Law Trust Cross Country League – Round 1 – Results & Report

Cross-country racing returned to Port-e-Chee Meadow on the outskirts of Douglas on Sunday 4th October for the first time in nearly 40 years. This venue, with Douglas Rugby Club as the base, was used for cross-country in the 1970s and early 1980s, although on a different course.

The new course devised by Andy Fox is predominantly flat, but with enough features to provide variety for the runners. It includes a short out-and-back hill under trees that is just long and rough enough to test stamina and agility, and towards the end of each lap there was a short stretch of classic cross-country mud.

Glorious autumn weather greeted a cracking turnout of 295 athletes for Round 1 of the Law Trust Isle of Man Cross-Country League. This first round of four was organised by Manx Harriers, with the men’s and women’s races for seniors and veterans both attracting all-time record entries.

There were no surprises at the head of the senior races, Alan Corlett and Rachael Franklin taking convincing and impressive victories over three and two laps respectively of the full course – distances of 9,000 and 6,000 metres. Both have only recently returned to full training following a break at the end of the unusually late track season.

Corlett was tracked by Will Draper throughout the first lap and into the second, the latter looking strong and composed although a much less experienced cross-country runner than his training partner. On the final lap Draper felt unwell and slowed, allowing first-year u20 Ieuan Owen to catch and pass him in the closing stages. This was a wonderful run by the young Western AC athlete who continues to impress, especially as this was his first time contesting the same distance as the seniors.

There was a close battle for fourth place, Mark Burman almost catching a tiring Orran Smith in the finishing straight. The latter’s fatigue was understandable after his epic circuit of the Raad ny Foillan the previous weekend. Paul Sykes completed the top six.

Rachael Franklin was totally dominant in the women’s race, and had some of the leading men for company throughout her two laps. Elissa Morris ran strongly to take second place, and there was a race-long battle for third place between distance runner Rachael Hamilton and 400 metres specialist Ashleigh Lachenicht. The finishing speed of the Island Games 400 metres champion eventually settled an intriguing contest.

Sarah Puzzar produced one of the runs of the day to take fifth place. She judged the race well, upping the tempo on her second lap to make up several places. Sixth place went to cross-country newcomer Becky Watterson, and the leading junior was race-walking specialist Keira Heavey.

Running alongside the women were the u17 men, and Ryan Corrin impressed in this race with a very solid winning performance.

The action had begun with the under-nine and u11 races round one and two laps respectively of the main field, and the u11 boys’ race produced the most exciting finish of the day. Liam Blake and Harry Stennett have had many close battles this year, none better than on Sunday. Never far apart, they entered the finishing straight together and sprinted neck and neck for the line as the big crowd cheered them on. It was Manx Harriers athlete Blake who just got there first, both lads being given the same time.

Abi Sinclair was the clear winner of the u11 girls’ race, with the sprint finish for second place going to Jessica Bergquist by one second from Olivia Martin.

The winners of the under-nine races were Seamus Hall and Eve Martin, but every competitor gave their all and there were some great performances.

Several of the intermediate age groups raced together over different distances, and it was a fine sight for the spectators as a train of fast-moving runners made their way around the fields and across some shallow ditches in the beautiful warm sunshine.

Macy Hillier dominated the 3,000-metre u15 girls’ race, looking in fine form and gliding smoothly over the terrain. Madison McMullan was second, three seconds clear of Lottie Stennett. The u13 boys and girls ran alongside the u15 girls, and victory in these races went to promising young athletes Charlie Arculus and Holly Salter.

Running alongside these competitors were the Short Course runners with Dawn Atherton and Mark Corrin taking the wins – Dawn in the faster time.

There was a real depth of quality in the 3,900-metre u15 boys’ race, only seven seconds separating the first three. Gethin Owen won by six seconds from Sam Perry, who in turn was just one second clear of Lucas Stennett. All three lads are part of talented athletics families.

Star race-walker Mia Dunwell was the sole competitor in the u17 women’s race but she ran very well in company with the u15 boys.

Prior to the senior race there was a minute’s silence and a round of applause in memory of Colin Watterson who sadly passed away last week.

  • Grateful thanks are extended to the army of officials who all did so much to make the event a great success, and to Douglas Rugby Club for allowing the use of their clubhouse and car park.
  • Round 2 takes place at QE2 School in Peel on Sunday 1 November with racing getting underway at 1pm.
  • ideo footage of the action is on the manxathletics.com Facebook page.Here are the full results.

