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World Cross Country Championships

31st Mar 2006

Steve Vernon © UK Athletics

Steve Vernon had a disappointing run at the World Cross Championships in Fukuoka Japan finishing 89th at the Championships.

Coach David Turnbull explained "Steve ran his hardest but has only been able to cross-train since the trial three weeks ago after a picking up a calf tear".

Steve felt slow and said "It's disappointing but you have to be 100-per-cent and the speed work is vital in the lead up to an event like this".

The race was won for the fifth time by Ethiopian Kenenesa Bekele, Steve was 4th Briton home for the G.B. team who finished 15th in the team race.

Steve will be back in training for the early season track races before the European Mountain Running Championships which take place in Czechoslovakia in July.

Jess Coulson in Brussels

Jessica Coulson (right) who trains in the same squad as Steve at Stockport Harriers is competing at the World Schools' Cross Country Championships next Monday at Rimini in Italy.

Stockport Grammar pupil Jess sharpened up for the event with a personal best of 10 minutes and 5 seconds to win a 3,000 metre track race at Robin Park Stadium, Wigan on Saturday whilst representing the North of England team.

Jess who will be representing the England Schools' team in Italy also won her first medal at the English Schools' Cross Country Championships recently coming third.

The Harriers' junior squads will face a tough challenge at the Mow Cop Killer Mile in Stoke on 27th April which has an uphill climb of one-in-four.

The record is held by club stalwart Bashir Hussain, the recently crowned World Indoor 1,500 and 3,000 metre Veteran over-40s Champion, who will be running the event.

Bashir set the record in the late eighties and will be on hand to offer advice to the club's youngsters.


English Schools' Championships

Jess Coulson in the Intercountys

Jess Coulson (centre) brought the Inter Girls' team home in first with a frantic last 200 metres to finish 3rd

Stockport Harriers had 11 athletes putting in good performances representing Greater Manchester Schools at the English Schools' Championships held in Mansfield last Saturday.

Greater Manchester won the Junior Girls with Michelle Wiblin putting in another consistent effort finishing 26th.

Jess Coulson brought the Inter Girls' team home in first place with a frantic last 200 metres to finish 3rd.

Lucy McLoughlin battled around the tight course for 49th.

In the Junior Boys' race Michael Logue and Harry Long ran well in their first English Schools' Championships in 119th and 141st.

Ross Milington and Steve Pearson were 125th and 154th in the Inter Boys.

The Senior Boys' race had Andy Nixon finishing 37th and Jon Walch 194th and in the Senior Girls Carla Stansfield 145th and Rhea Fallows 205th.


Northern Road Relay Championships

Emma Hampson

Emma Hampson

Despite missing some of our top runners the women's A and B-teams in the Northern Road Rely Championships at Heaton Park produced an excellent performance, maintaining the progress made in recent years.

The teams finished 15th and 31st out of a field of 46 teams, beating many of our rivals.

The next event for the ladies will be the National 6-stage held at Birmingham's Sutton Park on April 8th and we will see what we can improve on there.

The men's team performed better than expected, finishing 29th from 63 teams but just less than a minute short of qualifying for the National 12-stage.

Women's A-team 15th Women's B-team 31st
1. J Knass  19:59 (19th) 1. J Lawton  24:29 (42nd)
2. E Hampson 21:39 (22nd) 2. R Lee  25:10 (39th)
3. K McCrackle 22:26 (24th) 3. D McCann 24:44 (37)th
4. K Wood 21:06 (18th) 4. J Hopes 24:37 (32nd)
5. S Thomas 22:37 (15th) 5. H Beard 24:44 (30th)
6. E McGuire 20:33 (15th) 6. J Cocks 27:48 (31st)
Men's 12-stage Team 29th
1. K Beattie 33:07 (42nd) 7. J Dabbs 33:24 (38th)
2. A Whittingham 18:32 (40th) 8. A Oldham 19:16 (35th)
3. B Shone 19:01 (39th) 9. P Pearson 19:47 (35th)
4. M Shaw 33:25 (35th) 10. B Hussain 30:43 (29th)
5. H Yousefian 20:28 (38th) 11. F Reilly 18:45 (30th)
6. P Rogers 19:45 (37th) 12. L Best 18:07 (29th)

Glory for the 'Trimpell Trio'

Report courtesy of 'The Gingerbreadman'

Last Sunday a trio of Stockport Harriers made the long arduous journey to Morecambe to take on a 'strong international' field at the Trimpell 20.

All three Harriers ran brilliantly, each recording personal bests for the distance.

Race sponsor Pete Bland was allegedly overheard saying "I'm amazed at the performance of the Stockport team considering that they all did PB's at Wilmslow only 7 days ago".

First home was Stephen Jones, second Lee Barratt and in third place Sean Whewell.

A source close to the race organiser said "We are delighted that these three fine athletes had taken time out from their London Marathon training to compete in our race, especially Steve Jones who ran despite his wife having a big sulk because it was Mothers Day."


Four gold medals at the World Masters

Frank Reilly

Stockport Harriers can now boast two double world champions in the club after some great performances at the World Masters Indoor and Cross Country Championships at Liz in Austria last week.

Bashir Hussain won the over-40s 3,000 metres in a tight finish in 8-41.07 with fellow Briton Dave Taylor of Blackheath Harriers second clocking 8-41.26.

