Law Trust Cross Country League – Round 1 – Results & Report

Cross-country racing returned to Port-e-Chee Meadow on the outskirts of Douglas on Sunday 4th October for the first time in nearly 40 years. This venue, with Douglas Rugby Club as the base, was used for cross-country in the 1970s and early 1980s, although on a different course.

The new course devised by Andy Fox is predominantly flat, but with enough features to provide variety for the runners. It includes a short out-and-back hill under trees that is just long and rough enough to test stamina and agility, and towards the end of each lap there was a short stretch of classic cross-country mud.

Glorious autumn weather greeted a cracking turnout of 295 athletes for Round 1 of the Law Trust Isle of Man Cross-Country League. This first round of four was organised by Manx Harriers, with the men’s and women’s races for seniors and veterans both attracting all-time record entries.

There were no surprises at the head of the senior races, Alan Corlett and Rachael Franklin taking convincing and impressive victories over three and two laps respectively of the full course – distances of 9,000 and 6,000 metres. Both have only recently returned to full training following a break at the end of the unusually late track season.

Corlett was tracked by Will Draper throughout the first lap and into the second, the latter looking strong and composed although a much less experienced cross-country runner than his training partner. On the final lap Draper felt unwell and slowed, allowing first-year u20 Ieuan Owen to catch and pass him in the closing stages. This was a wonderful run by the young Western AC athlete who continues to impress, especially as this was his first time contesting the same distance as the seniors.

There was a close battle for fourth place, Mark Burman almost catching a tiring Orran Smith in the finishing straight. The latter’s fatigue was understandable after his epic circuit of the Raad ny Foillan the previous weekend. Paul Sykes completed the top six.

Rachael Franklin was totally dominant in the women’s race, and had some of the leading men for company throughout her two laps. Elissa Morris ran strongly to take second place, and there was a race-long battle for third place between distance runner Rachael Hamilton and 400 metres specialist Ashleigh Lachenicht. The finishing speed of the Island Games 400 metres champion eventually settled an intriguing contest.

Sarah Puzzar produced one of the runs of the day to take fifth place. She judged the race well, upping the tempo on her second lap to make up several places. Sixth place went to cross-country newcomer Becky Watterson, and the leading junior was race-walking specialist Keira Heavey.

Running alongside the women were the u17 men, and Ryan Corrin impressed in this race with a very solid winning performance.

The action had begun with the under-nine and u11 races round one and two laps respectively of the main field, and the u11 boys’ race produced the most exciting finish of the day. Liam Blake and Harry Stennett have had many close battles this year, none better than on Sunday. Never far apart, they entered the finishing straight together and sprinted neck and neck for the line as the big crowd cheered them on. It was Manx Harriers athlete Blake who just got there first, both lads being given the same time.

Abi Sinclair was the clear winner of the u11 girls’ race, with the sprint finish for second place going to Jessica Bergquist by one second from Olivia Martin.

The winners of the under-nine races were Seamus Hall and Eve Martin, but every competitor gave their all and there were some great performances.

Several of the intermediate age groups raced together over different distances, and it was a fine sight for the spectators as a train of fast-moving runners made their way around the fields and across some shallow ditches in the beautiful warm sunshine.

Macy Hillier dominated the 3,000-metre u15 girls’ race, looking in fine form and gliding smoothly over the terrain. Madison McMullan was second, three seconds clear of Lottie Stennett. The u13 boys and girls ran alongside the u15 girls, and victory in these races went to promising young athletes Charlie Arculus and Holly Salter.

Running alongside these competitors were the Short Course runners with Dawn Atherton and Mark Corrin taking the wins – Dawn in the faster time.

There was a real depth of quality in the 3,900-metre u15 boys’ race, only seven seconds separating the first three. Gethin Owen won by six seconds from Sam Perry, who in turn was just one second clear of Lucas Stennett. All three lads are part of talented athletics families.

Star race-walker Mia Dunwell was the sole competitor in the u17 women’s race but she ran very well in company with the u15 boys.

Prior to the senior race there was a minute’s silence and a round of applause in memory of Colin Watterson who sadly passed away last week.

  • Grateful thanks are extended to the army of officials who all did so much to make the event a great success, and to Douglas Rugby Club for allowing the use of their clubhouse and car park.
  • Round 2 takes place at QE2 School in Peel on Sunday 1 November with racing getting underway at 1pm.
  • ideo footage of the action is on the manxathletics.com Facebook page.Here are the full results.

