News reports - April 2017

29th April 2017: Mid Lancs T&F season gets under way at Blackpool

A dry and sunny afternoon greeted athletes and supporters at Stanley Park Arena, Blackpool, for the season's first Mid Lancs Track & Field League meeting. This year, both our male and female teams are in the top division and it would be good to stay there albeit this league is more about the development of athletes than competing for end-of-season awards.

26 of our athletes took the opportunity to test their early season fitness, including several juniors competing for the club for the first time; Jenna and Leo Christian, Katelyn Swift, Phoebe Apps Ethan Harrison and Tom Kwissa.

An above average turnout didn't reflect in the points total, however. Our female athletes finished 5th of 7 and our male athletes were 6th of 7th.

Best performance in a Southport Waterloo vest was Megan Howarth. No club record today but her javelin throw of 33m 75 was a grade 1 standard. Ben Apps' triple jump of 12m 83 was a grade 2 standard and we had 8 other graded standards. And 8 PBs were either broken or equalled.

Our Under 13 Girls were Phoebe Apps, Jenna Christian, Michaela Hopkins, Amber Hughes, Katelyn Swift and Grace Tobin. Amber won all her three events; 14.3 for her first 100m race, 29.7, the fastest of 22 under 13 girls over 200m, and 7m 24 for the shot - all graded standard performances. Grace was superb in the 800m race, winning that in 2:33.2, equalling her PB from last year. She also high jumped 1m 20 and ran 30.5 for 200m. Katelyn ran 3:10 for 800m, a PB 16.0 for 100m and 34 for 200m. Jenna and Phoebe were the newbies. Jenna ran 36 for 200m, put the shot 3m 68 and threw the javelin 5m 98. Phoebe competed in discus and had a best of 13m 47 - which in fact is a new Club Record!

Under 13 Boys were Michael Henderson and Marcus Burgess. Michael was 4th of 17 boys over 800m, shaving 2 secs off his time at Whitehaven and he high jumped 1m 25. Marcus followed in his dad's footsteps throwing the javelin 13m 95.

Megan Howarth, and Bethany Swift competed in the Under 15 Girls category. Bethany had two PBs - 18.0 for 100m and 9m 33 in the discus and she also threw the javelin. Megan, the 2017 Girls' Junior Team Captain, started with the hammer and a best of 31m 33 was just 9 cms off the club record. In the javelin, she had two throws over 33metres - 33m 16 and 33m 75 - both exceeding the new Grade 1 standard for 2017-18. That won the competition by a clear 4 metres.

Our Under 15 Boys were Sam Coupland, Leo Christian, Jamie Hopkins and Joshua Stammers. Josh ran 14.0 for 100m and long jumped 4m 38. Leo ran 29.8 for 200m and long jumped 3m 97. Sam and Jamie both recorded PBs. Jamie improved his 400m best time to 65.5 and equalled his previous best high jump of 1m 55 to finish 2nd in that competition. Sam improved his shot PB by 1 cm to 7m 09 - every journey a series of small steps! - for 2nd place and his javelin best to 22m 15 for a 3rd place. He also high jumped 1m 45.

In the Under 17 Women's competition Mia Tomlinson Oldfield had Season's Bests in both the 100m (13.5) and the 300m (45.8). Her times are coming down nicely!

We had four Under 17 Men - Ben Apps, Ethan Harrison, Joshua Pieles and Tom Kwissa. Ethan ran 13.1 for 100m. Only Joshua did more than one event, running 13.2 for 100m and long jumping 4m 85. Ben improved his triple jump PB by half a metre to a grade 2 12m 83 to win that competition. And Tom high jumped to a best of 1m 65.

Jimmy Alderson and Nathan Byrne were our Under 20 Men. There were satisfying performances all round with Jimmy running 12.3 for 100m and 54.5 for 400m and, throwing senior weights, Nathan put the shot 10m 06 and threw the discus 29m 22.

Katy Coupland competed in the Senior Women's throws. Her discus was a Season's Best 27m 54. She also put the shot 7m 36 and threw the javelin 17m 14.

In the Senior Men's competition Graham Boreham, Chris Burgess and Liam Harris were competing. Chris ran 12.3 and 25.7 for the short sprints and he threw the javelin 24m 80. Graham ran the same 25.7 for 200m after running 55.3 for 400m. And Liam put the shot 9m 92 and threw the javelin 21m 97.

