Law Trust Cross-Country League Round 4 & IOM Championships

The local cross-country season reaches its climax on the afternoon of Sunday 16th 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 2022. This year’s event is hosted by Northern AC and will be held at Crossags Farm in Ramsey.

There is a team element to this event, with teams from clubs or schools competing for team medals. The medals for the Championship will be presented at the same time as the League awards – date of the awards evening to be confirmed.

The under-nine and U11 races use the bottom field. The courses for all ages from U13 upwards take the runners onto challenging terrain including a significant climb through fields and woodland with a shallow stream crossing.

There is no parking at the venue. Competitors are asked to park in the vicinity of Ramsey Grammar School and walk up Crossags Lane at Schoolhouse Corner. The tarmac lane crosses the golf course and leads to the pavilion at the campsite which will be race headquarters. Allow 10 minutes for the walk.

Tea/ coffee and drinks will be available but the showers will not be in use.

The timetable is as follows:

12 noon to 1pm –            Registration

1.00pm –                          U9 girls – 2 small laps – 920 metres

1.10pm –                          U9 boys – 2 small laps – 920 metres

1.20pm –                          U11 girls – 3 small laps – 1,380 metres

1.30pm –                          U11 boys – 3 small laps – 1,380 metres

1.45pm –                          U13 boys & girls & Short Course – 1 small lap, 1 large lap – 2,890 metres

2.00pm –                          U15 boys & girls, U17 women – 1 small lap, 2 large laps – 5,320 metres

2.00pm –                           U17 men, U20/senior/veteran women – 3 large laps – 7,290 metres

2.00pm –                          U20/senior/veteran men – 4 large laps – 9,720 metres

Here is the course map

Short Course competitors should note that their race is not part of the Championship but is a round of the league as usual.

If you have not yet competed in the series you will need to enter online by midnight on Friday – the link is manxfellrunners.org/iomxc-entry-2021-2022. 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 Crossags 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.

David Griffiths

11 January 2022

Law Trust Cross Country League – Round 3 – Results & Report

The third round of the Law Trust Cross-Country league took place in ideal winter conditions at Crossags Farm on Sunday 6th December. The long-time home of Northern AC cross-country events on the fringes of Ramsey was blessed with fine though cold weather, and the course was rather less muddy than would normally be expected in December.

The Crossags course includes one of longest and toughest hills to be found on a cross-country course anywhere, and the stamina of all competitors from the under-13 age group upwards was tested to the maximum.

Ollie Lockley made his first cross-country appearance of the winter, and soon showed his ability to transfer his outstanding road form to the country. He initially ran in a leading pack of four in the men’s race which included the winner of the opening two rounds Alan Corlett, Will Draper and junior Ieuan Owen whose race was a lap shorter than the seniors.

By the top of the second brutal ascent through the wooded section, the new Isle of Man Marathon record holder had eased clear of his pursuers, and he continued to pull smoothly away. Looking in complete control of his race he stretched his lead to a comfortable 44 seconds at the completion of his four laps.

Alan Corlett, an acknowledged cross-country exponent, ran as well as ever to take second place, as did Will Draper who finished a further 55 seconds in arrears. A typically solid run from Orran Smith gave him fourth place ahead of another very consistent performer Mark Burman. Andy Nash narrowly held off a chasing pack to take sixth.

A late reduction of the junior men’s race from four laps to three caught out Corrin Leeming who ran four laps with only the leading three seniors in front him. He was not all that far behind race winner Ieuan Owen after the scheduled three laps.

The women’s field was somewhat depleted with the absence of several leading athletes, but that takes nothing away from race winner Ashleigh Lachenicht. A 400 and 800 metres specialist who also has a 12.3-second 100 metres time to her credit, she proved again what a remarkably versatile runner she is with a convincing victory over three tough laps.

Laura Dickinson goes well in any cross-country conditions and she was rewarded with an excellent second place. There was a great battle for third, Caroline Caren showing her fell-running strength on the hills to just edge out Lisa Dunwell. Carol Brogan and Niamh Goddard ran very well to complete the top six.

Race-walking stars Keira Heavey and Mia Dunwell were the winners of the junior and U17 women’s races, their general fitness helping them round the testing terrain.

There was a cracking contest between Ryan Corrin and Charlie Swales in the u17 men’s race, with the latter pushing Ryan hard all the way. A slight navigational error by Charlie lost him a few seconds near the end and Ryan’s final victory margin was 12 seconds. A great race.

Perhaps the race of the day was the u15 boys, with just four seconds between the first three who were all members of the host club. Lucas Stennett was the winner by one second from Sam Perry, and Charlie Teare was just three seconds back. Things were more comfortable for Macy Hillier in the girls’ race, and she looked in top form throughout as she won by almost two minutes.

Charlie Arculus is proving to be a very promising athlete and he completed a hat-trick of victories in the u13 age group. This was the youngest age group to negotiate the infamous hill. His margin over George Salter was 13 seconds, the latter having to work hard to hold off Freddie Griffin and Oliver Condon. The girls’ race was an exciting contest at the front all the way, and was won by Holly Salter from Abi Clayton in a reversal of their results from last time. The gap was just three seconds.

The short course races ran alongside the u13s, and these were won by Peter Bradley and Dawn Atherton.

Harry Stennett and Abi Sinclair continued their domination of the u11 age group this season, these races taking place over three laps of the bottom field. Harry’s margin was 12 seconds from Timothy Perry with Liam Blake third. Abi had to fight off a really determined challenge from Hope Lewis but regained her lead to win by four seconds with Ella Quirk third.

The under-nines had to contend with the Crossags pheasant during their races which did its best to get in their way. It couldn’t stop Seamus Hall and Eve Martin winning their races over two laps of the bottom field, each completing three wins out of three. In the boys’ race Corrie Brogan was third after finishing 17th and 14th in the first two rounds – a remarkable improvement.

  • Many thanks go to all the officials from both Northern AC and IOM Athletics who worked hard to ensure a successful meeting. Thanks also for the use of the facilities and land at Crossags.
  • Round 4 incorporates the IOM Championships and will be held at Port-e-Chee in Douglas on Sunday 17 January with racing getting underway at 1pm.
  • Video footage of the action is on the manxathletics.com Facebook page.

Full results here

David Griffiths
8 December 2020

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