Despite Coronavirus putting paid to lots of sporting events at the weekend the Bolton 5k got the green light to go ahead.
The rearranged Central Lancashire Grand Prix fixture was dominated by Bolton Harriers running on their home course. Harriers provided the first 3 and had 7 runners in the top 10.
With the Wilmslow Half Marathon cancelled at the last minute the Leverhulme desk had a flurry of morning entries for the much shorter race.
Spectators were treated to a desperate sprint to the line between blue vests Tommy Harrison and Rhys Francis with Harrison prevailing. Rhys, an aerospace engineer, just could not find that extra bit of throttle to propel himself to victory.
Last weeks longer Roddlesworth Roller trail race had seen Declan Toomey triumph with Tommy Harrison just behind. Tommy just wasn’t prepared to settle for second spot this time.
He said “I think it being a shorter distance this week helped me as I have been doing lower mileage whilst managing this injury.
As for the race myself and Declan decided to try and go sub 16min before the start, so we set off at that pace.
The pace dropped a little as we kept fighting for position during 2nd mile along with Rhys Francis. Rhys definitely looking the strongest of the 3 of us at that point.
I knew my tactics before the race began. I knew if I was going to beat Declan I would have to go early as he would out pace me in a sprint finish. So I upped the pace with just over a mile to go. Declan fell away with about half a mile remaining, but Rhys had stayed with me.
I knew once we were on track I would win if he didn’t pick up the pace before last 250m (which he didn’t).
I had a few people say with 120m left, Rhys still had it, but I still had a bit of pace in my legs and used that to pinch the win.
I thought my race tactics were perfectly executed but still disappointed to have not ran sub 16 mins”.
Rhys commented after ”more than happy to lose out to a team mate who is in great form and my 20 second PB was a lovely surprise. It’s nice to see the training coming together and hopefully I can improve the time again this season. Also, to get the team win shows the strong training group we have at Bolton and hopefully we can go on to perform well in the forthcoming events – Coronavirus allowing of course !”
Mark Wolstencroft came home in 5th position and 1st in his age group. He was closely followed in a fabulous run by young Jason Scaife as 1st junior who had won the Daffodil Doddle the week before.
Scott Crompton and Chris Povey (first veteran 45) continued their fine form and completed the 7 blue vests in the first 10 to the finishing line. Ken Fowler was also first veteran 65.
The men didn’t have it all their own way. First lady home was the rapidly improving Rachel Bailey who has had a brilliant year thus far. One of the shining stars of Adrian Costello’s Harriers Endurance Group, she looks set to continue filling up her trophy cabinet. Molly Philbin, a new recruit to the Endurance Group at Harriers, came in first junior female.
Rachel Bailey, Ryan Kirkman, and Scott Bracey all got 5k personal bests again showing the strength and the quality of the training in Costello’s Endurance Group.
Congratulations must go to Gail Harrison and her team of volunteer helpers and marshals for putting on such a well organised and great event. Especially so has it had to be rearranged from an earlier date.
Full list of Harriers runners and times:
- Tommy Harrison – 16:07
- Rhys Francis – 16:08
- Declan Toomey – 16:26
- Mark Wolstencroft – 17:46
- Jason Scaife – 17:50
- Scott Crompton – 17:55
- Chris Povey – 17:57
- Dominic Gavin – 18:18
- Christian Pickford – 18:22
- Stephen Bonney – 18:35
- Rachel Bailey – 19:04
- Matt Atkinson – 19:07
- Ryan Kirkman – 19:26
- Jack Heggie – 20:09
- Scott Bracey – 20:20
- David Chrystal – 20:23
- Richard Scaife – 20:32
- Ken Fowler – 22:02
- Molly Philbin – 23:28
- Linzi Jones – 26:31