Great weather and setting for this years Road Relay National Championships and congratulations to Leeds City AC who were crowned National 12 & 6 Stage Champions for 2019.
The Harriers placed 22nd in the Men’s 12 Stage with a combined time of 4hrs 31.51 which showed an improvement of over eight minutes and seven places on the 2018 championships which led to Team Manager – Paul Guinan – commenting “With out doubt one of the best team performances at the relays for many years, all the hard work that the guys put in definitely paid off today, finishing 22 overall and knocking 8 minutes off last years time is amazing and really shows the quality we have at BH. The team cohesion and spirit is there to see with great support throughput the day, every runner giving 100% no excuses just plain hard road running at its best. The whole group of runners we now have at Blackburn are a credit and I’m sure we will continue to improve and push on. We are all having a great time at Blackburn at the moment and I’m enjoying my role as much as ever, thanks everyone long may it continue. Last but no means least, a big thank you to both George D and George W for their support at the relays, always appreciated”
The 12 Stage consisted of alternating 6 long legs (5.38miles) and six short legs (3.18miles). Tim Raynes took on Leg 1 as he had at the Northerns and ran another very good time of 27.08 for the 5.3 mile course to bring the Club home in 20th. Marc Hartley on Leg 2 had a great run too, clocking 16.09 on the Short Leg 2 of 3.18 miles and taking us into 17th place. On Leg 3 – Rob Warner – who won the 3000m at Watford in the week leading up to the 12 Stage clocking 8.28.51 in his seasons Track opener, had a real battle with Karl Darcy over the last 400m running a time of 27.23 which meant he handed over to Paul Brindle on Leg 4 in 18th. Tim Raynes (A6) Marc Hartley (B6) Rob Warner (C6)
Paul clocked 17.42 followed by Chris Davies on Leg 5 who ran 29.33 for his long leg to bring us accross the line in 24th. Josh Holgate kept us there on Leg 6 with his 16.51, handing over to Tom Blaney on a long leg (7) coming home in 26th after a 29.59 clocking. Jacob Watson ran a good short Leg 8 in 16.33 bringing the team back to 24th with Jack Hindle keeping us there with a good run on Leg 9 of 28.25.
Paul Brindle (D6) Chris Davies (E6)
Josh Holgate (H6) Tom Blaney (J6)
Jacob Watson (K6) Jack Hindle (M6)
Ben Costello gained two places on Leg 10 – a short leg in which he ran 17.05 – bringing us back to 22nd. And talk about taking one for the team – Ben Fish ran a really tough one the last long leg becoming ill during the race which still saw him clock 27.38 to keep us in 22nd, handing over to Karl Billington on the last leg (17.24) which kept us in the same place.
Ben Costello (P6) Ben Fish (T6) Karl Billington (V6)
After running the fastest Long Leg at the Northern 6 Stage, two weeks ago and clocking a seasons track opener for the 3000m of 8.57.73 at Watford mid-week – (April 3rd) – there was more sensational running from Jess Judd who had a titanic battler with Anna Moller from Aldershot on the first leg of the Women’s 6 Stage with Moller coming out the winner in a time of 28.01 for the fastest Long Leg of the day with Jess in 2nd spot and the 2nd fastest Leg of the day in 28.07. Unconfirmed reports suggested that both of these times had bettered the existing course record. Unfortunately the Harriers had a part team in the 6 Stage which saw Jess hand over to Joanne Nelson on Leg 2 who ran a solid time of 20.45 to come back in 6th place, handing on toe Lindsay Davies on Leg 3 clocking 23.08 in 23rd.
Jess Judd (A209)
Joanne Nelson (B209)
Lindsay Davies (C209)
Lancashire Fell Championships – Saturday April 6th
L-R John Orrell (28) – Tom Marchant (68) – Ian Clarkson (65) – Victori Mousley (22) – John Horrocks (165)
Not a bad day for the Harriers at this years Lancashire Fell Championships, held in the sun at Pendle and incorporated into the Pendle Fell Race. Two hundred and thirty two finished the Open Race won by Chris Houldsworth with Caitlin Rice being 1st Woman.
