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.
Sunday 3rd October saw the London Marathon resume after Covid and Bolton Harriers had three representatives.
Matt Atkinson ran a great race and came home in 3;15;26. Matt is in training with Dave Shaw’s group at the Harriers, and has also been pounding the roads and trails round Harwood in recent months to supplement his assault on the marathon. He said “It went great and I paced it fairly well. Nice end to the training and doubt there will be more marathons now. Support from the crowds was immense and helped all the runners push onwards. Well run event on the whole. Just glad it’s done with after 18months of waiting and training and am feeling very satisfied !”
Adrian Costello coaches Harrier’s Endurance Group and had been working really hard in preparation for London. He came back with a time of 4;21;51. He commented “The absolute highlight for me was raising more than £2300 for Children With Cancer thanks to all my kind sponsors. It’s a charity I’ve been involved with for a few years now and every donation makes a difference. The marathon was my 4th race in 4 weekends! After the Half Ironman, Swim Serpentine 2 Miles and Manchester 10K. I’ve always wanted to run London and it was an amazing race. Great crowds! Not my fastest marathon but definitely my favourite. Now, time for a rest.”
Beka Millington is part of a tough and talented bunch of ladies in Harrier’s Endurance Group. Events during the race did not go as she would have liked and explained “it was an amazing and awful day in equal measure! I wanted to run a 3:45 and was bang on pace until halfway round… then a combination of factors… my nutrition wasn’t quite right, I was really dehydrated, and then my hamstring started to play up. I rang my partner Josh and sobbed just after the halfway mark but told myself I had to finish. I was running in memory of my next door neighbour so that kept me going! I ditched my pace bands and changed my watch so I couldn’t see my time and just dug deep and focused on getting through it. I think it’s my slowest ever marathon and I absolutely bawled when I crossed the finish line to the point that a couple of other runners asked if I was ok.”
Congratulations to all three and thank you for representing Bolton Harriers in such an iconic race.
Bolton Harriers kicked off the Red Rose cross country season with a visit to Leigh on Saturday 2nd October. Despite the rain the very flat course remained predominantly mud free and was a great introduction to CrossCountry running.
The under 11 boys team finished 5th led home by Leo Moreton Derain finishing a superb 3rd. His team mates were Joshua Grundy (21st), Benjamin Davies (25th), Matthew Wood (29th), Maximilian Preston (36th) and Ted Radcliffe (45th).
The Under 11 girls were next out on the 2km course. Emily Wood came storming home in 10th followed by cross country debutant Freya Lombard (32nd) and Jasmine Greenhalgh (59th). Jasmine was making her cross Country debut under the proud eye of Grandad and Coach Gwylim Jones , who did a sterling job as ever supporting and cheering on the athletes.
In the Under 13s Nathaniel Knowles ran brilliantly breaking into the top 10 for the first time. Alexander Preston finished 14th and Micheal Ratchford in 28th brought the boys team home in 6th.
Scarlett Thompson produced a wonderful run in the under 13 girls finishing 10th with team mate Cerys Jones in 48th.
Ruby Erzan-Essien ran strongly in the Under 17 womens race finishing in 2nd and cheered on by proud Dad Atto. Lily Philbin enjoyed a return to cross country running finishing 9th with great family support.
In the Ladies race Bolton’s Women impressively all finished in the top 11 with Laura Lombard placing 2nd, Rachel Bailey 8th and Katie Percival in 11th. Unfortunately with no fourth counter they were unable to field a team.
The Bolton men ran solidly in their race many of them new to cross country and finished 6th team. Robert Short ( Running Mayor of Bolton) was first home in 36th. Joe Grisdale and Jordan Brophy packed nicely in 39th and 41st. Thomas Gore finished 50th with Joshua Lee in 54th, Richard Scaife 82nd and Mark Garner 104th.
Bolton Harriers host the next fixture at Leverhulme park on Oct 16th where conditions are sure to be muddier and more cross country like, not to mention the infamous river crossing!
The ladies team finished a superb 19th team at the Northern Road Relays a huge improvement on previous years. An out and back coastal route by the seaside provided the perfect setting.
Laura Lombard headed out on first leg. She ran a decent leg, bouncing back to life in the last mile bringing the girls home in 18th place (22:07).
On the second leg was Heather Brown modelling the Bolton vest for the first time. At only 6k long, this was a relative sprint for the marathon trainee and she ran brilliantly overtaking another runner and finishing in 23:29.
Rachel Bailey put on another fine performance as she continues to get quicker and quicker. She brought the team home in 12th picking off 5 other runners (24:02) with her mum on hand to capture the action.
We were in safe hands with Katie Percival on our final leg. Having broken the sub 20 min 5k barrier early in the season Katie did what she had to do (beat the Bolton’s men’s final position!) and brought the happy team home in 19th position (25:49). A great team effort and successful day out in Redcar!
Bolton Harriers took a fine team to the Northern Road Relays on the 18th September with a great mix of experienced long time harriers blended with relative newcomers to running.
Danny Shaw, fresh from track pb’s over the summer led the men out on leg 1 bringing the team home in 27th in a superb time of 18:48. Previously a hockey player, Danny saw the light and has reaped the rewards as he has fully committed to running. He showed great determination and was really pleased with his performance.
Next out of the traps was the birthday boy. Such is his dedication to the blue and yellow vest Martin Reid had decided the road relays were how he wanted to mark his 40th. Arriving to the event wearing a birthday boy rosette ensured maximum birthday greetings from passing strangers. The newest vet40 on the block ran brilliantly overtaking 4 teams and coming home in 19:24. Happy Birthday!
Tony Valentine took over on the third leg.
The highly ranked master’s athlete continued the overtaking cruising past another team bringing Bolton into 22nd position (19:47).
Jonothan Kay opting to run a middle leg, ran a solid race and was the team’s fastest leg of the day (18:46). Having been hampered with a string of injuries, these are now gone and he can look forward to returning to his faster former self as training progresses.
Jordan Brophy, one of our newest members took up the next leg. Jordan, a talented engineer took to running during lockdown. Having noticed on Strava that people were running round in circles nearby he emailed the club and is now a solid member of Dave Shaw’s training group. He ran 22:35 bringing the team to 26th.
This is where things got interesting as in order to qualify for National Road relays the team were required to finish top 25. Will Tomlinson took up the anchor leg opting for a few energetic high fives as he passed his supporters. Previously a footballer he decided running in straight lines were better on his knees and is another talented new recruit to the training group. Large gaps had by this time built up. He maintained excellent form and ran 21:30 for the team to finish in 27th position.
So close, but yet so far……But hang on, a quick check of the T&C’s by coach Dave Shaw revealing Bolton Men’s team had infact finished inside the top 25 ‘A’ teams with a couple of ‘B’ teams ahead meant they had done just enough. A perfect team effort and they were off to the National Road Relays in October!
‘Bolton’s Baywatch’ enjoyed a post race dip in the sea. Luckily Tony had remembered to bring an under sized towel and under sized tent for some under sized changing facilities.
To be continued in Sutton Park Birmingham on 9th October…….
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.