What a week! Big races, small races and everything in between, and, as always, you have been giving it your all. We’ve had runners at the two biggest marathons in the world and at classic Lakeland fell races. We’ve also been celebrating success at the Mid Lancs Cross Country presentations for our juniors and seniors.
MONDAY 17 APRIL
It was fantastic to see that Clayton Harrier, Nerina Gill had headed over to America to take part in the iconic Boston Marathon, and especially good to have a lady runner there on the 50th anniversary of Kathrine Switzer’s historic completion in 1967. Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and a major force in breaking down the barriers for women endurance runners. She ran the race again this year aged 70 wearing her original number 261.
Report from Nerina Gill
I knew a few things about the Boston marathon before I went: it’s the world’s oldest continually run marathon, and entry is by qualification or charity place only; it’s almost a straight line point to point course ending in central Boston; the temperature can be anything from 10 to 30C, and while the first and last four miles are downhill, there are four hills between 16 and 21, the last of which is called Heartbreak Hill.
Well I’d qualified, so I’d earned my place at the start line, and duly arrived at Boston Common to be bussed 26 miles out to Hopkinton. It was already too warm for the disposable extra layers I’d taken with me, and by my 10.50 start the sun was decidedly hot. I decided to ignore the previous day’s email from the organisers recommending that people who weren’t acclimatised should slow down, and set off at my planned pace.
By mile 13 I was more or less on target, but my mile splits were slowing, and I knew it was just going to be about getting through in one piece.
I starting walking through every water station and concentrated on trying to dig in, and keep focussed. At the top of the first hill at mile 17 was an open fire hydrant, and I ran right through it. The water was freezing and drenched me immediately, and I felt my temperature start to come down right away. A few more of those and I began to feel better. Heartbreak Hill was long and wearying, but since I was no longer trying to run at race pace, I was able to stay fairly comfortable.
Once that was behind me I knew it was all downhill, but oh those downhills hurt after that distance, and I got very little extra speed and a nasty bout of cramp. No choice but to walk until it eased, but at least it was clouding over, and the end was in sight.
The ever present crowds became much more cosmopolitan in the city, the signs just as witty, and I was able to relax and enjoy the last couple of miles, and even speed up for the last few hundred yards.
The whole experience was one I’ll never forget, and in the end it wasn’t about the time (4 13 58, still my third fastest) but about being there, doing my first overseas marathon and being part of such an amazing event.
The one other thing people know about the Boston Marathon – it was attacked by terrorists four years ago. The phrase that came out of that was everywhere: Boston Strong. It is, and in the end, so was everyone who ran.
HOLLINGWORTH LAKE 5K
A group of nine club members took part in this Bank Holiday 5K race organised by Cannonball Events. Laura Hesketh was our first finisher and second lady in the race in 18:15. Christine Egerton was 1st FV65.
Paul Hesketh was 17th and 1st V50 and David Scott and Richard Lawson were 1st V70 and 1stV75 respectively.
Lennon and Matthew Jackson were our 2 junior runners.
HOLLINGWORTH LAKE GOLDEN MILE FUN RUN
Senior Jack McGuire ran in the Golden Mile race along with junior runners Erin and Millie Hesketh.
WOODLANDS 5K TRAIL RACE
Report from Mick Hughes
After contemplating a few other races that weekend I stumbled across this little race and thought what a fantastic cause – a local couple adding to their London Marathon fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer by staging this 5k trail in Clayton. It would have been a shame to not represent the Harriers there.
The course was a loop starting beside the track and heading onto trail through the woodlands then more challenging climbs and rough little descents and twisting turns through the thicker woodland on the other side of the track. There was a good turnout of mixed ages / abilities and I thought I’d test the faster group by staying with the front 2 from the off, I was behind a younger quicker lad most of the way but lead briefly for half a lap. After 2 and a half laps (5k) I had managed to win a tussle for 3rd with a local Preston club runner. Upping my pace on the final half I managed to keep third as the gap to fourth place widened. 3rd place meant a first podium position ever for me, a 21 minute finish and the prize of Easter chocolate (of course!) and other goodies. I made a good donation to help their fund and was very happy to come in for my first ‘3rd position finish’ for a very worthy cause and especially at Clayton Le Moors
TUESDAY 18 APRIL
PETER ERHARDT COWM RESERVOIR 5K
A trio of Harriers took part in the Peter Erhardt Cowm Reservoir 5K race. John Roche was our first finisher in 20 minutes dead in 21st place over all and 1st MV55.Irene Roche was our first lady finisher in 40th place with a time of 22:43. Julia Rushton completed the team in 45th place and 23:28. A total of 81 runners took part.
