What a relief to turn up to a cross country fixture without the rain!! Lancaster provided some blue sky, sunshine and lots and lots of wind which made the racing pretty tough for everyone. The season ended on a high for the Harriers with Series Team Wins in the Senior Men, U17 Men, U17 Women, U15 Boys, and U11 Boys.
The day started with the U11 Races which saw Hannah Davies conclude her cross country season in good form as she took 5th place out of the 56 strong field with a time of 7.56 followed by Emily Smith (9.07) in 30th spot and Charlotte Smith in 41st clocking 9.33. To count in the Individual Series Table, each athlete has to complete a minimum of four races which Hannah did, placing 5th overall in the season.
The U11 Boys clinched a 3rd win in the Series after victories at Ulverston and Hyndburn. Sam Aspey led the Harriers home again to the win in a thrilling finish between himself and Trawden’s Oliver Brown. With some 70 metres to go the two lads were neck and neck, both lads having a real go in a sprint finish which saw Sam take the win in a time of 7.14 with Oliver 2nd in 7.16. Theo Robinson had another good run to place 6th out of a field of 74 with a time of 7.32 followed by the Harriers 3rd counter on the day – Liam Bennison – in 10th spot running 7.44. Harry Smith gave it everything in 26th place (8.10) similarly Charlie Haworth, just one second and two places behind (28th) in a time of 8.11 with Felix Thompson making a very welcome return to cross country running in 51st position running a time of 9.03. In the Individual Series Sam took the title with four wins with Theo just missing out on the Medals in 4th place overall, Liam took 10th, Charlie 18th, Harry 20th, Alexander Brien 24th and George Holman 29th.
Charlie Haworth (677) – Theo Robinson (317) – Sam aspey (684) – Harry Smith (259) – Liam Bennison (674) – Felix Thompson (679)
Just two girls ran in the U13 Race feraturing 48 runners which saw Imogen Robinson come home in 22nd spot in a time of 10.08 followed by Isabella Thompson in 39th spot clocking 11.09. Imogen had a pretty solid season to place 13th overall in the Series with Amelia Burton in equal 14th place, Eve Coulson in 27th and Isabella in 30th.
The U13 Boys came home in 5th place on the day in the team race and were led by Daniel Smith with another good run in 7th position (12.06) the same time being given to Trawden’s Ben Stratton in 6th. Jonathan Brindle was the next home in 15th place (12.28) and backed up by Oliver Gill in 21st (12.49) and Matthew Smith clocking 13.34 in 32nd spot. In the overall Series, Daniel finished in 9th place with Jonathan in 10th, Oliver in 13th and Isaac Smith in 34th.
Also in 5th place in the team race were the U15 Girls with Eva Knowles equaling her highest position in the series overall in 14th place (13.32) and backed up by team mates Keira Haxton in 17th spot (13.35), Kiera Booth in 22nd (13.46) and Kate Cookson clocking 13.47 in 23rd. Keira Haxton was the highest placed athlete in the Individual Series placing 9th with Eva in 12th, Kate in 14th, Kiera Booth (16th) and Molly Nicholls in equal 23rd.
Black Row L-R Kate Cookson – Kiera Booth – Keira Haxton – Eva Knowles — Front Row L-R Oliver Gill – Matthew Smith – Jonathan Brindle – Daniel Smith
Just 5 points separated Blackburn and Kendal in the U15 Boys Race which saw Kendal come out on top with 14 points to the Harriers 19 points. Dexta Thompson and David Holman got stuck in from the start and bagged two top 5 places with Dexta having his best run to-date over cross country in 3rd place (14.21) with David in 5th clocking 14.41. Jack Paget-Fowler had another fine race and came home in 11th spot (15.11), followed by Hayden Mercer in 16th (15.22) and just edging Chorley’s Tom Murphy in a sprint finish. Connor McCauley, having a weekend off from football came home in 33rd (16.33) with Codie Dewhurst in 36th (17.23). David was the leading Harrier in the Individual Series taking 7th position with Jack, Hayden and Sebastian Burton in 9th, 10th and 11th places respectively. Codie placed 21st in the Series with Umair Rafiq placing 26th.
Standing L-R Connor McCauley – Hayden Mercer – Dexta Thompson – Jack Paget-Fowler — Front – L-R Codie Dewhurst – David Holman
Amy Davies had another consistent race in the U17 Women as she came home in 5th position in a time of 17.05 with Eleesha Charnley in 11th (18.41), Rebecca Ramsden (18th) in a time of 19.57 and Ella Hardman in 23rd (22.22). Amy took the Bronze Medal for the Series with Eleesha placing 6th, Rebecca 9th and Ella 13th.
Matt Ramsden won the U17 Men’s Race and the Series Individual Title with another win on the day in 20.40. Sam Hodkinson placed 2nd clocking 21.33 and also 2nd in the Series which gives him the Silver Medal. Harry Wood was the 3rd counter of the day coming home in 8th spot in a time of 24.30.
The Senior Men had already won the Series Team Title and with a number racing in other events over the weekend, there were only three runners out on the day led by V50 Mark Chippendale in 17th spot (36.42) which cemented his position as 2nd V50 for the Series and the Silver Medal. Tom Marchant was next home in 19th place (36.48) with V50 Chris Balderson in 125th spot out of the 217 strong field in a time of 43.02. In the Senior Women’s Race the Harriers had just one runner – Lindsay Davies – finishing in 40th spot running 29.22.
