Northern Track and Field Championships

Ben Styles takes bronze in the Northern 800 metre final

Ben Styles takes bronze in a tight finish to the under-20s 800 metres

The Harriers had small number of athletes competing at the North of England Senior/Under-20 Championships at Sportcity last weekend.

Bashir Hussain fought hard in the men's 5,000 metres to finish 4th in a fast 14-39.65, a time that should keep him at the top of the UK V40 rankings. Next month Bashir travels to Poland to compete in the European Veteran Championships.

In the under-20 championships Claire McMurdock and Ben Styles both came away with bronze medals in the 800 metres while Andrew Nixon recorded a personal best in the 1,500 metres with 4-05.48 to secure him a run in the final where he finished 10th.

Horwich Carnival Races

The Horwich Carnival Races also hosted 2 major championship events last Sunday including the British Masters' 5km and the AAA's 5km title race.

In the masters' race Len Best had an excellent run winning the over-55s gold medal with 16-54, also Mike Shaw finished 15th in the over-40s race in 16-07.

The AAA's 5km race saw Steve Vernon finishing in 12th in a time of 14 mins 31 secs.

The Kinder Trog

Estelle McGuire

Estelle McGuire finished first home for Stockport and second lady overall

Report: Isaac

What better way to spend Fathers day than trying to conquer the Mother of all fell races.

Despite hot weather the day before race day weather conditions were ideal with overcast conditions - the organisers were expecting fast times.

The 16 mile course, starting and finishing in Hayfield, takes in Lantern Pike, Mill Hill, the lunar landscape of Kinder, Edale Cross, South Head and Big Stone in 3,500 feet of climb and then another 3,500 feet of descent.

A fast first half mile is soon stopped by the steep route up to Lantern Pike. Once the summit is reached a fast down-hill to Chunal Junction leaves you with excellent views of the hills to come. The 'hands on knees' passage up to the bottom of Mill Hill leads to a two mile stretch of paving (placed to stop erosion of the peat) - Estelle McGuire passed her Stockport Harriers colleagues on this stretch eventually finishing first home for Stockport and second lady overall.

Kinder Trog team

Stockport's runners ran as a team (for fear of getting lost) with Sean Whewell (centre) first over the line followed very closely by Tony Lee (left) and Simon Knighton third

Kinder Downfall and Kinder Low required concentration with two miles of skipping/jumping from rock to rock, no serious injuries to report from any of the Harriers and a welcome site of a mysterious man waving a 6 foot Union Jack at the top to greet us all.

With the race now half way through and the field well stretched out the compulsary maps, compasses and whistles could have come in useful, far better though to latch onto someone who knows where they are going and try and stick with them.

With the final climbs of South Head and Big Stone the finish was in sight with a downhill section to help steal a few more places.

The Kinder Trog was a welcome return to racing for Michela Stepto finishing 7th lady overall ably assisted by her 'Sherpa' Paul.

The Stockport male runners ran as a team (for fear of getting lost) with Sean Whewell first over the line followed very closely by Tony Lee and Simon Knighton with an admirable run by John Harvey.

To finish any fell race is a major achievement to finish the Kinder Trog deserves a piece of Lemon Drizzle cake.

Club Results
Position Name Time
50 Estelle McGuire (F) 2:20:15
76 Sean Whewell (M40) 2:28:04
77 Simon Knighton (M) 2:28:15
78 Tony Lee (M40) 2:28:15
120 Paul Stepto (M40) 2:46:44
121 Michela Stepto (F) 2:46:44
157 John Harvey (M ) 3:10:47

Boar's Head Fell Race

Ged Cudahey

Report: Isaac

A visit to Lyme Park on a summers evening with the sun sinking in the sky is supposed to be a gentle and peaceful family event for most, not so for those from Stockport Harriers meeting to battle against a course featuring The Cage, Bowstones and every hill and valley between.

Once again Ged Cudahey (pictured) proved to be 'King of The Mountains' with yet another fine performance from start to finish - 2nd Harrier home was Len Best close to the 50 minute barrier on a relatively dry but very challenging course.

