2021 Latest News Race Reports


U13 Harrier Matilda Hall was the first competitor of the day. She was one of a number of indoor debutants but didn’t disappoint with a huge PB in the long jump of 4m 31. She followed this up equalling her PB in the high jump with a clearance of 1m 35.

Next up were the speed merchants in the 60m. Senior Ben To equalled his PB coming 3rd in the fastest heat in a time of 7.16 seconds, setting him up nicely for the Northern championships in January. U17 Vincent Worthington also making his debut, finished 2nd in his heat in a fantastic time of 7.84 seconds. Also in the U17 age group it was a first time competition for Kennedy Lawson. Despite nerves about using starting blocks for the first time she powered through in 8.47 seconds.

In the U15’s there were four Bolton female athletes – Cherie Ufuoma, Summer Eden and two U13’s stepped up an age group. First up was Cherie who competed at the English Schools in the summer. Competing over 60m for the first time she ran 8.17 seconds which qualifies her for the EA national championships in February. Next up was Summer who powered to second place in her heat in a time of 8.40 seconds. The two U13 competitors Allyssia May and Matilda Hall lined up in the same race. Both ran fantastic races with Allyssia finishing first in 8.43 seconds with Matilda second in 8.63.

Jonny Kay opened up his indoor campaign hoping to emulate his bronze medal at the British championships in 2020. Today he was racing over 600m and finished strongly in a time of 1 min 20 setting himself up nicely for the rest of the indoor season.

Last up were the 300’s. Hannah Kelly and Olivia Kimbowa competed in the senior women’s event. Hannah who has hopes of competing at the Commonwealth games in 2022 ran the quickest female time of the day by nearly a second in 39.86. Olivia ran close to her indoor PB with a time of 42.18. In the U15’s Isobel Oxley also making her debut ran a controlled race and smashed her PB coming home in 46.13.

2021 Race Reports


Buoyed by their recent Bolton Parkrun gender firsts Harriers couple Will Tomlinson and  Heather Brown travelled up to Longridge for the Christmas Pudding Seven Miler.

The Longridge course was described as a tough and undulating seven mile course over the beautiful Longridge fells all on roads. A bit of an understatement apparently with the severe inclines to negotiate.

The young Harriers couple did not let it faze them, gritted their teeth and battled round in 41 mins 56 secs and 46 mins 48 secs respectively. Will earning a podium finish  and Heather first female yet again.

Will said “I was just grateful to have come through some injury issues and finally get on the start line following a solid block of training. It was obvious early on that first place was out of reach, however I found myself in a tough three-way battle for the remaining two podium positions. Over the last downhill mile I managed to kick on from 4th to 2nd place through the finishing line which I was super pleased about”.Heather has had a stunning first year in competitive running with gender firsts in virtually everything she has entered and at various distances. Gushing with pride she said “Super happy to finish my road running race year on a high, taking 1st lady. Our coach Dave Shaw’s advice was to enjoy it and get stuck in – I took an early lead with the front pack and knew I just needed to keep the pace. Being a frequenter of hill running I knew I was in my element as a misty Jeffrey Hill approached. After four and half  miles of climb it was all downhill from there. Being the home stomping ground of my mum and grandparents I really wanted to win it for them and they were waiting with loud cheers at the finish line”!

2021 Race Reports


Two more ‘Blue Vests’ made the short journey up the A666 for the Blackburn 10k. Sully Badat has been making great progress recently with the Bolton parkrun and has improved by over a minute in a month. He proved he had the stamina for the longer distance here and won his V45 age category in a time of 37 mins 13 secs and an overall top 20 finish. One of the leading runners in Aidie Costello’s Endurance Group Sully has been training really well both at home and with his Harriers group. He said “I have really enjoyed my running these last few months, I have lost some weight and feel in the best shape I can remember. Blackburn went totally to plan and am really pleased with my performance”.

