EA Senior, U23 & U20 Championships

Weekend, 17-18th June 2017

The sun was shining brightly in Bedford for the England Athletics’ U20 and U23 national championships, as four Bolton United Harriers pulled on the blue vest to pit themselves against the elite of British Athletics.

Jonny Kay, competing in his first national track championships, raced in the U23 800m. It was a slow and tactical race and Jonny found himself towards the back of the field with 200m to go. Despite a fantastic sprint finish, Jonny came an agonising third in the heat and failed to qualify for the final by just one place.

Chris Mann competed in the High Jump and recorded a season’s best in the U23 men’s high jump, with 2.05m to finish sixth.

Georgia Lever entered the U20 Long Jump knowing that she would need to leap a massive PB to challenge for a medal. In the second round, she recorded her best jump of 5.39m, which yielded tenth position.

U17 sprinter, Hannah Kelly, moved up an age group to compete against the best U20 female sprinters in the country at the 200m. Hannah, still only 16, was desperately trying to run a fast time to try to gain international selection. Hannah, and coach Les Hall, had carefully planned her race strategy and had decided rather than manage the rounds, to use the heat as a time trial. As ever, Hannah’s competitive edge came to the forefront. With the UK number 1 athlete on her inside lane she was really up against it, but a superb bend saw her enter the home straight in a strong second. Hannah powered through to the finish line and clocked an amazing 24.25 seconds, which was 0.25 seconds inside her PB!

In the semi-final, once again Hannah lined up in the same race as the UK number 1, Maya Bruney. She followed her amazing run in the heat to finish second again and qualify for the final in another exceptional time of 24.46s. All had high hopes for the final; Hannah got a fantastic start and came off the bend in third place. However, her previous two races and the heat took their toll – she tired in the last 60m to finish seventh in a time of 24.71s – fantastic given the step up in age category.


YDL Lower – Match 3

Sunday, 18th June 2017

The third fixture of the Lower (U13s & U15s) Youth Development League took place at Bury for the second time this year.

Bolton finished sixth of seven teams on the day and 9 league points in total. It all adds up to a likely battle to avoid relegation with Macclesfield in a month’s time.

Awaiting report.


Mason Trophy

Saturday, 17th June 2017

The Mason Trophy Inter Counties Schools’ Championships at Birmingham’s Alexandra Stadium today and was the last chance for athletes to achieve the qualifying standard for the prestigious English Schools national championships in July. Two BUH&AC juniors compete in the orange vests of Greater Manchester against the ten other school counties.

Ben To, fresh from his medal at the Greater Manchester County Schools’ Championships, had already secured the qualifying mark for the U15 boys’ 100m. However, he clocked 11.60s seconds to claim a new PB and another bronze medal, but this time against much higher competition.

In the U15 boys’ 1500m, Louie Johnson was aiming to reach the time of 4:22 but alas it wasn’t to be, with the youngest athlete in the field clocking a very creditable 4:32.

Four Bolton United Harriers have now achieved the English Schools’ qualifying standard in their respective events – Hannah Kelly and Taiwo Taiwo in the inter-girls’ 200m, Georgia Lever in the senior girls’ Triple Jump and Ben To in the junior boys’ 100m. All now will wait to see if they have been selected for the finals.


Two Towers FR

Wednesday, 14th June 2017

Daryl Bentley’s 44:48 saw him home in 36th place of the 108 field from Holcombe’s Hare & Hounds.


NA Senior, U23 & U20 Championships

Weekend, 10-11th June 2017

Blue Vests were in action at the Northern Athletics (NoEAA) outdoor T&F championships at Manchester’s Sportcity this weekend.