The competition out on the course was fierce with only 5 minutes separating the next 13 Harriers athletes - Rob Taylor having a particularly good race.

Some praise must also go to Lee Barratt finishing close behind Mike and Pete Nixon and ignoring doctors orders of 'complete rest' to beat Tony Lee (using his new Puma Trailfox for the first time).

"Queen of the Mountains" was Estelle Maguire finishing 2nd lady overall, even finding time to stop and see if a fellow athlete who had taken a fall was OK, before running straight over him and on to the finish line.

Boars Head team

Lots more club photos from the Boar's Head. Click here

The number of Harriers taking part in these excellently organised events continues to grow week on week - but come on ladies you are currently being outnumbered by the weaker sex!

The next event is one of the toughest around "The Kinder Trog" starting on Sunday 18 June at 11:00 from Hayfield Scout Hut Car Park with nearly 3,500 feet of climb over a 16 mile breathtaking course - details visit Hayfield Fell Races

Greater Manchester Schools' Championships

Becky Lyne at Gateshead International Games

Club coach Becky Lyne became the third fastest ever British 800 metres runner behind Kelly Holmes and Kirsty Wade.

The Harriers' juniors were again in top form at the Greater Manchester Schools' Championships at Trafford's Longford Stadium on last Saturday.

With wins from Georgina Wilkins in the junior girls 75 metre hurdles in 12.9, five Harriers got the English Schools' qualifying standard and will race at this year's finals at Gateshead on July 7/8th.

Lucy McLoughlin in the 1,500 metres with 4-38, Jess Coulson in the 3,000 metres with 9-50, Ross Millington 3-59.6 for the 1,500 metres, while in the senior 800 metres Claire McMurdock ran 2-15 and Ben Styles with a personal best of 1-54.1.

Stockport's schools athletics coach Becky Lyne ran the 800 metres at the Gateshead International, televised by BBC-TV, finishing second behind Kenyan Commonwealth champion Janeth Jeptosgei and posting the 4th fastest in the world this year with a 1-58.20, smashing her previous best by 2 seconds.

Becky, now coached by our own Dave Turnbull also became the third fastest ever British 800 metre runner, behind only Kelly Holmes and Kirsty Wade.

The Rainow 5

Report: Isaac

Stockport Harriers at the Rainow 5

The Rainow 5 saw a big turn-out for the Harriers. More photos


With temperatures still 24-25°C a lazy summer evening soaking up the rays of the falling sun seemed a fitting end to a glorious day. The gladiators of Stockport Harriers resplendent in their golden colours massed in the beautiful village of Rainow for in infamous "Rainow 5"

The weather had brought a large field together with nearly 200 runners massed at the start next to the Robin Hood pub, which was to become a sanctuary after the race.

"1, 2, 3... Go" was the unusual cry from the starter.

A fast first mile on dusty farm tracks kicked up clouds of dust, alongside running into the low sun this made visibility extremely difficult.

The course then veered left over farm land and over many obstacles, stiles and gates amongst them. A steady climb followed to the bottom of the hill that would lead to "White Nancy" (details and pictures of White Nancy). The climb up the 1-in-3 hill quickly brought many runners to a standstill with the "hands on knees" climbing technique becoming the favoured method of ascent.

From the top panoramic views of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire helped to reduce the pain of the climb. A rocky, undulating descent, brought the runners into a fast finish where they were greeted by the hoards of cheering supporters.

Finishing third overall Ged Cudahey in an excellent time of 34-23, second Harrier home was Tony Lee using an unusual running style in the home straight. Brian Holland continued his run of form passing fellow Harrier Sean Whewell in the latter stages of the race and holding him off at the line by 9 seconds.

Amber Whewell finished first under-20 lady, with excellent runs from the rest of the ladies' team some who had been caught out by the steepness of the climb up to "White Nancy" - a special mention also for Jackie Newton who once again seems to have found her 'racing shoes' finishing first lady Harrier.

Yet again it was a great evening for runners and spectators alike and all Harriers can be proud not only of their own personal performances but also the way they continue to represent the club.

