Law Trust Cross-Country League Round 4 & IOM Championships

The local cross-country season reaches its climax on the afternoon of Sunday 15th 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 Championship for 2023, with medals at stake in all age groups (except the short course race which is non-championship but still part of the league). This year’s event is hosted by Western AC and will be based at QE2 School in Peel.

There is a team element to the championships event, with teams from clubs or schools competing for team medals in each category. Club members should wear club vests. All the medals for the Championships will be presented at the same time as the League awards – the date of the awards evening to be confirmed.

The under-nine and U11 races use the school field only. The races for all ages from U13 upwards also use the school field, but then take the runners onto adjacent farmland which is undulating with some short sharp ups and downs. Unlike in recent years, each full lap takes the runners back round the school field, so the lap is longer.

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

The timetable is as follows:

12 noon to 1pm – Registration
1.00pm – U9 boys – 1 small lap – 800 metres
1.05pm – U9 girls – 1 small lap – 800 metres
1.10pm – U11 boys – 2 small laps – 1,660 metres
1.20pm – U11 girls – 2 small laps – 1,660 metres
1.30pm – U13 boys & girls & Short Course – 1 small lap, 1 large lap – 2,960 metres
1.30pm – U17 men & women – 1 small lap, 2 large laps – 5,160 metres
1.40pm – U15 boys & girls – 2 large laps – 4,300 metres
1.40pm – U20/senior/veteran women – 3 large laps – 6,500 metres
2.10pm – U20/senior/veteran men – 1 small lap, 4 large laps – 9,560 metres

If you have not yet competed in the series you will need to enter online by midnight on Friday – the link is There are no entries on the day. If you have not already paid for this round you need to do so by bank transfer (details on the entry form), or by cash or by cheque payable to IOM Athletics Association at the school between 12 noon and 1pm on Sunday.

If you have already entered and 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 number to the front. If you have lost your number and need a replacement (for a small charge) there will be a separate desk at registration at the venue.

Here is the course map and route information.

David Griffiths
9 January 2023

2022/23 Law Trust IOM Cross-Country League Round 3 – Horses Home

A brand new cross-country course was unveiled by organising club Manx Harriers on Sunday 4th December, and it proved to be a winner.

The Horses Home on Richmond Hill was a superb venue all-round, with excellent on-site facilities and a warm welcome from both staff and four-legged residents. The course itself was extremely testing, glutinous mud in places and one extremely steep hill offering a true challenge to all the competitors.

The worst conditions were in the finishing field which was a complete morass, and several of the competitors lost shoes both there and on other parts of the course.

The honour of being first to race on the course fell to the under-nines who completed one short lap of 800 metres which included a short sharp hill in the second half of the lap. Boys and girls raced together in this age group, and there was an exciting finish in the boys’ race where Elliott Barron just pipped Leighton Curphey to the line to take his first win. Charlotte Postlethwaite won the girls race after finishing fifth last time, a great performance!

The dominant athletes in the u11 races over two short laps were Seamus Hall and Eve Martin, who each completed a hat-trick of wins for the series. It’s a measure of the quality in this age group that Cam Eyres and Gabe Campbell were both within 20 seconds of the winner, and Poppy Clayton and Bella Quaye ran equally well in the girls race.

Next away were the u13 boys and girls and short course competitors, who completed one short lap followed by one lap of the full course. Starting alongside were the u17 men and women, and u20 women, who completed one short lap and two full laps.

These races were a true test of the strength and fitness of the competitors, with the leading school-age competitors hoping to impress the selectors of the Isle of Man Schools team to contest the English Schools Championships later in the winter.

Harry Stennett was another to complete three wins in a row as he dominated the u13 boys’ race with another excellent display of fast and controlled running. Max Hammal and Zac Woodward have both impressed this season and coped admirably with the toughest course they have raced on so far.

Amelie Geldart and Olivia Martin had a win each in the previous rounds, and this time it was KWC student Amelie who came out on top. She has a lot of potential. Faith Teare also had a cracking run for third place only six second adrift of Olivia. The field of 18 for the u13 girls’ race equalled the league record.

The u17 runners, and the sole u20 woman, had a real test of stamina as they faced two full laps which each included the infamous hill as well as many very sticky sections. The quality in the men’s field especially is arguably the best we have seen in this age group, and Sam Perry’s class told again as he took his third win. However both Charlie Teare and series newcomer Oscar Gaylor were well within range of him this time and should all do very well if they contest the Lancashire Championship in January.

