What a tremendous performance by the Harriers at the latest fixture of the Red Rose League held at Leverhulme Park in Bolton on Saturday. In a week in which the Club mourned the passing of its President – George Kirby – the athletes dedicated their runs in his memory and the work that he did over nearly seventy years in the world of athletics, and central to that, Blackburn Harriers & AC.
Senior Men’s Team Captain – Paul Guinan – summed it up saying “Another great performance from Blackburn Harriers, a real team spirit has developed with a healthy competitive edge, the results don’t lie. A fitting tribute to the great George Kirby”.
Senior Women’s Team Captain – Joanne Nelson – echosed those sentiments as she told the Club about the Senior Women’s performances and what it meant “Fantastic team effort for the Blackburn Harriers Ladies with our highest amount of runners this season taking part at Bolton. Annabel Ralph was first back in 4th place followed by Victoria in 6th, myself 7th, Katie 8th and Carmen 9th which was fantastic “packing” and made for a really exciting race. Ellen was “lucky for some” in 13th and Carly followed in 17th. Lindsay was next in 41st and Jan was 103rd. The ladies team is going from strength to strength with everyone giving their absolute best. The results were a fitting tribute to George Kirby with first ladie’s team and first ladie’s vets team.
The day couldn’t have turned out better with the Men’s Senior Team winning both the Senior Race and Team alongside the Women’s Senior Team who won the Team and Vet’s Team 1st places. Added to that Joanne Nelson won the Women’s V45’s, Carmen Byrne won the Women’s V40’s, Chris Davies won the Men’s V40’s.
(L-R – Lindsay Davies – Ellen Sagar-Heaketh – Katie Buckingham – Jan Buckingham – Cary Edwards – Joanne Nelson – Carmen Byrne – Annabel Ralph – Victoria Mousley)
It was a great debut for Annabel Ralph having recently joined the Harriers, she led the team home in 4th place overall clocking a time of 21.15. Great packing by the team saw Vicci Mousley run 22.10 in 6th place, Joanne Nelson with a time of 22.06 in 7th, Katie Buckingham (22.22.) in 8th, just one second further back – Carmen Byrne 9th with a time of 22.23 which gave the Harriers 5 places in the top ten.
(Joanne Nelson & Victoria Mousley)
Ellen Sagar-Hesketh was the next home in 13th position (23.00) with Carly Edwards in 17th spot (23.28). Lindsay Davies came home in 41st place running a time of 25.45 and it was good to see Jan Buckingham back out racing as she finished in 103rd place (30.43).
Wearing Black Ribbon in memory of our Club president – George Kirby
(Back Row – Mark Almond – John Chaplin – Chris Davies – Paul Brindle – Jack Hindle – Karl Billington – Tim Raynes – Marc Hartley —- Front Row – Ben Costello – Paul Bradshaw – Calum James – Josh Holgate – Danny Collinge – Allan Hartley)
Tim Raynes is in very good form and showed that by taking his second successive win in the Series in a time of 34.57 after winning at Leigh, some ten seconds in front of 2nd placed Benjamin Coop from Bury. After the Race was over, Tim commented to the Club that “It was great to see so many Harriers out in force again today with great performances across the board. Given all George’s work at Blackburn Harriers over many years, it felt like a fitting tribute to him”. Just like the Senior Women there was great packing from the Men as they secured 8 out of the first 18 places. Jack Hindle was next home behind Tim in 5th spot (35.29) followed by Ben Costello in 7th (35.58), Josh Holgate in 8th place (36.04), Karl Billington in 12th (36.50), Danny Collinge (14th) running a time of 37.35, Marc Hartley in 17th (37.49) and Chris Davies 18th just one second behind in a time of 37.50.
Start of Men’s Race VIDEO
Tim Raynes Jack Hindle Ben Costello
Jack Hindle said it was a “Great performance once again from Blackburn. As Braddy said, it was all about a great showing in memory of George. And it definitely was. Fantastic to see everyone giving 100%, with an awesome team spirit”.
Ben Costello commented “Another great performance from everyone at the club again. Great to see everyone turn out for George. Personally was happy with my run – absolutely fantastic group down at Blackburn“.
Josh Holgate Karl Billington Danny Collinge
Josh Holgate spoke to the Club at the end of day telling us that it was a “Top performance and turn out from all involved today. Personally it turned out to be a good run by myself so very pleased with that! Sadly never had the privilege to meet George but I heard plenty of interesting things about him pre race today, which makes me wish I had the chance. It was clear how well regarded and respected he was amongst all those involved at the club”.
Karl Billington added that it was a “Good overall team performance from the guys and girls. Not one I particularly enjoyed but on to the next one”.
Marc Hartley Chris Davies
Tom Blaney was the next Harrier across the line in 22nd position (38.34) with Calum James making his cross country debut for the Club one place further back in 23rd (38.42). Paul Bradshaw finished in 27th place with a time of 39.07 followed by Paul Brindle in 40th place (40.21), Mark Almond (85th) clocking 44.02, Chris Balderson in 87th with a time of 44.06, Craig Greenough (113th) in 46.16, V60 John Chaplin running 46.28 in 116th place and Allan Hartley (178th) with 53.14.
