2020 Latest News Race Reports

Hall doesn’t tilly dally

On a very cold Saturday 5th December coach Gwylim Jones took a young Bolton Harriers squad to Trafford Athletics Club for an Open Junior Meeting. Never was a day so vital for those pre- race warm ups and stretches.

Back, left to right: Mathilda Hall, Alex Preston, Cerys Jones, Allyssia May, Isobel Oxley. Middle, left to right: Ava Brocklehurst, Josh Grundy, Emily Wood. Front left to right: Max Preston, Zia Isherwood.

Mathilda ‘Tilly’ Hall certainly benefited from her pre race preparation and wrapped up two personal bests in the 75m and 150m. The daughter of ebullient Harriers sprint coach Les Hall was fastest of all competitors, including the boys, over 75m. From the same ‘stable’ as Olympic hopeful Hannah Kelly, Tilly is certainly one to look out for in the future. Les had 3 of his junior sprint group involved in Tilly, Allyssia May and Isobel Oxley.

Emily Wood put in a great effort smashing 11 seconds off her previous  personal best and setting a new target of 2m 17 seconds.

It was an exciting day for some of the young Harriers taking part in their first competition. Gwylim was pleased with the debuts of Ava Brocklehurst in the 75m and Zia Isherwood 2nd in her 150m heat. Brothers Alex and Max Preston also made a good competitive debuts. Max in the 600m, Alex in the 1200m and both in the Long Jump.

Josh Grundy took part in  his first 600m. Gwylim was delighted as he came home 13 seconds quicker than expected in 2 minutes 7 secs.

Cerys Jones took to the starting line of the 1200m for the first time and performed better than her coach, and grandad,  Gwylim had hoped for with a time of 5 minutes 46 seconds. Just to emphasise the family nature at Bolton Harriers Gwilym’s daughter and mother of Cerys,  Lindsay was there to assist with the group and their preparation. Lindsay has been providing valuable assistance to her dad in the club training sessions.

Allyssia May continued her good form from Trafford in October in the 150m and improved on her time in the 75m. She finished a good all round performance on the day by coming 2nd in her pool in the long jump.

Isobel Oxley found good speed, technique and strength in producing a fine long jump of 3.87m to win her pool. To wrap up a perfect day she knocked 11 seconds off her 800m personal best.


75m Heat 3 

  • Ava Brocklehurst – 13.32

75m Heat 6

  • Mathilda Hall – 10.82
  • Allyssia May – 11.18
  • Joshua Grundy – 11.79
  • Zia Isherwood – 12.68

150m Heat 2

  • Cerys Jones – 34.24

150m Heat 3

  • Emily Wood – 27.60

150m Heat 6

  • Zia Isherwood – 25.23
  • Ava Brocklehurst – 26.96

150m Heat 7

  • Joshua Grundy – 24.09

150m Heat 8

  • Mathilda Hall – 21.85
  • Allyssia May – 23.44

600m Heat 1

  • Emily Wood – 2.17.88

600m Heat 2

  • Joshua Grundy – 2.07.05
  • Allyssia May – 23.44

800m Heat 3

  • Isobel Oxley – 2.44.50       

1200m Heat 1

  • Alex Preston – 4.47.19
  • Cerys Jones – 5.46.66

Long Jump Pool 2

  • Isobel Oxley – 3.87
  • Allyssia May – 3.43
  • Alex Preston – 3.25

Long Jump Pool 3

  • Max Preston – 2.42
2020 Latest News

Bolton Harriers & AC AGM 2020

Dear All,

I’m pleased to announce the date for this years Annual General Meeting (AGM) for Monday 30th November @ 7pm.
This years meeting will be a virtual meeting hosted on Zoom, due to coronavirus and Government lockdown rules which will still be in place on the date of the AGM.

We wish to invite members to attend the meeting (as per the constitution) and for you to please register your interest prior to the meeting so that joining details can be emailed to you along with the Agenda & any other documents etc.