David Griffiths

Law Trust Cross Country League – Round 1 – Timetable and Courses

Timetable and Courses – Port-e-Chee Meadow

Course open for inspection from 12 noon.

Registration and entries from 11.30am.

1pm     Under 9 Boys      900m    1 short lap    Field X
1.05pm Under 9 Girls  900m    1 short lap      Field X
1.10pm     Under 11 Boys 1800m 2 short laps  Field X
1.20pm Under 11 Girls 1800m  2 short laps Field X
1.35pm

Under 15 Boys 

Under 17 Girls   

3900m 1 short lap & 1 large lap Start Fields XXYZ Fin
                                  
1.37pm 

Under 13 B & G

Under 15 G

Short Course

3000m 1 large lap Start Fields XYZ Fin
2.10pm  

Under 17 Boys

Jun, Sen, Vet Women

6000m 2 large laps Start Fields XYZXYZ Fin
2.10pm Jun, Sen, Vet Men
9000m
3 large Laps
Start Fields XYZXYZXYZ Fin

 

Please be at Start line at least 5 mins early

Spectators please keep off the racing line

Obey Instructions from Marshals

Registration sessions in Manx Harriers Clubhouse at the NSC on Wednesday and Friday from 6pm to 8pm – please do your best to attend to save time on Sunday!

Here is the entry form.

Here is the Port-e-Chee map

New Secretary Urgently Required

Owing to the resignation of the current secretary, Isle of Man Athletics is urgently seeking to appoint a new key team member.

Working on the Executive Committee of Isle of Man Athletics, the secretary has responsibility for managing the agenda and taking and publishing the minutes of the bi-monthly Isle of Man Athletics meetings along with the timely distribution of any emails to the general email inbox.  The secretary’s input into the meetings is very welcome.

This is not an onerous position and should take no longer than 2 hours a week.

If you think you would like to volunteer for this important role please email chairman@iomaa.info.   A full handover will be provided by the current secretary.

If this role isn’t for you but you would like to volunteer some of your time to assist the Isle of Man Athletics then please get in touch.

Many hands make light work!

Law Trust Cross Country Season 2020/21

The season gets underway with the first race on a new course at Port-e-Chee Meadow on Sunday 11th October hosted by Manx Harriers. Whilst the course is new to most of the present runners it was used back in the early 80s (nearly 40 years ago). Some of the older runners may recall it being used for school and league races. On this occasion there are no river crossings but flat fast running on agricultural grassland with one hill on each long lap. There will also be a change to the starting times for all of the events this season with signing on being from 11.30am with the first races for under 9s setting off at 1pm. The reason for the change is to allow more time for the full schedule of events and also an earlier finish – especially needed in December and January. The race registration will be at the Douglas Rugby Club Clubhouse (near Braddan Bridge on the TT Course) as will changing rooms, toilets and refreshments.

The rest of the season follows a familiar pattern with Western AC hosting round 2 at QE2 High School in Peel on Sunday 1st November followed by round 3 being hosted by Northern AC on the 6th December at Crossag’s Farm in Ramsey. The final fixture, which doubles up and the Isle of Man Championships, is scheduled for Sunday 17th January, hosted by Manx Harriers, and it is hoped it will be at Port-e-Chee, however, this is not yet confirmed. More details to follow on this, or the new course to be used, over time!!! Athletes are reminded that they need to finish 3 out of the 4 league races to complete the league.

As usual athletes can sign up early for the league on two signing on nights on Wednesday and Friday 7th and 9th of October between 6pm and 8pm at Manx Harriers Clubhouse. Athletes and parents are advised to sign up in advance for the league as this will save much time on the day of the race and avoid any queueing or the possibility of missing a race start. The entry fee for an individual event is £6 for seniors and £4 for juniors. The unattached seniors entry fee is £8. It is cheaper to enter the series with the costs being £20 for seniors, £12 for juniors and £28 unattached. Athletes are reminded that their number is to be used in all 4 leagues races so must be looked after. Replacement numbers will have a £2 charge.

Here is the Entry Form

Whilst it looks unlikely there will be much Cross Country action in the UK this year we hope to see a bumper season with big fields and competitive racing in the Law Trust Cross Country League as well as new courses to add a little extra spice. Thanks must be expressed in advance to Douglas RUFC and the land owner and farmer for use of Port-e-Chee in October. Also to our sponsors Law Trust for their much valued support.