News - Endurance
This Section posts news relative to the Endurance section such as information regarding up and coming training weekends, reports road races and what the section does socially.
One of the must attend events in the running calendar is the Sale Harrier Endurance section's Training Weekend. This was evident when 68 people headed up the M6 to participate in the thirtieth training weekend, held over the Easter break at, what is traditionally becoming the 'home' of the training weekend- Newlands Adventure Centre. All rooms were taken up in the newly refurbished hostel, with double pillows, new mattresses and hotter than hot showers. And what was even nicer was the distinctive Newlands smell had gone, making the long awaited return to the centre a pleasant change. With the forecast set fair, all the ingredients were in place for a great weekend.
Although the format of the weekend didn't change from previous ones, (by chance) there was a local fell race organised by Keswick AC heading up Causey Pike. For those who hadn't done the morning session, this was an opportunity to take a tough but enjoyable category 'A' fell race. 22 harriers nipped over to the village hall to collect their numbers whilst the rest of the harriers tucked into their post session delicious jacket potato and prepared for a gruelling 4.5 mile race with over 1000ft of ascent.1st home for the club was Gaz Raven who was third at the top, but couldn't sustain the heat and finished 5th overall. Other impressive runs came from Chris Donnelly (14th) and Ritchie Edwards (34th), however the standout performance came from Rachel Chambers aka 'Speedy Rachel', who, in her inaugural fell race came second lady and took home a rather fetching pink top. Jan Nichols also scooped a prize finishing second vet 40. Following the race, and back down of flat ground, all harriers headed to the village hall for a well deserved cup of tea and a slice of cake. The race was cheered on by 30 harriers scatted up the mountain making it a fantastic spectacle.Following a rather eastern European feel to tea with a variety of different cabbages to sample, the party headed to the local boozer , the Swinside, to reflect on the day's activities and to see out the rest of Saturday.
Easter Sunday dawned to clear and frosty conditions and due to
the training weekend having a close proximity to the Marathon,
there was a selection of hardy souls (Lauren Davies, Tim
Rainey, Hayley Cavill, Jerry Smith and Louise Robbins) up
early to pile on the miles with a consistent double loop of Derwent
Water. Those not doing the marathon either did one lap of the lake
or took on the Anniversary Waltz fell race which was an amazing
spectacular as the runners went beyond the snowline to experience
some spectacular views of the lakes on a crystal clear day. Due to
the snow on the top of Dale Head, Carl Barber
demonstrated to the rest of the group how to descend ski style (on
his bum!).Sunday afternoon was consumed by an impressive
orienteering Easter Egg hunt designed by Mike
Whaton (thanks Mike!), which was enjoyed by all,
particularly the families who attended. As the sun set and the
mercury began to fall back to Zero, the weekend ended with a BBQ
back at Newlands. Sausages, chicken and homemade burgers were on
offer with a couple of cheeky donuts to finish things off. However
the highlights of the evening were yet to come! Firstly, team
'Man in a Bag' won the quiz then Andy
Mooney picked up a guitar and premiered the Fechin song
which had everyone doubled over in hysterics. Finally, Dave
Marsh rounded up the evening with some 'interesting'
dancing, which for those who were present won't forget in a
Posted 02/04/2013 12:52
Never in the field of human endurance have so many hats, ear muffs, jumpers and mittens been worn by so many in one race! The vagrancy of British weather knows no bounds! From last year's hottest day of the year, this year's 4000 Wilmslow Half marathoners braved unprecedented biting winds that became an unenviable freezing headwind in the final miles. This annual event is a club 'major' and the pinnacle of a long winter's training and for many the benchmark in final preparations for Spring marathons. Both men and women retained England Championships silver team medals from last year. Well done to all!
EMMA FINNEY 1:31.32. A PB by over 2mins over Chester. (1:33.09).
2nd Wilmslow and 3rd Half Marathon ever.
Posted 01/04/2013 10:59
It wasn't just in the Wilmslow half-marathon and Crossford Bridge's "Over the Bales" promotion that were the weekend's success. The club had several athletes compete nationally and internationally.
