News reports - September 2020

28th September 2020: XC unlikely in short term; Parkrun remains suspended indefinitely

Earlier this month, Parkrun announced that they hoped to renew activities towards the end of October but, on 22nd September, they once again continued the suspension in the UK.

"Unfortunately, in the UK, over the last few weeks, positive tests and hospitalisations have increased and as such we are seeing a return of certain restrictions across the country. We will take time to understand any developments, before publishing a specific update this Friday to parkrunners in the UK."

Then on 24th September.

"Sadly, after significant consultation and discussion, circumstances outside of our control have dictated that parkrun cannot return in England by the end of October, as we had hoped." see full statement.

Club Cross Country running is also a likely casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. At a Mid Lancs meeting on Monday evening, 29th September, to discuss the England Athletics guidance on a return to cross country running, it was reluctantly accepted that there was no realistic hope of putting on a Covid-secure event on 7th November or 5th December at Hyndburn and Leigh. The first two fixtures are therefore cancelled. Work is continuing to explore options for events in January to March '21. The Liverpool & District senior XC fixture at Clarke's Gardens on 11th October has already been cancelled.

19th September 2020: 2 club records at Hexham YA pentathlon meeting

Sam Coupland, the Hughes sisters and the Keenan sisters travelled to the North East for Saturday's Tynedale Harriers' Combined Events meeting at Hexham, on the weekend that should have been the English Schools' Combined Events Champs. Combined Events coach Barrie Hughes tells me that the Under 15 Girls' competition at Hexham included the top 9 from the National indoors championships so the competition was fierce and of championship quality. With high jump, long jump, shot, hurdles and 800m, the meeting provided a Pentathlon for Under 13s to Under 17s.

Sam finished 2nd in the Under 17 competition with a pentathlon total of 2894 points. His three new event PBs included a high jump of 1m 88, a club record he now shares with David Eastwood from 1990. Other performances were 9m 79, another PB in the shot, 15.14 for 100m hurdles, 6m 06 in the long jump and an 800m in a new PB time of 2:13.20.

Amber Hughes scored 2763 for her pentathlon, the highlight being an 11m 26 shot put to set a new PB and Under 15 club record. She also ran 12.01 for 75m hurdles, cleared 4m 42 in the long jump, 1m 41 in the high jump and ran 2:42.40 for 800m.

Jessica Keenan also competed in the Under 15 pentathlon; a first time combined events competition, scoring 1914 points. She ran a new PB of 12.92 in the 75m hurdles, cleared 4m 27 in the long jump, 1m 32 in the high jump, put the shot 6m 20 and ran 3:13 for 800m.

In the Under 13 Girls' competition, Charlotte Hughes achieved 4 PBs from her 5 events, long jumping 3m 43, high jumping 1m 16, running 14.44 for 70m hurdles, and putting the shot 6m 69. She also ran 3:11.84 for the 800m in this her first pentathlon.

For Hannah Keenan, this was also her first combined events competition and she scored a pentathlon total of 1297. Her 70m hurdles in 13.56 was a new PB and she also long jumped 3m 11, high jumped 1m 07, put the shot 3m 91 and ran 2:56 for her 800m race.

Bearing in mind the interruption to training and the absence of competition this season, all these juniors are to be congratulated on some excellent performances.


Elsewhere, Under 17 Lucy Milling competed over 1500m at the Trafford meeting and smashed her PB with 4:49.86.

18th September 2020: Athletics unaffected by Covid allowable 'Rule of Six'

Sport England issued the following statement on 9th September regarding the government announcement on group sizes: -

Following changes made by government today in relation to group sizes, we have sought clarity on what this means for sport and physical activity.

While social gatherings above six are banned in England from September 14, organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue as can organised outdoor sports events, like parkrun which is due to return next month.

People can also continue to use leisure facilities, including gyms and pools.

That’s because these sports and activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19, and these venues are classed as Covid secure given the measures they have introduced, and because government recognises the importance of sport and physical activity for people’s health and wellbeing.

Please check for updates.

12tth September 2020: Stretford, the only T&F show in town

Longford Park in Stretford is still the only venue in the area where athletes can get Track & Field competition in an athletics year devastated by coronavirus restrictions. 12 of our junior athletes took advantage of the latest sprints-based meeting on Saturday and achieved 9 PBs.

75m. Renee Adams (10.68), Hannah Keenan (11.77), Oliver Storey (11.91) and Esme McNally (12.71).

100m. Jessica Keenan (14.39) and Niamh Procter (14.56).

150m. Renee Adams (21.10 PB), Oliver Storey (24.01), Erin Griffin (24.14 PB) and Esme McNally (26.16 PB).

200m. Abi Bamber (26.88).

70mH. Charlotte Hughes (14.50 PB) and Hannah Keenan (14.59 PB).

75mH. Amber Hughes (12.47) Jessica Keenan (13.09 PB) and Eleanor Clark (14.82).

80mH. Niamh Procter (15.34 PB).

100mH. Sam Coupland (15.61).

Long Jump. Jessica Keenan (4m 35 PB), Hannah Keenan (3m 69PB), Erin Griffin (3m 34 PB) and Oliver Storey (3m 34).

Shott. Amber Hughes (10m 57).

Javelin. Eleanor Clark (17m 26).

With the T&F season extended this year to the end of October, Trafford AC is holding several more open meeting through September and into October; on Saturdays 19th September, 26th September, 3rd October and 10th October, the last offers competition for U13s & U11s. There is also a combined events meeting over the weekend 3rd / 4th October. Entries for all these meetings are now being taken. Full information of these meetings is on the Trafford AC web site.

Saturday's Results


For road runners, we hear that Parkrun may recommence later in October. England Athletics guidance on a return of Cross Country is currently awaited.