The European Cross Country Championships held in Brussels at the weekend – Sunday December 10th – were run on a tough course with very tough conditions and plenty of mud as befits cross country. Blackburn Harriers Jess Warner-Judd described it as “the toughest cross country race she had ever run.” Jess had a great run to finish in 5th place overall with a time of 35.20 and 2nd counter for the team which won the Gold Medal to cap off a great performance as all six athletes finished inside the top 20 with Abbie Donnelly in 3rd place overall and first counter (34.42), Issy Fry in 10th (35.37), Poppy Tank in 11th (35.42), Amelia Quik in 14th (36.03) and Niamh Bridson-Hubbard in 19th place (36.27). (RESULTS)

Close to two thousand runners took part in this years Telford 10k, a race that consistently produces fast times – and this year was no exception. Ribble Valley 10k Record Holder Marc Scott took the honours in this one with a time of 28.36 followed by the Wheeler brothers – Charles in 2nd spot (28.40) and George in 3rd (28.40). Blackburn Harriers Daniel Bebbington had another good run clocking 29.37 in 27th spot and told us after the race that he was “Pleased with my run at Telford 10k. Was hoping for a pb but to come away with my 2nd fastest time and quicker than I ran on the same course last year is good. Now looking forward to seeing what I can do at Ribble Valley at the end of the year“. (RESULTS).

Moving to the much warmer competition Indoors  – the first meeting of this years Manchester Open Indoor Series took place on Sunday December 10th attended by lots of athletes looking to see how their winter training was going. Athletes from Blackburn Harriers did really well in posting nine new personal bests on the day as well as some individual wins. (RESULTS). As always there was a huge number of 60m races covering the various age groups headed by a brilliant run from bottom of age U20 Charlie Unsworth. Luke Evans held the Blackburn Harriers record at 7.20 set at Sportcity in December 2008 which Charlie broke on Sunday – winning his heat in a new PB time of 7.01 alongside team mates in the same Heat – U20 Samuel Mutombo setting a new PB time of 7.42 in 3rd spot and Oliver Palk also setting a new PB in 4th place of 7.45. Three Blackburn Harriers went in the next Heat resulting in a 2nd place for U17 Daniel Nuttall (7.24), a new PB for bottom of age U17 Charlie Clanford of 7.41 in 3rd and yet another new PB for Jacob Fisher in 4th spot of 7.45. U17 Millee Schofield placed 4th in her Heat running a time of 8.37.

(Charlie Unsworth 60m Video)

Moving on to the 300m distance saw a debut for U20 Samuel Mutombo in which he finished in 3rd position in a time of 39.33. U17 Daniel Nuttall also placed 3rd in his Heat clocking 38.60 as Millee Schofield clocked 43.01 in 2nd position in her 300m Heat with U15 Evie Fort running 47.50 in 3rd place in her Heat. On to the 400m and it was just four Blackburn Harriers who lined up on the start line in this race. Charlie Unsworth won his second race of the day in a new PB time of 51.59 with his team mates Oliver Palk in 2nd (53.24), Charlie Clanford in 3rd making his debut over the distance clocking 53.38 and Jacob Fisher setting himself a new PB by clocking 53.45 in 4th spot. Moving up in distance to the 600m U20 Codie Dewhurst set a new PB when he ran 1.28.00 in 3rd spot in Heat 2, as Agatha Taylor made her debut over 600m, winning her Heat in a time of 1.40.72. Finally another highlight and another new PB, this time for bottom of age U17 Tamzin Osborne who cleared 2.70m – an improvement of 10cms finishing in 6th place. Dana Juma, throwing a new weight in the Shot Putt for the first time of 3kg, placed 3rd out 10 athletes and was first U15W in the contest with a distance of 7.56m.

Still Indoors and this time in Sheffield at the Northern December Athletics Open Meeting held at the EIS Stadium where bottom of age U17 Oliver Gill went in the 3000m – one of three U17’s in a race featuring very good athletes and won by a sub 8 minute 3000m athlete Alasdair Kinloch. Oliver had a very good race – knocking 19 seocnds off his indoor best to set himself a new PB of 9.19. 55. (RESULTS)

Agatha Taylor (228)

Evie Fort (84)

Oliver Gill in 3rd place

Back to the mud – and lots of it too – at the latest Mid Lancs Cross Country League fixture at Lancaster on Saturday December 9th. Arriving it was raining and going home it was raining and apart from a glimpse of sunshine in the afternoon, it was a typical cross country day. (RESULTS). The Club’s U11 Girls were first off placing 5th in the team competitioon and led home by another solid run from Sophie Douglas in 13th place running 8.29 with team mates Esme Krige who ran most of the race in one shoe having lost one in the mud (24th) in a time of 10.16 and Mia Logan in 25th running 11.41 and with a smile on her face right to the end. Just two lads in the U11 Boys Race which saw Morgan Watson finish in 7th place out of 38 runners with a time of 7.24 and in 9th place Theo Addy running 7.32.