BUNNY RUN 3
Eight Clayton Harriers took part in the third and final Bunny Run in the popular series organised by Woodentops. Our first finisher was junior runner Jackson McKay who was 30th overall and 2nd U15 male.
James Boult was our first senior finisher in 63rd place. Beth Quinn was our first lady runner in 227th place.
Report from Beth Quinn
On Tuesday night 9 Harriers made the trip over to Haworth to take on the last of the three Bunny Runs. It was a perfect night for the 2.6 miles around Penistone Quarry and we each set off hunting down a fast time.
Several of us, including Wayne, James and myself, managed to take a minute at least off last weeks time. Everyone ran well and was rewarded with Soup and Tiger bread back at the pub, overall it was an enjoyable mid week race.
WEDNESDAY 19 APRIL
LOUGHRIGG FELL RACE
Our condolences go to the family and friends of the runner who tragically collapsed and died during the running of this race.
Seven seasoned Clayton fell runners travelled up to the Lake District to take part in this 4 mile fell race with 1083ft of ascent organised by Ambleside AC.
Mark Nutter was our first finisher in 98th place overall. Wendy Dodds was our sole lady runner in 135th place and 1st FV60.
FRIDAY 21 APRIL
MID LANCS LEAGUE PRESENTATION
The Mid Lancs League held their annual presentation evening and celebrated success in this year’s cross country League. The club picked up some team awards and also some individual awards.
Gold for the U11 Boys Team and the U15 Girls Team
Silver for the Vet 55 Ladies
Bronze for the Vet 35 Ladies, Senior Men, Senior Men ‘B’ Team, Vet 40 Men and Vet 50 Men
Gold for Dexta Thompson in the U11 Boys, Silver for Briony Holt in the U15 girls and Silver for Irene Roche in the Vet55 Ladies.
Well done to all our members that took part in this year’s cross country competitions.
SATURDAY 22 APRIL
ANNIVERSARY WALTZ FELL RACE
Wendy Dodds, Chris Funnell, Chris Snell, James Williamson, Wayne McIntosh, Neil Hardiman, Barbara Savage, Simon Stansfield, and David Nield were on the entry list for the 21st Anniversary Waltz Fell Race. This is an 11.5 mile fell race with 3600 feet of ascent and covers the Newlands Valley Horseshoe in the Lake District.
Report from Wayne McIntosh
Headed up to Newlands once again to take on an early season classic, 11.6 miles and 4000′ of the Newlands Horseshoe just outside Keswick. Lovely spring temperatures meant only a vest and shorts were needed and even a splash of Baz Luhrman (sunscreen) was needed on my sparsely populated head!! We got away on time and set of on the largely trail start in the shadow of Catbells towards the first climb of the day, Robinson.
I opted for a different tact up here and took a line that had tempted me over the last couple of years, heading right as soon as you get through the fell gate. This worked out well as I cut out in front of Babs (Barbara Savage) who I generally consider a stronger climber than me.
It also broke the climb into two halves and gave my legs some recovery. I felt pretty strong from this point and was happy to be picking off runners all day to come home in 2.38 and a massive PB around this course, a 16 minute gain on last year and leaves the 3.14 of 2013 a distant memory. Saw a good few Clayton about on the day and a special mention to James Williamson who finished 32nd overall, a great achievement in a reported field of over 500.
Report from Alan Dorrrington
It was a fully-loaded, full fat version of the Junior FRA series up and over Cat Bells this weekend. Lakeland races tend to be steeper, rockier and rather bigger than our local moors and fells, and the courses at this round were no exception.