Position Time Cat Name
3 34:23 M Ged Cudahey
6 36:12 MV50 Ben Gregory
25 38:56 MV40 Tony Lee
50 41:25 MV50 Brian Holland
53 41:34 MV40 Sean Whewell
57 42:20 MV40 Andy Smith
68 43:46 MV50 Gerrard Moss
81 44:56 FV40 Jackie Newton
86 45:19 MV40 Paul Toole
89 45:48 M Geof Spencer
90 45:52 FJ Amber Whewell
93 46:08 M Max Thickett
108 47:08 MV40 Anthony Ward
111 47:20 MV40 Colin Finney
119 48:41 MV60 Alan Dilkes
130 50:21 FV50 Ross Mann
136 51:14 F Ruth Lee
149 53:46 MV50 Ron Wilkinson
162 59:25 FV50 Elaine Devine
163 59:42 FV40 Janet Bowyer

Offerton 10K - it's on!

This year's Offerton 10K will go ahead thanks to new organiser Dave Norman of Up & Running Sports Hyde on Thursday 6th July at 7.30pm from Woodbank Stadium.

Help from club members will be needed on the night and there will be a prize draw for all involved.

Northern League - Match 2

Report and pictures: Vicki Robinson

Carla Stansfield

Carla Stansfield ran personal bests in the 400 hurdles and the 1,500 metres

The second match of the Northern track and field league took place at Bebbington Oval on Saturday, and despite several absences from the team, Stockport managed to finish in 2nd place overall, and promotion to Division 2 is looking hopeful.

The day got underway with victory in the long jump for Nicola Barratt, with 4.62 metres, her best jump for several years. Nicola later recorded a highly impressive personal best in the 100 hurdles with 15.9 seconds. First off on the track though was the 400 metre hurdles where Carla Stansfield achieved the first of 2 personal bests, recording 74.5. Running in the B-race, team manager Alison Hesketh showed that she can still handle the hurdles after all these years, and took maximum points.

The men's 800 metres was no easy affair, with the first 4 athletes running under 1-58, but Ben Styles showed his strength, placing first in a personal best of 1-55.1. In the B-race Ross Millington was also easily under the 2 minute barrier winning in 1-57.1.

In the sprints Charlie Hesketh and Katie Deutsch scorched to personal bests over 100 metres with 12.9 and 13.0 seconds respectively, while Steve Callister recorded a very useful 23.1 seconds over 200 metres, but was unlucky to place only 4th in a high quality field. In the 400 metres, youngster Luci McLoughlin made an impressive debut dipping under the 1 minute barrier to record 59.8 seconds in second place.

Jonny WalshCarla Stansfield returned to the track later in the afternoon to tackle her main event the 1,500 metres, and did so in style, smashing her personal best by 9 seconds, recording 5-09. Bashir Hussain and Jon Walch (right) were also impressive over this distance, with Bashir just being edged out of first place in 4-10, and Jon placing 2nd in the B-race in 4-17.

Bashir went one better in the 5,000 metres winning the A-race in 15-53, while Mike Shaw also took maximum points in the B-race in 16-02.

In the men's field events, most impressive was Scott Boothby, competing in the triple jump for the first time, he won the B competition in 11.14 metres.

In the field for the women, Carmen Martinez and Hayley Dugan were both in fine form, with Hayley putting the shot a massive 10.04 metres to win the A-event by over 2 metres! There was also more success for Charlie Hesketh and Katie Deutsch, this time in the high jump with both girls winning their event with 1.50 metres and 1.45 metres.

The ladies' relay teams showed they were a class apart winning both the long and short relays by a substantial margin, with the 4 x 400 metre team being just shy of the club record, so look out for that being smashed later in the season. The men’s 4 x 400 metre team were just edged into 2nd place despite an impressive anchor leg performance by middle distance man Jon Walch.

The 3rd round of the Northern League takes place on Sunday July 2nd, and we need everybody out to ensure we get promoted!

Becky in the Golden League

Becky Lyne

Club coach and top 800 metre runner Becky Lyne has made a big impact on the Golden League series recently with a couple of excellent performances.

