News reports - November 2018

24th November 2018: Club XC Champs decided in Sefton Park

Cross country officianados will have been watching how the weather over the past couple of weeks might affect running condition's in Sefton Park, Liverpool, for Saturday's series of British Athletics Cross Challenge races. As it turned out, conditions proved favourable and certainly the best I have ever seen for this event. There was little if any surface water or mud, no frost, and a just a little soft on top. Even the finish straight didn't cut up. Perfect! If I was to be picky, I might have hoped for the grass to be a bit shorter but it is cross country after all!

The event, the 2nd in this season's Cross Challenge series, is used by British Athletics to assist selection for the European Cross Country Championships in Holland in a couple of weeks, and to select one men's and one women's team for the European Clubs' Cross Country Cup next February. So it is a major event, the biggest cross country event in the Northern calendar this side of Christmas, and a great annual opportunity for club runners in the Mid Lancs and Liverpool & District XC Leagues to mix it with the best distance runners in the country.

The event, including the leagues, attracted more than 3000 entries this year - and the 2200 finishers was up by 150 on last year. Southport Waterloo had 80 entries and 57 runners / finishers; 39 seniors and 18 juniors. I think the total is a few more than last year, particularly amongst the senior men. Regrettably, the number of teenage middle distance runners shows no real sign of improving and few of them compete in cross country races. The position with our Seniors is much more promising, particularly in the vet categories

This year, the increasing number of Under 11s was split into two races; one for the boys and one for the girls. Our sole Under 11 Boy was Charles Fletcher. he was 71st overall, 40th of 90 finishers in the Mid Lancs League, completing the one- lap 2 kms course in 8:08.

We did a little better in the Under 11 Girls' race with three runners. Renee Adams, an excellent all-round athlete, was 37th of 152 in 8:25 for the 2 kms, 15th of 72 in the Mid Lancs. Felicity Fletcher was 36th in Mid Lancs in 9:03 and Lottie Hughes was 38th in 9:08. That gave the girls a team finish that can be built on in the remainder of the season.

Before leaving the Under 11s, these initial races are used to encourage Merseyside schools to enter in an inter borough competition. This year, Woodlands, Freshfield and Churchtown Primary Schools took part, represent Sefton.

In the Under 13 Girls' race over one long lap for 3 kms, we had four girls competing. Emily Dean was our first counter, 50th overall of 133 finishers - 16th of 74 in the Mid Lancs League - in 12:37, Libby Simpson was 33rd Mid Lancs finisher in 13:30, Jemima Fletcher 62nd in 14:39 and Apphia Keenan 65th in 14:53. The team was 8th in the League.

Just one runner in the Under 13 Boys' race. Luke Ward is one of our most promising young middle distance runners. He ran the 3 kms course in 11:36, finishing 42nd of 125 overall and 14th of 66 Mid Lancs finishers.

Our best individual result of the day came in the Under 15 Girls' race. Here, Olivia Logan's quality as a distance runner was evident as she finished 7th overall of 132 girls. That was an excellent performance against the best runners in the country and gave her a 1st place finish in the Mid lancs League. She ran 10:54 for the 3 kms. I didn't see the finish but with another girl behind her given the same time and another just a second behind, she either passed some runners in the finish straight or managed to hold off a late challenge. We had three other girls in this race. Eleanor James was 27th of 61 Mid Lancs girls in 12:41, Katie Piercy was 58th in 15:03 and Millie Ireland was 60th in 15:21. That looks like an 8th Mid lancs team place for the girls.

Sam Coupland and James Pike competed in the Under 15 Boys' race. Sam was 48th of 67 Mid lancs runners finishing in 12:08 for his 3 kms. James was 58th in 13:00.

We finished a team in the Under 17 Women's race. Lilly-Ann Grayson was 11th of 17 Mid Lancs runners completing her short and long lap course over 4.4 kms in 18:48. Jessica Dean was 12th in 18:58 and Freya Walsh 13th in 19:22. They girls finished 2nd Mid lancs team behind Blackburn Harriers - but only by 1 point!!

The Senior Women's race incorporating our club championship included 12 runners in Southport Waterloo colours. Interestingly, our front runners were Clare Constable - a 400m specialist - and Tracey Allan - a distance runner. On this occasion Clare proved to have the strength and endurance to hold the club lead and she finished as our 1st counter, 21st of 163 in the Mid Lancs League in 33:54 for the 3-lap 8.1 km course. Tracey was 26th in 34:13. Clare, who emerges as our 2018 Cross Country champion is, however, no stranger to cross country and takes the club championship this year for the 3rd time.

Last year's club champion, Nicola Simpson, was our 3rd counter today, 37th finisher in 35:20. Clare, Tracey and Nicola were 7th Mid Lancs team and 3rd L35 team. Behind them, Michelle Spencer - our new women's team manager - was 66th in 38:15, Carole James 76th in 39:12, Helen Lodge, 106th in 41:35, Sue Stewart, 120th in 43:18, Gina Bellhouse, 124th in 43:53, Catherine McElhinney, 135th in 44:50, Sue Cooper, 136th in 44:54, Jane Blacklin, 144th in 46:13, and Katy Coupland, 146th in 46:35. Sue Stewart, Sue Cooper and Jane Blacklin were 2nd L55 team.

