A warm, sunny but windy day was the setting at Graves Park yesterday – Saturday October 22nd – where this years Northern Cross Country Relays took place. This is a great event and a good way to get ready for the English Cross Country Relay Championships being held in Mansfield on Saturday November 5th.

The U15 Boys did themselves proud when they won the Silver Medal – Salford winning the Gold. (RESULTS). Oliver Gill had a great run on the first leg winning it in a time of 7.01 for the 2.3k course which was the second fastest leg of the day. Handing over to Sam Aspey on leg 2 who finished in 2nd spot (7.20) and just 2 seconds behind the leader with the 3rd fastest leg. Matthew Smith took over on the final leg with 2 athletes breathing down his neck from Trafford and York, but Matthew ran well to hold them off and came home in 2nd spot with a time of 7.25.

L-R Matthew Smith – Sam Aspey – Oliver Gill

Oliver Gill

Sam Aspey  (B127)

Matthew Smith

The Harriers U17 Women’s team just missed out on the medals as they came 4th behind Rotherham in 1st, Trafford in 2nd and City oif York (3rd) — (RESULTS). Great battle on the first leg as Isabel Holt and Stockport’s Freya Murdoch fought it out for the most part of the race with Freya Murdoch pushing on a touch at the end to win with Isabel in 2nd (8.12) and recording the 2nd fastest leg of the day. Evie Taylor took over and ran 8.59 to keep us in 2nd place with Keira Haxton taking on the final leg where she ran a time of 9.15 to bring the team home in 4th position.

Isabel Holt (A224)

Evie Taylor

Keira Haxton

Two teams in the U17 Mens relays finishing in 7th and 12th places — (RESULTS). Daniel Smith ran Leg 1 for the A Team (7.40) coming in 9th from which Jack Lamb took over and pulled another place back with his run of 8.00. Dexta Thompson ran the fastest leg for the team (7.30) and managed to pull another place back to finish finally in 7th. Codie Dewhurst went on the first leg for the B team running 8.05 – coming back in 14th place. Umair Rafiq held that with his 8.27 before handing over to Jack Paget-Fowler who ran the fastest time for the team (8.03) and pulled back a couple of places which meant they placed 12th overall.

Daniel Smith (A201)

Jack Lamb (B201)

Dexta Thompson

Codie Dewhurst (A201)

Umair Rafiq (B202)

Jack Paget-Fowler (202)

Final race of the day was the Senior Men’s which consisted of 4 Legs of 2 miles each. U20 David Holman, V50 Nick Gaskell and seniors Callum Davidson and Daniel Bebbington went in that order on the four Legs. (RESULTS). David ran leg 1 in 10.55 handing over to Nick on leg 2 in 19th who clocked a time of 11.45 changing over in 20th spot. Callum had a fine run on the third leg to pull back 11 places in the 2nd fastest time of the leg (10.25) and he passed on to Daniel on the final leg who ran the fastest time of the leg (10.01) and the 2nd fastest leg of the day to bring the team up to 5th place overall.

David Holman (A5)

Nick Gakell (B5)

Callum Davidson (C5)

Daniel Bebbington

Blackburn Harriers Josh Birmingham, Rob Warner-Judd, Jess Warner-Judd and Maddie Elliott all took on the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k on Sunday October 23rd – (RESULTS) – the race being won by Andrew Milligan in 29.12 with Thomas Lefroy in 2nd (29.24) and Lewis Jagger in 3rd (29.27) with the first 14 athletes all finishing in sub 30 minutes. Josh went into the race looking to set himself a new PB and that is exactly what he did, knocking 10 seconds off his time clocking 31.02  in 42nd spot  and little doubt that he will be going sub 30 minutes before too long. Next across the line in 54th position was Rob Warner-Judd running 31.37 in only his 2nd 10k this year and he was followed by Jess Warner-Judd who won the Women’s Race in a time of 32.18 placing 87th overall, commenting after the race to the Harriers that she was “Happy with my first 10k of the year! Just tired from training and got held up at the start pretty bad but slowly getting close to where I’d like to be!”.  Rob also spoke to the Club about the race saying that it was Very nasty conditions today, very wet all the way through! Quite pleased with my run, 2nd week back of training properly and felt it wasn’t a bad run, especially in the conditions! Made for an interesting start too as both Jess and I were quite a few rows backs and couldn’t really get into our running for the first 1km!. Maddie Elliott in running 37.58 in 367th place knocked close to 3 minutes off her previous best time to come across the line in a new PB time of 37.58. Post race, maddie spoke to the Club telling us that she was So happy with today’s race! Been doing a lot more training recently and it has definitely paid off – finally a pb after about 4/5 years!! Well done to all other Harriers this weekend!!

Josh Birmingham (311)

The annual and popular Green Drive Five race also incorporates the Lancashire County 5 Mile road Championships taking place this year place on Sunday October 23rd. (RESULTS). Luke Minns won the race in 25.32 with Ben Makin being our first Blackburn Harrier across the line in 2nd spot running 26.17 – the first time he has ever run the distance. V45 Chris Davies was the next one home for the Club placing 13th in a time of 28.34 and 2nd V45. It was Eleesha Charnley’s birthday and she gave herself a great present by finishing 2nd Woman in a time of 29.40 (18th). Great to see Peter Banks out racing again as he clocked 31.20 in 37th spot followed by V55 David Almond in 38th with a time of 31.23 and 2nd V55. Junior athlete Amy Davies was another athlete who had never run the distance previously as she came home in 39th place with a time of 31.30. Final athlete home for the Club was V50 Lindsay Davies running 36.49 in 107th position and 2nd V50. Eleesha, Amy and Lindsay combined to win the Women’s Team race and the Lancashire team title too.

L-R Amy Davies – Lindsay Davies – Eleesha Charnley

The week before the Leeds Abbey Dash, Maddie Elliott had a cracking return to racing over cross country finishing 17th out of a field of 326 at the first fixture in this years Gwent Cross Country League running 24.14 – the race won by Ellie Wallace (21.07) with Lauren Cooper (22.36) in 2nd and Rosie Hamilton James in 3rd (22.55). After, Maddie spoke to the Club telling us that she was Really happy with my race this weekend at the Gwent League/cardiff cross – finally starting to feel like I’m running again properly for the first time in quite a few years!! Really looking forward to getting the Blackburn vest back on to race this weekend at the Leeds Abbey Dash!“.

Maddie Elliott in her Cardiff University Vest