Kayli English had a great finish to the last race meet of the 2021 season with 2 PB’s in Coventry at the BWAA Grand Prix on September 11th. Kayli competed in 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. The PB’s came in the 100m and 800m. Now onto winter training in preparation for 2022.
Sunday 14th September saw a fantastic Bolton Harriers turn out at the Wilmslow Running Festival Half Marathon and 10k race and great performances.
Postponed for many months, there was a great vibe and excitement in the air as large scale racing returned. With music blaring, the well coordinated lycra clad warm up ladies led the pre race warm up with some enthusiastic side stepping and over the head clapping.
As the gun fired Martin Reid took a commanding lead in the 10k having powered himself up with a homemade caffeine concoction to shake off any tiredness from a friend’s 40th birthday party the night before. Martin’s decision to sit out Macarena in order to rest his racing legs paid dividends as he won convincingly by over a minute setting a new course record of 32:54. Not one to soak up the lime light Martin left quickly as he had somehow found himself in the starting line up for a football match with a team of ex Man City pros in need of a goal keeper. He was pleased with his goalkeeping performance having ‘only conceded 2 goals’.
Laura Lombard won the ladies 10k in a new course record. As she turned the first bend an old man stood at his garden gate gave some words of encouragement ‘come on girl, you show these boys how it’s done’. Armed with these words of wisdom, Laura ran a well paced raced crossing the 5k point in just under 19 mins. As the race doubled back on the out going half marathon runners a sea of blue and yellow Bolton vests lifted spirits and she maintained her pace to the finish line in 37:52 and winning by 2 minutes.
Mark Wolstencroft was first home in the half marathon for Bolton and ran a solid race finishing in 1:22:50 and fifth V55. Capable of a sub 1:20 performance, this will come as he continues to train consistently.
Heather Brown, continuing to demonstrate great potential in her build up to Manchester Marathon was fifth lady home in a new pb of 1:27:26. The new recruit ran an excellently well paced race cheered on by boyfriend Will.
With the Bolton girl’s showing great potential and motivation, Rachel Bailey was third back for Bolton with a fantastic performance and huge pb in 1:35:57. Rachel is in fine form and preparing well for Manchester Marathon.
Bolton Coach Ady Costello had a great turn out from his training group and was delighted that they had all run really well; Gary Porteous (1:37:59), James Rideout (1:39:14), Scott Bracey (1:38:47), Dominic Sohor (1:39:29), Rebecca Millington (1:47:15), Max Garner (1:52:42), Mary Cheung (1:54:21), Hannah Edwards (02:09:24).
A big thank you to all Bolton Harriers athletes who competed in the YDL League Meeting at Richmond St Athletics Stadium Saturday 4th September: Mark Lintott, Edan Penketh, Herbie Kay, William Lacey, Vincent Worthington, Poppy Dunne, Mia Makin, Isobel Hall, Isobel Oxley, Emma Begg, Jennifer Ekiugbo, Noah Pickford, Ralphie Shore, Nathaniel Knowles, Alfie Dodds, Christopher Frank, Matilda Hall, Ellie Deavall, Iris Beca, Aliyah Martin, Jessica Swales, Scarlett Thompson, Allyssia May, Pricess Iwelu, Alexander Preston and Cerys Jones.
Emma Begg made her Bolton debut and duly won the U15 girls pole vault with a clearance of 1m 85. Matilda Hall competed in her first high jump competition, won the A string with 1m 35 and then took the U13 Long jump win too with another PB of 4m 14.
Bolton were dominant in the field and scored more points than any other club on the day. Ellie Deavall epitomised the have a go attitude of many of the athletes as she won the U13 girls A string javelin and Alfie Dodds scored an A string win in the U13 boys shot put.
U15 William Lacey was in imperious form winning three throwing events, discus, shot and hammer.
As in the previous matches this season Bolton’s U15 male sprinters were dominant. Mark Lintott and Vincent Worthington both won their 100 and 200m races for a clean sweep. They followed this up with a comprehensive win in the 4x100m relay along with team mates Herbie Kay and Edan Penketh.
The U13 girls relay team weren’t to be outdone. The quartet of Matilda Hall, Ellie Deavall, Allyssia May and Princess Iwelu led from the start and won by 15m. This is even more impressive as all the girls are at the lower end of the age group and will be an even stronger team next year.
At this years opening YDL match the girls u13 relay team consisting of Aliyah Martin, Matilda Hall, Allyssia May and Summer Eden smashed the club record and ran the second fastest time in the country this year. It shows the massive strength in depth there is in female sprinting at Bolton Harriers.
