Manx Harriers 
Fell Running 
IOM Veterans 
Photos by Anthony Brand 



Pictures by Chris Quine

Keith not only won the Under 20s Lancashire Cross Country by more than two minutes, but at the end of his race (which covered three quarters of the senior distance) he was well clear of all the seniors.

and the men’s team took an unexpected win in the team competition.

Lancashire junior champion Keith Gerrard (left) is pictured with Murray Lambden (27th), Mike Garrett (28th), Dave Newton (52nd), Gianni Epifani (15th), Nick Percival (38th), Andy Fox (16th) and the other young hero, Darren Gray (11th).

and Cal Partington, who finished 8th overall, won the county title for veterans. She is pictured chasing one of the Blackpool athletes after moving steadily through the field.


11 Jordan Cain Under 13 boys Team bronze
15 Tom Bateson Under 13 boys Team bronze
16 Michael Callister Under 13 boys Team bronze
19 Richard Seed Under 13 boys Team bronze
8 Nicola Cooil Under 13 girls  
17 Sophie Knox Under 13 girls  
29 Bronwen Kaneen Under 13 girls  
38 Leanne Garrett Under 13 girls  
7 Andrew Newton Under 15 boys  
12 Lee Butterworth Under 15 boys  
17 Ben Brand Under 15 boys  
19 Ciara Kaneen Under 15 girls  
12 Dawn Georgeson Under 17 girls  
6 Chris Shimmin Under 17 boys Lancashire selection for inter counties champs
8 Cal Partington Women Veterans gold
32 Bridget Kaneen Women  
1 Keith Gerrard Junior men Gold + Lancashire selection
11 Darren Gray Men Team gold
15 Gianni Epifani Men Team gold
16 Andy Fox Men Team gold + veteran bronze
27 Murray Lambden Men Team gold + over 45 silver
28 Mike Garrett Men Team gold
38 Nick Percival Men Team gold
52 Dave Newton Men Over 50 silver


Results copyright (c) G.J. Fecitt (SportSoft) 2004

Keith Gerrard receives the award for his runaway victory on Saturday (Picture by Graham Davies)

Chris Shimmin, like Keith, earned a Lancashire call up for the inter counties championship at Nottingham on 9 March for his 6th placing on Saturday.  His participation is subject to his soccer commitments. (Picture by Murray Lambden)

Darren Gray improved 53 places from 2003 to finish 11th in Blackburn and lead the men’s team to gold.  Here he battles with the runner up in the junior race, Chris Hart of the local club.  Chris is the English Schools steeplechase champion and bears an uncanny resemblance to footballer Thierry Henry.  (Picture by Chris Quine)

The major of Blackburn presents the bronze medals to Manx Harriers under 13 team. (Picture by Murray Lambden)

Chris Quine, who was forced to miss the event through injury and recent illness for only the second time in the 11 years that Manx Harriers have been attending the championships, reports from Blackburn.


No sooner had New Year celebrations finished, than athletes were lining up for the Lancashire Cross Country Championships at Blackburn. With their annual trip, Manx Harriers made sure that some of the spoils were brought home to the island on Saturday night.


Held over a tough course which includes an energy sapping 400m hill, the Manx continued to make their mark and a number are now hoping for selection for the Lancashire team for the Inter Counties Championships to the held in March.


First in action were the under 13 boys and under 13 girls who were all making their debuts in off Island cross country competition. Despite all being understandably nervous beforehand, they all coped very well and did not let the occasion get the better of them, the boys being rewarded with a team bronze medal.


Jordan Cain ran a very mature race, starting steadily and looking very strong on the hill to claim 11th place. He was supported by Tom Bateson (15th), Michael Callister (16th) and Richard Seed (19th). There were 33 finishers.


