Harriers win the Great Club challenge

Report: Peter Powell -

The icing was firmly placed on the cake for Stockport Harriers’ winning season in coming up trumps in the Great Club challenge and the just reward is a trip for the leading road runners to the Great Ethiopian run in Addis Ababa on November the 23rd. Competition was fierce against Gateshead Harriers, Bournville Harriers and Winchester Running Club, but Stockport’s name came out of the hat first and so they are going on this lifetime opportunity.

Organised by Nova International in association with the BUPA Great run series, the selected athletes will run the race along with 37,000 others in Addis Ababa, train at the world class YaYa training complex on the edge of the city and enjoy a private audience with the all time legend Haile Gebrselassie.

For female distance Harrier Jenny Knass it is like an athlete’s dream coming true:- “I entered the BUPA Great Manchester run in May in the hope we would win this competition and that this would be the outcome and it will be an experience of a lifetime” exuded the enthusiastic athlete!

It was crunch time at Sherdley Park, St Helens in the 2nd of the Manchester cross country leagues. In the under-17 women’s event Katy Whiteoak took the individual honours again and was closely followed in by Juliet Downs (3rd) and Ruth Sinclair (4th) which virtually replicated the Woodbank park result in October, such is the stranglehold that this trio are now putting on in leading this race series.

The under-13 girls team placed 2nd, one point behind East Cheshire and their male counterparts made it 2nd also, behind Wirral A.C. The under-15 girls team consisting of Hannah Richardson (2nd), Georgia Bourke (8th) and Heather Corden (12th) went one team position better and secured victory over 2nd placed Sale.

Elle Vernon (28:44) scorched to over a 2 minute gap on the fast and flat course to secure the individual senior ladies victory to Diane McVey of Wilmslow’s 2nd place (31:15), not so easy next time at the third meeting at Boggart Hole Clough in December when the hills will come into play again. 

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