Isle of Man Cross Country League 2019/20 – Round 4 – Isle of Man Championships

The local cross country season reaches its climax on the afternoon of Sunday 19th January with the fourth and final round of the Law Trust sponsored Cross Country League. The event also doubles as the Isle of Man Cross Country Championships for 2020, with the winners of each age group adding their names to the list of many of the greats of Manx athletics over the years.

This year’s event is hosted by Western AC and will be held at QE2 High School in Peel. The courses for all ages from U13 upwards take the runners onto the adjacent farmland. The timetable is as follows:

The timetable is as follows:

12.45pm to 2pm Registration
2.00pm U9 boys – 1 small red lap – 850 metres
2.05pm U9 girls – 1 small red lap – 850 metres
2.10pm U11 boys – 2 small red laps – 1750 metres
2.20pm U11 girls – 2 small red laps – 1750 metres
2.30pm

U13 boys & girls & short course – 1 and a half small red laps then 1 large yellow lap – 2800 metres

The short course race is not part of the Championships but is a round of the league as usual.

2.40pm

U15 boys & girls, U17 women – 3 yellow laps – 4580 metres

U20, senior, veteran women – 4 yellow laps – 5920 metres

2.55pm

U17 men – 5 yellow laps – 7260 metres

U20, senior, veteran men – 6 yellow laps – 8600 metres

Here is the Timetable.

Here is a map of the course.

Strictly no dogs are allowed on any part of the course. Spectators are asked to keep the course clear during the races.

If you have already paid for the series and have your race number there is no need to attend the registration desk, just go to the start line five minutes before your race. Otherwise payment should be made at the desk where entry forms will be available – forms can also be downloaded from the website linked below. If you have lost your number and need a replacement there will be a separate desk at registration.

Ollie Lockley and Rachael Franklin were the senior champions in 2019, and the latter will certainly be the favourite to add another women’s title to her collection. Ollie will not be competing on Sunday which will leave Alan Corlett as the most likely contender for the senior men’s title.

We hope to see as many of you as possible.

David Griffiths
13 January 2020

Lancashire Cross Country Championships 2020

The annual Lancashire Cross Country Championships has been an event keenly anticipated every year by local athletes since the mid-1990s. This season’s meeting was no exception, and 34 competitors took part from four Isle of Man clubs with age groups ranging from under 11s to veterans.

The success of the day at the event’s traditional venue of Witton Park in Blackburn was reflected in eight medals being brought home to the island, including two golds. Teamwork plays a huge part in cross country championship events, and the fact that four of the medals were won by teams of different age groups proved the commitment, pride and willingness to fight for the team cause that has always been a hallmark of athletes from the island.

Pride of place must go to the Manx Harriers senior women’s team, who won the team title for the seventh year in a row and the eighth time in nine years. This really is a magnificent achievement, and this year’s victory was as hard-earned as any especially as the team were without some of the regulars of recent years.

The margin of victory of only two points from Blackburn Harriers, with a combined finishing score by the four scoring runners of 49 points to Blackburn Harriers’ 51, demonstrated clearly the value of each athlete taking responsibility for gaining every possible place.

Rachael Franklin produced another high-class run to take the individual silver medal in a 91-strong field. Although she was billed as the pre-race favourite, a late entry on the day came from Eleanor Bolton (Ribble Valley Harriers) who last month ran for Great Britain in the U23 women’s race at the European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon. Rachael pushed her very hard all the way, but after her record-breaking 10-kilometre run the previous Sunday it was understandable that she tired a little in the closing stages. She continues to compete on equal terms with international athletes.

Elissa Morris proved her ability again with a seventh place finish, crucially making up places on the third and final lap. Carly Craig’s sprint finish took another place for the team and she finished in an excellent 15th place, taking the silver medal in the 40 age category. Under-20 athlete Laura Dickinson ran perhaps her best-ever race to finish 25th overall as the fourth counter for the team, a really impressive run. Ciara Hardisty, in her first cross country appearance for many a year, battled hard for 37th place despite having to stop to retrieve one of her shoes on the first lap!

The first medal of the day had come in the u11 girls’ race, and it went to the Manx Harriers team who won the bronze medal in the team contest. It was a great achievement by four young athletes who were all competing at this level for the first time.

Abi Clayton ran superbly to finish fourth and was in a medal position for much of the race. Summer Craig was eighth, Kayleigh-Dee Corrin 16th and Abi Sinclair 25th. All four needed to finish in good positions for the team to have a chance of a medal and they did just that.

Five local runners featured in the u11 boys’ race, with Harry Stennett (Northern AC) finishing in an excellent eighth place. Freddie Crowe (Western AC) was 16th, Liam Blake (Manx Harriers) 22nd, Timothy Perry (Northern AC) 23rd and Corrie Brogan (Manx Harriers) 47th.

The u13 boys’ race produced the next highlight, with the Northern AC team repeating their 2019 team silver medal. This was the first age group to go onto the full lap which includes the famous curving hill known as the ‘saucer’ and the long descent with a very muddy patch at the bottom.