There is one change to the constitution being proposed regarding changing the annual membership date to 1st April (from 1st September currently) and this is advance notice of that proposal to all members in advance of the meeting.

Please send all meeting requests to myself,

Any nominations for committee positions should also be sent through to me in advance of the meeting.

On behalf of the committee we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on 30th November @ 7pm.

Kind regards,

Scott Whittle

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Gwylim’s Got Talent

Saturday 10th October saw a dry day thankfully and a resumption of competition for the kids at Bolton Harriers.

Gwylim Jones took an excited Under 11s squad and their families to the Trafford Athletic Club Open Meeting and was extremely proud and encouraged by their effort and application.

He was also extremely pleased the way his young athletes supported one another and their families supported other Bolton families.

Due to the ongoing pandemic this was Harriers kids first entry in a competition for months and the clubs young athletes justified inclusion and managed to come away with lots of personal bests.

Left to Right: Back Row – Jamie Greenhalgh, Curtis Hornsby, Allyssia May, Princess Iwelu Middle Row Emily Wood, Josh Grundy, Benjamin Davies. Front Row – Cerys Jones, Matilda Hall, Ellie Deavall

The Iwelu sisters, Princess and Mabel, were competing in their first ever event and couldn’t have done any better with 1st and 2nd in their 75m and 150m heats.

Joshua Grundy, also making his competitive debut and also making an impressive start, won his 75m heat.

Matilda Hall (daughter of long standing Harriers coach Les Hall) had only come back to running from gymnastics a week before and stormed home to win her 75m heat.

Curtis Hornsey, another making his competitive bow, came back with a creditable 2nd place in his 600m heat.

Cerys Jones, granddaughter of coach Gwylim, achieved 2 pb’s on the day.

There had been no opportunity to do any Long Jump training but Allyssia May still had the confidence to be Harriers sole entrant and had an amazing day. She kept setting new pb’s with each jump. For the final jump, and on Gwylim’s advice, she took a longer run up and launched herself to her best jump of 3m 69.

Harriers also had the one entrant in the Discus with Jamie Greenhalgh clinching a fine 2nd spot with a throw of 19m 38.



Heat 1 – Princess Iwelu 11:86 Mabel Iwelu 12:06 secs
Heat 2 – Benjamin Davies 12:34 Cerys Jones 16:08
Heat 9 – Joshua Grundy 11:42
Heat 10 – Ellie Deavall 12:05
Heat 12 – Matilda Hall 11:14
Heat 14 – Allyssia May 11:28


Heat 1 – Princess Ilewu 24:08 Mabel Ilewu 24:39 secs
Heat 2 – Benjamin Davies 24:34
Heat 4 – Curtis Hornsey 27:61
Heat 5 – Cerys Jones 34:64
Heat 10 – Joshua Grundy 23:47
Heat 11 – Ellie Deavall 24:99 Emily Wood 26:87
Heat 14 – Allyssia May 23:05
Heat 18 – Matilda Hall 22:49
Heat 19 – Mia Makin 22:13


Heat 1 – Mabel Ilewu 2:13 mins
Heat2 – Curtis Hornsey 2:29 Cerys Jones 2:45
Heat 3 – Emily Wood 2:19
Heat 8 – Benjamin Davies 2:12

Long Jump

Pool 5 – Allyssia May 3:69m


Pool 1 – Jamie Greenhalgh 19:38m

2020 Latest News

An update from the chairman

Dear Members

It has been a while since we last communicated as a Club / Committee and following a recent committee meeting I wanted to share with you an update on the current position, whilst also looking back over the last few months and looking forward to the future also.

As you are all acutely aware the world has been completely different with COVID-19 and everyday life dramatically changed almost overnight.

The club made an early announcement that following enforced restrictions to training, and to help out in our own way to our members financially, that we would be suspending membership costs for the coming months.

Given that most athletes, coaches and groups are now, or will be shortly (except our Hawks currently) able to be coached and trained in a safe and controlled environment at the track, then with effect from September we will be recommencing member subs.

