A great start to the weekend for the Harriers when Chris Davies, on behalf of the Club’s senior men, stepped up to accept the Shield from Steve Duxbury for winning the Red Rose League for the first time. Added to this, Tim Raynes finished the Series in 3rd place overall for the Senior Men, the Club came 2nd in the Vets Team Series with Chris Davies taking 2nd place overall in the Vets and winning the V40 Category with Andy Buttery taking Bronze in the V45’s. The U11 Girls team took 2nd place in the Series with Caroline Woodworth taking 6th overall. Eleesha Charnley came 4th in the U13 Girls Series and Amy Davies placed 3rd in the U15 Girls Series whilst in the U15 Boys Series Matt Ramsden earned 2nd place.
Congratulations to the twelve Blackburn Harriers who have been selected to compete for Lancashire in the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships being held in Loughborough next Saturday March 11th who are:
U13 Girls Eleesha Charnley & Hollie Cubbon
U13 Boys Harvey Ashworth
U15 Girls Amy Davies
U15 Boys Matt Ramsden & Leon Thomas
U20 Women Maddie Elliott & Natalya Irvine
Senior Men Chris Arthur, Rob Warner, Tim Raynes
Senior Women Victoria Mousley
The 2016 Cross Country season started off in Leigh last October at the Red Rose fixture in lovely sunshine and finished at the weekend, again at Leigh with the Mid Lancs fixture witnessing the sun, but with what might be called a fair amount of water thrown in!!
The best performance of the day for the Harriers came in the U15 Boys Race when they won the Team Race with four runners in the first six places. Matt Ramsden set the tone from the beginning with the other lads following in like manner. Matt won the race in 13.28 with Sam Hodkinson having a flyer in 2nd place (13.51, Leon Thomas in 5th spot (14.06), Bradley Meikleham 6th in 14.08 and Harry Wilkin 24th in a time of 15.56. Amy Davies also had a very good run in the U15 girls placing 4th overall in a time of 11.12.
Caroline Woodworth got the day off to a great start leading the U11 Girls to 3rd placed Team on the day taking an excellent 5th place in a time of 6.11 and supported by Kate Cookson in 18th (6.39), Keira Haxton 20th in 6.42. Just one second separated Hannah Davies (31st) in 6.57 and Eva Knowles (32nd) in a time of 6.58. Next home came Isabelle Hartley in 51st in the 78 strong field (7.23), Olivia Banks (67th) in 7.54 and Alayna Irvine with a sprint finish worthy of a winner in 70th spot (8.15). The Start line had been moved because of the amount of water on the Course which caused some problems to the runners as they all battled to get to the first corner. In the U11 Boys Race, it led to a number of runners falling and a fair amount of bumping, which unfortunately impacted on Harrier Saul Sharp who had to withdraw. Oliver Gill placed 33rd in the field of 62 runners in a time of 6.34.
Eleesha Charnley who is so consistent in her performances finished 8th (8.24) in the U13 Girls Race with Ella Hardman 59th in a time of 11.33. In the U13 Boys it was new member David Holman who was first home for the Harriers in 14th out of the 54 runners in a time of 11.20, with Ethan Barbarewicz 21st in 11.49, George Whittaker 23rd in a time of 11.55 and Rory Teare in 30th place (12.15) which earned the lads 5th Team place on the day.
In the U17’s Hannah Cookson came 4th in 16.46, with Natalya Irvine 5th in 18.17 in a very small field of just six U17 Women. In the U17 Men with a slightly bigger field of 17 runners Nick Smith had a very good run to place 8th in 20.58 – his first Mid Lancs race this season.
Not many Senior athletes out for the Club on the day – due to the number of other Races going on over the weekend – which saw Lindsay Davies finish in her highest position this season in 86th spot with a time of 30.15. Husband Chris Davies had an excellent run having a real battle with Gary Shaw and Ross Campbell, splitting the two of them in the end to finish 6th with 38.16 and taking the 2nd V40 place. John Cookson (149th) in 50.44 and Andrew Knowles (156th) in 51.07, had their own battle during the race which saw Andrew drawing in John on each lap but with John managing to hold him off at the end.
Ron Hill 10k – March 5th
Four hundred and sixty six runners finished the Ron Hill 10k Race which saw the Harriers finish with three runners in the first eleven – Ben Fish, Ben Costello and Sean Procter. This was Ben’s fourth race of the year and his record to-date is three wins and a 2nd place. Today he won comfortably by over two and half minutes in a time of 31.42. Ben Costello had his best run in a 10k setting a new PB of 35.59 to take 4th place overall whilst Sean Proctor finished 11th just seconds away from his PB in a time of 37.54.