The former European under-23 800 metre champion who takes the minor's group on Thursday evenings at Woodbank Stadium won her first ever Grand Prix 800 metres in front of a packed Hengelo Stadium with a storming run, beating some of the world's best in a new personal best time of 2-00.04, shaving a full one and a half seconds off in the process.

After Hengelo it was a flight home and back to Stockport where she trained down at Woodbank in anticipation of the biggest race of her life, the Bislett Games in Oslo, home of the Dream Mile where the world's greatest athletes have competed over the years notably Seb Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram.

Becky faced tough opposition from the world's fastest 800 metre runner Janet Kepkosgei of Kenya the Commonwealth Games winner and Kenina Sinclair of Jamaica. The race was paced through 400 metres in 59.4 by Monica Hennigan of the USA before dropping out to let the race begin and it was Jepkosgei who went at the bell.

Becky was in 5th but was chasing down the leaders on the back straight and onto the final bend in third and into home straight she used her kick that she has been honing down at Woodbank to almost overhaul Jepkosgei who just managed to hold of Becky.

1st Janet Jepkosgei (Kenya) 2.00.51, 2nd Becky Lyne (Great Britain) 2.00.67, 3rd Kenina Sinclair (Jamaica) 2.00.73.

Harriers on the Golden Mile

Report: Isaac

Brian Holland

Brian Holland was first Harrier over the line with a personal best. Photo from ProSportPhotos

On the hottest Sunday of the year so far, the masses of Stockport Harriers headed towards the Fylde coast to conquer the Blackpool Marathon and Half Marathon. Early starts for most for a planned 09.00am race start meant bar-b-q's and beer tasting sessions for the previous evening had to wait until after the race.

Disappointment awaited the field of over 2,000 before the start with the announcement of a delay of over 30 minutes as the water for the water stations was still on the M6 outside Blackpool. In the arid Blackpool sunshine, pre-race preparations went out the window and searches for fluid input and output became number one priority with some Harriers seen scuttling down onto the beach !

However in the face of adversity hero's are found and by initially using the club's expert pace maker (Steve Jones leading a group of wannabee sub 90 minute half marathoners in 6-45 per mile) Brian Holland finished the race not only with a personal best and first Harrier over the line but also as overall second MV50 in the race, an outstanding performance.

Brian was closely followed in quick succession by Lee Barratt and Neil Thompson (setting a personal best) ... who had fought bravely through the heat with a sprint finish with Lee's pace and experience outwitting a late dash for the line by his challenger. Just outside the 90 minute mark was Simon Knighton setting another personal best.

Barry Thompson

Barry Thompson (right) takes the award for biggest personal best of the day knocking six minutes off his time from last year's race now getting very close to the 1 hour 45 minute mark - he now has the bit between his teeth and was seen the following day down at track performing fast 800 metre reps and will possibly run the Rainow 5 on Wednesday 7 June.

First Stockport lady on Sunday was Deborah Cox, closely followed by the other half of that well known Harri rs athletics partnership Susan Holland - also going sub 2 hours was Kathryn Ward with an excellent performance also from Jenny Day

In the marathon Adrian Edwards finished in an admirable 3-53-10 being the only Harrier to take on the ultimate distance.

Club Results
272 Adrian Edwards 3-53-10
Half marathon
57 Brian Holland 1-29-30 PB
61 Lee Barratt 1-29-51
63 Neil Thompson 1-29-55 PB
69 Simon Knighton 1-30-21 PB
146 Sean Whewell 1-35-57
147 Steve Jones 1-35-57
236 John Harvey 1-41-12
318 David Gosling 1-44-43
377 Barry Thompson 1-47-04
380 Anthony Ward 1-47-09
614 Deborah Cox 1-55-24 PB
630 Susan Holland 1-55-49
653 Michael Thirsk 1-56-52
689 Kathryn Ward 1-58-18
864 Jenny Day 2-04-54

Some excellent pictures taken all around the course can be found at:

Elsewhere at the Weekend

Report: Phil McCann

The continuation of the Altrincham and Spectrum Striders series was the Hollins Green 5k on the Saturday. This the second race in the series saw just John Parrott, Vicky Barrett and Phil McCann from Stockport Harriers. With many of our runners busy this weekend it was a humid start to the race. John was first Harrier in with 18-34 with Vicky 21-28 then Phil 24-36 making improvements on his steady comeback to racing!

