Harriers massive descend on Sefton Park!

A record breaking 54 Wigan Harriers plus supporters descended on Sefton Park for the Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships, this was fabulous and a greater turnout than any other club!!

This was a tremendous reflection of the growth we have seen in the club over the last couple of years. We are currently on target to welcome our 100th member to the endurance group this year (Sorry no prizes available for this feat!)

Just as a reminder last year we entered two Men’s teams finishing in 45th and 62nd places. The Ladies had one team coming home in 40th place. This meant regardless of how well we ran we had already boosted participation by a whopping 80% (YES EIGHTY PERCENT)

Congratulations to the coaching team and team managers Jacqui Jones and Andy Eccles who spent months speaking to people and forming these excellent teams.


Morning rains cleared away to leave a mild sunny afternoon for the endless streams of runners around the park. We moved up to being a two tent club but even then it was a full house, the men being slightly concerned by the news that DC had been on the beans again.

Long legs were two laps and short legs (2.4 miles) were a single lap around the paths and pavements of Sefton Park. It was a normal Saturday so there was the normal array of dog walkers, push chairs and children to dodge!


Those familiar with Sefton Park will know it’s not hilly but it’s sort of on a slope. The clockwise circuit took you down past the lake and back up past the cafe with it’s smells of coffee and food. Cafe goers gazing on as an endless stream of runners powered (or tried to) back up to the end point. With six Harriers teams in action it wasn’t long before you saw another black and red vest come by!


With 54 runners I’m not going to try and pick out any individual performances as this wouldn’t be fair, there were so many people pushing themselves, stretching their limits.



Men’s results

28th Wigan & District H & AC ‘A’ 3:40:11

Andrew Kaufman (52) 27:20 H Avery (46) 13:17 Abraham Afeworki (37) 26:14 Stephen Sheldon (38) 14:20 Daniel Gray (42) 28:09 Mark Glynn (38) 13:23 Gary Fitzpatrick (33) 26:26 C Smullen (31) 13:32 Stephen Nicholls (30) 14:07 Darren Jackson (31) 14:54 Mike Harris (30) 14:52 Andy Ratcliffe (28) 13:37



The Men’s A team picked up 17 places on last year’s performance, just missing out on Nationals Qualification. It was a great all round performance with plenty of new faces who will only improve.







image55th Wigan & District H& AC ‘B’ 4:04:37

Paul Bryers (70) 31:07 Neil Prescott (67) 15:47 Paul Mason (66) 29:39 Andy Eccles (63) 15:26 Paul Platt (63) 30:34 Chris Burgess (62) 14:41 Simon Baines (62) 29:43 Kevin Edwards (62) 16:10 Colin McEvoy (62) 15:24 Richard Noone (61) 15:17 David Waddington (61) 16:14 David Collins (56) 14:35

The B team certainly didn’t perform like a B team! Their were some fantastic performances from old and new faces. They moved up 7 places from 2014.


62nd Wigan & District H & AC ‘C’ 4:29:14

Barry Abram (72) 31:55 Graham Millington (72) 16:29 Gary Wane (68) 31:54 Dean Atherton (65) 15:41 Tony Foster (68) 35:41 Stuart Towns (67) 15:14 Christopher Gree (68) 32:51 Chris Kinsella (69) 17:19 Michael Dutton (69) 20:02 Darren Horrocks (68) 18:13 Keith West (68) 18:02 David Banks (63) 15:53

Three teams! The C team matched the performance of last year’s B team. We had a third more men running and a tremendous improvement in performances. Big tick in the box Coach!!



Ladies results

The ladies section has really grown well in the last twelve months. This could be seen in both the Summer race series and Cross Country season. It was now time to see if they could reproduce this form at the Relays.

