The Loughborough Grand Prix was held on Saturday evening July 24th, an evening in which, many people came to pay their respects to the late George Gandy. George’s achievements are recognised here by Norman Poole – Norman Poole’s Tribute to George Gandy
Five Blackburn Harriers featured on the night with Dominic Walton in the 800m, Rob Warner in the Mile and Tim Raynes, Callum Davidson and Mark Magee, all taking on the 5000m.
Dominic went into this race against the background of over two years of restricted training and injury. Throughout this season, he has got better and this race on the night saw him duck below 1.49 for the first time with his 3rd placed clocking of 1.48.95 – a new PB. The race kicked off at a frantic pace, with some of the athletes paying the price in the final part of the race, whereas Dominc had gauged the race – and the pace well – coming with a big kick at the end to move up to 3rd behind Spencer Thomas (2nd) in 1.48.09 and James McMurray (1st) in 1.47.83. Dominic shared his reflections about the race with the Club saying “I lost a lot of confidence lately but I do think 1:47 is possible now, we’re just running out of opportunities for a good race that I can actually go so we will see, but I think with a solid winter, some good s&c and some cross training, there’s no reason why I can’t surprise myself next year.”
Rob ran in the Mile Race – a Race held in tribute to George Gandy and featuring all the athletes racing in Loughborough Vests. Rob had run a 4.12 mile on the Road in the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile in New York in September 2019. The Race was marked with a fabulous sub 4 minute mile (3.58.62) by Patrick Dever – Rob placed 7th overall in a time of 4.12.76 and spoke to the Harriers after the race telling us that he “would have liked inside 4:10 but felt quite flat in the first 800 but closed well so I’m happy enough! A privilege to be a part of the race for George and an unreal run from Paddy!“
Tim ran in the B 5000m Race sporting a previous best of 14.41.83, the race featuring seventeen athletes and nearly everyone of them with a faster personal best than Tim as they lined up. Tim ran a great race and worked so hard in the final laps to come through to 5th spot at the finish with a massive new PB by 21 seconds (14.20.44) and it was a happy athlete who spoke to the Club after “Going into the race, I knew I was in good shape and that (if I could race well) the time would come. Felt comfortable early on, and stuck with the pace the best I could as it picked up in the last few laps. Absolutely buzzing to end up with a 21 second PB. Thanks so much to Nick, who has really brought me on a lot over the last few months. Well done to the other lads too … some great runs across the board, particularly good to see Dom dip under 1:49 for the first time.” Listen to Tim’s post race interview with BRDC – Tim’s Interview
Callum took on the A Race after posting a big new personal best at Sportcity back on May 29th of 14.09.81. A real tough race with the first three home all running times under 14 minutes, the winner – Hugo Milner – clocking 13.44.46. Callum crossed the line in 10th place running a time of 14.20.57, telling us after his race had finished that he “had struggled tonight but my second fastest time ever so I can’t grumble. Running 14:09 was a dream come true and this performance solidifies that“.
Callum Davidson (207)
Mark was in the C Race won by City of York athlete Joseph O’Brien (14.29.95). Mark had run 15.22.09 in the Northern Championhsips at Leigh in the middle of June and his 15.27.93 represented a a very solid run from him in a season in which he has set new personal bests at 3000m, 5000m, 5k and 10k.Speaking to the Harriers Mark said he “enjoyed my first experience of the BMC at Loughborough 5000m and can’t wait to compete at that level properly next year. It wasn’t my best race but it was more about the experience for me. Tim Raynes made up for it with absolute stunner of a race. I couldn’t be happier for him and nobody deserved that performance more. Another cracking run from Cal aswell proving he belongs in the A races at BMC. More to come from both of them.“
UKYDL – Upper Age Group – Sunday July 25th
Match number 3 in this year’s Upper Age Group Division produced another win to maintain the Harriers undefeated run this year in all Track & Field Leagues. Match 1 was a reduced Timetable of events which the Harriers won by 72 Match Points; Match 2 returned to the full Timetable of events resulting in a win for the Club by 159 Match points and this Match had the Harriers winning by 214 Match Points with one Match to go at Carlisle, home of Border Harriers, on September 4th. Unfortunately this year, a number of events don’t have too many athletes in them and in some events, no athletes at all, perhaps in some part to do with the fact that there are no promotion and rleagtion issues at stake, but that doesn’t mean to say that good performances aren’t delivered.