Our normal renewal for Annual Membership is actually September, however, we have agreed as a committee that we will be extending this year’s membership with no additional costs to members, until 31st March 2021 – effectively 18 months membership for the price of 12.

The new Membership year will then commence from 1st April for all athletes with the expectation that this will run annually / for 12 months thereafter. This change of Annual Renewal is subject to approval at our AGM (to be advised) later in the year.

We hope that members understand and appreciate this gesture from the club and it helps and provides comfort in what could be difficult financial times.

As I alluded to earlier, we now have the benefit and use of a fantastic newly laid track facility at Leverhulme with the lines now being laid. This has cost the best part of several hundred thousand pounds to do and we are grateful to Bolton Council for funding this for the benefit of our athletes and the town in general.

The ability for our Members to be able to use the track facility again hasn’t been taken lightly, and a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make sure that our plans and protocols were robust and professionally presented to Bolton Council to allow us access to the track facility from early July.

It’s tantamount to the planning and attention to detail that was put into our plans & protocols, that has allowed us access to the facility again, and a massive thanks to Dave Shaw & Les Hall that led on this.

We are one of only 2 Users currently being allowed to use the facility as a consequence of our due diligence, although this looked potentially compromised initially when there was unauthorised use of the facility by members. We have designated sessions / track use allocated to us as a club and we are not permitted to use the facility outside of these allocations.

We would like to thank members for adhering to club and essentially Government rules relating to the return to the track / training, and would appeal to all to continue doing so and maintaining social distancing and protocols at all times, otherwise the council could reverse this decision.

For those that aren’t aware, All athletes have to complete a risk assessment and this is submitted via their coach to the coaching coordinator and each week coaches need to provide the names and assessments sheets of each and every athlete to be allowed on the track at their particular session / time slots.

A massive thank you must also go to all coaches for providing remote / socially distanced sessions whilst in lockdown, and for their continued help and professionalism in difficult times.

Please remember that no one is paid at the club and individuals give up a lot of their personal time to help and provide athletics at the club as you and I know it.

In terms of looking forward, more socially distanced races and events are being arranged by various organisations, albeit that all of the league competitions for this year have been cancelled.

We have had to make the difficult decision also to cancel next years Bolton 5k & 10k races as there is still far too much uncertainty and considering the amount of time and planning involved to successfully hold these events, I”m afraid the difficult decision had to be made now.

In addition, as there has been little or no competitions this year we have also agreed, possibly rather obviously, that there will be no Annual Presentation Awards for 2020.

Whether there may be scope for an alternative club evening / celebration early next year instead, we will monitor the situation and advise accordingly.

We would hope that the coronavirus pandemic will be effectively managed and controlled by the Government/s around the World and we can hopefully get back to a more ‘normal’ life again in the not too distant future, but we are acutely aware that this has not gone away yet and is still very much an important consideration for our everyday lives.

Please therefore respect and protect your fellow athletes, family, friends, coaches and everyone at the club and stay safe.

Best regards,

Scott Whittle
Bolton United Harriers & AC

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Martin has the right chemistry

In Martin Reid’s working life PB is a scientific symbol. It had a whole new meaning this weekend at the Podium 5K in Barrowford for the Science Teacher from Harper Green School. In a hotly contested Grade A race, attracting runners the length and breadth of the British Isles, this talented runner scorched in with a personal best time of 15 mins 34 secs and 27th place.

He has been running for Bolton since the age of 10 and mainly middle distance on the track. After being out of action due to injury a few years ago he decided to step up and focus on longer distances on the road. He trains 6 days a week, often on his own. He is coached by John Wood at the City of Sheffield Athletics Club (Martin went to university in Sheffield) and more recently Dave Shaw. He has really enjoyed joining Dave’s group and the motivation and competition everyone provides for each other. His time is an improvement on the 15.46 that he set 4 years ago on the same course. He has a few more races lined up over the next few weeks before the track season, and his aim is to then complete his 1st marathon in Frankfurt in October.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Bolton 5K