20th Wigan & District H & AC ‘A’ 2:08:09

Julie Platt (24) 31:02 Nina Fisher (23) 15:58 Sarah Morton (23) 17:02 Jayne Taylor (18) 30:07 Danielle Thompso (18) 16:55 KellyAnne Towns (20) 17:05

Of course they could! The Ladies team blasted home to 20th place, an improvement of 20 places. Fantastic running from this six. That wasn’t all, we had three times the number of Ladies running this year!

The B and C teams, many of whom were first timers on this types of event turned in excellent performances. It’s so unlike any other race, you run in isolation for long periods, it was testament to their stamina and fitness that they all performed so well.

50th Wigan & District H & AC ‘B’ 2:33:31

Lindsay Freeman (59) 40:22 Robyn Fawcett (58) 19:26 Sarah Coates (57) 20:41 Shona Taylor (55) 37:06 Annemarie Craven (52) 17:50 Caroline Rasburn (50) 18:06

54th Wigan & District H & AC ‘C’ 3:01:06

Joanne Fairhurst (60) 42:09 Adele Lowe (60) 23:58 Amanda Borthwick (58) 24:56 Melanie Wane (58) 45:17 Pauline Taylor (56) 22:15 Pat Cole (54) 22:31

Congratulations again to all athletes, coaches and supporters. The next Club Relays are in September!

Just some of the 54 runners and supporters! P1060445

Training venue change Tuesday 17th March

Latics are playing a home game on Tuesday this week so training will move to Coppull Lane for the legendary HILL SESSIONS Come on, you know you want to!

Meet at Swinley Labour Club WN1 2LQ 18.30. There is some parking available around the club. You can also park on Wigan Lane and near the Monument after 17.00 (please check the restrictions before you leave your car) There is also 2 hours on Tesco. If you are late, we will have gone for a warm up to the Cherry Gardens and back.

Training week commencing 9th February

The sessions are both at DW Stadium this week. New starters feel free to come along and introduce yourself to the coaches.

Tuesday 6.30pm

Thursday 7.00pm


Cross Country this coming Saturday in sunny Blackpool – 14th February.




Northern Athletics Road Relays

The Northern Road Relays will be taking place at Sefton Park, Liverpool on Saturday 28th March. We are hoping to enter both mens and ladies teams for the event.

The ladies relay is 2 long legs and 4 shorter ones of about 5k.

The mens relay is made up of 4 long legs (about 8k to 9k) and 8 short legs (about 5k), alternating between long and short. Continue reading

Chorley Trail Race Series

The first of the midweek Summer races takes place on May 7th with the Astley Park Trail Races 2014. We are encouraging as many Harriers as possible to take part. All the details you need below: 

Dates: First Wednesday evening of the month for  – 7th May 2nd July and 6th August all starting at 7.30pm.

Further details: www.ukresults.net/forms/140806astleysen.pdf

Distance/Ascent: 4.6 miles 60 metres

Terrain: Park paths and trails – wooded sections can sometimes be slightly muddy – Road or Trail shoe

What you need to know: Good race for all abilities. Two lap course but three times up the hill including the finish in front of Astley Hall. Excellent venue for spectators as plenty of opportunities to watch. Junior race held earlier in the evening. Results and prizes are given out in the pub afterwards.


Witton Park XC Report 2014

Wigan Harriers took another muddy step closer to cross country glory at the weekend with both the Senior Mens and Ladies Teams going top of their respective Divisions after first class displays at Witton Park Blackburn. With just one race to go Harriers Teams can grab promotion for an incredible 3rd successive season putting both teams in the top flight of the Mid Lancs League for the first time. Under 13 star Jack Dee Ingham also set up a nail biting end of season showdown at Kendal after winning his event in style to take the U13 championship to the wire. Continue reading

Relays and more….

We are currently gathering names for the Northern Athletics 6 and 12 Stage Road Relay Championships in Heaton Park, Manchester on March 15th. We are hoping to put in 2 full mens teams of 12 runners each, and at least one ladies team of 6, (but we can enter 2 teams if there is demand). Andy Eccles is co-ordinating our arrangements.

