Blackburn Harriers were involved in quite a lot this weekend, covering Road racing over the Marathon and Half Marathon distances, Track & Field in the UKYDL Upper Age Group (U17 & U20’s) and Fell competitions with the first of this years FRA Championships races taking place – resulting in some fine individual and team results.
Ben Fish took on the Wrexham Elite Marathon at the weekend and once again took a top ten finish in a race won by Ireland’s Ballina AC athlete Hugh Armstrong in a time of 2hr 14.02 from Gateshead’s Calum Johnson in 2nd (2hr 17.42) and unattached John Gilbert in 3rd (2hr 20.55). Ben came home in 8th spot after having diffciutlies during the race, clocking 2hr 28.39, after which he told the Club “It was one of those days in the marathon, had stomach issues about 3/4 into the race. Had to dash in a port-a-loo, then had a stitch afterwards and couldn’t get going again. The weather was ok and I quite liked the course, which was exactly 7 laps. My plan was to run each lap in around 20 mins, which seemed to be working. Was having a good battle with Russel Bentley up to that point, who had a fine run with 2:22.“
Wrexham Marathon Photo courtesy of Mick Hall Photos
Still on the Road, Blackburn Harriers V45 Dan Grundy and V50 Craig Greenough ran at the Blackpool Festival Half-Marathon on Sunday April 24th featuring just under 500 runners – the race ebing won by Wharfedale’s Edward Evans in 72.34. Dan came home in 34th spot running 1hr 31.04 followed by Craig in 75th place with his time of 1hr 39.54 in only his second race of this year. (RESULTS).
Back in February – Jack Hindle ran in the Shawbury 10k featuring 275 runners. Jack won the race comfortabley by a minute and a half as he clocked 33.20 in taking 1st place in front of Adrian Puchala in 2nd (34.51) and Telford’s John Mason in 3rd (35.25).
The first Match of this years UKYDL North West Division 1 took place the the iconic Oval Leisure centre in Bebington at the weekend – a Divsion of 8 teams featuring Blackburn Harriers; Blackpool; Leigh; Southport; Stockport; West Cheshire; Wigan and Wirral. The top two at the end of the season get promoted to the North Premier West Division so it was important that the Harriers got off to a good start, which they did taking 2nd place behind the eventual winners Wirral who were on home ground. Conditions were not that good with a wind that caused problems for jumpers, throwers, middle distance and sprints events alike. However it was pleasing to see the number of athletes participating and watching events with sometimes 8 to10 athletes competing against one another.
Once again a huge thankyou to the the Officials for ensuring that the Match took place. There is continual coverage and discussion about the need to recruit more volunteers to embark upon an Officiating pathway and there is little doubt that without an uptick in participation, then the very existence of events can and will be come problematic. Many hands make light work and if those who just simply stand and watch actually start to participate and make a contribution in this area, then it will be come much easier for everyone.
With some of the U17’s moving up in their first year in the new age group as well as some of the U20 athletes, involving new weights and heights, the Harriers performances on the day produced 21 wins, 25 second places and 20 new personal bests which was an encouraging start to the campaign to secure one of the top two spots in the quest for promotion to the Premier Division.
Claudio Enofomi in his first race of the year, having not raced since September 2021 took 2nd spot in the A 100 (12.1) with Stuart Yates in 3rd in the B race (12.2) a new PB by half a second – 1st, 2nd and 3rd in this race all being given the same time. Ben Boocock took a full second off his best in the A 200 to set a new PB of 24.1 (3rd) with team mate Stuart Yates taking 2nd in the B clocking 24.7. Matt Ramsden was doubling up in the 400m and 1500m – setting a new PB over 400m with 54.1 in 2nd and winning the 1500m in a tactical race, clocking 4.03.1 with David Holman winning the B 1500m in 4.11.6. Hayden Mercer doubing up in 400/800m took 2nd in the B 400 (55.4) and then won the B 800m in 2.06.2. David Holman went into his 800m and took the race on right from the very beginning – leading from gun to tape – he set himself a new PB by over 6 seconds – clocking 1.58.3.
George Whittaker took the win in the B 110m Hurdles knocking a full second off his previous best to set a new PB of 17.7 before going on to take 2nd in the A Shot with 9.08m, winning the A Discus with 34.11m and finally placing 2nd in the A Javelin with a new PB distance of 37.32m. Hayden Mercer and Rory Teare were the only two competitors in the Pole Vault which meant maximum points for Hayden clearing 2.90m and Rory equaling his personal best also with 2.90m. The Harriers were 4th and 2nd in the Long Jump as Samuel Mutombo jumped 5.27 in the A (4th) and Rory Teare setting a new PB by over half a metre in the B with his leap of 5.18m before going on to win the A High Jump with a clearance of 1.65m and placing 2nd in the B Javelin with 28.29m as Samuel took 2nd spot in the A Triple Jump with 11.75m. Claudio Enofomi, Stuart Yates, Ben Boocock and Samuel Mutombo combined in the 4 x 100m to take 3rd running 47.2 whilst in the 4 x 400m the team consisting of David Holman, Hayden Mercer, Matt Ramsden and Jack Paget-Fowler finished 2nd in 3.52.5.