Harriers warhorse Mark Wolstencroft was not far behind and galloped home in 37 mins 52 secs for a 2ndplace in the V55 age category. He explained “if the finish had been around the whole of the Ewood park pitch I would have seen the other V55 in front of me and I might have had him !”


Sunday also saw a Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships at Leigh Sports Village. The club only had 4 young athletes on the day and coach Gwylim Jones stated “I have been really pleased with the enthusiasm to turn out event after event by  Lily Philbin, Emily Wood and Cerys Jones. Emily in particular was taking part in her first Under 13s race moving up from the Under 11s and she put in an outstanding performance. Eve Blaney was also taking part in her first event of this kind and I was delighted with her”.

2021 Race Reports


Sunday 12th December saw the Telford 10k. Statistically proven as the fastest 10k course in the UK the race had a seriously strong countrywide field. A two lap traffic free tarmac course utilising Telford Town Park for this  England Athletics Age Group Masters Qualifying Event.

Danny Shaw and Martin Reid took their places at the start for the hotpot event.

Danny, aiming for a sub 32, came home an agonising 1 second away in exactly 32 minutes. Martin was typically first to congratulate his slightly disappointed team mate who nonetheless had run a magnificent race. He eulogized “Danny’s run was an absolutely sensational effort. It was a fast course stacked with class runners. He ran a pretty even first and second 5k but really went for it in the last 400m with a sub 65 seconds and was extremely unlucky not to get the sub 32”.

As regards his own performance (a not so shabby 34 mins 30 secs) Martin explained “I didn’t run as well as I would have liked. I’m taking a couple of weeks off for Christmas.  I need to recharge mentally and physically as I have been running five days a week since doing a marathon last year. I need to miss it and get desperate to be back out there again”.

2021 Latest News Race Reports


Katie Percival broke down in tears at the finishing line of the Wilmslow Festive 10k. Happily though these were tears of joy after finally achieving her target of a ‘sub 40’ 10k. Years of dedication and training had finally come to fruition. Partner of Rob Short, Bolton’s Running Mayor,  Katie had an agenda of her own but it was the last thing on her mind prior to the race on Sunday.

She explained “what I would say is I’ve been aiming for the sub 40 for years but to be honest I turned up on Sunday with no expectations, thinking ‘just run’. When I was still with the sub 40 pacer at 5k I realised I might be doing okay! Obviously running in freezing conditions suits me well as I am known for complaining that it’s too hot! Very happy with the result of course and looking forward to upcoming events”.

Harriers had a small but strong contingent in a talented country wide line up. First Harrier home and in overall fourth position was the irrepressible Jonny Kay. He was hoping for a ‘sub 30’ 10k but although those hopes were dashed he still finished with a stunning  pb of 30 mins 21 secs. Jonny commented “it was bitterly cold. Happy with it. Settled into a good rhythm early on in the leading pack but ended up being pretty solo from the 5k mark. Nigel Martin of Sale (sub 29 runner) was always in sight so he gave me something to look at – always happy with a pb” !

Tommy ‘Gun’ Harrison continued his fine form and busy schedule with yet another pb in a time of 32 mins 31 secs. Tommy has had a fantastic year and can rightly be proud of his 2021 achievements  in the famous Blue Vest.

The previously mentioned Rob Short also came away with a super pb finishing in 35 mis 21 secs. Rob has continued to improve since joining Dave Shaw’s group and didn’t disappoint his watching coach.

Joe Grisdale and Matt Atkinson both had big pbs to celebrate on the day also and were split by the super consistent Chris Povey (known has ‘Diesel’ to his team mates). Joe posted 37 mins 17 secs with Chris just 1 sec behind. After getting his breath back Joe said proudly “chuffed to bits with that and looking forward to seeing how I progress next year training with the group”. Matt revealed “it was great to get a 10k pb after mainly marathon training over the last year or so and my aim is to go sub 37 in the New Year”.

Jordan Brophy proved what a great trooper he is by taking up his starting position despite still getting over Covid. Jordan battled his way to a time of 41 mins 18 secs and will no doubt improve on that with Wilmslow under his belt and the illness behind him.

