Huge congratulations to all Blackburn Harriers who competed for the Club at the weekend in the Northern League in what can only be described as very oppressive weather conditions. Just watching was enough to drain you in the heat, let alone competing. Missing quite a number of athletes, the fixture was always going to prove to be a tricky one and so it proved as the team triumphed by just eleven points from Holmfirth in 2nd and Bolton in 3rd position at the end of the day.

It was a day not for personal bests, but as the saying goes – points make prizes – and that is what the team set out to do, accumulate points wherever it could. In this regard John Cookson, one of the teams Javelin throwers set the tone for the day by agreeing to do the 3000m steeplechase to fill in for one of our regular Chasers who had been taken ill. Great attitude and spirit on display as was the case right throughout the team as they realised 16 wins, 17 second and 20 third places and half a dozen new personal bests throughout the day.


After the first three fixtures the Divsion standings are:

(1) Blackburn Harriers            18.0 League Points           1253.5 Match Points

(2) Holmfirth                           14.0                                   11189.0

(3) Bolton                               12.0                                   1066.0

(4) Spenborough                   10.0                                    981.5

(5) Bury                                  6.0                                      956.5

(6) East Cheshire                  3.0                                     846.0


Anna Peers was in great form again winning the ‘A’ Discus (35.63m) & ‘A’ Javelin (34.89m) adding 3rd spot in the Hammer ‘A’ (24.83m) plus 2nd in the ‘A’ Shot with 9.89m. She was supported in the ‘B’ events by Teigan Fawcett who took 2nd spot in the Discus with 20.81m, Millie Coy who won the Javelin with a throw of 27.47m and Emily Taberner 2nd in the Shot Putt with 8.25m. Similarly in the Men’s events Anthony Kent took two wins in the ‘A’ Hammer with a new PB of 39.57m nearly four metres than his previous best plus a win in the ‘A’ Shot Putt with a distance of 10.84m: then won the ‘B’ Discus with 32.07m before setting his second new PB of the day Javelin where he placed 4th in the ‘A’ with a throw of 35.03 which bettered his previous best of 34.27m. Nathan Billington had a good day with the Hammer too winning the ‘B’ with a throw of 37.03m just a metre down on his best as did Tony Balko placing 3rd in the ‘A’ Discus with 32.54m and 2nd in the ‘B’ Shot Putt with 9.66m – all of which made a great contribution of points to the overall total.


Bailey Madden and Emily Warren shared the 100 & 200m responsibilities with Bailey placing 2nd in the ‘A’ 100m in 12.7 and Emily 3rd in the ‘B’ with 13.7. It was 3rd place for both girls in the 200m as Bailey ran 26.7 in the ‘A’ and Emily 27.9 in the ‘B’ – this was Emily’s first competition of the year after battling back from injury. In the Men’s Sprints Brandon Zinyemba took on the ‘A’ 100 & 200m finishing 3rd in the 100m (11.3) and 3rd again in the 200m with a time of 22.8. Dominic Bretherton ran the ‘B’ races coming home 2nd in the 100m in a time of 11.6 and running 23.4 in the 200m for 3rd spot.

Some great running int he Relays by the teams with the Women – (Emily Warren, Chloe Bleeks, Bailey Madden, Teigan Fawcett) – finishing 2nd in the 4 x 100m in 52.2 being pipped by 0.5 sec and winning the 4 x 400m – (Charlie Coy, Katie Buckingham, Ellen Sagar-Hesketh, Maddie Elliott) – winning in a time of 4.14.5.

The Men’s 4 x 100m team – (Chris Brand, Dominic Bretherton, Nicholas Massey, Brandon Zinyemba) – came 3rd in 46.0, just a tenth away from 2nd place as Brandon finished the last leg with an hamstring injury. In the 4 x 400m – (Sam Hodkinson, Solomon Brown, Marc Hartley, James Marchant) – finished 5th in 3.43.8.


The Women’s 400m saw Charlie Coy place 4th in the ‘A in 62.2 and Hannah Cookson 5th in the ‘B’ (66.8) with Hannah doubling up in the 800m finishing 3rd in the ‘B’ in a time of 2.33.5 as Maddie Elliott came in 2nd in the ‘A’ 800m clocking 2.22.3. In the 1500m Maddie Elliott and Ellen Sagar-Hesketh both ran really well judged races to take victory in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ races in 5.00.4 and 5.19.5 respectively. Katie Buckingham ran a really gutsy race in the 3000m as she led for virtually the whole race with the Holmfirth athlete tied to her like glue in 2nd spot – the Holmfirth athlete accelerating on the last lap to take the win with Katie in 2nd (11.07.7).

