Winter Warmer 10k – Sunday February 2nd
Seven hundred and thirty runners completed this race as 17 of them entered from Blackburn Harriers with the first four places being filled by the winner Karl Billington, Jacob Watson, Josh Holgate and Ben Costello and the first five from the Club coming in the top ten with Chris Davies winning the V40 1st prize. Victoria Mousley won the Women’s Race as well as being first V35 with Rachael Gavin taking the 3rd Women’s spot overall, whilst Amy Davies and Eleesha Charnley took 2nd and 3rd Junior Women’s places respectively. The race is one of the tougher 10k races to be found with its start straight up Buncer Lane and it is usually estimated to cost the front end of the race a good minute and maybe more, depending on the weather too. All times for this race need to take that into account when assessing it.
Karl Billington, like a number of other Blackburn Harriers Senior Men, is preparing for the forthcoming Barcelona Half-Marathon and showed here that he is in good form with an emphatic win, clocking 33.7, telling the Club after picking up the Race Winners Prize that it is “Always great to win on home soil, it’s been a while since I last did this race and the course is just as tough. All looking good towards Barca half. Shout out to the rest of the lads who ran well”. Next home came Jacob Watson running 33.59 commenting that it was “A superb team effort and a dominating performance from Karl today. Today was my first time running the Winter Warmer for Blackburn. It was hard not to feel proud given the amount of blue vests finishing near the front! Superb running all“. Josh Holgate made it a 1-2-3 for the Harriers as he placed 3rd in a time of 34.05 followed by Ben Costello in 4th place with his time of 34.42 and Chris Davies made it five Blackburn Harriers home in the first ten places with his 35.10 clocking, a time and position which won him the 1st V40 Prize. Speaking to the Club after the Race, Chris told us “On a personal level I am pleased with my run. I decent solid run considering all the training and racing that I have been doing in the last 2 to 3 months. The Winter Warmer is always a tough course even when you are in good form so can’t grumble. As a team, again another outstanding performance. The stand out performance obviously being the winner, Karl Billington. He is getting better every single week and deserves this win. The rest of the team were outstanding as always and have done the club proud as always that also includes the women as well, some great performances from them as well today. Well done everyone”.
Jacob Watson (715) – Josh Holgate (311)
Calum Holmes, home from College In North Wales for the weekend, was next across the finish line for the Harriers in 11th spot with a time of 36.14 as he finished in between Leigh’s Richard Smith (36.07) in 10th and Salford’s Jon Dance (36.19) in 12th. Matt Nuttall came home in 15th spot in a time of 36.52 followed by Jonny Murphy across the line in 16th position with a time of 37.09, Senior Men’s Team Captain – Paul Guinan in 19th (37.46) and Matt Poole (27th) running 38.38 and a new PB by 5 seconds
Matt Nuttall (496) – Paul Guinan (265)
Victoria Mousley was the next Blackburn Harrier to finish, winning the Women’s Race in a time of 40.51 which was 7 seconds faster than when she ran the same race last year, telling the Club “I was full of a cold so wasn’t expecting much today and after a disappointing time at Garstang 10k the other week my aim was to plod around. I felt probably the best i have in a race – probably because i had convinced myself i was taking it easy. I felt strong all round and was really pleased to finish in pretty much the identical time to last year – so i am not as unfit as I thought! Amazing support on the route – loads of Harriers and bbr’s out shouting. Thanks to you all. And well done team mates too – brilliant runs!” Just behind her came U17 Harry Wilkin and 2nd Junior Man in a time of 41.16 and he was followed home by Rachael Gavin in 68th spot, running a time of 42.06 which earned her 3rd place in the Women’s Race behind team mate Victoria Mousley and Accrington’s Sarah Ridehalgh. Post race, Rachael told to the Club that it was “Such a tough race. Think it has to be the hardest 10k I’ve ever done! Brilliant atmosphere all around the course. Great to see so many familiar faces too. Massive well done to all the Harriers for their efforts today. Awesome!“
Harry Wilkin (730)
The 14th Blackburn Harrier across the finish line in the field of 770 runners was U17 Amy Davies who was running her first ever race over the distance, clocking a good debut time of 45.03 in in 133rd with team mate Eleesha Charnley – also an U17 – making her debut in a 10k race – clocking 47.21 in 178th which made Amy and Eleesha 2nd and 3rd Junior Women respectively. Lindsay Davies finished in 209th place with her time of 48.33 and Paul Wilkinson clocking 56.36 in 418th.