Starting straight from the pen up a 45 degree slope, the first climb (for the U11 and upwards) up Skelgill Bank was nearly 600ft, before the ridge towards Cat Bells was reached. It had many competitors on all fours by the top, and for the U15/U17/19 races was a mere warm up before the big climb and scramble up to the Cat Bells summit. The U13 racers had peeled off before this final climb enjoying a wickedly fast grassy descent all the way to the finish, at breakneck speed. The U15/U17/U19s, all running the same course, descended round the back of Cat Bells on a fabulous single track path before (rather cruelly) having to climb back up another 250ft before their final descent. That final climb was torture, even for the strongest competitors and I’ve never seen so many juniors at their absolute limit. It was a true test of fell running ability, and though I seem to be saying this regularly these days, was the hardest course I’ve seen juniors have to tackle.
No matter, our Clayton Juniors were in sparkling form, matching the Lakeland weather. Jenson Bentham looked strong over the ridge to the turn and blazed the descent to take 5th in the U13B race, a fabulous result. Christopher Brown was running strong too and making full use of his descending ability, bagged 15th spot.
Ella Dorrington had a really strong race, taking places on the scramble to the summit and pacing her effort well to run the second half of the final climb while many around her walked, beating many of the older girls in the U15G race. Briony Holt also had her usual strong performance, revelling in the steep terrain and long climbs to finish well to the fore of the U17G race.
Report from Briony Holt
The third round of the FRA series was held in Keswick at the foot of Catbells, a 450m mountain along the side of Derwent Water. The forecast was saying snow and sleet however, what we did get was nothing like that; sunny spells with a some wind at the summit! Unusual day for the Lake District in April!
WRAY SCARECROW 10KJ
SUNDAY 23 APRIL
BLACKPOOL MARATHON & HALF MARATHON
James Dunderdale and Stephanie Hawke took part in the Blackpool Marathon which usually runs on the same day as the London Marathon.
Report from James Dunderdale
I took on my very first 26.2 miler in 2016 at the Manchester Asics Marathon and it couldn’t have gone any worse than it did. I got stuck in traffic jams, started an hour late, had to run 2km to the start line and set off forgetting to take my glasses off. All this aside, my entry last year was a hasty decision and I went in to this race very under prepared and it showed.
This year I lined up at Blackpool having learned from some of my mistakes and things went a lot smoother. I won’t lie and say I followed a training programme and I never trained beyond 13 miles due to boredom – but I was more aware of preparation and my body’s limitations and didn’t try and set off at 10k pace like last year!
So there I was lined up on the start mat running with my Clayton vest, compression socks and a hydration backpack full of gels and McDonald fries for energy. My race plan was simple… stick to my own pace, don’t get carried away and forget the word ‘marathon‘, it’s just long run day! I was expecting myself to be out there for some time so to combat the boredom I took some music to help the miles fly and while I had checked that earphones were permitted, this created problems on its own. My dear wife had planned a surprise play list full of rock and cheesy power ballads (think AC/DC, Meatloaf and Aerosmith) for the long run ahead, however having borrowed the MP3 player off a friend’s 10 year old daughter and not deleting her music first I spent the next few hours listening to hits from One direction, Take That, Cher and What does the fox say? If looks could kill..!
I was soon knocking the miles down with fear in me that people could hear what was coming from my earphones. My pace was steady and I was feeling confident as I took in the sights of Blackpool. I passed the Tower, Sandcastle, Pleasure Beach and quite literally the hundreds of B&Bs along the front. I’d say this was good the first time but as the course was two laps of the seafront between Bispham and south Blackpool the next three times I passed them saw the appeal fade. All too quickly I discovered that I’m not a fan of loops whether it was in the running sense or the roller coasters thundering around above me. The weather was unusually nice for Blackpool and the crowds looked bewildered that a race was carrying on around them but they behaved and some were inspired enough to whip their tops off and run a few yards beside us with the beer bellies proudly slapping up and down. You couldn’t get upset at this after all… it’s the north and you’re in Blackpool!
The bag of cold McDonalds fries came in handy and kept me topped up with energy longer than I expected. I was within the last 10km before I started to decline and had to dig in and focus. Each and every mile after seemed to go on longer. The sun started to batter me more as the marathon became less of a run and more of a plod along and any small incline became another battle. The 26 mile marker was a real relief and the finish line which was hidden by one last slope. The same thought poured into my head as the Manchester Marathon… never again, but who knows? I got round in 3hrs 55min knocking an hour and a half off last year’s effort. With some real training and the temptation of the big one in London, this PB could be just another milestone.