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
2020 Latest News



As a result of the ongoing lockdown all athletics activity in England is suspended until 31 May – England Athletics statement:

  • No club training sessions
  • Membership fees are frozen until restrictions are lifted
  • All YDL matches for 2020 have been cancelled

Please stick to the government and NHS advice:

2020 Latest News

YDL 2020

Please see the YDL dates and registration form just posted, all the team managers will be giving out forms over the next couple of weeks, but please feel free to download & complete, email, text etc any athletes details who are interested in competing, it’s going to be a great year for YDL we have lots of experienced athletes and some great newcomers hoping to make the teams this year… get your interest registered as soon as please ?

YDL 2020 (003).pdf

2020 Latest News Race Reports

It’s a doddle for harriers kids

Sunday 8th March saw the action move to Abbey Village for the kids Daffodil Doddle followed by the adults in the Roddlesworth Roller.

It was a fine day though still tricky underfoot on a really tough course.

It was a clean sweep for Bolton United Harriers young athletes as Jason Scaife and Lily Philbin won the boy’s and girl’s races. Both students of Little Lever High School, the school can rightly be proud of their athletic achievements.

Jason Scaife won the event by a clear margin. From a keen sporting family, we look forward to the development of this talented athlete as he continues to work hard.

Lily Philbin, a keen racer finished an impressive 4th overall and won the girls race in a time of 8:30.

Nathaniel Knowles, son of successful runner John Knowles, was just 10 seconds behind Lily and runner up in the Under 10’s category.

Hannah Swales was the Under 14 champion and fourth home for Bolton.

Alex Preston of Eagley school finished 3rd in the Under 10’s in another great performance.

Other notable performances include: Scarlett Taylor-Mann (4th Under 10), Katie Watson (2nd Under 14), Benjamin Davis (3rd Under 9), Max Preston (3rd Under 8), Curtis Hornsey (7th Under 10), Emily Wood (4th Under 9), Jessica Swales (3rd Under 11), Cerys Jones (5th Under 9), Kirsten Scaife (1st Under 12), Frankie Wood (2nd Under 12), Harlan Moore (1st Under 7), Jasmine Greenhaigh (11th Under 7), Charlotte Davis (10th Under 6).

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Declan digs deep to lead home harriers men

The first Central Grand Prix Series race of 2020, was the Roddlesworth Roller with 324 runners, a very well organised and well marshalled course with a much appreciated hot drink and cake for all finishers. The overnight rain made for challenging conditions and of course there are hills in abundance, it’s called the roller for a reason.

Declan Toomey was first across the line for Bolton United Harriers putting in a fine performance finishing in 3rd position. Given his current level of fitness this was a good run. A young and hugely talented athlete, Toomey looks set to quickly move up the national rankings as he continues with solid and consistent training over the coming months.

Tommy Harrison finished 4th just 11 seconds behind team mate Toomey. A favourite on the local running scene Harrison is enjoying his return to racing and will look to be in closer contention as fitness returns.

Third counter for the Bolton United Harriers men’s team was Chris Pickford finishing in 25th and third vet45. With his long, unmistakable stride Pickford is able to cruise through the field once he finds his rhythm.

Dominic Gavin, a talented golfer, put his clubs to one side as he laced up his trainers and teed up the race ahead. A popular character within Harriers Elite training group he finished in 32nd

Rick Scaife was 68th in 43:37, Jack Heggie 72nd in 43:51, Scott Bracey 73rd in 43:52, Gary Porteous 93rd in 44:49, Dave Chrystal 104th in 45:34 and Ken Fowler 137th in 48:13 and 3rd in the 65+ age category.

As always an excellent performance from the rapidly improving Rachel Bailey in the women’s race finishing 3rd in the ladies race and 46th overall in a time of 41:07.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

South east lancs cross country series


This weekend saw the final race of the South East Lancashire Cross Country Series, held at Heaton Park. In slightly challenging conditions, the runners embarked upon an alternate route to the previous three, with encouraging results. The U11 Boys’ race was first up which was represented with three runners: Alex Preston was first home, finishing in 9th place, followed by Max Preston and Benjamin Davis in 18th and 19th place, respectively. Their overall performance helped contribute to a 3rd place finish for the team. In the Under 11 Girls’ race, Cerys Jones finished a respectable 30th and 26th in the overall standings.