2021 Latest News Race Reports


Saturday 13th November saw the third leg of the Red Rose Cross country League at Centre Vale Park in Todmorden. A challenging mix of steep hills and sloppy mud was the course description.

‘Great going Mum’ ‘Congrats to Mother Lombard’ ‘Well done Running Mum’ and the tributes just kept flowing  on the club group chat to Bolton’s Queen Of Country Laura Lombard. Affectionately known as ‘Running Mum’ at Bolton Harriers Laura  retained her Red Rose Veteran Ladies title and also runners up spot in the Senior Ladies section.

This was a day for the Harrier’s ladies to eclipse the men for once. The ladies team finished 5th overall. From the  Adie Costello Endurance Group Rachel Bailey showed her usual courage and resolve battling into 7th position. Caroline Mullineaux and Beka Millington, also from the Endurance Group, ran strongly earning valuable points for the team. Had Oriel Hardman been registered for the club in time Harriers would have finished in the top three  as she came home in a super 11th position.

The clubs younger ladies did themselves and the club proud with Ruby Erzan-Essien, daughter of club stalwart and volunteer Ato, continuing her development with a strong 3rd in the Under 17s. Lily Philbin ran her usual dependable race into 7th spot.

A delighted Laura commented “The Red Rose is a lovely, friendly event and a welcome return to Cross Country. I was extremely pleased to finish female runner up and win the vets title. It was a good day out for the Bolton girls with Rachel and Oriel well up on the leaders board. Ruby has been running really well also and deserved her top 3 finish”.

Coach Gwylim Jones was please with his young charges and had this to say “Scarlett Thompson is showing rapid improvement and finished runner up in the Under 13s girls. In the previous event she had finished 10th. The Under 11 boys had a great day finishing 3rd. Mathew Wood was 8th when in the previous race he was around 28th. His team mates Josh Grundy and Benjamin Davies also put in creditable performances but I was pleased with absolutely every one of those kids.” 

Harrier’s men had a lower turnout than usual and first one back was new recruit to coach Dave Shaw’s group Joe Grisdale. The IT Account Manager quipped on that fact “being the only one from Dave’s group might have helped my cause. My only hobby is running as Dave doesn’t allow us to have any other hobbies”. Obviously tongue in cheek he went on to say  “I’ll just pick the races that the quick lads aren’t entering from now on! In all seriousness though it was very tough, my first proper cross country race I’ve done so didn’t really know what to expect, a very humbling experience. It was a beautiful day, but conditions were extremely difficult and the mud was shin deep in some parts. I only moved up here recently and am   still getting used to all this hill running ! 

Only a couple of seconds behind him was Plasterer Thomas Gore who was obviously used to working with such slop. Thomas has been a regular entrant in lots of race types for the club this year and is another Endurance Group member who is training hard and improving accordingly. Fellow Harriers  Dominic Sohor, Mark Garner and Rick Scaife all ran strong races and all are regular sights now at club races wearing the famous Blue vest.

2021 Race Reports


Still feeling some life in his legs after Saturdays Cross Country Championships Tommy Harrison lined up at the start line of the Through The Villages race on Sunday 7th November. Starting and finishing at The Dresser’s Arms Wheelton 275 runners made their way through a tough 8.5 mile course taking in Brinscall, Abbey Village and Withnell.

Taking in lots of races at the moment and in some of the best form of his life Tommy turned it into something of a procession and stormed round winning in a time of 48 mins 41 secs. He was a minute and half clear of second spot !

Seasoned Harriers campaigners in Mark Wolstencroft and Chris Pickford from Bolton Harriers also made their way to Wheelton and both ran strongly. Mark has an incredible ‘engine’ and motored round in typical fashion coming home 18th in a time of 54 mins 28 secs. ‘Big Chris’ Pickford made a welcome return in the famous blue vest after suffering for quite a while now with niggling injuries. He will come out of the race in better shape for a top 40 finish in a time of 57 mins 55 secs.

