Given all the rain of late, it was a very pleasant surprise to see the sun come out and warm temperatures at this year National Road Relay Championships held as usual at Sutton Park. (All age group results). Blackburn Harriers had teams in the Senior Men’s Race, Senior Women, 2 teams in the U17 men’s, 2 teams in the U15 Girls and 1 team in the U15 Boys.


Our Senior Men came home with a combined time of 1 hr 53.06 in 35th position in the 6 – Stage Relay. Matt Ramsden finished in 5th place on the first leg with the 11th fastest time of the day (17.21) with team mates Luke Betts on leg 2 (18.34), Ben Makin with a time of 19.53 on leg 3, Tim Raynes running 18.44 on leg 4, Sam Hodkinson (19.41) on the fifth leg and Ben Fish on the final leg pulling back five places with his 18.53.


Matt Ramsden & Luke Betts


Ben Makin & Tim Raynes


Sam Hodkinson & Ben Fish

Maddie Elliott took on the first leg for the Senior Women running 15.42 in 34th with team mates Louisa Powell-Smith on leg 2 running 17.24, Evie Taylor picking up three places on the third leg with 17.01 and Isabel Holt taking on the final leg, picking up eight places with her time of 15.36 – the team placing 33rd overall in 1hr 05.43.


Maddie Elliott & Louisa Powell-Smith


Evie Taylor & Isabel Holt

Two teams in the U17 Men which saw the A team finish in 21st place and the B team 45th. Ben Stratton (12.21), Oliver Gill (12.54) and Daniel Smith (12.40) had a combined time of 37.55 in 21st spot as team mates Jack Lamb (12.41), Logan McCredie (13.34) and Ethan Cutler (14.03) finished in 45th spot with a combined time of 40.18.


Ben Stratton & Oliver Gill


Daniel Smith & Jack Lamb


Logan McCredie & Ethan Cutler

A number of Blackburn Harriers athletes were running their first National Road Relay Championships and this was the case for Henry Ward, Jack Wood and Alex Rothwell in the U15 Boys race in which they all ran well. Henry in his first season for the Harriers led on the first leg with a time of 13.20 alongside team mates Jack on the second leg who ran 13.45 and Alex on the last leg with his time of 13.51 – finishing 34th overall in a combined time of 40.56.


Henry Ward & Jack Wood

Alex Rothwell

Unfortunately our two U15 Girls teams  – the A team of Bella McCredie, Emma Robertshaw and Agatha Taylor alongside the B team of Lottie Hesketh, Lottie Smith and Evie Fort, were disqualified because of an innocent error in the way in which the girls changed over.


Bella McCredie & Emma Robertshaw


Agatha Taylor & Lottie Hesketh


Lottie Smith & Evie Fort

Congratulations to James Bretherton on his run at the Chester Marathon on Sunday October 8th. In his debut Marathon, James, a V40 clocked an excellent new PB time of 2hr 53.55 crossing the line in 132nd spot – and – in the same race Matt Wood also ran a new PB of 3hr 03.04 in 236th place. Commenting on his social media account (Instagram) Matt explained the day, outlining what is involved  “I didn’t respect the marathon last time I ran one competitively, didn’t train, thought I could just run fast because 15 years ago I was fast….I ended up walking for about 5 miles. Today was a nice fist bump to me for the consistency I’ve put in over the last 6 months“.

James Bretherton (1211)

Matt Wood

On the same day – Sunday October 8th – it was the Morecambe 10k  – run as part of three races, Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10k which saw the 10k running the same route as the other two for 6.2 miles. Chris Davies ran the 10k finishing 2nd overall and 2nd V45 (35.10) – the winner Kendal’s Richard Wilson also a V45 running 34.34. Leah Hoole had a good day too in this race coming home 2nd in the Women’s Race with a new PB time of 44.29 – close to a half a minute improvement on her last 10k time in September.

One week earlier, Blackburn Harriers Callum Davidson ran his first race since May after suffering from a serious health issue. His previous attempt over the distance in 2019 saw him clock 69.16 at the Reading Half-Marathon and he was looking to improve on that in Cardiff. The race proved to be fast with Kenya’s Vincent Mutai taking the win in 60.35 followed in 2nd by another Kenyan athlete – Shadrack Kimining in 60.48 with compatriot Benrad Biwott in 3rd (60.51) and the first 45 finishers all under 70 minutes. Callum achieved what he set out to do, knocking one minute and 48 seconds off his previous best as he set himself a new PB with 67.28 in 19th position.

Over in America, David Holman was racing again this week, after successive races over the last few weeks, this time in the Royals Challenge (McAline Pancake Course (not regular course) Men’s 8k Run Gold in Charlotte. (RESULTS). David placed 49th overall and was 5th counter for his University (Wingate) team in the 274 strong field with a time of 25.21 which represented a further improvement for him. 

David Holman (1781)