U20 Men & Women
The U20 Men’s pairing of Fawwaz Mustapha and Kyle Mashiter produced maximum points in the 100m and 200m – Fawwaz winning the A in both with respective times of 11.3 and 23.3, backed up by Kyle winning the two B races in 11.8 and 23.7.
The 400m had just three athletes with Ben Makin and Jamie Teare taking the wins – Ben in 52.9 (A Race) and Jamie 60.4 in the B. Ben Makin and Matt Ramsden faced the same problem in the 800m with just three athletes resulting in wins for Ben (A Race) in 2.07.4 and Matt the B (2.10.2). Just two athletes in total in the 1500m where Matt Ramsden finished 1st in a very comfortable time of 4.38.9 – Matt then ran solo in the 3000m (9.12.1) with no athletes from other Clubs entered. The 2000m S/C had Ben Makin and Jamie Teare as the only two athletes clocking 8.11.8 and 8.13.0 respectively.
Better representation in the Women’s events which saw Millie Coy winning the U20 Women’s 100m in 13.3 after a real battle with Blackpool’s Leah Howard (2nd) in 13.4 and Lancaster’s Temi Mustapha (3rd) in 13.4. Millie was joined by Aysha Karolia in the 200m – Millie taking 2nd in the A (27.1) and Aysha 3rd in the B with a time of 28.4, a new PB by nearly a second.
The 400m had just three athletes producing a 2nd in the A by Eleesha Charnley (66.6) and 1st for Eva Knowles in the B (71.0). In the 800m it was just two athletes again – Leah Hoole and Hollie Cubbon with respective times of 2.30.3 and 2.43.3. Eleesha Charnley was the only athlete in the 3000m (11.57.8). Two athletes in the 400m Hurdles which was won by Aysha Karolia in 71.9 – a new PB by close to two seconds. Eleesha Charnley and Leah Hoole, again were the only two runners in the 1500m S/C posting respective times of 7.08.1 and 7.08.2.
In the Field events, Fawwaz Mustapha won the Long Jump with a leap of 6.06m and the Triple Jump with 12.87m. The Shot Putt saw Matthew Heywood and Kyle Mashiter team up with Matthew 3rd in the A (8.12m) and Kyle winning the B with a distance of 8.05m – a new PB by one cm. Matthew Heywood went on to take 2nd spot in the Discus with 21.63m after having set himself a new PB in the Hammer with a throw of 51.74m – an improvement of 70cms.
The Women’s Field Events had Millie Coy jumping 4.61m for 4th place in the Long Jump followed by Eleesha Charnley jumping 8.14 in the Triple Jump for 3rd place. Poppy Mae-Preece equaled her Pole Vault personal best of 2.30m, missing 2.40m by a whisker to win the Pole Vault and then equaled her High Jump personal best of 1.50m and again, missing by the smallest of margins. Millie rounded off a good day when she won the Javelin with a throw of 35.14m.
The Relays for U20’s produced a win in the 4 x 100m in a time of 47.5 (Kyle Mashiter; Fawwaz Mustapha; Claudio Enofomi; Jack Paget-Fowler). The 4 x 400m had juust one team from Blackburn in it (Matt Ramsden; Ben Makin; Jamie Teare; Kyle Mashiter) running a time of 3.49.6. Two second places for the U20 Women’s Relay teams – 4 x 100m (Abbey Riley; Poppy Mae-Preece; Eleesha Charnley; Kiera Booth) in 55.2 and in the 4 x 400m, a time of 4.23.3 (Isabel Holt; Kate Cookson; Aysha Karolia; Abigail Stratton).
U17 Men & Women
The 100m produced two wins for the Harriers – Thomas Monks taking the A in a new PB time of 11.9, with Blackpool’s Henry Manson given the same time and Samuel Mutombo winning the B in 12.2 and also a new PB. Stuart Yates took on the A 200m clocking 24.3 in 2nd in the A – a new PB by half a second whilst Samuel took the B Race in a time of 25.4 and another new PB by half a second. The 400m saw Thomas Monks just outside his personal best as he won the A Race in 53.7. That was followed by Hayden Mercer winning the A 800m in a comfortable 2.22.6 and Jack Paget-Fowler placing 2nd in the 1500m with a time of 5.00.6 – Jack then ran solo in the 1500m S/C (6.01.6) to earn maximum points.
