Law Trust Cross Country League – Round 2 – Results & Report

Leaden skies and strong winds greeted competitors and officials for the second round of the Law Trust Cross-Country League held at QE2 School in Peel on the afternoon of Sunday 1 November 2020. Such is the current enthusiasm for running events of all types, however, that no fewer than 288 competitors toed the start line for the Western AC organised event – with the threatened rain arriving halfway through proceedings giving the runners and on-course officials a soaking.

The meeting opened with the under-nine competitors racing one lap of the school field, and Seamus Hall impressed again with a fine win in the boys’ race ahead of Taylor Kneen and Gabriel Campbell. In the girls’ race it was ‘as you were’ from the first round, the first five finishing in the same places. Eve Martin was the winner from Poppy Clayton and Tara Nelson.

The U11s completed two laps of the school field, and Harry Stennett reversed the result from Port-e-Chee by getting the better of Liam Blake this time. This is set to be a battle royal all season between two excellent young athletes. Timothy Perry was again third. Abi Sinclair was clear in the girls’ race to take her second win, with Ella Quirk and Hope Lewis finishing second and third.

There were several big improvers among the young athletes. Among them, Maisie Lunt was up from 27th to 17th in the U9 girls’ race, and Faith Teare improved from 13th to fourth in the U11 girls.

The U13 girls and boys, along with the Short Course competitors, were the first to venture onto the full lap with its undulating agricultural fields. Charlie Arculus made it two wins in a row in the boys’ race with a seven-second advantage over Oliver Condon. Two seconds back came Alec Sorby in third. The 20-strong field for this race was the largest for the U13 boys in the history of the event.

The girls’ race was the closest of the day, with Abi Clayton – in her first race of the season – taking the win by just one second from Holly Salter with Penny Webster in third.

The short course races were won by Geoff Rice and Dawn Atherton – the latter winning for the second time this season.

The squally rain swept in as the next race started, featuring the U20, senior and veteran women racing over four laps, and the U17 women and U15 boys and girls circulating three times.

The U15 races were of a high quality, Macy Hillier keeping pace with senior women’s winner Elissa Morris for a couple of laps on her way to victory. Madison McMullan is a very consistent competitor and took second place ahead of Lottie Stennett who also ran very well.

Northern AC dominated the boys’ race with the first six finishers. Samuel Perry worked hard to fend off a determined challenge from Lucas Stennett, with Cian Howard in third. There was drama in this race though, with Western AC’s Corbyn Schade well clear of the rest before misjudging the laps and coming in a lap early. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but he is a hard-working and rapidly improving athlete who will have plenty of good days ahead.

Mia Dunwell won the U17 women’s race by 49 seconds from Catherine Perry, both running strong and determined races.

The Women’s race was dominated by Island Games distance runner Elissa Morris. Initially running in company with U15 Macy Hillier, she stretched away to win by a minute and 14 seconds with a smooth run over a testing course, especially in such unpleasant conditions.

Ashleigh Lachenicht underlined that she is far from just a short-distance runner with an excellent second place, and Rachael Hamilton continued her fine recent comeback to competition with third ahead of the rapidly improving Becky Watterson. The ever-consistent Laura Dickinson was fifth.

There was a familiar look to the six-lap Men’s race which completed the action. Alan Corlett, U20 Ieuan Owen and Will Draper repeated their results from Port-e-Chee, and were even colour-coordinated – each wearing all-black kits! Corlett led all the way and the win was never in doubt, but Western AC youngster Owen kept him in sight all the way and finished only 27 seconds behind. Challenging strongly throughout, Draper finished a further seven seconds in arrears.

QE2 School student Corrin Leeming had a cracking run to finish fourth, and it was good to see two U20 athletes in the top four. Fifth was Orran Smith, whose powers of recovery continue to amaze just a week after breaking the long-standing record for the Bob Baxter Round. Mark Burman was sixth.

Here are the results.

  • Sincere thanks are extended to all the officials from both Western AC and IOM Athletics who braved unpleasant conditions to put on another superb event. Thanks also go to QE2 School and the landowner.
  • Round 3 takes place at Crossags Farm in Ramsey on Sunday 6 December with racing getting underway at 1pm.
  • Video footage of the action is on the Facebook page.