World Junior Triathlon Champion, Georgia Taylor-Brown represented GB & NI in the junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. In below freezing conditions and on a challenging course, Georgia did more than her bit to win GB's first ever medals of any kind at a World XC Championships since 2004, as well as help win the first medal in junior women's history for GB & NI. She ran an astonishing race from half-way finishing 2nd Brit just seven seconds behind Emelia Gorecka, the former European Cross Junior Champion who has won every domestic race this year. The team bronze medal is directly attributable to her magnificent run which opened up a safe gap from threatening Japan. She was the revelation of the day, applauded on TV! Our North of England Cross champion is coached by Paul Roden at Wythenshawe Park.
Lee Whitley made his disability GB debut at the 5th Fazza international in Dubai by winning the sprint double and breaking the 100m world record in 11.60 sec and the 200m World and European record in 24.79 sec. His classification was a T35 athlete and was selected through Talent ID as a result of his performances at the Cerebral Palsy National Championships in which he ran 11.52 sec for 100m that sent him to top of the UK rankings and the 200m running 23.1 also topping the 200m UK rankings. Lee was a talented, able bodied club athlete until he was disabled by Cerebral Palsy. Since then, he's been an inspiration to all who know him through his positive attitude and this achievement is a worthy tribute to his determination and work rate. Said one of his training mates, "He moved from being told he can never walk again; to throwing his wheelchair away and breaking records for fun. Lee is an example that the limits are only in your head...what a boss!"
Megan Davies had a fantastic race to win her first national title to become British Colleges Sport National Cross Country Champion. Representing the North-West, the event took place at Bath University. She beat girls that had been in front of her in the previous weekends English Schools Championships and led the team to team silver. Delighted coach Paul Roden, said, "There's a lot more to come from Megan". This is just Megan's latest pinnacle of achievements this winter. She won the U17silver medal in the Scottish National XC Championships and became the Greater Manchester School's Champion and had further fine runs in the Northern XC Championships and inter-county championships.
Three more of Paul Roden's athletes also had great runs at the weekend. In the Home International held in Wales, Charlie Hulson, representing Wales, was 3rd in the U20 race; Ryan Moore was 13th running for the North and Luke Betts, also running for the North, was 17th. Charlie made his GB debut earlier this winter when he represented GB & NI at the European XC Championships at Budapest; Ryan Moore was 3rd in Spain competing for England in February and this was Luke's international debut. (Written by Fechin Mc Cormick)
Posted 26/03/2013 11:35
Spring's here! That's because the Trafford 10k annually heralds the season to the region's runners. Despite the freezing conditions more conducive to a winter's lie-in, the largest ever number of Sale Harriers braved the unseasonable elements to 'strut their stuff' around Partington's quiet roads, all in the interest of PB's, benchmarking for Spring Marathons and half-marathons or in the vain pursuit of some reversal from the tide of time. Almost forty toed the line, nearly double previous years which is a tribute to the endurance section's growing numbers. Times were inevitably affected by the finger-numbing weather. Thanks to those who thoughtfully fed back their results...
Antony Ford 30.52 Last year's winner was a minute down in 14th place. Marathon training
Luke Betts 31.55 1st under 20 in a season's best
Gaz Raven 32.09 Two minutes down on last year but not in his usual shape
Sonia Samuels 33.39. Two weeks after 2nd in the National XC champs. Training for London
Nigel Martin 34.24 Debut 10k for club newcomer. Commendable benchmark!
Danny Whittaker 34.58 Fastest time in this, his 2nd coming!
David Hirst 35.35
Carl Barber 35.44 Twenty seconds faster than last year
Mark Brewer 36.30 A PB by over a minute from the 2011 Bristol 10k
Olivier Gaillemin 36.53. A PB by a whopping 7 minutes 8seconds
James Ketley 36.56 Equalled his PB from last year's We Love M/C 10k
Simon Jackson 37.13 A PB by 2 seconds from last year's PB in the same race
Richard Brown 38.10. A day after running the 32 mile Howarth Hobble with a 4,400ft climb.
