It may have rained on the football parade on Monday night in Manchester, but come Tuesday – Trafford Grand Prix & BMC Races – the sun was shining again on a gloriously warm evening with a breeze to help everyone keep cool. (RESULTS)


U15’s Sam Aspey and Alex Rothwell kicked off the evening for the Harriers in the 800m – Sam being drawn in Heat 1 and Alex in Heat 5. Sam went in with a personal best 2.09.91 and had run just one 800m race this year clocking 2.16.04 indoors in February. Running just a tenth outside his best, Sam took 3rd spot in a time of 2.10.04 which bodes well for his season. Alex had only ever run one 800m (2.30.4) and this was just his third ever track race and his first this year. Leading from the front Alex smashed his personal best by over 8 seconds to take the win and set a new PB time of 2.21.76.

Sam Aspey (217)

Alex Rothwell (9)

Bottom of age U20 Thomas Monks had targeted a sub 2 minute 800m and just missed out at Lancashire Schools at the weekend by a tenth of a second. No mistake on the night at Trafford as he came home in 4th spot clocking a new PB of 1.59.03. Next up in the 800m was U20 Hayden Mercer who set a seasons best time of 2.01. 64 in 4th place running a very consistent pace throughout the race. 1st year U17 George Ramsden went in Heat 6 having posted his personal best of 2.10.21 at the Northern Inter-Counties Championships recently. With every athlete in the race bar one, running either a personal best or season best time, George was in a tough race and ran really well to chop close to 2 seconds off his time, setting a new PB of 2.08.56. Having set her personal best of 2.20.36 at the recently held Northern U20 Championships, Keira Haxton maintained her consistent form as she clocked 2.21.37 (8th) In Heat 9.

Thomas Monks (238)

Hayden Mercer (89)

George Ramsden (77)

Keira Haxton (136)

Three Blackburn Harriers in Heat 1 of the 1500m – U17 Ben Stratton, U20 Codie Dewhurst and Senior Sam Hodkinson – in a 12 strong field. Ben got himself into the top three at the bell with a lap to go and stayed there until around 100m to go when he unelased a kick which saw him move away from the other athletes and take the win in a new PB time of 4.09.75 – an improvement by over seven seconds. Codie was next home in 6th place clocking 4.17.21, just 4 tenths outside his personal best with Sam finishing in 8th place running a new PB by four seconds in a time of 4.19.04 – only his second 1500m race in two years.

Ben Stratton (30)

Codie Dewhurst (45)

Sam Hodkinson (216)

On to the BMC Races with senior Daniel Bebbington and U20 David Holman taking on the 1500m. Daniel went in Heat 1 and was the only athlete in the field who went with the pacemaker, taking the whole race on until close to 150m to go. At that point some athletes came past him, but Daniel dug in and came back at them to finish in 2nd place with a time of 3.46.00. David was in Heat 2 and had a strong finish from around 300m out to finish in 6th place, clocking a seasons best time of 3.55.26.

Daniel Bebbington (443)

David Holman (455)

Back out racing on Saturday June 10th at the Two Mamores Hill Race was Helen Leigh – the race descibed thus ‘A hill race across two Munro summits in the Western Mamores, Glen Nevis; Stob Ban and Mullach Nan Coirean. Approx 13km w/ 1300m of ascent, this will be an unmarked course over steep and rough terrain, with particular care needed on several sections. The course will be run clockwise from Lower Falls, ascending through Coire a’ Mhusgain to Stob Ban, before heading west to the summit of Mullach Nan Coirean and descending back to Glen Nevis and Lower Falls.’ (RESULTS)

With just over 100 finishers in this very tough race – the tougher the better for Helen – she came home in 3rd place in the Womens race in 1hr 58. 45 behind the winner Catherine Joanne McPhail (1hr 51. 33) and Sarah MacDonal in 2nd (1hr 55.01). After the race, Helen spoke to the Harriers about the day telling us that “Topping out on Stob Ban in the excellent 2 Mamores race. Absolutely roasting and an amusing kamikaze descent for 3rd. Still not firing on all cylinders for some reason, but a solid run“.

Helen Leigh