Race 7: Wrexham – 26th Apr 2017
A bright but chilly evening provided the backdrop to the final race of the season. Fittingly, in a season which has seen so many participation records broken, 347 runners – a new record for this BL venue – completed the familiar 4 mile course around the edge of the industrial estate.
The Mens race saw last season’s overall winner, Ricky Challinor of Deeside, provide a reminder of his quality with a 15 second margin of victory in his 12th League win – this ahead of second-placed Gareth Williams of Deestriders. The latter result, however, was sufficient to ensure Gareth succeeded Ricky as overall winner for 2016-17.
Laura Riches of Buckley maintained her 100% record with a third win in three BL appearances in the Womens race. 35 seconds further back in second place was Ellesmere Port’s Liz Renondeau. But a 5th place finish confirmed the season-long consistency of Wirral’s Sarah Kearney and was just sufficient to clinch her overall victory for 2016-17.
A huge effort from Buckley RC was needed in Division One of the Mens team competition to overturn the 99 point margin between themselves and leaders Wallasey AC. With 5 of their runners home in the top 17 before the first Wallasey runner, they came desperately close. Wallasey’s strength in depth however was just enough, and getting their 10 counters home in the first 52 was decisive in holding Buckley off by an 18 point margin and guaranteeing them the League title.
In the other team competitions, the margins already held by the League leaders were too great for results on the day to make any difference to the outcome of League titles and promotions. Buckley RC were winners on the day from League champions West Cheshire AC in Womens Division One, but were unable to overhaul Wallasey AC for the League runners-up spot. Chester TC‘s win on the night from Wrexham AAC in Mens Division Two confirmed the former’s League title and the latter’s promotion, while the win on the night for Deestriders over Ellesmere Port confirmed the latter’s League title and the former’s promotion.
West Cheshire AC held onto their lead in the Veteran Mens competition to clinch that title, and Wirral AC‘s Veteran Women did likewise. Wrexham AAC took the Mens Improvers title, West Cheshire AC the Womens Improvers.
Race 6: New Brighton – 9th Apr 2017
Warm spring sunshine on the seafront contrasted vividly with conditions for race 5. 316 runners lined up for the penultimate race of the season, to run a 5.15 mile course which followed the seafront pavement and coastal embankment for two miles, before turning inland, circling Wallasey Golf Club, coming back to the seafront, and returning along the pavement once more.
Another dominant performance from Gareth Williams of Deestriders saw him clinch a third victory of the season in the Mens race, 40 seconds ahead of Wirral’s Phil Robertson. In the Womens race, Laura Riches made her second appearance of the season for Buckley and made it two wins out of two, with a 58 second margin over Wirral’s Sarah Kearney.
In the Mens and Womens team competitions, the form book was followed all the way through in that the first two clubs in each division were 1st and 2nd respectively on the day. Wallasey AC’s win by 62 points over Buckley RC in Mens Division One gave them a margin of 99 points over their rivals, and left them firm favourites to regain the League title from Wirral AC. Womens Division One saw West Cheshire AC extend an already sizeable lead over Wallasey AC, and leave the top two positions virtually decided already.
Mens Division Two likewise saw Chester TC and Wrexham AAC draw even further away from the rest and all but guarantee promotion, and this story repeated itself in Womens Division Two, with Ellesmere Port RC and Deestriders all but confirmed as winners and runners-up.
A victory for Wallasey AC‘s Veteran Men over Chester TC on the day gives them an outside chance of overhauling West Cheshire AC for the title. Wirral AC‘s Veteran Women won on the day ahead of Ellesmere Port RC and extended their slender lead over Helsby RC. Wrexham AAC have a comfortable lead in the Mens Improvers category, while West Cheshire AC are favourites for the Womens Improvers trophy.
Finalised results are posted below.
Race 5: Manley Mere – 5th Mar 2017
The 318 runners who arrived at Helsby RC’s new lakeside venue had driven through heavy rain, sleet and even snow. Fortunately, this gradually abated as the 5.15 mile race, taking in the middle section of the Four Villages Half Marathon course, got under way.