David Griffiths
3 November 2020

Presentation Evening for the 2017/18 Cross Country League and 2018 Championships

The Presentation Evening for the 2017/18 Cross Country League and the 2018 Cross Country Championships, both sponsored by Microgaming, will take place on Friday 23rd March at the Claremont Hotel, Loch Promenade, Douglas.

As in previous years, the evening will be split into two parts. The presentation of awards to the U9, U11 and U13 athletes will take place from 7pm. The presentation of awards for age groups from U15 upwards will begin at 8.30pm.

Entry is free and a light buffet will be provided. The bar will be open. We hope to show footage from this winter’s events throughout the evening.

A list of all prize winners will be published nearer the time. We look forward to seeing you all on the 23rd March!


2017/18 Microgaming IOM Cross Country Championships, incorporating Cross Country League Round 4 – Results

Today’s generation of Manx cross country runners will have grown up listening to tales from their elders about what ‘proper’ cross country courses used to be like back in their day. Those who ran in the Microgaming IOM Cross Country Championships at the Nunnery on Sunday 21 January 2018, organised by Manx Harriers, no longer have to wonder what those races used to be like because they have now experienced it for themselves.

The course on the Nunnery Estate on the outskirts of Douglas, used for the first time last season and amended this season, is a tough one in good conditions with constantly undulating ground including lots of sharp hills. After the torrential rain throughout Saturday night and the first half of Sunday, large sections of the race route had been reduced to quagmires which tugged at the legs, shoes and wills of all the competitors. However the coup de grace was the short section of marshland at the far end of the course, which by Sunday afternoon had become flooded by water that was waist deep. All the competitors negotiated this unexpected hazard safely, though several inadvertently resorted to swimming!

Alan Corlett and Rachael Franklin have dominated the local cross country scene in recent years, and both retained their senior titles in superb style in the desperately difficult conditions. The men’s race, held over four laps and a distance of 9,800 metres, was initially led by Ollie Lockley, making a very welcome local cross country appearance. He was tracked by U20 athlete David Mullarkey with Corlett holding back in third place. By lap two Lockley and Corlett were together at the front having pulled clear of Mullarkey, who in turn was well clear of the chasing pack.

As the race moved into its second half it was clear that Corlett was more comfortable with the conditions than his friend and rival, and he had opened a lead of about 40 metres which he continued to extend to a 33-second margin at the finish. It was a great performance by the Manx Harriers athlete to win his fourth consecutive senior title, equalling the record of Kevin Loundes who won the previous four events.

Ollie Lockley battled away to finish second, whilst David Mullarkey produced a really fine run to finish third overall and to win the junior title. Andy Barron was third senior with a strong performance, and not far behind him came the second junior William Draper. The latter is best known as a cyclist but proved conclusively that he is a fine runner too.

Rachael Franklin dominated the three-lap women’s race and took victory by just under a minute from Island Games teammate Elissa Morris. Rachael led from the start and looked strong and composed throughout in the horrendous conditions. This was her fifth senior title in the past six years, having missed the 2016 race through injury – a wonderful record.

Elissa Morris produced a fine run to finish second, with third place going to veteran athlete Gail Griffiths who is such a consistent performer. These three Manx Harriers athletes, plus Karen Shimmin, will be competing in the North of England Championships this weekend where they took the team bronze medal last year. The junior title went to Aimee Cringle, who excels at many athletics disciplines and showed what a strong cross country runner she is too.

The afternoon had opened with the under-nine races round one lap of the bottom field, and these produced wins for Alec Sorby – completing a clean sweep of victories in the league series – and Abi Clayton. This was a great result for Abi who has been in the top three in the previous races but this was her first win. Well done to the other medallists Liam Blake, Noah Campbell, Libby Curphey and M’Kyla Quinn.