Thanks to our team manager Lee Coupland and out team of officials: Steve Boreham, Chris Henders, Megan Howarth, Lee Coupland and Liam Harris.

Full results | Results for Southport Waterloo

NB Have you entered for the County T&F Champs on 13th May? Please visit the county web site and enter now. The closing date is next Saturday.

23rd April 2017: 2 SWAC seniors run sub 2:30 in London Marathon

I have so far identified 15 club runners in Sunday's London Marathon with Ben Johnson producing the fastest time to finish in 2:21:46. That's a faster time than some of the elite start runners! Mark Dunham ran 2:28:48 to give two Southport Waterloo runners finishing sub 2 hrs 30. With Mike Leatherbarrow finishing in 2:58 three of our runners ran sub 3 hours. For the ladies, Tracey Allan led our contingent home in 3:33:38 with Karen Wilson running 3:36:18.

In finishing time order, the Southport Waterloo finishers were Ben Johnson 2:21:46, Mark Dunham 2:28:48, Mike Leatherbarrow 2:58:28, Mark Ashby 3:08:50, Steve Lewis 3:23:04, Tracey Allan 3:33:38, Karen Wilson 3:36:18, Georgina Gillen 4:06:00, Adrian Shandley 4:22:09, Mark Wadmore 4:35:53, Gillian Shandley 4:40:03, Talitha Shandley 4:49:08, Jordan Shandley 5:15:45, Emma Hopwood 5:25:05 and Lee Coupland 5:43:33.

Apologies to any runner missed.

22nd April 2017: U13s / U15s secure first League win of the T&F season

With the cross country season and the string of early season open Track & Field meetings now behind us, the first inter-club League match took place on Saturday; Div'n 3N Match 1 of the YDL (Lower) at Whitehaven. This match was hosted by Border Harriers whose own track at Sheepmount Stadium in Carlisle is still unrepaired following the severe flood damage caused by Storm Desmond in December 2015. There was a worry that the long journey to Whitehaven in North West Cumbria would affect athlete availability and indeed it did have some effect. But we still managed a very good turnout that bodes well for the coming season.

And we won the match! The scores were Southport Waterloo 542, Chorley 492, Border 392, Blackpool 362, Horwich 190, Salford 163 and Hyndburn 112. Its much too early to talk of promotion but the youngsters have made a great start.

The Copeland track at Whitehaven is a better facility than we enjoy at Litherland and with a sunny day, and just an occasional chilly breeze, conditions were set for a great afternoon of athletics.

There were some holes in the declarations sheets and so plenty of room for more athletes to get involved in the remaining fixtures but our team put in a great performance and were rewarded with 26 'A' and 'B' string event wins, 18 PBs, a club record and 12 graded standard performances. Several athletes were competing for the club for the first time and many were prepared to compete outside the comfort zone of their normal events to help build a good score for the team.

For our Athlete of the Match, I would highlight two of our girls, Amber Hughes and Megan Howarth. Both girls won their three events; Amber ran a Grade 2 flat 75m and threw a Grade 3 javelin; Megan threw a Grade 2 javelin and improved her hammer club record. Both are impressive athletes with loads of potential.

Our Under 13 Girls were Amber Hughes, Jessica Keenan, Grace Malone, Alex Murphy-Worrell, Katie Piercy, Katelyn Swift and Grace Tobin. Amber won the 75m in a PB 10.6 (that's just 2 tenths off the club record!), won the 70m hurdles in 13.2 and, in just her 3rd javelin competition, she won with a grade 3 19m 55. Grace M won the 'B' 75m in a PB 11.1, ran a 1200m in 4:43, and competed in the javelin. Grace T also ran the 1200m, in 4:15, and was 2nd in the 150m race, in a PB 22.7. She also high jumped 1m 17. Katie won the shot competition with 7m 23 . She also long jumped to a PB 3m 63 and won the 'B' hurdles race in 14.0. Jessica ran a 23.8 150m and won the 'B' 800m in 2:53. Alex also ran an 800m, in a PB 2:49, and her 6m 36 shot put was another PB. Katelyn competed in long jump and had a best of 3m 07.