Tommy commented from the victory podium “It went really well for me – I just got in a solid rhythm from the start and it was enough to pull away from the chasing pack on the second hill. By the time I got to Abbey Village I was well clear and could just concentrate on getting home. Felt better Sunday than Saturday which was weird  and Villages is a tough race – it’s like 7 hills on steroids (7 hills is a tough run between Bolton and Bury).  Mark and Chris ran well…Mark finished really strong and came flying down the last hill to the finish.  It was nice to see Big Chris back in club colours as he has been missed around the group”.

2021 Race Reports


Partners Will Tomlinson and Heather Brown may have made history in Bolton Park Run on Saturday 6th November. Both recent recruits to Dave Shaw’s Harriers group are they the first couple to win by gender in its history ? Will stormed home in 18 mins 27 secs and Heather was first lady in 20 mins 54 secs. Will was the only runner in sub 19 mins. Heather continued her fine form from the Rochdale 10k and  Manchester Marathon proving her strength as a great all rounder. This Parkrun was made even more notable by the fact that five out of the first six were from Bolton Harriers. Sully Badat continues to shine with second place and a pb of 19 mins 10 secs. Sully has improved by over a  minute in just the last month at Bolton Parkrun. Joe Grisdale, from the same Dave Shaw stable as Will and Heather, was not far behind in third spot with another sub 20 mins run. Rachel Bailey was second lady and 6th overall with yet another solid run of 21 mins 13 secs. Other notable harriers runs were provided by Gary Porteous in 23 mins and another sub 24 mins run from young Lily Philbin.

2021 Race Reports


New recruit to Harriers Endurance Group Caroline Mullineaux made an excellent start on her ‘Blue Vest’ debut. 

‘Caz’ made the short journey to Tatton Park on Sunday 7th November. This  gritty lady, who works in Insurance, made it her policy to obtain a new pb and duly eclipsed her best Half Marathon by over 18 minutes ! She came home in 1 hour 42 minutes and was 5th in her age category and 18th overall by gender. A great performance in a field of over 760 runners.

She commented after the race ” I am really pleased with that. I haven’t been at the club for very long but  Bolton Harriers is a really great club and everyone is so friendly.  The structure to the training sessions is well balanced and you can feel yourself Improving week on week”.

2021 Latest News Race Reports


Saturday 6th November saw the National Cross Country Relays. Our senior men’s team travelled down to Berry Hill Park in Mansfield to run in extremely blustery and showery conditions.

This was a two lap parkland course which ran  through a wooded area in addition to grassland. It had been meticulously prepared with lots of undulation and a fast finishing section.

Since its advent all the top British cross country runners have competed with some athletes involved aiming for international call ups.

Martin Reid did an excellent job of calming pre-race nerves by conducting and filming light hearted interviews with his team mates prior to the off. Look out for ‘Reidy’s Racechats’ on the club Instagram page. Apparently they have attracted interest from the powers that be at the BBC and Reidy looks set to join Clare Balding in the team for coverage of The World Athletics Championship in 2022.

‘Fighting’ talk from the lads prior to the start. Danny said “go hard or go home”. Tommy ‘Gun’ Harrison said “this is my kind of course and I am going all out and won’t be leaving anything on the course” !

Our guys were up against it but yet again rose to the challenge. Out of 144 teams they came home in 36thposition and would have been a place higher but for some confusion at one of the change overs. To finish in the top third of teams in a seriously hot national competition is a great achievement by our guys.

Harriers came home in 1hr 8 mins and 32 sec and individual times were Jonny Kay 15:45 Daniel Shaw 17:14 Tommy Harrison 17:32 Martin Reid 18:00. Jonny Kay finished in an excellent 18th position overall. 

Jonny commented after his leg “the start was rapid – really quick. I was feeling really good coming down the hill after the first lap and made up about 10 places in the second lap. I am really pleased with my time”.

Great effort lads and congratulations from all at Bolton Harriers.