Cian Howard finished sixth with a terrific run to earn automatic selection for Lancashire at the Inter-Counties Championship in March. Lucas Stennett was tenth, Sam Perry 13th and Charlie Teare 18th, all running with absolute commitment for the team cause. It was a close contest with Preston Harriers for the silver medal, and all four of the Northern runners narrowly beat their Preston counterpart, another great example of teamwork.

In the u13 girls’ race Northern AC athletes Penny Webster and Lucy Ormsby both ran splendidly to finish eighth and 16th respectively, with Penny having a reasonable chance of a Lancashire selection for the Inter-Counties.

There were more fine performances from the Isle of Man contingent in the u15 races, with Ryan Corrin (Manx Harriers) finishing in an excellent 10th place in the boys race, improving from 29th in the same race last year.

In the girls race Ella Crowe (Northern AC) clinched another Lancashire selection with a very determined run to finish sixth in a high-quality field. Macy Hillier (Manx Harriers) finished 11th in her first year in the age group, and her teammate Mairi Harrison was 30th. Madison McMullan (Northern AC) was 34th in her first year in the U15s.

The final event of the day was the men’s race which attracted a field of 150. Manx Harriers had seven competitors with six counting for the team score, with three of them also forming a team in the junior (u20) category. It was good to see representation from Manx Fell Runners for the first time at the event, Neil Brogan and Nigel Maddocks making a late decision to travel.

David Mullarkey produced a fine run to finish in fifth place which earned him the silver medal in the u20 category. He is one of only six local athletes to achieve a top five finish in the senior men’s race over the years. One of those is Alan Corlett who was sixth this year and was closing in on David at the finish, a fine effort after illness a week ago.

Alex Bell produced one of his best performances to place 25th overall, having been 45th and 58th in the past two years. He placed seventh in the junior category. Gianni Epifani finished 50th in his 21st appearance at the event since 1995.

Cross country stalwart Andy Fox was delighted to win the gold medal in the 60 age category having targeted the race for several months. His overall 81st place was his highest finish since 2013 and this was his 23rd appearance in all.

Andrew Falconer battled away despite feeling under the weather and finished in 82nd for the final counting position, and George Dickinson completed the Manx Harriers contingent with 88th place and was 16th junior.

The senior team finished fifth, while the junior team of David, Alex and George clinched the team bronze medal.

The two Manx Fell Runners competitors enjoyed their outing and found themselves in close battles with some of the Manx Harriers runners during the race. Neil Brogan was 65th despite doing a hilly Parkrun just a few hours earlier, and Nigel Maddocks was 75th.

David Griffiths
7 January 2020

Isle of Man Athletics Cross Country League – Round 3 – Results & Report

The last cross country event to be held at the stunning Nunnery Estate on the outskirts of Douglas was blessed with gloriously sunny and crisp winter weather on Sunday 1 December for the third round of the Law Trust sponsored Isle of Man league. The event attracted 221 competitors.

Organising club Manx Harriers have used the venue for the past four seasons, and in the opinion of many the course devised by Andy Fox has been one of the best to be used for local cross country over the years. The performances of some of the island’s best cross country runners gave the course a fitting send-off at the weekend before the land is used for other purposes.

The senior race winners Ollie Lockley and Rachael Franklin, both members of the host club, have been in magnificent form on the roads recently, and both transitioned smoothly to the different demands of cross country.

Lockley, who recently beat Keith Gerrard’s Isle of Man Half Marathon record, had his first cross country outing of the winter and produced a masterclass as he dominated the 9.8-kilometre Senior Men’s race over four laps of the course. Initially shadowed by Alan Corlett, he soon pulled clear and stretched away to claim victory by more than two minutes with a superb exhibition of controlled running over the undulating estate grounds which include several sharp hills.

Corlett settled into a good rhythm in second place as he consolidated his progress back to top form after an injury layoff, and Orran Smith continued his outstanding year with yet another notable performance to take third place.

Dave Bignell has been impressive this winter and ran extremely well to take his second successive fourth place after a close contest with Sam Looker and Mike Garrett. Luke Phair was the first junior in ninth place, and the race attracted a bumper field of 51.

The women’s race was run over three laps, and Rachael Franklin was the victor with a quality run during which only the first three men were ahead of her. It was a surprise to see this summer’s triple Island Games gold medallist competing, as she had contested a 5k road race at Barrowford in Lancashire at 7pm on Saturday before travelling home on the overnight ferry. Frustrated at the icy roads which forced her to back off in that race, she was fresh enough to produce a typically strong performance on Sunday afternoon.

Eleanor Miklos is another athlete who has been in great form in several disciplines recently, and she took a fine second place finish ahead of Island Games distance runner Elissa Morris. Laura Dickinson produced a typically gritty run to take fourth ahead of Helen Taylor.

There were big competitor numbers for the Short Course races and these were convincingly won by David Cain and former Island Games distance runner Gail Griffiths.

The closest race of the day came in the u17 men’s category between Ieuan Owen and Corrin Leeming. There was rarely more than a stride or two between these two highly competitive athletes, and the battle went right to the line with both being given the same time but Ieuan just getting the verdict.