On Saturday 21st August Cathy took her part in the British Masters Championships held in Derby. These are the British Championships for athletes over 35 years old and races are run in 5 year age categories. She ran in the F55-59 age category in the 1500m manufacturing an absolutely super performance to take Gold in a time of 5:36.
Cathy has been competing in Masters events since 2015 and thoroughly enjoys racing against other athletes of the same age. She said “it has been really beneficial this year competing in the Northern League for Bolton Harriers”. She has been producing some strong points winning performances and this in turn has helped her race fitness enormously in the build-up to this event.
Alderley Edge Bypass 10k
An out and back race on the smooth tarmac of a fully closed road, broken only by live bands every 1k, proved a perfect setting for some excellent running from some blue vest’s. Martin Reid continued his fine form this year with a time of 33:36. He was followed home by Jordan Lee in 38:20 and Joe Grisdale comfortably broke 40 for the first time in 39:38. Our only lady representative Rachel Bailey continues to improve and came home in 41:19.
Mid Cheshire Summer 5k
Three more of Dave Shaw’s group made their way to Kingsley in Cheshire for a Friday evening cavalry charge. Running Mayor Rob Short cast off his robe and charged home in a pb of 16:51. Not to be outdone his partner Katie Percival kept up her improvement since joining Harriers and also got a pb of 19:56. Mark Wolstencroft continued to defy the years but was himself just a few seconds shy of a pb in a time of 17:54.
Bolton Harriers provided the winner this week in the guise of Phil Hardman romping home in a time of 19:09. Dave Chrystal has had a tough time this year but is now getting back to enjoying his running again and came home in 5th spot with a time of 21:25.
Bolton Harrier’s top fell runner finally got the opportunity after Lockdown to visit his family in the Isle of Man. Not one just to relax for the week, he also decided to enter a couple of the events in the No Rest For The Wicked series taking place on the island.
An hour after getting off the boat on Wednesday 11th August Andy was at the start of the Killer Mile Race from Marine Drive, Douglas. This was 1 mile with a daunting 591 feet of ascent up to the radio masts at Upper Howe. 175 entrants were set off in groups of 5, and after just under 9 minutes of lung bursting, energy sapping, thigh burning effort Andy had reached the summit for a top 50 finish.
Friday 13th August saw the Peel Heritage Trail Run. An undulating course of around 7 miles following an old railway track with a scenic coastal path to finish. On a beautiful evening with the sun going down behind Peel castle Andy romped home in just under 50 minutes. As can be the way in that part of the world results are still to be announced.
Commercial property solicitor Heather Brown, and latest lady recruit to Dave Shaw’s talented squad of Bolton Harriers runners, only signed up for the Rochdale 10k five hours before the race. She entered after the persuasion of partner, and another new recruit, in Will Tomlinson.
The venue was an undulating single lap course at Springfield Park, Rochdale with good conditions for running thankfully.
What an inspired decision it turned out to be with Heather storming home as First Lady in a great time of 41;05. Proving also where there’s a Will there’s a way ! Will made it a great evening for this eminently likeable couple with a super top 10 finish in 37;03.
Heather is currently in training for the Manchester Marathon in October and enjoying training with our club after the couple joined in June.
She said “I love training with Dave and the rest of the group. We train hard but have a good laugh at the same time. It also provides me with some good headspace after a hard day’s graft at the office. I haven’t run for any other clubs or ran in competition before. I am hopeful of exciting times ahead as my running ‘career’ gets more serious !
Bolton Harriers Endurance Group coach Adrian Costello took 11 members to the annual Ramsbottom Summer Mile on Tuesday 11th August.
Totally alien to a group who normally don’t get out of bed for less than 10k they still came away with some great performances.
Coach Costello had prepared them well with a training session the week before at the Nuttall Park venue.
Club Warrior Ryan Kirkman was first blue vest back in a time of 5;33. Ryanman, as he is now known, had recently entered Ironman for the first time after months of arduous training and would have finished under 12 hours but for the misfortune of a puncture in the cycling event.
Rachel Bailey has been running really well for the club in recent league matches gaining lots of valuable points. She continued the excellent form coming home First Lady in a time of 5;42.
The Endurance Group have some really tough ladies totally accustomed to the mental and physical challenges that full and half marathons, biathlons and triathlons bring, in the form of Beka Millingon, Cherry Collison, Mary Cheung and Hannah Edwards. Beka 6;34, Cherry 6;40, Mary 7;01 and Hannah 7;13 all put their heart and soul into what is virtually a sprint for them.
