Harriers’ league season ends with a flourish
WYTHENSHAWE Park was the venue for the final race in the Manchester area league season.
The league has taken the Harriers all around the region, including Sherdley Park in St Helens and Manchester’s Boggart Hole Clough and Heaton Park.
There were excellent conditions on the day, especially compared to the usual mudbath of Manchester league venues. This made for a fast and interesting last race with titles and final stand- ings still being battled for.
For some of the Harriers this was purely a goodbye to the cross-country season but many still had lots to fight for, especially from the ladies’ ranks.
Under-13 girl Sian Heslop finished off a fine season with a fifth place on the day to claim third overall. Also from the Under-13s Lucas Parker finished his season with a very credible third place and silver in the final standings.
The Under-17s saw an impressive Louisa Whittingham have a resurgent second half to the season, finishing second on the day and climbing up to second overall. The silver medallist (top right) said: “The training at Macclesfield Harriers has really helped me to improve over the winter and I’m delighted to have finished second. I’m now focused on representing Macclesfield and Cheshire in the forthcoming nationals.”
Many seniors attended the final day.
The Harriers’ women were led in by Olivia Walwyn-Bush (29:57), second overall and first female Harrier, followed by Angela Markley (32:05), Anne Farmer (32:36), Sarah Harris (33:03), Rachael Lawrance (34:45), Daisy Pickles (35:17), Jo Miles (38:44) and Barbara Murray (38:59).
For the men, Mark Walker (32:39) finished 19th on the day and first male Harrier, followed by Scott Wilson (33:55), Julian Brown (36:14), Gary Willcock (36:45), Steven Millar (36:54), Ray O’Keefe (39:59), Tim Marsh (41:58), Mark Wheelton (43:19) and David Hancock (49:17).
The Harriers’ Kristy Gill, took the women’s V35 title after an extremely impressive season, never finishing outside of the top four. In the women’s V50, Jo Miles took bronze after seventh at Wythenshawe.
From the Harriers’ men, James Noakes (below right) finished fourth in the V45s after an extremely strong season in which he always finished in the top seven.
Although the league has finished, the Harriers still have one last race, and many members are travelling down to Parliament Hill on Saturday to compete in the biggest race of the season, the national championships.
The event is usually a star-studded race, with 2012 Triathlon World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist Jonathan Brownlee competing last year.
●● Kristy Gill, Olivia Walwyn-Bush and Jo Miles