Another good turnout in the Junior Race with 64 runners which saw two Blackburn Harriers finish 1st and 2nd in the Race. Both lads Bradley Meikleham and Harry Wilkin ran the Mid Lancs Cross Country fixture at Leigh the day before – Bradley won the race in a rapid time of 5.27 with Harry in 2nd place (5.5o). Saul Sharp came 2nd in the U12’s and 7th overall in 6.29 and sister Lulu finished 29th overall and 4th U10 (8.28).
Trafford 10k – March 5th
This popular and fast 10k Road Race witnessed a sub 29 minute clocking when Chris Thompson won the race in a great time of 28.55, even better when considering the weather on the day.
(L-R Liz Greenwood – Bryan Searby – Joe Monk – Tim Raynes – Tom Blaney)
Some great runs by the Harriers in these conditions. Tim Raynes was just two seconds outside his PB with his gun time of 31.20 (58th) as was Joe Monk in 101st spot (32.17). Tom Blaney (148th) had a great run chopping nearly a minute off his previous time to set a new PB of 33.27 as did Liz Greenwood (250th) who cut over half a minute off her best to set a new PB of 36.38 as well as taking the runner up spot in the Female 15 – 19 Age Group. Bryan Searby ran a solid race and finished 425th in a time of 42.44.
Lostock 6 – February 26th
Two hundred and seventy four runners in this years Lostock 6 won confortably by Michael Cayton in a very good time of 30.37. The Harriers took 4th Team on the day and were led home by Paul Guinan in 10th place with a time of 34.47.
Matt Nuttall was next in (13th) in 35.08 and it was a return to winning ways for V60 John Chaplin who won his age category finishing 26th in a time of 37.34. This was only John’s fourth Race in two years as he has had to overcome injuries and what a way to come back in his first race of 2017. Another athlete – Grace Handley – who has been out for a long time with injuries and illness, also returned to winning ways in her first race of 2017 when she came home in 49th spot (39.18) and was the first U20 Woman in the Race. Michael Douglas came in 87th posting a time of 42.25 and V55 David Morris placed 245th (59.36).
It was a return to the fells for Paul Brindle last weekend as he took on the Midgley Moor Race along with sixty two other runners coming home in 12th place in a time of 49.23.
Then this weekend Paul was out on the Roads in the Lancaster in the 315 Series running the 5k placing 5th in a time of 17.47 and also winning the V45 1st prize.
Joanne Nelson emulated Paul when she ran the 10k placing 4th on a tough course in a good time of 39.04 and also winning the 1st V45 prize. Joanne told the Club after the Race that she was “Fairly pleased with my performance in the last run of the 3-1-5 10k series. I have only run 2 of the series but improved by almost 40 seconds from the first one I ran 4 weeks previously. This time I came in on 39.02. My 10k time has definitely slowed; but this is to be expected when training for a marathon. Overall a great race and finished wishing there was another one next month!!! Paul ran the 5k race and came in 5th place with 17.47… oh how I enjoyed him shouting me on when I had another lap to run. A great set up at Lancaster. Extremely friendly organisers and a great day out”.
Back to the Fells and this time at the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round on Saturday – March 4th – won by Rob Hope in 67.15 – seven senior Harriers ran including Tom Cubbon, John Sutton, Craig Greenough, John Orrell, Ian Clarkson, Richard Taylor, Paul Clarke.
Tom Cubbon headed the Harriers home in 53rd spot running a time of 1hr 27.16 and just a minute further back came John Sutton who finished in 59th place with a time of 1hr 28.17 and was in ‘reflective mood’ when speaking to the Club after the Race saying “Solid mileage and decent track sessions all year, even if a lack of stuff on the fells, but I was quietly confident fitness would see me to a decent run at this one. I was doing fine and feeling good when engines inexplicably failed around the half way mark and I was awful after that. All I can do keep going and try to put it right at the Roddlesworth Roller next week”.
(All photos courtesy of www.woodentops.org)
Following John home came Craig Greenhough having a pretty strong run in 103rd place (1hr 35.36), John Orrell (193rd) posting a time of 1hr 52.35, with Ian Clarkson just behind him in 199th spot 1hr.54.00, Richard Taylor (201st) in 1hr 54.27 and Paul Clarke in his first Fell Race 228th in 2hr 05.08.