The girls did not want to be outdone by the lads. In a field of 45 runners, Nicola Cooil was very impressive to finish 8th with Sophie Knox 17th, Bronwyn Kaneen 29th and Leanne Garrett 38th. Unfortunately, this was not quite enough for a medal – the girls finishing 4th in the team race.


All of the youngsters will have gained greatly from this experience and are chomping at the bit for more competition like this.


Next to compete were the under 15s. After a very steady start, Andrew Newton really started to move through the field. With about 1000m to go he was up to 9th and his progress continued in the closing stages picking up two more places for 7th place. He was rewarded with a letter for possible inter counties selection. It should be noted that in the corresponding race three years ago, Keith Gerrard finished in 9th place.


Lee Butterworth started a little quicker but dug in well to hold onto 12th place. Ben Brand had breathing difficulties and showed determination to keep going to the finish, coming home in 17th place. Who is to say that with hard work and determination these lads cannot emulate Keith’s achievements in years to come?


In the girls event Ciara Kaneen was another making her of Island cross country debut. She finished mid-field in 19th place.


Another with a big future in running should he decide to concentrate on it is Chris Shimmin. In the under 17s event, he ran with the leaders until about half way. Despite losing touch with the leaders, he consolidated his position in the second half coming home in 6th place and therefore gaining an invitation for the inter counties event.


In the corresponding event for girls, Dawn Georgeson ran with typical spirit for a mid race position of 12th place. 


Despite these successes there was still a feeling that there was more to come from the older athletes in the squad and they did not disappoint. In the women’s race, a very nervous Cal Partington made a steady start. Once into her stride as her confidence developed, she started to gain places and with about a mile to go held 7th place. She lost a place on the last mile but nevertheless was very pleased with her effort and will hopefully look forward to more of-island competition in the future. As a bonus, Cal was awarded 1st in the veterans 35-39 class.


Having watched her daughters in action, Bridget Kaneen also competed and ran gamely for 32nd place from the 50 finishers.


The senior men (including veterans) and under 20 men started together, the seniors running 7 miles and the under 20s 5 miles. Keith Gerrard – a first year under 20 – went straight to the front of the field and by the end of his five mile stint held a lead of about 200m over the leading senior. Who is to say he could not have won the senior race? This was arguably the run of the day in any age group male or female and drew gasps of astonishment from many in the crowd as the young Manx runner left the older runners trailing.


In the senior men’s’ race itself, Keith’s training partner Darren Gray had a storming run to finish in 11th place. Again, great reward for his hard training – Darren finished 34th in this race two years ago and 65 last year.  Just behind him Gianni Epifani was 15th and old warhorse Andy Fox 16th.


The question now was how fast would the team close in its six runners? With Murray Lambden 28th, Mike Garrett 29th and Nick Percival 38th would this be enough to regain the team title? The answer was yes – rivals Clayton-le-Moors had to wait until 59th for their 6th runner to finish thus handing victory to Manx Harriers by 11 points.


There were more awards in the veteran’s races – Andy Fox 3rd over 40, Murray Lambden 2nd over 45 and Dave Newton a very surprised 2nd over 50.


So completed a very successful day for the island club. Lots of money is invested by the club in supporting this event and it is great to see this being rewarded.


Thanks are due to Andy Fox for organising the trip and to all the officials and helpers who supported the athletes. 

Athletics Weekly is out now price £2.25 (thanks to Andy Fox for the loan of his copy)

    Fox Curphey Quine Lambden Epifani Clarke
1993 Blackburn 12 41 14 31
1994 Lancaster 12 45 17 13
1995 Blackburn 13 ? 7
1996 Lancaster 9 33 13 25 10 11
1997 Leyland 7 ? 15 ?
1999 Blackburn 11 39 19 37 16
2000 Lancaster 8 48 15 36 27  
2001 Burnley 11 53 15 26 10 13
2002 Blackburn 12 28 17 29 19
2003 Blackburn 53 43 12 11
2004 Blackburn 16 27 15
Total   10 10 9 8 7 5


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