Mark Chippendale (210) battling for 1st and 2nd place with Southport Waterloo’s David Hamilton (2582)
Trafford 10k – Sunday March 1st
This race always produces a quality field and today’s was no exception. Despite the weather and wind there were still some top performances by the athletes as can be seen by the times posted on the day by the Race winner – Cardiff’s James Hunt who clocked 29.44 and the winner of the Women’s Race – Jess Judd (32.16).
Jess Judd was up against a strong field in the Women’s Race with Ellish McColgan on the start line. Jess set her personal best of 32.17 in winning the Ribble Valley 10k in December 2019 and despite the conditions at Trafford she clocked a new PB of 32.16 to take the win from Ellish McColgan in 2nd place (32.25). After the Race, Jess spoke to the Harriers about the day telling us “I’m really happy with it, was on for sub 32 with 1.5miles to go and just lost my momentum into the wind and had to just finish it off at that point! Disappointed not to break 32 but also really happy to get a good run out and being first female is always nice! Looking forward to training next week before flying to New York the week after!“
Annabel Ralph finished 152nd overall and 18th in the Women’s race with her time of 36.27 and she told the Club “My aim was to get a 10k pb, but when I did my warm up I realised it wasn’t going to happen due to the wind. I raced it having no idea of what pace to run at, so ran it with a group of runners who can race at my level. It was windy all the way round, so I knew it was not going to be a pb course today. I am happy with my time as I managed to run under 36.30, I certainly feel that a sub 36 is only around the corner”.
Rob Warner had a nother great run. Coming off the back of his 23rd place at the National Cross Country Championships the previous week, Rob came home in 4th place with a time of 30.25 and was certainly within touching distance of 2nd and 3rd places during the race as he explained afterwards “Pleased with the race today, was a decent field so I’m quite happy to take 4th and was right with 2nd and 3rd until the last 2km when I struggled into the wind. It’s a solid enough time but a bit disappointing that the conditions weren’t ideal, as I felt I was in shape to try and PB, happy to race well though!“
Tim Raynes went into the race in good form and with a personal best of 30.46. His finish in 15th place clocking 31.02 in the adverse weather conditions, demonstrates the kind of form he is in and he told the Club afterwards “I managed to get out well at the start and get myself into a decent group. Working together with Chris Perry and Carl Smith, we reeled in a few runners as the race went on. It was tough conditions with the wind (and surface water), and I faded a little in the last mile into the wind. All in all, happy enough with my run – might have been a PB in better conditions. Well done to all the Harriers for toughing it out and running well. Particular congratulations to Jess for a cracking run to take the women’s win.”
Callum Davidson in only his second 10k race in 2019/2020 and his first road race this year finished in 70th spot in a time of 33.29 and he was followed home by Mark Magee who was making his debut Blackburn Harriers, putting in a very good run to place 83rd in a time of 33.54.
Marc Hartley was the next Harrier to cross the finish line in 91st with a time of 34.07 commenting “Once again Trafford 10k attracted some of the best athletes in the country to the North West, who were greeted with a bitterly cold wind. The Harriers were out in force with a superb victory in the women’s race by Jess. A special mention must go to Tim Raynes as he nearly managed a PB in what were certainly not the easiest of conditions…he surely has to be one of the most consistent performers at the sharp end of the field. As is more often the case now we are widely represented in a lot of the “big” races now and this bodes well for the forthcoming relays. From a personal point of view, I hope to be more on par when that time comes around”.
Ron Hill Accrington 10k – Sunday March 1st
Once again, another good turnout of nearly 400 runners in this popular local 10k Road race and named after one of Britains most famous Marathon Athletes – Ron Hill. Just a couple of Blackburn Harriers in this one with Ben Costello taking 2nd place overall in a time of 34.48 on what is not an easy course with hills and the weekends wind to contend with. Afterwards Ben commented that he “Went into in the race hoping for a good run on the road but knew from the start it wasn’t going to happen with the wind it was just a case of getting round and finishing. Great running from all the Harriers at Trafford we are looking good for the relays”.
U17 Jamie Teare had only ever done two 10k races before this one and had a personal best of 36.33, a time which he smashed on the day to set a new PB of 35.45 and was just reward for the work he has been putting into his training. Jamie spoke to the Harriers after his race commenting “The course was quite hilly which made it difficult especially with how windy it was. But it was a good race and happy to have run a pb”.
Trotters 5 Mile – Sunday March 1st
Close to 250 runners battling the wind on this one which was won by Bury’s Andrew Mellor in 29.53. Victoria Mousley won the Women’s race coming home in 18th place overall and clocking 33.57 to add the V35 first place to her Race win. After the Race, Victoria told us “I remember doing the Trotters 5 when i was 15 and it went from Burnden Park – near my house as a child! Slightly different route this time – not a particularly nice route. I did go past my old school twice and the course was a 2.5 miles lap- road, mud and track. There were fantastic cakes afterwards and the marshalls were wonderful. It felt hard work but then all racing does”.
Also out in the same race was V45 Michelle Teare finishing in 101st place with a time of 42.44 and telling the Club that she was “happy with my time in view of the fact that I’m probably not doing enough weekly mileage at the moment. About half the course was not trail and was more road! The windy conditions weren’t too hampering and definitely felt stronger on the second lap”.
Kong Winter Series – Saturday February 29th
Saturday saw the fifth race in this years Kong Winter Series – Loopy Latrigg – which was won by Matlock’s Dan Hawarth in a time of 30.39, the field numbering 209 runners on the day.
John Orrell was out again in this one as he has targeted the Series coming home in 154th position with a time of 50.32. Matlock’s Billy Cartwright was the overall Series winner whilst John finished in equal 78th position.