Press Report Sept 17th 2023 from Nick Budd


With Autumn drawing in Saturday 16th September saw the resumption of the Cross Country season and there was a large turnout of Congleton Harriers at Weston Hall near Crewe for the 1st race in the North Staffs Cross Country League competition. For both the Open and Women’s category races, the course follows a slightly undulating route with enough climb to get the runners heart pumping across open pasture with the former being just shy of five miles and the latter just shy of three miles in distance. For both teams there were a mixture of old faces but with a few new participants trying out cross country for the first time.

Debbie Hill and Donna Charlesworth Photo

In the Open Category, Stuart Rider was first back finishing 52nd out of 235 runners in 30:46, followed by Anthony Allan, making a welcome return to competition following injury who was 55th in 30:53, Chris Moss, 67th in 31:29, James Broad, 7th in 31:56, Ian Stanway, 110th in 33:21, Richard Blankley, 132nd in              34:52, Dean Windsor, 186th in 37:39, Alex Robinson, 197th in 38:38, Nick Budd, 207th in 39:29 and Stephen Canning, 235th in 47:21. For Ian, Richard and Alex this was their first cross country run as a Harrier.

Poppy Prentice Photo

In the Female category, Hannah Harding, in her first cross country outing was 42nd out of 215 runners in 22:00, followed by Char Wood, 62nd in 22:56, Polly Kennerley64th in 22:56, Ellie Dick, 67th in 23:09, Sarah Proudmore, 75th in 23:29, Georgie Budd, 91st in 24:15, Suzie Roebuck 112th in 25:50, Debbie Hill, 127th in 26:18, Donna Charlesworth-Simpson, 130th in 26:27, Poppy Prentice, 158th in 27:44 and Christine Gilligan, 159th in 27:51. Hannah, Donna and Poppy were the three Harriers running their first cross country race.

On Sunday 17th Ian Ball was the solitary Harrier at the Altringham 10k and finished 1067th out of 2149 runners in 63:48.

The weekend before saw Harriers competing in two separate Half Marathons. There were 1145 at the Capesthorne Hall half and Emma Weston, was 124th in 1:33:27, Martin Sands, was 253rd in 1:43:44, Hannah Harding, was 257th in 1:43:28, Kelly Marshall, was 370th in 1:50:41, Lucy Hulme, was 372nd in 1:50:41, Donna Charlesworth-Simpson, was 441st in 1:54:13, David Bloor, was 537th in 1:58:13, Linda Fairbrother, was 538th in 1:58:14, Nicky Glover, was 913th in 2:22:06, Nicky Glover, was 913th in 2:22:06 and Sarah Richards, was 994th in 2:29:00. Emma had a fine run finishing 1st in the F50 age category with David and Donna also achieving age category placements, finishing 2nd and 3rd in their respective F55 and M70 categories.

Further afield, amongst the 60,000 at the Great North Run were four Harriers. As ever, this is one of the best supported races in the world, both in terms of runner participation and the unbroken wall-to-wall support from spectators along every inch of the route.

Vic Maguire, was 11,197th in 2:02:32, Nigel Poole, was 18,604th in 2:15:28, Louise Roberts, was 18,606th in 2:15:29 and Nigel Wright, was 37,373rd in 3:01:12.

At the start of the month Emily Nott took part in the RBRC one mile on-track race finishing 3rd out of 14 in a time of 5:26.

There was also a few longer distance events at the start of September. Trish Ryan took part in the first leg of the Ring O' Fire coastal ultra-marathon which overall takes runners on an 135 mile journey around the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. The race is staged over three consecutive days and follows the rugged and spectacular Anglesey Coastal Path. On the Holyhead to Amlwch leg, covering 35.7 miles and 1850 ft ascent Trish Ryan finished in 09:33:00.

A bit closer to home seven Harriers took on the 35 mile, 5560 ft ascent Gritstone Grind Trail Race which is a 35 mile event that takes place in the southwest corner of the Peak District starting in Kidsgrove and ending in Disley and which takes in well-known local landmarks such as Mow Cop, Teggs Nose, The Cloud, White Nancy and with a run through Lyme Park. Sarah-Louise Proudmore, was 86th in 9:02:53, Vic Maguire, was 94th in 9:13:15, Michael Stanley, was 95th in 9:16:05, Dean Windsor, was 103rd in 9:31:48, Ian Stanway, was 105th in 9:34:47, Iain Thacker, was 141st in 10:44:48, Clare Flint, was 142nd in 10:44:48.

If interested in joining us, there are club runs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with most runs setting off from the Leisure Centre. The club is always keen to see new members whether you are a speedy racer or more of a social runner. So, if you are thinking of thinking of joining then just come along to one of the regular/ club runs for a few weeks and try us out for size; you will be made to feel more than welcome with no obligation to join. You can find full details on our Congleton Harriers website: You can also connect with the club on Facebook where details of club activities are posted regularly.