Producing her best performance of the series, Lily Philbin finished in the top 3 in the U15 girls’ race. This helped Lily finish 4th overall in the series to cap an impressive showing. Ruby Erzan Essien was the standout performer in the category; a cracking series performance saw her win the U15 Girls’ section.

The Senior Ladies race saw the final Harriers athlete, Rachel Bailey, compete. Running a stellar race, Bailey secured her best finish of the series, coming in 4th; helping her to win the U20 Girls’ category.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Firefighters duathlon

The EPIC Fire Fighters ‘2UP’ Duathlon is a unique event which takes place in March in conjunction with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue. It’s known locally as the ‘start of season social race’ but there’s nothing particularly ‘social’ about the course! The format is simple, you choose a friend or race partner and stick together throughout the run / bike / run. On the bike you are allowed to work as a pair, by ‘drafting’ each other, but not with other teams. The 4 miles trail run is a tough start and end to the race, with a hilly 25 mile in between, to make sure you finish with a grimace on your face. It’s a fantastic event, an awesome atmosphere, lots of team rivalries and smiles all round.

Bolton Harriers representatives were our fell running rascals Lee Petch and Andy Gallagher. This time doffing a cycle helmet each along with the trusty trail trainers. As a team they finished 176th out of 212 with a time of 3hrs 10 mins.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Harriers men soar to victory

The Lostock 6 mile road race took place on Sunday 23rd February with a strong turn out from Bolton United Harriers. Optimistically named ‘6 miles of smiles’ the freezing, wet, windy conditions spurred the team on to excellent performances with Bolton winning the men’s team competition and Laura Lombard winning the women’s race.

The team coached by Dave Shaw were in high spirits having watched their team mate Jonny Kay on television the day before powering through to the 1500m final of the British indoor athletics championships in which he subsequently claimed the bronze medal.

Tommy Harrison back in the Bolton vest following a long spell of interrupted training was first home for Bolton finishing in 4th position. He narrowly missed out on 3rd but will improve significantly as he returns to full fitness.

Laura Lombard was next home for Bolton winning the women’s race in a time of 35:07.

Chris Povey ran excellently finishing second V45 and working really hard along Chorley New road into a fierce wind.

Scott Crompton, temporarily distracted by the offer of a bacon sandwich from his onlooking sister powered home in 36:08 to ensure victory for the men’s team. Enjoying himself in the blue and yellow vest Crompton was content with his performance.

Chris Tye performed well off limited training finishing in 36:36 . With an increase in miles in his legs he will move quickly up the field in subsequent competitions.

Super marathon man Mark Wolstencroft ran a solid race despite weather conditions not being to his liking. He won his v55 category.

Local P.E teacher Dominic Gavin cheered on by his family ran consistently finishing in 37th and celebrating his birthday that same day.

Beka Millington and Gary Porteous also put in fine performances finishing in 48:47 and 43:45 respectively.

Impressively Bolton’s final team mate was David Tomlinson. Still pulling his running vest on at over 80 years old he completed the course in 55:11.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Jonny shows steel to win bronze

The British Indoor Championships took place over the weekend at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena for the very first time in Scotland.

Heading North with high hopes of at least reaching the final in the 1500 metre men’s event, and the support of his family, friends and coach, was our very own Jonny Kay.

Not only did he reach the final but stormed home into bronze medal position making a fantastic end to the Championships for this eminently likeable young man from Heaton.

Jonny’s training so far this year has been totally focussed on this event. He has been working with his coach Dave Shaw and team mates in the Bolton Harriers Elite group twice a week and also putting in extra sessions at SportCity in Manchester. Dave has had Jonny focussing on speed sessions, 1500 metre sessions, pyramid sessions and reps up to 1200 metres. “Very specific training to get me in the best possible shape for this event” he said.

