After the fifth fixture of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League and with one to go up at Ulverston in March the Harriers are well placed to pick up Team Medals at U11, U13, U15, Senior Women and Vets Categories.
The U11 Girls are lying in 2nd place overall and finished 5th on Saturday, the girls being led home by Hannah Davies in 18th out of the sixty four runners in a time of 8.22 with Imogen Robinson just behind in 16th place (8.28). Next across the line came Isabelle Hartley in 32nd (8.51) followed home by Amelia Burton in her first competitive race for the Club in 35th clocking 8.54. Then came Ayesha Vose in 47th place (9.27) and Lulu Sharp finishing 53rd in a time of 9.51.
Our U11 Boys Team are in second place in the League following this fixture where they finished 3rd team overall on the day. Seventy four youngsters contested the Race – fourteen of whom were Blackburn Harriers. ‘Pocket Rocket’ Sam Aspey led the lads home in 8th place (7.23), Daniel Smith was one place and four seconds further back in 9th (7.27) with Matthew Smith in 14th posting a time of 7.36. One second and one place separated Oliver Gill in 23rd (7.51) and William Grundy in 24th (7.52). More good packing from the lads saw Harry Sambrook run a time of 8.00 in 30th position, the same time as George Ramsden in 31st, also 8.00 and Harry Russel in 32nd clocking 8.06. Charlie Haworth was next home in 37th with a time of 8.12 and he was followed in by Findlay Carroll (44th) in 8.23, Alexander Brien running 8.48 in 61st, Daniel Brotherton (68th) and George Holman 69th both running the same time of 9.13 and Sam Craven in 74th place with a time of 10.47.
The Harriers U13 Girls are still in 1st place even though they finished 4th on the day which saw Leah Hoole lead the girls home in 12th place (9.18) supported by Hollie Cubbon in 19th spot with a time of 9.30, Kate Cookson in 25th clocking 9.44, Keira Haxton 27th in a time of 9.47 and Caroline Woodworth in 28th (9.48), Eva Knowles (50th) in 10.51 and Libby Neal finishing in 60th spot recording a time of 11.34.
One of the highlights of the day was the win of Isaac Butler in the U13 Boys Race featuring sixty runners. Isaac won by seven seconds in a time of 10.57 from Tobias Swarbrick in 2nd. Going into this fixture in 2nd place, the lads consolidated that position with a 2nd placed finish in the Team competition. In 9th and 10th came David Holman (12.05) and Hayden Mercer (12.08) and they were backed up by Kyle Taylor-Pomfret in 14th with a time of 12.22, Rory Teare in 22nd (12.48), Codie Dewhurst, another young athlete who continues to improve in 24th (12.51), Saul Sharp running a time of 13.09 in 32nd place and Sebastian Burton 13.23 in 35th position out of a sixty strong field.
Only two girls out in the U15’s which saw Amy Davies place 6th in a time of 12.58 and Eleesha Charnley 7th clocking 13.05. The U15 Boys started the day in 1st place in the League and ended the day still in first place as they won the team event on the day from Kendal in 2nd and Helm-Hill in 3rd. First home for the boys came Matt Ramsden in 3rd posting a time of 13.29, with Sam Hodkinson in 4th (13.34), Leon Thomas in 5th (13.35) and Jamie Teare in 11th place with a time of 14.23.
After three wins and a 2nd in the previous four races, the Harriers Senior Women were on top of Division 3. On Saturday there were just two Senior Women competing – Joanne Nelson and Lindsay Davies but the Senior Women’s Team were still in 1st position at the end of the day. Joanne had another great run finishing 7th overall out of one hundred and twenty nine runners (23.55), was 1st V45 and 1st Vet overall in the Race won by an U20 Scarlet Dale. Lindsay had her best race so far in the Mid Lancs with a very good 29th place in a time of 27.51. In the Senior Men’s Race, there was an excellent finish from Chris Davies taking 8th place out of one hundred and seventy eight in a time of 34.27 which won him the V40 category and 1st Vet overall on the day. Mark Chippendale came home in 25th place clocking 37.06 and Craig Greenough ran a time of 47.07 for 137th spot.