Massively dedicated and improving trio of Dominic Sohor 6;02, Gary Porteous 6;13 and Mark Garner 6;20 continue to impress. All three put a lot of effort, not just into training, but away from the club also in their own running.
Husband and Wife club stalwarts Gary 6;25 and Catherine Jones 8;03 have been donning the club vest for many years now. Both are popular members who represent the club with great pride.
Coach Adrian Costello is in training for the London Marathon. He is running like a man possessed at the moment, and rumour has it he is posting that many sessions he caused the Strava platform to crash recently ! He showed he is no slouch at the shorter distances finishing in a great time of 6;29.
The club sends congratulations to all of them and thanks them for a job well done.
In the final Senior League meeting of the season Bolton Harriers produced a very strong track performance with lots of their premier runners on show. Bolton once again had the highest points on the track and if the club can work on getting more Field athletes out next season prospects will look very bright indeed.
Highlights on the day saw a Senior league debut appearance by Jake Harwood, a U17 sprinter from Les Hall’s sprint group. Looking a little worried beforehand, he soon blew away those nerves with a win in his opening event the 100m B race with a PB equalling time of 11.9 seconds. He backed up Ben To who just before had bolted home in convincing fashion to win the A race in 11.2 seconds. Both athletes then repeated the trick in the 200 metres with Jake clocking a pb.
In the Women’s sprints Hannah Kelly & Abi Adeniji matched their male counterparts achievements by winning both the 100 & 200m A and B races respectively in convincing fashion.
This was backed up by Olivia Kimbowa A and Katie Eckersley B in the 400m both winning their respective races handsomely taking maximum points. A seasons best from Katie just narrowly missing out on a sub 60 clocking in 60.4 seconds. This boded well for a Senior league 4x400m club record attempt later in the day.
Rebecca Reid showed her versatility competing well in the throws and long jump despite coming back from injury and she epitomised the team spirit in gaining valuable points.
In the middle distance events, Bolton welcomed back Jonny Kay from injury for his first senior outing and he won easily in a 800 & 1500m double. He was backed up with a 2nd place finish in the 800 B from Tony Valentine and Martin Reid in the 1500m as the two Harriers posted maximum points with Reid clocking 4.09.5 for a seasons best.
In the Women’s middle distance events Rachel Bailey had a storming finish in her 800m tracking a number of athletes to power past them in the last 100m to win the A race with a new PB of 2.22.1. She was backed up by the evergreen Cathy Flitcroft who wasn’t to be outdone posting a 4 seconds season best in a time of 2.44 dead.
Both athletes were obviously hungry for more and they repeated their excellent performances on the day with Rachel beating her 1500m previous best breaking 5 minutes for the first time in 4.59.6, and Cathy beating her age related Northern Masters record by 4 seconds again in a time of 5.35.5. A double double for both athletes !
In the longer races Bolton had another debutant in the women’s 3000m with U17 athlete Ruby Erzan-Essien taking 4th place with a new PB herself in 11.23. Beka Millington, who is currently in marathon training, came in with a very creditable 4th place in the B race with a time of 13.18.
In the Men’s 5000m, Tony Valentine doubling up from his earlier 800m race, took 2nd place in the A in 16.07 chased in by Tommy Harrison taking maximum points in the B in 16.16 with a seasons best on the track.
Brian Hall was imperious in the jumps especially the High Jump his specialist event, winning with a seasons best 1m 90 and clocking up excellent team points in the Triple Jump also winning the A with a leap of 12m 20 cms. Brian wasn’t finished there however as he came 2nd in the Long Jump A (5m 42cm) and he won the 110m Hurdles B. He was backed up by club chairman Scott Whittle, showing no ill effects from his recent stag night, winning the 110m hurdles A and Long Jump B. Scott had also won the 400m hurdles A race passing the Bury athlete after the last hurdle to take victory.
In the Women’s relays both the 4x100m and 4x400m teams were looking to try and take the win but also the club records.
The 4x100m team, including International representative Hannah Kelly and backed up by Abi Adeniji, Fola Fasehun and Olivia Kimbowa, went close but were denied a club record but still took a very easy victory in a time of 50.2 seconds.
The 4x400m women’s squad went one better not only winning but achieving a club senior record in a time of 4;01;09.Katie Eckersley ran the first leg bringing the baton back in first place with a good lead before handing over to Olivia Kimbowa. She extended the lead further before handing over to Rachel Bailey on 3rd leg who ran strongly to pass to Hannah Kelly on the last leg. The team by now were well away from the rest and Kelly brought the baton home to take the win by nearly 15 seconds!