Ieuan was one of five athletes to complete a hat-trick of victories for the series, the others being Ryan Corrin (u15 boys), Lola Bass (u13 girls), Abi Clayton (u11 girls) and Timothy Perry (u9 boys). These five have all clinched victory in the league with a round to spare, but will be keen to double up with IOM Championship titles at the final event in January.

Battle resumed in the u15 girls race between Macy Hillier and Ella Crowe who have been matching strides all season, but this time Macy was the clear winner. Their friendly rivalry will resume at the Lancashire Championships in early January.

Lucas Stennett took his first win of the season in the u13 boys’ race, and he is one of many local athletes who should go well in Blackburn next month. Another is Freddie Crowe who won the u11 boys’ race to follow his excellent run in the Liverpool Cross Challenge at Sefton Park the previous week.

The under-nine girls’ race was dominated by Issy Kennaugh of Northern AC who beat all bar three of the boys with a top run.

A little further down the fields in the junior races, it is always good to see athletes progressing well during the season. Several achieved big improvements on their placings in previous rounds, including Alessio Costello and Piper Withington in the u11 girls and Gabe Campbell and Theo Quayle in the u9 boys.

Here are the full results.

• Grateful thanks go to all involved with putting on a superb afternoon of cross country action at this historic venue.
• Video footage of all the races has been posted on the manxathletics.com Facebook page.
• The Isle of Man Cross Country Championships, which also form the fourth and final round of the league, takes place on Sunday 19 January and will be hosted by Western AC at QE2 School in Peel. Full details will be available nearer the time.

David Griffiths
3 December 2019

Isle of Man Athletics Cross Country League – Round 3

The third round of the Law Trust sponsored Isle of Man Athletics Cross Country League is hosted by Manx Harriers on Sunday 1 December 2019 and will be held at the Nunnery Estate on the outskirts of Douglas.

The timetable is as follows – please note it is a little different from earlier rounds:

  • 12.45pm to 2.00pm – Registration
  • 2.00pm U9 boys & girls – 1 small lap – 900 metres
  • 2.06pm U11 boys & girls – 2 small laps – 1,800 metres
  • 2.15pm U15 boys & girls, U17 women – 1 medium lap, 1 long lap – 4,200 metres
  • 2.30pm U13 boys & girls & short course – 1 small lap, 1 long lap – 3,500 metres
  • 2.30pm U17 men – 1 small lap, 2 long laps – 5,900 metres
  • 2.45pm U20, senior, veteran women – 3 long laps – 7,400 metres
  • 2.45pm U20, senior, veteran men – 4 long laps – 9,800 metres

Entry to the site for cars is from Old Castletown Road via the entrance on the Kewaigue side. There is a car park on the site with 95 spaces. Roads on the estate will all be one way.

Once the car park is full, or at 2.10pm, the road into the site will be closed and no vehicle allowed in as the course for the older age groups crosses the road twice. After 2.10pm the way out of the site is past the main house and out through the main entrance gates nearest to Douglas.

More parking is available at the Bowl car park near the Power Station and Pulrose Bridge. If parking here walk to the site along the road to the Civic Amenity site, take the footpath by Edmundson Electrical and follow it until you reach the side gate open to the estate. This should take about 10 minutes.

Race HQ is below the main house and by the ornamental lawns. Signing on is here, along with toilets and food van Barista Express.

If you have already paid for the series and have your race number there is no need to attend the registration desk, just go to the start line five minutes before your race wearing your race number. If you have lost your number and need a replacement there will be a separate desk at registration.

If you did not register prior to Rounds 1 or 2, you need to complete a registration form and pay at the desk on Sunday. Blank forms will also available at registration.

Here is the course map and Nunnery site map

New Athletics Development Officer

Isle of Man Athletics is pleased to announce the appointment of Mikey Haslett as Athletics Development Officer.

Athletics has long played a central role in Mikey’s life since he found his passion for jumping over things 20 years ago. Over the years Mikey has represented the Island at several Island Games and has even held on to a few Island Records in his favourite events the 400m Hurdles and 4 x 400m relay. A degree from Cardiff Met in Sports Development combined with Mikey’s experience at Manx Sport & Recreation and his passion for all things Athletics mean that we are particularly excited to have him on board.

Commenting on the appointment Isle of Man Athletics Chairman Anthony Brand said; “We are delighted that Mikey is joining Isle of Man Athletics to continue aiding the growth of our sport on the Island across all capabilities and circumstances, taking it to the next level. His enthusiasm is infectious so we’re excited for the future. We are extremely grateful for the support The Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation, Isle of Man Sport and the athletics clubs are providing.”

John Nugent from The Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to support Isle of Man Athletics over the next 2 years in developing and expanding athletics across the island. One of the objectives of the Foundation is to encourage young people to get involved in sport, who may not normally have the opportunity. Isle of Man Athletics have shown us a clear plan to develop this in the future.”

 

Mikey can be contacted by email on: ado@iomathletics.com