Liverpool Cross Challenge (incorporating the Mid Lancs League)

On what many people described as perfect cross country conditions, hundreds of athletes made their way to Sefton Park to compete in the latest fixture in the Cross Challenge headed by the Senior Men with 515 runners and the Senior Women with 212 competitors. Those who were there, saw a cracking run by Andy Vernon who runs for Aldershot Farnham & Disrict won by 17 seconds from Johnny Hay who pipped Keith Gerrard virtually on the line for second place. Gemma Steele from Charnwood AC won the Senior Women’s Race from Charlotte Purdue by 12 seconds with Steph Twell and Lily Partridge just in behind for 3rd and 4th spots.

Andy Vernon winning the Cross Challenge at Liverpool Saturday 22nd Nov. 2013

Andy Vernon winning the Cross Challenge 

Full Cross Challenge Results HERE

Alison Leonard (SW), Elizabeth Greenwood & Grace Handley (U15G), Eleesha Charnley & Amy Davies (U11G), Rhys Charnley (U15B), ), Robert Warner (U20) all pre-entered and competed in the Cross Challenge and so did not count Mid Lancs.

Alison finished a solid 43rd (29.47) in the 212 strong field whilst in the U15 Girls Race Elizabeth finished 10th (11.02) in the field of 87 athletes with just 28 seconds seperating the first ten girls and commented “It was a great race everyone set off quickly and the whole race was really fast as the ground was hard and not too muddy which was good. I really enjoyed it and was a great experience running against all the top athletes“. Grace finished in 22nd place (11.24) and remarked that It was a hard, fast race as the ground was hard with perfect conditions. Unlucky for me however, as I wanted strong wind and mud, but all in all a good experience”. 


Rob ran in a tough Junior Men’s Race won by the Reading AC athlete Jonathan Davies in 20.12 and finished 52nd (22.03). In the U15 Boys Rhys finished 123rd (12.49).


In the U11 Girls Race, Amy took an excellent 3rd place, just 2 seconds behind second placed Kirsty Hamilton from Lancaster. Eleesha finished in 42nd position.


These athletes all competed in the Mid Lancs League – (U11 Boys)  Edward Lee, Jamie Teare and Rory Teare. (U11 Girls) Amy Dowsing, Eleanor Allsop, Kate Cookson and Alayna Irvine. (U13 Girls) Natalya Irvine, and Hannah Cookson. (U15 Boys) Jack Wilkinson. (U15 Girls) Megan Clarkson and Mollie Morton. (U17 Men) Robert Buckley, Jack Hindle, Joseph Howe, Joe Monk, Joe Campbell and Morgan Philips. 

Competing in the (U17) Women’s age group were Phoebe Howe, Rhiannon Wickham and Katie Buckingham who said afterwards that It was a good course with the gradual down hill start section which also broke up the race at the start of the 2nd lap. I felt like I raced well with the cross challenge athletes adding to the competition. The team ran well so bring on the next mid lancs!”




In the (Senior Category), we had Allan Hartley, Paul Wilkinson, Shaun Livesey, Tom Blaney, Andy Heyes, John Cookson, Andrew Heys, John Chaplin, Ian Clarkson and Chris Davies;  and in the Women’s Race  – Carol Cookson, and Jan Buckingham.


As of this morning the Results were still not available but will be here as soon as we get them.

Full Mid Lancs Results HERE


Tour of Pendle – Saturday November 23rd 2013

Saturday, 23rd November saw 6 intrepid Harriers tackle what was the 30th running of the Full Tour of Pendle. Now this is no ordinary tour. There are no open top buses or tour guides waving umbrellas and giving out facts at strategic points; this is a fell race of epic proportions. Tickets did sell fast though, (quicker than a ‘Barry Barlow’ concert), in fact all 500 places had been snapped up before race day.

(Thanks to John Orrell for this report on the day)

Full Results HERE

The race can be described as many things, brutal comes to mind for most. The official race map describes it as ‘The most contrived race in the FRA Handbook or an inspired and testing route over Clayton’s favourite hill’ It has a descent called Geronimo. (That’s what you shout when you fling
yourself off the top!!) It even has a big dipper! Up, down and back up again; but with 6 climbs, 4830ft of ascent covering 16.8 miles it is truly epic!

