Isle of Man Cross Country League 2018/19 – Round 1 – Results & Report

The cross country season, under the new sponsorship of Law Trust, burst into life last Sunday on a glorious autumn afternoon. Despite torrential rain the previous day the course at Castle Rushen High School, largely flat and extended since last year with the use of an extra field, remained firm underfoot throughout. A total of 256 competitors across all age groups – including a former Olympic athlete! – enjoyed a top-class afternoon of racing in the Manx Harriers organised event.

Last season’s senior champions Alan Corlett and Rachael Franklin wasted no time in demonstrating their intentions for the coming months, and both recorded convincing victories with classy performances.

Corlett, a week after running a 70-minute Half Marathon in Cardiff, led from the start of the three-lap men’s race and stretched his lead over his pursuers from the off. He made the race look deceptively easy as he took the honours by a margin of one minute 37 seconds over the 8.5 kilometre race distance. Andy Barron likewise enjoyed a big lead over the following athletes, and ran smoothly throughout to take second place. Perhaps the performance of the day came from newcomer Matthew Christian in third place in his first cross country outing. He judged the pace extremely well and looks to be a very promising distance runner.

Rachael Franklin opened her winter season with a strong run to follow an outstanding summer on the track. She shared the pace with some of the higher-placed senior men on the first lap before upping the pace on her second and final circuit. 46 seconds in arrears over the 5.5 kilometre distance was over-50 veteran athlete Gail Griffiths, who is running as well as ever and looked in top form again. There was a good battle for third place which went the way of Carly Craig with a well-judged run.

The younger age group races were as fast and furious as ever, and a few of the under-nine athletes took tumbles in the long grass on the finishing straight. The most exciting finish was in the under-nine boys’ race, with Liam Blake taking victory from Zac Woodward by just one second. Zoe Osborne was the leading girl in the youngest age group, with the u11 honours going to Samuel Corkill and Lucy Ormsby.

It was a good day for the Owen family, with Gethin taking an impressive win in the u13 boys’ race and his elder brother Ieuan winning the u17 class. Lola Bass is another very promising athlete and won the u13 girls race very impressively. She had to work hard to stay clear of Madison McMullen who also ran very well.

Jake Richmond was the star of the u15 boys’ race with a fine run, and there was a good battle in the u15 girls race with Ella Crowe having to fight all the way after a fast start to stay clear of Northern AC club mate Catherine Perry. Lorna Spiers produced her usual smooth performance to win the u17 women’s race.

The short course races were graced by a former Olympic athlete. Mary Purcell (nee Tracey) represented Ireland in the 800 metres in 1972 and the 1500 metres in 1976, and has pb times for the distances of 2.02 and 4.08 respectively. Now aged 69, she showed that she still remains very fit by placing fifth in the women’s race. The races were won by David Cain and sprint star Ashleigh Lachenicht respectively.

Many thanks go to Andy Fox and his team of helpers for a superbly organised event, and also to Castle Rushen HS and the landowner.

Round Two of the series takes place on Sunday 4 November and will be hosted by Western AC at QE2 School in Peel.

Here are the results.

 

David Griffiths

Isle of Man Track & Field Championships 2018 – Results

Saturday the 14th and Sunday 15th July saw the annual Isle of Man Athletics Association Track & Field Championships sponsored by Zurich take place at the NSC. Conditions were conducive for standout performances and the 185 athletes taking part didn’t disappoint.

The day started with the blue ribbon event the 100m many of the races rekindled old and new rivalries. Pb’s galore seemed to be the order of the day as in nearly every race many athletes bettered their existing times. The stand out race though was the men’s 100m which pitted Thomas Riley against Brandon Atchison for the second time in 2 weeks with Brandon having the upper hand in that race. The gun went and Tom blasted from the blocks leaving Brandon trailing, as the race progressed Brandon began to reel Tom in, but approaching the line Tom held on to his lead and managed to out dip Brandon to take the title in a time of 11.0 secs.

The competition raged on in the field with long jump, high jump, hammer, shot putt, discuss and Javelin. Not only were there pb’s and Island Games standards but there were Manx records being broken. The first fell to Sienna Dunn in the U15 girls Javelin where Sienna took control from the off and threw a massive 25:67m. The second record fell to Abi Sinclair in the U9 girls 600m, a race which she controlled from start to finish with a time of 2:05.

The race of the day without any shadow of a doubt was the men’s 1500m. It pitted Joe Reid our 800m Commonwealth Games representative against Ollie Lockley the Islands top 5/10k runner giving them a middle ground for battle. From the off the lead changed hands on numerous occasions. Coming into the last lap there was nothing to separate them so it became a straight 400m race, as they approached 200 to go Joe pushed on and opened a small gap, but Ollie wasn’t giving up easily and as they approached the line they were neck and neck neither willing to budge. On the line it was too close to call and the result was a dead heat in 3:57. Everyone is hoping for a rematch next year.

Day 2 started with the Hurdles, Long Jump and Pole Vault again the athletes started at breakneck pace. The pole vault again pitched twins Craig and Kyle Martin into battle, Craig managed to come out on top with a vault of 3:10m an Island games development standard.  The plaudits must go to Aimee Christian who 2 weeks ago set an u15 girls Manx record. With all eyes on her to see if she could do it again Aimee didn’t disappoint. She vaulted to a height of 2:15m to increase her record by a further 5cm and achieve an Island Games Development Standard.

The rest of the day saw many, many fantastic performances and pb’s in the 200, 800 and 75m races., the triple, long and high jump, shot,discuss, javelin and hammer.
There really were too many quality performances to mention everyone individually.

Two further awards are presented over the course of the weekend

The David Teece Trophy of Excellence.
This award is given by the late David Teece’s family to an athlete who has shown extraordinary commitment, improvement and desire to succeed within the sport of athletics. The award for 2018 went to worthy winner Rachael Franklin, who this year has won many top races in the UK, broken Manx records and made the final of the 1500m at the British Championships. Rachael wasn’t there to receive her award so it was presented to her proud dad and stalwart official Alan.

The Spirit of Zurich Award
This award is presented by our sponsors Zurich, who select an athlete who has proven to be an inspiration to others, over come adversity and performed consistently well at the highest level. The award for 2018 went to the Manx queen of race walking Erika Kelly. Erika is a fantastic ambassador for the sport who has competed and won numerous races in the UK and this year represented the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. I think everyone within the sport of athletics would agree with their choice.

To finish the two day event the awarding of the Victor and Vitrix Ludorum Shields for the age group overall champions for the weekend, they were:

U9 boy Donovan Skillicorn
U11 boy Sonny Finch
U13 boy Regan Corrin
U15 boy Harry Thompson
U17 men Kyle Martin/Keoghan Taylor

U9 girl Christina Angelakis
U11 girl Lucy Ormsby
U13 girl Macy Hillier
U15 girl Katie Crook
U17 woman Megan Lockwood

The IOMAA would like to thank sponsors Zurich for their ongoing commitment to this event, all the track and field officials and volunteers, Tracey Bell, Petra Atchison, Kelly Hillier, Tonya Corrin, the NSC staff and most of all all the athletes because without them the Championships wouldn’t happen.

Day 1 Results
Day 2 Results

 

Simon Sinclair

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