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Cross Country Section

Harriers Enjoy the Festival at Cross Country Relays in Mansfield

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The National Cross Country Relays at Berry Park in Mansfield really must be Cross country running’s answer to Glastonbury Festival. The excitement of the racing, the excellent well laid out course, a treat for athletes and spectators alike, the sheer number of the athletes on show, the quality of racing, a real who’s who of the National Cross Country scene and also the tent, flags, stalls.....and mud, yes it is our answer to Glastonbury.

Twelve teams of runners from Holmfirth travelled to Mansfield to compete against the best in the country. The first team in action were the Under 17 men. Max Kaye set of in the lead pack on leg one, running with his usual bravado and determination, taking on the best over this 3km course. After taking the lead around the lake Max settled into the pack and finally returned to the roller coaster final straight just 8 seconds off the lead in a time of 9:19, 6th out of the 110 runners on leg one. Thomas Travis- Pollard took over on leg 2 and also running strongly in a time of 9:43 handed on to Max Lawton in 10th place. Max has improved with every race recently and although he dropped a few places, he ran strongly and brought the team back home in an excellent 27th place his time 10.51.

Two strong teams of Under 13 girls from Holmfirth were next in action over the shorter 2km course. The “A” team of Erica Byram, Lucy Byram and Olivia Sykes looking to gain experience as they all will compete in this age group again next year. Erica had the responsibility of leg one, after the mêlée of the narrow start, several girls falling, she worked through the field and handed on to Lucy in 41st position out of 104 1st leg runners. Lucy ran strongly bringing the team up to 25th place, handing on to Olivia who also had an excellent run, the team finishing in 25th position. Amazingly all three girls ran the same time of 8.19 on their separate legs. The “B” team were lead off by Amira Mellor. Amira ran strongly on this fast first leg, returning in 48th place in a time of 8.30, Daisy Hinchcliffe took up the running on leg 2, handing on to Megan Lamb in 65th position in a time of 9.10. Megan brought the team back in 58th position, running a time of 8.49, great consistent running from all 6 girls.

Also running over the 2km course 2 teams of U13 boys, The A team looking for a top 10 finish after their position of 26th in last year’s event, Lewis Byram and Aaron Kettlewell who both competed last year joined this year by Bradley Bedford in his first experience of this event. The boys were lead off by Aaron Kettlewell . Aaron fought hard to stay with the main pack and brought the boys back in 7:29, 23rd out of the 90 1st leg runners. Bradley set off hard and gained 5 places on the field, a great run as he has another year in this race, handing on to Lewis in 7.37 in 18th place. Lewis flew round in 7.09, a hard task master he was disappointed with his time, but it was good enough to bring the boys home in an excellent 8th position and 12th fastest time on the day. All 3 of the “B” team runners were new to the course and with another year in the age group were looking for experience of the event and the course. As with the girls their final team placing of 48th, demonstrates the strength of the club. Ben Dickinson on 1st leg, had an excellent run in 8.01 for 56th position. Running in his first ever team relay event Lewis Bartholomew took up the running ran really strongly gaining 4 places for the team handing on to Andrew Farquhar in 52nd place in a time of 8.19. Andrew Farquhar finished the race off for the boys running well for 48th place in a time of 8:08. The boys seemed to relish the experience, “I really enjoyed it” said Lewis Bartholomew of his race “it was fast though!”.
With one team of boys and girls in action there was plenty of Holmfirth interest in the Under 15 events also over the 2km course. The girls race featured Ruby Sykes on leg one. Ruby managed to hold her own in the huge field of 106 girls on leg one and avoided getting trampled at the start, no such luck for the athlete from Nottingham. Ruby ran strongly and handed on to Sophie Spencer in 49th place in 8:05. Sophie also new to this event had a great run, maintained 49th spot and handed on to Lucy Farquhar in a time of 8.18. Lucy ran well passing 5 athletes on the home straight and bringing the team home in 40th position in a time of 8.07. Her comment after the results were released “ at least I beat my brother Andrew!” – as she did by 1 second.

Robert Hinchcliffe on first leg for the U15 boys was amazed at the speed of the race. “I loved it” he said “but it was so fast- I was right at the back after the 1st corner.” It is to his credit that he worked his way through the field and handed on to brother Eddie in 79th place out of 111 runners on leg one in a time of 7.31. Eddie ran strongly dropped a few places to 85th and handed on to Aaron Arthur on last leg. Aaron took up the running and brought the team back in 71st place a creditable performance.

Seniors in Action

Senior Ladies
Holmfirth fielded 3 teams in the senior ladies event over the 3km course. The course had slightly changed from previous years, taking in a loop around a duck pond near the beginning of the course rather than a loop of a field towards the end, which seemed to be preferred by athletes and spectators.

The 'A' team was led off by Katie Walshaw who set off at break neck speed and found herself in the top 5 for the first 200m of the race. Once she settled in to the fast pace, Katie finished an excellent 19th place out of 100 leg one runners in a time of 10:41. Kath Farquhar, who as usual had been busy coaching the juniors in the earlier races, ran well on the middle leg dropping just 6 places to hand over in 25th place (11:25). Ladies Captain, Helen Berry, continued her good form over the country this season, picking up 10 places in 10:47, bringing the 'A' team home in 15th place out of 77 complete teams in an overall time of 32:54. This position is significantly higher than previous years and is the club's best result to date in this event.
The 'B' and 'C' teams also had excellent results. Claire Leaver headed the 'B' team, finishing in the top half of a quality field in a time of 11:30 (45th place). Rachael Mellor took over on leg 2, putting in a solid performance dropping just 4 places (12:36). Margaret Sykes seemed unaffected by the Holmfirth 15 which she competed in the previous weekend, picking up 7 places in a good time of 12:13. The 'B' team finished 42nd overall in a time of 36:20.

The 'C' team was led off by Julia Johnson, who certainly seemed to enjoy the race, maintaining a smile throughout! She got the team off to a good start in 64th place in 12:20. Zoe Storr, competing for the first time in this event as a senior, ran well to take the team up to 56th place in 12:50. Cara Penfold ran strongly to pick up a further 9 places in 13:01, brining the team home on an impressive 47th place, in 38:12 overall.

Senior Men
The final race of the day saw the senior men tackle the challenging 5km course. On a day when times were down on last year, Holmfirth fielded two four man teams over the 5k distance. The A team were led off by Mark Buckingham who ran a strong controlled race to bring the team back in 8th place in a time of 15:23. It was then over to endurance specialist Matthew Pierson to continue the good start and he ran a good time of 15:56 to keep the team in the top 15 at the half way stage. Dave Turnbull ran the third leg and recorded a decent time of 17:00 for his leg in only his second race after recent surgery. Finally Richard Smith brought the A team home with a 17:29 leg and a final position of 31st.

The B team had a solid start from Alistair Langron who ran a excellent race in the difficult first leg with a time of 17:13. Nathan Martin continued his recent strong showings over the country with a time of 18:53 before handing over to Jonathan Sykes who ran a consistent race to record a time of 18:42. Finally it was up to Wayne Byram the 4th member of the Byram family to compete on the day to bring the team home with a 20:01 leg and a final position of 89th.
The race was won for the third consecutive year by Bedford & County AC.




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