Many of our hearty Harriers were fresh from the presentation do the night before, and had reached the start line in Barley fueled up on hotpot and cheese and onion pie, others fortified with vitamins and iron from their breakfast cereal. So how did our athletes get on?

How did we all get on? Leading the Harriers home in 44th place was Michael Toms 2.42.33, followed by Gary Pearse (90th) in 2.52.09, John Sutton (107th) in 2.56.07, Helen Leigh (116th) in 2.57.44 (9th lady), Sarah Toms (202nd) in 3.16.22 (21st lady) and John Orrell (330th) in 3.44.13 (13 mins quicker than last year and a new PB).

orig_11183_12347551635292b8aa9aee3   orig_11183_189962210252930171444e1    orig_11183_13322086125292b4ef48452orig_11183_10183328835293089fab14a                                                          orig_11183_560335365292d8ee3708c orig_11183_4247995145292952fcb84b


David Staff Memorial Race – Sunday November 24th 2013

This annual race is held in memory of a local young athlete, David Staff. David turned 17 years of age on 5th December 1994 which then allowed him to compete as a senior for the Dashers.

His first race (and last) as a senior was in the Clitheroe 10k on 27th December 1994. David collapsed and died by the road side at 5 miles from a condition called Hyperthropic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy, which in laymans terms is an abnormal thickening of the heart muscles which interrupted the electrical pulses which keeps the heart working.

This condition takes the lives of approximately 8 so-called fit and healthy young people a week, most of them are actively engaged in sport, but it is not the sport that kills; it is the exertion that acts as a trigger.

The race is run in memory of David Staff, who joined the Dashers as a 15 year old and competed in many fun runs as a junior. In September 1994, he completed the Great North Run in 1 hour 49 minutes 02 seconds along-side his dad Granville wearing his Blackburn Rovers home and away kit, needless to say the comments along the route in Newcastle cannot be repeated.

David was a very likeable person who got on with everybody he came into contact with; young and old and had a very bright future ahead of him, not only as a young man preparing to take his A-levels at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School but also as a member of Darwen Dashers.

Darwen Dashers host this race to raise funds for Cardiac Risk in the Young, the charity that David’s father Granville actively supports. The funds raised are used to provide heart screening in the young; so far over 60 people have had heart defects identified as a result of Granville’s fund raising. Since David’s death, Granville has raised over £100,000 and we are proud to continue to support this cause.

Full Results HERE

Five Harriers entered the Race of 142 competitors won by Chris Farrell from Horwich (32.24).  Four of the five Harriers running had raced at Liverpool the day before. Jack Hindle was first home in 5th place overall winning the first Junior Male prize in a time of 34.55. After the Race, Jack told us that “I found the start extremely fast and was put on the back foot straight away! But I worked my way through the pack and found myself in a good position going into the last half of the race. The course was also very fast and meant there was going to be no let up of pace going into the finish straight. Overall I enjoyed the course and was pleased with my run, beating runners who I haven’t beaten before”.


Next in came Allan Hartley in 46th (42.21) followed by Paul Wilkinson in 81st place (46.36); Ian Clarkson 84th (47.01) and Stuart Furness 90th (47.27) and 5th V60 overall proving that it is not just the young folk who run in this Race!

S0410995 S0420997S0430999

(Thanks to Derek Hindle for the Photo’s)


The Best 5k –  Preston Sunday 24th November

201 athletes finished this local 5k and two Blackburn Harriers ran really well in the Race. First home was U17 Joe Monk, who had raced at Liverpool the day before, in 7th place overall and first Junior Male in a rapid time of 17.42 and smashing his previous PB by 18 seconds. Evan Cook finished 24th (19.49) and having a real battle with Richard Oakley(22nd) from Red Rose who just pipped him for the V60 prize by 5 seconds in 19.44.


Full Results HERE


Conwy Half Marathon – Sunday November 23rd 2013

This Race had 1500 finishers and it seems as though are quite a number of these Half-Marathons that are attracting similar sized fields. Beckie Taylor competed for the Harriers in only her third ever race at the distance and posted an official PB of 92.34 which bettered her time of 93.09 in the same race in 2012 by over half a minute. Beckie was pretty pleased with her race telling us it was a really hilly course so i did well and smashed my time from last year”.

Full Results HERE