Isle of Man Cross Country League 2018/19 – Round 4 – Isle of Man Championships – Results & Report

Ollie Lockley wrote his name into local athletics history at Crossags in Ramsey last Sunday by joining the illustrious list of athletes to have won the senior men’s Isle of Man Cross Country Championship. 38 years ago Ollie’s father Dave Lockley achieved the same feat when winning the 1981 championship at Port-e-Chee in Douglas, and this is the first instance of a father and son both winning this title.

Rachael Franklin won the senior women’s championship for the sixth time in seven years, having missed the 2016 event through injury. She is now just one short of the record seven titles won by Christine Prescott (nee Kissack) between 1977 and 1989. The 2019 senior cross country champions are also the reigning Easter Festival champions.

The event also formed the fourth and final round of the Law Trust sponsored league, with final positions to be confirmed. Just as at the other three rounds, the weather was fine and the course dry – it must be unprecedented to go through a cross country season with virtually no mud or rain! There was an extra hazard for competitors to negotiate this year however, with a fallen tree in the uphill wooded section of the course needing careful negotiation, but this didn’t cause any undue problems.

Alan Corlett had won the previous four men’s titles, beating Lockley last year in a mudbath at the Nunnery. The reigning champion had been suffering a chest infection during the week but with typical determination he lined up to have a go at winning a record fifth successive title. It was not to be however, as after matching strides with his friend and rival during the first of four laps of the testing and hilly terrain he was forced to pull up.

This left the way clear for Lockley to dominate the race, which he did in superb style to become a worthy champion. He resisted the temptation to ease off and continued to push himself hard throughout to take victory by almost three minutes.

Ben Corkill produced a fine run to take second place as he did in 2015, while Matthew Christian completed a most impressive first season of cross country racing to finish in the bronze medal position. Paul Sykes, Jamie Beaman and Gianni Epifani completed the top six, and first junior was Luke Phair in seventh overall.

Rachael Franklin was as dominant as ever in the three-lap women’s race, winning by more than two and a half minutes. She ran in close company with fourth-place finisher in the men’s race Paul Sykes for much of her race and looked in great form ahead of a series of championship races in the UK.

Gail Griffiths produced a typically determined run to finish runner-up for the sixth time, proving she is still a force to be reckoned with. Carly Craig ran a strong last lap to pull clear of the challenge of Caroline Mayers to take third spot. Helen Taylor and first junior Laura Dickinson rounded out the top six.

Racing had begun with the usual frenetic action on the bottom field in the under-nine and u11 age groups, and there were some exciting finishes. Liam Blake took the u9 boys title by a two-second margin from Harry Stennett who in turn was just a couple of strides ahead of Zac Woodward. Abi Sinclair was the u9 girls champion by a 13-second margin from Scarlett Callister, who finished just one second clear of Emilie Katkjaer.

There were tight finishes to both the u11 races, with Samuel Corkill winning the boys’ race by one second from Charlie Arculus with Alec Sorby in third. Only four seconds separated the three medallists in the girls’ race, Lucy Ormsby taking victory by two seconds from Penny Webster who had the same advantage over Abi Clayton.

The u13 competitors competed over one small lap and one full lap of the course, and were the first to test the fallen tree obstacle on the climb through the woods. Cian Howard was an impressive winner of the boys’ race after a good battle with Sam Perry, stretching his advantage to 11 seconds. Ivan Sorby was 10 seconds further back in third. Macy Hiller showed excellent form in the girls’ race, matching strides with some of the leading boys as she took victory by a convincing margin from Madison McMullen who has run well this season. Lola Bass took third spot.

Competitors in the u15 and u17 categories started alongside the senior athletes although running fewer laps. Jake Richmond is another who has progressed well this winter and he took a fine win 36 seconds clear of Ryan Corrin with TJ Phair in third place. The usual names were to the fore in the girls’ race with Ella Crowe once more looking classy and assured to take the win ahead of Catherine Perry and Mia Dunwell who both showed good strength over a testing course.

The u17 men ran the same distance as the senior women, and the first two finishers Corrin Leeming and Ieuan Owen finished either side of Rachael Franklin. Leeming is a multi-talented sportsman and added another title to his collection with a fine run. Middle distance specialist Phoebe Coates ran strongly to take victory in the u17 women’s category from Holly Burgess.

The short course races were not part of the championship but counted towards the league as usual, and the winners were David Cain and Ashleigh Lachenicht – the latter completing a clean sweep for the season.

Here are the full results.

Many thanks go to Northern AC, all the officials and the landowner at Crossags for a splendid afternoon of cross country action to complete the domestic season.

The prize presentation for both the championships and the league will take place at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas on Friday 22 March – more details to follow.

David Griffiths
22 January 2019

Isle of Man Cross Country League 2018/19 – Round 4 – Isle of Man Championships

The local cross country season reaches its climax on Sunday 20th January with the fourth and final round of the Law Trust sponsored Isle of Man Cross Country League. The event also doubles as the 2019 Isle of Man Cross Country Championships, with the winners adding their names to the list of many of the greats of Manx athletics over the years.

This year’s event is hosted by Northern AC and will be held at their traditional venue of Crossags Farm in Ramsey. There is no parking at the venue itself – competitors and spectators are asked to park at Ramsey Grammar School (East or West) and walk up the lane across the golf course.

The timetable is as follows:

12.45pm to 2pm Registration
2.00pm U9 boys & girls – 2 small laps – 860 metres
2.10pm U11 boys & girls – 3 small laps – 1290 metres
2.25pm U13 boys & girls & short course – 1 small lap, 1 large lap – 2600 metres
2.35pm

U15 boys & girls, U17 women – 2 large laps – 4660 metres

U17 men, U20, senior, veteran women – 3 large laps – 6990 metres

U20, senior, veteran men – 4 large laps – 9320 metres

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

Here is a map of the course.

Please note that there is a fallen tree in the uphill wooded section of the course, which will require care to negotiate. You are advised to arrive early to allow time to check out the course before 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. If you have lost your number and need a replacement there will be a separate desk at registration.

Alan Corlett and Rachael Franklin have dominated the senior races at the championships in recent years, and have won all three rounds of this season’s league. Corlett, champion for the past four years, may have Ollie Lockley for competition as he did at last year’s event, and if both men line up it should be a cracking contest. The women’s race looks a little more clear-cut with Rachael Franklin hot favourite to take her sixth victory in seven years – she missed the other through injury.

The Presentation evening has been confirmed for Friday 22nd March at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas. Medals for the championships, and trophies and finishers awards for the league will be presented that evening. Save the date now!

David Griffiths

Isle of Man Cross Country League 2018/19 – Round 2

The 2nd round of the Isle of Man Cross Country League sponsored by Law Trust is being held at QE11 High School, Peel on Sunday 4th November 2018.  Signing on will be from 1pm with the first race off at 2pm.

The signing on desk will be situated within the sports hall area of the QE11 with the start line adjacent to the artificial pitch. The club refreshment stall will also be situated in the sports area.

The course map and timetable will be displayed at the start line and in the registration area.  Signs will be in place to direct people to registration from the car parks.

If you would like to volunteer to help marshal the course please let us know.

Athletes are reminded to be ready at start line 5 mins before there start time and to listen out for whistle and instructions from officials.

Spectators are requested to stay off the racing line.

As always no dogs are permitted on any part of the course.

We hope to see as many of you as possible.