Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships

Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships, Sport City, Manchester – 16th September 2017

Holmfirth Harriers ladies demonstrated their strength in depth last weekend when they fielded four teams in the Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships at Sport City in Manchester. The 6km, 2-lap flat course, proved fast and a real test for all. Olivia Sykes got the ‘A’ team off to a fantastic start in 7th place (21:12) in a field of 83 on leg 1. Twins Lucy and Erica Byram ran consistently on legs 2 and 3, returning in 11th (22:57) and 9th (22:28) respectively. Ruby Sykes, took over the final leg and brought the team home in 12th place, clocking the same time as Erica. This was a very good result for the young team who have moved successfully into the senior ranks.

The ‘B’ team was also very strong and consistent throughout, beating many other ‘A’ teams, finishing in 15th place. Veteran Maggie Sykes, who is running strongly after a successful summer on the track, took on the fast-paced first leg coming home in 29th place (23:24). Claire Leaver-Hewitt dropped just five places on leg 2 (24:39) and Helen Berry, in her first race back after breaking an ankle 6 months ago, picked up fifteen places (22:09). Jordan Mullinger gained a further three on the final leg (23:26). Disqualifications from higher placing teams meant the Holmfirth women were awarded 11th and 15th places.

It was going to be a close call between the ‘C’ and ‘D’ teams; with one made up of Holmfirth’s star sprinters, and the other of athletes more familiar with this 6km distance. Alannah Booth leading off for the ‘D’ team pipped Zoe Storr of the ‘C’ team, both running well and returning in 51st (25:26) and 57th (25:56) respectively. The ‘C’ team then had Sophie Cromwell on leg 2; using this race as a final sharpener before her marathon debut at Nottingham next weekend. Sophie returned in 68th place (29:03). Amy Kettlewell, in her first race in the senior ranks, had a strong run picking up 8 places (26:32). Jo Bailey-Taylor completed the ‘C’ team in 59th place (30:29). The sprinters ran consistently well in the ‘D’ team, with Vicky Rhodes in 69th (29:49), Naomi Harvey-Franklin picking up three places on leg 3 (29:38 and Aideen maintaining the team position of 63rd on the final leg (28:44). Again, with some teams disqualified, the final positions awarded were 52nd and 56th respectively.

The women’s race was won by Leigh Harriers, with their final leg runner, Lauren Howarth clocking the fastest, and only sub-20 minute, time of the day in the only sub-20 minute time of 19:47

Full ladies results:

  • 11th Olivia Sykes (7) 21:12, Lucy Byram (11) 22:57, Erica Byram (9) 22:28, Ruby Sykes (12) 22:57
  • 15 th Margaret Sykes (29) 23:24, Claire Leaver-Hewitt (34) 24:39, Helen Berry (19) 22:09, Jordan Mullinger (16) 23:26
  • 52nd Zoe Storr (51) 25:26, Sophie Cromwell (68) 29:03, Amy Kettlewell (60) 26:32), Jo Bailey-Taylor (59) 30:29
  • 56th Alannah Booth (51) 25:26, Vicky Rhodes (69) 29:49, Naomi Harvey-Franklin (63) 29:38, Aideen Farrell (63) 28:44
NRRs A team

At the Northerns our senior men failed to qualify for the Nationals for the first time in years, finishing 33rd when only the top 25 go through to the Nationals at Sutton park on 7th October. Apart from Steve Green they are a young team, and if they continue to work hard can only get better. The B team came in 80th of 111.

And that is what we thought immediately after the race. Fortunately for the Harriers several teams were disqualified. Taking out the B teams meant the men just scraped into the qualifying positions. Our B team moved up to 70th.

The A team got off to a good start with Aaron Kettlewell finishing 23rd (20.19). Ted Chamberlain, who has just moved up into the senior ranks was on leg 2, running well with the team's second fastest time of the day but losing 5 places in the process. 28th (22.02). Kai Sunman ran a good 3rd leg but the quality of the other team’s was starting to tell and he dropped another 5 places to 33rd (22.11). Phil Hewitt on 4, 33rd (22.45). Lavell Pierre on 5, 33rd (22.42) and Steve Green on 6, 33rd (22.34) maintained the position.

All the B team runners put in a solid performance and nobody could be faulted for the effort put in.

  1. Harry Shelbourne 83rd (23.15)
  2. Dan Shaw 87th (24.42)
  3. Brandon Holroyd 84th (24.18)
  4. Alex Robinson 82nd (24.32)
  5. Jonny Sykes 80th (24.47)
  6. Craig Noble 81st (26.08).

Having several of our best runners missing for various reasons the men did well to finish where they did, though we are hoping to have some of them back for the Nationals.

Link to the full results:



On the same day the club had 4 mens teams and 2 ladies teams running at the Cross Keys road and fell relays at Uppermill. Keeping up our tradition of doing well there both were well in the prizes. the men has 1st and 3rd team. the ladies 2nd and 3rd.

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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