Jessica, Grace T, Amber and Katie ended their afternoon with a fine win in the 4 x 100m relay, getting the baton round in 58.1 secs.

Our Under 13 Boys were Michael Henderson, Paul Murphy-Worrell, James Pike and Jonathon Pilkington - just 4 compared with 7 Under 13 Girls! James achieved two PBs from his three events running 32.4 for 200m and putting the shot 4m 22. He was also 2nd in the 1500m race in 5:43. Michael found himself in an 800m race of just two boys but it was evident from the start that they were well matched with nothing to separate them until, with 200m to go Michael pulled away and won in a PB time of 2:35.5. His long jump of 3m 41 was another PB and he put the shot 4 metres. Jonathon completed the 75m hurdles in 16.6, a pretty good time considering he had no opposition. He also won the 'B' 100m in 15.5 and won the high jump with 1m 17. And Paul ran 15.2 for 100m, 31.3 for 200m and won the 'B' ling jump with 3m 36.

Four boys were enough for a relay and they got the baton around in 62 7 for maximum points.

Our Under 15 Girls were Megan Howarth, Louise Murphy-Worrell, Stephanie Robertson, Bethany Swift, Ella Tobin and Freya Walsh; with two girls recording 6 outright event wins between them. Megan was outstanding with a great hammer throw of 31m 42 which adds a massive 6 metres to her club record. That won the event and she also won the shot with 7m 97, another PB, and the javelin with 30m 40. Stephanie was also stacking up the points winning the long jump with 4m 62, beating her previous PB set indoors, winning the hurdles race in 12.3 and winning the 100m in 13.5. Ella stuck to throws for this meeting, and put the shot 6m 09 and threw the discus 14m 03 for a 2nd place. Bethany also featured in the throws winning the 'B' hammer and was 3rd 'B' in the javelin. Louise ran a14.5 100m, a 31.4 200m and a 55 secs 300m. Finally, Freya ran a competitive 1500m in 5: 36.5, long jumped to a PB 2m 79 and ran a 200m in 32.8.

Louise, Freya, Megan and Stephanie ran a 4 x 300m, finishing 2nd but with Stephanie closing on the leaders on the last leg.

Our Under 15 Boys were Sam Coupland, Lewis McMahon, Matthew Nichols,Josh Stammers and Luke Suarez. Luke was the best performer with graded performances in the 100m and 300m. He was 2nd in the 100m in a PB time of 12.5, and 2nd again over 300m in 41.5. He also won the long jump competition with 4m 92. Josh was our other sprinter, running 13.8 for 100m and 27.7 for 200m, a new PB. Sam focused in the Field with a 1m 30 high jump, throwing the discus 19m 13 and the hammer 21m 27. Matthew and Lewis were our middle distance runners, Lewis running 2:40 for 800m and Matthew 5:53 in his first 1500m. Matthew also competed in the shot and hammer and Lewis achieved a PB in the shot with 6m 24 and a javelin throw of over 18 metres.

Lewis, Josh, Sam and Luke also ran the 4 x 100m relay and were 2nd in 53.6.

Thanks to all who made the long trek to Whitehaven and particularly to our new team manager Graham Boreham. Thanks too to our officials; Dave Whitehead, Karl McMahon, Steve Boreham, Chris Henders, Emma Howarth, Ian Pike, Dan Stammers and Helen Nichols.

Match 2 is at Eccles on 20th May. But before then we have the first Mid Lancs fixture, at Blackpool next Saturday.

Full results | Results for club athletes.

17th April 2017: PBs galore at Stretford

We had several young athletes competing at Trafford on Bank Holiday Monday.

We had 2 Under 11 boys competing, Sammy Pickerill and Will Collins. Both boys competed in the 150m, 600m and long jump.  Will ran 26.16 for the 150m, long jumped 2.45 and completed the 600 in 2.01.36 which was a hat trick of PBs. Not to be outdone Sammy also had a pair of PBs, running the 150m in 23.73 long jumping 3.37 and also running 1.50 for his 600m which was a gold medal winning performance!!

We had 2 under 11 girls; Charlotte Hughes and Natalie Piercy who competed in the 75m, 600m and long jump. Both girls ran PBs in the 75m, Charlotte in 12.89 and Natalie in 13,75.

