Lancashire Cross Country Championships at Witton Park, Blackburn.
Saturday 9th January 2016
Unfortunately only three Northern Athletic Club runners in this year’s Championships, when I arrived I actually thought only two then young TJ Phair walked in the Hotel.
With rain pouring down we all set off for Witton Park about 15 mins from our hotel as we parked as if by magic the rain stopped but the ground under foot was like whippy ice cream. After walking round the course our small band decided on using a 15mm spike and first up would be TJ.
Under 13 Boys
TJ started well keeping on the right at the start and then close to the flags about 40 youngsters started with him after the small loop he was in about 20th position and working hard when he came back into view he was still in about 18 or 19 th place and closing on a couple of lads in front down the finishing straight he shot past them to grab a well deserved 16th place not bad for first year under under 13.
Winners time 11mins 55 secs over 30 seconds in front of runner up – TJ’s time 13 min 37 secs
Under 13 Girls
3 minutes after TJ was the very nervous Lydia Morris I thought she was going to be sick on the line, following the same line as TJ with about 50 in her race the nerves vanished as Lydia followed the same course as TJ she was about 9th as she came past us on the loop moving past the two in front as she started the climb up the infamous saucer, coming down with Mum & Dad looking with there hearts in there mouth she was 6th well clear. You should have seen her face when she crossed that finishing line and they gave her a brown envelope she suddenly released that it was instant selection for the Inter Counties and all that hard training had paid off. I didn’t have the heart to tell that it would continue.
Winners time 13 mins 24 secs – Lydia‘s time 14 mins 03 secs
Under 15 Girls
Our most experienced runner Lorna Spears was next up following the same route as her team mates she was unruffled by the very fast start of 32 runners, slowly working her way back up to the pack in about 9th place with the saucer to come. Lorna had already qualified for the Inter Counties as its part of the UK Challenge series of which Lorna had already done two rounds. We are talking about Lorna Spears here selected or note Lorna was still going to qualify in the top six even thou it was her first year in this age group. Dad and I looked to base of the hill then the tell tale bottoms came in to view 5th and flying another cracking result.
Winners time 15 mins 15 secs – Lorna’s time 15 mins 55 secs
We all stayed on to support our fellow Islanders watching David Mullarkey have convincing win in the Under 17 Boys and a brilliant run from Katie Astin a junior winning the Senior Race, the funny thing was I no sooner congratulated Katie then a another Manx girl came in, in second place I didn’t have clue who she was.
It was a cracking day for the Island and guess what when we got into the cars to return to the Hotel it started pouring down again – how lucky was that.