The Bleasdale Circle Fell Race attracted one hundred and seventeen runners on Saturday February 18th which was won by Blackburn Harriers Steven Snape. who had a cracking run to win the Race in a time of 37.25 in front of 2nd placed Rob Jebb (37.41). Speaking to the Club, Steven commented about his race, describing it as “A short fell race at the beautiful Bleasdale area. The first part is like XC which I enjoy. It then goes up a tough climb all the way to the summit it sorts out the runners who went off to fast. This was my best part. The descent was fun and the legs were pretty dead on the last flat bogfest section where I had to dig in. Great cake afterwards too!”
Great to see John Horrocks back out racing again. John has had a bad time with injuries and has only run a couple of Park runs in January after last racing in May 2017. On the day John had a very good run to place 14th over in a time of 43.12 and told the Club after the Race that it was “Good to be back racing after so long out! Really enjoy doing this race every year and for once we had good weather with a decent view from the top. My race went ok, climbed really well but struggled from then on. Well done to Steven on the win, great run!”
Derek Reilly was also on the comeback trail after a period of injuries and took on the Windy Hill Race on February 10th which saw two hundred and three runners complete the course. Won by Shaun Godsman in a time of 61.57 – Derek finished in 14th spot with a time of 69.37 and 2nd V45.
BUCS Championships – February 16 – 18th
Four Blackburn Harriers competed in this years Bucs Indoor T & F Championships held at the EIS in Sheffield. Great to see Joe Pearse back out in the High Jump after a nightmare injury year in 2017, his last competition being the BUCS outdoor championships in May 2017. Joe qualified from his heat with a clearance of 1.93m and went on to clear 1.90m in the Final for 9th place. Joe was just pleased to be back in competition and told the Club that “It is so great to finally jump again, for me it was an achievement to even be at BUCS having only had one high jump session prior to the comp after being out with an injury since last May. There are lots of promising signs and although I was disappointed with the result I was just to tired to jump higher after qualification. Hopefully now I can work on reducing the pain in my ankle and getting back in shape”.
Roxanne Oliver was racing at her last Indoor BUCS in the 60m Hurdles running just shy of her seasons best with a time of 9.26 which brought her home in 5th spot in her Heat. Afterwards Roxie spoke to the Harriers about the her Championships telling us that she “Had a great time competing at my last indoor BUCS! Was hoping for a PB in the hurdles and I felt in shape to do so, but since it was a straight final and no semis it wasn’t to be. I much prefer outdoors though so I’m looking forward to the 100m hurdles instead of the 60m hurdles!”
Morgan Angland was also contesting the 60m Hurdles but suffered a DQ for a false start. These things happen as they say and something that she will learn from as she commented to the Club afterwards. Overall it had been “a really good experience at my first BUCS. Really disappointed with my performance since I false started in my hurdles and got disqualified. But I will learn from it and hopefully do a lot better in outdoor BUCS”.
Katie Buckingham was another athlete who enjoyed the weekend and learned some invaluable lessons about pace judgement as she placed 8th in the ten strong field in a time of 11.06 for the 3000m telling the Harriers at the end of the Championships that she had “had a great weekend watching some top class performances, didn’t have my best race, the pace set of fast and burnt out earlier than I’d hoped but we live and learn, onto the outdoor season well done to everyone else repping Blackburn and Notts!”
Central Lancs 5k – Sunday February 18th
Three hundred and nine runners lined up for this local 5k Race won by Michael Cayton in a time of 15.41, just one second in front of 2nd placed Jonothan Kay. Mat Nuttall had a good run to come home in 10th place overall in a time of 17.31 which saw him win the V45 category. The Harriers Senior Team Manager – Paul Guinan also had a solid run (18.39) for 25th place overall and 3rd V45.
Great North West Half-Marathon – Sunday February 18th
This Race saw twelve hundred and twenty one complete the event which was won by Paul Fausett of 74.34. V50 Jonathan Bridge flew the flag for the Harriers crossing the line in 40th position overall, clocking a time of 84.38 and 2nd V50.