Northern XC Championships 2013 - Knowsley

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Ladies win Bronze !!!!

It has recently been announced that our Senior Ladies team who had finished 4th, narrowly missing out on 3rd by a single point, at the Northern Cross Country Championships in January have now been awarded much deserved bronze medals! This was due to the disqualification of a Leeds City athlete. Holmfirth's team was Katie Walshaw (4), Helen Fines (11), Helen Berry (23) and Kath Farquhar (50). The official results now take into account the omission of all Leeds City athletes. Well done ladies!


Northern XC Championships 2013 - Knowsley, Saturday 26th January 2013

Kath Farquhar reports... 

U13 boys North of England Cross country champs“In twenty years of cross country competition I have never experienced conditions like it”....

was the comment on Saturday’s North of England Cross Country Championships held Saturday last at Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool from one of Holmfirth’s senior men.

The Park, which up until Friday night was snow free unlike the rest of the country experienced a heavy fall overnight and course organisers were greeted on Saturday morning with around 6 inches of new snow. Unlike their Southern counterparts who had cancelled their version of the event as early as the previous Monday the North of England organising team proved they were made of sterner stuff and managed with the Knowsley Staff to clear the road and carparks to allow the event to go ahead.

The course was covered for the early races in deep snow, which rapidly deteriorated as the day progressed and the snow started to thaw, into a deep porridge like mixture of snow, mud and water. The hardy Holmfirth contingent proved themselves more than up to the challenge, strong individual and team performances coming from across the age groups, medals are hard to come by at this level of completion but with a team bronze in the U13boys race and 4 of the clubs athletes achieving a top 10 placing and several others within the top 20 the travelling support had much to cheer about. 

In the U13 boys race run over a 3km loop, Nicky Farquhar worked his way through the field after his usual steady start to finish well up the field in 21st place. Ollie Rees and Harry Shelbourne separated by a few seconds were also well placed in 44th and 47th respectively, with 4 to count for the teams at this area level Fionn Kerry’s stong run in 85th place was crucial and the boys finished in bronze medal position in the team standings. Just a few places down was Daniel Howatson in 90th.

The U13 girls race included 3 Holmfirth athletes. Sunnivah Waterman was first back for the girls finishing in a very creditable 47th place, Sophie Allan next home for the girls in 75th and Amy Kettlewell running strongly in 93rd place. U15s boys race was another high quality affair Lewis Byram who has finished inside the top 10 in the past 3 Northern Champs continued this run of form. Lewis worked his way through the field and by the last loop of the 5km course was starting to catch the leading group. He came through to finish in 5th place to equal his performance from 2 years ago and showing his strength in these difficult condtions. Also coping well with the sloppy surface was Seth Waterman second team counter in 44th position. In his first Northern Championship Alex Robinson seemed to thrive and came through to finish in 63rd with George Green also running well in 68th. These boys completed the team which finished in 5th out of 18 teams. Aaron Kettlewell grinned and bore it in 79th spot and Andrew Farquhar and Lewis Bartholomew made it home in 106th and 109th positions all 3 suffering in the conditions. 

The U15 Girl’s race was also well represented by the Byram Family. Twins Lucy and Erica Byram both seemingly mudlarks romped through the field to finish in 9th and 13th places, Olivia Sykes (not a mudlark) was pleased to get to the finish in 47th and the team was completed by Daisy Smith in 78th place. The girls just missed out on medals as they had in this event last year, finishing in 4th place in the team standings. 

Five Holmfirth Athletes competed in the U17 race, Lucy Farquhar was first back for the club in the girls race which was the first race of the day and run through thick snow. Lucy finished in 37th place with team mates Sophie Spencer in 48th and Ruby Sykes 64th.

In the boys race brothers Eddie and Robert Hinchliffe competed Eddie running strongly to come home 50th and Robert in 106th.

The Junior men’s race was a highlight for the club

Thomas Travis –Pollard showing he is back to form finishing in 5th place over this 8km course.

Great performances from senior women

The Senior Ladies race was competed over 8km, 2 large laps of the course which by that time were more mud than snow. Hallamshire's Hatti Archer found the Knowsley course to her liking. Giving a faultless performance in the tricky conditions she came home 15 seconds clear in a time of 30:29. Holmfirth’s Katie Walshaw, fresh from representing North of England a fortnight earlier in the Antrim Cross Country Challenge, gave her usual gutsy performance to finish in a fantastic 5thplace (31:15). Helen Fines was deservedly pleased with 13th (33:19), putting her great run down to some serious winter speed training, with the tough conditions suiting her. Helen Berry ran well in 25th place (34:32) and with Kath Farquhar putting in a fine performance in 53rd (37:02). The four Holmfirth team counters had done their best, but were left excruciatingly close to the medals , just one point behind Bronze medalists Leeds City. Stockport won the team title, with Hallamshire second.Margaret Sykes, who is in marathon training, ran strongly in 37:36 to finish 60th. Claire Leaver had an unfortunate start to her race, when within 400 yards she suffered a fall in the mass start, but she worked through the field and pulled her way back to 62nd (37:53). Emma Serjeant in her first big Champtionship event seemed to enjoy the occasion, coming home in 161st place (47:13)

Richard Anderson first Harrier home in 24th

By the time the senior men’s race started the 12km course had turned into a waterlogged mud bath which made running very tough. These conditions didn’t seem to affect winner Steve Vernon of Stockport Harriers who cruised to victory picking up his fifth Northern title in a time of 40.01. The winning team were the very strong Leeds City who had all their six counters in the top twenty five. Richard Anderson was the top Holmfirth Harrier on the day having another tremendous run to finish in 24th (43.36). With all the other usual team contenders chosing not to compete it was left to the veterans to complete the Holmfirth team. A strong run by David Williams in 270th (55.00) secured the second Harrier position just in front of Jonny Sykes 277th (55.27). Geoff Hall followed in 311th (56.56) and Chris Beadle came 367th (58.43).


For photos and videos please click the following link - Flaming Photography, Northern Cross Country Championships (External - Many Thanks Richard Asquith)

Copyright Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club 2012