February 2015: Runners put best feet forward in county competition


CROSS country runners from Haslingden High School are celebrating their success in the Lancashire Schools Championships.

And for one – Matthew Harris, 17, he will now got on to compete in two national finals the first being this Saturday in Birmingham.

Matthew and Shauna Williamson, both members of Rossendale Harriers, entered the competition held at Witton Park, Blackburn.

Matthew said: “I competed in the Year 12/13 group over 7km and I was the Lancashire champion. The Rossendale team also came second but only by one point.

“I am now one of eight runners to represent Lancashire in the English Schools Cross Country Championships final which is also being held at Witton Park on March 14.

“I also qualified for the Inter Counties final after coming in fifth in the under 20s age group over an 8km course.

“That final was held in Birmingham on Saturday when I came 78th out of 186, finished 2nd for the Lancashire team, I was potentially two years younger than some of the athletes in my race, meaning I was one of the youngest in the race.

“I have run for Lancashire a few times but never started first in a cross country race.”

Matthew is dedicated to the sport and runs between 35 and 40 miles each week. He hopes to become a sports therapist.

Shauna, 15, was a member of the Rossendale Year 10/11 team who came third and her own personal placing of 12th was the second best result of the Rossendale team.

She said: “I have been a member of Rossendale Harriers since I was 10 and I run 20-30 miles each week.

“I just enjoy running and I usually run to a song; it changes each week and just depends what I am listening to at that time.”

She now hopes to compete for a place in the English fell running team in the trials in Pendle in April.