The London International Cross Country event incoporating the Cross Challenge and being used as a qualifier for the World Cross Country Championhips, made its first appearance at the famed Parliament Hills course, scene of many iconic National Cross Country Championships, providing a spectacular backfrop to the days events.(Athletics Weekly Facebook Report). Blackburn Harriers Matt Ramsden and Isabel Holt had been selected to run for the North – Matt in Team D and Isabel in Team B. Matt finished in 27th place overall in a time of 32.02 and 2nd counter for the team behind the winner of the race – Hugo Milner. Matt later spoke to the Club about the event telling us “It was a great experience down in London at an exciting event. The course was challenging and the continuous climbing was really tough. Thank you to Northern Athletics for the opportunity! Isabel was running in the U20 Women’s race won by Innes Fitzgerald. Like Matt, Isabel had a fine run coming home in 13th place with a time of 23.36 – 3rd counter for the team – and following her race, she spoke to the Club, sharing her feelings about the day “It was a great experience running at Parliament Hill and I am definitely hoping to progress from here.” (RESULTS)
Meanwhile at Sportcity of Saturday January 20th a Pole Vault meeting covering all age groups was taking place and among them, Blackburn Harriers first year U17 Tamzin Osborne. Just a week ago, Tamzin set a new personal best clearance of 2.80m at the Northern Indoor Championships which won her a Bronze Medal, it was also a new Club Indoor Record. Following on from that form, Tamzin cleared 2.76m placing 5th among the U17 Women competitors – three of them tieing for =11th place with the same height. (RESULTS)
Back to the wintry outdoor conditions of cross country and this time in the reconvened Red Rose League fixture at Marl Pits which had to be cancelled in December. It had been touch and go leading up to the day given the weather and the freezing conditions, but in the end, the fixture went ahead as a joint fixture with the South East Lancs League. This year, the Red Rose and Mid Lancs Cross Country Leagues have agreed to a trial joint race at Witton Park and we are looking forward to this, as from the point of view of our Club – Blackburn Harriers – we believe this provides the possibility of making some changes in the way we do the sport in Lancashire. (RESULTS).
With so many cross country races between the New Year and March, there was only a handful of Blackburn Hariers out at this one and all junior athletes. Theo Addy braved the conditions to take a good top ten spot in the U11 Boys race, placing 9th in 8.41 alongside Magnus Taylor who was running in his first ever cross country race and did really well, coming home in 28th place (10.38) – a determined look on his face the whole way round. Three intrepid U11 Girls also ran in a 35 strong field which saw Sophie Douglas cross the line in 18th spot running 10.06 with team mates Esme Krige in 31st spot (11.51) & Pippa Blackburn in 34th place with a time of 12.19. Two more athletes went in the U15 Boys race featuring 25 runners – Theo Robinson working his way through the field to come home in 6th place in a time of 18.31 with his team mate Liam Bennison also running well to take 16th place with a time of 20.19. Run of the day came from Lyra Krige in the U15 Girls race – which was run jointly with the Boys. Lyra judged the conditions perfectly. In around 7th on the first lap, she worked her way through the field to take the win in a time of 19.11, some 24 seconds in front of Boltons Tri athlete Jessica Taylor (19.35) and Rossendale’s Ruby Cleaver in 3rd (19.46).
Still on cross country which saw Helen Leigh out at Scottish Athletics Inter-District Cross Country Championships, just one week after her last cross country team Silver medal outing in the Lancashire Cross Country Championhips for Blackburn Harriers. Finishing 32nd on the day and 2nd V35. Helen was pleased with her race and told the Harriers afterwards that she “had a good run, was 32nd and 2nd v35 in a pan flat 8km, not my usual kind of race but I paced it fairly well and was quite pleased“.