We had 4 under 13 girls in Millie Ireland, Libby Simpson, Katie Piercy and Amber Hughes. Mille tried long jump and jumped 2.39 just behind Libby who jumped 2.50. Millie also competed in the 1200 and despite a mid race fall completed the race in 5.27. Libby raced the 150 in 24.45 and ran a good 800m in 2.57. Amber competed in the 70m hurdles were she ran a PB in 12.17 and picked up 2 bronze medals in the 150 were she ran 21.31 and she threw a PB of 18.30 in the javelin. Katie also competed in the javelin and threw a PB of 17.52. She ran another PB in the 150 of 22.82 and threw the shot 7.55 which was good enough to grab the silver medal.

We also had 2 under 15 boys competing, Sam Coupland in the javelin, discuss and long jump and osh Stammers in the long jump and the 100m. It was Josh's first comp of the season and he ran 13.91 for the 100 and long jumped 4.44. Sam long jumped 4.26, threw the javelin 21.54, which is a PB, and  he also threw the discus - but I cant see him in the results.

Full results

15th April 2017: John Sprackland maintains 100% record at Rivington Pike

Six SWAC runners made the start at the traditional Easter Saturday Rivington Pike race. This is the oldest fell race in Britain and this year saw a large field of 371 runners start.

The day was dry with a cold breeze blowing, which was blowing into the runners faces on the descent from the top of the pike. The conditions underfoot were dry which made for some good fast running.

From the start there was a fast 600m section on the road before the course turns right and starts the stiff 800ft climb to the top of the pike. The wind was on the backs of the runners up the ascent and with the ground dry the field made good progress. John Sprackland made a good ascent and was well placed at the summit before turning into the wind for the fast descent over some difficult rutted ground.

John maintained a good pace and finished in 53rd position overall in 22.22 and was first home for SWAC, maintaining his 100% record in this year’s grand prix series. Second home was Brian Davey in 25.34 and Clive James 3rd male in 28.17.

For the ladies, Michelle Spencer had a strong run improving her times, and was first lady home for SWAC, in 27.51 followed by Carole James in 29.55, with Elaine Sutton third lady home in 35.50.

The next race in the Fell Grand Prix series is on Tuesday 9th May at Mearly Clough, registration at the Calf’s Head, Worston, nr Clitheroe, 7-15pm start.

Fell GP Table

10th April 2017: Club membership and licence to compete

Have you paid your club subs yet? The club's year runs from 1st April and all existing members will have received an email reminding them that renewal is due. Of course, if you were not a member in 2016 or if you have changed your email address then you probably haven't received any reminder.

Club membership is important for several reasons but I want to focus here on your licence to compete in track & field, cross country and road relays. Under 11s don't need a licence to compete but all other age groups do. The cost of your club membership includes an England Athletics athlete registration fee which the club sends on to England Athletics (EA). Until EA receives this they don't register the athlete and the athlete isn't licensed to compete.

Just to confuse matters, athletes who were registered with England last year remain licensed to compete until 30th June, ie they are granted some leeway. New athlete members are not licensed until England receive the payment for 2017.

Parents of club members who were Under 11 last year and Under 13 this coming T&F season need to remember that they don't have any leeway. They cannot compete until they are registered with England Athletics.

So if you haven't paid subs yet please do so quickly, particularly if you intend to compete later this month in the Youth Development League (YDL) or the Mid Lancs T&F League.

See membership renewal options under the 'About Us' tab and get your subs to Helen Lodge asap. Or ask a Club official or Committee member if you have a question or want more information.

9th April 2017: Loads 'a PBs at Bebington

The series of local open track & field meetings continued on Sunday with the Urenco Wirral AC Medal Meeting at Bebington Oval. Many were looking forward to athletics on a gloriously sunny day - as forecast by the weather 'experts' - but by early afternoon a chill wind had set in and spectators and officials alike were forced to add extra layers to keep warm! Being positive, the wind was behind the short sprinters so of some help to times.

Being the most local open meeting so far this year it is perhaps not surprising that it attracted 15 Southport Waterloo juniors from Under 11s to Under 15. And between them they achieved at least 11 new PBs.

Under 11 Girls taking part were Olivia Burgess, Natalie Piercy and Charlotte Hughes. Olivia ran a PB 12.9 for 75m and competed in turbo javelin. Natalie ran the 150m, in 27.5, and also competed in turbo javelin. And Charlotte ran 26.0 in her 150m race and her 600m time of 2:09.8 was a new PB.

