Northern Athletics Road Relays, Blackpool – 21st Sept 2013


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Holmfirth Harriers Junior athletes achieved one of the best set of results in the club’s history last Saturday in the North of England Road Relay championships at Stanley Park in Blackpool. This event is a rare opportunity for juniors to race each other on the road and as such is always well attended by clubs from around the North and the competition is fierce.  The event was very well attended this year, and Holmfirth Harriers are proud that one of its longest standing members, Brian Heywood, is currently Chairman of Northern Athletics Road Running Committee.

The Holmfirth Junior contingent managed to take home silver medals in the U15 girls race and bronze in the U13 boys with other good team performances across the ages groups.

For U15 girls team Olivia Sykes, Lucy Byram and Erica Byram this was the third year in a row they had won silver medals at this event, this year the elusive gold medal was claimed by City of Sheffield AC. Olivia lead out the girls handing over to Lucy in 4th place, in a time of 10.57 which remained the fastest time of the day in this age group. Lucy gained 2 places (11.40) handing over to Erica in 2nd place. Erica held this position extending her lead over Warrington in third (11.32); excellent consistent results for the girls.

U13 boys bronze medalists 21The U13 races included 3 teams from Holmfirth the A team of Nicky Farquhar, Ollie Rees and Jimmy Burke had already shown their good form this season with a win the Yorkshire Road Races 2 weeks previously. The boys were lead out by Nicky who handed over in 7th place in a time of 10.58. Ollie took up the running and moved purposefully through the field passing  on the baton in  4th (11.01), Jimmy fought hard to get the boys in to the medal positions passing the athlete from Vale Royal and bringing them home a comfortable third, just 7 seconds off 2nd place.  The Holmfirth boys  B team demonstrated the strength in depth the of the club, the team of Daniel Howatson (12.03), Samuel Bedingfield (11.59)and Fionn Kerry(11.32)  all running strongly to finish in 11th position. In the girls race the Holmfirth team of Sunnivah Waterman, Sophie Allan and Libby Shepherd finished strongly in 8th place. Sunnivah lead the girls out handing over in 13th place (12.06), Sophie Allan gained 2 places (12.36) and Libby Shepherd (12.35) gained another two to bring them home in 8th.

In the other races Holmfirth’s boys finished 16th in the U15 race, the team: Lewis Bartholomew (11.08), Andrew Farquhar (11.04) and Seth Waterman (10.40). Harry Shelbourne and Shea Kerry also ran as an incomplete B team with times of 11.15 and 11.13. The U17’s races run over a longer 3.4kmcourse featured 2 boys teams from Holmfirth. As in the Yorkshire Road Relays the race was a real battle between Holmfirth’s well matched teams. The team of Aaron Kettlewell (12.20), Lavell Pierre (12.50) and George Green (12.49) just managing to hold off the challenge from their counterparts Alex Robinson (12.38), Chris Law (12.44) and Eddie Hinchliffe (12.51) overall the teams finished in 19th and 20th places. In the U17 girls race Lucy Farquhar and Sophie Spencer ran as an incomplete team and were in 12 position after 2 legs Lucy in a time of 13.55 and Sophie 15.19 for the 3.4km U17 course.

Holmfirth’s junior athletes will once again be in action on 5th October when 20 teams from the clubs junior section will compete in the Northern Cross Country Relays Championships to be held at Graves Park in Sheffield.

Holmfirth’s senior athletes were out in force in the afternoon’s races. The ladies race was run over 4 stages, each of a 5.2km course.

Ladies 1Holmfirth’s leading lady, Katie Walshaw, recently returned from the World Mountain Running Championships in Poland, demonstrated her commitment to her club team mates leading the ‘A’ team off.  Having lead for the first kilometre or so, Katie settled in to the race and brought the ‘A’ team home in 9th in 18:31.  Margaret Sykes, who is on superb form, lifted the team to 4th place in a time of 18:14, and the position was maintained by Helen Berry on leg 3 (18:37). Claire Leaver ran well on the final leg (20:08) against the fastest overall athlete of the day, dropping just a couple of places to bring the team home in a tremendous 6th place in an overall time of 1:17:30. 

The ladies ‘B’ team gained places throughout the race, with Lucy Verrill, in her last race before her marathon debut in a fortnight, having a fine run on leg one in 35th (20:52).  Ruby Sykes had an excellent run picking up 4 places in 20:57.  Liz Woodfield picked up three further places on the third leg (21:55), handing over to Cara Penfold who ran well lifting the team to 24th in 23:21, with an overall time of 1:17:30.  There were 48 complete teams, with a further 8 that were incomplete.

The race was won by Leeds City in a time of 1:14:06, with Susan Partridge of the same club, recently returned from her World Championship marathon success, clocking the fastest leg in 16:38.

Holmfirth’s men put in a very creditable performance, fielding three teams for the first time for several years.

 With 6 legs of 6.6km first off for the ‘A’ team was Dave Turnbull. Putting in his usual gutsy performance Dave came back in 12th place, getting the team off to a good start. Richard Smith, despite running well, dropped one place against some stiff opposition. Next up was veteran Dave Watson who, putting in his usual reliable effort pulled the Harriers up to 9th place. Richard Anderson on leg 4, just getting back to fitness, finished 12th, followed by nineteen year old Peter Brookes in 11th. Julian Rose, who is in the vet 50 category nowadays, took on the last leg, running well to bring the team home in 13th place.

The ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams, a mixture of open age, veterans and junior men, all ran true to form to come home 60th and 74th respectively.  Full men’s results below.

101 teams started with 89 finishing.

13  Holmfirth Harriers AC          'A'  2:10:32

        David Turnbull   (12) 20:41

        Richard Smith    (13) 21:16

        David Watson     (9) 21:29

        Richard Anderson (12) 22:21

        Peter Brookes    (11) 21:43

        Julian Rose      (13) 23:02

60  Holmfirth Harriers AC          'B'  2:28:07

        Philip Hewitt    (73) 24:38

        Jonathon Sykes   (69) 24:08

        Steven Eastwood  (61) 24:04

        Simon Findlay    (57) 24:13

        John Ewart       (59) 25:06

        Brandon Holroyd  (60) 25:58

74  Holmfirth Harriers AC          'C'  2:41:00

        Nigel Crilly     (80) 25:16

        Alistair Langron (74) 24:28

        R Hinchliffesmit (76) 25:48

        Christopher Bead (71) 25:48

        Robert Robinson  (76) 27:42

        Mark Owen        (74) 31:58

Leeds City took the men’s as well as the ladies title in 2hrs 1 min 28sec.


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