Amy Wiggans and Lucy Rishton (U1&0 paired up in the U20 100m with a win for Amy in the A (13.6) and a win for Lucy in the B (14.3). Amy then took on the 200m coming 3rd in the A (27.6) with Niamh Gater (U17) also 3rd in the B (28.8) and her first time over the distance. Leah Hoole and Hollie Cubbon were 4th and 4th respectively in the 400m with times of 67.0 and 72.0 after which Abigail Stratton and Eleesha Charnley took maximum points in the 800m with Abigail clocking 2.31.7 and Eleesha 2.33.0. Abigail doubled with the 1500m and won the A in 4.45.7 and team mate Amy Davies made it a double win by taking the B race in 5.14.3. Poppy Preece had a busy day as she took 3rd spot in the in the 100m Hurdles (18.8), won the B Long Jump with 3.84m, – Amy Wiggans jumping 3.86m in the A (5th). Poppy then placed 3rd in the High Jump with a clearance of 1.45m and equaled her personal best in the Pole Vault with a vault of 2.40m in 2nd place in the A. After all that, both she and Leah Hoole went and ran the 1500m Steeplechase with Poppy placing 3rd in the A (6.42.9) – Leah winning the B as the only competitor in 6.54.0.
Grace Bontoft took on Shot, Discus and Hammer setting a new PB in the Hammer of 39.84m in winning the A, placed 2nd in the A Discus with 17.23 and 2nd again in the Shot Putt with 7.76m. Amy Wiggans supported the team by taking on the B Shot for the first time and winning the B with 5.73m, Hollie Cubbon providing the support in the Discus – also doing the event for the first time – placing 3rd with 11.70m. Kady Thompson took 2nd spot in the A Javelin with a distance of 23.70m in her first competition with the 600g javelin. In the Relays, the U20 Women placed 3rd in the 4 x 100m (55.9) and 3rd in the 4 x 400m (4.25.1).
Thomas Monks and Aidan Downes were the pairing for the 100m and 200m – Thomas coming 3rd (12.1) and Aidan 5th in the B (13.1) in the 100m with respective placings of 3rd and 2nd in the 200m – Thomas setting a new PB in the A with 24.2 and Aidan also setting a new PB of 26.5 (2nd in the B). The 400m saw Thomas Monks and Ben Livesey team up with Thomas clocking 53.4 in the A (3rd) and Ben setting a new PB of 57.8 in 3rd spot in the B.
Ben Stratton smashed his personal best in winning the A 800m clocking a new PB of 2.07.5 which was over 8 seconds better than his previous best with team mate Codie Dewhurst also setting a new PB in winning the B Race in 2.08.4. Dexta Thompson made his intentions perfectly clear from the gun heading straight into the wind and never letting the lead go as he chopped a whopping 26 seconds off his previous best to set a new PB time of 4.18.0 with Codie Dewhurst making it a double new PB for himself as he won the B race in 4.28.8 – an improvement by over four seconds. Jack Paget-Fowler took on the 3000m for the very first time and ran 10.37.9 in 3rd place after jumping 4.47m in the A Long Jump in 6th position and 2nd in the B Shot Putt with 5.80m. Daniel Smith had a very good day as he took on the 400m Hurdles for the first time placing 3rd with 64.0 – and took on the 1500m Steeplechase along with Ben Stratton, both for the first time with Daniel 2nd in the A (5.54.7) and Ben taking the B in 5.54.7.
Daniel Smith then went on to clear 1.70m in the High Jump – a new PB by 10cms in 3rd place with all four competitors all clearing 1.70m. Omar Juma was another athlete making his debut in an event as he jumped 9.85m in 2nd place in the A Triple Jump, followed by placing 3rd in the A Shot Putt (7.79m) and 4th in the A Discus (13.18m) also an event he was doing for the first time. George Williams was making his competitive debut for the Harriers in the Hammer and duly won the U17 A with a throw of 28.26m. Dexta Thompson capped off a good day for himself in taking 4th spot in the A Javelin with 26.80m. In the Relays the U17 Men’s team of Aidan Downes, Omar Juma, Benjamin Livesey and Codie Dewhurst clocked 50.2 in 3rd whilst the 4 x 400m team of Thomas Monks, Daniel Smith, Ben Stratton and Dexta Thompson ran 3.45.9 in 2nd place.
Abbey Riley and Niamh Gater took on the 100m in the U17’s resulting in Abbey placing 2nd in the A (13.3) and Niamh 3rd in the B with 14.2. Abbey doubled up in the 200m with Kara Dacosta – Kara taking 3rd in the A (26.8) and Abbey 2nd in the B with 27.5. Kara then ran a good race in the A 300m pulling through the field just to be edged out at the end into 2nd spot with 41.8. Keira Haxton was doubling up in the 800m & 1500m clocking 2.35.4 (4th) in the A Race backed up by a 2nd in the A 1500 with a time of 5.21.8. Keira Booth stepped into the 1500m Steeplechase to help the team, earning valuable points with a 2nd (6.33.2). Niamh Gater and Lucy Rishton added more points in the Long Jump with Niamh placing 6th in the A with 3.91m and Lucy 4th in the B (3.89m).
