The forecast was foreboding a few days before this years Ribble Valley 10k which incoprates the Northern 10k Road Championships. The prediction was a for a rain downpour the whole day and windy and yet on the day itself, athletes were met by a calm, damp day with no rain in the build up or during the race which made conditions good for road racing and much better than expected.
A massive thankyou to all the volunteers who make the race possible each year and who take on a huge amount of work to make sure the race is successful – Marshaling the course, officiating the race, sending individual letters to all the househilds on the Course alerting them to the race, doing the entries, handling all the queries on race day, staffing water stations, handing out water and race medals at the end of the race, orgainsing medical cover, road closures, PA systems, risk assessments and safety, race commentary, photos, filming and live streaming, chip timing and results, post race Presentations – clearing up all the rubbish at the end of the race, making sure debris isn’t left on the road, the Main Hall is left as it was when we started and a myriad of other issues that need to be taken care off. Thanks also to Northern Athletics who continue to run their own 10k Road Championships within our race and whose President Judith Temperton was there to present the Northern Medals.
Blackburn Harriers had a very good day in the Northern 10k Road Championships whose Medals were presented by Northern Athletics President Judith Temperton. The individual winner was Calum Johnson (Gateshead Harriers) with Rory Leonard (Morpeth) winning Silver and the Harriers Daniel Bebbington taking the Bronze Medal. Blackburn Harriers Jess Warner-Judd won the Women’s Gold Medal with Gemma Steel (Charnwood) winning Silver and Mollie Williams (Stockport) taking the Bronze Medal. Matt Ramsden, Daniel Bebbington and Rob Warner-Judd combined to win the Northern Team Gold Medal whilst the Harriers Women’s team took the Bronze Medal the three counters Jess Warner-Judd, Rachel Wood and Rachael Gavin.
L-R Rob Warner-Judd – Matt Ramsden – Daniel Bebbington
Gateshead Harriers Calum Johnson won the race with an emphatic run equaling his personal best of 29.10 in front of Morpeth’s Rory Leonard running a new personal best of 29.40 in 2nd and Blackburn Harriers U20 Matt Ramsden in 3rd place who ran a new PB of 29.50 – seven seconds improvement on his Silver Medal run in Italy of 29.57. Blackburn Harriers Jess Warner Judd had a great run as she prepares to go out to America to run the Houston Half-Marathon in early January – winning the Women’s Race in a new Race Record of 31.18 – breaking the record set by Jess Piasecki in 2021 (31.28). In 2nd place came Charnwood’s Gemma Steel in a time of 32.51 with Stockport’s Mollie Williams in 3rd (33.32).
In the Race categories covering Team, Junior Men and Women, Vets and Vet teams there were some notable performances from the Harriers. Matt Ramsden won the Junior Men’s Race with his time of 29.50 which places him 3rd in the National Rankings and tops of a very impressive year for him. Blackburn Harriers with Matt Ramsden (3rd), Daniel Bebbington (4th) and Rob Warner-Judd (7th) being the three counters with a points total of 14 just pipped Morpeth who had 16 points featuring Rory Leonard (2nd), Carl Avery (5th) andf Daniel Dixon (9th). Daniel Bebbington also took 3rd place in the Race. In the Women’s Race the Harriers took 3rd spot behind Wirral in 2nd and Cheshire Dragons in 1st – the team consisting of Jess Warner-Judd in 1st, Rachel Wood in 41st and Rachael Gavin (49th). Ben Fish, Nick Gaskell and Matt Nuttall combined to win the Vets Team category.
Blackburn Harriers Winning Vets Team with forbessoclitors Adam Bromley – L-R Matt Nuttall, Nick Gaskell & Adam Bromley
In all Blackburn Harriers had 23 athletes competing on the day. V40 Ben Fish was the next athlete home for the Club in 34th running 32.10 followed by Joe Gebbie in 44th spot running a massive new PB by over two minutes as he crossed the finish line in 32.32. Then came Ben Makin – who is also making a name for himself in the Modern Pentathlon competing for Ireland – coming home in a time of 32.55 (56th) and another big new PB by well over a minute. U20 David Holman was making his debut over the distance and had a really good debut running 33.18 in 66th spot followed by V50 Nick Gaskell in 81st spot and setting himself another new PB of 33.47 (2nd V50), the latest in a continuing number of new PB’s this year; and there was yet another new PB this time by Lee Casson who knocked 13 seconds off his previous best in 91st spot with a time of 34.24. V50 Matt Nuttall finished in 111th place (3rd V50) in a time of 34.51 as V45 Dan Grundy came home in 149th place running 36.30. Next home for the Club came V55 David Almond (173rd) and 3rd V55 overall with a seasons best time of 37.33 followed by U17 Codie Dewhurst clocking a new PB by 17 seconds in 187th place (38.00), V50 Anton Krige in 250th position running 39.45, Senior Rachel Wood in 335th spot in a time of 42.09, V35 Rachael Gavin running 43.13 in 369th place, V50 Craig Greenhough (360th) in 43.01, V50 Lindsay Davies running 45.21 in 447th place and U20 Hollie Cubbon finishing with a time of 49.28 (592nd). V55 Mark Wilkin ran 51.03 in 654th spot followed un my son Harry Wilkin in 737th with a time of 53.44.