Mid Lancs Cross Country League – Towneley Park Saturday January 11th

Another pretty good day for the Club on saturday at Towneley Park which was the fourth in this years Mid Lancs Cross Country League after Ulverston, Hydnburn and Liverpool — with team wins in the Senior Mens, Senior Womens, U17 Men, 1st V45 Woman, 1st V40 Man, 1st V50 Man, 3rd in the U11 Boys, 4th in both U13 Girls and U13 Boys, 4th in U15 Boys, 3rd in the U15 Girls and 2nd in the U17 Women.


Some photos courtesy of David belshaw

The Senior Men had another very good day and have put themselves in a position to win the Team Title after securing the Red Rose League Team Title in November 2019. The Harriers won the 1st fixture at Ulverston, missed the 2nd Mid Lancs fixture at Hyndburn as it clashed with the Red Rose League. At fixture 3 (Sefton Park) they finished 2nd behind Liverpool Harriers and added a 1st place today as all the teams counters – six in total – came home in the first 17 places.

One of the runs of the day came from Ben Costello who finished in 2nd place, just 4 seconds behind the winner after working his way through the field and finishing with a great sprint to pull away from a group of three others., clocking 33.11 in 2nd. Callum Davidson was a most welcome debutant for the Harriers as he came home in 7th place with a time of 34.07 to stay in front of Karl Billington (8th) in 34.14, the two of them stuck like glue to one another throughout most of the race. Chris Davies is another Harrier in very good form, placing 10th in 34.40 and winning once again, the V40 age category. Just a few places back and the next Harrier home was Tom Marchant having a good run in 16th place (35.40) followed by Jacob ‘not sure about mud’ Watson, proving what a good runner he is in these conditions crossing the line in 17th spot clocking 35.46.

Ben Costello (744)

Callum Davidson (37)

Karl Billington (746)

Chris Davies (761)

Tom Marchant (733)

Jacob Watson (758)

Marc Hartley finished next in 21st place with a time of 36.23 with Mark Chippendale in 27th (37.26) and once again the winner of the V50 age category. Jonny Murphy had another run which shows his continuing improvement, coming home 33rd out of the 275 strong field and in a time of 37.45, followed in by V50 Chris Balderson in 135th position running 42.24 and Allan Hartley in 256th (53.04).

Marc Hartley (755)

Mark Chippendale (210)

Jonny Murphy (752)

Chris Balderson (54)

Allan Hartley (764)

L-R Nikki Hartley – Michelle Teare – Lindsay Davies – Katie Buckingham – Joanne Nelson – Ellen Sagar-Hesketh

The Senior Women took the team 1st place on the day, making it a double victory for the men’s and women’s teams and for the Senior Women, the win is added to their 2nd places at the first and 3rd fixtures which also puts them in with the prospect of a Series win. Joanne Nelson’s last race was some three months ago, back in October 2019, but it looked as though she had never been away as she led the team home in 9th position with a time of 22.51, which also won her the 1st V45 on the day too, making it three Veteran 1st places on the day by the Harriers. In second place for the Harriers was Ellen Sagar-Hesketh with another solid run in 15th clocking 23.23 with Katie Buckingham, who apart from three overseas park runs and a run at Lancashire Championships, has not run a race in anger for a year, so her 23.53 time in 20th place, making her our third counter, shows how much we have missed her – also she makes great flapjacks for race days!!

Jonanne Nelson (667)

Ellen Sagar-Hesketh (649)

Katie Buckingham (38)

Lindsay Davies was next home for the Club in 50th place in a time of 25.31 and followed in by the Michelle ‘absolutely focused’ Teare in 99th spot (28.24) and Nikki ‘closed eyes’ Hartley in 137th with a time of 30.56.

Lindsay Davies (666)

Michelle Teare (665)

Nikki Hartley (670)

L-R Sam Hodkinson – Jamie Teare – Matt Ramsden – Harry Wilkin

The Harriers U17 Men made it three team wins in a row – winning at Hyndburn and Liverpool and taking the team 1st place again at Burnley with all three counters home in the first eight positions. Matt Ramsden and Kendal’s Fraser Sproul had a great battle the whole way round the course and with something like 400m to go, it was anyone’s race. Sproul (18.16) put in a burst in the run in that made sure he edged Matt out into 2nd spot (18.17). Sam Hodkinson was next home for the Club taking 3rd place overall with his time of 18.41 with Jamie Teare in 8th place clocking 20.05 and Harry Wilkin finishing in 18th (23.11).