Sophie Douglas

Esme Krige

Mia Logan

Morgan Watson (133)

Theo Addy

There was another very good run by Millie Jordan in the U13 Girls Race as she came home in 5th place (8.58) with Hetty Green placing 38th (10.39) and Charlotte Rothwell (42nd) with a time of 11.15 – the team placing 6th overall. Again, only two runners in the U13 Boys – Max Unthank running well to place 7th out of a field of 39 in a time of 11.38 with his team mate Oliver North, also running well in 14th spot in a time of 12.11. The Harriers U15 Girls were led home by Lyra Krige finishing 6th overall in 12.04 with team mates Agatha Taylor in 11th (12.25), Lottie Hesketh in 15th (12.45), Isabelle Perry running  a time of 13.10 in 21st spot and Lily Green in 31st place running 13.52 all of which meant the girls finished 2nd in the team competition.

Millie Jordan (147)

Hetty Green

Charlotte Rothwell

Max Unthank (2393)

Oliver North

Lyra Krige

Agatha Taylor (174)

Lottie Hesketh

Isabelle Perry

Lily Green (166)

The Harriers U15 Boys went one better by winning the team race led home by Sam Aspey who finished 2nd overall (13.10) out of the 38 strong field. Henry Ward was next home in 3rd spot (13.32) with Jack Wood in 6th place (13.52) – all three counters home in the first six places. Theo Robinson had another good run in 9th place running 14.26 alongside Alex Rothwell in 13th spot (14.36), Liam Bennison in 20th running 15.22, George Holman with a time of 15.40 in 23rd position, Loucas Lancashire (25th) running 15.56 and Owen Donnelly in 32nd making his debut in racing cross country for the Club (17.31).

Sam Aspey

Henry Ward

Jack Wood (163)

Theo Robinson

Alex Rothwell (159)

Liam Bennison

George Holman

Loucas Lancashire

Owen Donnelly (2403)

Isabella Pacelli and Freya Neild went in the U17 Women’s race – Isabella placing 8th overall in a time of 17.22 with her team mate Freya running 18.54 in 15th spot. The U17 men produced the 2nd team win of the day, led home by Daniel Smith running 20.16 – a winning margin of 34 seconds – with team mates Logan McCredie in 10th place (22.25) and Matthew Smith (15th) running a time of 23.31. The third win of the day for the Harriers came in the U20 Women’s race which was won by Isabel Holt in a time of 31.37 with Eleesha Charnley in 2nd spot (24.34) and Leah Hoole in 6th place (28.11).

Isabella Pacelli

Freya Neild

Logan McCredie (179)

Matthew Smith (182)

Isabel Holt

Eleesha Charnley

Leah Holt

The Senior Women’s race saw the Harriers take their second 2nd team place of the day in the team competition – just four points behind the winners Preston. Isabel Holt won the race in 21.37 with Eleesha Charnley in 7th overall (24.34) and Rebecca Ward in 17th place and 2nd V40 in a time of 26.47 were the Club’s three counters. Leah Hoole placed 28th overall in 28.11 with V45 Sarah Krige in 51st spot (29.12) and V50 Lindsay Davies with a time of 32.11 in 80th.

Rebecca Ward

Sarah Krige (123)

Lindsay Davies (117)

The Senior Men’s Race was run in awful conditions – driving cold rain and mud the whole way round and the worst conditions of the day. However, there was a good battle between Fraser Sproul (Kendal) and Blackburn Harriers Luke Betts, the later stages of the race producing a surge by Sproul who took the win in 32.44 with Luke in 2nd (33.02). Next home for the Club was Sam Hodkinson in 13th with a time of 34.37 followed by V45 Richard Addy in 46th place (37.33), V55 Mark Chippendale (54th) running 38.16 and fellow V55 Chris Balderson running 44.22 in 145th place out of field of 218 runners.

Luke Betts (75)

Sam Hodkinson

Richard Addy

Mark Chippendale

Chris Balderson (72)