2016 London Marathon

Once again, the London Marathon rolls round, witnessing this year a phenomenal performance by the winner Eluid Kipchoge who fell shy of a new world record by 8 seconds winning in 2hr 3.05. The race also featured two British runners – Derek and Callum Hawkins – achieving the Olympic qualifying time with a couple of minutes to spare.

 Results can be found HERE

Chris Davies was the first Blackburn Harrier home in this years race. He had run 2.49.41 in 2015 and was setting his sights on another PB and he came up with it, running the perfect race – 83.29 for the first Half and 83.36 for the second which gave him 2hr 46.55 – a new PB by nearly three minutes and this is how he felt his Race went “I was really pleased with the result that I achieved (2:46:55). Four weeks ago I wasn’t sure if I’d even be running the Marathon after picking up a couple of niggles and having to start the race with one of them. I wasn’t really sure how I would fair. My aim was for a 2:45 time so in the end I can’t grumble and on the plus side if I could go into my next marathon totally on song then their is no reason why I can’t hit the target that I want. That said at the half marathon point I was on target and coasting, I was feeling very comfortable at that point. I got to the 18 mile point and for the second year running my calf’s started to get sore. I still managed to keep the pace I had been running up to the 25 mile mark which was tough but in the end with just over a mile to go every muscle was starting to tighten and get sore and it was just a case of knuckling down and just get to the finish line as quick as I could. Really pleased though, the support was great from the Blackburn Harriers and Road Runners who were scattered all over the course. The 14 mile mark I will never forget. The support running along that stretch of road with emotional to say the least. The support from everyone that was their was just incredible.Thanks for all the support of everyone, all the kind words on Facebook after the race, the coaches at the club on their guidance and good advice running up to the race. All of it means a lot and hopefully I can go one better at next years London Marathon and get what I’m after. Thank you Everyone”.

13051781_10154164082789507_5210415940147094108_nConrad McKee was the next Harrier home in his first ever Marathon of 2hr 50.34 at the ripe old age of 42yrs and this is what he had to say about his experience on the day I knew at mile 4/5 it was gonna be a tough race. I figured I was gonna run out of steam at the end because I was very tired. I decided to put some quick miles in early and then just hold on at the end. I had had enough at mile 23 and then I heard Richard Fogarty shout at me and I dug in. It really helped. Finished with a decent time and at the end I said I was done with marathon running. Think I might just enter 2017 and see what happens. Thanks to everyone who has helped me over the last few months. Couldn’t have done this without you”.


Rachel Wood ran her second ever Marathon at London, her first attempt was also at London in 2015 when she recorded an excellent time of 3hr 03.07. This year she was determined to break three hours and she did just that finishing in 2hr 59.02, setting a new PB and becoming only the second woman ever to have gone under three hours for the Club.

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Sean Proctor was looking for a sub 3 hour marathon but things didn’t quite work out for him on the day finishing in 3hr 08.52. There is never any guarantees about the Marathon and sometimes it just doesn’t work out for you and you live to fight another day.

V45 Paul Slone had a massive new PB in only his second marathon in four years, cutting over half an hour off the time to finish with 3hr 22.42 and telling the Club  This was my second attempt at marathon distance. The first being 2012 when I did 3.55.02. Trained totally on my own from a marathon programme. Started training for this in August almost from scratch again. It proves joining Harriers and taking part in track sessions, hill sprints, coordination runs all work for increasing speed and fitness. Combined with invaluable help with the vast experience from the coaches and other athletes can and do make you into a better runner. So 4 years on I knocked off around 32 minutes for a pb of 3.22.42. Pleased with that as I was aiming for below 3.30″……”Thought the weather conditions were perfect for us northern athletes. It was just like a standard day up here!!

13047865_10209459950155108_7361649182228845047_oKaylie Panaro was over the moon with her run setting a new PB by 6 minutes to set a new personal best of 3hr 38.43. Kaylie ran her first ever marathon in 2013 (4hr 07.01). In 2014 she reduced it to 3hr 55.27 and in 2015 she cut another chunk off to set a new PB of 3hr 44.54. Afterwards Kaylie spoke to the Club telling us “I’m over the moon with how today’s race went, after Berlin Marathon in September I didn’t think I’d do another but with a good for age place for London it would be daft not too. Also my fiancé, Robert, got in on the ballot so there was no way I was watching him run if I could be running myself!! After this weeks Manchester marathon debacle my previous PB (3:42) has gone and so that instantly became my target for today’s race. I felt like I might have gone out a little bit too quick and was waiting to fall apart but I managed to hold it together and smash my PB! 3:38! Now which marathon should I do next…”

Not far behind Kaylie came V40 Allan Hartley who finished in a time of 3hr 41.38 and commented “I set off nice and easy and felt ok . I was running around 7 minute pace , i got to half way in 1.34 . And from then on l started to struggle , so i slowed the pace a bit to make it a bit easier , and when i got to 18 mile i was suffering . Ended up with finishing in 3hr 41mins. And well done to all the Blackburn Harriers that ran”.