The High Jump saw Kara Dacosta finish 3rd in the A with a clearance of 1.50m with Isabelle Hartley also 3rd in the B (1.30m) – Isabelle going on to throw 7.73m for a new PB in the Shot Putt A alongside Charlotte Clapham who took 2nd spot in the B with a throw of 7.30, which was her first time with the U17 weight. Charlotte and Kady Thompson teamed up for the Discus – both throwing new PB’s with Charlotte 3rd in the A (16.62m) and Kady 2nd in the B with 16.18m followed by another new PB for Charlotte, this time in the Hammer with a 2nd place finish in the A throwing 26.31m. In the final Field event, Isabelle Hartley came 5th in the A Javelin (18.13m) alongside Keira Haxton who threw the Javelin for the first time – 4th in the B. The Relays produced a 4th place in the 4 x 100m and 2nd in the 4 x 300m.
First race of this years Junior Fell Racing Championships took place at Black Coombe on April 24th which had three Blackburn Harriers competing in the U17 age category – Jack Lamb, Isabel Holt and Evie Taylor.
Fine performances from all three athletes which saw Jack finish 10th overall in a time of 43.15 – the same time being given to Cumberland’s Mylo Jewell who took 9th. Isabel took 2nd place in the Women’s race as she clocked 43.51 behind Leven Valley’s Jess Bailey (43.33) with Evie taking 5th spot in the Women’s race running 51.20. It was a long and tough course as Isabel commented on after wards saying “A tough course but a lovely place! Happy with my race today and to come 2nd girl” with Evie also commenting “The race was very tough and long but overall i’m really happy with my position and enjoyed the race!“
Photo courtesey of Stephen Wilson (www.grandayoutphotography.co.uk)
Still on the Fells and Blackburn Harriers ‘indestructible’ Helen Leigh was out racing again in the Teenager with Alititude race – run over 25km – as part of the Newlands Valley Fell Race on Saturday April 23rd which was won by Ambleside’s Tom Simpson in 2hr 54.14 with Keswick’s Matthew Atkinson in 2nd (2hr 59.29) and unattached Steve Jaques in 3rd (3hr 03.17). (RESULTS). Helen came home in 39th place running 3hr 39.35 and 3rd Woman overall behind Helm Hill’s Victoria Thompson (3hr 39.18) and Ambleside’s Bryony Halcrow (3hr 31.10). After just missing out on 2nd place Helen told the Harriers “Was nearly 2nd, cat and mouse with a girl from Dale head but I pushed and pushed and she beat me on the run in“.
Matthew Heywood (U20) was in very good form at the Jack Key Memorial Throws Meeting held in Milton Keynes on Saturday April 23rd. (RESULTS). Going into the event with a personal best of 54.57m with the 6kg Hammer, Matthew extended that by three metres to set himself a new PB of 57.58m a performance which took him number 4 in the U20 National Rankings.
Still on Track & Field at the Trafford Bank Holiday Meeting held recently on April 18th, a number of Blackburn Harriers took the opportunity to get some early season competition going for themselves. U15’s George Camara and Matthew Smith took on the 80m Hurdles with George placing 2nd (13.72) in his first race over the distance and Matthew 3rd (13.86). U13 Jack Baranowski was the lone U13 in a 9 strong field of U15’s as he clocked a new PB 2.14.20 in 6th place overall – a performance which takes him to number 2 in the national rankings, just six hundreths behind 1st place.
U13 Theo Robinson was also among the new personal bests as he placed 2nd in his 800m Heat with a new PB time of 2.26.18, bettering his previous best by four seconds. U15 Zoe Green was in a mixed 800m race for her Heat and clocked 2.46.22 in 8th spot. First year U13 Charlotte Smith took on her first attempt at 800m running 2.56.83 again in a mixed Heat in 7th spot. First year U15 Tamzin Osborne was just outside her personal best in running 2.58.01 in 6th position. After running the Hurdles U15 George Camara ran 14.78 in his 100m Heat (7th) whilst Charlotte Smith took on the U13 Girls 75m placing 2nd in 12.04 – equaling her personal best. It was a new PB over 150m for U13 Agatha Taylor as she ran 21.65 in 2nd. Imogen Robinson took 4th spot in her 300m Heat having never run the event previously, crossing the finish line with a time of 48.99. After her 150m race, Agatha Taylor took on the 1200m and made it a second new PB on the day with her time of 3.57.28 in 4th spot. In the Long Jump Matthew Smith and sister Charlotte leapt out to 4.70m (2nd) and 3.07m (9th) respectively. In the High Jump U13 Theo Robinson cleared 1.28m in 2nd in his Pool, U15 Matthew Smith cleared 1.48m (3rd) and U15 Imogen Robinson jumped 1.38m ( 2nd) in her Pool.