Blackburn Harriers were covering all the disciplines this weekend with athletes at the final fixture of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League at Towneley Hall, athletes selected to run for Lancashire at the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Loughborough, athletes at the Indoor Series at Sportcity, athletes out on the roads in 10k’s, half-marathons & trail, at Open Meetings for Hammer and on the Fells.
The sixth and final fixture of the 2021-2022 Mid Lancs Cross Country League took place on Saturday at Towneley Hall on a clear but windy day making it hard running on certain parts of the course. Fields for the U13’s and above were down as it clashed with this years Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships being held in Loughborough.
Provisional results for the season show that the Club had a pretty good year. In the Individual Titles – taking first three places into account – Agatha Taylor won the U13 Girls; Sam Aspey won the U13 Boys; Abigail Stratton won the U17 Women’s alongside Isabel Holt in 2nd; David Holman won the U17 Men’s alongside Hayden Mercer in 2nd and Dexta Thompson in 3rd. In the Team Titles – our U13 Girls took 2nd; U13 Boys were first; U15 Boys were 3rd; U17 Women were first; U17 Men were first and our Senior Women 3rd.
Three U11 Boys lined up among sixty one others on the line – Ansh Nama, Anay Nama and Pearce Wilson. Ansh finished in 26th spot in a time of 7.42. His bother Anay came home in 53rd running 8.33 with Pearce in 55th place running 8.38. Well done to Charlotte Rothwell, our only U11 Girl running on the day as she finished in 43rd place (9.40) in the first race of the day with a smile on her face, having enjoyed the run.
The U13 Boys (22 points) were pipped to the Team win on the day by Rossendale (18) but that didn’t stop Liam Benninson taking the win with a very good run in a time of 11.00 from Chorley’s Alexander Glenn in 2nd (11.05). Team mates Loucas Lancashire (11th in 11.53) and George Camara (12th in 12.10) cemented the teams over all place in 2nd. Tamzin Osborne had another solid run in the U13 Girls race featuring twenty two runners as she ran a time of 11.03 in 12th position.
Just two girls ran for the Harriers in the U15’s which saw Isabela Thompson come home in 9th spot running 12.39 and it was good to see Freya Neild back out running after dealing with an injury as she placed 23rd (15.18). Similarly in the U15 Boys race – just two Harriers out – Oliver Gill and George Ramsden. Oliver had a very good race starting off with real intent and holding that throughout the race as he placed 2nd (13.18) behind the winner – Montogomery Barr (13.08). George just missed out on a top ten place finishing 11th in a time of 14.46.
As with the U15’s the U17 Races were impacted by the Inter-Counties, resulting in smaller fields than usual. In the Women’s race, Evie Taylor led the team home to 2nd place on the day as he came across the line in 4th spot (15.55) with team-mates Keira Haxton one place further back in 5th (16.10) and Kate Cookson in 10th (18.31).
The U17 men’s Race had eighteen athletes lined up at the start including five from Blackburn Harriers – Dexta Thompson, Hayden Mercer, Jack Paget-Fowler, Codie Dewhurst and Umair Rafiq. Dexta made his intentions clear right from the off as he headed straight to the front and into the wind. Lancaster’s Tom Bowman sat on him the whole way round and it came to a sprint finish over the last 100m which went one way and then the other before Dexta took the win by a second in 19.29 from Tom Bowman in 2nd 19.30. Hayden came home in 3rd place also given 19.30 which was a mistake as there was some distance between the first two and Hayden in 3rd. He was followed home by Jack in 4th place (19.39), Codie in 7th spot (20.16) and Umair in 9th (21.16). Fine runs by the lads meant they took the team win with 8 points from Sedbergh in 2nd (38).
The Senior Women’s race had just ninety six runners which was won by Finty Royle in 20.20. Amy Davies had her highest finish of the season in 5th spot (22.27) which also gave her 3rd place in the U20 Women’s race. In 6th place overall was Ellen Sagar-Hesketh running 22.42 with our third counter Lindsay Davies coming home in 33rd position (26.08) to give them 2nd spot in the team race behind winners Lancaster University.
One hundred and sixty took part in the Men’s Senior race with only four Blackburn Harriers athletes out on the day – Marc Hartley, Ryan Bradshaw, Chris Balderson and Allan Hartley. The race was won comfortably by Lancaster University’s Matthew Briggs (31,.41) from Preston’s Chris Livesey in 2nd (32.08) and Burnley’s Gary Shaw in 3rd (33.07). Marc was our first athlete home in 18th spot running 35.36 with Ryan in 62nd (39.24), Chris (106th) running 42.26 and Allan in 117th place (44.06).
Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Loughborough – Saturday March 12th
Matt Ramsden, Sam Aspey, Theo Robinson, Daniel Smith, David Holman, Agatha Taylor, Charlotte Robershaw, Abigail Stratton, Isabel Holt, Ben Fish and Joanne Nelson were all running for Lancashire at the Championships.