2021 Race Reports


Sunday 24th October saw the Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon and getting down to the beat was Bolton United Harrier  Phil Hardman.

Phil had been training by way of sixty  miles per week for three months before. Two weeks before he pounded out  70 miles, and the last bigger run was the Manchester Half Marathon which he did in 1 hour 21 minutes.

During the taper down period he came up with a super  Manchester Park run in 17mins 20 secs,  but then picked up an injury due to trying new trainers.

Phil  was expecting around 2.55 but was running with ankle pain and from the 17th mile was in major discomfort.  He  was extremely relieved to even finish and grab  a time of 3 hours 7 mins. He commented “I thought I was going to have to withdraw the night before so I am more than  happy with that”.

2021 Race Reports


Club 2021 Ironman Ryan Kirkman headed to Liverpool at the weekend for the Rock n Roll series of races. In absolute top form at the moment Ryan seems to clock a PB in everything he enters at the moment. The 10K event was no exception and he came home with a best of 37 mins 21 sec. He stated ” It was a brilliant event but probably my last major event of the year. I will have a few weeks off and start the Ironman prep again”. Ryan was a bike puncture off getting under 12 hours in Ironman and seems determined to make amends next time.
Peter Ledson, a new recruit to Aidie Costello’s Endurance Group, headed back home to Liverpool also to take his part in the Rock n Roll Half Marathon. The Bolton University student completed it in a super time of 1 hr 34 mins. Peter has made quite an impression in his first few weeks training at the club and is yet another who can only improve.

2021 Race Reports


Turbo Tommy Harrison got into gear at last weeks Cheshire 10k, but went into overdrive at the Leeds Abbey Dash this weekend. He clocked 32 mins 43 secs and the ever modest Harrison commented “It went well but was a little disappointed (always am) as I was so close to a PB. It was only the third time I have gone sub 33 so I will take that any day”.

2021 Race Reports


Bolton Harriers took a small but competitive team to the 2021 Gin Pit 5 at Tyldesley, with two members venturing onto the course for the first time and two veterans of previous events.

Thankfully the days’ rain abated during the event, keeping conditions somewhat favourable underfoot.

Rachel Bailey performed strongly once again, retaining her title as first lady, holding off the two-pronged challenge from Ramsbottom Running Club and finishing in 34mins 25 secs. No stranger to the winners spot this girl just goes from strength to strength and is going to need a bigger trophy/medals cabinet. 

Thomas Gore making his debut at this race, described how he took things steady on the first lap and then once he had the lay-of-the-land powered ahead on the second larger loop, coming home first for the club in 12th position with a time of 34mins 11 secs. Tom, a plasterer by trade, was building on his excellent results in the Manchester Marathon and at the Red Rose Cross Country and seems able to deal with all surfaces smoothly.

Another debutant, Dominic Sohor finished in 35 mins 7 secs (20th position) and said, “I was keen to tackle the Gin Pit 5 after other club members had described it as ‘a cracking race’ and ‘a total mud bath’. Thankfully I managed to stay upright despite wearing wildly inappropriate shoes.”

Rounding out the men’s team was Mark Garner (37th position) who has been entering lots of races  of late and finished strongly surging past his rivals on the final slope, finishing on 38mins 2 secs; cementing the men’s team’s position of 3rd overall.

2021 Race Reports


Bolton’s ‘Queen of Country’  Laura Lombard signalled a return to form in the 10k Winter Hill Mast Bast race Sunday 24th October. Laura is the Female holder of the Red Rose Cross Country title and already has points in the bag with a runners up spot in the first event this season. Like HRM she showed she is in no mood to abdicate and does look to be in the kind of form to retain her title. She came up with a typically  gritty Ladies win with a time of 53 mins 28 secs in a tough as they come 10k.

