A dazzling summer showing by Wigan Harriers

Stupendous Summer Race Results!

Cross Country season 2013-14 was an excellent one for Wigan Harriers so it would be interesting to see how the improvement in both strength and numbers would translate into the Summer Series of races.

When May arrives there is usually a mid-week race somewhere in the North West, giving Athletes a chance to sharpen their racing skills and go up against competitive club runners.

The three races we usually encourage participation in are Chorley Trail Race, Horwich Jubilee Race and Harrock Hill Race; all of these are within 20 minutes of Wigan and a great opportunity to turn out for the club against local opposition.

When we sent out an article on these races at the season we never realised just how spectacular the race results would end up being!

There is a lot of detail in this article but I think it’s worth reading to reflect on the tremendous growth of the club.

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Harriers out in force!!!

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Just focusing on team results – think we improved!!

Chorley Trail Race

Only three races this year but this one was very popular, particularly with the ladies. The growth of the ladies section has been amazing and they backed it up with results too! The men weren’t too shabby either!

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Astley Park – setting for some fantastic results!

Race performances
• Average competitors up 85% to 12 in 2014
• Individual 2nd race place – Andy Kaufman
• Multiple age category race prizes
• Ladies team – podium team place every race including one first in 2014 versus no team placing in 2013
• Mens team – podium place every race including two firsts in 2014 versus One team podium place in 2013

Series
• First place for both Men’s and Women’s team.
• 1st lady Jayne Taylor
• 4th man Andy Kaufman
• 1st and 3rd lady vet Jayne Taylor & Caroline Rasburn
• 1st V50 Dave Collins

At the back is Andy Kaveman – he’s not small he’s just far away!

Jubilee Road Race

Jubilee was always my least favoured of the three but it was halfway through an August battle with Dave Collins that I finally felt that I had got my fitness back and felt the love for this race! Whisper it quietly but I actually enjoyed the race even whilst I was doing it, feeling the burn! Often the joy of a race comes from the reflection afterwards but on this occasion I just loved it. For this reason I might even do the whole series next year. Enough of this musing, how did we do….

Race Performances

• Average participants up from 3.5 to 6.25 (79% increase)
• Individual 3rd race place – Andy Kaufman
• Multiple age category race prizes
• Podium positions for Men’s and Ladies team including a 2nd place for both

Series prize

• 1st V45 – Kev Edwards

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Downhill to the finish at Jubilee Road Race

Harrock Hill Race

I have to confess to a particular liking for this race! A pub as the race HQ, rural location, hilly course, off road, grumpy cows, gritty competitors and four bites of the cherry every summer. Course changes meant timings couldn’t be compared but that isn’t what this race is about!

2014 really was the year when we started to dominate this race, big style!!

Next year I might count the stiles to take my mind off the pain!

Race Performances

• Average participants up from 5 to 9 (80% increase)
• Individual 1st place and 3rd race places – Andy Kaufman
• Two Men’s team race 1st place prizes
• Multiple Age category race prizes – too numerous to list!
• 6 season best times in the last race of the series
• 5 First timers

Series

• 1st V40 – Mike Harris
• 1st V45 – Mark Rogers
• 1st V50 – Dave Collins
• 1st L50 – Jayne Taylor
• 1st Team (Don’t think there was one – but it’s ours if there was!)

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Cheesy grins from our boys!

Wow!!

I wasn’t planning to mention the names of the individuals as I was planning to just comment on the growth and success of the club but as there were so many good performances it seemed a shame not to credit them.

So to summarise we nearly doubled the number of Harriers taking part this year and made a habit of high placings and clearing up age category & team prizes at race and series level.

Congratulations to everyone who took part in these races, you really made a difference and put your club into the limelight, well done!

Finally a big thank you to the coaches who helped the athletes deliver these performances – Cheers!

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