In the Men’s 400m – James Marchant took the ‘A’ race on from the front and led until the last ten metres before being pipped in by the Bolton athlete, James clocking 50.9 with Sam Hodkinson clocking 55.6 in the ‘B’ for 5th spot. James then ran the ‘A’ 800m and finished 2nd in that race with 1.58.5 and again being pipped in the last ten metres of the race – Tim Raynes doubled up in the 800 and 1500m and set a new PB in the ‘B’ 800m of 2.02.5 (2nd) – two tenths beter than his previous best and in that heat, no mean achievement. In the ‘A’ 1500m Tim gave it everything from the word go leading for three laps before finishing 4th in 4.06.1 – just half a second outside his best and he was backed up by another good run by Marc Hartley taking 2nd in the ‘B’ race clocking 4.18.0. The 5000m – which had a water station on, demonstrating how hot it was – saw Jack Hindle run the perfect race tucking in behind the Spenbourough and Bury athletes for virtually the whole race and then went for it on the last lap to win the ‘A’ race in 16.06.6 whilst in the ‘B’ Karl Billington ran a really brave race to finish 3rd in the ‘B’ in a time of 16.35. Chris Davies took on the ‘A’ 3000m Steeplechase and missed winning by a tenth of a second as he worked through the field on each lap to finish 2nd in 10.37.0 along with John Cookson taking 5th spot in the ‘B’ with a time of 13.38.8 – all of those athletes – men and women – competing in the endurance events should salute themselves for the efforts put in given the heat of the day, which can only be described as stifling.


Mixed results in the Hurdles with Millie Coy running close to PB form with 70.4 for 3rd place in the ‘A’ 400m Hurdles and Liberty Thompson 82.2 in the ‘B’ for 4th place and uttering those immortal words as she came off the track, ‘that was horrible – i would rather do a 1500m than do that again’!!!! The Men’s 400m Hurdles saw maximum points for the Harriers as Solomon Brown won the ‘A’ in 60.4 and Nicholas Smith the ‘B’ in 62.8 with Nicholas going on to place 4th in the 110m Hurdles (20.6). Chloe Bleeks and Liberty Thompson took on the Women’s 100m Hurdles – Chloe placing 4th in the ‘A’ with 18.9 and Liberty 3rd in the ‘B’ in 20.4.


Jonathan Gough had a good day winning the ‘B’ Long Jump with a new PB of 5.67m and finishing 3rd in the ‘A’ Triple Jump with 12.25m, just cms short of his personal best. Having lost one of the Long Jump and High Jump athletes at the very last minute on the morning of the fixture Brandon Zinyemba and Nicholas Smith were asked to fill in and put in great performances. Brandon came in 3rd in the ‘A’ Long Jump with a leap of 5.83m and that with only two jumps as he had to go and prerpare for his 100m race. Nicholas has only ever done Triple Jump once before in competition and he finished up winning the ‘B’ with a distance of 10.99 and a new PB. Nicholas then went on to place 2nd in the ‘A’ High Jump clearing a new PB height of 1.70m with Nick Massey clearing 1.45m in the ‘B’ in 3rd position.

Chloe Bleeks and Bailey Madden contested the Long Jump which saw Chloe place 3rd in the ‘A with a leap of 4.54m and Bailey 2nd in the ‘B’ (4.34m). In the Triple Jump Ellen Sagar-Hesketh added a 3rd place in the ‘A’ to the total of points with a jump of 9.94m as Chloe Bleeks won the ‘B’ clearing 9.67m. The High Jump saw Liberty Thompson clear 1.45m for 3rd in the ‘A’ and Teigan Fawcett 1.40m in the ‘B’ for 2nd place.

Hendon Brooks ‘Half-Marathon’ – Sunday July 8th

This Race has a hell of a reputation. First of all it is 13.5 miles long; secondly it is a brute of a race with hills and thirdly, you really don’t want to be running this in temperatures that would normally put a bull elephant down!

But race they did – all one hundred and eighty six of them – the race being won by David Rigby in 81.36.


Ben Costello had a cracker of a race in tne conditions, crossing the finish line in 3rd position with a time of 86.30 and though ‘he couldn’t feel his legs’ on Monday, he did speak to the Harriers about his race commenting I’ve heard about Hendon brook being one of the toughest road races in the country so I decided to give it a go.the race got quite spread out at the start so I knew I would be on my own for most of it was just a case of keeping my head and running it like a hard training run.the first real test came at around 5 mile where I was really struggling on one climb at this point I was in 3rd which a runner came past me and created quite a gap over a short was hard to get a rytham going as they was a hill around every corner.towards the end of the race around 11 miles I found something in me to claw it back from 5th place to finish 3rd.given the conditions and my legs not used to racing that distance I was very pleased with my run.but won’t be tackling another half marathon for a while”.

Also having a great run on the day was Joanne Nelson who placed 24th overall in a time of 1hr 42.33 to give her the prize for 1st Woman and 1st Vet Woman. Afterwards Joanne told the Club This is the 3rd time I have run Hendon Brook and definitely the hottest. I decided to run it as I haven’t run over 8 miles recently so thought I might as well throw in a couple of hills as well. I’m pleased to have been first female back, and picked up garden table and chairs as my prize, (well Paul picked them up because i was far too tired after running 13.5 miles and 2000ft of climbing.) It was a really nice day, well organised with lots and lots of drink stations and people cheering on (funny how they always tend to support on a climb). Glad to have made the distance, not my best time, but happy with the conditions”.

Lostock Hall 5k – July 7th

In the same sweltering conditions – Tom Blaney – jpined one hundred and fifty other runners at this local race and ran a very solid time of 16.49 to take 2nd place in the race.