Matt Ramsden had a very good run to finish 7th overall in the Junior Men’s Race in a time of 28.45 to be Lancashire’s 2nd counter woth Rhys Ashton the 1st (28.31). Kent took the title with 38 points in total which was formidable with Lancashire taking the Silver Medal in 2nd with 106 points comprising 5th, 7th, 27th and 67th places to count.
In the U13 Boys Race Lancashire placed 15th out of the forty five Counties which saw Sam Aspey coming home as the first counter for Lancashire – 25th overall – in a time of 12.16. The counting positions were Sam Aspey 25th, Henry Ward 67th, Harry Stennett 79th and Ben Brassington 100th. Theo Robinson finished in 171st position with a time of 13.24.
Surrey won the Team title in the Senior Women’s Race (126 points) from Yorkshire in 2nd (139) and Hampshire in 3rd (188). Lancashire just missed out on a top ten place, finishing 11th (534 points). Joanne Nelson who is a V50 now was delighted to get the call up and finished in 150th spot running 37.53 with those counting – Carla Davies 27th, Emma McColm 32nd, Louisa Powell-Smith 87th, Maria Cook 110th, Chloe Lam-Moores 128th and Joanne Nelson 150th. Lancashire’s U15 Boys finished 7th team overall a race in which Daniel Smith finished without his timing chip which meant that he didn’t count which was unfortunate. All credit to the Harriers Charlotte Robertshaw in the U15 Women’s race which resulted in Lancashire placing 35th overall with counting positions 85, 144, 210 and 228. Charlotte got tripped right at the start, then got trodden on to be left trailing, but she got up and finished the race which says a huge amount about her. Well done Charlotte.
Isabel Holt and Abigail Stratton were representing Lancashire in the U17 Women’s race had good runs with Isabel being the second Harrier on the day as first Lancashire counter in 17th place overall (21.26) with Abigail 3rd counter in 45th spot overall (22.14). Along with Kirsty Maher 31st and Elizabeth Wareing 56th, the four of them combined to bring Lancashire home in 6th place. Lancashire’s U17 Men just missed out on a 2nd Podium finish of the day alongside the Junior Men as they finished in 4th spot with 127 points – 3rd, 32nd, 36th and 56th – just behind the North East with 114 points. David Holman came home in 83rd spot (24.49).
Surrey, who had won the Senior Women’s race made it a double as they took the Senior Men’s Team title (205 points) as well from Northern Ireland in 2nd (256) and Lincolnshire in 3rd (286). Lancashire finished with a top ten finish placing 10th over all led home with the Harriers Ben Fish having another fine run as 3rd 1st Lancashire counter of the day for Blackburn Harriers in 32nd over all (35.20) with Matt Knowles (41st), Gary Priestley (47th), Tom Cornthwaite (73rd), Ross Harrison (112th) and Jonathan Cleaver (191st) making up the Counties six counters.
Sale Winter Indoor Series – Sunday March 13th
Blackburn Harriers Sprints and Jumps squad had yet another first class day at Sportcity on Sunday – ten athletes producing wins and eight new personal bests. RESULTS
New member U23 Lewis Slack was having his first outing for the Club in the 60m and 300m which turned out to be a good debut as he took 2nd spot in his 60m Heat clocking 7.41 after which he ran 39.25 (4th) in his Heat of the 300m. U20 Samuel Mutombo had a good afternoon too as he set a new PB in the 60m at 7.65 – an improvement by a tenth – and then leapt out to 5.56m in the Long Jump (8th) – just 6 cms shy of his best. U17 Harrison Allcock has run successive 60m races of 8.28 and 7.91 which shows his improvement and he added to that again as he clocked another new PB by over a tenth as he won his Heat in 7.79 before going on to make it a double win for him as he threw 9.20m to win the Shot Putt (4kg).
U17 Isabelle Hartley was making her debut in Indoors track & field in the 60m and Shot Putt – clocking 9.35 in the 60m (4th) and placing 2nd in the Shot Putt with 6.97m. U15 Daniel Nuttall is having a fine Indoor season and maintained his good form on Sunday clocking a new PB in the 60m of 7.21 in 3rd place which maintains his 3rd place in the National Rankings. In his first outing over 300m this year he destroyed his personal best (41.66 Indoors) when he won his Heat in another new PB time of 38.94 – bettering his old mark by some two and half seconds and putting him at 7th in the National Rankings. Daniel then topped of a great day with his third new PB in the Long Jump adding 19cms to his previous best as he finished in 9th spot with a distance of 5.44m.