Half Marathon Results
Four Club member took on the half marathon course. First finisher was Paul Foster was new member Paul Foster in a borrowed shirt! He was our first runner and finished in 1:34:40 in 64th place. Double act Michelle Abbott and Cassie Smedley finished within a couple of seconds of each other 1:46:30 and 1:42:32 respectively, despite a tumble by Michelle at the 7K point. Lucy Scott completed our quartet in 385th place and a time of 1:58:30.
Report from Paul Foster
Although this was my second Blackpool Half Marathon, it was my first ever event as a member of Clayton le Moors Harriers, and despite valiant attempts by Deborah Greenwood to get me a race vest in time, the delivery didn’t come in time for Sunday so it was Mick Hughes to the rescue, lending me his race top for the day.
Blackpool is obviously a flat course, but it is always the weather that dictates whether it’s a tough race or not. Come St Georges Day and it was beautiful sunshine and only a gentle breeze along the Lancashire coastline, and a big friendly turnout for the 3 events taking place; the Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k.
I much prefer this event that follows the promenade (closed to traffic for the events) down to the South Shore and back, to the Great North West route earlier in the year, and I had a really good run, coming home with a PB by 4 minutes and 9th in my age group, even though I was really feeling it over the last few miles; something I need to work on!
It was great to be able to wave to fellow Clayton runners out on the course and the support, as always at this event was really good too. A new experience for me though was hearing shouts of “Come on Clayton” from spectators, which made me feel like a proper runner!
There are always ‘sights’ in Blackpool, and this year was no exception, seeing people checking out of their hotels and B&Bs looking worse for wear as you and a few thousand others happily trot past, but this year I had to smile as I passed a group of people waiting patiently for the lights to change at a pedestrian crossing near the tower so they could get across the road. There was no traffic other than runners because the road was closed for the event – I don’t think any runners stopped at the red light!
My next half marathon event is Leeds on Sunday 14th May.
Report from Cassie Smedley
What an eventful HM in Blackpool. The weather was great and the atmosphere was brilliant. With there being a 10k, HM and Full matathon there were lots of people. Me and Michelle set off well, on course for a sub 1hr 40. However, 7k in Michelle decided to take too much interest in what the pavement looked like!
Pure grit and determination to finish, and a lots of encouragement and dragging Michelle along by me kept us going. Still a great time of 1hr 46. Brilliant support from the spectators and marshalls as always. Bring on the next adventure!
BOLTON ONE MILE RACE
Jack McGuire was our sole runner in this one mile race. He finished in 16th place with a time of 7:28. A total of 90 runners took part
MYND DRAGON FELL RACE
Mark Nutter was our sole runner in this 5.7 mile fell race with 2789ft of ascent organised by Mercia Fell Runners. He finished in 18th place overall with a time of 58:59 and was 1st MV55.
VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON
On a glorious day 10 Clayton-le-Moors Harriers were in London for the start of the world’s biggest marathon. Dan Plant was our first finisher in 3:05:51. Jon Cleaver finished soon after in 3:08:40. Lynsey Birtwistle was our first lady finisher and she was delighted to crack the 4 hour mark on her third London Marathon. As always our club members rose to the occasion and their hard work over the winter months paid off with some great times. Well done to all of you!
Report from Lynsey Birtwistle
This was my third year and once again I managed a PB and finally the broke the elusive 4 hours! I set off in a quicker pen than last year and, even though you try not to, you do get carried away with the pace. I was going well till about 17 miles then it got tough! I managed to keep up good for age pace until the dreaded 20 miles then the wall came! I had to have several words with myself and I could feel 4 hours slipping away from me. I had to dig so deep in the last couple miles.
As I approached the mall my watch turned to 3:59 I had to sprint to the finish to come in at 3:59:34 a 6 minute PB! Last year I said never again but thank goodness I did! 3 is the magic number. Massive congrats to Dan plant also for running the race of his life and getting good for age
Report from Dan Plant
After getting lucky with a ballot place I was determined to make this marathon count. We got to the race village and there was a buzzing atmosphere and the nerves kicked in big time.