Catherine Perry made it a double success for the family by winning the u20 women’s race ahead of u17 race winner Maddie McMullan, who was followed by one-shoe Lola Bass – one of many to suffer that fate.

The short course races were won by Ste Quayle and Joanne Schade, the latter having to work hard to catch and pass Hollie Quaye.

It was then time for the final race start, with the u15s racing two laps of 2,500 metres, the senior and veteran women three, and the U20, senior and veteran men four. It was quite a sight to see this mass of competitors tackling the already notorious hill on the opening lap.

Junior Ryan Corrin initially led, but it wasn’t long before supreme endurance athlete Orran Smith took over at the front where he was to remain. The initial focus was on the u15 races, and these were won by two very classy runners Harris White and Holly Salter, both of whom should go well if they contest the Lancashire event. Harris is a newcomer this season, while Holly has come up through the age groups.

Laura Dickinson and Hannah Moore were together at the head of the women’s race on lap one, but the latter forged ahead on the second circuit and took her third win with a typically strong run, being especially impressive on the hills. Amber Carridge continues to impress in third place, as did Holly Sumner who stepped up from the short course to take fourth.

Orran Smith, training hard for his epic Pennine Way challenge next month, was supreme throughout the men’s race, and was one of the few to run every step of the hill on every lap. Mark Burman had won the previous two races and ran very well again, but had to concede to Orran this time.

Chris Killey had to work hard to stay clear of Alex Bell to take third, and Oliver Chambers and Ryan Corrin somehow raised a sprint finish through the mud with Oliver just getting to the line first for fifth – Ryan was first junior ahead of Harry Kneen and Ayrton Withington who were both excellent.

Here are the full results.

  • Grateful thanks go to the officials from Manx Harriers, IOM Athletics and the many volunteer marshals.
  • Thanks also to the Horses Home for being such great hosts.
  • The fourth and final round (incorporating the IOM Championships) takes place at QE2 School in Peel on Sunday 15 January, with racing getting underway at 1pm.

David Griffiths

7 December 2022

Law Trust Cross-Country League Round 3 – Sunday 4th December

Round 3 of the Law Trust Cross-Country League takes place at a brand-new venue for cross-country, the Horse’s Home on Richmond Hill, on Sunday 4th December. This round is organised by Manx Harriers, with the first race getting underway at 1pm. There is a large car park which should accommodate everyone (although car-sharing would be helpful if possible), and the on-site café will be open.

The course is likely to be very muddy so runners should make sure shoelaces are well tied, and officials and spectators are advised to wear wellies and overtrousers.

The minimum age for competitors in the under-nine races is seven years on the day of the race.

Any competitor who has not yet competed in the series must enter online by midnight on Friday (link below). A course map is also available to view. There are no entries on the day, but your race number can be collected from registration. If you have not already paid for this round you need to do so by bank transfer (details on the entry form), or by cash or by cheque payable to IOM Athletics at registration between 12 noon and 1pm on Sunday.

Those who have already competed in the series should wear the same race number. If you have lost your number, a replacement is available from registration from 12 noon to 1pm for a small charge. If you have your race number and have already paid your entry you do not need to attend the registration desk.

Timetable and approximate distances are as follows:

12 noon to 1pm – Course open for inspection and registration desk open

1.00pm – Under 9 boys and girls, 800 metres (1 small lap)

1.10pm – Under 11 boys, 1,600 metres (2 small laps)

1.20pm – Under 11 girls, 1,600 metres (2 small laps)

1.30pm – Under 13 boys & girls and short course, 3,300 metres (1 small lap, 1 large lap)

1.30pm – Under 17 men & women, junior women, 5,800 metres (1 small lap, 2 large laps)

2.00pm – Under 15 boys & girls, 5,000 metres (2 large laps)

2.00pm – Senior & veteran women, 7,500 metres (3 large laps)

2.00pm – Junior, senior, veteran men, 10,000 metres (4 large laps)

Here is the map

Please report to the start line of your race at least five minutes before the start time. Spectators please keep off the racing line, obey instructions from marshals and keep off the starting straight after 1pm.