Eleesha Charnley (120)
Lindsay Davies (166)
In the Winter Warmer Junior 2k Run which took place before the main race – a mssive 235 youngsters from 5yrs old through to U15’s ran which included 22 Blackburn Harriers, some 10% of the field and 12 in the first twenty across the finish line.
Daniel Smith was the highest placed in 2nd with a time of 7.21, five seconds behind the winner – Lytham’s Matthew Holton (7.15). Matthew Smith was next home in 3rd (7.39) followed by Codie Dewhurst in 5th (7.50), Theo Robinson 6th (7.51), Ben Livesey 7th (7.56), Leah Hoole 8th (8.04), Molly Nicholls 9th (8.07), Hannah Davies 10th (8.14), Rebecca Ramsden 11th (8.14), Imogen Robinson 14th (8.18), Harry Smith 16th (8.27), Charlie Haworth 19th (8.36), Rheon Beveridge 21st (8.39), Isabella Pacelli 27th (8.51), Eleanor Allsop 28th (8.55), Lulu Sharp 31st (9.03), Ella Hardman 42nd (9.31), Tom Hunt 43rd (9.35), Charlotte Smith 46th (9.45), Isabelle Pawson 54th (10.12), Lily Croasdale 88th (11.26) and Alexa Hunt 93rd (11.39). A big well done to all of them.
Race Prize Presenter – Brian Gogarty (UK Ironman Champion) with Leah Hoole, Daniel Smith and Hannah Davies
Alsager 5 – Sunday February 2nd
Rob Warner and Annabel Ralph were out at this very popular 5 mile race which always produces fast times and one of the reasons that nearly a thousand runners took part on the day. The race was won by Birchfield’s Omar Ahmed in a very speedy time of 23.25 with Leed’s athlete Emile Cairess in 2nd (23.46) and Liverpool’s Jonny Mellor in 3rd (23.55). Rob was making his debut over the distance and had a great run to earn a top ten place in 8th position with a time of 24.18 and speaking to the Harriers fater the race had finished, told us “was really happy with the race, especially after a couple of Cross Country races that I haven’t been happy with recently. It was a strong field to be a part of and I felt I was really able to be in the mix with some top runners for most of the race, I faded slightly in the last mile, probably because of the first mile being a 4:35! But overall very happy with the run”. Annabel finished in 78th place overall (29.04) and 10th in the Women’s race which was her aim, prior to setting off, the Women’s race being won by former Ribble Valley 10k winner – Beth Potter – in a time of 25.35. Annabel was pleased with her run which was a massive new PB by over 2 minutes and told the Club after the Race that “Everyone set off so fast at the start, which made me go off a bit too quick. I am happy with my time, my aim was to finish top 10 which I achieved”.
L- R Frank Baddick (37) – Richard Allen (16) – Tom Lancashire 1016 – Rob Warner (972) – Jonny Mellor (608)
The Northern Athletics U13 / U15 Indoor Track & Field Championships took place on Saturday at Sheffield which saw U15 Thomas Monks take on the 60m and 200m. Thomas has been with the Harriers now less than a year and has made great progress in such a short time, his first race just 7 months ago in July 2019. This was the first time that he had had to face, potentially 5 to 6 races in one single day, depending on how his results went in Heats and semi-finals and is a pretty tough ask anyway and even more so, when it is your first experience.
In the 60m event, Thomas placed 3rd in his Heat to qualify for the semi-final with a time of 8.03 in which he came home in 4th spot clocking 8.05 which meant that he just missed out on a place in the final by 0.05. In the 200m he set a new PB by two tenths of 26.01 to qaulify for the semi-final where he ran a 5th placed time of 26.31 which wasn’t fast enough to get him into the final. Overall he can be very satified with the weekend and a new 200m PB.
Bucs Cross Country Championships – Saturday February 1st
No escaping the mud that has ‘graced’ so many championship cross country races of late at Edinburgh on Saturday, which hosted the 2020 British University Cross Country Championships featuring Long and Short Courses for both Men and Women. For the Men the Long Course was 10k and 8k for the Short Course. The Women raced over 8k for the Long Course and 6k for the Short Course.
One hundred and ninety two contested the Women’s Long Course which saw Northern Cross Country 2020 Champion – Jess Judd representing Loughborough – clocking 28.49 finishing 2nd to St Mary’s Anna Moller (28.03) with Cardiff Met’s Jenny Nesbitt in 3rd place (29.22). Jess led the Loughborough team to victory and the Gold Medal with Abbie Donnelly placing 5th in 29.28 and Sophie Tarver (17th) in a time of 30.47.