Team Manager Scott Whittle was very pleased with the attitude, commitment and team Spirit of the athletes both on the day and throughout the season. He said “hopefully we can get the throws and field events stronger and more consistent next year, and the club will be looking for promotion and hopefully win the League. He also wished to thank the Timekeepers and Officials who volunteered for the club and without who we wouldn’t be able to compete in the events and also themselves gain massive points for the club in each match”.
Over 30 junior Bolton athletes competed at the Trafford open meeting on saturday 1st May. Due to the pandemic competition has been limited and for some of the athletes this was their first competition in over 12 months, and for some their first ever competition. In a fantastic turnout by the club’s athletes their coaches Les Hall, Steve Eden, Gwylim Jones and Ciaran Dunne were very proud of them all.
Races were seeded by time and the girls and boys raced together in their appropriate age groups. This resulted in some fantastic performances not always ending in victory.
There were too many PB’s to mention as they came thick and fast throughout the day. However race winners were:
- Vincent Worthington U15 100m/200m
- Iris Beca u13 75m
- Noah Pickford u15 75m/150m
- Aliyah Martin u13 75m/150m
- Mark Lintott u15 200m
- Zia Isherwood u13 150m
- Herbie Kay u15 300m
- Joshua Grundy u11 600m
Cherie Ufuoma competed over 100m and ran 12.61 seconds which moved her to the top of the U15 girls UK rankings.
Jamie Greenhalgh also moved to the top of the rankings (although briefly) in the u13 boys discus when he threw 19m 34.
Herbie Kay, off the back of a big long jump PB (4m 74) took on the 300m for the first time and controlled the race from gun to tape winning in 43.55 seconds. In the u11 600m Joshua Grundy ran the perfect race to win in 2 minutes 07.
Josh Grundy had a great 600m winning his race at a canter by 11 seconds.
Bolton United Harriers are blessed with real strength in depth in girls sprinting at the moment. Five Bolton U13 girls are in the UK top 20 75m rankings so we should look forward to some amazing times in the relays. Summer Eden still holds the number 1 spot and hopes to improve on her PB of 10.33 seconds over the season.
The line, the line was calling in Danny Shaw’s desperate lung busting dip for a sub 9 minute performance. It was clocked at 9.00.19!
Sunday 9th May at Trafford saw a much reduced squad from Bolton Harriers on the previous meetings this year. It did include however some of the senior members this time.
One of those was the very likeable Accountant from Bolton in Danny Shaw who had entered the 3000 metres. He had been crunching the numbers and his aim was a sub 9 minute PB. Danny was previously a hockey player and had never really committed to running until Covid hit. Running was the only thing he could then dedicate his spare time to and having discovered a real talent for it he is now going to hang the hockey sticks up in the loft.
He commented “It was my second race of the year having already done Podium 5 weeks before which had blown away the cobwebs (not raced since June 19 before that). After Podium it was back to training with the group again, every session I’ve done in that month between Podium and Trafford I did faster than I’d ever done before so I felt confident going into the race. My aim was sub 9 which I knew was going to be tough. I just treated it like a time trial and ignored everyone else and ran at my pace until last couple laps when I started to focus on each person as I went past them. The race went out really fast – I was second last (16th/17) after 200m but I agreed with my coach Dave Shaw I was to run my own race. I ended up in 5th so I’d gone past a lot of athletes on the way which it could be argued slowed me down a touch and cost me the 0.2 seconds iI needed for a sub 9. Overall really pleased though as I have very little experience on the track. Hopefully it sets me up well for my Northern League debut on Saturday 22nd May.”
Still a PB for young Danny and 0.2 of a second does not detract from a fantastic effort.
Young Ruby Erzan Essien continued her fine progress through the junior ranks also in the Under 17s 3000 metres and came home with a new PB of 11.32.39.
Another young man on the PB trail in the Under 20s was Ben To with a turbo charged effort of 22.85secs in the 200m. He backed that up with a strong run of 11.23 secs in the 100m. Coach Les Hall has high hopes for Ben of finishing this season in the UK top 50 and setting a new 100m PB of 10.8 secs.
Folarera Fasehun won her 200 metres heat in a time of 28.05 secs.
Jake Harwood in the under 17s 100 metres weighed in with 12.57 secs and Jack Dickinson 53.19 secs in the Senior 400 metres.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary Bolton Harrier & Former British marathon runner Ron Hill who has died at the age of 82.