Peter O'Neill 38.48 The elixir of running - a lifetime best by 48 seconds
Alan Pitman 38.56 Within 20 seconds of a new PB
Stephen Parry new to the club with 39.39 previous best of 43.58
Sarah Douglas 39.54 Massive PB & first time under 40 minutes for this club newcomer
Steve Gavin 40.06 2nd fastest time on the course though a minute down on last year
Jerry Smith 40.25 Elusive three seconds off his PB in last year's Salford 10k 3rd .M55
Daniel Boulton 41.22 Just missed improving his PB of 39.56 in Leeds Abbey Dash 10k
Helen Armitage 42.36 Facebook comment, "Don't ever race after only 5-ish hour's sleep"
Denis Powell 43.03 Debut 10k for another newcomer. Great future benchmark!
Cara O'Brien 43.47 Getting back to top form following motherhood
Rachel Cavanagh 45.52 A whopping PB by seven minutes. Will be doing it again
Richard Horwood 46.02
Dawn Holding 48.55 Just missed a PB by 9 seconds set in 2012 We Love M/C 10k
Cat Jones 49.37 What she calls a 'PBPB' - post baby Emma PB with no sleep or training
Katie Reece 50.16
Karen Sheen 50.41 A fantastic PB. Rejuvenated by a holiday with knees in good shape
Audrey Gresty 50.44 A whopping 4 minute PB from 2011 Trafford 10k.
Margaret Trickey 52.38 Indomitable Margaret gets better with age. 3rd L60
Chris Wood 53.45
Jenny Miles 54.25 2nd fastest 10k time. Great L60 run. "Enjoyed it"
Lucinda Summers 56.18
Gary Weatherly 56.58 Doubtless, sabotaged by Dawn??
Posted 24/03/2013 11:48
The Trimpell 20 mile race is run over a fast, flat, mostly traffic free course up the Lune Valley around Lancaster, and is an enjoyable race in its own right although its main purpose is to provide a good training run for those doing a spring marathon. As usual there was contingent of Sale Harriers who included this race as part of their marathon preparations, either for London or Greater Manchester.
Lee Kaufman had a great run of 2:09:45 for 18th place overall, almost 5 minutes faster than last year and close to his PB from 2011. Next for Sale was new member Kevin Foster, who was unlucky to miss the marathon last year through injury, and who followed up his fine run recently at the Great North West Half with an excellent time of 2:16:27 for a PB.
Jerry Smith, with 2:29:39 and Louise Robbins, with 2:35:26 (a PB) were both very pleased to have improved significantly over last year's times. Lauren Davies, training for her first marathon and running her first 20 mile race ran excellently to finish in 2:50:08 and Jenny Miles had another great run for 3:25:29, which was a PB by more than 4 minutes over last year's time.
All the runners were very encouraged by these fine performances, which hopefully will be indicators of a good run in the marathons to come in April.
The previous week, Tim Rainey headed south to his parents where conveniently there was a local 20 mile race. The Worth 20 is 4 laps of a flat course that was into a strong head wind with of course no noticeable tailwind. He ran a PB time of 2:25.37, over 2 minutes quicker than his time from Rochdale in 2000 (don't run many 20 mile races) and 18 minutes quicker than the only other time he ran the Worthing 20 in 1995.
Posted 24/03/2013 11:48
Four hardy Sale Harriers took on the challenge of the
Lactic Flashback trail/fell race at the weekend. This is one of the
Kiwi Classic Events series and is a tough, 8 mile race with about
1500 feet of climbing in the hills above Stalybridge.
First back for Sale was Paul Barrett, with a fine run of 1:05:40 for 12th place. Next was Tim Rainey with 1:14:12, followed by Jerry Smith with 1:16:30. The sole female representative from Sale was Sarah Waldron, who ran well to be 7th female with 1:27:48. Both Tim and Jerry incorporated the run into their marathon training programme, with Tim having run 26 miles the day before and Jerry running 10 miles just to get to the start line!
Despite (or because of) the hills this was a very enjoyable race with fine views, and the £5 entry fee included a free chip butty after the race that was much appreciated by all!
On a much flatter course, M60 Geoff Beattie took part in the Blackpool 10k.Recent lack of training was the reason for an uncharacteristic 49.37 but at least he now has the reassurance to be able cover the distance again.