Joanna RobertsonElsewhere Joanna Robertson (pictured) ran a back-to-back 5k. Running the Race for Life series at Heaton Park on the Saturday then on the Sunday at Rhyl. Joanna finished 3rd with a personal best time of 20-38 in Manchester then followed this up with a 1st place and another personal best improvement with 19-48!

Northern Track and Field Championships

Ross Millington

Ross Millington missed out on a gold by just two 100th of a second, but this week was selected for the World Schools' Games in Athens.

Stockport Harriers' juniors came away from the North of England Championships with 2 gold, 2 silver and a bronze medal.

Greg Watkins won the under-17 discus with a dramatic last throw of the competition with 43.91 metres, equaling the leader but was given the win on count-back thanks to his superior second throw. Greg's performance was the first ever throw over 40 metres by any member of the Harriers.

Jess Coulson ran within one second of the Northern Championship record in the under-17 women's 1,500 metres in windy conditions to win in a personal best time of 4-31.87.

Training partner Lucy McLoughlin finished just behind Jess in the final making it a one-two for the club with a season's best of 4-44.

The following day Ross Millington finished just two 100th of a second behind rival David Forrester in the under-17 men's 1,500 metres. However this week Ross has been selected for the World Schools' Games in Athens thanks to his recent 3-55 run.

In the under-17 women's long jump Charlotte Hesketh finished third with 5.30 metres, equaling her personal best in the difficult conditions.

Cheshire League

Report: Pete Torrence

The Harriers entertained five teams at Woodbank Stadium in the first match of the Cheshire Track and Field League from all over the North West and came out with mixed results. In the under-11s the Harriers had a lot of athletes who where away but the team pulled together and had some great results and finished second behind Salford Met.

In the boys' races again two of the outstanding athletes showed how they are improving with Max Cole taking the honours in the A-race in the 75 and 600 metres in a time of 11.7 and 1-59.4. Just behind him Daniel Lawton gave a race to the line in the 600 metres to take the B-race in 2-02.9, not to be outdone in the C and D-race W Garner and James Bartley also won there races in 2-19.5 and 2-20.3.

The girls' team has a number of first time athletes but they did themselves proud with a number of great performances, in the 75 metres Emma O'Connell, sisters Aimee and Carla Aikin and Jessica McCabe all ran well with time of 12.0, 12.2 12.9 and 13.3 and in the relay they were just beaten by Salford Met.

In the main match again the Harriers put out a good turn out but did not have the strength in numbers but still came out in third spot behind Salford Met and West Cheshire.

The under-13 girls' took the 800 metres in their stride with all four girl getting personal bests. Leading the way Hannah Coulson with 2-39.2 followed by Sam Wilson, Danielle Keith and Nicola Berry with times of 2-51.4, 2-55.6 and 3-02.0.

In the under-13 boys' 800 metres Jack Nixon and Jonathan Reagent both raced well with times of 2-29.9 and 2-42.3 taking second in the A-race and first in the B-race.

The senior athletes had a good turn out with a good runs in the 3,000 metes by Sarah Kay to take first place in a time of 10-42.1 and Andrew Povey took third spot with a time of 10-19.9, while in the field the Hesketh family took the first spot in the men's high jump and the ladies' long jump. Chris took the high jump with 1.7 metres then Charlotte took the long jump with 4.82 metres.

I would just like to say thanks to all the people who helped out on the day to put on a really good meeting and also all the athletes who turned out to compete.

Buxton Half Marathon

Report: The Goody Bag

Blustery conditions at this Sunday’s Buxton Half Marathon didn’t halt a remarkable performance from Jenny Murray who trounced the rest of the female field in 1.22.31, just one second outside the course record.

