Bolton 10K

Sunday, 24th April 2016

The Bolton 10K’s 702 field saw Bolton United Harriers host another slick event with racing drama unfold in both the men’s and women’s race.

Bolton10K_1smCool but dry conditions at “daft o’clock” were greeted by the team setting up the 2-lap course within Leverhulme Park. Sunrise brought more club helpers and Registration opened up at 8am-ish! As the One Mile Fun Runners dashed off, the marshal briefing got underway without the need for Fortress Bolton (the club gazebo!), though cover would soon be preferable as light showers moistened the participants almost as soon as the starter’s gun was fired.

Bolton’s Tony Valentine was in a strong silver position before a slip at the base of Spooky Hill put paid to his momentum; instead of mounting a battle with Horwich’s Michael Cayton, who won for the second successive week, it allowed Lancaster & Morecambe’s David Brown to pass in the final 500m for silver. Shay Walker was able to return to competition for the first time in nearly a year, superbly keeping ahead of fellow M45 Simon Dally, whilst junior Declan Toomey edged into the Top 10 to give Bolton the team victory over Horwich. Completing the sub-40 set were U20 Danny Shaw and the improving Chris Topping.

In the women’s race, Bury AC’s junior star Sophie Whittaker edged Bolton’s leading light Nicola Cartridge for a second successive year, but this time the metal up for grabs was gold. With 70m to claw back at the halfway stage, Cartridge’s quicker second lap almost pulled it off; the gap was whittled down to 5 seconds, but track literally ran out. Cartridge spearheaded the race team alongside Rachel Bailey and F50 Lesley Heyes which collected bronze behind Bury and Burnden RR. Bailey, for her part, led the promising junior trio that included of Mercedes Mercer and Olivia Kearney, as positions switched again from last week’s Radcliffe 10K emphasising the optimism for the coming months and years.

DSC_0262smFor Bolton, that 31 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 Cecilia Woods as first F55+, whilst 15-year-olds Joe Gande and Scott Hood joined George Shepherd in making their open debuts at the 10K distance. 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 – Lorcan Cronin earlier than most after finishing fourth! 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 “The light rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the runners, with some hot racing at the top end! Feedback has been incredibly positive again, and tribute has to be paid to all the volunteers for enabling the best side of the Club to be on show again today.”

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

BUH&AC times: Anthony Valentine 35:19; Shay Walker 36:24; Simon Dally 36:45; Declan Toomey37:28; Daniel Shaw 39:23; Chris Topping 39:35; Nicola Cartridge 40:27; Frazer Doyle 40:51; Christian Pickford 41:13; Ian Gregory 41:38; James Rideout 42:18; Joe Gande 42:47; Stewart Brierley 43:06; Dave Flitcroft 44:33; Andrew Barrow 45:53; Rachel Bailey 46:27; Lesley Heyes 46:17; Stefan Nan 46:33; Mercedes Mercer 47:26; Olivia Kearney 47:29; George Shepherd 48:37; Cecilia Woods 48:32; Karen Hood 49:43; Scott Hood 49:55; Hannah Edwards 51:34; David Morrison 52:24; Julie Lomax 51:53; Fiona Gande 54:21; Sara Green 54:49; Nicola Halsall 58:41; Gerard Tucker 63:50

DSC_0248smThe One Mile Fun Run held at 9am before the 10K saw 98 entrants range in age from 3 years old to 60 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 12) claimed silver with 5:58 behind Bolton Tri’s Leon Callaghan, whilst Isabella Merritt (aged 10) was again fourth overall and second girl (6:12) around the one lap course. The kitbag mementos and medals were well received, though the Haribo sweets appear to have won the day!

BUH&AC times: Ben Pickford 5:58; Isabella Merritt 6:12; Harvey Kenny 6:29; Patrick Bolton 6:33; Toby Coop 6:35; Sam Hazelwood 6:43; Joseph Kearney 6:58; Lily Philbin 7:00; Joseph Bolton 7:08; Harry Aldred 7:29; Charlie Parker 7:44; Sam Philbin 7:46; Luke Greenhalgh 7:50; Marcus Valentine 7:57; Herbie  Kay 8:02; Hannah Swales 8:04; Liam Allison 8:12; Susan Jones-Gray 8:25; Jamie Greenhalgh 8:53; Noah Pickford 9:14; Jack Green 9:44; Emily Heyes 9:59; Amelia Collinson 10:24; Ben Povey 10:35; Jessica Swales 11:11; Jasmine Greenhalgh 11:19; Cerys Jones 11:29; Thomas Morrison 11:58; Evie Morrison 14:22