Posted 11/03/2013 09:27
The wild animals of Knowsley Safari Park sensibly had taken refuge from the horrendous snowy conditions for the weekend'sNorthern Cross Country Championships. Five inches of snow cloaked the park so the cars that converged from throughout the North arrived not to admire the wild animals but rather insane human beings. Running tigers & tigresses were brought to their knees and the fleet of foot had their wings clipped as they struggled through compacted snow that became a mushy mire
Those delayed by snow may well have missed Georgia Taylor Brown's impressive U20 victory that launched the day's 10 age-group races. It was all the more awesome in that Georgia, already an established junior international triathlete, had just returned from Australia where she'd finished 3rd in the individual Youth Olympics Triathlon and also won a bronze medal in the mixed Triathlon relay. This was her fourth Northern medal and second Northern title. In 2010 she won the U17 event and in the following years, has added the U20 silver and bronze medals to complete a full set. In the same race, Misha Nayak-Oliver always has to be complimented for her gutsy performances. Had there been a third team member they surely would have been among the medals.
If excitement could melt the snow, our U13 girls would have done it! True to their form and ability, this squad of hard-working, talented, friendly girls, proven by already being the 2012 Northern Relay Champions; the current National Cross-Country Relay silver medallists and the Northern XC and National XC bronze medallists, they won the Northern XC title convincingly to add to their impressive list.....and besides Aine Cunningham won the individual silver medal. The quartet of Aine, Olivia Green (7thth), Niamh Nugent (11th) and Frankie Hacker-Davis may also have broken a further club record to add to the one in the National XC Relays when the team recorded the club's best result in twenty years. The last time Sale won the U13 girls title was way back in 1999 with a tally of 73 points. Such is the group's current formidable talent, they won with a record of only 40 points. Well done also to Mairead Power, Francesca Brint (great to have her back after illness) and Tia Blisset who also were part of this great achievement. The U13 boys weren't quite in the same league finishing 10th. Nevertheless, by the way Harry Brown, Harry Boyd, Luke Chesters and Andrew Toner gave it their very best in the difficult conditions, they did really well to finish in the top ten.
The U20 men won bronze medals but with only seven points separating the three winning teams and one point separating silver and bronze, they weren't far from taking the title from Gateshead AC and Liverpool Pembroke AC. Again, well done to Charlie Hulson, who almost won the bronze medal; last year's individual winner Ryan Moore was 8th followed by Callum Greenwood, Luke Betts, David Rich, Matt Holmes and Callum Rowlinson.
The U15 girls also won magnificent bronze, a result bettered only once since before the girls were born. Well done to Zara Thompson who finished a superb 5th ; Aimee Pratt (24th) who's won her 5th consecutive medal, Ciara Lydon (27th), Catherine Podmore (46th), Flora Whyte (58th), Amber Towns (63rd) and Hannah Simeen (74th). Their boy's counterpart finished just outside the medals in 4th. Again, this was another fine result and one the section's not equalled for many years. Well done to Euan Gilchrist, Adam Roden, Christy O' Brien, Daniel Brint, Adam Kinghorn, Dillon Birchill and Brad Thornton.
Our U17 girl's finished 6th - also a fine improvement on previous years and if this squad of Megan Davies, Irmani Modahl, Rachel Hibberd, Chloe Yates, and Hannah Christy keep training hard, they'll be future title holders. The U17 lads started a team but only Matt Metcalfe, Sam Mayon and Khalid Absiyeh finished. All three ran well.
The broken and melting snow made running horrendous for the senior men and women so bad several lost sensation in their feet and dropped out. Well done and thanks to Lucy O'Gorman who travelled from Bristol and her 6th place made all the difference to the women's 10th place. Hayley Cavill was next across the line in 70th place followed closely by Jan Nichols whose consistent good form throughout the winter had been the backbone of the women teams. Slightly further down the field were Sian Holland, Jo Street and Helen Armitage who admirably braved the tough conditions.
Finally the senior men! Their 7th place flagged consistency in recent years among the Northern clubs. Gaz Raven ran his 13th consecutive Northern XC and has won four silver and one bronze medals already. This tough guy's uncharacteristic 35th place was a reflection of reduced training due to lifestyle circumstances. Anthony Ford also found the conditions exceptionally tough; Ryan Worland and James Wignall had youth on their side and toughed the conditions well; Pete Crawford relished the harsh conditions and trauma consultant Oliver Gallamin followed Carl Barber, Andy Mooney, Paul Barrett and Tim Rainey all had a 'shock' to their systems they'll remember!