“On Saturday for the semi-final I felt relaxed and knowing the opposition was confident of qualifying for the final the next day”.

Jonny duly came in first to qualify.

“ As regards the final I was feeling excited yet confident at the same time. I thought I might be in with a chance of a medal and had discussed tactics with my coach Dave Shaw prior to the race. Dave told me not to go to the front but keep in touch with the front, and also to make sure I did not get trapped on the inside. I knew George Mills (the eventual winner) had been the quickest in qualifying and wanted to keep sight of him”.

“ Fifth at the bell I soon moved into fourth. I was feeling strong and at the final bend I could see third place looking round and knew he hadn’t got much left. I found an extra gear and cruised into third in the final straight and was actually closer to second than fourth at the finish line”.

“After the race on the podium the enormity of my achievement still hadn’t sunk in. I was just looking at my family, friends and coach with a big grin on my face”.

Jonny is now having a well earned weeks rest before starting training for the outdoor season. Excitingly he is now aiming for the British Outdoor Championship in June which will be the Olympic Trials. Ominously for the opposition he aims to be in even better shape by then!

2020 Latest News Race Reports

England Athletics age group national champs

Five of Bolton United Harriers junior athletes competed at this weekends EA age group national indoor championships. Making their championship debuts were U15 Idowu Taiwo and U17 Fola Fasehun who both competed in the 60m short sprint. Idowu competed in the first event of the day and ran 8.62 in her heat which was just outside her personal best.

Fola who has only been training for 12 months has produced some superb performances to qualify for the championships. In her heat she blasted from the start to smash her PB and record a time of 8.09 seconds to qualify for the semi finals of the 60m. In the semi final against the best U17 athletes in the country she came a magnificent 7th in another top time of 8.11 seconds.

Also in the 60m, Eniola Adedotun lined up with high hopes of taking Les Hall’s training group bragging rites and running the quickest time ever in the group. It wasn’t to be and Eni unfortunately stumbled at 20m and wasn’t able to better his PB and finished 4th in his heat in 7.23 seconds. This was an agonising 0.04 seconds outside the time required to qualify for the semi final.

In the U20 women’s 400m Olivia Kimbowa finished 3rd in her semi final recording a time of 58.93 seconds. This sets her up perfectly for the outdoor season where she hopes to run 57 seconds.

Taiwo Taiwo doubled up in the sprints competing in both the 60m and 200m. This is an amazing achievement as Taiwo has been beset by injury over the last 2 years and has been unable to compete. To qualify for two events at the National championships is testimony to all her hard work and dedication. In the 60m heat she ran 7.94 to finish 3rd in her heat and then recorded 8.01 in the semi final. In her preferred event the 200m she came 4th in her heat in a time of 25.76 missing out on the semi final by just one place. What is even more remarkable is that this time is the second best female 200m time in the club in the last 12 months only behind European championship competitor Hannah Kelly and after only returning to training in the last 6 months.

All of the athletes will now return to hard training to start their preparation for the outdoor 2020 season.

2020 Latest News

Ironman Dean is stepping away

Bolton Harriers stalwart Dean Johnson has announced he is stepping away from club affairs for at least 12 months. He has been a coach, committee member and athlete representing Harriers for 10 years.

Dean is suffering from chronic knee problems and is in a knee brace for the next 4 months. After a further 4 months he may then opt for reconstructive surgery. Sadly he will be away from running for a minimum of 12 months.

Dean completed the Ironman event in July 2017 in 12 hours. He had only taken up swimming 18 months before but showed what a quick learner he was with a gutsy determined 1 hr 22 mins in 2.4 miles of a freezing cold Pennington Flash. He then did 112 miles on the bike in gusty headwinds before undertaking a full 26.2 miles marathon in very warm conditions round Bolton.

In the last 10 years he has worn the famous blue vest on numerous occasions and played his part in many successful club races.

