Bolton 10K

Sunday, 26th April 2015

The Bolton 10K’s 683 finishers saw the hosts Bolton United Harriers occupy all three male podium positions and a course record survive by the slenderest of margins.

Cold and clear skies at “daft o’clock” greeted the earliest of early birds setting up the 2-lap course around and within Leverhulme Park. Contrary to weather forecasts, it soon warmed up after sunrise as club helpers (and participants) arrived, with Registration opening up at 8am. As the One Mile Fun Runners dashed off, the marshal briefing got underway without the need for the gazebo. Indeed, shades were the order of the day, not just for the sun, but to protect the eyes from the lit candles upon Stuart Parsonson’s birthday cake!

8496724_origBolton’s Jonny Kay opened an early gap on the rise up Spooky Hill and, comfortable with the quick pace, decided to take the race on his own terms. His lead was never threatened and victory was claimed in 33:20 – superb considering the hot conditions. Racing for the first time in 6 months, Tony Valentine netted silver nearly a minute later; it followed a ding-dong battle with teammate Karl Darcy where a barely 5 metres gap remained from start to finish, though both sprinted to the line in a fashion that Linford Christie would be proud of! 17-years-old Declan Toomey and Tommy Harrison made it five Blue Vests in the top 7, with Benoit Yerle, returning from France, joining Danny Shaw (U20) and Craig Renshaw to take the top two team prizes, well ahead of third-placed Darwen Dashers.

5346798_origIn the women’s race, Leeds City’s Katie Parry clearly blasted out with determination to beat the course record of 38:08 set last year. She triumphed by over a minute from Trafford AC’s Sarah Hadak, but was thwarted in her attempt by a mere two seconds, so BUH&AC’s Catherine O’Dwyer’s standard remains. Bury AC’s junior star Sophie Whittaker edged Bolton’s leading light Nicola Cartridge for bronze. Junior Amy Howatson joined F45 Lesley Heyes in the winning team ahead of Burnden RR, whilst Olivia Kearney led Georgia Greenhalgh and Zoe Gibson for an all U20 B team bronze.

For Bolton, that 43 runners completed was incredible given the commitment to put on the race – over 40 otherwise regular runners assisted. Some achieved PBs whilst others beat their own course records. Notable mentions go to Eric Ranicar, whose 42:54 took the M65+ victory, Cecilia Woods as second F55+, and Marc Tillotson, who was not in his usual place on the results sheets after he ran with his charges from Bolton School in their fundraising efforts. University of Bolton SSIC students raised over £100 for Cancer Research UK, as some of the racing lecturers got firsthand experience of their students’ progress following their own 10K jogs. They weren’t the only ones – many runners enjoyed (if that is the right term?!) a post-race sports massage. Local residents were appreciative too, as they watched the spectacle and even donated some refreshments to a couple of lucky marshals.

Race Organiser Steve Houghton said “Never trust the five-day forecast – instead of the expected monsoon, conditions for the runners were tough in the sun! Feedback has been incredibly positive again, and it was great to see a Bolton 1-2-3 for the first time.” He continued, “I’d like to pay tribute to the volunteers, especially the marshals, as no matter the amount of planning, the smoothness of the event would not have been possible without so many assisting on the day. The best side of the Club was truly on show today.”

Full results, photos and links are available via the Bolton 10K website at

BUH&AC times: Jonothan Kay 33:20; Anthony Valentine 34:12; Karl Darcy 34:17; Declan Toomey 36:27; Tommy Harrison 36:53; Danny Shaw 38:56; Benoit Yerle 39:11; Craig Renshaw 40:17; Nicola Cartridge 41:03; Dave Shaw 41:05; Dean Johnson 42:21; Christian Pickford 42:40; Amy Howatson 43:27; Chris Topping 43:32; Stewart Brierley 43:51; Hamza Golicha 44:02; Gary Jones 44:34; Eric Ranicar 44:56; Stefan Nan 44:59; Andrew Barrow 46:19; Lesley Heyes 46:44; Matthew Pemrick 47:10; Olivia Kearney 47:25; Georgia Greenhalgh 47:55; Zoe Gibson 48:10; Katie Oakley 48:51; Cecilia Woods 48:54; Andrew Gallacher 48:41; Mercedes Mercer 49:35; Tim Corless-Carter 49:08; Chris Worthington 50:23; Paul Rossington 50:37; David Morrison 54:11; Sara Green 54:46; Catherine-B Jones 55:35; Sarah Harwood 56:04; Daniel Foster 56:57; Geoff Knowles 58:33; Gail Harrison 59:14; Kat Healey 61:54; Gerard Tucker 63:16; Jane Lim 63:33; Marc Tillotson 88:59

The One Mile Fun Run held at 9am before the 10K saw 120 entrants range in age from 1 year old to 63 years young! Junior Blue Vests formed over a quarter of the field, with some great performances to match the attendance. In the open under-15s, Ben Pickford (aged 11) claimed silver behind Horwich RMI’s Matthew Flatters (5:38) around the one lap course, whilst Isabella Merritt (aged 9) was first girl (6:10) and fourth overall. The kitbag mementos and medals were well received, though the Haribo sweets appear to have won the day!

BUH&AC times: Ben Pickford 5:55; Isabella Merritt 6:10; Lily Philbin 6:42; Amy Rossington 6:46; Clemencia Longthorne 6:51; Jack Kingdon 6:53; Toby Coop 6:55; Harvey Kenny 7:07; Sam Hazelwood 7:11; Abby Johnson 7:17; Isobel Hall 7:26; Kevin Longthorne 7:28; Edvard Velicka 7:29; Marcus Valentine 7:55; Joshua Bentley-Hughes 8:08; Jack Openshaw 8:14; Elina Velickaite 8:20; Sam Philbin 8:24; Hannah Swales 8:25; Joseph Rossington 8:53; Alexander Stokes 8:55; Sophia Aftab 8:58; Jack Greenhalgh 8:58; Matilda Hall 9:18; Finn Coop 9:22; Zackariyya Aftab 9:39; Ben Povey 11:08; Lucy Kingdon 11:57; Thomas Morrison 12:21; Julie Morrison 12:21; Jasmine Greenhalgh 12:48; Cerys Jones 12:49; Evie Morrison 13:43