Having represented Greater Manchester Schools for the last three years, Georgia Lever took the next step up as an U20 athlete with one eye on qualifying for the Senior English Schools’ competitors. Her favoured event – the long Jump, was on Saturday. Hopes were high of gaining a new PB and a medal. However, things don’t always run to plan and the blustery conditions played havoc with her run up; entering the final jump of the competition she had no Mark, only five no jumps. With the pressure on and Georgia trying to work out how best to get a legal jump, she ended up running through the jump. Though bitterly disappointed, her jumps had been exceptional and she knows that next week will present another opportunity to show that she is capable of getting close to the 6.00m mark at the England Athletics’ U20 competition at Bedford. Hopefully her season best and PB this year of 5.51m will stand her in good stead for selection for the English Schools’ Finals, though this year it would be in the Red Vest of Lancashire due to her college location.

At the beginning of the season Georgia also decided to try out the Triple Jump and, as expected, found it to her liking and capability! With this in mind, she managed to gain a late entry into the U20’s event today. It was timely to revive her spirits after yesterday’s disappointment and she duly set off on her first jump, which yielded… a no jump! Luckily, the Officials deemed that the EDM had not been calibrated correctly and so the first three jumpers, including Georgia, were allowed to re-take their jumps. Georgia was spurred on and duly dispatched a jump of 11.18m, only 3cm behind her previous PB. As her confidence grew, she then registered a new lifetime best of 11.33m, even though her take off was several centimetres behind the board. It was always going to be a big ask to win a Gold medal as she was up against the second best Triple Jumper in the country, Naomi Ogbeta from Trafford, who duly went on to win the competition with a new Championship Best performance of 12.94m. Georgia’s performance earned her a well-deserved Silver Medal and ranked her at nineteenth in the country – some going in an event she has only just started!

Other good performances in all three competition categories were had by Chris Mann, Rebecca Kay, Mercedes Mercer, Katie Oakley Jonny Kay and Karl Darcy, Frazer Jardine and Declan Toomey.


County Schools Championships

Saturday, 10th June 2017

Three Blue Vests hope to be selected to compete in the upcoming England Athletics national championships next weekend after achieving the qualifying standards today.

Hannah Kelly warmed up in the best way possible by winning the 2017 Greater Manchester county schools’ championships’ inter-girls 200m at Stretford. For once, Hannah ran in a red vest as she was competing for Bury schools but the Bolton United Harrier was in imperious form. Not only was the gold medal won but her time of 24.8s was the fastest time ever run at this event, so she is now the proud holder of a Championship Best performance. Entering next weekend’s U20 champs, despite still being an U17, offers the chance to chase a qualifying time for future international races.

In the same race, Taiwo Taiwo won the silver medal in a time of 25.9s. This means that both athletes have achieved the qualifying standard to compete at this year’s English Schools’ national championships.

It was also a great day for Ben To, who competed in the Junior boys’ 100m. He finished a creditable third in the final, but more importantly also achieved the qualifying standard of 11.7 seconds, where the entire podium clocked the same time.

There were many other fantastic performances on the day from Bolton United Harriers with many PBs, finalists and medals won, including Rachel Bailey’s silver (400m) Mercedes Mercer’s gold (400m Hurdles).


Cowpe FR

Saturday, 10th June 2017

Molly and Lily Philbin took part in the sixth and final race of the English Junior Fell Running Championships today at Cowpe. Hosted by Rossendale Harriers, the race took place in picturesque Cowpe village in Waterfoot, Rossendale.

Over a challenging 2.8km course with 175m climb, U13 Lily ran bravely to finish 11th in the race with 16:43, also securing 11th place overall in the 6-race series (best four positions count).

By the time Molly ran in the U17’s race, the heavens had opened and, combined with blustery conditions, the 6.4km race with 299m of ascent was very challenging. Molly battled hard also to secure 11th place in the race with 44:43 and also 11th place overall in the series, an exact repeat of sister Lily’s result.

Both girls will be in the same age categories next year and will have their hopes pinned on achieving a top-ten position.

Race results

Series results

Two Lads FR

Thursday, 8th June 2017

Five Blue Vests competed at the popular fell race from Horwich, with some good age-group category finishes:

24 Scott Crompton 39:33
27 Paul Mills 39:54
44 Daryl Bentley 41:31
46 James Rideout41:41
85 Gary Jones 46:36


Elsewhere, in the second Astley Park trail race, Anthony Valentine was second in 24:00, whilst Liz Proctor won the women’s race in 29:14. Toby Coop clocked 5:58 in the juniors’ race.