Tom Blaney Calum James Paul Bradshaw
Calum James said he “Really enjoyed my first Cross Country for Blackburn Harriers, finished top 25 (23rd Place) overall and five minutes quicker than last year time was (38.42) was a tough course but excellent team performance from everyone”.
Paul Bradshaw spoke for all the athletes and the Club when he said that it was a “Top performance by everyone. George Kirby and his legacy was a topic of conversation pre race and I’m sure he would of been looking down watching today’s performance by all the clubs runners with a smile and sense of personal achievement at what he has helped to build and lead over the years”.
Paul Brindle Mark Almond Chris Balderson
John Chaplin told us that it was
“Another great club performance. George would have been proud”.
Craig Greenough John Chaplin Allan Hartley
At the Junior end of the Race the U11 Boys finished 4th out of 14 teams with Matthew Smith, Oliver Gill and Findlay Carroll being the Teams counters. Matthew was the first one across the line for the Club in 6th place overall in a field of ninety two, clocking 6.51. He was followed in by Oliver in 10th place running a time of 6.58 with Findlay in 34th spot (7.30), Archie Bolton in 54th place (8.04), George Holman (62nd) running a time of 8.14 and Isaac Smith in 84th (9.18). In the U11 Girls Race featuring ninety runners, Hannah Davies finished in 16th position running 7.53 – with just seven seconds separating 12th place through to 18th.
(Back Row – Oliver Gill – Matthew Smith – Isaac Smith – Archie Bolton — Front Row – Findlay Carroll – George Holman)
Ten teams and fifty four runners in the U13 Boys race which saw the Harriers place 4th overall. Ben Livesey and Saul Sharp battled it out for the first Harrier to finish which Ben edged it narrowly by one second in 17th place (12.45) and Saul 18th in a time of 12.46. Codie Dewhurst was the next one in (22nd) with a time of 13.04 followed by Daniel Smith in 26th place (13.19).
Keira Haxton had a really good run in the U13 Girls race to finish 12th in a time of 13.10 in the sixty seven strong field – the team finishing 8th out of 11 teams competing on the day. Next home was Kate Cookson in 17th place clocking 13.26 with Caroline Woodworth in 39th (14.23) and Isabelle Hartley in 49th with a time of 14.42. Ethan Barbarewicz finished 12th in the U15 Boys race which had thrity nine runners, posting a time of 16.12.
Sportshall – Sunday 4th November
Last weekend it was the turn of the Harriers youngsters to compete – in the first Sportshall competition of this years 2018 – 2019 season and they did pretty well with Eleesha Charnley winning the Athlete of the Match at the Blackpool competition and Alisha Lehner U11 Girls Athlete of the Match.
Competing for the U11 Girls were — Alesha Hindle, Alisha Lehner, Annabelle Logan, Brooke Szatchowski, Charley Capstick, Charlotte Sousa, Demi Casey, Emelia Stockton, Evie Fort, Hannah Davies, Imogen Robinson, Leah Walker, Lulu Sharp, Poppie Turner….for the U13 Girls were Isabelle Hartley and Uma Mcgoy and U15 Girls — Eleesha Charnley, Holly Sousa and Myah Booth“.
Lindsay Davies – Girls Team Manager commented on the day telling us that it was a “Great day and a lot of our athletes doing it for the 1st time, quite a few tears at the beginning due to nerves but once they all got competing together they all started having fun. New to Sportshall little pocket rocket Demi Casey was very enthusiastic, asking me every two minutes “when am I next on”. So proud of my girls, they really put the effort in. Alisha Lehner was crowned U11 girls athlete of the match with a great performance of two 1st places in her events.
Eleesha Charnley was also crowned athlete of the match in the U15’s. Fantastic U15 Relays team with Eleesha and Myah Booth romping it home, Myah and Eleesha stormed to victory with a huge lead. U13’s Relays saw Lulu Sharp and Alesha Hindle step up from the under 11’s to join Isabelle Hartley and Uma McGoy, they gave it their all against some tough opposition. There were two under 11 teams. The scoring team was Hannah Davies, Brooke Szatchowski, Imogen Robinson and Alisha Lehner. It was a very fast race and they finished in 2nd place. The non scoring team was Leah Walker, Charley Capstick, Demi Casey and Emelia Stockton, all of these were doing this competition for the first time and they all said they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thank you to all my girls.
Simon Pollard – Boys Team Manager – was equally happy with the performance of the lads, outlining how it all went. “Two under 15 boys supported the club last Sunday with Hayden Mercer taking best advantage and being awarded athlete of the match for his efforts. Hayden achieved first place in the 2 lap (not his preferred distance but he fancied giving it a go) with a time of 22.1 seconds. This was followed up with a 6.94m standing triple jump, again achieving first place and a score of 75 in speed bounce, also gaining first place. Kyle Taylor-Pomfret, in his first outing at Sportshall, achieved second place in the 4 lap with a time of 51.2 seconds, 70 in the speed bounce for 4th place and a leap of 5.94m in the standing triple jump at his first attempt at the event. Hayden and Kyle then teamed up to win the 2x lap relay. A great way to round of the day”
In the Under 13 Boys “Harrison Allcock took a Sunday out of his usual Sunday Football Schedule to support the club achieving 79 in speed bounce for second place, a 24.0 second 2 lap for 4th place and a 1.98m standing long jump for 5th place. Harrison then led out the relay team to compete in the 1 lap relay, supported by 3 of our newer under 11s who did themselves credit”.
