Jess Warner-Judd opened her cross country season at the first of this years Cross Challenge Series at Llandaff Fields in Cardiff on Saturday November 11th. (RESULTS). The race was won by Inverness athlete Megan Keith in a time of 20.35 with Ethiopians Likina Amebaw in 2nd place (20.52) and Asmerech Anley in 3rd with a time of 20.59. Jess finished in 5th place with a time of 21.29 – her next race being for the European Cross Country qualifying spots at Sefton Park on November 25th.

Saturday evening on November 18th witness another running of the Podium 5k races held on the cycle track at Barrowford, Fifty six athletes lined up for the ‘A’ Race which featured three Blackburn Harriers – Matt Ramsden, Dexta Thompson and Ben Makin. In the end, the race was decided by a single second as Sale Harriers Thomas Moran took the win in a time of 14.18 from Matt Ramsden in 2nd place with a new PB time of 14.19. Dexta Thompson came home in 26th position with a time of 15. 17, also setting a new PB and just two seconds and 2 places further back came Ben Makin running 15.19 in 28th spot.

L-R Dexta Thompson – Matt Ramsden – Coach Noel Finucane – Ben Makin

The night before – Friday November 17th – saw another of the Powr of 5k races held at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre in Lancaster. Four Blackburn Harriers in this race – Matthew Smith, Dominic Bretherton, Rebecca Ward and Leah Hoole. U17 Matthew was making his debut at a 5k road race and did really well in clocking 16.40 at his first time out. New PB’s were set by Dominic who knocked 55 seconds off his previous best in coming home with 19.03 and Rebecca who cut 9 seconds off here previous best time as she came home in 20.05. Leah ran a time of 20.55, just six seconds shy of her best time to-date.

(Race Video courtesey of Becky Willoughby)

L-R Matthew Smith – Leah Hoole – Rebecca Ward – Dominic Bretherton

Two days later and it was the annual running of the Preston 10 mile road race featuring two hundred and seventy five finishers. (RESULTS). The race winner was Brandon Quinton (Warrington AC) in a swift time of 49.53 from Se Loughlin in 2nd (51.23) and Matt Crehan in 3rd place (51.43). Brandon Quinton is signed up to run this years Ribble Valley 10k road race on new Years Eve as is Joanna Marsden who won the Women’s race in 59.52.

Five Blackburn Harriers tooks on this race with Tom Blaney leading them home in 20th place running a time of 57.14 which was a new PB by 13 seconds in only his second race of 2023. Stephen Walter was next up in 40th spot with a time of 60.58 followed home by Eleesha Charnley making her debut over the distance in 64th position, 4th woman overall in a time of 65.09. V45 Ste Turner ran 67.28 in 76th place which like Eleesha, was a debut over the distance. Matthew Maynard was the Club’s fifth runner and 3rd home – also making his debut over 10 miles in 121st spot in a time of 72.43.

It wasn’t the best of weather on Sunday November 19th for the 39th annual Tour of Pendle Fell race which is run over close to 17 miles with a climb of around 4800ft. Just one Blackburn Harrier in this years race – Marc Hartley. Speaking to the Harriers after the race, Marc told us about his day “It was very much a character building Tour of Pendle this year with strong winds, horizontal rain and boggy underfoot conditions. As ever the first half is a relative doddle, it’s the business end of the last three climbs that tests what you’re made of. I cramped up badly at the top of the last climb, but I managed to get back the majority of places I lost. Overall a pleasing run out and I was in and around the top 20.”

Results not out at the time of reporting.

Photo Courtesy of