This weekend saw the Harriers competing on the Road, in Track & Field both at home and in the US, on the Fells and Tetrathon. Starting off on the road it was Podium 5k time again at Barrowford on Saturday evening which included a number of athletes from Blackburn Harriers in the different Races, there being four races in total. The ‘A’ Race saw 25 out of the 36 athletes all run under 15 minutes with the winner – Phil Sesemann who ran the fastest Long Leg of the day last weekend at the Northern 12 Stage Road Relays, posting a time of 14.09 in front of Mansfield’s Luke Duffy in 2nd (14.23) and Falkirk’s Scott Stirling in 3rd also given the same time of 14.23. Callum Davidson had clocked his road personal best of 14.26 at the Podium in 2021 and set himself a new PB by two seconds last night as he came home in 14.24 – the same time being given to the 4th placed athlete, Salford’s Joseph Moores. Nick McCormick placed 9th in a time of 14.28, 15 seconds faster than when he last ran this race in 2021 with just five seconds separating everyone from 2nd through to 9th. Callum summed up the night in his post race comments to the Harriers when he told us Athletes don’t normally get the opportunity to race alongside their coach but me and coach Nick went stride for stride all the way last night at the @podium 5k. I was pleased enough to finish 5th and run 14:24 in a stacked international field topped by Phil Sesemann . There is a lot of work still to be done and we are a long way off my summer PB shape but for now I’m enjoying the process and can’t wait for the next.”

Podium 5k Results

Photos Courtesy of Dominic Walton

Nick McCormick (6) and Callum Davidson (3)

Jacob Watson ran his best time for 5k – 15.28 – on the road at the Podium in April 2021 and wasn’t far off that when he clocked 15.34 in 5th place in the ‘B’ Race won by East Cheshire’s Joseph Hudak in 15.16. Jacob told the Harriers after finishing the race After some lacklustre training of late it felt good to blow the cobwebs away and run near to my PB. Thankfully there was a good group to run with and the conditions were pretty much perfect. Now to pull my finger out and get back to regular racing!Stephen Walter took a big chunk off his personal best of 16.14 set at the Power of 5k in October 2021 when he came home in 16th position with a new PB time of 15.55, an improvement of 19 seconds and was delighted with his performance commenting afterwards that it was “hard and sub 16 for real…..tried to work into the race and stay with a fast group. Needed a big finish to get the sub 16, but delighted to break it and run a PB in the process. Thanks to all the Harriers for the support on course and Nick for the training!”

Jacob Watson (52)

Stephen Walter (77)

V50 Nick Gaskell had a very good run with a top five position in the ‘C’ Race won by Quennsbury’s Paul Greenwood in 16.06. Nick finished in 4th spot running a time of 16.14. The third new personal best of the evening came for Ellen Sagar-Hesketh in the ‘D’ Race as she knocked a whopping 26 seconds off her previous best to set a new PB time of 19.33 in 13th position overall in the Race. A very happy athlete, Ellen spoke to the Harriers after her race telling us I am so pleased with my run yesterday. My week has consisted of zero running and full of a cold so I was so shocked to have run a big PB well under 20mins! I’m definitely going to be focussing on 5km more this summer and hopefully see big chunks come off my time.

Nick Gaskell

Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (177)

Florida Relays – April 1st and 2nd

Charlotte Williams who is at the University of Georgia was competing at the weekend in the Florida Relays in a Women’s Hammer Competition featuring a massive field of thirty seven Hammer throwers, including Olympians. The event was won by Greece’s Stamatia Scarvelis with a throw of 70.43m. (RESULTS). Charlotte finished in 17th place throwing consistently, starting off with 56.89m in the 1st Round, 57.24m in the 2nd Round, increasing that to a seasons best of 57.88m in her Final Round. After the competition Charlotte spoke to the Harriers about the competition telling us that Although this result doesn’t reflect how I’ve been feeling and executing in training, I am happy for the opportunity of the competition! It was a great competition with Olympians throwing there too, which was amazing to watch. It was a seasons best for me so I am looking forward to Tennessee relays to hopefully get another seasons best there. Little by little!

Charlotte Williams

2022 British Modern Tetrathlon Championships

Ben Makin was competing in the Brirtish Championships over the weekend of April 2nd and 3rd in a field of 13 athletes in which he just missed the Podium by nine points as he placed 4th with a combined total of 1186 points behind Guy Anderson in 3rd (1195), Charlie Brown in 2nd (1209) and the winner, Henry Choong (1219). Going into the Championships, Ben was was expecting a top 5 – finishing in 4th spot and close to 3rd demonstrated his confidence. Speaking to the Harriers after the weekend, Ben told us that “He was very happy with my swim time as it has been something i have picked up a lot more recently.  It was a Senior Championships and up against all of the Great Britain World Cup squad and managed to beat 2/4 of them. Coming up to the European Junior Championships in June, this performance puts Ben in a very good position going to training for those championships with prospects of bringing back a medal.

