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Cathy’s Burnley XC report is here..

Thank you to Cathy Flitcroft for providing the XC report from Saturday's event, and also a thanks to both Cathy and men's captain Dougie Potter for their tremendous rallying of the troops.


The next (and final!) fixture is going to be on 2nd March at Beacon Park, Skelmersdale. Course map will shortly be available here:


Saturday 10th Feb saw 21 Senior Preston Harriers make the journey to Burnley for the 5th race in the Mid Lancs Cross Country League.


Whilst the rain stayed away, the downpours from the previous days had left their mark on the course with what can only be described as 'Mud, Glorious Mud!'.


The Senior Ladies where up first, currently 1st in the 2nd Division after being relegated last year this was the race which could seal their first place and guarantee promotion to the 1st Division. However, with Kendal ladies hot on their heels this could go either way.


Hindered by injuries, Preston ladies lined up on the start, a tremendous squad turnout with 10 keen and eager women


Over a course of 5.8k Emma McColm led the way, finishing first overall with a convincing win by over a minute and securing maximum points for the team. Charlotte Gregory was home next for Preston with a powerful 13th place finish and Eleanor Palmer (a new addition to our Cross Country squad) finished effortlessly in 28th. This was enough for Preston to win the team prize in the Division 2 battle and secure promotion!


However the ladies didn't stop there, equally impressive performances followed with Kate Lakeland (34), Cathy Flitcroft (39) and Catherine Mitchell (46) to finish first B team on the day.


The remaining ladies Julie Tyrer (87). Olga Wiggins (94), Sue Wickham (101) and Judith Deakin (107) all did their bit, picking off other clubs runners right up to the line to help Preston with the point scoring.


It should be noted that whilst the team placings are decided on the best results across 4 races, with the ladies achieving 4 x 1st places (meaning they cannot be beaten) the Mid Lancs Cross Country League still has one fixture left. 2nd March sees the final fixture at Skelmersdale where individual and Vets team placings are still being strongly contended and so if any ladies still fancy a day in the mud, this is your chance to end the cross country season on a high!


Within this same race there was a separate battle also ensuing with the men 70+. A head to head battle has been on the cards since the first race between Alan Appleby (Preston) and Graham Webster (Lytham), with Alan taking the victory on this occasion by just 6 seconds. Alan along with fellow Harrier Michael McLoughlin currently lead in the team 70+ award and can secure top spot with a further strong run at Skelmersdale.


Meanwhile, 13 senior men pushed their way around this very challenging course, running a distance of 9.8k. It was a slightly different dilemma for the senior men, with attendance being down on previous years the men needed a good turnout to secure their position in Division 1.


Leading the way home for Preston was men's captain Wes Wilkinson (19), followed by Steve Hallas (53), Jonathan Green (57), David Lea (72), Steve Tappenden (77) and Dougie Potter (104). This was enough to maintain the men's place in Division 1, just out of the relegation zone and may well be sufficient to ensure their Division 1 survival.


Unfortunately there were not enough senior men to make up a B team but this does not detract from the efforts of John Griffiths (106), John Rainford (107), Tom Prescott (117), Michael Brown (139) and Billy Johnstone (149).


All in all a good day's results for the Harriers 💙

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