Well done to everyone who braved the elements to compete, spectate and support. It was, after all a successful day.(Written by Fechin Mc Cormick. Photos courtesy of www.darkstarphotography.com and parents Chris Green and Daryl Taylor. Full results http://www.noeaa-athletics.org.uk )
Posted 11/03/2013 09:26
The pinnacle of the winter's cross-country was at the weekend in Sunderland. The event is akin to football's Cup Final when clubs from throughout the land converge with their best athletes to do battle in the ten age-groups for the prestigious honour of medalling in this National Cross-Country Championship. Sale's highpoints were....
Our U13 girls won fantastic silver medals behind indomitable Herne Hill Harriers to add their 2012/13 collection of National and Northern titles and silverware. This is a further improvement on their bronze medals from last year and the sections best result since Jenna Hill, Rachel Deegan, Sophie Wood and Cherri Morrison delivered silver medals in 1999. Aine Cunningham, the Northern XC silver medallist, again led home the team in 6th place with Niamh Nugent (27th), Eleanor Twite (35th), Olivia Green (50th), Francesca Brint (60th), Frankie Davis (approx 70th but not recorded no chip) and Mairead Power (88th) all part of the successful squad. Olivia Green epitomised the team character by running despite not being fully fit. However, even if she'd been closer to Aine as she'd normally be, it would have made no difference to the overall result so dominant were Here Hill Harriers. This section is now the Northern Cross-Country Champions, the Northern Road Relay Champions, the National XC silver medallists and the National XC Relay silver medallists. Besides, through 2012/13 individually Olivia Green has collected eight championship team medals - 3 National, 3 Northern and 2 Counties with Aine Cunningham four - 2 Northern and 2 Nationals followed by Ellie Twite, Claudia Cowan, Niamh Nugent, Francesca Brint and Frankie Davis also winning team medals. Congratulations to all the squad, their coaches and back-up team including parents for such a successful year.
Our senior women also had a great day finishing a fantastic 5th. This was largely due to the top performances of Sonia Samuels who finished second and Lucy O'Gorman who finished an equally great 22nd but ably backed up in the very tough, muddy conditions by Hayley Cavill (114th) and Jan Nichols (135th) with team manager Jo Street (218th) and Lauren Davies (279th) also part of the squad flying the club flag in the distant North-East. Sonia Samuels is amazing! Last year she won bronze as she also did in 2009 and she's never been outside the top eight in these senior championships.
The U15 boys also did really well to finish 6th overall but were the 2nd Northern team which was a big improvement on their fourth place in the Northern XC Championships. It was also the section's best performances for very many years. Again, well done to Adam Roden (17th), Euan Gilchrist (34th), Christy O'Brien (41st) and Daniel Brint (158th).
The U20 men, Northern bronze medallists, have been applauded for their strength throughout the winter but their 5th place is not a true reflection of their ability. This is largely due to Charlie Hulson becoming ill, Callum Greenwood had university issues and Ryan Moore is targeting the inter-Counties for World Cross selection. On the positive side Luke Betts (41st) had a great run with his best ever National and well done also to Dave Rich (76th), Callum Rowlinson (77th), Kyle Conway (107th) and Alex Bradford (108th).
Individually, congratulations to Georgia Taylor-Brown who capped an awesome year as a Sale Harrier and member of the British Triathlon World Class Squad. She just missed out on the U20 bronze medal in 4th place. Apart from winning the Northern U20 XC Championships and finishing a superb 5th in the BUCS her 2012 triathlon achievements were: Gold: ETU Triathlon European Junior Championships, Eilat. Gold: ITU Duathlon World Junior Championships, Nancy, France, Bronze: Australian Youth Olympic Festival, Sydney.