NoE Track&Field – Match 2

Sunday, 4th June 2017

The Senior Track & Field team were in action today in the second fixture of the Northern 2WC Division at Bury.

Awaiting results and report.

Northants Ultra

Sunday, 4th June 2017

Daryl Bentley completed his latest ultra-distance event today, knocking off the 35 miles of the Northants Ultra Shires & Spires in 5:38:35.

The route encompassed country houses and historical sites such as Lamport, Naseby, Althorp, Cottesbrooke, as well as some stunning countryside. Clocking the actual 26.2 miles marathon distance at 3:58:00 (ish) – a sub-4 being good considering the terrain, a good day was had despite the relative lack of his preferred hills.

Read more at Bentley’s Blog

Deva Triathlon

Sunday, 4th June 2017

Chester’s Grosvenor Park was the base for two Blue Suits among the 932 starters of the Deva Tri today. Both were warming up for their Ironman efforts next month with:

185 Paul Trainor 2:18:11 (27:06; 1:37; 1:08:11; 1:38; 39:38)
407 Dean Johnson 2:30:47 (32:18; 3:02; 1:11:06; 1:31; 42:47)


Elsewhere, John Grimshaw clocked 50:48 for 111th of the 271 runners at the Morecambe 10K.

Previously, Andrew Doyle completed the Southport Triathlon in 2:32:34 for 69th of the 265 field. His splits were: 27:55; 3:01; 1:18:21; 2:35; 40:45.


YDL Upper – Match 2

Sunday, 28th May 2017

The second fixture of the Youth Development League for U17s and U20s in the Northern West 1 division saw good performances from the Blue Vests in warm but overcast conditions at Crewe. In a table of seven, Bolton remain fourth on 7 points as Wigan and Wirral lead the way with 13.

There were solid runs from the boys’ teams, with U20 Rory McGrath straddling the track and field by appearing in the 200m, 400m Shot and Discus. For the U17 boys, Kehinde Taiwo and Josh Povey in the 100m and 200m, Chris Wright in the 400m and Jack Bolton in the 800m – all gave 100%. Cameron Donnelly was also in good form in the 1500m Steeplechase, with newcomer Joyel Joshy appearing in the Long Jump.

For the girls, usual good performances came from Hannah Kelly and George Lever in the 100m and 200m, with the latter also appearing in the Long Jump, High Jump and trying her hand at Triple Jump. Also for the U20s, Rachel Bailey and Mercedes Mercer both came out on top in the 1500m and 400m Hurdles respectively. The U17s had an excellent day, with good all round performances from Lydia Hodgson, Emily Wood (100m), Olivia Kimbowa (200m and 300m), Charlotte Moran (300m) Alice Tonge (800m) and Madeline Erzan-Essan (1500m and 1500m S/C).


Elsewhere, Harvey Kenny won the U11’s 600m at the BMC Grand Prix at SportCity, clocking 1:51.0.

Great Manchester Run

Sunday, 28th May 2017

Manchester’s 10K saw Andrew Crickmore go sub-37 for a top 100 position whilst Simon Dally performed his sub-40 pace-making duties to aplomb, getting the flag home with 10 seconds to spare. John Grimshaw just missed out on a season’s best whilst Ged Tucker tripped over the hour mark whilst raising money for the National Autistic Society. Lee Petch bookended the group with 2:08:13.

BUH&AC times:
Andrew Crickmore 36:48 (93)
Simon Dally 39:50 (256)
John Grimshaw 50:47 (3092)
Gerard Tucker 1:01:51 (9209)
Lee Petch 2:08:13 (17063)


Preston Crazy Cow 10K

Sunday, 21st May 2017

John Grimshaw clocked 50:31 today – his best of 2017, as he finished 182nd of the 733 runners.


Earlier in the week, he completed the first of Horwich’s Jubilee Series races with 42:02 (66) for approximately 5 miles. Dom Gavin was fourth in 29:47.