First home for the Harriers was Tom Marchant in a time of 35.47 in 12th place and 1st U23 Man. He was followed by John Horrocks just two places and 10 seconds further back in 14th with a time of 35.57. Victoria Mousley (39.06) had a very good day too as she came home 40th place overall – 4th woman and 1st in the Lancashire Championships which gave her the title for this year and qualifies her for the County at the Inter-Counties Championships in May. V50 Ian Clarkson ran a time of 47.59 in 133rd place as John Orrell – also a V50 – clocked 51.57 in 168th spot.
Following the Championships – John Orrell who is organising the Harriers own Pendle Fell Championships – commented “Most important after yesterday’s race on Pendle, we now have two County Champions! Well done to Victoria, Ladies Lancashire County Fell Champion 2019. Well done to Tom, Under 23 Mens Lancashire County Fell Champion 2019.
In our Fell Champs, topping the leaderboard on 3 races is Ian Clarkson Followed by and on 2 races are: John Horrocks; Victoria Mousley; Danny Teare – and on one race – Thomas Marchant; John Orrell; Gary Pearse; Craig Greenough; Matt Nuttall.
Next race is Pendle Cloughs. Our first long race. Get your map and compass out for that. May 11th. Closely followed by our 2nd nightr ace Mearly Clough. No torches needed this time. May 14th. Keep on running, Thanks for your support at Pendle, Helen, Damian, Poppy the dog, Danny T and Richard team photographer”.
Lancashire Champions – Chris Houldsworth & Victoria Mousley
Tom Marchant (68)
John Horrocks (165)
Victoria Mousley (22)
Ian Clarkson (65) John Orrell (28)
There were Junior Races too on the day covering U9 – U11 – U13 – U15 – U17 age categories. Fifty two youngsters went in the U11 Race won by Charlie Robinson (Bingley) in a time of 4.28. Theo Robinson had a very good run as he placed 8th overall with a time of 4.51 with new member Harmony Hacking in 27th overall and 8th girl out 25 running in a time of 5.35. The U13 Race featured 67 runners and was won by Archie Peaker in 13.07. Matthew Smith had another good run for this talented young athlete who seems to be at home both on the track, in cross country and fell. Matthew came home in 11th position with a time of 15.08. Imogen Robinson finished in 41st overall and 7th girl out of 24 clocking 17.28.
Theo Robinson (48)
Harmony Hacking (32)
Matthew Smith (49)
Imogen Robinson (47)
Darwen Heritage Half-Marathon – Sunday April 7th
Smaller field than last year numbering 267 runners as they set off from Darwen Academy, up Redearth Road and Watery Lane and heading out towards Entwistle and being lead out by Blackburn Harriers Jacob Watson.
Four Blackburn Harriers ran the race – Jacob Watson, Paul Brindle, Joanne Nelson and Paul Whittaker – Jacob, Paul and Joanne having all run the National Road Realys the day before at Sutton Coldfield.
Jacob showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field as he went to win in a time of 76.36 on this very hilly course and comfortably in front of second placed Mark Ward (80.48). Afterwards Jacob told the Club “the start is only minutes away from my house so I wouldn’t have had many excuses for missing this event! Fantastic support all the way round as always, which really helps with some of the tough climbs. Very pleased to knock 4 minutes off my previous best for the route, fingers crossed I can lower this again next year!“
Paul Brindle made in two Harriers home in the first four places as he came across the finish line in 4th place clocking 81.51and commented after the race that “After finding some form and having a good run at the Nationals 12 stage. Joanne Nelson slipped a mention of Darwen half after a couple of beers. After the third the legs felt great and I was up for it. It’s a two minute drive to the start line, you couldn’t really say no. Got to support local races. Had a good run in great conditions on a hard course. Managed to better my last race on this course so happy and a 4th place on the day”.
Joanne Nelson finished 19th overall and 2nd Woman posting a time of 1hr 33.47 as she moved through the field, stronger in the second half of the race. Joanne told us that it was “First time for me in the Darwen half and I really enjoyed it. I can’t really complain with 2nd female, especially after the National’s the day before, however there is much room for improvement. A great event, with something for everyone”.
Paul Whittaker was tackling his first half-marathon which wasn’t the easiest one to make your debut on but did really well in running a time of 1hr 49.03 in 92nd spot.