David Griffiths

UKA Level 1 Endurance Official Course

A UKA Level 1 Endurance Official Course is being held on Saturday 29 February 2020 at the Manx Harriers Clubhouse.

The course is the first level for organisers or volunteers looking to be qualified at organising races in Cross Country, on the Road etc. It covers Risk Assessment, Health and Safety as well as basic points needed when organising a race so ensuring you have adequate officials, how to care for the athletes entering etc. It is the first level required to become a fully fledged race referee/director.

For further details contact Andy Fox on 495830 or andycfox@outlook.com

Cost – £30
Venue – Manx Harriers Clubhouse
Time – 10am to 4pm

To enrol on the course and pay UKA the fee please use the links below (you will need to enrol on both) –

https://www.athleticshub.co.uk/login?s_id=9f896ca34f06faa95ba40e3f6d8f61a2

https://www.athleticshub.co.uk/login?s_id=6509e00abd69fc79a03aa021427171f1

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

Isle of Man Athletics Cross Country League – Round 3

The third round of the Law Trust sponsored Isle of Man Athletics Cross Country League is hosted by Manx Harriers on Sunday 1 December 2019 and will be held at the Nunnery Estate on the outskirts of Douglas.

The timetable is as follows – please note it is a little different from earlier rounds:

  • 12.45pm to 2.00pm – Registration
  • 2.00pm U9 boys & girls – 1 small lap – 900 metres
  • 2.06pm U11 boys & girls – 2 small laps – 1,800 metres
  • 2.15pm U15 boys & girls, U17 women – 1 medium lap, 1 long lap – 4,200 metres
  • 2.30pm U13 boys & girls & short course – 1 small lap, 1 long lap – 3,500 metres
  • 2.30pm U17 men – 1 small lap, 2 long laps – 5,900 metres
  • 2.45pm U20, senior, veteran women – 3 long laps – 7,400 metres
  • 2.45pm U20, senior, veteran men – 4 long laps – 9,800 metres

Entry to the site for cars is from Old Castletown Road via the entrance on the Kewaigue side. There is a car park on the site with 95 spaces. Roads on the estate will all be one way.

Once the car park is full, or at 2.10pm, the road into the site will be closed and no vehicle allowed in as the course for the older age groups crosses the road twice. After 2.10pm the way out of the site is past the main house and out through the main entrance gates nearest to Douglas.

More parking is available at the Bowl car park near the Power Station and Pulrose Bridge. If parking here walk to the site along the road to the Civic Amenity site, take the footpath by Edmundson Electrical and follow it until you reach the side gate open to the estate. This should take about 10 minutes.

Race HQ is below the main house and by the ornamental lawns. Signing on is here, along with toilets and food van Barista Express.

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 wearing your race number. If you have lost your number and need a replacement there will be a separate desk at registration.

If you did not register prior to Rounds 1 or 2, you need to complete a registration form and pay at the desk on Sunday. Blank forms will also available at registration.

Here is the course map and Nunnery site map

Isle of Man Athletics Cross Country League – Round 1

The first of four rounds in the Isle of Man Athletics Cross Country League, sponsored by Law Trust, takes place at Castle Rushen High School in Castletown on Sunday 13th October, with the first race getting underway at 2pm. This round is organised by Manx Harriers.

The course is on agricultural land alongside the school which is fairly flat although the surface is uneven in places. The senior races will be run over slightly reduced distances for the first round, with mileages increasing later in the season.

The senior, veteran and junior men’s race will be over three full laps of the course, a distance of approximately 8.5 kilometres. The senior, veteran and junior women, and under-17 men, will race over two full laps, a distance of around 5.7 kilometres.

Full details of all race distances from under-nines upwards can be found on the entry forms and the course map.

The minimum age for competitors is seven years on the day of a race.

Two pre-race registration sessions will take place on Wednesday 9th and Friday 11th October from 6pm to 8pm in the Manx Harriers Clubhouse at the National Sports Centre in Douglas. Registration will also be available at Castle Rushen High School on Sunday from 1pm to 2pm, but you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the Wednesday and Friday registration sessions to save time on race day. Full season packages are available for a slightly reduced cost.

Last season saw record entries for a four-race season, and bumper entry levels are expected again as well as fast and exciting racing. There is quality in depth throughout the age groups andthere should be some excellent competition all through the season.

Thanks
David