Our Under 11 Boys were Sean Hopkins, Will Collins and Sammy Pickerill. After a season in cross country it was no surprise to see Will and Sammy run 150m and 600m. Sammy was fastest in both, winning the 600m in a PB time of 1:47.8, taking 11 secs off his time at the Blackpool Open last weekend. His time for 150m was 23.8. Will's 600m time was also a PB - 2:03.0 - and he ran 25.0 for the 150m race. And Sean ran a PB in the 75m sprint, crossing the line in 13.0 secs.

We had five Under 13 Girls competing; Michaela Hopkins, Amber Hughes, Millie Ireland, Libby Simpson and Katelyn Swift. Michael achieved PBs in both her events, 12.5 for 75m and a long jump of 3m 37. Amber is an impressive allrounder. She was 3rd in her first 800m race as an Under 13 in 2:34.9, 2nd in the high jump with 1m 25 and 3rd in the shot with a PB 7m 51. Her three performances are all graded standards, her 800m and shot grade 3 standards!

Libby also ran well crossing the line in the 150m in 22.9, placing her 2nd in the club rankings so far, and she ran the 800m in 2:51. Millie ran 27.7 for 150m and 5:17 for 1200m. And Katelyn long jumped 2m 92, ran the 70m hurdles in 16.8 and completed the 1200m in 4:55.

Marcus Burgess was our only Under 13 Boy at Bebington, He ran 35.3 for 200m and put the shot 3m 55.

Bethany Swift was our only Under 15 Girl. Her 18.3 for 100m was a new PB and she put the shot 4m 06.

Finally, Jamie Hopkins and Luke Suarez were competing as Under 15 Boys. Jamie impressed with a win in the 75m hurdles in 13.7, he also won the high jump competition with a PB-equalling 1m 55 and his best shot put of 7m 51 was another PB. Luke ran 12.7 for his 100m race and cleared 1m 40 in the high jump.

Wirral results


And Steve Boreham reports from Wigan: Well the weather outside’s delightful, that was until early afternoon when the warm sunshine went to hide behind the grey skies and the North wind turned a beautiful warm spring day into an arctic afternoon.

The turnout at Robin Park Wigan was nowhere near as impressive as the Bebbington Oval, overall, and for Southport Waterloo. Seven of our Athletes from U15 to Senior were in attendance and, with 4 PB’s (if I am correct) and yet another CR for Megan Howarth, it was not a bad early season outing. Our officials count nearly matched the Athletes with 4 of our licenced Field Judges helping out, I was joined by Ann Dignan, Emma Haworth & Lee Coupland in the Field events.

The results for our athletes were as follows on the Track….

Combined Snr M & U20M 400m…. Ethan Hughes 2nd in a PB time of 53.34 (up from 55.7) and Graham Boreham recording a pleasing season opening time of 55.02 for 3rd.

Combined U13B / U15B 800m saw Lewis McMahon PB 2:34.54 (up from 2:40.7)

The Electronic Timing on offer did not seem to draw the vast crowds of athletes expected!

Over in the Field the numbers were equally small in all events and the results for our Athletes are as follows…

Snr Women 1Kg Discus Throw…. Katy Coupland 25.26

U15B 1.25Kg Discus Throw …. Sam Coupland 20.75 (threw 22m27 at Stretford on 1st april)

U17 W 500g Javelin Throw …. Eve McMahon PB 24.83 (up from 23.72)

U15G 500g Javelin Throw …. Megan Howarth PB & CR 35.44 beating the 33.04 thrown at Stoke on 1-4-17…Well done Megan!!

Wigan results

2nd April 2017: Mike and Gina run Manchester

Gina Bellhouse and I participated in the Greater Manchester Marathon last Sunday.  It was a chilly start but became warm later in the morning and despite it being promoted as a flat course (as if!) it was testingly undulating with several long uphill drags.

Gina had invested significant energy, determination and cheery enthusiasm to preparing for the marathon and was rewarded with a time of 4 hours 29 mins – this was well inside her target and gave her a PB by 14 mins!!  For my part, my time was 3 hours 21 mins – not a PB but placed me second in age category.  (The modern zimmer frames are amazingly fast these days!!).

