Cross Challenge & Mid Lancs Cross Country at Sefton Park
Sefton Park is always a great day out for cross country. It gives local Club runners the opportunity to run in the same races as national and international standard athletes whilst at the same time still being able to contest their local leagues as individuals and teams. Ben Connor, winner of the 2017 National and Inter-Counties titles came out the winner again in the Senior Men’s Race with Emelia Gorecka taking the Senior Women’s victory from Jess Judd in 2nd place.
The Harriers had sixty athletes competing on the day with five in the U11 Girls; thirteen in the U11 Boys; six in the U13 Girls; seven in the U13 Boys; five in the U15 Girls; eight in the U15 Boys, two in the U17 Women; ten in the Senior Men and four in the Senior Women.
Highlights of the day were two top ten finishes for Isaac Butler in the U13 Boys race who finished 9th – (11.05) – in the Cross Challenge field and 2nd in the Mid Lancs League – followed by another top ten finish in the U15 Boys which saw Matt Ramsden take 10th spot – (10.09) – in the Cross Challenge and 1st in the Mid Lancs League.
The U11 Girls came home in 9th spot in the Mid Lancs Team competition featuring Hannah Davies 18th in a time of 9.07, Charlotte Sousa (25th) in 9.27, Isabelle Hartley (38th) in 9.58, Tippi Francis (51st) in 10.29 and Lulu Sharp in a time of 11.06 placed 59th.
The U11 Boys had a great turn out of thirteen runners and finishing 5th team out of 15 competing in the Mid Lancs. First in with a brilliant run was Sam Aspey who only became 9yrs old four days before the race and came in 13th out of a field of 88 in a time of 7.52. Sam had great support from Daniel Smith (16th) in 7.55 and Harry Sambrook in 22nd place (8.08). Next home was Oliver Gill (29th) in a time of 8.15 with Matthew Smith in 33rd spot (8.19), Findlay Lewis in 39th (8.28) and William Grundy (42nd) clocking a time of 8.31. Charlie Haworth was the youngest member of the U11 Boys squad turning 8yrs in August this year and came in 49th overall in a time of 8.48 followed in by Felix Thompson also only 8yrs in 57th place (9.00), Findlay Carrol (71st) running a time of 9.28, Harrison Waite also 8yrs old in 77th (9.57), Alexander Brien just one place further back in 78th (9.57) and Daniel Bretherton in 85th with a time of 10.29.
Ninety two athletes in the U13 Girls Race which saw our U13 Girls finish 4th Mid Lancs Team, led home by Hollie Cubbon in 18th spot (13.07), and supported by Leah Hoole in 20th (13.14), Caroline Woodworth (29th) posting a time of 13.33, Keira Haxton in 13.56 (46th) and Holly Sousa (83rd) in 16.23.
The Harriers U13 Boys finished 3rd Team out of the ten Mid Lancs Teams competing. Isaac Butler had his best run of the season so far finishing 2nd in the Mid Lancs Race and 9th overall in the combined Race with a time of 11.05. David Holman was next in for the Club in a time of 12.00min (11th), followed home by Joseph Joyce also having a good run in 15th spot (12.19), Kyle Taylor-Pomfret (20th) in 12.27, Rory Teare (27th) posting a time of 12.45, Codie Dewhurst in 49th position (13.37) and Sebastian Burton in 60th place (14.10).
It was nip and tuck between Amy Davies back racing after a lay off and Eleesha Charnley with Amy placing 10th in the sixty two strong field in a time of 12.46 and Eleesha 11th in 12.48. Hollie Oldham was the next Harrier home in 47th spot (14.32) followed in by Rebecca Ramsden in 48th place (14.38) and Alex Taylor (51st) running a time of 14.57.
Another excellent day for Matt Ramsden in the U15 Boys race as he won the Mid Lancs comfortably by twelve seconds (10.09) and came 10th overall in the Cross Challenge. Next in came Sam Hodkinson in 5th place (10.28) backed up by Jamie Teare who had a great finish to take 15th place (11.05) just in front of Leon Thomas in 17th with a time of 11.08. Findlay Sullivan had a pretty solid run in 34th spot (11.59) with Harry Wilkin in 40th (12.15), Ethan Barbarewicz (47th) in a time of 12.39 and Luke Ingleson 48th clocking 12.41. The Team finished 2nd overall in the Mid Lancs Team competition.
Just three athletes out in the U17’s which saw Maddie Elliott take 8th spot in the Mid Lancs (18.10), Freya Black 24th (21.33) and Joe Gebbie in the U17 Men’s Race (19th) in 21.35.
Rob Warner and Tim Raynes entered the Cross Challenge which saw Rob finish 82nd overall in a time of 33.27 and Tim 106th in 34.12. The combined Race featured 525 finishers with Rob and Tim being backed up by Shaun Livesey in 164th place (36.44), Chris Davies (177th) in a time of 37.40, Mark Chippendale who said “he enjoyed the day” which included some fearful sleet during the Race in 198th (38.32), Paul Brindle (214th) in a time of 39.15, Nick Smith in his first Senior Race (233rd) clocking a time of 39.54 and 9th U20, Craig Greenough (386th) in 46.24, Allan Hartley (48.21) in 429th place and Danny Teare (431st) with a time of 48.26. With Shaun Livesey, Chris Davies, Mark Chippendale and Paul Brindle counting for the Harriers the Team won the Vets on the day.
Thirty seven Teams contesting the Women’s Mid Lancs Race with the Harriers coming home 4th Team overall and emulating the Senior Men by winning the vets Team as well. The Harriers were led home by Joanne Nelson in 12th place (33.42) and 1st V45, supported by Victoria Mousley in 18th (34.31) and 3rd V35, Carmen Byrne in 24th with a time of 35.01 and Lindsay Davies (80th) in 41.43.
Darwen Staff Memorial Fell Race – Sunday November 26th
Unusually for the Harriers there was just one runner in the Race this year which is not surprising after the draining mudfest at Liverpool the day before. Ian Clarkson ran the Race which is just over 4 miles and 305metres of climb. The race was won by Peter Coates in a time of 30.46 with Ian finishing 46th in a time of 39.19. After the Race Ian spoke to the Club about the day saying that the “conditions not great but the terrain wet and muddy suited me down to ground. My best result on this little classic, a pb 39.19 min, beating last years time of 41.29 min. Well happy with a big smile, especially when it was the last race of the Club Championship and a Club Champ’s that had a good mix of different races on all terrain, of which some of them took me out of my comfort zone, and I can honestly say ‘ I enjoyed all the ones that I did’”.
Saul competes in the British Modern Biathlon Championships
U13 Saul Sharp qualified for the British Modern Biathlon Championships which were held in Birmingham at the weekend and dad Michael Sharp who is an endurance coach at Blackburn traveled with Saul to support him during the event. Afterwards Michael commented on the day and how it went saying that it was a “Good experience for Saul today, some top athletes at top end today. His run didn’t quite go to plan, 4 secs slower from the qualifier. He has to learn to deal with this disappointment and have a better attitude when it happens. He rallied around and had a cracking swim, 7th quickest. He finished 16th overall, we targeted top 10, it would have been achieved with the same run as last time, but its all good going forward. Things to ponder things to work on. Well done Saul, proud”
On the Fells again with John
Two more Races for John Orrell recently with the first one billed as Harriers v Cyclists in Bingley on Saturday. Video of a ‘Runners – v- Bikes’ from 1925.
John told the Club about the event and how it went commenting “This year I’ve raced runners and rowers, so it was time to take on the riders too in this fairly unique race. It was tough but a lot of fun too. Avoiding being swiped in the face by someone’s back wheel as they carried their bikes up Shipley Glen was a challenge in itself. I like the stats. Number 56, taking 56 minutes and finishing in 156. Next year I’ll be back with the bike!”
The week after – November 25th – John was out again on Kirby Moor running a Fell Race – organised by Black Combe Runners and described as ‘Kirkby Moor is a fast local race over rolling moorland: a mixture of heather, sheep tracks and sometimes the access tracks for the windmills. It’s not that high or steep, so a good race for beginners and road runners, but some parts are still quite hard going and navigation on the moor can be very interesting in the November fog. The weather can be wintry too which makes full waterproof body cover a necessity’.– which was seven miles long including 1600ft of climbing and afterwards John told the Club that he finished in 49th spot in a time of 1hr 16.59 describing the course as “Kirkby Moor near Ulverston – 7 miles, 1600 ft across moor, bog and bracken with a bit of snow, sleet, hail and sun”.