Bolton’s Bright Start – Is It Deja Vu?

CLGP Race 1 – 5K Bolton
Sunday, 17th February 2013

Bolton United Harriers must have a feeling of déjà vu after they raced into an early lead in the 2013 Central Lancashire Grand Prix rankings. The defending champions fielded an impressive 37 competitors in the season’s curtain-raising 5K event and, as in 2012, the 295 runners in Leverhulme Park enjoyed perfect racing conditions – bright but chilly!

img_7463Former Bolton and ex-England International runner Paul Freary was first across the line in 16 minutes 25 seconds. Now competing for Belgrave Harriers, veteran Freary demonstrated there’s life in those M40 legs by making his decisive break at the 4km stage, managing to hold off (or is that teach?!) the chasing Junior duo of Astley & Tyldesley’s Lewis Eccleston (16:28) and Bolton’s Jonny Kay (16:29). After three months of injury woe, it was a great return to action for u20 Kay, with similar emotions for M45-winning Ian Selby (18th) and Mark Swannell (19th), who were on each other’s shoulders throughout.

A brilliant debut by Simon Dally (21st) was quickly followed up by junior Simon Walker (28th) winning the game of cat-and-mouse with training partner Andrew Cafferky (29th). Ian Gregory (41st), Chris Povey (42nd) and Ben Troughton (45th) formed a trio of sub-19 minutes PB’ers before a visibly tiring Jacob Kearney narrowly edged father Pete as final counter for the ‘A’ Team. They gave Bolton (250 points) a slender lead over Horwich (254), A&T (325) and Leigh (346).

CLGP5KrunnersDaryl Bentley pipped Andrew Doyle in the final 200m after leading through a strong Spooky Hill climb, as James Rideout hung onto their coattails separated only by a second. Ken Fowler won the M60 category and was joined by Ben Scott, Graham Shaw and Nick Howarth in also claiming the top spot in the CLGP ‘B’ rankings (560 points). Eric Ranicar won the M65 category, as other notable performances came from Aidy Costello smashing his PB by a minute alongside Keith Mallinder and debutants Dave Hanson, Richard Clegg and Ged Tucker.

IMG_7500Horwich RMI’s victorious women’s team (27 points) was led by Rachel Jones’ (18.26) impressive race win over Keighley & Craven’s Amy Green (19.13), with Accrington’s Sarah Ridehalgh (19.21) third. A not-fully-fit Jayne Dickinson (21:58) was Bolton’s first female (17th) over the line, as she rallied support for what could be a breakthrough year for the Club’s women. Freshly crowned 2012 Park Run Female Points Champion, Olivia Kearney, was in close support with a stupendous result, claiming the u20 category at only 14 years of age. Laura Crawley was third female counter for the team (156 points). Horwich (133) also took the Vets team spoils (42) as Bolton surprisingly eked second (100 points), but Burnden Road Runners’ formidable squad (116) look ominously threatening for the months ahead.

Race Organiser Nick Howarth was pleased with the day’s events. “It was a competitive field of local club runners – if Bolton can put on a good showing in their home race which needs some runners to marshal, it bodes well for the rest of the season.” Does history repeat itself? Bolton United Harriers certainly hope so come October as they seek to retain their CLGP crown. With many teams fielding 30+ competitors, it is going to be tougher than ever.

Enormous praise must go to the helpers, marshals and volunteers who made the race possible. Special thanks to Race Organiser Nick Howarth who, along with Daryl Bentley, Steve Houghton and Andrew Doyle, put on an incredibly well organised and enjoyable event.                        


Bolton results – CLGP Bolton 5K
J Kay (16:29), I Selby (17:20), M Swannell (17:21), S Dally (17:46), S Walker (18:03), A Cafferky (18:05), I Gregory (18:44), C Povey (18:50), B Troughton (18:56), J Kearney (19:13), P Kearney (19:14), D Bentley (19:22), A Doyle (19:22), J Rideout (19:23), K Fowler (19:35), B Scott (19:46), G Shaw (19:52), N Howarth (20:01), E Rannicar (20:16), I Meeds (20:33), G Jones (20:38), D Hanson (20:46), A Costello (21:45), K Mallinder (21:47), J Dickinson (21:58), L Jackson (22:21), O Kearney (22:58), L Crawley (24:09), J Lomax (24:18), J Grimshaw (24:46), P Boardman (25:59), R Clegg (27:08), D Huddleston (27:47), G Tucker (28:35), J Lim (29:50), H McEwen (30:02), J Kearney (30:21)