Sunday 6th February saw the Blackburn 10k and extremely blustery and challenging conditions. The race was described as a friendly but challenging race starting on the athletics track at Witton Park, climbing the heights of Buncer Lane and then descending through the countryside of Pleasington back to the track for a racing finish. Four Harriers in the form of Cherry Collison, Suleman Badat, Callum Brooks and Simon Williams made the short journey up the A666.
Callum Brooks, the most recent Endurance Group recruit, has already made a big impression in training. He made his way to the race with Sully Badat and they are never far away from each other in training, constantly pushing each other. Its working as Sully has trimmed down his Bolton Parkrun PB by over a minute in a month to 19:03 and Callum has been trimming down his PB’s on a Saturday morning at Leverhulme almost on a weekly basis to a recent 18:25.
Callum was on another running high after the race and enthused “the course was tough, we knew coming into it that it contained a lot of hills and that they were steep. Thanks to all the hill training we do at Bolton Harriers and the fact I’ve tried to incorporate more hills in my own runs to better prepare for Bolton Park Run, I felt ready for it. I probably set off a little too fast but I didn’t want to get stuck behind too many. I wanted to have my eye on the leading groups to chase and follow round a new course to myself. The race was really good though and really enjoyable. The marshals were great and kept you motivated. I just tried to go at my pushing pace for as long as I could and I was feeling pretty good up until 8km in, I did feel it then but I gritted my teeth and pushed through. I felt like I had given it my all once I got back onto the track. I ended up finishing 14th out of 675, with a time of 37 minutes and 39 seconds. I set a new PB which I’m very happy about. It was only my second 10k so hopefully with a bit more practise and training I can improve and build on it. Overall though a great race and I would highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to doing it again next year !”
Sully Badat was not far behind Callum and coasted to a top 25 finish in a more than excellent time of 38:39. He looked so fresh at the finish and as though he could easily have run it again ! Sully seems to be defying Father Time and although now well into his forties he is still improving and therefore popping up with PB’s at middle distances on a regular basis.
Simon Williams has been another enthusiastic and very welcome new recruit to the Endurance Group at Bolton Harriers and said “I have been running for less than a year, and joining the club has definitely helped my fitness and confidence. It’s only my second organised 10k and I have to say I found the start of the run really tough especially into the Blackburn winter wind. The start was about 2 miles uphill which I have never done before. The Harriers hill rep sessions definitely helped me cope mentally as well as physically with that. My position in the field made for a really congested climb with all the runners making it hard to run at a natural pace. Once that was done I had the need to find someone else to latch onto to keep me running on the front foot. Fortunately ‘up popped my fairy godmother’ in the shape of club mate Cherry Collison at about the 6k mark and she paced me to the finish which made all the difference. I pretty much gave it everything to get round in 50 minutes. not an earth shattering time, but for me it felt like the run of my life” !
Cherry is a strong seasoned campaigner for Bolton Harriers, running many races in the famous blue vest over the years. Not only an accomplished runner but a strong tri-athlete and just at home on a bike or in the water. Despite an attempted playful push back from Simon at the finishing line she dead-heated with him in a very respectable time of 50:23.