Megan Davies also must be congratulated! She was 2nd in the U17 race in the Scottish National Championships at Callendar Park in Falkirk. She and the eventual winner were vying for the lead all the way through, and Megan only finished 8 seconds behind her. Unlike the English Championships at Sunderland, the race was run in lovely cold but sunny weather with perfect underfoot conditions which suited Megan. This is a fantastic and well deserved result for Megan that vindicates her commitment to running and her hard work. Megan now has quite a haul of quality medals that includes age-group Gtr. Manchester County and Schools titles and medals.
Thanks to those others who, though they finished no team in their age-categories, still had good runs and represented the club in a major championship making the inevitable sacrifices to fly the flag and run in very cold, snowy and muddy conditions. They were under 15 girls Amber Towns, Ciara Lydon and Flora Whyte; U17 Hannah Christy; U13 boys Luke Chesters, Harry Boyd and Oliver Hole; and senior men Gaz Raven (105th), James Wignall (167th), Chris Donnelly (386th) and Paul Barrett (609th).
(Written by Fechin Mc Cormick. Full results http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk )
Posted 26/02/2013 08:34
The Great North West Half Marathon is run in Blackpool on a fairly flat 2 lap course along the sea front and has PB potential, weather permitting. Sunday was cold and breezy but the conditions didn't stop several Sale Harriers from producing great performances with many PBs.
Enjoying the sea air and first back for Sale was Steven Townley with 1:20:00, just 12 seconds outside his PB from Fleetwood last year. Simon Jackson with 1:22:36 ran a PB by 19 seconds; new member Kevin Foster with 1:23:02 was over a minute and a half quicker than in the same race last year and Chris Cook with 1:26:19 had a massive improvement of over six minutes from his previous PB in this race two years ago.
Zoe Gmerek carried on from where she left off in 2012 with yet another PB of 1:35:04, over a minute and a half quicker than Wilmslow last year, helped by some pacing from Jerry Smith who recorded the same time. Jenny Miles with 2:05:31 also carried on her improvement in 2012 with a PB by 15 seconds over her time from Helsby last year and also won her age category, the prize being a pair of thermal gloves which came in very handy on a chilly day!
Posted 26/02/2013 08:07
The annual Manchester Area Cross-Country League (MACCL) that's a winter trek through the hills, dales, mire and mud of five Manchester parks, ended at the weekend in Woodbank Park. It was a memorable finale to delight the mud larks with additional chill easterly winds and drizzly rain to boot, made it a 'memorable' afternoon! This report is an overview of the five matches that began at Heaton Park last October and monthly toured Sherdley Park, Wythenshawe Park, Boggart Hole Clough and, finally, Woodbank Park.
Beginning with our U11 boys and girls, unlike the other age-groups, they had to score points in only three matches. Almost thirty of the club's little stars and starlets braved the wintery elements and all of them ran their little hearts out. Well done to every one of them. Beth Thornton and Lizzie Twite finished equal 2nd and 4th and equally talented Megan Mc Hugh would have been right up there with them had she not missed earlier matches.
The U13 girls have been the club's most successful through the winter with the Northern Relay Championship title under their belts and the National Cross-Country Relay silver medals. They convincingly added their second consecutive league title to their litany with a clean sweep of dominating victories. This section has been rightly applauded through the winter for their success, promise, ability and depth. Aine Cunningham won the individual U13 title to add to her Northern XC silver medal by winning all five races. Danielle Stringer separated her in 2nd place from Ellie Twite who was 3rd overall. With Frankie Hacker-Davis 6th, Niamh Nugent 7th and Claudia Cowan equal 9th no other club could boast having 50% of the league's top ten finishers. It was also great having Francesca Brint back to her great form in the final matches and again being a big asset to her team. The U13 boys, title holders for the past two years, weren't quite in the same league and this year finished 3rd, largely because of other clashes that split the squad.
The U 15 girls finished runners-up to Stockport AC this year. It's always a close tussle between the two clubs and Stockport AC won their third title in four years. Zara Thompson, with a victory at Woodbank Park, two runners-up places and two third places was among the league's top two finishers with Amber Towns in equal 3rd place. The backbone of this team with them was Flora Whyte, Aimee Pratt, Frankie and Charlie Reid and Georgia Plant. The U15 boy's could have retained their MACCL title had they finished a team in the final two matches. They finished fifth as a result! Euan Gilchrist was the club's top man in 3rd place with further superb performances in four matches from Saeed Absiyeh, Dylan Stanway and Jordan Bezzina in fewer matches next year.