Matt Ramsden (724)

Sam Hodkinson (728)

Jamie Teare (727)

Harry Wilkin (725)

Our U17 Women had previously won the team first place at the Hyndburn fixture and added a 2nd place here behind Kendal-Helm Composite with Amy Davies coming home with a good run in 3rd place (15.32) and backed up by Eleesha Charnley in 7th spot clocking 16.27 and Rebecca Ramsden in 12th place running a time of 18.00 and Ellie Hardman with a time of 20.26 in 16th position.

Amy Davies (643)

Eleesha Charnley (642)

Rebecca Ramsden (640)

Ellie Hardman (641)

U15 Boys and U17 Women’s Race Video

Thirty six lads in the U15 Boys Race which saw the Harriers finish 4th team – just 3 points separating Clayton, Sedbergh and Blackburn for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th places. Jack Paget-Fowler was the leading Harrier home as he placed 14th overall with his time of 14.39 – backed up by Hayden Mercer in 16th with a time of 14.54, Sebastian Burton in 19th running 15.07 after flying off at the start of the race and leading up the hill, Umair Rafiq clocking 15.30 in 24th and Codie Dewhurst in 28th position (16.14).

Jack Paget-Fowler (712)

Hayden Mercer (716)

Sebastian Burton (713)

Umair Rafiq (709)

Codie Dewhurst (704)

The Club’s U15 Girls had five of the squad out, placing third team behind Clayton and Trawden. Kate Cookson looked in good form as she took a top ten position (8th) with a time of 11.56. Then came good packing from the girls as Keira Haxton came home in 13th place in 12.10, Eva Knowles one place behind in 14th (12.12), Leah Hoole in 16th spot with a time of 12.21 and Molly Nicholls in 18th clocking 12.25.

Daniel Smith had his best race to-date in the Series as led the U13 Boys home to 2nd place (24 points) behind Trawden (13 points) in the team race. with his 6th placed finish in a time of 11.07. Jonathan Brindle and Oliver Gill were separated by just one place and one second as they clocked 11.37 (11th) and 11.38 (12th) respectively. Findlay Carroll came home in 38th spot running 12.58 followed in by Rheon Beveridge in his first race for the Club (44th) in a time of 13.18 and Isaac Smith in 55th with a time of 17.21. The 2nd place today for the lads is added to their previous 4th, 2nd and 4th team places in the first three fixtures.

U13 Boys and U15 Girls Race Video

Daniel Smith (702)

Jonathan Brindle (699) & Oliver Gill (697)

Findlay Carroll (693)

Rheon Beveridge (25)

Isaac Smith

L-R Amelia Burton – Imogen Robinson – Freya Neild – Isabela Thompson – Eve Coulson

It was 4th place for the U13 Girls which had a great debut for the Harriers by Freya Neild who came home first for the Club in 13th place clocking 11.08 and backed up by solid runs from Amelia Burton in 15th (11.11) and Imogen Robinson in 18th (11.12) as the three counters for the team. Isabela Thompson took 35th spot out of the 49 girls competing with a time of 12.21 with Eve Coulson who got bumped a few time sin the race in 44th place with a time of 12.50.

U13 Girls Race Video

Freya Neild (181)

Amelia Burton (626)

Imogen Robinson (617)

Isabela Thompson (257)

Eve Coulson (619)

The U11 Boys are going well in this years League – winning at Ulverston and Hyndburn, placing 2nd at Liverpool and 3rd today at Burnley which definitely keeps them in the hunt for the Series Title. 89 runners in total in this race with Theo Robinson having a very good race to place 6th overall in a time of 7.13 with Liam Bennison in 17th clocking 7.31 and Charlie Haworth in 23rd with his time of 7.44. Harry Smith was in a group of around 7 young lads all busting a gut to get a higher position and finished in 31st (7.56) followed home by Alexander Brien in 43rd (8.11), George Holman (47th) with a time of 8.17, Jack Carrington finishing 52nd in 8.25, Charlie Hartley (82nd) in 9.32 and Isaac Houston (88th) with a time of 11.22.

