Law Trust IOM Cross Country League Round 1 – 01/10/23

Entries have closed for the first of four rounds of the Law Trust Isle of Man Cross Country League which takes place at Port-e-Chee Meadow near Braddan Bridge on the outskirts of Douglas on Sunday afternoon. This round is organised by Manx Harriers, with race HQ being at Douglas Rugby Club. The first race gets underway at 1pm.

The course is largely on agricultural grassland. The main field is fast but could be muddy alongside Peel Road. The sheep fields have not had stock in them recently so the grass is longer than usual, and running will be a little tougher than in previous seasons.

Race numbers should be collected on Friday between 5.30 and 7.30pm from Manx Harriers clubhouse at the NSC. Please note entries will not be accepted at this time, this is purely for number collection. If you cannot make it to the number collection and will be running on Sunday, please get a friend to collect your number or contact the race organisers.

If you have not yet paid for your entry by bank transfer you must pay when collecting your race number on Friday. Payment can be made by cash, or by cheque payable to IOM Athletics. The entry system will reopen after the first race for entries for the second race in November at QE2 School in Peel as well as the rest of the series.

The course will be open from 12 noon for inspection. There will be an information desk available in the Rugby clubhouse for any questions to be answered from 12 noon until 12.30pm. You must be at the start line 5 minutes before the start of your race to hear the course briefing. All races will go off on time or as close as possible after the advertised time. No race will start early.

Full details of all race distances from under-nines upwards are here.  And here is the course map. The minimum age for competitors is seven years on the day of the race.

There is a large parking area at Douglas Rugby Club which should accommodate everyone. An alternative is to park in the vicinity of the NSC and to walk up the road from Quarter Bridge. Spectators please keep off the course during the races. Douglas RUFC will be running a tuck shop in the afternoon so please do stay and make an afternoon of it. Watch the races with some exciting competition and enjoy the refreshments that will be on sale.

Thanks to Law Trust for their continued and much valued support and sponsorship.

Timetable and approximate distances are as follows:

12 noon – Course open for inspection
1.00pm – Under 9 Boys, 900 metres (1 short lap)
1.05pm – Under 9 Girls, 900 metres (1 short lap)
1.10pm – Under 11 Boys, 1,800 metres (2 short laps)
1.20pm – Under 11 Girls, 1,800 metres (2 short laps)
1.35pm – Under 15 Boys, Under 17 Women, 3,900 metres (1 short lap, one large lap)
1.37pm – Under 13 Boys and Girls, Under 15 Girls, Short Course, 3,000 metres (1 large lap)
2.10pm – Under 17 Men, Junior/ Senior/ Veteran Women, 6,000 metres (2 large laps)
2.10pm – Junior/ Senior/Veteran Men, 9,000 metres (3 large laps)

Law Trust IOM Cross-Country League Entry Information 2023/24

Entries for the Law Trust Cross-Country League for the 2023/24 season are open. The first round of the series takes place at Port-e-Chee Meadow on the outskirts of Douglas on Sunday 1st October, with racing getting under way at 1pm.

The following three rounds will be at QE2 School in Peel on Sunday 5th November, Crossags in Ramsey on Sunday 3rd December, and the final round incorporating the IOM Championships at the Horses’ Home on Sunday 14th January 2024.

Entries are online only, with no entries on the days of any of the races. The link is  – thanks to Manx Fell Runners for the use of their online entry system. Families need to complete a separate entry for each individual. Please check age groups carefully – details are on the form. For veteran athletes (35 and above) the category is based on age on the date of the first round (01/10/23). Entries will CLOSE at midnight on Sunday 24th September.

There will be no further opportunity to enter prior to the first round and there will be no entries on the day. The online entry system will re-open prior to rounds two, three and four – more information will be posted at the time.

Payment should be made to IOM Athletics, preferably by Bank Transfer. Details are: Isle of Man Bank, Sort Code 55-91-00, account number 14347237. Details of entry fees are on the entry form. We would encourage entry for the full series as there is a significant saving. Please use your name as payment reference, or in the case of payment for a family, use for example ‘Kelly family’. The cut-off for online payments will be midnight on Wednesday 27th September.

Race numbers must be collected from Manx Harriers clubhouse on the NSC perimeter road on Friday 29th September from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. This will be the only collection session, so if you are unable to attend you MUST make arrangements for someone to collect on your behalf. If you are unable to make payment by bank transfer you must pay by cash or cheque (payable to IOM Athletics) when collecting your number. There will be NO entries, form-filling etc. on the day of the race – race day is for racing only!

One further thing to note is that there will as usual be a Short Course race option for U20, senior and veteran athletes. You enter as normal stating your age category, then it’s up to you on the days of the races whether you run the short or long course.

David Griffiths

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