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.

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!

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.

BOLTON 5K NEWS

Storm Dennis halted the Bolton 5k due to safety precautions on Sunday.

Gail Harrison from the club has announced it will be reorganised and Bolton Harriers will host this Central Lancashire Grand Prix fixture on Sunday 15th March at 9.30am. Entries are still open online via bookitzone.

BOLTON 10K NEWS

The original Bolton 10k is back for 2020.

After cancelling last years event due to a new track being laid at Leverhulme, the club have opened entries for 2020. The race will be held on Sunday 26th April and further details can be found at bolton10k.org.

HARRIERS FELL RUNNERS SPARKLE

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.

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.

ETIHAD UNDER 15 GIRLS

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.

NORTHERN U13/U15 INDOOR ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

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.

WINDY HILL FELL RACE

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.

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.