YDL Lower – Match 2

Saturday, 20th May 2017

The second fixture of the Lower (U13s & U15s) Youth Development League took place at the relatively new (2.5 years old) facilities of the Witton Park Arena in Blackburn and saw junior Blue Vests braving the cold and very wet conditions. Despite the atrocious weather, there were some fantastic results with many PBs broken and a great team spirit.

Whilst the official results are still being processed, it is known that the hosts – Blackburn Harriers, won again. BUH&AC finished fifth out of seven overall with a predicted score of 458 points – 10 more than at the previous match in Bury where Bolton finished fourth. That only goes to show how tough a competition the YDLL is.

In the U13 girls, notable results include Julia Winogrodzka and her 11.1s winning the ‘A’ 70m Hurdles race, which is a new PB that tops this year UK ranking and the 4x100m relay team (Velickaite, Williamson, Taiwo, Winogrodzka) winning with a time of 57.0s after their disqualification at Bury for changing the baton too early.

For the U13 boys, a great duo of shot putters – Luke Greenhalgh and Josh Bentley-Hughes, did well sending a 3.25kg shot 6.85m and 4.61m respectively, achieving a second place in both A and B string; Jack Kingdon’s win in the ‘B’ 75m Hurdles with 15.3s was also notable.

The whole U15 girls team put in a great effort, starting with Anna Quinn getting a respectable 47.9s in the 300m and 29.5s in the 200m whilst battling through pain in her thigh, through Heather Cade winning the ‘B’ Hammer with a throw of 18.00m and finishing second in ‘B’ discus (15.84m) and ending with yet another duo of shot putters – Natasha Robinson and Abbie Williams, matching the U13 boys’ double second place with throws of 8.72m and 7.27m accordingly.

In the U15 boys, Blue Vests dominated the sprints. Benjamin To won the ‘A’ 100m with a new PB of 11.6s and Eniola Adedotun followed in Ben’s footsteps winning the ‘B’ heat, also with a PB of 12.3s. Eniola won again with the ‘B’ 200m and a time of 24.5s (PB) whilst Ben narrowly missed out on winning his ‘A’ race by losing by a mere 0.1s, clocking 25.9s. In the 300m, Louie Johnson’s 43.0s and Ruairi Behan’s 43.7s got, yet again, a double second place for Bolton. In the field events, by throwing a 4kg hammer to a distance of 19.92m, Logan Alston-Forrester secured a new PB and second place. The 4x100m relay team (Behan, Adedotun, Johnson, To) easily won with 50.5s – 2.9s over the second team which, in sprinting world, equals to “miles”.

Well done to the whole team:
U13G: Millie Bracey, Ruby Erzan-Essien, Lucy Gettinby, Elizabeth Olude, Lily Philbin, Amy Rossington, Abigail Steele-Lesh, Hannah Swales, Idowu Taiwo, Grace Tonge, Elina Velickaite, Elizabeth Williamson, Julia Winogrodzka
U13B: Harry Aldred, Oisin Behan, Josh Bentley-Hughes, Luke Greenhalgh, James Horrocks, Jack Kingdon, Jason Scaife, Matthew Wilkinson
U15G: Heather Cade, Ciara Gettinby, Molly Illingworth, Helena Lathwell-Watts, Brianna Murphy, Anna Quinn, Natasha Robinson, Megan Twigg, Abbie Williams
U15B: Eniola Adedotun, Logan Alston-Forrester, Ruairi Behan, Louie Johnson, Ben Pickford, Benjamin To


Christleton 5K

Friday, 19th May 2017

Nine Blue Vests enjoyed a suitably ‘smashing’ Friday evening at the Christleton 5K, with lifetime bests collected by all. Hosted by Chester Tri, the renowned pan-flat fast course saw Jonny Kay second of the 421 field, with age-group podiums for John Knowles (bronze M45) and Katie Oakley (silver FU20). Personal Best improvements ranged from Karl Darcy’s 4 seconds to Stephen Bonney’s minute-and-half+! Mentor Dave Shaw commented, “Great night’s work for the guys and girl!”

