National Cross Country Championships

Report: Dave Turnbull -

Girls under-15s start

Everyone enjoyed the tough climb up Parliament Hill and the famous London backdrop

Stockport Harriers had great weekend at the National Cross Country Championships with a contingent of 29 athletes along with their parents traveling down to compete at Parliament Hill, London.

The men's race was especially great to watch as Steve Vernon finished third in his first senior outing at the Championships, beaten by flatmate and training partner Peter Riley of Leigh Harriers who won the race, making it a great day for the Northern clubs.

Both of them had great support from the Stockport crew who have got to know Pete and Steve well over the last few months and stayed on to watch them both presented with their trophies and medals.

Steve Vernon with his fanclub

All the teams put in great performances on one of the toughest courses in England but they all enjoyed the tough climb up Parliament Hill and the famous London backdrop.

The under-17 women's team were 7th with Jess Coulson producing another outstanding race in 4th backed up by Rhea Fallows in 81st, Rachel Malbon 83rd, Carley Stansfield 88th and Ruth Jenyon 123rd.

Also 7th were the under-15 girls' team thanks to Leah Kay in 14th, Lucy Mcloughlin 22nd, Sarah Kay 72nd, Michelle Wiblin 143rd and Charlotte Barber 151st.

Under-13 boys' team finished 8th with Sam Riley 45th, Jack Nixon 68th, Harry Long 81st and Cameron Murphy 133rd.

Other results

Under-13 girls: C. Pendlbury 191st and Rebecca Hetherington 195th.
Under-15 boys: Nathan Ludlaim 217th, Phil Nixon 218th, David Thomson 234th and Liam Turnbull 314th;
Under-17 men: Jacob Corrigan 40th, Steven Pearson 74th and Simon Bennett 76th.
Junior men: Andy Nixon 79th, David Hicketts 117th and Jon Walch 129th.
Senior men: Steve Vernon 3rd, Bill Shone 511th and Ben styles 808th.

Ross lands Northern cross country title

Harry Long, Jack Nixon, Sam Riley and Cameron Murphy

Stockport Harriers' under-13s team of Harry Long, Jack Nixon, Sam Riley, and Cameron Murphy came back from the Northern Cross Country Championships with a silver medal after a great team performance.

Ross Millington won the under-17 men's title in the North of England Cross Country Championship at Blackburn's Witton Park after a long battle with East Cheshire Harriers' reigning National Champion Simon Horsefield.

The East Cheshire man had opened up a 10 metre gap on Ross but unfortunately for him went the wrong way with 800 metres remaining to give Ross the lead despite Ross's attempts to call him back.

The boys' under-13s team took team silver with Harry Long having a storming run to finish 7th with Sam Riley 24th, Jack Nixon 46th and Cameron Murphy 47th.

Jenny's return

Jenny Murray

Jenny Murray made a welcome return to racing in her first race since last October's Nairobi Marathon where she suffered a stress fracture to her foot. She was first woman in the tough Huddersfield 10k in a time of 39.29 despite recent illness in the previous week and is now hoping to get back to some sort of normality in her running.

Last weekend Jenny together with Jenny Knass, Vicky Buckley, Estelle McGuire, Liz Bowden and coach Phil McCann attended Bud Baldaro's GB Marathon Training Camp held in the Forest of Dean. Speaking were the likes of UKA's Alan Storey and Spencer Barden along with British marathon runners Hugh Jones, Steve Brace and Paul Evans also giving advice. The running sessions themselves were highly beneficial and some will be added to the Ladies' squad training repertoire. Some of the best British men and women were there including Tracy Morris who was about to be jetting of to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games.

Jenny Murray who gained her first GB vest at the Nairobi Marathon in the 'Greatest Race on Earth' series, the others being in Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong, found out that the team had won overall and will be receiving medals, a great reward for Jenny.

As she will not have had enough time to train for the London Marathon since her injury. Jenny was asked at the camp if she would like to be one of the pacemakers at London to take a certain pack through to halfway, another added recognition for her.

The next event the girls will be the Wilmslow and Liverpool half marathons, both on 19th March, the latter including the AAAs Women's Championships and the squad will have teams in both.

Greater Manchester Schools' Championships

Greater Manchester Schools team winners

The winning Stockport Schools' team in the Senior Boys' race at the Greater Manchester Schools' Championships

Stockport's junior runners were in action for the Stockport Schools' teams on Saturday in the Greater Manchester Schools' Championships at Cannon Slade School in Bolton, with eleven winning selection to run for the Greater Manchester team at the English Schools' Championship final at Mansfield on March 25th.