Ben Makin (Archive Photo)

Trafford Medal Meeting – Saturday April 2nd

Two athletes out from the Club at this Trafford Open Meeting held on Saturday – Oliver Gill and Thomas Monks. Oliver was taking on the 1500m and going into the race with a best of 4.46.3 set at the UKYDL last year. He battered that time at Trafford in winning his race featuring 12 athletes – all U15’s – in a new PB time of 4.32.11 – a massive improvement of 14 seconds and a run which took him to number 5 in the National Rankings at this early stage of the season. Thomas was one of only two U17’s in a mixed aged race over 400m including one U20 and three seniors. Thomas ran well to set a seasons best time of 53.49 in 5th spot and first of the two U17’s – a full second improvement on his first outing over the distance in January Indoors.

Trafford Results

Oliver Gill (357)

Stanley Park was the venue for Blackpools Open Track & Field Meeting on the same weekend as Trafford with Ava Leigh, Zoe Green, Matthew Smith and Charlotte Smith all competing. Field ResultsTrack Results

Ava Leigh was competing in her 2nd competition at the start of this season, her first resulting in a win at the Bury Open Meeting with a then new personal best of 49.15m in the Senior Women’s Hammer. At Blackpool she produced another fine throw to improve her personal best and set a new PB of 51.52m – an improvement of over 2 metres in winning the Senior Women’s Hammer from Charlotte Stuchbury in 2nd place (41.55m). Zoe Green was making her debut for the Harriers in the U15 Girls 300 and 800m races. Clocking 49.3 (6th) in her 300m Race, she was just one tenth outsider her personal best whilst in the 800m she placed 3rd in a time of 2.49.5. U15 Matthew Smith multi-eventer took on the 80m Hurdles, Long Jump and 800m. He set a new PB by two tenths in the 80m Hurdles coming 2nd with 13.5, set a big new PB of 5.25m in the Long Jump – an improvement of 40cms and capped the day off with win in the 800m clocking 2.23.1. Sister Charlotte (U13) made sure that she joined her brother with a new PB in her Long Jump, adding 19cms to her previous best in jumping out to 3.65m in 2nd place before going on to run the 800m for the first time, finishing in 4th position in a time of 2.55.2.

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith (inside lane)

Charlotte Smith

Lancashire Senior & Junior Fell Championships – Saturday April 2nd

Just twenty one athletes  – 15 male and 6 female including Blackburn Harriers Isabel Holt and Evie Wright – lined up for the U17 Fell Championships at Pendle which wasn’t the greatest of turnouts. The overall race was won by Rossendale’s Joseph Ormerod in a time of 20.23. The Women’s race was won by Libby Rickerby in a time of 23.36 and 11th overall in the race followed in just four seconds behind by Isabel in 23.40 which gave her the Silver Medal. Also medaling was Evie who ran 26.36 which gave her the Bronze Medal.

Lancashire Junior Fell Championship Results

Isabel Holt

Evie Taylor

Manchester Marathon – Sunday April 3rd

Jonny Murphy led the Harriers athletes home in this years Manchester Marathon. Jonny was running his second ever Marathon, prebiously having run 2hr 56.50 in the Manchester Marathon in 2019.  He shattered that by a huge amount as he came home in 356th place with a new PB of over 11 minutes with his time of 2hr 45.17 commenting after his race that he “Really couldn’t have hoped for better conditions for running today, this made for some quick times for all harriers and some pbs for good measure, well done everyone!”

Next came V45 Chris Davies in 560th spot with his time of 2hr 50.34 and reflected on his race and the build up when he told the Harriers “Really early start today, too early if I’m honest but always best to make sure you get to these events on time, especially when you have trained hard to run in a Marathon in the first place. Overall a very pleasing result. Last July when I was suffering with a disc/nerve problem in my back, I never thought that I would be running in the Marathon today. I didn’t start training again properly till the back end of November and that was only light to begin with. I promised myself if by January my training wasn’t up to a particular standard that I wouldn’t do it. Luckily my body responded well so I thought why not and give it a go. I ran the Trimpell 20 three weeks ago and hit a good time but I new that I couldn’t run today’s Marathon that fast. I went in with a game plan on how to run todays race. I was slightly quicker after 10 miles than I would have liked to be but not a major catastrophe. When I got to 18 miles it was starting to bite but still felt in good shape but at 22 miles it was starting to hurt. I tried to keep a specific pace but in the last 2 miles I couldn’t pull it off and it was a case of just finish and get over the line. My aim was to look for an overall time between 2:45-2:50. I was never going to PB. I knew were my fitness was right now and it was pointless trying to do something that wasn’t possible. I finished with a time of 2:50:34. I would never have thought I would pull that off late last year so really pleased.  No complaints. Time to rest and then take on the challenge. Thanks for all the kind words on Facebook as well.”

                          Chris was followed home by Matthew Poole who had a great run as he posted a time of 3hr 14.57 a new PB by a massive 31 minutes. Paul Bradshaw running for Leicester Police had misfortune in his race as he ran 3hr 18.51. Going through the half way point in in his goal pace of 88.30, he then suffered a calf in jury which slowed him right down as he limped home to the finish. Charlotte Atkinson was the next Harrier across the finishing line, another athlete setting a new PB for the Marathon as she cut a full 5 minutes off her previous best time to set a new PB of 3hr 34.12. Following the race Charlotte told the Club I really enjoyed the race, I just went out and enjoyed it and wasn’t aiming for a time and ended up with a 5 minute PB so I am really pleased! Looks like a few of the other Harriers ran pbs as well so a great day all round.”

Manchester Marathon Results