Jess Warner-Judd won back to back British titles last night – Saturday May 20th – in the 10000m Championships and in the process booked her place at the World Champiosnhips in Budapest later this year. On May 6th Jess ran 15.13.95 for 5000m in California in her first track race of the season. Lining up at Parliament Hill last night for just her second track race of the season, there was a lot at stake – selection for the World Championships in Budapest as well as the defence of her title which she won in 2022 – as the gun went at the start of the race. TV coverage concentrated for the most part on the leader of the race which meant that the race for the British Championships wasn’t as evident, relying for the most part on commenatry about how the race was unfolding. In the end Jess was in a battle with Samantha Harrison as the closing stages of the race drew in and it was Jess who surged to the front to take the title in a time of 31.09.28. Jess commented after the her race that she was “So so happy to be British Champion over 10k this evening at the Night of the 10000m PBs. A huge well done to everyone tonight, it’s never easy trying to make a World Champs team, the task gets harder and harder every year. To make my 5th World Championships 10 years on from the 800m at Moscow is honestly overwhelming. 7 years ago I wasn’t sure whether I would have any more achievements within athletics, so I’m just so thankful to everyone who helped me get here, you know who you are“.
Jess with husband Rob after the race.
Earlier in the evening, a series of 800m races were held which saw Blackburn Harriers Abigail Stratton entering the Junior Women’s 800m A Race. All the athletes entered had run sub 2.10 for the distance and Abigail’s personal best was 2.08.39 as she lined up at the start of the race. She got off to a very good start and in the home straight she was in a head to head battle with Ava Lloyd which saw them both go through the line together. When the times and placing were announced Abigail had knocked 1.4 seconds off her best to set a new PB of 2.07.03, placing 3rd by one one hundreth of a second. After the race Abigail spoke to the Harriers telling us that the “Night of the 10k pb is an experience I will never forget, the noise the crowds made as you ran past was unbelievable! Plus warming up and doing strides next to world class Kenyons ! Very happy to come away with over a second pb at the start of season.” (Abigail’s 800m start of the Race VIDEO)
New member of the Club – Emily Jemutai Cheruiyot – ran her first race for the Harriers on Sunday May 21st at the Chester Half Marathon. She had a good debut for the Club finishing in the top ten of the Women’s race – 6th in a time of 81. 26 which also gave her the 1st V40 Prize.
On the road last week was Josh Birmingham in the Christleton 5K run on Friday May 19th – won by Vale Royals Ed Shepherd in a time of 14.33 with Liverpool’s Tom Rogerson in 2nd (14.46) and Simon Crawford (Long Eaton) in 3rd with a time of 14.51. Josh had a fine race posting a seasons best time of 15.02 in 7th spot – the race having over 500 finishers. (RESULTS)
Charlotte Atkinson took the opportunity of running the Offerton 5 on Wednesday 17th may at Stockport, her first time over this distance after recently posting a marathon new personal best of 3hr 21.51 in Manchester. – (RESULTS). Lining up in a field of 220 runners. Charlotte finished 2nd in the Women’s Race posting a time of 36.21 and in 30th place overall.
The start of the Northern League West Premier Division season got underway on Saturday May 20th at Ellesmere Port in glorious sunshine. The start had to be delayed by 30 minutes as teams and athletes struggled to battle the road diversions which had been put in place on the M56 – some athletes simply turned around and went home after sitting in traffic for over four hours. A real testament to everyone’s commitment that the Match went ahead give the travails that many of the teams had to endure. A big thanks also to our Officials who ensured that we met our obligations to the League – Jean Hoyle; Lee Thompson; Kevin Hogan; Lindsay Davies; Sabrina Dewhurst, Claudine Smith and Sharon Mercer.
Selected photos in the Report – All Photos on Blackburn Harriers Facebook Page
One of the highlights of the day was the new Club Record set by top of age U17 Charlie Unsworth who broke Luke Evans record of 22.5 set 16 years ago in 2007 with his new PB run of 22.2 to place 2nd in the 200m. Earlier he had clocked 11.2 (2nd) in the 100m A Race. Great to see Kyle Mashiter back in action for the Harriers too as he came 3rd in the 100m B (11.9) and 2nd in the 200m B (24.2). In the Women’s 200m Eleesha Charnley and Poppy Preece volunteered to fill the slots clocking 28.8 (6th) and 28.7 (6th) respectively. The 400m had Hayden Mercer in 5th spot in the A (55.2) with Dominic Bretherton volunteering to take on the B Race never having run 400m in a race before and running well to post a time of 57.6 (6th). Well done to Tom Monks in his first season in middle distance as he clocked a new PB of 2.01.2 (5th) in the 800m A race with Codie Dewhurst running well too in the B in a time of 2.03.8 – just half a second outside his personal best. Eleesha Charnley took on the Women’s A 800m coming 2nd in 2.21.9 in her first race over the distance for a year. David Holman clocked 4.05.0 in 3rd spot in the 1500m A race as Ben Makin who had already run and won the 3000m Steeplechase (10.25.8), volunteered to double up in the B 1500m to help the team and ran well to ensure that he won the B race with a finely judged finish in 4.16.0. With missing athletes, the decision was taken to sacrifice the Women’s 1500m races and go for the 3000m which turned out to be a good decision with wins for Eleesha Charnley and Isabel Holt in the A and B Races. Sam Hodkinson and Chris Davies took on the 5000m which was a toughie in the Heat and ran times of 16.49.5 (5th) and 16.52.5 (4th) respectively.