As the race started I tried sticking just behind the 3 hour pacer but he was really up on the pace so I just ran my own race trying to stick at 6.45s and even shocked myself how long I held it for . The fatigue started to kick in about 22 miles but I kept thinking the GFA time was on! I managed a sprint finish. Finishing 9 seconds under the GFA in 3.05; this is a massive achievement for me achieving a 13 min PB and 22 mins faster than last year. Thanks to all the Clayton runners for the support. Well done everyone some fantastic results!!
Report from Lisa Ellis
When I started running last winter, Running a Marathon was never my top priority but I did tell myself if I got the opportunity to run the London Marathon then I’d take it, after all some people wait years and still don’t get in.
The training was tough but so glad it did and although I didn’t pressure myself to a specific time I’m more than happy with the result as it turned out to be a hot run for most of us.
Massive thank you to the Clayton Family for the opportunity and the support, you’re all amazing!
Report from Jon Cleaver
This was my second attempt at London having ran 03:20 there in 2013. I met Dan early morning at the tube station and we went on to meet Lynsey to go onto Blackheath. I must admit I was pretty nervous on the day as I didn’t know how my legs would respond after running sub 3 just weeks before.
I started in pen 1 which was a luxury and off we went at 10:01. My legs didn’t feel brilliant from the off and it doesn’t help that it’s so busy that getting into a groove is nearly impossible for the first 10 miles for fear of tripping someone or you getting tripped. I ran the first half in 01:27 which was on plan, but I knew I couldn’t hold it for much longer. Dan came alongside me around the half way point running like a machine and it was great to see a familiar face, that didn’t last for long however as he left me for dust after about a mile. At that point I reset my expectations and just wanted to finish in a respectable time.
Slowing down actually let me take in a lot more of what was going on and the crowds were amazing 5 people deep in places. Seeing Justin a number of times on the route spurred us on and our families at Buckingham Palace. I actually got a second wind about mile 23 but by then it was too late to try for good for age. Dan Plant deserves a mention he has grafted like you would not believe over the last 4 months and I’ve taken him on some brutal long hilly training runs and I have never heard him complain! He smashed his PB and got good for age which means he is guaranteed a spot next year. Top guy, top training partner and top result – I knew he’d do it
|Pos||Name||Cat||Half time||Finish Time|
|13234||Birtwistle, Lynsey Jeanetye||18-39||01:54:11||03:59:34|
Burnley parkrun – A total of 410 runners took part.
|6||Richard STEVENSON||17:54||VM40-44||New PB!|
|12||Nicholas HENNESSEY||18:25||JM15-17||New PB!|
|15||Josh HALL||18:32||JM15-17||New PB!|
|24||Reece Adam LAWRENCE||19:58||JM15-17|
|27||David MOYNIHAN||20:15||VM50-54||New PB!|
|43||Alison DUGDALE||21:32||VW45-49||New PB!|
|96||David Ian SCOTT||23:31||VM70-74|
|128||Kian ADAMS||25:09||JM10||New PB!|
|158||Melanie HIRST||26:05||VW40-44||New PB!|
Burnley Junior parkrun – A total of 75 runners took part.
|4||Michael STEVENS||7:53||JM11-14||New PB!|
|15||Imogen FERGUSON||9:03||JW11-14||New PB!|
|16||Kady THOMPSON||9:05||JW10||New PB!|
Congleton parkrun – A total of 224 runners took part.
|1||Jacob WATSON||17:21||SM30-34||First Timer!|
Fell Foot parkrun, Newby Bridge – A total of 227 runners took part.
Pendle parkrun – A total of 90 runners took part.
|1||Paul HESKETH||19:48||VM50-54||New PB!|
|3||Simon WILSHAW||20:30||JM15-17||New PB!|
|60||Christine Jennifer EGERTON||30:24||VW65-69|
Witton parkrun – A total of 98 runners took part.
|16||Carl CAREY||25:54||VM45-49||New PB!|
|58||Judith CAREY||33:34||VW35-39||First Timer!|