Close finishes in the BMAF 5K Road Race Championships.

The Horwich Carnival weekend was postponed again this year due to the pandemic. This meant our 5K Championships, also incorporating the NMAC Championships, were organised by Alex Rowe at Barrowford, Lancs. on Sunday morning.

The early start was no deterrent to the Scots or many Southerners who made the long trip up North. With over 130 finishers, Barrowford proved a very popular choice despite the windy but fortunately dry conditions.

Men

Emerging from a 12-strong leading pack to secure the M35 title by the narrow margin of 3-seconds, Scotsman Mark Doherty held off a charge from Matthew Lalor from the local Ribblesdale Club and the first M40 Mark Walsh from the host club who ran Lalor to an even finer 1-sec for 3rd place overall.

The M35 BMAF bronze medal went to 13th placer, Peter Mackrell (EMAC). Scottish Veteran Harriers Club also took the team honours with Colin Dorothy coming home 7th and Paul Friend 39th.

Chris Stanford (Warrington, 15:19) and Christopher Gidlow (Stoke, 15:22) fought to the end for M40 silver and bronze and 3 seconds also decided the M45 gongs in a North v Eastern Masters dash as Carl Jones (Richmond & Zetland) held off Newark runner Carl Jones, (15:37 and 15:40). Jeff Priest from Northern Masters took the bronze.

Coming in 20th, M55 Jon Jones (SWVAC) more than justified his long trip up from Wells for a comfortable win in 16:22. Gavin McDermott and David Clarke ensured the M50/60 titles stayed with Northern Masters. The latter snatched M60 victory by the skin of his teeth as Welshman Ifan Lloyd ran him to a 1 second margin, 17:00 to 17:01.

Scottish Veterans again came to the fore with individual victory in the M65 category when Alasdair Walker strode over the line in 18:03.

BMAF Hon. Treasurer David Oxland had yet another great run to take home the individual M70 trophy, leading MMAC to a clean sweep and to the team award, with Arthur Daley and John Hill 107th and 109th overall, ensuring the MMAC did not go home empty handed. They also finished ahead of the hard-working BMAF IT Manager Peter Kennedy who came in 4th and then rushed off to sort out the results!

Rarely missing any of our road Championships, M80 David and Janice Moorekite travelled up from Kent and it was certainly no walk-over for either of them as David was taken on by David Tomlinson and John Smithurst from NMAC and Janice finished 5th in the W60 field.

Women

BMAF female entries were a shade disappointing, but that did not detract from some great racing. The field were led home by the NMAC’s W40 Elisabeth Renondeau, who has been right on form recently. She was followed in by Open-entries W35 Claire Clancy and W40 Johanna Marsden.

Alexis Dodd from our North East MAA got on the W35 rostrum, as did W40 Charlotte Wills (Roundhay Runners), whilst the W45 title went to Scottish Veterans’ Mandy Williams in 20:32. Debbie Broad (W50) led the host club to a clean medal sweep with her 19.53sec run from Jane Halloran and Joanne Taylor-Friell.

MMAC’s Monica Williamson finishing 75th in 19:18 brought the W60 field home from Sue Cordingley (NMAC) in 88th and Glennis Richardson (NMAC). W65 Lis Connors (NMAC) was even speedier in 23:13 from Pam Bridge (SVHC) and Marian Hesketh (NMAC). Angela Copson is back on the winning trail again, strolling to a 23:37 W70 win from Carolyn Gale (NEMAA).

We are most grateful to Alex Rowe (NMAC) who promoted the Championships, to Archie Jenkins and Lynne Marr (NEMAA) who oversaw the start etc., and lastly but by no means least to our Road Running Secretary, Walter Hill, and to IT guru Peter Kennedy as meeting Health & Safety criteria during this difficult period is not an easy task.

Well done to all the runners, we hope to see you back for this race on 19 June next year at its usual venue in Horwich.