Burnley Cross Country, Saturday 9th October 2021
After an enforced break of over eighteen months, the Mid Lancs cross country league returned at Towneley Park, Burnley last Saturday and over 500 runners took part in the various age group races. The day was warm but overcast with the forecast early afternoon rain not appearing until the drive home. Conditions underfoot were good with hardly any muddy or boggy areas. Towneley Park is a course that can and usually does cut up quite severely and maybe when the league returns for a fixture later in the season, in March 2022, it will be wet!
There were some standout performances for Preston Harriers on the day. In the junior & senior women’s race over 5.8k, Libby Huxley had a dominant race, wining in 19.17 and in second place was Carla Davies in a time of 19.26. Katie Johnstone, a week after completing the London Marathon, was the club’s third counter.
There was a team win in the u17 men`s race with Zack Taylor (5th) Jenson Warren (7th) and Charlie Haigh 9th. In the u17 women`s race, another team win was secured with a fine run from Mille Walton who finished 3rd. Imogen Blackwell (7th) and Grace Rayner (9th) and Martha Rayner (14th) were the other finishers. Matthew Clark won the u15 boys race with Gordon Ballantyne in 14th.
The final race of the day, the senior men`s over a distance of 9.8k resulted in the Harriers men taking a Division One win to set the season off nicely. Wes Wilkinson and Chris Tully were together for the majority of the course, with Wilkinson putting in a very fast finish for 18th overall, with Tully just behind. The other team counters were Will Metcalf, Phil Marsden, David Parkinson and Steve Hallas. Mention must be made of the vet 60 men who finished 1st team with the counters being John Rainford, Kevin Hesketh & Michael Brown.
Hammer Circle recognition
Andy Jeans, Preston Harriers’ hammer coach, has been awarded a prestigious honour by the Hammer Circle. He was awarded the Webb Quaich (a historic Scottish drinking vessel ,) which is presented each year to someone who has voluntarily given extraordinary time, energy and expertise in some way to benefited the British hammer throwing fraternity. Also congratulations to Alex Bernstein who has been awarded the Ellis Trophy; this is for the junior member (U20) of the Hammer Circle achieving the longest competitive throw of the 2021 season.
Manchester and Munich marathons
Marathon season continued with Preston Harriers represented at both the Munich and Manchester marathons. In Germany Russell Codd ran a very creditable 3:25.44, whilst at Manchester the club had seven runners out on the course with Sam Evans first to cross the line in a brilliant 2hr:50. Next in was Alex Venables (3h:21), followed by Chris Wilson (3h:26), Ian Palfrey (4h:03), Neil McDonald (4h:34) and Zawar Khan (5h:08). Also in Manchester was Simon Collins who ran the half marathon in 1h:19.