She commented after the race ” It was a lovely, friendly event and we are lucky to have such scenery on our door step. I love running near the mast. It makes you feel alive when you are up at the top in the open because it’s pretty exposed. I enjoy plugging away getting up the climbs but I’d like to be better at running down hill. One of the runners bunny hopped the gates which entertained me but I decided I’d better use the normal method! The bog section got the better of me and briefly swallowed me up. The race was to raise funds for Bolton Mountain Rescue and they put on cake for everyone afterwards. They supported our cross country event last weekend at Leverhulme Park. A pretty fun way to spend a Sunday morning” !

2021 Race Reports


Sunday 16th October saw  three of our finest 10k runners take their starting positions at Arley Hall. Officially one of the fastest 10k races in the UK on flat traffic free roads in the Cheshire countryside.

Danny Shaw has been in storming form this year taking advantage of being under the tutelage of namesake Dave and training with his excellent group at Bolton United Harriers. An accountant who unfortunately has had to move with work to London recently but is still competing in the famous Blue Vest. He was previously a hockey player who never really committed to running until Covid hit. He absolutely stormed home in 32 mins 10 secs and obliterated his previous pb by over 4 minutes !

Tommy ‘Gun’ Harrison was the next Harrier over the line with his best run for a few years in 33 mins 9 secs. Tommy is ‘mister consistency’ at the Bolton club and always seems to be there or thereabouts at the sharp end of a race. This eminently likeable young man is obviously getting  closer to his best and is next up at the Leeds Abbey Dash.

Just behind Tommy  was the versatile Martin Reid. Martin takes great pride in representing the club and has been an integral part of the Harriers squad in our Senior League Team.  Scientist Reid has certainly been experimenting with distances this year and found the right formula coming home in a solid time of 33 mins 32 secs. He feels he could have done better but was suffering with a heavy cold, coach Dave Shaw pointed out. Dave thought Martin ran a very commendable race in the circumstances.

Magnificent running by all three of the guys and the club send its congratulations.

2021 Race Reports

Red Rose Cross Country League at Bolton

Good turnout for our home cross country race on Saturday. The club would like to thank the following for their efforts in running for our club:

Josh Grundy, Mathew Wood, Benjamin Davies, Max Preston, Ted Ratcliffe, Emily Wood, Jasmine Greenhalgh, Freya Lombard, Nathaniel Knowles, Michael Ratchford, Scarlett Thompson, Jessica Swales, Cerys Jones, Alice Yoxall, Ruby Erzan-Essien, Lily Philbin, Hannah Swales, Laura Lombard, Caroline Mullineaux, Cherry Collison, Mark Wolstencroft, Thomas Gore, Mark Garner, Rick Scaife and Dominic Sohor.

We had a few top five finishes for the club in the Under 11 boys, Under 17 women and Ladies Vets.

Individually our own Laura Lombard was runner up in the Ladies and winner of the Ladies Vets. Many congratulations to Laura.

One of our newer recruits Dominic Sohor sent the following description:

“This was my first attempt at cross country and it was something of a shock to the system. Thankfully the favourable weather made the stream crossing more innocuous than expected. However, the hills remained pretty obnoxious of course, and the coaches’ encouragements of “rhythm, rhythm, rhythm” and “keep those arms going” as I dragged myself to the top kept my mind on the job, although I did end up spending the rest of the lap recovering. Big thanks to my clubmates for marshalling and it was a great help being urged on at every turn throughout the course. As I said to Scott as I passed him on the last lap, “Never again!” …Now when’s the next fixture?”

The club would like to thank Gail Harrison for organising the event and all our marshals. She said “Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who was able to help out. The afternoon was a great success and it’s great to see the club hosting events again. Well done to all the runners as it’s a tough course”.

Some action shots sent on the day:

Some action shots sent on the day:

2021 Race Reports


Commercial Property Solicitor Heather Brown continued her fine form and progress with a super time of 3 hrs 13 mins to make her first Bolton Harrier back in the Manchester Marathon. Heather is a fairly new recruit to Coach Dave Shaw’s group but has quickly established herself as an enthusiastic regular attendee to training. After being first lady back in the Rochdale 10k in August this legal eagle proved she can soar to new heights over the much longer iconic distance of a marathon.

