Saturday 13th November saw the third leg of the Red Rose Cross country League at Centre Vale Park in Todmorden. A challenging mix of steep hills and sloppy mud was the course description.
‘Great going Mum’ ‘Congrats to Mother Lombard’ ‘Well done Running Mum’ and the tributes just kept flowing on the club group chat to Bolton’s Queen Of Country Laura Lombard. Affectionately known as ‘Running Mum’ at Bolton Harriers Laura retained her Red Rose Veteran Ladies title and also runners up spot in the Senior Ladies section.
This was a day for the Harrier’s ladies to eclipse the men for once. The ladies team finished 5th overall. From the Adie Costello Endurance Group Rachel Bailey showed her usual courage and resolve battling into 7th position. Caroline Mullineaux and Beka Millington, also from the Endurance Group, ran strongly earning valuable points for the team. Had Oriel Hardman been registered for the club in time Harriers would have finished in the top three as she came home in a super 11th position.
The clubs younger ladies did themselves and the club proud with Ruby Erzan-Essien, daughter of club stalwart and volunteer Ato, continuing her development with a strong 3rd in the Under 17s. Lily Philbin ran her usual dependable race into 7th spot.
A delighted Laura commented “The Red Rose is a lovely, friendly event and a welcome return to Cross Country. I was extremely pleased to finish female runner up and win the vets title. It was a good day out for the Bolton girls with Rachel and Oriel well up on the leaders board. Ruby has been running really well also and deserved her top 3 finish”.
Coach Gwylim Jones was please with his young charges and had this to say “Scarlett Thompson is showing rapid improvement and finished runner up in the Under 13s girls. In the previous event she had finished 10th. The Under 11 boys had a great day finishing 3rd. Mathew Wood was 8th when in the previous race he was around 28th. His team mates Josh Grundy and Benjamin Davies also put in creditable performances but I was pleased with absolutely every one of those kids.”
Harrier’s men had a lower turnout than usual and first one back was new recruit to coach Dave Shaw’s group Joe Grisdale. The IT Account Manager quipped on that fact “being the only one from Dave’s group might have helped my cause. My only hobby is running as Dave doesn’t allow us to have any other hobbies”. Obviously tongue in cheek he went on to say “I’ll just pick the races that the quick lads aren’t entering from now on! In all seriousness though it was very tough, my first proper cross country race I’ve done so didn’t really know what to expect, a very humbling experience. It was a beautiful day, but conditions were extremely difficult and the mud was shin deep in some parts. I only moved up here recently and am still getting used to all this hill running !
Only a couple of seconds behind him was Plasterer Thomas Gore who was obviously used to working with such slop. Thomas has been a regular entrant in lots of race types for the club this year and is another Endurance Group member who is training hard and improving accordingly. Fellow Harriers Dominic Sohor, Mark Garner and Rick Scaife all ran strong races and all are regular sights now at club races wearing the famous Blue vest.