Gareth Williams of Deestriders took his second victory of the season in the Mens race, easing away to a margin of more than a minute ahead of Elliott Cox of Buckley RC. Liz Renondeau of Ellesmere Port RC claimed her first win of the season in the Womens race, holding a 24 second margin over Wirral AC’s Sarah Kearney.
Wallasey AC regained the lead over Buckley RC in Mens Division One, their strength in depth bringing home their 10 counters in the first 41 and putting a 37-point gap between them and their rivals. In Womens Division One, West Cheshire AC’s narrow victory on the day over Helsby RC took them another 40 points clear of their nearest rivals, Wallasey AC.
Wrexham AAC’s continued improvement in Mens Division Two saw them claim victory on the day over distant League leaders Chester TC and consolidate their position in 2nd place. Ellesmere Port RC‘s waltz to the Womens Division Two championship continued with another win on the day, and Deestriders, 2nd again, seem increasingly likely to be promoted with them.
West Cheshire AC continue to lead the Veteran Mens division by a reasonably secure margin, while Wirral AC‘s leadership of the Veteran Womens division is coming under challenge from Helsby RC.
Finalised results are below:
Race 4: Coleg Cambria, Connah’s Quay – 22nd Jan 2017
A dank and chilly morning failed to deter another huge field – 371 runners – from taking on Deeside AAC’s short (4.4 miles) but challenging course, with its steep climb up Kelsterton Lane.
Last season’s overall champion, Deeside AAC’s Ricky Challinor, returned for his first appearance of the season – and won the Mens race by a margin of 10 seconds over Gareth Williams of Deestriders. Far more emphatic was the winning margin in the Womens race, where BL debutant Laura Riches of Buckley RC came home almost a minute and a half ahead of Ellesmere Port RC’s Liz Renondeau.
Buckley RC fielded their largest ever Mens team – 56 strong – the first ten of whom all finished in the top 50. This sufficed to give them not only a convincing victory on the day over Wallasey AC, but also a 36 point lead over that same club at the top of Division 1. West Cheshire AC extended their lead over Wallasey AC at the head of the Womens Division 1 table despite being narrowly pipped to victory on the day by Helsby RC.
Mens Division 2 saw victory on the day for Chester TC to extend their lead, with Wrexham AAC‘s 2nd place sufficient to take them up to 2nd also in the League. Womens Division 2 saw another massive win for Ellesmere Port RC to extend their lead over Deestriders, who also finished second on the day.
West Cheshire AC‘s male Vets maintained a commanding, and Wirral AC‘s female Vets a rather slimmer, lead in their respective competitions.
Race 3: Birkenhead Park – 4th Dec 2016
Seasonal distractions – maybe a Santa Dash? or just shopping? – kept the number of finishers on a bright frosty morning in the Upper Park to a “mere” 348. The race, over the usual 4 lap, 5.5 mile course, was smoothly organised by hosts Birkenhead AC.
Wirral AC’s Phil Robertson registered his 2nd win of the winter in the Mens Race, kicking away from the lead group to maintain a 7 second margin over last month’s winner, Gareth Williams from Deestriders. Meanwhile in the Womens Race, Wallasey’s Claire Walton, in her first BL outing since 2010, had a winning margin of 27 seconds over the rapidly improving Katie Clarke of West Cheshire AC.
Wallasey AC had managed to match their record turnout of 65 from the last fixture – and ten of them finished in the first 45 in the Mens race. This gave them a 36 point victory in the Mens Division 1 team race ahead of Wirral AC, and took them into a 100 point lead at the top of Division 1. Victory in the Womens Division 1 team race was however shared with Wirral, both teams scoring 58 points from their 4 counters.