For the last few years he has been giving up time to coach, inspire and run with the Bolton Harriers Endurance group. Even in the last 12 months when not able to take part himself he could be seen cycling up and down the roads encouraging and cajoling group members in training exercises.

Everyone at Bolton Harriers wish Dean well in his recuperation and obviously hope for a successful outcome.


On Friday February 14th Feb Harriers specialist fell runners Lee Petch and Andy Gallagher ventured to Mr Sparkle’s Dark ‘Un. An exciting headtorch evening 5 mile fell race from the Royal Hotel comprising of a couple of stiff climbs, open moorland, mud and a dash down to the finish. In total 214 metres of ascent. They came home in 51 minutes in 33rd and 34th positions respectively.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Lombard banks more silverware

Bolton United Harriers saw more glory this weekend as Laura Lombard was crowned Red Rose Senior women’s Cross Country champion at the awards ceremony in Horwich. Her team mate Jonny Kay was runner up in the senior men’s title. Together they attended this prestigious event with their delighted coach Dave Shaw to collect the silverware.

Laura’s first victory was at Leverhulme park on home turf and saw her run strongly with great club support to finish over a minute ahead of the next female. Incorporating thick mud and a river crossing this was a fine cross country course. Jonny Kay won the senior men’s race convincingly making it a clean sweep for the Bolton club and thrilling coach Dave Shaw in the process.

In November they headed to Todmorden. Laura again delivered a clear victory, taking an early lead and continuing to pull away in the second lap. Kay came through strongly to take second place.

The final battle took place at Rossendale traditionally thought of as more of a fell race with steep downhill sections. Laura maintained her concentration and finished with a sprint to complete a hatrick of victories and take the Senior women’s title together with the veteran title.

Rachel Bailey finished runner up in the Under 20s category with team mate Molly Philbin finishing 6th overall.


On Sunday 2nd Feb in the Under 15s Girls event the Harriers team stormed home in 2nd place. Hannah Swailes, Millie Bracey, Lily Philbin and Abby Steelelesh are pictured. Lily Philbin also picked up a silver medal for the 6 lap event and bronze medal for the standing long jump.


5 Bolton athletes made the trip to Sheffield to compete at this years Northern u13/u15 indoor athletics championships.

Two of the youngest athletes in the field Summer Eden and Aliyah Martin both entered the 60m and 200m sprints. Both were making their debuts in a major championship and despite still attending primary school took it all in their stride.

Despite never having raced over 200m they both progressed to the semi finals and lined up in the same race. On this occasion Summer came out on top finishing third in 29.37 seconds whilst Aliyah came 5th, with her fastest time of the day being 30.06 seconds.

Both girls qualified for the semi finals of the 60m and Aliyah came 4th with her fastest time of the day, a new PB of 9.11 seconds. Summer having already won her heat was full of confidence and qualified for the final by finishing second in her semi final. In her final she finished 5th which is an amazing performance against girls who were mostly 12 months her senior. Her best time of the day was 8.80 seconds which ranks her 55th in the UK. The future of sprinting at Bolton United Harriers is in good hands with these two athletes.

Idowu Taiwo was the only Bolton U15 athlete and she didn’t disappoint. She easily qualified for the semi final in the 60m and finished a fantastic 6th. She now looks forward to the England Athletics national championship at the end of month.

U13 long jumper Isobel Hall still with the memories of a broken foot in 2019 competed in only her third long jump competition in 12 months. The injury was soon forgotten and she completed an amazing 6 rounds jumping 5 PB’s with a best of 4m 21. Agonisingly there was no medal as Isobel finished 4th

However fellow debutant U13 Herbie Kay was determined to bring back a medal. Training has been hampered recently due to injury but with real determination he leapt to 4m 38 to take a well deserved bronze medal.