Ben Boocock (U20) was also having a good day as he took on the 60m Hurdles and the 300m. Coming into the fixture with a best of 9.10 in the Hurdles, Ben clipped another tenth off that time as he set a new PB of 9.00 in 2nd spot and then made his debut over 300m running 38.32 in 3rd place. Poppy Preece (U20) took on three events – 60m Hurdles, 300m and Long Jump – producing some fine performances. She placed 5th in the 60m Hurdles, setting a new PB of 10.77, nearly three tenths faster than her previous best set in January. It was another new PB in the 300m as she came home in 2nd place with a time of 46.04, an improvement by seven tenths and finished the day with a Long Jump of 4.33m in 7th position in her Pool.
Thomas Monks (U17) had the one race – 300m – and going into it, his best of 38.80 was set at Sportcity in December 2021. Knocking a full second off that time, Thomas set himself a new PB of 37.80 finishing in 3rd place. U15 Jacob Fisher who like the rest of this squad is having a fine season, entered just the one race which was the 300m going into the race with a best of 41.87 set again, like Thomas in December 2021 at Sportcity. Jacob battered that time as he set a new PB by a second and half to clock 40.25 in 2nd place and placing him 11th in the National Rankings. Over the longer distance of 600m we had two athletes racing – Hayden Mercer who placed 2nd in a Heat with seven athletes clocking 1.29.18 with team mate Codie Dewhurst running 1.33.65 in 7th.
Podium 5k – Saturday March 12th
Three races at this latest Podium 5k set of races held at Barrowford on Saturday night. Fifty three athletes took part in the the C Race which was won by Sheffield’s Sam Cullen with a time of 15.21. Blackburn Harrier’s Dominic Walton who is having a very good Indoor season, took to this outdoor 5k and ran really well to set a massive new PB for the 5k distance with his second placed finish in 15.34 – a minute and a half faster than when he last ran this distance on the road which was also at Barrowford in a Podium Race in 2019. Nick Gaskell also had a fine run in 13th place with his time of 16.18, a time which gave him the 1st V50 place. Matt Nuttall took 2nd place in the V50 category with his run of 16.30 in 16th spot in his first road race this year being followed home by Chris Walton in 43rd spot with a time of 17.17. Joe Bridge also ran a new PB (16.03) – an improvement by 5 seconds – as he finished in 30th spot in the B Race.
All RESULTS for the three Races.
Nuneaton Winter Warm Up Open – Sunday March 6th
Matthew Heywood took a detour from a trip South to get this competiton in and it paid off as he threw at the Nuneaton Open last week. It was a very fast circle which helped him set an early season mark of 50.79m with the 6kg Hammer.
Carrock Fell Race – Sunday March 13th
The indestructible Helen Leigh was out again on the Fells over the weekend – this time at the Carrock Fell Race run over 9k and 500m of climb. Another fine run saw her finish 2nd in the Women’s race as she commented afterwards “2 new hills for me and a cracking lovely fell race run by northern fells running club *excellent tea and cake supplied.
Runthrough Tatton 10k – Saturday March 12th
Katie Buckingham had a run at this race after helping set it all up – which i believe counts as a ‘warm up’. RESULTS.The ‘warm up’ must have gone ok has Katie placed 26th overall and 4th woman in a time of 42.21.
Chester 10k – Sunday March 13th
Chester 10k RESULTS
Tim Baldwin was out at his second race this year having run the Dewsbury 10k in February. Daniel Jarvis was the winner of this one in 30.41 from Elisha de Mello in 2nd 30.54 and Ben Taylor in 3rd (33.18). Tim took a top ten finish in this race clocking 34.19 in 8th spot.
Roddlesworth Roller – Sunday March 13th
Also out this weekend was V45 Michelle Teare who ran the Roodlesworth Roller – a popular local race run from Abbey Village featuring well over 200 runners. (RESULTS) Michelle finished in 126th place with a time of 50.35. Also spotted having a run for the first time in a while was Jamie Osborne in 41st spot (41.39). Jamie’s daughter Tamzin who had run for the Harriers at Towneley the day before was out again in the Daffodil Doddle (RESULTS) which is run before the main race featuring one hundred and three youngsters, finishing in 15th place with a time 8.48. Agatha Taylor took 3rd place in the race with her time of 7.31 and was the first female home as her brother Magnus came home in 41st position running 10.26. Imogen Boardman finished in 22nd spot with 9.21 followed by her sister Luisa Boardman in 33rd (10.08).
Running Grand Prix at Oulton Park – Sunday March 6th
Paul Bradshaw is setting himself for the Manchester Marathon and as part of his preparation he took on the Half-Marathon at Oulton a week ago. RESULTS
Finishing in 4th place overall with a good time of 80.22 on a course covering five laps with two hills in every lap which didn’t make for an easy course for sure. Paul told us afterwards that “It was a last minute thing. Been doing a bit but had no idea of pace. Sat at 6min miles but the fact the lap had 2 hills so 10 hills in total wasn’t ideal as I was either uphill or slight downhill so no rhythm. Still a good tempo run.”