Cross Country Presentation Postponed

On behalf of the cross country sub-committee of Isle of Man Athletics, we sadly have to announce a postponement of the presentation evening for the Law Trust Cross Country League and Championships. This was to have been held on Saturday 21st March at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas.

Although the measures announced today by the Chief Minister in response to the coronavirus crisis did not include a ban on public gatherings, we feel that in the current circumstances it would be inadvisable to bring together a large group of people in a small area. Further, Andy Fox – who heads the cross country committee and was to compere Saturday’s event – is currently stranded abroad, and along with everyone else entering the island from tomorrow will have to self-isolate for 14 days on his return.

At the moment it is impossible to say when the event will be rescheduled. Apologies to everyone who had been looking forward to this event but we hope you will understand the decision to postpone.

David Griffiths

Isle of Man Cross Country League – Final League Tables

Here are the provisional final league tables for the Isle of Man Cross Country League sponsored by Law Trust.

All those competitors highlighted in green will receive a league finisher’s award. Those highlighted in gold, silver or bronze have finished first, second or third in their age category, and will receive a trophy as well as a league finisher’s award.

To receive a finisher’s award you must have completed at least three races in the same category during the season.

If you are one of those who will receive a prize, please check that your name is correctly spelled (or spelt!) on these tables. Unless I hear from you otherwise, the name that appears on the league table is the name that will be engraved on your award/s.

Please contact me if you have any queries, either via Facebook/Messenger, email griffmuss@manx.net or text 485855. The trophy order will be going in within the next two weeks, and once it has gone in no changes can be made.

A reminder that the date for the Presentation evening will take place on Saturday 21 March at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas, when medals for the Championships will also be presented.

David Griffiths
28 January 2020

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

The 2020 Isle of Man Cross Country Championships, sponsored by Law Trust, took place on a beautifully sunny afternoon at QE2 School in Peel on Sunday 19 January. The Western AC hosted event also formed the fourth and final round of the Isle of Man Cross Country League and attracted a record turnout for the Championships of 230.

The latest senior athletes to add their names to the prestigious list of island cross country champions were Alan Corlett and Carly Craig, both of Manx Harriers. Corlett’s fifth title in the past six years saw him draw level in second place on the all-time list of men’s champions with Andy Fox and Kevin Loundes, with only former Commonwealth Games Marathon runner Dave Newton ahead of him with seven. For 2001 Island Games 5,000 metres medallist Carly Craig it was a first women’s cross country title.

A real feature of the day, and indeed of the season, was the number of families taking part in the various age groups, proving that cross country is a welcoming and encouraging sport for runners of all abilities.

Alan Corlett once again proved himself a worthy champion, settling into a relaxed rhythm from the start and gradually extending his lead throughout six circuits of the undulating farmland close to the school which was dry underfoot everywhere. Currently in high-mileage training as he prepares for his Marathon debut in London this spring, Corlett had warmed up for the race by running ten miles into Peel.

In second place less than a minute in arrears was Orran Smith who is such a wonderfully consistent performer on all types of terrain. There was a race-long battle for third place between Dave Bignell and Mark Burman, with Western AC man Bignell pulling clear on the final circuit. Christian Varley and Mike Garrett rounded out the top six and Luke Phair was the leading junior.

There was an exciting battle for team honours, with Manx Fell Runners taking the honours by just five points from Manx Harriers, with an aggregate score from their six scoring runners of 49 points to 54.

The battle for the women’s title over four laps was won by Carly Craig, better known as a long-distance road runner but who has made an effective transition to cross country in recent years. On the first three laps the race was led by 2009 champion Gail Griffiths, making her first appearance over the full distance course this season after illness last year. On the final lap Craig came through strongly to bag her maiden cross country title.

In third place was the leading junior Phoebe Coates, who had to work hard to fend off a strong challenge from Sian Coleman, and she was followed by junior Laura Dickinson and Alison King. The team title went to Manx Harriers.

Some of the racing in the younger age groups was breathtaking, not least the five-lap U17 men’s race in which QE2 School students Ieuan Owen and Corrin Leeming ran toe to toe for virtually the whole race before the former opened up a five-second winning margin in the final run to the line.

The feature of the U15 girls’ category has been the battle between Ella Crowe and Macy Hillier, who have been swapping places all through the season. This time it was Northern AC athlete Ella who came from behind to take victory by 11 seconds, successfully defending her title. Both girls have won two races each during the league season.

Ryan Corrin (Manx Harriers) looked in fine form as he took the U15 boys’ title in some style, with Gethin Owen resisting a determined effort from Western AC clubmate Corbyn Schade for the silver medal.

Just four seconds separated the three medallists in the U13 boys’ race with Cian Howard winning back-to-back titles. Sam Perry and Lucas Stennett were the other medallists, and the silver medal winning Northern AC team at the Lancashire championships filled the first four places.

The U13 girls champion Lola Bass (Northern AC) was one of four athletes to complete a clean sweep of four league victories for the season, and she ran as well as ever. There was an exciting contest for the silver medal with Florence Griffin edging out Penny Webster by three seconds.

The two youngest age groups raced on the school field, with the under-nines completing one lap and the U11s two. All four races produced some memorable competition.

Harry Stennett (Northern AC) timed his effort well to take victory in the U11 boys’ race over Freddie Crowe by two seconds with Liam Blake in third a further three seconds behind. It was equally tight in the U11 girl’s race, where victory went to Summer Craig (Manx Harriers), whose mum Carly later won the senior women’s title. Holly Salter and Abi Clayton finished close behind to claim the other medals.

Timothy Perry (Northern AC) has been the dominant figure in the under-nine boys’ category this season and he won the title by three seconds from Henry Allen who was one second ahead of Rory Condon in third. A very exciting girls’ race was won by just one second by Issy Kennaugh (Northern AC) from Poppy Clayton, and Sophie Kaighin narrowly claimed third place from Tara Nelson.

The non-championship short course races formed round four of the league and these were won by Dave Cain and Mairi Harrison.

Here are the full results.

  • Many thanks go to Western AC, QE2 School, the landowner and all the officials involved with putting on another top-class afternoon of competition.
  • Video footage of all the races has been posted on the manxathletics.com Facebook page.
  • The Prize Presentation for both the League and Championships will take place at the Claremont Hotel, Douglas on Saturday 21 March.  Further details will be announced nearer the time.

David Griffiths
21 January 2020

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

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