L-R Loughborough Women’s Winning Team Sophie Tarver (468) – Jess Judd (458) – Abbie Donnelly (446)
The Women’s Short Course race featured 496 athletes and great to see Freya Black back running after over a year plagued by injuries, (with only six races under her belt including a few track races and one cross country race) in the first half of 2019 and none since. Freya commented that it was a “very tough conditions as it was extremely windy but it was a great race atmosphere“ and came home with a time of 31.02 representing Newcastle University in 360th and hopefully, this will be the start of an injury free period of training and racing for her.
Freya Black (502) Newcastle University
Two Blackburn Harriers contested the Men’s Long Course – in a field of 335 athletes – for their respective Universites – Joe Gebbie for Leeds, and Joe Howe for Manchester, with Nicholas Smith for Durham running the Short Course. The Men’s Race was won by Solent’s Mahamed Mahamed in 32.06, over half a minute in front of second placed Joe Steward (Bangor) in 32.43 and Aston’s Jayme Rossiter in 3rd (32.50). Joe Gebbie placed 166th, clocking a very solid time of 37.59 and told the Harriers after the race had finished that it was “Definitely one of the best cross countries I’ve raced in. Cracking course and unbelievable atmosphere the whole way round. Fast field, but I managed to settle in and work through the rest of the race. Top effort from all of the Leeds team“. Joe Howe, running for Manchester was next home in 261st spot with his time of 41.33 commenting to the Harriers after the race that “it was another tough race but I enjoyed the course and the views of Edinburgh. The plan is to keep up the training and hope that the break through will come soon”.
The Men’s Short Course Race was won by St Mary’s Joe Wigfield in 26.43 with another St Mary’s athlete – Alex Ediker in 2nd (26.48) and Loughborough’s Thomas ptarick in 3rd (26.54). Nicholas Smith had a good run, working his way through the field of 634 athletes to come home in a time of 30.38 in 203rd position, telling us afterwards that it was “A fantastic race with probably the best atmosphere I’ve seen. Planned to start steady and work my way through the field, that worked a treat, especially over the water jumps and ledge-like uphill/downhill sections. Felt I was a little over cautious at the start as I still had a bit left in the tank after the finishing line. Overall a solid race, which shows improvement. Massive well done to all the other Durham and Blackburn Harriers athletes!“
Nicholas Smith (1098) Durham University
The 2020 Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships takes place on Saturday March 7th at Loughborough and the Lancashire Team was announced this weekend by Team Manager Steve Duxbury.
Blackburn Harriers eleven selected for the Teams David Holman (U15B) – Amy Davies (U17W) – Matt Ramsden and Sam Hodkinson (U17M) – Joe Gebbie (U20M) – Ben Fish, Karl Billington, Ben Costello and Tim Raynes (Sen Men) – Annabel Ralph and Victoria Mousley (Sen Women) — as well as 6 selected as Reserves – Imogen Robinson and Freya Neild (U13G) – Isaac Butler (U15B) – Eleesha Charnley (U17W) – Chris Davies and Josh Holgate (Sen Men).
John Orrell has been hammering the Fell races again, this time with 3 races in 8 days starting with last Sunday’s – January 26th – Kendal Winter League Race at Birkrigg Common described by John as a race that “took us over Birkrigg Common three times in a short tough little tester. Great views of The Bay and thankfully it stopped raining just in time. Fast course and very slippy on the final descent”. The race was won by Lancaster & Morecambe athlete Matt Knowles in 20.46 at the head of 170 runners. John clocked 31.43 in 114th place.
John Orrell (591)
One week later – Saturday February 1st – John was out at the Kendal Winter League Race at Stybarrow Dodd featuring 164 finishers which was won by Keswick athlete Mark Lamb in 33.03. Here John placed 114th again with his time of 53.54, run in prettys evere conditions as John told us “Winds of around 40 mph and gusts up to 70 mph on the ridge and windchill of -15 meant the race was shortened to the top of Sticks Pass. Up, 2000ft then back down. Mist and rain thrown in for good measure. Really tough 2 mile ascent and a real battle to stay upright on the return.…..Pretty steep too, but a breathe of fresh Lakeland air with a bit of Kendal Mint cake got me through it”.
Photo courtesy of Stephen Wilson’s Granddayout Photos
Not sure that Fell runners believe in recovery runs as can be seen as John was out on the Fells racing again the day after at Appletreewick! He told us that there was “No time to recover as today was Ted Mason’s Birthday race at Appletreewick. Runners and Riders. 4.7 miles and 800 ft uphill. This time we’d bikes to race too. Still a bit sore in the legs from yesterday’s descent but not a bad run picking up 4 places on the run in”.
Results not available at the moment
John Orrell (264)