2nd April 2017: Juniors get first taste of outdoor T&F season

Updated 3rd April with Stoke performances. The outdoor track & field season kicked off with a flurry of open meetings over the weekend. The first was at Stanley Park, Blackpool, where 6 of our club athletes were among the 400-strong entry. Blackpool is always a popular venue but it can be chilly at this time of year and so it proved on Saturday with rain in the morning and the sun struggling until early evening. So the conditions were far from perfect for sprinting and middle distance running where most of our young athletes wanted to tested themselves after a winter's training.

Under 11 boys Sammy Pickerill and Will Collins competed over 80m and 600m, Sammy running 12.8 and 1:58 and Will 13.8 and 2:03. Both boys won their 600m race, Sammy fastest overall and Will 3rd fastest. Under 13 Libby Simpson was 3rd in both her races; 15.3 for 100m and 2:04.8 for 600m.

Under 15 Lilly-Ann Grayson came along for an 800m race and, in a field of 15 girls, quickly established herself in the leading group. She finished 3rd overall in 2:29.8 and showed some of her undoubted potential as a middle distance runner.

Mia Tomlinson Oldfield, now running as an Under 17 Woman, ran a 100m in 13.6 and a 300 in 46.3. Again, not as fast as she would have liked but the potential is clear to see.

Finally, for Blackpool, Nathan Byrne showed his class in the Shot competition. Now an Under 20, Nathan won the competition with 11m 20.

Also on Saturday, there were open meetings at Stretford in Manchester and in Stoke. In Manchester, Sam Coupland achieved PBs in all three events. On the track he ran 2:36.11 for 800m. In the throws, he threw the discus 22m 27 and the javelin 21m 27.

At the City of Stoke AC Open, Amber Hughes, Charlotte Hughes and Megan Howarth all achieved early season PBs. Charlotte ran 12.97 for 75m and 25.44 for 150m, both PBs. Amber ran 10.65 for 75m, 20.86 for 150m - both PBs - and she had a go at javelin. And Megan improved on her own 500g javelin club record to 33m 04 and ran 31.24 for 200m. Its very early in the season but Amber's 75m and 150m times put her in the top ten nationally. And Megan's javelin at Stoke puts her 4th in the country.

Then on Sunday, the action was at Victoria Park in Warrington where we had, I think, 8 club athletes competing in much better, sunny and windless, conditions. Amber Hughes was 2nd in her three events, putting the shot 7m 33, running 21.6 for 150m and 12.5 for her 70m hurdles race.

Jessica Keenan ran a PB 11.8 for 75m and ran 23.0 for 150m. I think she also put the shot but I have no performance as yet.

Under 11 Lottie Hughes ran 26.7 for 150m and 2:24 for 600. Natalie Piercy, also Under 11, ran 13.8 for 75m and 2:26 for 600m.

Under 13 Katie Piercy put the shot 6m 59 and ran 2:48.5 for 800m.

Then, for the boys, Luke Suarez ran 2 PBs, running 12.5 for 100m and 41.4 for 300m. And Jamie Hopkins won his 75m hurdles race in a PB 13.5 secs.

Finally, Chris Burgess featured in the Senior 200m race, running 25.7.

My thanks to David Gough for ferreting out the results from Warrington.

2nd April 2017: Ben Johnson 3rd in L'pool Half Marathon and Mark Dunham wins the 10 Miler

A cold morning welcomed the runners for the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon and 10 Miler as they set off from the Pier Head in Liverpool heading towards Sefton Park. This latest BTR event, sponsored by Vitality, dates back to 1994 and always attracts strong participation by both club and fun runners, the finishers this year being in excess of 4000.

The half marathon course include a shorter loop back to the Pier Head for a 10 Mile road race. This year, that race was won by Southport Waterloo's Mark Dunham in 54:18, a PB for him by just under a minute and a great victory over the classic 10 mile course.

In the main race, there was more good news for Southport Waterloo with Ben Johnson finishing 3rd in 68:28, also a PB for him. Ben is in cracking form at the moment and just seems to go from strength to strength.