U11 Boys Race Video

Theo Robinson (676)

Liam Bennison (674)

Charlie Haworth (677)

Hary Smith (259) & Alexnader Brien (685)

George Holman (675)

Jack Carrington (895)

Charlie Hartley (17)

Isaac Houston (8)

Hannah Davies continued her good form in the U11 Girls race placing 4th overall in the 64 strong field with a time of 7.39, just a week after winning a Bronze individual medal at the County Championships. Isabelle Pawson and Leah Walker from the Harriers Sportshall group came home in 57th and 64th respectively with times of 9.40 and 10.54.

U11 Girls Race Video

Hannah Davies (613)

Isabelle Pawson (171)

Leah Walker (169)

In other Cross Country Races, Joe Howe was out representing University of Manchester at Tatton Park in the Manchester Area Cross Country League. Joe ran in the Senior Men’s race which featured close to 500 runners and placed 111th, clocking 37.50 – the race being won by Stockport’s Jack Morris, with Michael Cayton of Horwich in 2nd and Salford’s Carl Hardman in 3rd. Post Race, Joe commented to the Club that hedidn’t have the best race yesterday – been struggling recently but wanted to get down and make up the numbers for the team. Looking forward to some of the upcoming championship races and hoping to run better in those”.

Stirling Cross Challenge – Saturday 11th January

Rob Warner had originally been selected by Northern Athletics as part of their Team to contest the Stirling Cross Challenge. Great to see too, that the North and Midlands sent teams to contest at this event alongside the Home Countries and long may it continue. Many congratulations to Rob who at the last minute, got a call up for England, winning his first international vest finishing 4th counter in 31st place overall with Englands three counters being Adam Hickey (3rd), Ellis Cross (14th) and Tom Mortimer (27th). Finishing just eight seconds behind the three counters, Rob told the Harriers that he was Unbelievably happy to get my first England vest, was very unexpected! The race itself was okay but I found the conditions really tough and struggled to get much of a rhythm, was an okay run but maybe put a bit too much pressure on myself with running for England but hopefully will learn for next time!



KWL Scout Scar – Sunday January 5th

Close to 300 runners braved the weather in this one, won comfortably by Lancasters Junior athlete – Matt Knowles – in a time of 27.23, some three quarters of a minute in front of Helm Hill’s Mark Addison (28.13)

John Orrell ran for the Harriers and crossed the finishing line in 170th spot with a time of 43.15. Afterwards John spoke about the race to the Club saying “A murky, cold, wet and windy start to this year’s Kendal Winter League and my first go at this series. I must be getting old as I felt the cold and unusually wrestled with 2 waterproof tops during the run. Just couldn’t get going at the start as my kit choice was messing with my head. Silly really as I was only doing 4.8 miles. When I did get going it was soon all over and found myself in 170th place after 43 minutes. Giggleswick next and this time I WILL BE ON IT!”


Back out the following week – Sunday January 12th – John was running the Giggleswick School Race, this time along with 186 other runners. Matt Knowles was the winner again, as he had been the week before at Scout Scar, taking the win in 22.37, a minute and a half in front of Black Combe’s Josh Hartley (24.07). John ran 35.46 in 116th spot telling us after that it was A race described as low fell and cross country. A fast and flat course, so I’m puzzled how they missed the flumping steep hill after the stream crossing and we did that twice! A tough test of fitness, slight improvement on performance from Scout Scar. Still a way to go yet”.


John Orrell (591) —- Photo courtesey of Stephen Fish

The Garstang 10k saw well over 400 runners in the race which had Blackburn Harriers Victoria Mousley competing and finishing 3rd woman behind Carla Davies (36.46.49) and April Caufield (40.06.04) clocking a time of 41.15.95 in 43rd place overall.


On the same day, Callum Townesend, running only his second ever race for the Harriers came 2nd in the Tatton 10k with a time of 35.07 which was a new PB by eighteeen seconds after his 35.25 run at the Blackburn 10k prior to Christmas.


Blackburn Harriers On Tour again, this time with Keith Gill in the US, as he tackled the Disney Marathon, in unbelievably the wrong weather for running a marathon but still clocked a time of 4hr 05.48 in his debut over the distance. Describing the race experience afterwards, Keith said he wasReally pleased with my Disney Marathon run. It was the hottest ever conditions for this event in 30 years with temperatures of 85 degrees and 71% humidity. Careful hydration and a steady pace as Coach Woodburn instructed worked really well and I ended up with a time I’m proud of. Had a fantastic few days in Orlando including Clermont Parkrun on Saturday”.