In the Junior Girls' Michelle Wiblin was 4th, Michael Logue 7th in the Junior Boys', Jess Coulson 1st, Leah Kay 4th and Lucy McLoughlin 8th in the Inter Girls', Ross Millington 3rd and Steve Pearson 6th in the Inter Boys', Rhea Fallows 4th and Claire McMurdock 5th in the Senior Girls', Andy Nixon 1st and Jon Walch 8th in the Senior Boys'.

Toni MacintoshNew recruit Toni McIntosh (picture right) competed in her first road race in Stockport Harriers' colours after coming back from injury. She finally got through her first race this year without any further reaction. Toni finished 10th open lady and 13th overall in a time of 30-43 with the winning time for the ladies being International Liz Yelling with 26-01, it was a good workout for Toni who was very pleased with her performance. Now it's back to a more intense training to see if she will be in good shape for the London Marathon in April.

While Stockport's men could only manage one finisher in the senior race the ladies' team finished 19th despite missing some of their stronger counters. Samantha Thomas was first home in 94th place.

Silver medals for Steve and Bashir

Steve Vernon in the Scottish 4km XC Champs

Steve Vernon opted to start his 2006 campaign running the Scottish 4km Championships after being invited up to run from a Scottish contingent who have watched Steve's progress in every World Cross Steve has run since running at Belfast as a junior in 1999.

He ran in the East Kilbride colours and finished 2nd to Scottish steeplechase champion Simon Plummer.

Elsewhere Bashir Hussain also came second in the Northern Indoor 3,000 metre Championships at Sheffield finishing in 8.47.2 behind Sale Harrier's Stuart Stokes.

Bumper turn-out for the Four Villages Half Marathon

Vicky Barrett, Sharon Glendon, Samantha Thomas and Liz Bowden bedore the start of the Four Villages Half Marathon

Vicky Barrett, Sharon Glendon, Samantha Thomas and Liz Bowden before the start of the Four Villages Half Marathon

Stockport Harriers had 42 finishers in last weekend's Four Villages Half Marathon from a field of 1,600

Top performer on the day was Alan Pover, a clear winner in the over-55's category in an incredible 1.16.48.

Alan's run also helped teammates Mike Shaw, Kevin Beattie and Jonathan Dabbs take the men's team award for the second time in 3 years.

Further down the field there was a total of 13 personal bests from the ladies' section, including Ruth Lee and Sharon Glendon both knocking 5 minutes off there previous best times.

Four Villlage Results
Name Time Pos. Cat. Cat. Pos.
Mike Shaw 1.15.34 15 MV40 2
Kevin Beattie* 1.15.44 18 MS 12
Alan Pover 1.16.48 26 MV55 1
Jonathan Dabbs 1.17.20 32 MS 19
Paul Nyland 1.23.35 107 MS 57
Stephen Jones* 1.25.18 141 MV40 30
Peter Rogers* 1.25.44 147 MS 69
Lee Barratt* 1.27.09 180 MS 82
Simon Heys 1.30.43 279 MV45 32
Ray Hampton 1.31.16 292 MV60 3
Vicky Barrett 1.32.30 328 FV40 9
Kerrie Wood 1.33.39 364 FV40 10
Andy Nurney 1.33.59 375 MS 159
Sean Whewell* 1.34.03 377 MV40 75
Eric Musgrove 1.34.45 400 MV55 22
Karen McCrackle* 1.36.27 468 FS 20
Sharon Glendon* 1.36.27 467 FS 21
Alice Dagg* 1.37.01 480 FS 22
Brian Holland 1.37.44 506 MV50 42
David Smith 1.37.44 507 MV60 6
John Harvey 1.37.46 509 MS 211
Stephen Brain 1.38.36 540 MV50 51
Liz Bowden* 1.39.15 570 FV35 13
Alan Foster 1.40.32 603 MV40 118
Chris Winstanley 1.40.44 609 MV45 77
Maryte Moore* 1.42.58 687 FV45 11
Jayne Lawton* 1.43.29 707 FV35 22
Ruth Lee* 1.44.37 759 FS 36
Rosalind Mann* 1.45.23 782 FV50 5
Jennifer Hopes 1.47.31 889 FS 51
Victoria Buckley* 1.48.47 932 FV35 32
Colin Cohen 1.50.58 1033 MV50 97
Neil Mason 1.55.19 1177 MV45 140
Susan Holland* 1.56.21 1207 FV45 35
Elaine Devine* 1.57.41 1250 FV50 21
Debra McCann 1.58.40 1279 FV35 53
Belinda Wells* 2.00.53 1341 FV40 72
Philip McCann 2.03.02 1389 MV50 126
Gill Thompson* 2.10.26 1495 FV40 84
Ron Wilkinson 2.10.51 1497 MV50 133
Ben Gregory** 2.21.50 1590 MV50 134
*Personal Best
**Lost chip (approx. 1.19 actual)

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