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 Junior Open Pentathlon 2019

On Saturday 7th September 2019, Isle of Man Athletics will be holding the Isle of Man Junior Open Pentathlon at the NSC in Douglas.

The competition is for the U13 and U15 age groups and will consist of 5 events over the course of the day – Hurdles, Shot Put, High Jump, Long Jump and 800m.

Here is the Timetable.
Here is the Entry Form

Competition starts at 10am however you must declare your intention to compete at least 30 minutes before the start of the competition.

Entries cost £7.50, close on 5th September2019 and should be sent to Kelly Hillier, 6 Close Cowley, Douglas IM2 2HX.

For further information please contact Kelly on 451898 or by email on k.milnes@hotmail.co.uk.

Isle of Man Track & Field Championships 2019 – Report & Results

Over the weekend of Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August 2019 the Isle of Man Track & Field Championships, sponsored by SPAR, were held at the National Sports Centre. In the aftermath of the Island Games it was great to see so many senior athletes taking part alongside our very talented juniors.

The mild calm conditions on Saturday proved to be perfect for competition. The first events on the track were the hurdles, setting a high standard for the rest of the meeting to follow. The first island record of the day was set almost immediately by talented young athlete Regan Corrin (Manx Harriers) in the U13s boys 70m hurdles category in a time of 12.8 seconds.

The 100 metres followed the hurdles where many new personal bests were set, but the main race saw the seniors battle it out in what proved to be a stacked field. The race was won by Jack Lemaire (Western AC) in a very swift 10.9 seconds.

A feature of the weekend was an unofficial Octathlon contested by several of the island’s leading male sprinters, four events being contested on each day. This took the competitors well out of their comfort zones, particularly in the pole vault and 800 metres events on the second day.

Not to be outdone by the track athletes the field athletes literally had a field day, smashing records all over the place. In the senior men’s V45 category Peter Callin (W AC) set a new island record in the triple jump, and Louise Kneen (WAC) set a new record in the senior woman’s Hammer V40 category. In the U13 boys high jump Regan Corrin (MH) was at it again setting a new island record of 1m 63cm which equalled the highest jump for a boy of his age in the UK.

The medal presentations came thick and fast for many athletes, too many to mention individually, who all ran, jumped and threw superbly.

There was also a special presentation of the David Teece Trophy, which is awarded by the late David Teece’s family to an athlete who over the year has shown extraordinary commitment, improvement and desire to succeed within the sport of athletics. This year’s winner David Mullarkey (Manx Harriers), the recently-crowned Island Games 1500 metres champion, proved to be a very popular choice.

Sunday’s conditions were not quite as conducive for excellent times but it didn’t deter the athletes. There were lots of excellent performances on the day but only one island record set in the U15 boys 800m. This was one of the races of the day, pitting English Schools medalist Ben Sinclair (MH) against Ieuan Owen (WAC). During the race the lead changed hands a couple of times, but Ben just pushed ahead in the final 100m to win in a time of 2:02.5.

There was an excellent showcase for race walking on Sunday, with a high-quality field including international athletes Tom Partington and Erika Kelly who have both been selected to represent England in the Manchester International match next week. Both produced top performances to win their respective 3-kilometre races, with Hannah Hunter also performing extremely well.

The 800 metre races also saw the culmination of the Senior Men’s Octathalon. Over the two days the guys took part in the 100m, 400m, Shot Put, Discus, High Jump, Pole Vault, 400m hurdles and 800m which provided great entertainment. With the overall win still up for grabs Michael Haslett (MH) ran a strong 800m to take the overall victory from Daniel Stewart-Clague. Hopefully this event will become a regular feature in Championships.

There were other notable performances, including a 1.90 metre high jump clearance by first-year U17 athlete Jack Coates (Northern AC), and a similar clearance by senior Daniel Stewart Clague who finally joined the ‘1.90 club’ after many years of trying. Island Games debutante Megan Lockwood continued her excellent season with new personal best distances in both javelin and hammer.

Over the course of the two days nearly all the athletes in age groups from under-nine to u17 take part in a number of events to gain points for the Victor and Victrix Ludorum shields. This year’s competition was a good one with many athletes very close on points, but the eventual winners were,

U9 girls Issy Kennaugh (NAC)
U9 boys James Jelski (NAC)
U11 girls Abi Clayton (MH)
U11 boys Ollie Eyres (NAC)
U13 girls Lucy Ormsby (NAC)
U13 boys Regan Corrin (MH)
U15 girls Macy Hillier (MH)
U15 boys Ben Sinclair (MH)
U17 girls Aimee Christian (MH)
U17 boys Craig Martin (MH)

The final award of the day was presented by our sponsors, the SPAR Spirit of Sport award. This award is decided by many different factors and doesn’t always go to an athlete. This year’s winner proved to be possibly the most popular decision yet as the ovation he received was tremendous. The award went to John Whitlow.

John spends almost every day at the track and at one point or another has coached nearly every athlete on the island. Many of the athletes he’s currently coaching or has coached have gone on to achieve great success at Island Games, English Schools, and have reached national and international level. Not only that, John gives up even more of his time to officiate at every athletics event on the island. IOM Athletics would like to thank John for all his hard work, passion and commitment over so many years.

Finally, IOM Athletics would like to thank SPAR for their support, and Debbie and Dean from SPAR for medal presentations. Many thanks also go to the organising committee of Tonya, Kelly, Di, Petra and Simon for their continued hard work, all the officials and volunteers for giving up their precious time, but most of all the athletes for their excellence and the entertainment they provided.

Here are the full results:

Saturday Results
Sunday Results

Simon Sinclair/David Griffiths