Kay and Darcy settled in the lead group for the first 2K, as the eventual winner Dejene Gezimu from Liverpool Harriers via Ethiopia, got a gap of about 20 metres. All pushed on at the 4K mark in a bid for a sub-15 time; Jonny went into second place with about 50m to go and Karl was close behind in fourth – both achieved their sub-15 objective.

BUH&AC results:
2 Jonothan Kay 14:56 (PB by 20s)
4 Karl Darcy 14:58 (PB by 4s)
20 Tommy Harrison 15:43 (PB by 57s)
41 John Knowles 16:18 (PB by 18s)
69 Scott Crompton 16:54 (PB by 65s)
112 Chris Povey 17:32 (PB by 52s)
140 Stephen Bonney 17:55 (PB by 95s)
143 Chris Pickford 17:55 (PB by 74s)
176 Katie Oakley 18:37 (PB by 94s)


Volunteers Needed 2017

Monday, 15th May 2017


Bolton United Harriers & AC is still in great need of volunteers to help with:
– Coaching athletes.
– Committee roles and running of the club.
– Organising/volunteering upcoming events.

The club is looking to organise some coaching courses in the very near future for those interested in becoming coaching assistants, Level 1 and Level 2 coaches. Please register your interest with Coaching Directors Joanne Edgar and Mark Plant.

If you can spare some time to aid with the club’s running and organisation, please feel free to approach the Front Desk Team to discuss opportunities. Various roles on the club’s General Committee are in need of filling/assistance which require as little as a couple of hours per month. Please, please, please come forward if you have some time available.

The club’s upcoming hosted T&F events need volunteers, so if you can spare a few hours on Sunday 25th June or Saturday 5th August, please let Mark, Joanne or Scott know. Also, new Race Organisers are sought for 2018 events, so please approach a member of the Committee if you fancy undertaking any of the RO roles.

Many thanks for your consideration.


County T&F Championships

Weekend, 13th-14th May 2017

Stretford witnessed some great results from Blue-Vested competitors at the Greater Manchester county championships (GMAA) this week. There was at least one winner in each age-group and several new PBs.

Hannah Kelly raced to the top of the national rankings with 12.16s in the final of the 100m. She clocked 12.22s in the semi-final and beat last year’s national medallist Trinity Powell in both races. Training partner Taiwo Taiwo claimed bronze in 12.50s – a new PB and a ranking of 28th. Hannah followed this up with another stunning performance in Sunday’s 200m. There were only ever two athletes competing for gold – Hannah and Taiwo. Both eased through their heats and in the final both were dominant. Hannah took gold with a time of 24.77s and Taiwo silver with yet another PB of 25.37s.

It was a great weekend for all Bolton sprinters. There were gold medals for Georgia Lever in the U20 100m and Edan Penketh in the U11 75m, two silver medals for Ben To in the U15 boys 100m and 200m races, silver for Jack Dickinson in the senior men’s 400m and bronze for Olivia Kimbowa in the U17 300m and Herbie Kay in the U11 boys 75m.

All the other Bolton sprinters performed fantastically well with numerous PBs and all made their finals.

Multi-eventer Julia Winogrodzka had an amazing weekend, winning golds in both the 70m hurdles and Long Jump, bronzes in the 75m and 150m, before topping it off with silver in the U13 girls’ 4x100m relay with training partners Elina Velikaite, Idowu Taiwo and Elizabeth Williamson. There is clearly strength in depth in the relay squad, with Porscha Johnson unable to compete due to knee injury.

Harvey Kenny won the 600m at a canter in 1:53.68 and finally got over 4 metre mark in the long jump with 4.29m, which places him third on the U11 national rankings.

The seniors also had good outings, with PBs and medals being taken by those in the longer distances and field events.



Elsewhere, the hot and humid conditions at the Worden Park 10K in Leyland saw John Grimshaw post 51:49 (162nd) and Ged Tucker 64:08 (300th) amongst the 370 runners.

Haigh Hall 4M

Wednesday, 10th May 2017

Nineteen Blue Vests completed the 4 mile loop of Haigh Hall this evening in the third CLGP fixture hosted by Wigan Phoenix. Tommy Harrison showed a clean pair of heels to the 266 field, winning by 12 seconds, whilst John Knowles was first veteran and fifth overall. Scott Crompton edged into the top 10 and, with Dom Gavin in twelfth, the race team collected 27 points – not enough to beat Leigh’s 19. For the A team (first 10 counters), Paul Mills showcased his continued improvement by finishing 21st and second M50, whilst M60 winner Ken Fowler bookended the group that saw the race result replicated – Bolton’s 269 eclipsed by Leigh’s 110.

The B Team was led by Liv Kearney, with Rachel Bailey and Cecilia Woods among the next 6 counters. Bolton maintain a slender lead in the veterans’ standings, but are now playing second fiddle to Burnden and Leigh in the other team tables.

BUH&AC times: Tommy Harrison 22:44; John Knowles 23:42; Scott Crompton 24:50; Dominic Gavin 25:01; Paul Mills 26:22; Chris Pickford 26:43; Dean Johnson 27:49; Peter Kearney 27:59; James Rideout 28:41; Ken Fowler 29:32; Olivia Kearney 30:46; Ged Bretherton 32:18; Rachel Bailey 33:10; Simon Thorne 33:42; David Morrison 34:32; Cecilia Woods 34:35; John Grimshaw 35:24; Gerard Tucker 42:35; Richard Clegg 49:46


Pendle Triathlon

Sunday, 7th May 2017

Six Harriers entered the multi-discipline arena today by completing the 400m swim, 22.4km bike and 5km run from Barnoldswick in “proper sunny” conditions, with hot performances to match the mercury!

First of the Blue Suits, Tom Carson continued his build up towards gaining GB qualification, with seventh position overall of the 147 field and a swim that beat his pre-race expectations by half a minute; an 18:42 jog on top of the cycle shows he is on course, particularly as he predicted “there is more to come”. Andrew Doyle (25) eclipsed fellow vet Nick Howarth (31) courtesy of a superior swim, though Howarth’s consistency over the three race elements is encouragement for future European aspirations. If a team prize was awarded, the top three’s 63 points narrowly beat the hosts’ Pendle (68).

Debutant Steve Houghton did well on the bike, twice trading places with Howarth in their own mini on-course battle; it was a good recovery after expending too much energy at the start attempting to mitigate a sockingly sluggish T1, but the anticipated struggle with the run unfortunately materialised. Alex ‘Powerboat’ Donnelly demonstrated his prowess in the water with a sub-8 time, whilst son and junior athlete Cameron Donnelly, also a first timer in tris, showed off his quick learning with the difference in the two transition times – T1 of 2:40 before a barnstorming T2 of 0:36 (!). Donnelly Jr’s potential was also highlighted as this tri came fast on the heels of his Track & Field exertions at last weekend’s YDL meet and the upcoming endurance 4 miler on the trails of Astley Park midweek.

BUH&AC results:
7 1:05:26 Tom Carson (5:34; 0:40; 40:02; 0:27; 18:42)
25 1:14:39 Andrew Doyle (6:54 1:03 43:33 0:43; 22:22)
31 1:16:21 Nick Howarth (8:30; 0:51; 43:20; 0:43; 22:54)
59 1:22:34 Steve Houghton (8:28; 1:37; 42:33; 0:49; 29:06)
79 1:26:33 Alex Donnelly (7:40; 1:50; 47:57; 0:59; 28:05)
98 1:30:55 Cameron Donnelly (9:33; 2:40; 52:26; 0:36; 25:38)

Photos (Bike)
Photos (Run)

Elsewhere, Dom Gavin clocked 38:04 for eighth in the Wigan Trail 10K, whilst earlier, John Grimshaw warmed up for Wednesday’s CLGP fixture with 37:43 in the first of the Astley Park Trail Races at Chorley.