There is no such thing as too slow for this event: all abilities in our club are welcome to run so there is no need to wait to be asked, invited or selected. This is a great opportunity for those who dont fancy cross country to represent the club in a team event, with a choice of a short leg and a long leg varying between 3 and 5 miles for the men, and 3 miles only for the ladies. A nominal fee of around £5 will be collected by Andy nearer the time. Let him know by return if you are up for it, or have a word at Training.

Other Events:

There was some talk of us having a go at the Kentmere/Staveley Trail race this and I know Julie, Bobbi and Graham are already entered. It is scheduled for the Saturday before our own event the Wigan Trail 10k at Amberswood, (31st May).  If anyone is thinking of doing it its selling out fast!

There are 3 races available from 10k, to a 15k Challenege event for the less experienced trail runner, (or glory hunter), and the more competitive 15k race.
Details: http://www.lakelandtrails.org/staveley/index.php

Another one for your diaries is the Grasmere Gallop. We usually have a decent turn out at this one with some of us making a weekend of it. Distances of 10k and 17k available.

Grasmere is scheduled for Saturday June 7th: http://www.grasmeregallop.co.uk/

Blackburn Cross Country

Coming up next Saturday is the re-arranged cross country fixture at Witton Park in Blackburn. This is the penultimate event in our Mid Lancs campaign with both the Senior Ladies and Mens A Team in a good position to push for promotion. It is all the more important that the ladies get a full team across the line on Saturday to consolidate their 2nd place in their division and increase the chances of topping the table at the end of the season.

The Senior Mens A Team are just 2 points off top spot and a good performance at Blackburn should all but assure promotion to Division 1 next year. For the first time ever we have a Wigan Harriers B team scoring points in Division 4. If we can take two full teams to our remaining fixtures there is still an outside chance that we could see our B Team promoted to Division 3 next season. for that to happen we need to see the same kind of turn out that we mustered for Knowsley last week. For anyone who didn’t make it last week, now is the chance to redeem yourself Tim.

A number of our new members have expressed an interest in representing the club at cross country. There is no need to wait for an invite or selection to the team! Just let one of the coaches know you fancy running and we will sort out your paperwork and race number on the day.

Witton Park is a fine course with the famous twin climbs of the “Saucer” and the “Spoon” along with plenty of mud to keep us happy!. There is also a Café and playground on site making it an ideal event to bring along some family support provided the weather allows! See last years Witton Park Report for more info

Take a note of the start times which differ from last week with Senior Ladies running at 2pn with the Senior Men setting off at 2.30pm

Witton Park:

Knowsley Northern Cross Country 2014 Report

Twelve months ago we were handing out plaudits to the brave band of Harriers who endured 5 inch deep frozen slush on their circumnavigation of Knowsley Safari Park. The 2013 Northern Cross Country Championships have gone down in folklore with tales of frost-bitten finishers and frozen runners. With a frost free Winter so far we were looking forward to more benign running conditions at this years event. A bit of rain was forecast for ther afternoon but this wasnt expected to trouble the hardened veterans of the 2013 campaign. How wrong were! Continue reading

Northern Cross Country Championships.

Harriers are currently putting together teams for the Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships to be held at Knowsley safari Park on January 25th. This is a blue ribband event in the cross country calendar and attracts a huge entry of clubs from all over the north of England: not one to be missed!

We very nearly have enough runners committed to make up 2 full Senior Men teams, and just need one or two more to make sure the Ladies score points too. Gary Wane or Andy Eccles will collect your entry fee at any of the session this week, but we must submit our final team line up by 10th January.

Over 3000 people attended last years event despite some challenging conditions so be prepared for a great atmosphere! This is an ideal event for friends and family to spectate, with plenty to occupy them around the safari park before, or even during the races!

Memories of last years event here: Knowsley 2013 Report