A good performance from our Throws team on the day highlighted by new personal bests for Anthony Kent who had a particularly good day. Starting off with the Hammer where Matthew Heywood won the A with a throw of 46.32m along side team mate Anthony who won the B with 45.24. On to the Discus which saw Anthony win the A with a new PB distance of 41.69m – an improvement of over half a metre with veteran thrower Tony Balko taking 3rd in the B (9.50m). Anthony’s next personal best came in the Shot Putt as he took 2nd spot in the A with a new PB of 12.46m – an improvment by 26cms with team mate Tony Balko taking 3rd spot in the B (27.12m). George Whittaker and Tony Balko paired up for the Javelin with George in 5th in the A (36.27m) and Tony with a throw of 27.22m (6th) in the B.
Grace Bontoft took on the A Hammer, Shot and Discus – placing 4th in the Hammer (34.57m), 5th in the Shot Putt (7.72m) and 5th in the Discus (17.82m). Isabelle Hartley (6.16m for 6th) and Kiera Booth (13.42m for 4th) volunteered to take on the Shot Putt and Discus respectively to help the team. Isabelle then teamed up with Kady Thompson in the Javelin – Kady placing 5th in the A (20.77m) and Isabelle winning the B with 19.38m.
In the Jumps Poppy Preece equaled her personal best in the Pole Vault clearing 2.50m going on to win the A High Jump with a jump of 1.50m alongside Isabelle Hartley who took a good 2nd place in the B with 1.30m. Kiera and Poppy both volunteered to fill in for the Long Jump – Kiera setting a new PB of 4.04m (6th) in the A as Poppy jumped 3.98 in the B (3rd). The Men’s Pole Vault saw George Whittaker clear 3.10m in 2nd place in the A with Hayden Mercer winning the B with a first time clearance of 2.10m. John iLunga and Codie Dewhurst volunteered to do the High Jump with clearances of 1.55m (6th) and 1.40m (4th) respectively. The Long Jump had Samuel Mutombo jumping out to 5.59m in the A (3rd) with team mate George Whittaker taking 2nd in the B with 5.45m. Samuel then went on to come 2nd in the Triple Jump A with a seasons best of 12.04m.
In the Hurdles and Relays – John iLunga clocked 69.1 (3rd) in the A 400m Hurdles with Kyle Mashiter voluneteering to run the B – winning it it in 68.0 seconds. Kiera Booth and Isabelle Hartley were the pairing in the Women’s 400m Hurdles – Kiera running a new PB of 78.9 (6th) in the A race and in her first season doing this event whilst Isabelle volunteered to do it even though she had never done this hurdle distance previously – running 87.3 in 6th place. John iLunga completed the Hurdles races with a 4th place in the 110mH (22.8). The Relays had the Men’s team place 2nd in the 4 x 100m with a time of 45.8 (Samuel Mutombo / George Whittaker / Dominic Bretherton / Kyle Mashiter) behind Sale (43.2) and 4th in the 4 x 400m (3.36.9) – (Thomas Monks / Codie Dewhurst / Hayden Mercer / David Holman). Just one Relay team for the Women in the 4 x 100m placing 6th in a time of 57.9 (Poppy Preece / Isabel Holt / Kiera Booth / Eleesha Charnley)
A smaller than usual turnout at Carlisle for the 2nd fixture in this years Mid Lancs T&F Series was not unexpected given the clash with the Northern League fixtures in the area. Just three Blackburn Harriers at this one – Agatha Taylor, Lottie Hesketh and Logan McCredie. 1st year U15 Agatha had a brilliant run clocking a new PB by three seconds in winning the U15 Girls 800m in a time of 2.18. 6. Another 1st year U15 was Lottie running her first ever track race in the U15 Girls 1500m – running a time of 5.19.8 in 2nd spot. Racing in the U17 Men’s 800m Logan made the trip worthwhile as he set himself a new PB of 2.13.6 – knocking three seconds off his previous best and this in his first season on the track and a 1st year U17 too.