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Cross Country Section

A day at the races- Holmfirth athletes in Cross Country Action at York Racecourse

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Holmfirth Harriers were back in action on Saturday in the second fixture of the West Yorkshire Cross country league at York Race course. The Athletes were faced with a surprisingly undulating course and a stiff wind, with distances for all age groups, other than the senior men, considerable longer than the first fixture three weeks ago. 

The Holmfirth athletes proved more than up to the challenge and in spite of a number of runners missing through holiday and injury the club once again proved its growing strength. Star individual performances came throughout the age groups with three races winners and 10 other top ten finishers.  Sunnivah Waterman won the U11 race again, after a fantastic tussle with teammate Libby Shepherd, just one second separating the girls on the line. Sunny’s brother Seth also won again with a really strong performance in the 13 boys race. In the U13 girl’s race Olivia Sykes 2nd in the race 3 weeks ago took on the race from the gun and won in style, Erica Byram a fantastic second to Olivia and Lucy Byram just missing out on a clean sweep for Holmfirth in 4th. Lewis Byram engaged in his usual battle with Josh Schofield of York AC in the U15 race and this time just missed out on 1st place by 3 seconds. In the senior race Katie Walshaw had to settle for third in the ladies race after a tough race at the head of the ladies field.

These fantastic individual performance aside the story really was one of great team performance with athletes junior and senior running their socks off for their club and teams right through the age groups, Holmfirth teams finishing in the top 3 in 5 of the age groups. The U11 boys team finished in 3rd spot, Callum Durrans first back for the boys in 7th, Daniel Howatson 16th, Ned Johnson in his first race for the club 20th and Samuel Bedingfield final team counter in 27th. Backing up these boys were Tom Haley-Porteous and George Hobbs 34th and 35th, Dominic Drake in his 1st race 39th and Harry Hobbs 40th and Jacob Riley also in his first outing for the club in 45th.  The boys finished in 3rd team position

Sunnivah and Libby were joined by Sophie Allan in the U11 girl’s team, Sophie also running a fantastic race in 6th the girls clinching 1st place team by a clear margin. Backing up these girls was Lia Carter in her first race in 15th and Lucy Whitworth and Holly Bailey- Taylor 33rd and 34th respectively.

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The U13 girl’s race was once again a real treat for all Holmfirth Supporters, with 16 Harriers competing  the club could have completed an amazing 5 teams. The girls were clear team winners with Olivia, Erica and Lucy but these aside there were fantastic runs from the Holmfirth girls many of whom massively improving on their performances in the first race. Daisy Hinchcliffe finished strongly in 10th her best ever league performance Anna Charlesworth just behind in 13th an improvement of 10 places. Genevieve Durrans was next home in 21st place followed by a flurry of Holmfirth girls lead home by Amy Kettlewell 35th, Olivia Battye 36th, Esme Wilde 39th (an improvement of 22 places on the last race) Caitlin Smith 41st, Isobel Drake 42nd, Talia Johnson 43rd Olivia Blackburn 45th Isabelle Haley-Porteous 47th and Lily Barr 48th, with Emmy Bailey-Taylor rounding of the Holmfirth contigent in 62nd.

Not to be outdone by the girls the U13 boys also clinched 1st team place Seth, ably supported by Lewis Bartholomew in 12th, Andrew Farquhar 15th and William Johnson in only his second league appearance in 19th. Also running well for the club were Isaac Shepherd in 25th, Nicky Farquhar 39th Tiras Waterman 46th, Joe Williams 49th, Daniel Whitworth 51st and Adam Christopher in a heroic effort over this long course in 56th.

The boys in the U15 age group improved on their team placing at the last race to finish 3rd with strong performances from the whole team. Lewis Byram 2nd  Aarons Kettlewell and Arthur fighting it out for 12 and 13th spot Aaron Kettlewell  inevitably coming out on top in the sprint for the line and Eddie Hinchcliffe with his best ever league placing in 17th. George Green in only his second race ran strongly for 41st spot.  The Girls also improved from 5th to 4th team, Sophie Spencer first back in 14th, Lucy Farquhar 17th and Sophie Williams 31st.

The club’s U17 athletes like their younger colleagues enjoyed a good afternoon of racing Peter Franklin 10th and Robert Hinchcliffe 10th and 22nd in the boys race and Ruby Sykes 9th in the girls.

