Sat 11 Jan 2020, Towneley Park, Burnley There were large fields in all age groups for the fourth Mid Lancs League cross country match of the season, held at Towneley Park in Burnley. The blustery wind made it feel cold despite the mild temperatures, but the heavy rain which had threatened all day held off until the last runners had finished and the club tents were being taken down.
In the junior age groups, the outstanding performance for Preston Harriers came from Eddie Chandler, who won the under 11 boys race by a margin of 4 seconds from a field of 89 runners. The bumper field of 190 runners who contested the senior women’s race were soon well spread out around the fields of Burnley. The race was won by Emily Japp of Blackpool, smiling broadly all the way. First finisher for Preston Harriers was Katey Foster in 28th place, and the scoring A team was completed by Emma Essex-Crosby, who had a storming run in 46th place, and Laura Conn in 54th. The team placed 11th out of 39 complete teams. The V70 men ran with the women and Alan Appleby was again an easy winner of this age group, although not entirely happy with his run on the day. In the senior men’s race, Jacob Cann of Lancaster University was an impressive winner over 4 long laps. Preston Harriers’ senior men finished 10th team, led home by a great run from Simon Collins in 18th place. The other counters packed well, with Andy Whaley in 42nd, Marius Kovacs 52nd, Gethin Butler moving through steadily to claim 57th overall and 3rd MV50, Wesley Wilkinson in 69th and Chris Wales 99th. The B team of Will Metcalf (100th), Neil McDonald (114th), Gary Wilson (124th).John Rainford (139th), Kevin Hesketh (148th) and Nathan Hilditch (162nd) placed 17th team. Harriers also claimed 3rd MV40 team with Andy Whaley, Gethin Butler, Chris Wales and Neil McDonald the counters. Gethin Butler and Neil McDonald also scored in the winning MV50 team, with Gary Wilson the 3rd counter.