The Senior Men's race was naturally the largest race of the day; 320 counting for Mid Lancs!. By the 2nd of the three long laps we had over 600 runners forming a continuous line snaking through Sefton Park. Great support from our own runners saw 27 of our Senior Men taking part with the club leader taking the 2018 Cross Country Championship. Once again, it was an interesting battle with little separating James Tartt - a middle distance specialist -and Ben Johnson, our fastest ever marathon runner. With near-perfect conditions, the fast running favoured James and he led our runners home as our 2018 Champion, 9th Mid lancs finisher in 30:48 for the 9.8 km course. Ben was never far behind and finished 11th Mid Lancs in 30:56.

Ciaran Walsh was next, 26th in 32:37, then Mark Dunham, 29th in 32:55, David Hamilton 37th in 33:40, and Andrew Kershaw anchored the 'A' team, 57th in 34:58. A great team finish that left them 3rd Mid Lancs on the day, behind two very strong Liverpool Harrier teams.

Alex Waddelove ran 35:15 for the 9.8 kms, Mike Leatherbarrow 36:05, James Paybody 36:35, Stephen Ward 37:08, Rob McGrath 37:36, John Sprackland 37:48, Gareth Simpson 37:56, Mike Taylor 38:59, Carl McMahon 39:26, Martyn Smyth 39:56, Ian Fitzpatrick 41:01, Rob Johnson 41:31, Mike Cunningham 42:55, Stephen McLean 43:28, Stephen Flanagan 43:32, Phil Bailey 44:35, Graham Liu 45:18, Clive James 46:02, Gareth Williams 47:59, Lee Coupland 51:03 and Ian Pike 52:55.

The Senior Men continued their success in the Vet categories with David H, Mike L, Rob McG and John S finishing 2nd Mid Lancs MV40 team. David H, Rob McG and John S were also 1st MV50 team.

There is another Mid Lancs XC before Christmas, at Wilson Playing Fields, Hyndburn, in two weeks, on Saturday 8th December. There is also an L&D fixture on the same day, at Beacon Park, Skelmersdale.

Full results | Mid Lancs results (some placings reported above may have changed in Finalising these results)

19th November 2018: 10 races in beautiful places - a new Trail Race Grand Prix for 2019

Next year the club will be holding its first Trail Grand Prix to run alongside the Road and Fell grand prixs'.  Races have now been selected as those with access to social media will have seen.  Some races members may have already done or heard of before while others maybe new to them.  Cost and travel distance have been considered in the final selection along with level of course technicality to hopefully ensure as many members are able to participate.  All the races are very reasonably priced. One race is brand new and hasn't even got a name yet but it will be a fantastic opportunity to race in Ainsdale Pinewoods.  If you love cross country you'll love trail.  If you never tried trail then why not give it a go in 2019, we'd love to see you there. Before and after each race there will be an chance to meet up and get to know your fellow club friends. If you have any questions please contact Gina Bellhouse.


Sat 16 February '19

Sat 23 February '19

Sun 31 March '19

Sun 7 April '19

Wed 22 May '19

Sat 8 June '19

Thu 4 July '19

Sun 1 September '19

Sun 15 September '19

Sun 17 November '19

Parbold Hill Race

Standish Hall 10k

Ainsdale Pinewoods 10k

Rivington Trail 10 mile

Harrock Hill Race

Cuerden Valley Parkrun

Cuerden Badger 10k

Dream Trail 10k (Sutton, St Helens)

Yarrow Splash 10k (Chorley)

13 Arches Trail Half Marathon

18th November 2018: SWAC Grand Prix Road Races announced for 2019

The dates and races for next year's Road Grand Proix have been agreed as follows.


1. Mad Dog 10k 3/2/19

2. Liverpool Half 10/3/19

3. Garstang Gallop 7 mile 24/3/19

4. Tunnel 10k 14/4/19

5. Southport Half 30/6/19

6. City of Preston 10 Mile 11/8/19

7. Parkrun in summer - TBA

8. English Half 15/9/19

9. Seaside 10k 22/9/19

14th November 2018: Mike Walker wins M'side GP award

The award winners of the 2018 Merseyside County Road Grand Prix have now been published on the Merseyside web site. Mike Walker emerges as the only Southport Waterloo runner to win an award - the MV65 winner. Congratulations Mike!

The awards will be presented after the Halewood 5K on Saturday 1st December

M'side GP winners

11th November 2018: Under 13 Girls take 2nd place at Sportshall

Round 2 of the North West Sportshall League was held in Ellesmere Port Sports Village on Sunday. Organisers West Cheshire AC are to be congratulated on circulating results to clubs on the Sunday evening. For Round 1 it took over 3 weeks for results to become available!

Round 2 was in stark contrast to Round 1 in another respect in that Round 1 was so poorly attended that the events finished by mid afternoon. West Cheshire and Wespa in particular were at Ellesmere Port in good numbers. This venue doesn't allow the Field and Track events to take place at the same time so it was Field first for this fixture. But this did mean that the Track events progressed much more efficiently, not having to wait for age groups to finish Field events. There was excellent - and very noisy - support for the track runners.

Chris Henders' Southport Waterloo squad was bigger than at Widnes for Round 1 but boys were again in short supply. We had 17 girls and 3 boys. The girls included 4 Under 15s, enough for a relay team! When did that happen last?

Our Under 11 Girls were Renee Adams, Holly Hudson, Lottie Hughes and Isla Jones. They finished 3rd with 133 pts, behind West Cheshire and Wespa - very good indeed with just 4 girls in the team! Renee was 2nd in the 2-lap in 25.7 and was our fastest but non-scoring 4-lapper, in 56.4. In fact, Renee was our best all-rounder. Holly was our fastest over 2 laps, in 25.6 and our best triple jumper clearing 4m 73. Isla took the 'A' points with a 4m 50 chest push and a 1m 22 standing long jump. And Lottie took the 'A' points in the 4-lap race in 59.6 and the 'B' points in both the triple and vertical jumps.

Our Under 11 Boys at Ellesmere Port were William James and Harry Williams, both of whom were also at Widnes for Round 1. Between them, they scored 76 pts. Harry was 3rd 'A' in the 4-lap race in 57.5, he long jumped 1m 62 and triple jumped 3m 98. William ran the 2-lap race in 27.6, achieved a speed bounce count of 39 and chest pushed 4m 50.

Our Under 13 Girls were Maisie Bird, Lauren Byrne, Ellie Clark, Emily Dean, Amber Hughes, Apphia Keenan, Evie James, Eleanor Jones and Libby Simpson. The girls finished 2nd of the 5 teams with 169 pts, just 9.5 pts behind host club West Cheshire. Amber set the tone with three fine wins; 10m 47 in the shot (with all three throws over 10 metres), 23.8 in the 2-lap race and 6m 59 in the standing triple jump. Lauren was another event winner clearing 2m 19 in the standing long jump. She was also our best vertical jumper clearing 42 cms. Libby won the 'B' 6-lap race in 1:29.7and was 2nd 'B' in the long jump with 1m 89. Ellie took the maximum 'B' points in the shot with 7m 10 and was 2nd 'B' in the vertical jump with a reach of 40 cms. Emily was our fastest 6-lapper taking the 'A' points with 1:29.1, just fractionally ahead of Libby's time. Emily also took the 'B' points in the speed bounce with a count of 73. Behind Amber, Evie was our fastest 2-lapper in 25.6 just a tenth ahead of Ellie's time. In fact, a number of our girls ran very similar 2-lap times. Apphia was our best speed bouncer with a count of 75. Three of our girls - Apphia, Emily and Maisie - all recorded counts over 70 in the 30 secs allowed. Apphia was also within a centimetre of taking the 'B' points in the long jump.

Eleanor competed in the 2-lap, long jump and shot and Maisie in the 2-lap, speed bounce and shot.

The team of Amber, Lauren, Evie and Ellie won the 4 x 2-lap relay in 1:53.

Our Under 13 Boy was Adam Byrne. He was 2nd in the 2-lap in 26.4, 2nd in the shot with 6m 73 and 3rd in the speed bounce with a count of 71.

Where are all our Under 15 Boys? - certainly not enjoying Sportshall Athletics! But we did have four Under 15 Girls' ; Millie Ireland, Eleanor James, Katie Piercy and Hannah Williams. The girls finished 2nd team with a great total of 164 pts. Katie was one of two event winners here. she won both the triple jump and the shot with 6m 24 and 9m 01. She was also 2nd in the 2-lap race in 24.7. So a good afternoon for her. The other event winner was Hannah who won the vertical jump competition with a reach of 50 cms. Hannah was also 2nd in the long jump with 1m 92 and took 2nd 'B' points in the 2-lap race in 25.1. Eleanor was 2nd in the 6-lap in 1:29.3 and 2nd 'B' in both the triple jump, with 5m 20, and the vertical jump with 38 cms. Millie took 2nd place in the speed bounce with a count of 73 to go with 2nd 'B' points in both the 6-lap race (in 1:35) and the long jump (1m 80).

And the girls were there for the final relay races, 2nd in 1:42.5.

Thanks to team manager Chris Henders and his team. The final Round is in Liverpool on Sunday 2nd December - a new venue for us at Greenbank Sports Academy / Leisure Centre - with hopes for one or two teams making it through to the NW Regional Final early next year.

Results Rnd 1 | Results Rnd 2

10th November 2018: Northern & YDL divisions for 2019

The provisional dates and venues for the Northern T&F League and the YDL (Upper) & (Lower) next year are published, together with the teams we will be up against. These are as below but venues in particular can be subject to change before the T&F season starts.


Northern League

YDL (U13/U15)

YDL (U17/U20)