The 1969 European Athletics Championships marathon gold-medal winner was the second man to break the two hours and 10 minutes barrier in the discipline.
Ron claimed marathon gold at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and was the first British runner to win the (74th) Boston marathon.
He competed at the 1964 Tokyo, 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Olympics. Hill also laid claim to the longest unbroken streak of running every day, that lasted 52 years and 39 days, from 1964 to 2017.
He is one of the greatest athletes in British athletics history, setting world records at 10 miles, 15 miles, 25km – the latter two on the Bolton Harriers’ Leverhulme Park track in 1965.
Ron Hill was born in Accrington and although he has never lived in Bolton, his name has been synonymous with the town since he joined Bolton United Harriers when he was at his peak and he remained so as a Life Member of the club.
He never forgot his Bolton connections, competing in the iconic annual Rivington Pike Fell Race on 40 occasions, the last being in 2016.
Incredibly for a man with a CV of success as deep as his, it is the fact he ran a mile every day for more than 52 years which is one of his most memorable achievements.
Our sincere condolences and best wishes go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.
A new campaign fronted by Runsome and Runner’s World has established a network of running enthusiasts across the UK, to become the world’s first ‘Running Mayors’. Running Mayors will advocate running for sport as well as a form of active travel. A key aim of the project is to position running as a viable alternative to the car for short errands and local trips.
We therefore take great delight in announcing that our very own Robert Short has been appointed as Bolton’s Running Mayor. Robert is a keen, talented and enthusiastic member of Bolton Harriers. Robert’s partner Katie has also become a very welcome new recruit to the club.
He heard about the initiative in January and wanted to get involved and applied immediately. His success has just been confirmed.
Robert said; “I’m delighted to have been appointed to this role, it gives me a great platform to share my positive experience of running and influence others to take part. Running has really benefited my physical health and mental well-being. I’ve made so many friends through training, racing and volunteering in the running community. I have seen many people change their lives for the better by taking up running. Indeed my own club Bolton Harriers, with the help of a Sport England grant, are looking to come out of lockdown and welcome new members”.
And that’s not all, Robert’s ambition as a Running Mayor also encompasses his care for our environment. Robert explains “I want to contribute to environmental sustainably in any way that I can. Currently, emissions resulting from transport cause air pollution and contribute to climate change, so promoting active travel is a really positive step”.
The RunSome campaign is urging government to include running in its £2bn active travel funding, alongside walking and cycling, and looking to double the number of people running everyday tasks within the next 12 months.
Running is an efficient mode of urban transport – it’s cheap, it’s typically twice as fast as walking, often faster than driving in congested cities, has a low carbon footprint and aids our mental and physical health. With a quarter of UK journeys a mile or less (Sustrans) and over two thirds of car trips in UK cities under 3 miles (INRIX) there is much potential. Cities worldwide are adapting streets for people to enable more journeys on foot and bikes. If the UK’s 11 million runners ran just one or two everyday journeys a week rather than drive, it would be significant, enabling us to navigate our cities more healthily and sustainably.
As individuals and as a network the Running Mayors will make the case to city leaders and mayors for why runners — too often invisible in discussions about how we live and move — need to feature in their planning and design of places and services, not least in terms of active travel.
The Running Mayors will also work with other local stakeholders to champion a range of topics that they care deeply about – for many that also includes improving safety and security for women when running, walking and cycling — be that through better lighting, upgrading routes and pavements or buddying up scheme.
United Harriers & Athletics Club are delighted to announce they have been awarded a £5,445 grant by Sport England from their ‘Return To Play Fund’.
This was the first ever attempt by the club’s committee in applying for a sporting grant and the money will go towards new equipment, coaches training and website improvements.
The Covid lockdown restrictions have posed significant challenges to the club and are ongoing. Extensive work has been carried out to risk assess the club activities in order to provide a Covid secure setting.
Groups have been restricted to 12 members per coach and with around 350 members to 10 volunteer coaches there is a need for more coaches.
Extra equipment was needed for members training alone or in smaller groups.
The disabled group have been unable to train during lockdown so the club has applied for 2 rollers – these are devices that allow static indoor wheelchair training.
Leverhulme Centre would normally have provided the hub for club members to meet prior to training and process membership applications. The centre has been closed for long periods during the pandemic. Funds were required to develop the website and the ability to process membership applications and renewals online.
The project ‘Back with Bolton Harriers’ has just begun and will continue for the next 6 months. The club is looking forward to getting back to business, training new coaches, and welcoming new and existing members alike.
Harriers would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Sport England for helping to facilitate the venture.