Abbey Riley teamed up with Emily Guilfoyle making her debut for the Club in the 100m – Abbey winning the A race in 13.00 and Emily making 2nd spot in the B (15.5). Abbey then went on to chop four tenths off her 200m personal best as she won the A in a new PB time of 27.4. Kate Cookson ran 46.2 in the 300m in 2nd place before going onto share the 800m race with Kiera Booth – Kate running 2.37.4 in 2nd in the A and Kiera 2.45.2 in the B (2nd). The 1500m was another solo run with just the one athlete – Abigail Stratton – who ran a comfortable 5.04.5 and similarly in the 3000m where Isabel Holt ran solo (10.42.1). Eva Knowles and Kiera Booth were the sole athletes in the 1500m S/C running 7.24.2 and 7.25.1 respectively.
The Long Jump saw Abbey Riley jump 4.35m in 2nd spot as Eva Knowles set a new PB in the High Jump of 1.40m. Grace Bontoft and Kate Cookson paired up in the Shot Putt with both setting new PB’s – Grace placing 3rd in the A (7.85m) and Kate winning the B (7.32m). Grace then placed 2nd in the A Discus with 16.64m and before that had won the Hammer with a throw of 43.24m.
Samuel Mutombo and Hayden Mercer both jumped over 5m in the Long Jump – Samuel taking 2nd in the A (5.51m), a new PB by three quarters of a metre whilst Hayden also placed 2nd in the B with 5.06m – also a new PB by 36cms. Rory Teare was delighted with his new PB of 1.78m in the High Jump as he won the A. Hayden Mercer and Rory Teare teamed up in the Pole Vault – Hayden placing 2nd in the A with a clearance of 2.90m and Rory adding 60cms to his previous best in winning the B (2.90m) for a new PB to add to his High Jump PB. Making his debut for the Club was Cobi Read in Shot and Discus and did well, coming 3rd in the A Discus with 23.53m and 2nd in the A Shot with a distance of 9.83m. Sebastian Burton threw a big new PB in the Hammer, adding nearly 5m to his previous best, setting a new PB of 29.42 in finishing 2nd in the A Hammer. Rory Teare finished off the field events with his throw of 20.96m in 3rd spot in the A Javelin.
In the Relays the 4 x 100m Men’s team came 2nd in 48.0 (Samuel Mutombo; Stuart Yates; Thomas Monks; Rory Teare) and won the 4 x 400m in 3.57.6 (Thomas Monks; Stuart Yates; Sebastian Burton; Hayden Mercer). Just one team in the 4 x 300m Women’s Relay which saw Blackburn Harriers get the points (4.23.3).
Veterans AC 5000m Open Track Champs race at Wimbledon Park
Blackburn Harrier Ian Barnett entered the Veterans AC 5000m Open Track Champs race at Wimbledon Park recently, an event which was hosted by Hercules Wimbledon AC and attracted vets from some of the leading London and Surrey clubs. Ian told us that there had been “some excellent running and competition was had by all in 4 seeded races although there were quite a few DNS probably as a result of the ridiculous temperatures of circa 28C – there was only one competitor who collapsed but fortunately he was subsequently ok apart from a shiner of a left eye!”……………….“Fortunately by the time my race started at 6.40pm there was the start of some shade from the main stand and the trees lining the track. I followed the pace early on but couldn’t live with the leading V60s and ended up 5th in my race in 20:18.63. I shall be hoping to get below 20 mins next time out hopefully with more conducive conditions.”
Race the Train – Bury to Rawtenstall – July 25th
Blackburn Harrier Paul Jeffries took part in the “race the train“, from Bury train station to Rawtenstall via some well beaten paths mainly in wooded areas and alongside the river Irwell in places. Paul enjoyed the return to racing – finishing 89th in a time of 1hr 24.24 – and commenting that “all went well apart from a few falls, I arrived before the train, so very happy with that run, just so nice to be back running again after so long As I am sure it will be for all of us”.