The U11s raced over two laps of the bottom field. The boys’ race featured Lancashire champion Sam Perry who ran so superbly in Blackburn earlier this month. It shows the strength of this category that Sam has not quite managed a win in the local series this winter, with Cian Howard taking his fourth win in a row – by just one second this time! The girls’ race was won in fine style by Chloe O’Neill, who also completed a clean sweep for the series. The other medals went to Charlie Teare, Florence Griffin and Lucy Ormsby.

The U13 athletes were the youngest to run the full lap including the water crossing, and they coped admirably. The two winners in this category, Gethin Owen and Macy Hillier, are extremely promising athletes and they proved it once again with excellent runs in conditions they have not encountered before. Everyone did well, and congratulations go to Nathan Cannell, Finn Murphy, Mairi Harrison and Catherine Perry who were the other medallists.

One of the real finds of the season has been Corrin Leeming in the U15 boys’ category. He has impressed in every race this winter and looks a really accomplished cross country runner who would do very well if he competed in off-island events. He completed a full house of wins for the season, with the other medals going to Ieuan Owen and TJ Phair. Alice Cashin showed great commitment over the very difficult terrain to win the U15 girls’ title, with Holly Burgess also performing admirably.

Lorna Spiers produced her usual neat, tidy and strong performance to take an impressive win in the U17 women’s race, with the men’s equivalent race being won by Luke Phair who is also making fine progress as a distance runner.

The non-championship short course races were won by Mark Corrin and Emily Curphey.

The full results are here.

Extra special thanks go to all the officials and marshals who went beyond the call of duty to brave the cold and the rain to put on an unforgettable event. Thanks also to the Department of Infrastructure, the Nunnery Estate and their tenants D Rawnsley and P Kermode for use of the land, and to series sponsor Microgaming.

The prize presentation for both the championships and the league will take place at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas on Friday 23 March – more details to follow.

David Griffiths

Nunnery Hosts Highlight of Domestic Manx Cross Country Season.

Sunday 21 January sees the Isle of Man Cross Country Championships and the Microgaming Cross Country League – Round 4 take place at the Nunnery estate just south of Douglas.

The registration is open from 1pm and closes at 2pm. Athletes are reminded that you only need to register if you have not paid for the series in total or if you have lost your original number and need to get a replacement.

The first races are off at 2pm with the Under 9 boys and girls followed by the under 11s at 2.06pm. These races take place on fast parkland with some hilly sections. The main course covers a 2.4km lap which has altered compared to last year due to work taking place on the land. It has flat fast sections together with some major hills and also muddy agricultural fields. It should prove a test for all who take part.  Here’s the full timetable

All distance running athletes can enter the championships irrespective of being entered for the league so do turn up and test yourselves against the best runners on the Island and a really tough course, registration opens at 1pm. Thanks go out to the Nunnery Estate, Department of Infrastructure and their tenants for use of the land and also to Microgaming for sponsorship of the league.

Please note that as this is a Championship event if you are a member of Club then Club Vests should be worn.

Members of Manx Harriers are encouraged help mark out the course on Saturday afternoon 20th January so do come along and help if you can. We will be meeting at the course at 2pm. Please email Andy if you can help on in addition if you can help marshal the Course on Sunday afternoon do contact Andy.

Arriving at the course is also a little complex. The new 95 space car park which is accessed by entering the site closest to Heron and Brearley Brewery and depot is the main facility for parking. Once this is full or we reach 2pm the entrance to this car park will be closed. Then drivers will only be able to leave the estate via the road passed the main house and out through the Douglas exit near to the quay. If you do not wish to risk arriving and finding no space on the estate car park then do park in the Pulrose Bridge car park adjacent the power station which is free on a Sunday. Then make your way into the civic amenity site road and take the footpath which can be seen in the metal fence close to Edmundson Electrical with Cross country signs pointing the way. This path allows a quick route to the course which takes 10 minutes and comes out close to the race HQ which can be seen on the maps attached here you will find registration for those who need to register, toilets, first aid and also warm food and drinks courtesy of Barista Express.

We hope all enjoy the day and do give us feedback regarding the new course which has altered compared to the first running on it last year.

Andy Fox
Manx Harriers