The penultimate race in this years Red Rose Cross Country League took place at Todmorden on Saturday – November 13th – on a muddy, tough course but with sunshine throughout the day. Before racing started, the League were involved in the presentation of a donation to East lancs Hospice of £1000, which carries on the tradition of the League making donations to charitable and worthy causes.
It was a confident winning run from Sam Aspey in the U13 Boys race coming home in 1st place with a time of 7.49 from Chorley’s Henry Ward in 2nd (8.06). Liam Benninson backed that up with another good run to place in the top 5 (5th) with 8.41 followed home by Callum Singleton in 8th (9.01) which meant our three counters were all in, taking the team win with 14 points to Chorley’s 25 points in 2nd spot. George Camara celebrated his birthday with a 11th placed finish (9.23) with team mate Loucas Lancashire in 17th position running 9.48.
The U13 Girls Race proved to be very competitive with five different Clubs taking the first five places. Leigh took the team win accumulating 23 points, with Clayton in 2nd (25) and Blackburn Harriers in 3rd (26 points) which made for an exciting race. Agatha Taylor led the team home as she came across the finish line in 8.54 with Hannah Davies in 7th spot (9.01) and Tamzin Osborne (20th) in a time of 10.23.
U11 Charlotte Smith was the sole Blackburn Harrier in the U11’s Races placing 22nd out of a field of fifty five girls in a time of 8.30. Just two athletes in the U15 Boys Race – Oliver Gill and Matthew Smith which saw Oliver take a top 3 finish (3rd) in 15.05 with Matthew finishing in the top ten (8th) running 16.59. The race was won by Rochdale’s Harry Peacocke in 14.49. One athlete in the U17 Men’s race – Jack Paget-Fowler – which had just 13 athletes taking part – Jack finished in 9th spot with a time of 17.40. Evie Taylor was the only U17 Woman running, making her debut for the Harriers, running well to come home in 4th place with a time of 19.37……………similarly in the U20 Women’s race where Amy Davies was just one of four U20 women running on the day and took the win in 19.48 from Bury’s Caitlin Johnson in 2nd (20.44).
Three Blackburn Harriers in the top ten places (3rd – 8th – 9th) wasn’t enough for the team to win the Senior Women’s race as we placed 2nd to Bury who also had three top ten places (1 – 5th – 6th). Joanne Nelson led the team in 3rd place with a time of 18.19 which made her the 1st V45 on her last day as a V45. Next in was Amy Davies (19.48) in 8th place which also won her the U20 age category followed just one place further back by Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (9th) with a time of 19.57. Really good to see V45 Janine Fallon back on cross country territory as she came home in 22nd spot running 21.27 and was our fourth counter, followed by V45 Lindsay Davies in 39th (22.51) and Michelle Teare, also V45 in 56th position with a time of 24.58. Joanne, Janine and Lindsay were the counters for the Vets team which saw them place 3rd behind Todmorden (2nd) and Accrington (1st).
With four athletes home in the first six places in the Senior Men’s race, that helped the Club to win the team in a close race with Rossendale who had all six counters home in the top 20 positions. Ben Fish was imperious on the tough course as he won in a time of 31.06 – a minute and twenty seconds in front of team mate Luke Betts in 2nd (32.26). Dominic Walton had a runt run – the third Harrier on the day to be racing on their birthday – crossing the finishing line in 5th spot (33.37) along with Josh Holgate in 6th running 33.49. Ryan Bradshaw was our 5th counter in 18th place with a time of 36.17 whilst V50 Matt Nuttall took the 6th counting spot in 28th place (37.19) which also gave him the win in the V50 age category. V55 David Almond placed 4th in his age category and 42nd over all in 39.01 with V55 Mark Wilkin in 106th (46.28), V45 Allan Hartley (109th) with a time of 46.52 and V45 Danny Teare (48.37) in 119th.
Still on cross country and it was a change of scenery and Leagues as Callum Davidson and Tim Raynes took part in the Manchester League at Sherdley Park, the Senior Men’s race featuring just over 500 finishers.
The Race was won by Jonny Mellor by eight seconds from Sale Harrier’s Nigel Martin in 2nd (31.42). Callum and Tim took 3rd and 4th places which were fine runs – Callum running 32.00 and 32.17.
Dunnerdale Fell Race – Saturday November 13th
Dunnerdale Fell Race is described as “a classic short race round the tiny but rugged fells between the Lickle and the Duddon valleys. The scenery is superb, the course is tough and varied and there’s a very nice pub at the finish.“Just short of 300 runners took part in the race won by Ambleside’s Ben Sharrock in 40.35, Ambleside team mate Jack Wright in 2nd (41.09) and Pudsey’s Paul Pruzina in 3rd (41.12).
Helen Leigh and John Orrell were running for the Harriers which saw Helen come home in 84th place overall in a time of 54.29 and 7th woman overall. After the race Helen told us “Dunnerdale fell race.. less than 5 miles but over 4 beasty wee hills it really packed a punch. Happy with 7th over a tough course against some absolute hill monsters and speed merchants!“
V50 John ran a time of 66.46 in 198th position and told us about his race saying that it was a “Fabulous location, glorious weather! Blue sky, sun, a mountain backdrop and a warm potato pie at the end! We had to work for it though, as this race is full on, start to finish. No let up as it was a steep climb up the road before we reached the fells, then a stiff climb to The Knott, over Raven’s Crag, up Stickle Pike, and over Great Stickle. A duff line through the bracken off Little Stickle cost me the 10 seconds needed for a PB. Nearly not quite. Must pay attention! Great to have Helen as Harriers company this time too.”
Thanks to Steven Wilson from Grand Day Out Photography
BMAF 5k Championships – November 7th
Barrowford played host to the Masters 5k Road Championships covering Male age categhories 35 – 49 / 50 – 64 / 65 + alongside a Women’s race covering 35 – 70. Mark Magee entered the 35 – 49 Race which featured 46 athletes, the race being won by V35 Mark Doherty in pretty rapid time of 15.08. Blackburn Harriers Mark Magee came home in 4th place in a time of 15.13, just one second behind 3rd placed Mark Walsh (15.12). David Almond went in the 50 – 64 race and finished 8th overall out of a field of 30 and 4th V55 in a time of 17.49.
Alton Towers 10k – Saturday November 13th
Over 2000 runners finished this race run at the theme park won by Ben Goodfellow in a time of 33.17. Blackburn Harrier Chris Walton took the trip down and came home in 15th spot overall with a time of 38.20.