In the U11 Boys “A number of them were making their debuts for the club at this event, having recently joined the Sportshall team. Team spirit was high, as was the level of effort displayed on the day. Finlay Carroll achieved a time 15.0 seconds in the high stepper and a standing long jump of 1.40m. This was followed by a time of 26.8 secs in the 2 lap and a score of 7 in target throw. Jack Duxbury, making his debut, achieved a score of 30 in speed bounce, a time of 14.5 seconds in the 1 lap, a standing long jump of 1.40m and a distance of 3.50m in the chest push. All of these are PBs for Jack so he has times and targets to aim to beat at the next meeting. Kingston Turner achieved 48 in the speed bounce, a height of 39cm in the vertical jump, a score of 4 in target throw and 13.4 secs in the 1 lap. Mason Bowman started with scoring 45 in speed bounce, a time of 13.0 seconds in the 1 lap ((9th place), followed by a standing long jump of 1.66m and a chest push of 4.25 m. Matthew Smith, coming off a great outdoor season achieved 5th place in speed bounce with a score of 52 (without the distraction of an officials whistle in the one lap his score would have been higher), followed by a standing long jump of 1.82m for 7th place. This he then followed with a 2 lap time of 25.1 seconds and a chest push distance of 6.25m gaining him 2nd place in this event……………………….
(Jean Hoyle officiating at Sportshall)
……………”Rohan McGoay, another sportshall debutant kicked off his season with 31 in speed bounce followed by a height of 24cm in the vertical jump. In the 2 lap Rohan achieved a score of 27.9 second and he rounded off with a 3.0m chest push. Sam Craven achieved 42 in speed bounce and a height of 30cm in the vertical jump, a distance of 4.0m in chest push and a time of 30.2 seconds in the 2-lap. Debutant Tom Hunt completed the high stepper in 17.6 seconds, gained a height of 25cm in the vertical jump, achieved a score of 4 in target throw and completed the 2 lap in 30.5 seconds. Tom now has markers to beat in the forthcoming meets in December and January”………………“The Under 11s relay team, consisting of Finlay Carroll, Kingston Turner, Matthew Smith and Mason Bowman competed strongly and special mentions should be made of Jack Duxbury, Sam Craven and Rohan McGoay who all stepped up to support Harrison Allcock in the under 13s relay. High levels of commitment, behaviour and team spirit made a great day of action with more to come in future sportshall meets”.
Short Circuit Ultra – November 2nd
This is a 33 mile long race organised by Pink Panther Ultra Marathon Events who specilaise in these types of Endurance running races.
Basic Route Details: Starting in Otley the route goes straight up the steps to Surprise View at the top of the Chevin it then heads over to Bramhope then Cookridge. Then around the runway of Leeds Bradford Airport (outside the fence!) Over to Yeadon Tarn then Guiseley Woods, up to Hawksworth, then Menston up onto the moors towards Ilkley and the famous Cow and Calf Rocks, down through Ben Rhydding and up to Timble then across to Norwood along the beautiful Lindley Wood Reservoir through Leathley to the finish at Pool-in-Wharfedale.
Gary Pearse and Jonathan Bridge have embarked on a new stage of their endurance careers, taking on this 33 mile race. The Race featured ninety two finishers, with the winning time for Alastair Murray 4hrs 45.42. Gary and Jonathan – both V50’s – did really well at their first attempt finishing in joint 20th place with times of 6hr 01.19 – only the first five runners actually broke 5 hours.
After the Race Gary told the Club that “Had the idea that getting ever slower may as well try the challenge of going further so an ultramarathon at relatively short notice was entered and coerced Jonathan in joining me post his Amsterdam Marathon. The unaptly named Short Circuit around the hills/tracks/roads/fields/moors surrounding Otley and Ilkley. 33miles/53km with over 4000 feet of climb, completed in a time of 6.01 as we finished together joint 20th. The bonus of a couple of vet prizes made for a memorable day. Never eaten or drunk so much in a race in what was an exceptionally well organised event. Next up the the Tour of Pendle if legs allow!”
Trossachs Night Trail Series 2018/19
Each race will follow forest trails and fire roads in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, courses will be marked with reflective tape and head torches are mandatory. In the event of bad weather the race may be cancelled or the route changed.
Helen Leigh is back – who would have doubted it, and what a race to come back in as she told the Club “Did a race George!! Hips held together (kind of) and smashed the race. Was 2nd lady and only by a few secs, 30th overall so nice to have a blast out and felt pretty strong considering”.
Finally Paul Wilkinson and David Morris had a run out in the Through The Villages Race recenlty with Paul placing 212th out of 360 finishers in a time of 75.00 and David 333rd in 92.31.