The U17 lads had to contend with the emergence of a very strong Liverpool squad and had the gauntlet thrown to them if they were to retain their 3rd consecutive title. Liverpool, as expected, triumphed with four impressive outright victories and, with Stockport also very strong this winter, Sale finished 3rd. Matt Metcalf was the club's representative in most matches but Khalid Absiyeh, Jimmy Castle, Marcus Campbell, Matthew Beacock, Sam Mayon and Dennis Powell all performed very well though in fewer matches.
The U20 men are easily the club's best for a decade and they've been applauded throughout the winter for their achievements. When most regional clubs have struggled to field even one junior team, Sale finished an 'A' and 'B' team and, of course, won their third consecutive title. Individually, well done to Callum Rowlinson who ranked second overall but there were superb performances through the winter from Callum Greenwood, Charlie Hulson, Ryan Moore, Luke Betts, Kyle Conway, Dillon Bezzina, Ben Fox, Matt Holmes and David Rich. The demise of women's running was again reflected in the junior women's section unable to finish a team for the twelfth consecutive year. Individually, Misha Nayak-Oliver was the club's hero who performed brilliantly throughout all five matches and had Victoria Calderbank, Jenny Simmons and Georgia Taylor-Brown been able to run more often, they'd have easily broken this unenviable record!
The well-documented decline in the U17 & U20 age groups was again reflected with less than thirty competitors in some matches. This year, however, four clubs did finish teams and Sale's U17 girls could have taken the title from Stockport AC had they competed in more than the Sherdley Park and Wythenshawe Park matches. They still finished 3rd. The squad of Megan Davis, Hannah Christy, Rachel Hibberd and Imani Modahl all had great runs through the winter and hopefully they'll keep together for even better results
The senior men, ably supported by the junior and veteran sections, did really well to retain the league title. On those matches when the 'big guns' turned out, the team was particularly impressive but they risked the title on three occasions by weaker teams. In the end, they won by just one point from Salford AC and Wilmslow AC. The significant thing about this section is its record depth in numbers that resulted in an amazing five teams featuring in the results. Those seniors and veterans who turned out most for the club were Rob Flannery, Dave Marsh, Carl Barber, Steve Townley, Paul Barrett, Chris Heys, Chris Cook, Tim Rainey, Jerry Smith, Lewis Green and Miran Aprahamien.
Many of the club's large endurance section are 'veterans', and a large number greatly contributed to the senior team's success as well as battled within their own leagues Wilmslow AC have been unbeaten for years but Sale have remained consistent, this year with the 'A' team finishing 7th and retaining Division 1 status whilst a 'B' and 'C' team are solid in Division 2. Well done to Carl Barber who ranked 7th in the M40 category and Jerry Smith who was 5th in the M55 category.
Like the men, our women have unprecedented depth in numbers and this was reflected in the record five teams that completed the league. They also retain similar consistency to the men, this year with the 'A' team finishing 4th in Division 1 and a 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E' teams solid in Division 2. This section's performances are inextricably linked to the veteran women and the senior women's league results greatly depended on L40 Jan Nichols who's had a fantastic winter and finished 2nd overall in her category, L35 Helen Armitage, L50 Jackie Cordingley, who was 3rd in her category and L50 Lynda Rowlinson, 6th in her category. As veteran teams, Wilmslow AC were the again dominant but Sale were consistent and solid in 4th place in Division 1 with three other teams solid in Division 2. Other seniors and veterans who made a big difference through the five matches were Hayley Cavill, Cara O' Brien. Zoe Gmerek, Jo Street, Helen Armitage, Carla Ousey and Belinda Hammond.
Well done to all who participated through the winter and endured cold, wet afternoons, muddy conditions and the region's hills and dales to either do what they love; endure the bitterness for some higher cause (hopefully Sale Harriers among them!) or came to applaud, support, admire, coach or team manage.
Written by Fechin Mc Cormick.
Full results www.race-results.co.uk
Posted 14/02/2013 09:56