And another V40 Danny Teare who was running his second marathon and attempting to dip under the 4 hour mark, just missed out as he came home in 4hr 05.40. Looking back over his preparation and how the race went on the day, Danny told us that he “Was relishing having a second go at the VLM and feeling good that my training would reward me with the sub 4hr I was targeting. Everything was set up for me. 6 months training, 4 x 20m runs and the Darwen half under my belt….. but it wasn’t to be and 4.05 was the end result. I have come to terms with it and could point to a couple of factors such as:

A. Not having enough breakfast (NOT like me!)

B. Being bizarrely allocated to the last pen #9 with the 5hr 30m pacer and the fancy dressers!! I had major traffic to halfway and could not hit a steady pace. Next time, I will have to aggressively overstate my target time like most others appear to do!

Anyway, rant over!! It was great to bump into Alan Hartley at the bag drop and talk through a few race pointers. I also managed to see Chris Davies motoring towards me around the 21m mark, just as I had passed 14m! I gave him a shout but he looked ‘in the zone’!! Great support from the BBH and Road Runner travelling crowd. Shell, Jamie and Rory were very vocal at 13m and 22m and very much appreciated. The Sharps were at 14 and 21 – but 21 was a zoned blur and I wasnt paying much attention to anything external! I also shamelessly canvassed some of my homeland Manx crowd support, sporting the 3 legs front and back. It all helped make a fantastic day… and may be tempted when the ballot opens next week!!


Also having a fine run was Joanne Nelson (V40) who will be running for the Harriers in the Northern T & F League this year who set a new PB coming home in 2hr 54.18 and 5th woman in her age group overall.  Joanne commented after the Race I enjoyed London marathon this year. I wasn’t too sure how I was going to get on; as I had missed a few long runs due to slight niggles which resulted in only completing 1 x 20 mile run. Throughout the race it was quite windy with sun, cloud and a tad of sleet to accompany it. My gloves were on, off, on, off throughout. On the run down Birdcage Walk I knew I was close to a pb… so I had to sprint. If you’ve seen me on the track you know that’s not a strong point of mine. End result was a pb by a whole 12 seconds…. Thanks to the coaches for you continuos support, particularly George Woodburn for your guidance, advice and expertise…. couldn’t do it without you”. Joanne also took bragging rights over partner Paul Brindle who finished in a time of 2hr 57.22 which was a new PB for him in only his second ever marathon, the first being 3hr.00.21. Paul had this to say about his run London is an amazing experience and every runner should try this one year. The one big thing I learnt from London and only my second marathon. You can’t wing 26.2 mile, you’ve got to put the miles in, in training. I sadly lacked long runs over 15 mile which resulted in me tiring in the last 5.2 mile. I did find the resolve to keep pushing on and achieve a sub 3hr result which I’m very happy with. Running is a learning curve and I learnt a big lesson this weekend”


London Mini-Marathon

Liz Greenwood, Matt Ramsden and Amy Davies were all selected from the Harriers to run for the North West Region in this years London Mini-Marathon to continue the trend of the Harriers having young athletes selected to run in this event each year.

Liz had a cracking run and was first counter for the North West, reflecting her good form. After the Race, Liz spoke to the Club about her weekend and said I had a great weekend in London representing the north west at the London mini marathon. I was really pleased with how the race went, despite the tough start and was happy to be the first North west counter”.


Matt who has had a really good cross country season was selected to run in his first London Mini-Marathon and said “It was a pleasure to be chosen to represent the north west in the London mini marathon. The atmosphere was amazing and the course was flat so I enjoyed running the race. I am pleased with my time and position as well! It was a good experience to run past such iconic landmarks”


Amy, who like Matt, has had an excellent cross country season was also selected for the North West Team and said this about her experience  It was an honour to be picked for the north west team and a very good weekend but the start was really tight and hard to get a good position in but at the end of the day I got a pb and a good position”.



Tim Raynes won his third Road Race of the year recently at The Lancaster Roses 5k in a time of 15.43, a win which was the result of a last minute decision to have a run. RACE RESULTS. Tim commented “I was already due to be up in Lancaster during the day, and noticed there was a 5k race (on the same flat course as the 5k summer series) on in the evening so decided to have a run. With conditions fairly windy, I was pleased to have a solid run and get the win”.

Meanwhile Joe Monk who has been out of action due to injury is now getting back up to full speed with training and tested himself out at the Stretford Park Run which proved that he is now back to good fitness. He set a new Park Run PB when he finished 6th in 16.31, a race which saw the first three runners all in under 16 minutes. Joe was happy with the run and said he was “Really pleased considering i did a hard session on Thursday. Now I’ve laid down a benchmark, it sets me up well for the rest of the season.” RACE RESULTS


At the Witton Park Run this week there were six Blackburn Harriers in a smallish run of 82 runners. RESULTS HERE  15yr old Joe Gebbie has seen his training paying off with a new PB on this not very easy Witton Park Course, finishing 2nd in 20.03. V50 Andrew Knowles had a run for the first time, placing 11th in 24.26 with V55  Mike Blacklidge one second and one place behind in a time of 24.26 which was a new PB for him. 10yr old Oliver Gill who runs these regularly with his dad Keith came in 21st in 26.14 with V60 George Woodburn (25th) in 26.55, V45 David Billington (26th) in 27.00 and V40 Brian Searby in 42nd place (29.39). Over at the Cuerden Valley Park RunRESULTS HERE – Freya Black (15yr old) placed 75th out of 160 runners in a time of 27.21.