Sat 6 April, Barley
The start of the Preston Harriers Junior Fell Championship 2019 on was Pendle Hill. This race also incorporated the Lancashire A.A. Junior and Senior Fell Championship and attracted many runners, young and old, from around the county. The weather conditions were perfect and the views that greeted athletes and spectators alike, were spectacular.
The first Harrier away in the under 11 competition was debutant Lucas Cooke, who ran a very creditable race in 6 minutes flat, to earn himself maximum points in his age category. Next up was the highly contested under 13 race, which saw 3 more Harrier newcomers to the fell scene: Hayden Ridgley, who ran a tremendous race, finishing in 18th position in a time of 15:59min, closely followed by Adam Link, another great effort in 16:17min and 23rd overall. However, the main battle of the day was between Adam’s twin brother Matthew and Oliver Adewale, who competed in last years under 11 race. Matthew took the honours at the line, finishing in 18:24min (38th) and Oliver 18:25min (39th). In the under 15 race mister consistent, Vladimir Wiggins, finished 15th overall in a very impressive time of 21:51min and laid down an early marker to any challengers in the Harriers Championship. The girls’ category saw Emily Knell compete in her first fell race for Preston, running in a great time of 27:49min (18th), closely followed by an excellent run by Grace Horne 34 seconds later in 28:23min (19th). Watching at the finish was legendary fell runner, race organiser and photographer, Dave Woodhead. Always a loud presence anywhere he goes, out came a Lancashire flag for a photo of Vladimir, Grace and Emily. See his photos at http://woodentops.org.uk/
A solid run by Arran Baldwin in a very tough under 17 category saw him come over the line in 38:47min and 13th overall and Emily Wiggins, home from university for Easter, finished 5th in 1:07:11 in the under 23 age category of the gruelling senior race. A great series of performances from all the athletes involved has kicked-off the Preston Harriers Fell Championship in fine style with the next instalment being Rivington Pike on 20th April.