On Sarurday 8th February the Harriers specialist fell runners Lee Petch and Andrew Gallagher attacked 9 miles and 1281 feet of ascent over the Pennine Moors and under the M62.This was their first fell run of the year and no doubt have lots more planned. Conditions were cold and muddy but our guys came home to Hollingworth Lake in more than respectable times of 1 hour 29 minutes and 1 hour 31 minutes. Both are pictured with their usual well earned post race snack.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Junior endurance grand prix series 2019

Congratulations to all those athletes that competed in ‘The Harriers’ first junior endurance Grand Prix series for U15 &U13 athletes in 2019. The event started in July 2019 and points where awarded on performance over the track, road and cross country; plus, bonus points for representing the club in competitions that the club compete in

Age Group Winners
Boys Under 15 – Zac Fraser
Girls Under 15 – Ruby Erzan-Essien
Boys Under 13 – Joseph Webster
Girls Under 13 – Isobel Oxley

Overall Standings
Boys Under 15
Zac Fraser 42
Harry Aldred 31
Josh Bentley-Hughes 21
Jason Scaife 11

Girls Under 15
Ruby Erzan-Essien 38
Lily Philbin 36
Hannah Swailes 21
Millie Bracey 20

Boys Under 13
Joseph Webster 55
Connor Gettinby 13
Charlie Parker 11
Charlie Aldred 10
Harry Owens 9

Girls Under 13
Isobel Oxley 34
Poppy Dunne 11
Jennifer Ekiugo 9
Mia Makin 8
Vesta Drevinskaite 7

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Northern indoor championships January 2020


It was yet another successful Northern indoor championships this weekend. Highlight of the weekend was an outstanding 1500m gold medal for middle distance star Jonny Kay. He destroyed the field, lapping a couple of competitors and coming home in a time of 3min 51.58. This time is the qualifying standard for the British championships to be held in Glasgow in February and will be Jonny’s first British champs.
Joining him at the championship will be sprint star Hannah Kelly. Hannah has already qualified for the 200m based on her performances in 2019. On Saturday she decide to compete over 400m as a ‘bit of fun’. In her third ever 400m race in her heat she lead from the gun and easily qualified for the final in a time of 58.13. With extremely heavy legs only two hours later she lined up for the final. Despite being a 400m novice she ran through the pain to take the bronze medal in 56.94 seconds.
Also in the 400m U20 Olivia Kimbowa in her first indoor 400m race finished a fantastic 4th in the final. As ever Olivia judged her race perfectly, didn’t panic and came through strong in the last 40m. Jack Dickinson competed for the first time since making the final of the 400m at last years Northern indoors. Despite having trained very little in the last 8 months he ran a gutsy race to finish 4th in his heat.
There were 3 Bolton athletes in the 60m short sprint. U20 athlete Taiwo Taiwo having missed nearly two years of training due to injury was very nervous lining up against the best in the North of England. She didn’t disappoint and blasted her semi final and recorded a time of 7.93 seconds. This was her second fastest time ever and testimony to all her hard work. She stormed to 7th in the final and is now ready to push on and run fast times in the summer.
Abigail Adeniji lined up in the U17 women’s 60m. She ran a controlled heat to qualify for the semi final and came a creditable 8th despite suffering with a knee injury. In the men’s 60m Eniola Adedotun ran a controlled heat and smashed the semi final coming second in 7.17 seconds. This was not only a big PB but yet another of Les Hall’s talented sprint group to have beaten their coaches PB. Eni then finished 8th in the final.
Multi talented athlete Julia Winogrodzka had a busy Saturday morning. Within 90 minutes she had to run three 60m hurdles races as well as compete in the Long Jump. She breezed through to the final of the hurdles and finished 6th. Her best time of the day was 9.04 seconds. She also came 9th in the long jump with a distance of 5m 26.
Under 20 athlete Rebecca Weekes set a new indoor PB of 27.24 seconds in the 200m coming second in her semi final. Unfortunately she didn’t progress to the final as one of the fastest losers but still ran a great race at her first Northern championships.
Hannah and Jonny have qualified for the senior British Championships and all the other athletes have achieved the qualifying times for the England Athletics age group championships.