In all, 17 Southport Waterloo runners completed the half marathon, the 3rd race in the club's Grand Prix series. Mark Ashby, now resident in Scotland but one of our longest-serving Southport Waterloo runners and race organisers, was 3rd M55 in 1:27:30 and other male runners were Richard Houghton (1:28:29), Boyd Park (1:28:43), Mike Murray (1:34:21), Carl Pedder (1:34:58), David Wright (1:36:24), James Brooker (1:37:08), Robbie Trecarichi (1:42:13), David Marsh (1:42:53) and Paul Warrington (1:43:22).

Rachel Jacks Led our women home in a 1:31:12 which placed her an excellent 9th female finisher. Mari Dyson finished in 1:48:30, Annie McCaffrey in 2:04:17, Helen Lodge, 2:04:18, Jane Blacklin, 2:17:27, and Emma Hopwood, 2:45:28.

Grand Prix rankings | Full race results

1st April 2017: Pendle Hill Fell race

Having done the Pendle Fell Race for the first time last year, I was looking forward to running this excellent, short but tough fell race again this year.  With an okay past year on the the fells too, I was hoping that I could knock few minutes off last years race time.

However, a calf injury early in February, lack of self discipline on the eating front and a bout of man flu during the last week meant I hadn't done much running lately and therefore lining up for the start of today's race I felt like a congested Orangutan.

With the start of the race imminent, luckily the heavy rain had passed over and  we were left with light drizzle, similar conditions to last year I think. A quick count of the runners and soon we were off.  Leaving the village of Barley we made our way up past Lower Ogden Reservoir and on towards Upper Ogden Reservoir.  The run out is mostly uphill along a narrow tarmac road but just before you reach the second reservoir the route veers right up a steep track and into a field.  Entering the field you turn immediately right and begin the first real ascent up the side of Pendle Hill onto Deep Clough Spring.

I wont lie, I'd started walking before I entered the field, that short steep track meant my calves were burning and I was wheezing and trying to catch my breath after last weeks flu.  For a split second I thought about dropping out but I was determined to finish today no matter what and so continued up into the field.  I think I walked most of the way up towards Deep Clough Spring too, my hands on my knees powering myself slowly up. Wearing a running top under my vest was a bad move as by now I was sweating and regretting my decision to wear it.  I stop to remove it and leave it in the dry stone wall, I will collect it on the way back down later.  The terrain here is mud, peat and rock and each step seems to zap your energy more and more.

Soon we reach the top and the marshal sends us down a long downhill path which skirts the front of Pendle.  The descent is fast and the ground underfoot is extremely rocky. It's concentration time now as you think about foot placement so as to avoid losing your footing and re-arranging your face.  As you reach the bottom, you turn left and immediately you face the almost vertical climb up the front of Pendle Hill.

Looking up as you start the ascent you can just see the dots of those runners just reaching the summit and within seconds the calves are once again burning and legs are starting to tire.  Climbing up the front seems to take forever, each footstep becomes tougher and the stops become more frequent.  Eventually, the summit is reached and today I'm greeted with some support from the Tobin Family (Grace, Ella and their Mum).  I can't tell you much of lift that gave me as I tell them that I'm getting too old for all this climbing!

Now with the climb over as I pass the trig point on the summit it's time to open up and make up some time as I make my way back down off the hill.  Soon we pick up the same route that we had just climbed up and I've managed to pass a couple of other runners. As I head through a gate I'm back into the field and I collect my t-shirt from the dry stone wall and soon I'm back on the tarmac road.  I try and and continue to keep the same pace but the legs are like lead now.  I know it's mostly downhill now but despite my best efforts I'm passed by another runner and I'm unable to catch any of those just in front of me.

As I arrive back in Barley and cross the finish line I learn that my time is slightly down on last year but I'm not to disheartened as I've managed to get round today plus I've got that first fell race of the year under my belt. 

Thanks for reading.

There were 190 runners today in the senior race and just two from Southport Waterloo, me and John Sprackland. 

Pos Num M F Name Cat CatPos Club Time
70 67 064   John Sprackland M50 (013/037) Southport Waterloo 00:45:22
162 23 135   Ian Andrew Dpyle M40 (034/036) Southport Waterloo 00:58:51

 Full Senior Results:


There was just one junior out today, Grace Tobin who ran in the U13 race.

Pos Num M F Name Cat CatPos Club Time
19 60   004 Grace Tobin F13 (004/013) Southport Waterloo 00:19:26

Full Junior Results: