BOLTON Harriers’ men’s and ladies’ secured team victories at the second round re-arranged Central Lancashire Grand Prix event at Leverhulme Park hosted by the club.

A dry morning greeted the event which was superbly organised by Gail Harrison and Dave Shaw.

Tommy Harrison had sounded the battle cry after Harriers’ men’s team won the first round event at the Trotters 5 in Smithills and his call for a repeat performance on home soil was emphatically answered by his team-mates.

Harrison was first Blue Vest back in a time of 16mins 14secs and fifth place overall and he was closely followed by Rhys Francis in 16: 26 and Callum Brooks in 16:36.

He said: “It was a solid race like I wanted. I had a good first lap and felt comfy.

“I got isolated on the second lap which made it difficult to pick anyone else off, especially in the Long Lane wind.

“I am now looking forward to Friday at Mid Cheshire and hopefully post a good time there.

“It was another good result for the team with both male and female team prizes and another win for the three amigos - myself, Callum and Rhys.”

Francis is slowly coming back to the form coach Shaw knows he is capable of and the latter said: “If Rhys can stay fit he can get back to his 15:30/40 shape that he ran last summer.”

Francis agreed and added: “I’ve still got a way to go to get back to where I was before my injury but it’s all heading in the right direction again with today so I’m really chuffed.

“I am hoping for PB’s in the 5 and 10k later on in the year if I can keep the progression.”

Young Brooks, still on a meteoric rise after promotion to Shaw’s group, can be well pleased with his showing after a recent bout of Covid and the coach is confident he can carry on his improvement.

Tony Valentine had the distinction of being the men’s over-45s winner in a time of 16:51. His young son Marcus is now mixing it with the adults and came home with a super time of 18:44.

Another youngster making great progress is Jason Scaife who was 45 seconds faster than his 2020 Bolton 5k run, finishing in 13th spot with a time of 17:05 and being junior runner-up.

Bride-to-be Heather Brown won the first round Trotters 5 event and duly made it a double last weekend. She was first lady again in a time of 18:12, and she also led the ladies team to victory.

She said: “Bolton 5k was my final race as a Miss as I get married this coming Saturday.

“I am super happy to be first lady on my home stomping ground with a PB and the ladies’ course record. Next stop...Mrs Tomlinson.”

She was backed up by Rachel Bailey (fourth lady overall) and another improving youngster Lily Philbin (also female junior runner-up).

One of the most consistent performers from the Endurance Group is Gary Porteous and he showed what great shape he is in by winning the 55 age-category. David Chrystal was fifth home in the same category and still fighting his way back to form.

Other age-category successes went to the progressive Jack Green, with a top-10 junior finish, while Mark Garner and club volunteer Ato Erzan-Essien were fourth and fifth respectively in the 50 age category.

Scott Sunderland continued his promising start as a Blue Vest and smashed his PB with his first sub-20 run in a time of 19:31.

Harriers ‘golden oldies’ also had a fine morning’s work. Club legend and life member Paul Turner returned a time of 25:08 in the 60 age category, while Ken Fowler was fourth in the 65 age category with a time of 22:29 and David Tomlinson, in the 70 age category, came home in 28:56.

Bolton United Harriers would like to thank Gail Harrison, Dave Shaw and all the club volunteers/marshals for making the event such a success. They would also like to thank and congratulate the club’s other entrants: Jordan Brophy, Joe Grisdale, Matt Atkinson, Thomas Gore, Jordan Lee, Dominic Sohor, Richard Scaife, Nigel Brodrick, Mary Cheung and Linzi Jones.