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Cross Country Section

UK McCain Cross Challenge, Birmingham incorporating the Trial for the World Cross Country Championships

Katie Walshaw, Lewis Byram and Helen BerryHolmfirth Harriers had 8 athletes competing in the McCain UK Cross Challenge at Cofton Park in Birmingham on Saturday.  Seven of the 8 athletes were representing Yorkshire following their performances in the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships back in January.  Lewis Bryam had been unable to compete in the County Championships due to illness, but took part in the final McCain Cross Challenge Under 13 boys race representing the Holmfirth club.

Lewis had an excellent race, finishing 10th overall in a field of 297 athletes, in 10:57 and with only one Yorkshire counter in front of him.  Having finished 6th and 1st in the previous two races in Liverpool and Antrim respectively, he was awarded with a bronze medal for the series.  Lewis was presented with his UK McCain Cross Challenge cup shortly after the race on Saturday.

Meanwhile in the Under 13 boys race, Aaron Kettlewell and Seth Waterman both ran well.  Aaron finished 55th (11:27) and 4th counter for Yorkshire whilst Seth was just 19 seconds behind his team mate in 120th place.  Yorkshire finished 5th team.
The next race of the day in which Holmfirth had representation was the Senior Women, over a distance of 8km.   Katie Walshaw, unable to make her usual fast start with having to set off towards the back of the pen, ran a well paced race finishing 75th in 31:26 and 6th and final counter for the Yorkshire team.  Helen Berry, who was delighted to receive a late call up to the team just a few days before, ran strongly throughout and worked her way steadily through the field to finish in 91st place (31:43).  259 women completed the race which was won by Hampshire and Great Britain athlete Charlotte Purdue in 27:29, 30 seconds clear of Yorkshire’s Hatti Dean.  The Yorkshire women finished just outside the medal positions in 4th place.

Max Kaye made a good start in the Under 17 men’s race, but was one of a number of athletes to suffer a fall on the muddiest part of the course and was unable recover his position during the remainder of the 6km course.  He was disappointed with his run and not being able to count for the silver medal winning team, but finished 55th out of 285 in a time of 20:24. The race was won by Mark Shaw representing the North East in 19:00.

There was a very competitive field in the final race of the day for Senior Men over a distance of 12km, challenging for places on the World Cross team in two weeks time. Andy Vernon (Hampshire), winner of the Cross Challenge series won the race in 35.45, ahead of Mike Skinner (Kent) 35.43 and Tom Humphries (Staffordshire) 35.56. Fourth placed Ryan McCleod (36.11), led the North East Counties to team victory (6 to count). Holmfirth were represented by the Club’s two senior athletes, Mark Buckingham, in a period of heavy training before the forthcoming triathlon season and Matthew Pierson, training to further his marathon career. Buckingham was just behind the leaders in the opening stages, but in only his second cross country race of the season found the going tough finishing 5th Yorkshire man in 72nd place (38.28). Pierson was not comfortable with the fast early pace and although finished strongly was 8th team counter in 39.29. The Yorkshire team finished 4th team (6 to count) and comfortably won the Len Beavan Trophy for 9 to count.






About Us

Roger BradleyX-C secretary

Roger Bradley







Welcome to the Cross Country pages of Holmfirth Harriers AC. If you’re new to cross country or just thinking about having ago then Holmfirth competes in the WYCC league. This is a series of 4 races, usually in October, November and December (see Race Calendar on Website) and these races are suitable for runners of all abilities. Races start in the morning for juniors, with the senior women usually running at about 1.00pm and the senior men at about 2.00pm. Races are usually in parkland settings but in wet weather can be very muddy when studded shoes or ideally cross country spikes should be worn. In very dry conditions trail shoes can sometimes be used. If you are interested in having ago then talk to Roger Bradley, John Ewart or Helen Berry a.s.a.p. The entry sheet is on the Cross Country notice board and the cost is £7 for all 4 races.


Holmfirth Harriers also compete in the Yorkshire, Northern and English National CC Championships plus the YVAA CC Championships (see Vets Pages) which usually take place in January / February.


In order to get a Cross Country Page up and running on the website I (Rob K) am putting this together but really have more than enough to do with the Vets so if anyone would like to take over and put info., photos, race reports or whatever you like onto the page, then please contact me (contact on Vets page). It is only a short season with one or at the most two events in a month from October to February.


Can't find what you're looking for on the new site? The old site is still available here