In all 52 juniors athletes from Holmfirth competed in York an amazing achievement for the club when you consider at the same race 4 years ago only 18 juniors took part.

Senior Athletes Have to work hard

The Senior Ladies had a tough fight against Leeds City in their race, both for individual honours and for the team result.  The 2-lap 6km course, considerably longer than the first in the series, was tough going and with the first 200m into a strong head-wind many athletes chose to shelter in a group rather than make an early break and face battling with the elements.  Undeterred by the conditions, Katie Walshaw was out in front within seconds of the gun and much of the first lap saw a repeat of her last race in a tussle with Bingley’s Jo Buckley.  Meanwhile, Claire Leaver had made a flying start and was up with the second group of 5 or 6 athletes, which included Ladies’ Captain Helen Berry.  The group soon thinned out, with Helen towards the back of it and Claire settling in with the next bunch, where Kath Farquhar was having a tremendous run.  Up at the front Jo Buckley appeared to pull out of the race leaving Katie clear of the field, however the gap was soon closed by eventual winner Laura Kirk of Skyrac and second placed Claire Duck of Leeds City, who both overtook Katie with only 400 metres to go, demonstrating their track speed.  Helen remained in 7th place for the rest of the race and Kath Farquhar gave battle with Jo Buckley who had rejoined the field, finishing in an excellent 11th place.  Claire Leaver finished as fourth counter for the team in an impressive 13th place, though with Leeds City having 3 athletes in the top 5, the Holmfirth ladies had to settle for second place.  More amber vests were scattered throughout the rest of field, with Debbie Hall, who continues to improve, in 39th place, Fran Whitworth in 68th and Jo Bailey-Taylor, who is more practised in the shorter track events, ran well to finish in 89th place.  There were 99 finishers.

With several key performers missing the Senior men were not confident of repeating their successful third place in the team placings at the first fixture however bolstered by some new recruits and some great performances the men only slipped one place to 4th in the team competition.  In the early stages of the race, once again, Simon Deakin (Leeds City) set a blistering pace which was only matched by three other athletes including Max Kaye (Holmfirth Harriers). However, by the end of the second lap Max had pulled out still suffering the effects of a stomach bug and Deakin went on to win the race by 35 seconds. First counter for the Harriers was Richard Smith improving on his 18th position at the last race to finish a fantastic 10th. James Little, in only his second race for the club also bettered his last race by an incredible 34 places to finish strongly in 17th. New club member 18 year old   Craig Boggon started steadily and moved his way through the field to finish in 58th place just in front of his team mate James Durrans 60th. Club stalwart John Ewart was the next home in 71st (1st M55) and the final team counter was U20 Max Lawton in his first cross country race over the senior distance with a great run in 78th.
Other Holmfirth placings were; Jan Durr (83rd) also in his first race for the club , Graham Howatson (90th), David Williams (91st), Jake Richardson (104th), Phil Hobbs (125th), Kevin Hewlett (128th), Dave Shepherd (149th) & Tim Cock (188th )(1st M70).   

The Harriers are next in action on Saturday in the National Cross Country Relay Championships in Mansfield.










About Us

Roger BradleyX-C secretary

Roger Bradley







Welcome to the Cross Country pages of Holmfirth Harriers AC. If you’re new to cross country or just thinking about having ago then Holmfirth competes in the WYCC league. This is a series of 4 races, usually in October, November and December (see Race Calendar on Website) and these races are suitable for runners of all abilities. Races start in the morning for juniors, with the senior women usually running at about 1.00pm and the senior men at about 2.00pm. Races are usually in parkland settings but in wet weather can be very muddy when studded shoes or ideally cross country spikes should be worn. In very dry conditions trail shoes can sometimes be used. If you are interested in having ago then talk to Roger Bradley, John Ewart or Helen Berry a.s.a.p. The entry sheet is on the Cross Country notice board and the cost is £7 for all 4 races.


Holmfirth Harriers also compete in the Yorkshire, Northern and English National CC Championships plus the YVAA CC Championships (see Vets Pages) which usually take place in January / February.


In order to get a Cross Country Page up and running on the website I (Rob K) am putting this together but really have more than enough to do with the Vets so if anyone would like to take over and put info., photos, race reports or whatever you like onto the page, then please contact me (contact on Vets page). It is only a short season with one or at the most two events in a month from October to February.


Can't find what you're looking for on the new site? The old site is still available here