An unusually strong male contingent from Wrexham AAC guaranteed that club a big win in the Division 2 Mens race, eclipsing Chester TC in second. This puts them into a position to challenge Abergele Harriers and Cybi Striders for the second promotion spot, with the triathletes still maintaining a big lead at the head of the division. For the Division 2 Women, another huge win for Ellesmere Port RC saw them surge to the top of the table ahead of Tattenhall RC – a distant second on the day.
West Cheshire AC‘s male Vets extended, and Wirral AC‘s female Vets maintained, their leads at the head of their respective categories.
Race 2: Upton-by-Chester – 6th Nov 2016
430 runners – many having completed cross-country events the previous day – made the 10 a.m. start and braved the chill winds which blew throughout across West Cheshire’s Chester Spring 5 mile course. In so doing, they helped set all manner of turnout records – exceeding the previous overall record turnout by 60, setting a new male turnout record of 296, and a new female turnout record of 134. Wallasey AC also set a record in fielding 65 club members.
All change this time in the Mens race – Gareth Williams became the first winner from Deestriders since the turn of the millennium, holding an 18-second margin over Wrexham AC’s Daniel Weston. The Womens race also saw a first-time winner – Carol Parsons of Ellesmere Port RC finishing a comfortable 28 seconds ahead of her club colleague Liz Renondeau.
Division 1 Mens team winners on the day were Buckley RC, whose 49-point margin over Wallasey AC was sufficient to take the overall lead. West Cheshire AC remain in close contention, but a weakened Wirral AC dropped back. Another strong performance from West Cheshire AC‘s women (finishing well ahead of Helsby RC on the day) has given them a sizeable lead in the Womens Division 1.
In Mens Division 2, Chester TC‘s excellent turnout guaranteed them a big win on the day, ahead of Wrexham AC – sufficient to give them a sizeable lead over the now 2nd placed Abergele Harriers. Meanwhile in Womens Division 2, Ellesmere Port‘s crushing win (1st, 2nd and 6th on the day) made up a lot of the ground lost by a weakened turnout in race 1. Deestriders and Tattenhall RC (2nd on the day) remain at the head of the division, however.
West Cheshire AC extended their lead at the top of the Veteran Mens competition, while Wirral AC took over from Chester Tri as the leading Veteran Womens team.
Finalised results and current team standings can be found below:
Race 1: Caernarfon – 9th Oct 2016
A beautiful autumn day saw The Foryd at its most scenic, and a BL course record turnout of 318 finishers (218 men, 100 women) racing the usual 10K course – this year, in the anti-clockwise direction, with the “undulations” saved for the second half of the race.
Despite the change in direction, it was still deja vu at the sharp end of the Mens race – with Phil Robertson and Phil Langan of Wirral AC repeating their 1-2 from last December. Sarah Kearney made it a double for Wirral with a comfortable win in the Womens race (her 13th BL victory in all), more than a minute ahead of Ellesmere Port RC’s Nicky Whitfield-Bird.
However, on the day, the winning Mens team in Division 1 was Wallasey AC – whose 10 counters finished in the first 65 and edged out Wirral AC by a margin of 32 points. The potential for a very close contest in this division was emphasised by both West Cheshire AC and Buckley RC, who trailed Wirral by just 3 and 8 points respectively.
West Cheshire AC took an early lead in the Womens team competition in Division 1, beating last season’s champions Chester TC by 15 points.
Similar to Division 1, the Mens team competition in Division 2 could see a close battle with today’s hosts Eryri Harriers taking a narrow 10 point lead at the top from Chester TC, with Abergele Harriers another 16 points further back.
Eryri Harriers’ womens team continued their improvement from the second half of last season with a win in Division 2 by 14 points from Deestriders, with Tattenhall RC a little further back.
The new segregated Veterans competitions saw West Cheshire AC make the early running in the Mens competition, taking a sizeable lead over Wallasey AC, while Chester TC took a much narrower lead over Wirral AC in the Womens competition.
Race 1 Individual results are here
Team results are here
You can find results of previous years’ races in our Results Archive.