Nigel Brodrick and Thomas Gore, both members of  Aidie Costello’s  Endurance Group at Harriers, also impressed coming home in 3 hrs 28 mins. This was a pb for new member Nigel who has looked good in his initial training sessions at the Bolton club.

Rachel Bailey showed how immensely versatile she is with an exemplary 3 hrs 45 mins. This talented young lady  has been running all distances for the team this year from  400 metres upwards and is a club rising star.

Scott Bracey was making his marathon debut and had the misfortune to suffer calf pain at the 10 mile mark. Undeterred this gutsy club member gritted his teeth and battled on home in just under 4 hours. He said “it was my first run at anything like this distance, the crowds were amazing and kept me going despite my injury. It was also nice to see some fellow club members  cheering me at the finish line. Overall  a great event and a memory I will always cherish”.

Mark Garner is another recent recruit to the ‘Blue Vests’ and has been wearing the colours with pride in all sorts of events this year from road running to fell running. He has enthusiasm in spades but let it get the better of him and set off as if he was in a 10k! He inevitably ran out of steam early on but battled through gamely in 4 hrs 42 mins. He will come back all the wiser.

Hannah Edwards has not been able to do the required training for an event like this but showed how courageous she is by taking her position at the start line. She has proved in the past she can break the 4 hour marathon mark but had to settle for 4 hours 49mins this time. This likeable young tri-athlete will come back all the stronger for it.

In the Half Marathon the club had a single entrant In 2021 Ironman Ryan Kirkman. Another member of the Endurance Group at Harriers, he has been absolutely flying in training recently and came up with a mighty pb of 1 hour 24 mins. He commented “I am feeling so good at the moment and really enjoying my running. I am in a great place and of the mindset now that  I can improve with every single training session and race I take part in”.

2021 Race Reports


Following their impressive qualification for the National Road Relays finals in Sutton Coldfield, the Bolton Harriers relay team took to the road on 9 October to compete against the best teams in the country.

Unusually for the time of year the weather was reasonably warm, dry and very little wind, perfect conditions for running.  

With 79 teams competing, the downhill start was chaotic, with accountant Danny Shaw leading off for Bolton and making his debut on this course. Danny who is in the form of his life played it safe at the start, working his way through the field on the 5.88km course to bring Bolton home at the end of the first leg in 53rd place in a great time of 18:38. Taking over for the second leg was Bolton’s star runner Jonny Kay, who, having run this course several times in previous years, obliterated his previous best time, coming home in 18:00 and elevating the team to 35th place.

Taking over for the third leg was science teacher Martin Reid who having turned 40 on the day of the qualifiers had recovered from his celebrations to record a time of 19:33 and at the halfway stage leave the team in 41st place. Representing Bolton in the fourth leg was the first of two recent Harriers recruits to the team, Will Tomlinson completed the course in a great time of 21:17 and the team placed in 55th position. Will and Bolton’s fifth leg runner Jordan Brophy are making rapid progress since joining Dave Shaw’s training group and are destined to be future stars for the club. 

Jordan Brophy ran the fifth leg in a very creditable time of 22:45 handing over to Bolton’s veteran final leg runner David Chrystal in 64th place. David, coming back from a long period of ailments and erratic training had been drafted into the team for the final. He made a valiant effort, but the years and interrupted training took their toll with him completing his lap in a time of 24:21 and a final team position of 72nd.

The team had a great day and travelled home safe in the knowledge that they had given their all representing Bolton Harriers on the national stage in the blue riband road relay event of the annual athletics calendar. 

2021 Race Reports


A brilliant turn out at in Sundays sports hall competition. Lots and lots of very happy young athletes and some great performances. Gwylim Jones, as ever, organised it brilliantly. These kids are  the future of the club and doing a fantastic job of representing Bolton Harriers. The club would like to thank them all for competing.

Photos of some of our young hopefuls: