2020 Latest News Race Reports

Declan digs deep to lead home harriers men

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.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

South east lancs cross country series


This weekend saw the final race of the South East Lancashire Cross Country Series, held at Heaton Park. In slightly challenging conditions, the runners embarked upon an alternate route to the previous three, with encouraging results. The U11 Boys’ race was first up which was represented with three runners: Alex Preston was first home, finishing in 9th place, followed by Max Preston and Benjamin Davis in 18th and 19th place, respectively. Their overall performance helped contribute to a 3rd place finish for the team. In the Under 11 Girls’ race, Cerys Jones finished a respectable 30th and 26th in the overall standings.

Producing her best performance of the series, Lily Philbin finished in the top 3 in the U15 girls’ race. This helped Lily finish 4th overall in the series to cap an impressive showing. Ruby Erzan Essien was the standout performer in the category; a cracking series performance saw her win the U15 Girls’ section.

The Senior Ladies race saw the final Harriers athlete, Rachel Bailey, compete. Running a stellar race, Bailey secured her best finish of the series, coming in 4th; helping her to win the U20 Girls’ category.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Firefighters duathlon

The EPIC Fire Fighters ‘2UP’ Duathlon is a unique event which takes place in March in conjunction with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue. It’s known locally as the ‘start of season social race’ but there’s nothing particularly ‘social’ about the course! The format is simple, you choose a friend or race partner and stick together throughout the run / bike / run. On the bike you are allowed to work as a pair, by ‘drafting’ each other, but not with other teams. The 4 miles trail run is a tough start and end to the race, with a hilly 25 mile in between, to make sure you finish with a grimace on your face. It’s a fantastic event, an awesome atmosphere, lots of team rivalries and smiles all round.

Bolton Harriers representatives were our fell running rascals Lee Petch and Andy Gallagher. This time doffing a cycle helmet each along with the trusty trail trainers. As a team they finished 176th out of 212 with a time of 3hrs 10 mins.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Harriers men soar to victory

The Lostock 6 mile road race took place on Sunday 23rd February with a strong turn out from Bolton United Harriers. Optimistically named ‘6 miles of smiles’ the freezing, wet, windy conditions spurred the team on to excellent performances with Bolton winning the men’s team competition and Laura Lombard winning the women’s race.

The team coached by Dave Shaw were in high spirits having watched their team mate Jonny Kay on television the day before powering through to the 1500m final of the British indoor athletics championships in which he subsequently claimed the bronze medal.

Tommy Harrison back in the Bolton vest following a long spell of interrupted training was first home for Bolton finishing in 4th position. He narrowly missed out on 3rd but will improve significantly as he returns to full fitness.

Laura Lombard was next home for Bolton winning the women’s race in a time of 35:07.

Chris Povey ran excellently finishing second V45 and working really hard along Chorley New road into a fierce wind.

Scott Crompton, temporarily distracted by the offer of a bacon sandwich from his onlooking sister powered home in 36:08 to ensure victory for the men’s team. Enjoying himself in the blue and yellow vest Crompton was content with his performance.

Chris Tye performed well off limited training finishing in 36:36 . With an increase in miles in his legs he will move quickly up the field in subsequent competitions.

Super marathon man Mark Wolstencroft ran a solid race despite weather conditions not being to his liking. He won his v55 category.

Local P.E teacher Dominic Gavin cheered on by his family ran consistently finishing in 37th and celebrating his birthday that same day.

Beka Millington and Gary Porteous also put in fine performances finishing in 48:47 and 43:45 respectively.

Impressively Bolton’s final team mate was David Tomlinson. Still pulling his running vest on at over 80 years old he completed the course in 55:11.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Jonny shows steel to win bronze

The British Indoor Championships took place over the weekend at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena for the very first time in Scotland.

Heading North with high hopes of at least reaching the final in the 1500 metre men’s event, and the support of his family, friends and coach, was our very own Jonny Kay.

Not only did he reach the final but stormed home into bronze medal position making a fantastic end to the Championships for this eminently likeable young man from Heaton.

Jonny’s training so far this year has been totally focussed on this event. He has been working with his coach Dave Shaw and team mates in the Bolton Harriers Elite group twice a week and also putting in extra sessions at SportCity in Manchester. Dave has had Jonny focussing on speed sessions, 1500 metre sessions, pyramid sessions and reps up to 1200 metres. “Very specific training to get me in the best possible shape for this event” he said.

“On Saturday for the semi-final I felt relaxed and knowing the opposition was confident of qualifying for the final the next day”.

Jonny duly came in first to qualify.

“ As regards the final I was feeling excited yet confident at the same time. I thought I might be in with a chance of a medal and had discussed tactics with my coach Dave Shaw prior to the race. Dave told me not to go to the front but keep in touch with the front, and also to make sure I did not get trapped on the inside. I knew George Mills (the eventual winner) had been the quickest in qualifying and wanted to keep sight of him”.

“ Fifth at the bell I soon moved into fourth. I was feeling strong and at the final bend I could see third place looking round and knew he hadn’t got much left. I found an extra gear and cruised into third in the final straight and was actually closer to second than fourth at the finish line”.

“After the race on the podium the enormity of my achievement still hadn’t sunk in. I was just looking at my family, friends and coach with a big grin on my face”.

Jonny is now having a well earned weeks rest before starting training for the outdoor season. Excitingly he is now aiming for the British Outdoor Championship in June which will be the Olympic Trials. Ominously for the opposition he aims to be in even better shape by then!

2020 Latest News Race Reports

England Athletics age group national champs

Five of Bolton United Harriers junior athletes competed at this weekends EA age group national indoor championships. Making their championship debuts were U15 Idowu Taiwo and U17 Fola Fasehun who both competed in the 60m short sprint. Idowu competed in the first event of the day and ran 8.62 in her heat which was just outside her personal best.

Fola who has only been training for 12 months has produced some superb performances to qualify for the championships. In her heat she blasted from the start to smash her PB and record a time of 8.09 seconds to qualify for the semi finals of the 60m. In the semi final against the best U17 athletes in the country she came a magnificent 7th in another top time of 8.11 seconds.

Also in the 60m, Eniola Adedotun lined up with high hopes of taking Les Hall’s training group bragging rites and running the quickest time ever in the group. It wasn’t to be and Eni unfortunately stumbled at 20m and wasn’t able to better his PB and finished 4th in his heat in 7.23 seconds. This was an agonising 0.04 seconds outside the time required to qualify for the semi final.

In the U20 women’s 400m Olivia Kimbowa finished 3rd in her semi final recording a time of 58.93 seconds. This sets her up perfectly for the outdoor season where she hopes to run 57 seconds.

Taiwo Taiwo doubled up in the sprints competing in both the 60m and 200m. This is an amazing achievement as Taiwo has been beset by injury over the last 2 years and has been unable to compete. To qualify for two events at the National championships is testimony to all her hard work and dedication. In the 60m heat she ran 7.94 to finish 3rd in her heat and then recorded 8.01 in the semi final. In her preferred event the 200m she came 4th in her heat in a time of 25.76 missing out on the semi final by just one place. What is even more remarkable is that this time is the second best female 200m time in the club in the last 12 months only behind European championship competitor Hannah Kelly and after only returning to training in the last 6 months.

All of the athletes will now return to hard training to start their preparation for the outdoor 2020 season.

2020 Latest News

Ironman Dean is stepping away

Bolton Harriers stalwart Dean Johnson has announced he is stepping away from club affairs for at least 12 months. He has been a coach, committee member and athlete representing Harriers for 10 years.

Dean is suffering from chronic knee problems and is in a knee brace for the next 4 months. After a further 4 months he may then opt for reconstructive surgery. Sadly he will be away from running for a minimum of 12 months.

Dean completed the Ironman event in July 2017 in 12 hours. He had only taken up swimming 18 months before but showed what a quick learner he was with a gutsy determined 1 hr 22 mins in 2.4 miles of a freezing cold Pennington Flash. He then did 112 miles on the bike in gusty headwinds before undertaking a full 26.2 miles marathon in very warm conditions round Bolton.

In the last 10 years he has worn the famous blue vest on numerous occasions and played his part in many successful club races.

For the last few years he has been giving up time to coach, inspire and run with the Bolton Harriers Endurance group. Even in the last 12 months when not able to take part himself he could be seen cycling up and down the roads encouraging and cajoling group members in training exercises.

Everyone at Bolton Harriers wish Dean well in his recuperation and obviously hope for a successful outcome.


On Friday February 14th Feb Harriers specialist fell runners Lee Petch and Andy Gallagher ventured to Mr Sparkle’s Dark ‘Un. An exciting headtorch evening 5 mile fell race from the Royal Hotel comprising of a couple of stiff climbs, open moorland, mud and a dash down to the finish. In total 214 metres of ascent. They came home in 51 minutes in 33rd and 34th positions respectively.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Lombard banks more silverware

Bolton United Harriers saw more glory this weekend as Laura Lombard was crowned Red Rose Senior women’s Cross Country champion at the awards ceremony in Horwich. Her team mate Jonny Kay was runner up in the senior men’s title. Together they attended this prestigious event with their delighted coach Dave Shaw to collect the silverware.

Laura’s first victory was at Leverhulme park on home turf and saw her run strongly with great club support to finish over a minute ahead of the next female. Incorporating thick mud and a river crossing this was a fine cross country course. Jonny Kay won the senior men’s race convincingly making it a clean sweep for the Bolton club and thrilling coach Dave Shaw in the process.

In November they headed to Todmorden. Laura again delivered a clear victory, taking an early lead and continuing to pull away in the second lap. Kay came through strongly to take second place.

The final battle took place at Rossendale traditionally thought of as more of a fell race with steep downhill sections. Laura maintained her concentration and finished with a sprint to complete a hatrick of victories and take the Senior women’s title together with the veteran title.

Rachel Bailey finished runner up in the Under 20s category with team mate Molly Philbin finishing 6th overall.


On Sunday 2nd Feb in the Under 15s Girls event the Harriers team stormed home in 2nd place. Hannah Swailes, Millie Bracey, Lily Philbin and Abby Steelelesh are pictured. Lily Philbin also picked up a silver medal for the 6 lap event and bronze medal for the standing long jump.


5 Bolton athletes made the trip to Sheffield to compete at this years Northern u13/u15 indoor athletics championships.

Two of the youngest athletes in the field Summer Eden and Aliyah Martin both entered the 60m and 200m sprints. Both were making their debuts in a major championship and despite still attending primary school took it all in their stride.

Despite never having raced over 200m they both progressed to the semi finals and lined up in the same race. On this occasion Summer came out on top finishing third in 29.37 seconds whilst Aliyah came 5th, with her fastest time of the day being 30.06 seconds.

Both girls qualified for the semi finals of the 60m and Aliyah came 4th with her fastest time of the day, a new PB of 9.11 seconds. Summer having already won her heat was full of confidence and qualified for the final by finishing second in her semi final. In her final she finished 5th which is an amazing performance against girls who were mostly 12 months her senior. Her best time of the day was 8.80 seconds which ranks her 55th in the UK. The future of sprinting at Bolton United Harriers is in good hands with these two athletes.

Idowu Taiwo was the only Bolton U15 athlete and she didn’t disappoint. She easily qualified for the semi final in the 60m and finished a fantastic 6th. She now looks forward to the England Athletics national championship at the end of month.

U13 long jumper Isobel Hall still with the memories of a broken foot in 2019 competed in only her third long jump competition in 12 months. The injury was soon forgotten and she completed an amazing 6 rounds jumping 5 PB’s with a best of 4m 21. Agonisingly there was no medal as Isobel finished 4th

However fellow debutant U13 Herbie Kay was determined to bring back a medal. Training has been hampered recently due to injury but with real determination he leapt to 4m 38 to take a well deserved bronze medal.


On Sarurday 8th February the Harriers specialist fell runners Lee Petch and Andrew Gallagher attacked 9 miles and 1281 feet of ascent over the Pennine Moors and under the M62.This was their first fell run of the year and no doubt have lots more planned. Conditions were cold and muddy but our guys came home to Hollingworth Lake in more than respectable times of 1 hour 29 minutes and 1 hour 31 minutes. Both are pictured with their usual well earned post race snack.

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Junior endurance grand prix series 2019

Congratulations to all those athletes that competed in ‘The Harriers’ first junior endurance Grand Prix series for U15 &U13 athletes in 2019. The event started in July 2019 and points where awarded on performance over the track, road and cross country; plus, bonus points for representing the club in competitions that the club compete in

Age Group Winners
Boys Under 15 – Zac Fraser
Girls Under 15 – Ruby Erzan-Essien
Boys Under 13 – Joseph Webster
Girls Under 13 – Isobel Oxley

Overall Standings
Boys Under 15
Zac Fraser 42
Harry Aldred 31
Josh Bentley-Hughes 21
Jason Scaife 11

Girls Under 15
Ruby Erzan-Essien 38
Lily Philbin 36
Hannah Swailes 21
Millie Bracey 20

Boys Under 13
Joseph Webster 55
Connor Gettinby 13
Charlie Parker 11
Charlie Aldred 10
Harry Owens 9

Girls Under 13
Isobel Oxley 34
Poppy Dunne 11
Jennifer Ekiugo 9
Mia Makin 8
Vesta Drevinskaite 7

2020 Latest News Race Reports

Northern indoor championships January 2020


It was yet another successful Northern indoor championships this weekend. Highlight of the weekend was an outstanding 1500m gold medal for middle distance star Jonny Kay. He destroyed the field, lapping a couple of competitors and coming home in a time of 3min 51.58. This time is the qualifying standard for the British championships to be held in Glasgow in February and will be Jonny’s first British champs.
Joining him at the championship will be sprint star Hannah Kelly. Hannah has already qualified for the 200m based on her performances in 2019. On Saturday she decide to compete over 400m as a ‘bit of fun’. In her third ever 400m race in her heat she lead from the gun and easily qualified for the final in a time of 58.13. With extremely heavy legs only two hours later she lined up for the final. Despite being a 400m novice she ran through the pain to take the bronze medal in 56.94 seconds.
Also in the 400m U20 Olivia Kimbowa in her first indoor 400m race finished a fantastic 4th in the final. As ever Olivia judged her race perfectly, didn’t panic and came through strong in the last 40m. Jack Dickinson competed for the first time since making the final of the 400m at last years Northern indoors. Despite having trained very little in the last 8 months he ran a gutsy race to finish 4th in his heat.
There were 3 Bolton athletes in the 60m short sprint. U20 athlete Taiwo Taiwo having missed nearly two years of training due to injury was very nervous lining up against the best in the North of England. She didn’t disappoint and blasted her semi final and recorded a time of 7.93 seconds. This was her second fastest time ever and testimony to all her hard work. She stormed to 7th in the final and is now ready to push on and run fast times in the summer.
Abigail Adeniji lined up in the U17 women’s 60m. She ran a controlled heat to qualify for the semi final and came a creditable 8th despite suffering with a knee injury. In the men’s 60m Eniola Adedotun ran a controlled heat and smashed the semi final coming second in 7.17 seconds. This was not only a big PB but yet another of Les Hall’s talented sprint group to have beaten their coaches PB. Eni then finished 8th in the final.
Multi talented athlete Julia Winogrodzka had a busy Saturday morning. Within 90 minutes she had to run three 60m hurdles races as well as compete in the Long Jump. She breezed through to the final of the hurdles and finished 6th. Her best time of the day was 9.04 seconds. She also came 9th in the long jump with a distance of 5m 26.
Under 20 athlete Rebecca Weekes set a new indoor PB of 27.24 seconds in the 200m coming second in her semi final. Unfortunately she didn’t progress to the final as one of the fastest losers but still ran a great race at her first Northern championships.
Hannah and Jonny have qualified for the senior British Championships and all the other athletes have achieved the qualifying times for the England Athletics age group championships.