Frank Reilly (pictured) was a slightly more comfortable winner of the over-60s 3,000 metres with a time of 10-28.25, over 15 seconds clear of the runner up.

Later in the week Bashir made it a double with a win in the 1,500 metres with 4-09.48, finishing one second ahead of two German athletes. Meanwhile Frank won in the over-60s cross country event and two days later ran the half marathon, finishing 3rd in 1-20-10.

More good news this week is that Jess Coulson has been selected to run for England at the World Youth Cross Country Championships in Rimini, Italy on April 10th.

She gained selection after her run at the National Cross Country Championships where she finished 4th.


Wilmslow Half Marathon

Alan Pover

First home in the ladies' race was Jenny Knass in 7th place with a personal best of 1-23-36, next Kerrie Wood still on her way back to form in 18th with 1-29-31. Samantha Thomas was 39th in 1-34-47 for a personal best and helped the ladies' team finish 2nd. Jonathan Dadds led home the men in 15th, shaping up well for next month's London Marathon in 1-13-33.

Alan Pover (pictured) again took the over-55s prize with 1-16.51 in 30th place, followed by Andrew Whittingham 41st in 1-18-24 and Gavin Astin 61st in 1-19-46, both personal bests.

There was an abundance of ladies running personal bests; Alison Coulson knocking off 10 minutes from last year's time to record 1-41-19, next was Jayne Lawton in 1-42-47, Ruth Lee 1-42-59, Maryte Moore 1-43-20, Vicky Buckley 1-43-49, Ros Mann with 1-45-33 for 4th vet 50, Jennifer Hopes 1-47-26, Jenny Kinnaird 1-49-51 and Belinda Wells 2-02-36.

Over at the Liverpool Half Marathon, Stockport ladies' team for the AAA's Championship was unfortunately depleted by illness and injury, with only Karen McCrackle running a personal best in 1-35-20 to finish 29th lady.


Steve makes World Cross team for Japan

Steve Vernon

Steve Vernon (left) goes all-out in a close finish to the UK Short Course Cross Country title at Woolaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday.

Steve Vernon made a valiant effort to retain his UK Short Course Cross Country title at Woolaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday to finish second in one of the tightest ever finishes the Championship has ever seen.

Steve was edged into second by Mark Wharmby of Newham & Essex Beagles with Angus McLean of Team Southampton only a stride behind Steve.

The race was only decided on the line in a blanket finish with all three athletes given the same time.

The race was the trial for the World Cross which takes place in Japan in three weeks time and only the first three were guaranteed a place in the Great Britain team.

Reigning champion Steve was looking for his third win in what will be the last ever short course race was disappointed not to make it three but was selected for the team going to Japan along with Wharmby and McLean.

Steve said afterwards “I have three weeks final preparation before Japan and I will be looking to improve on last year's race in France, won by Kenesa Bekele of Ethiopia”.

The other members of the Stockport Harriers' squad who were running for Greater Manchester in the junior races produced some solid performances.

Andy Nixon

The under-13 boys' pair Michael Logue and Harry Long ran 18th and 39th, the best ever finish at the Championships by Harriers' under-13 boys.

The under-15 girls' Greater Manchester team were led home by Harriers Leah Kay in 13th and another solid performance by Michelle Wiblin who made the top fifty.

Andy Nixon (above) was the second counter home for the Greater Manchester squad finishing 31st in the under-20 men's trial race.

Jess Coulson helped Greater Manchester to the team silver medals with a solid performance in finishing just outside the top twenty.

Jacob Corrigan made a return to racing after a long lay off with injury with a respectable 148th placing.


Jack leads County team home

Jack NixonJack Nixon led the Greater Manchester Schools' team home to victory at an Inter Counties match recently at Arrow Park, Bikenhead.

12-year-old Jack was 2nd in the under-13 boys' race, leading the team home to victory in his first representation for the county.


Ladies brave the cold in the Stafford 20

Ladies at the Stafford 20Some of the ladies' squad braved the cold in the Stafford 20 as part of their preparation for next month's London Marathon.

Jenny Murray led the ladies' field with Julia Myatt of Newcastle Staffs right on her heels. They were neck and neck till mile 19 when Julia broke away to win ahead of Jenny by 30 seconds.

Jenny said afterwards that her performance was enough to convince her that she will be in reasonable enough shape to run the London Marathon and try and help us gain a team medal.

Meanwhile Samantha Thomas 2-33, Sharon Glendon 2-40 and Karen McCrackle 2-38 all ran personal bests although Vicky Barrett had to pull out at 8 miles, affected by the severe cold.

Samantha had a real tussle with lady from Stafford but came out on top in her first 20 miler. Karen and Sharon also had excellent runs too follow up Samantha although Sharon picked up a knee injury at 17 miles and will need some physio to be ready for Wilmslow.

Jenny Knass didn't run due to a hip problem and decided to get it right before Wilmslow next week. Alice Dagg also had to withdraw after falling 30 foot off a rock face last Friday, fortunately nothing broken.

Wilmslow will see the biggest turnout of ladies at this event from Stockport Harriers while on the same day some will be at the Liverpool 1/2 Marathon which includes the AAA's championships.

The previous weekend saw some of the ladies' squad running the Trafford 10k as a little speed work for their London Marathon build up.

Jenny Knass ran a personal best with 38-02 to finish 8th in a high quality field, Karen McCrackle continued with her progression with a personal best of 43-23 along with Vicky Buckley 46-23 and Helen Todd 49-11.