Number 6 in the National V40 Rankings.
Still on the road and this time with Katie Buckingham who entered the bath Half-Marathon with not a lot of training behind her. Running reasonably even pace throughout the race, Katie finished with a time of 1hr 36.24 in her second ever attempt at the distance, commenting afterwards “Pretty pleased with the pacing considering though. Shame the last 2 mile were uphill!”