Jenny Knass, fresh from her victory at the Dunham Massey Park 5k just two days earlier, ran a superb 1.30.37 finishing second woman and second Harrier. Vicky Barrett sealed the ladies' team prize finishing fifth in the women’s race in an impressive 1.40.30. Ruth Lee knocked a massive five minutes plus off her time in last year’s race and Lucy Holmes, having never run beyond ten miles before, debuted at this distance with an excellent 1.56.35.

In a male field, reduced in number from previous years by Harriers concentrating on next week’s Blackpool Half and Full Marathons, first Stockport man home was Tony Lee, followed by Huw Morris, Michael Brown, John Alladyce, Chris Winstanley and Simon Hilton.

This really is a tough course, with monster hills throughout (course profile), yet the abiding memory has to be the unspoilt beauty of Dowel Dale, which happily coincides with the fastest downhill mile a runner is likely to meet in the UK road race calendar.

Club Results
Name Position Time
Jenny Murray 12 (W/1) 1.22.31
Jenny Knass 36 (W/2) 1.30.37
Tony Lee 42 (MV40/11) 1.31.21
Huw Morris 44 (MV40/12) 1.32.12
Vicky Barrett 82 (W/5 WV40/2) 1.40.30
Michael Brown 94 1.41.31
John Alladyce 134 (MV55/6) 1.48.41
Chris Winstanley 137 (MV50/17 ) 1.49.18
Simon Hilton 142 (MV40/36) 1.49.53
Ruth Lee 153 (W/17) 1.51.24
Lucy Holmes 183 (W/27) 1.56.35

White Peak Marathon

Report: The Gingerbreadman

Last Saturday, seven of Stockport's finest took part in the White Peak Marathon/Half-Marathon, an off-road event run over the Tissington and High Peak Trails.

In the Half Marathon it was a case of 'Double-Dutch' for Stockport as Mr and Mrs Holland led the way. Brian finishing in a very impressive 25th place in 1-30-38 and Susan racing home in a superb 1-53-38. Close family friend Wilksey said "I'm so proud of them. The hot vimtos are on me".

Also finishing well for Stockport were Janet Booker and Ron Wilkinson who finished in 2-12-04 and 2-13-11 respectively.

In the Marathon, the eagerly anticipated duel between Richard Shuttle and Adrian Edwards was won in 3-27-20 by Richard, with Adrian finishing in 3-49-44.

First home for Stockport ladies was Jenny 'Morticia' Kinnaird, who, despite having her training plagued by injury and poor excuses, completed the course in a brilliant 4-16-36. Jenny, who is a big fan of 1980's supergroup 'The Alarm', said afterwards "I'm over the moon! If Daz Sampson wins the Eurovision Song Contest later then this will be the best day ever!"

Shining Tor Fell Race

Report: Isaac

Despite treacherous weather in the days leading up to the event (no water shortage in Derbyshire!) the evening brightened up and the mist lifted from the Shining Tor to reveal a somewhat boggy 'challenging' course.

With an experienced field of nearly 200 hardened fell runners Stockport Harriers acquitted themselves extremely well in this extremely difficult race.

Particular congratulations go to Estelle McGuire who was first Stockport lady and 3rd lady overall, also to Brian Holland who despite falling badly at one stage recovered in the final stages of the race surging past his two closest Harriers rivals. It is yet to be confirmed that Barry Thompson had to be pulled from one of the peat bogs by Kinder Mountain rescue but when he did cross the line the only part of his body that wasn't covered in mud was the whites of his eyes.

Overall race winner was Andy Norman and first lady was Jackie Lee.

These local races of varying distances and difficulties are an excellent mid week alternative to the often over-subscribed weekend road races so choose your race from the sites below and lets continue building on the great work Stockport Harriers are doing in track and road.

Club Results
Name Position Time
Estelle McGuire 57 1:04:14
Brian Holland 76 1:06:13
Lee Barratt 81 1:06:40
Sean Whewell 88 1:07:19
Michael Brown 101 1:09:25
Geoff Spencer 128 1:13:57
Colin Finney 136 1:15:24
Paul Toole 139 1:15:37
Ruth Lee 149 1:17:37
Barry Thompson 157 1:20:22
Eric Normansell 163 1:24:51

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