Law Trust IOM Cross Country League 2022, Round 2 – Results

It was a case of ‘as you were’ at the second round of the Law Trust Cross-Country series at Crossags on Sunday 6th November, with the same two senior winners and many of the age group athletes also repeating their opening round wins.

Incessant rain over the preceding weeks ensured that the 201 competitors encountered traditional cross-country conditions of mud and standing water, but at least the weather was pleasant on the day.

Hannah Moore has enjoyed a wonderful year in various disciplines of endurance athletics, and continued in the same vein with a second impressive win in the three-lap women’s race. Her pace judgement was excellent, holding back on the opening lap on which she held fourth place as she adjusted to the testing underfoot conditions. By lap two she had taken a narrow lead from Jess Bryan and Laura Dickinson, but a really strong hill ascent on the final lap helped to stretch her margin of victory to 23 seconds.

It was good to see the ever-cheerful Jess Bryan returning to racing action after a little time out, and she ran strongly all the way to take second place. Not far behind came cross-country regular Laura Dickinson who always goes well especially in tough conditions. Becky Watterson moved up from the short course to take fourth, followed by Amber Carridge and first junior Mia Dunwell.

Mark Burman, who had never previously won a cross-country league race, took his second narrow victory of the season, but left it late. Orran Smith led almost throughout the four-lap race, stretching his lead to around 12 seconds by midway round the third lap. The gap had halved as the athletes splashed their way through the flooded lower fields on the final lap but it looked as if Smith would hang on. But on the concluding short lap round the campsite field Burman found a final kick and emerged onto the finishing straight just in front to take victory by three seconds.

Chris Killey has become an extremely consistent cross-country exponent and demonstrated his ability with an excellent third-place finish. Not far in arrears was Alex Bell who is focusing more on middle-distance these days but is still very useful over the country. Matt Callister and Paul Sykes were in close company in fifth and sixth places.

The U15 age group started alongside the seniors and raced over two laps, and newcomer Harris White made a terrific debut, winning by one minute from Harry Kinley. Holly Salter was also extremely impressive in the girls’ race, as was Abi Clayton who finished second.

The U17 and U13 age groups, along with the short course competitors, started together, completing one short lap before heading out onto the full course. At that point the U13s and short course competitors ran one lap, the U17s two laps. The quality in the U17 Men’s race was again a delight to see, with the leading runners all likely to do very well in off-island competition later in the winter.

Sam Perry took his second win of the series, looking a real class act as he smoothly negotiated the tricky conditions. But only 23 seconds adrift came Charlie Teare with probably his best run to date, and he is also maturing into an extremely fine distance runner. Gethin Owen had beaten Perry in the Ramsey road race a few days earlier, but had to settle for third place this time, and Dom Dunwell was only six seconds down in fourth.

Maddie McMullan took the U17 Women’s victory from Lottie Stennett, both working hard throughout.

Harry Stennett continues to dominate the U13 boys’ category and he was superb once again as he glided to victory. Zac Woodward was second, and then just two seconds separated the next three competitors Timothy Perry, Illiam Thomas and Max Hammal. The U13 girls were much closer, with Olivia Martin winning by four seconds from Millie Lunt, followed by Amelie Geldart and Faith Teare – the leading four separated by only 12 seconds.

Ste Quayle won the men’s short course race, with Gail Sheeley first home in the women’s race. The first three in the women’s race are all former Island Games athletes from different disciplines, with high jumper Hollie Quaye second and thrower Joanne Schade third.

As usual the U11 and under-nine races produced fast and furious action, with the elder age group completing three laps of the campsite field and the younger ones doing two. Seamus Hall and Eve Martin dominated the U11 races as they had done in the previous round, but Cam Eyres, Gabe Campbell, Poppy Clayton and Bella Quaye should also be very proud of their performances.

In the under-nines Leighton Curphey repeated his victory in the opening round over Elliott Barron, but there was a new winner in the girls’ race with Xenia Munoz-Fite running brilliantly to win from Evelyn Stubbs. All the youngsters did very well.

Here are the full results

  • Grateful thanks go to the officials from Northern AC, IOM Athletics and the many volunteer marshals.
  • Thanks also to the landowners at Crossags for the use of the pavilion and the fields.
  • Round 3 takes place at a brand-new venue at the Horses Home on Richmond Hill on Sunday 4 December, with racing getting underway at 1pm.

David Griffiths

8 November 2022