Wythenshawe track and plans for the site developments.

A strategic 10 year plan for Wythenshawe Park that includes the track facilities is now formally accepted by Manchester City Council and has begun to be implemented. It has short, medium and long-term objectives.  The more ambitious plans for the track facilities are part of the longer strategy (i.e. must be completed within 10 years). Some smaller, shorter term objectives are already actioned e.g. cafe franchises reviewed, new notice boards put up etc. Work recently done on the track and lighting is not part of the strategic plan but urgent work that had to be done with the risk also of losing £150,000 in a long-standing ‘106 Community Fund” ring-fenced for Wythenshawe communities.  Apart from the smaller short term objectives delivered, two major ones also have......

1 Debbie Marsden has been appointed by Manchester Council as the Project Manager to deliver the park developments - the strategic plan.  She has a very credible background as the former Heritage Regeneration Project Officer for Alexandra Park. Her assistant Project Manager is Mike Wastell who was much involved in the development in Heaton Park.

2 The park management across the City has now also been extensively restructured into five areas. Wythenshawe Park is outside of these structures designated as an ’area’ in its own right. This is to facilitate future developments.

At the last Park Development meeting two weeks ago, Debbie Marsden’s set out as her immediate and first priority to oversee the formal handing over the completed Wythenshawe Hall to the Council. This will take several weeks because of H & S issues, snagging, on-going security etc. I emphasised that the track facilities must be among her next priorities.

Recently we had an initial meeting lasting over two hours with track user representatives, so that she could see for herself what the facilities were like.  Because the longer term objective for the facility is still several years away, a ‘quick-fix’ is what’s now being pursued to include the replacement of cabins for more toilets and changing facilities as the priority.

Manchester Council’s ‘top-man’ for Sport & Leisure is Neil Fairlamb, I remember first meeting him when he came to Manchester from Stoke, to ‘lead’ on delivering the 2002 Commonwealth Games!. His vision for the track facilities is a building similar to Trafford AC’s.  Funding for it will come from 3 sources - external bodies like Sport England, Users and Manchester City Council who will also match- fund external contributions.  A next step in the ‘short-term’ part of the strategy is to set up ‘Governance’. This will have user representatives who will manage on-going developments.  It’s time for Sale Harrier’s younger capable members to step up to the mark and contribute on this governance.

I have complete empathy with those completely disheartened, cynical and disillusioned from so many previous false dawns. However, I’ve more confidence this time for the following reasons

  1. There is a strategic plan in place to which Manchester Council are accountable for delivering, and there is a commitment and determination to deliver it
  2. They’ve already appointed (at great cost) the Project Manager who takes will forward the developments.
  3. They’ve set Wythenshawe Park apart from the other new Park areas to give it the priority it requires.

I hope this helps to clarify

Fechin Mc Cormick

Brownlee Cycle Circuit, Leeds on Saturday 16th November

By Anne Chinoy, Masters Women's Manager

IMG 7099On a very wet and windy Saturday morning in Leeds, nearly 60 Veteran Runners arrived at the University of Leeds Brownlee Cycle Circuit to compete in the Norther Masters 5K Road Championships. Up for grabs were gold, silver and bronze medals in each age category. Having researched the recent 10K times of the other 5 W45 competitors, I arrived hopeful of a silver or bronze W45 medal. I was delighted to win Gold in an official time of 19:40 (and finished 3rd lady overall). With 76 entries and 57 finishers the numbers were significantly up on last year’s 26. The persistent rain and wind meant that many of us lost our numbers on the 3 lap course but there were some seriously impressive times which can be viewed here.

The organisers commented that it was the first championship event they had known where every single runner stayed for the presentation. It was a very relaxed and friendly event and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to other veteran runners from the North of England.

The next Northern Masters event will be the Half Marathon Championships at Helsby Four Villages on Sunday 19th January. To be eligible for a medal, you need to join the Northern Masters Athletic Club. More details here.



The famous Aintree racecourse was the venue for the 32nd BMAF British and Ireland Masters  Cross Country International. The fixture has developed into one of the most important for masters athletes. Teams representing the home nations; England, Scotland, Wales,Nortern Ireland and Ireland,were selected by governing bodies and an Open event for reserves with entries from clubs and countries such as the Falklands. Former Commonwealth Marathon Champion Ian Thompson ran in the Open race. Full results click here.

The last International race of the day was the M35 to M49 race

Second overall was European M40 1500m champion Matt Barnes of Sale Harriers , who took gold in his age group with Paul Moloney in second leading Ireland to victory.Matt has had a fabulous few months and remains a top quality athlete at elite level.Congratulations to Matt and his coach Norman Poole. More pictures care of Dark Star Photos.

BMAF RACE 4 MEN 35 TO 49 Matt Barnes


This match featured teams from all over the North-West including five clubs who won age-group titles in the recent Northern Cross-Country Relay Championships. A clash with the NW Schools Championships at Liverpool deprived us of about 15 key runners and reduced the size of the fields in the U13 and U15 age-groups.

The day started well when 22 highly energetic members of the Primary section represented the club in the U11 races. Our boys were runners up in the Northern Championships and were again in great form with ISAAC REED running the race of his life to finish first and with LIAM O’BRIEN in 2nd place and BEN KEELEY not far behind, Sale won a comfortable team victory. In all we had nine runners in the first 20 out of 75 finishers with fine runs from DAN OAKES, JAKE ROYLE, ALEX FRASER, ED SPARK, BEN GARDNER, JOE EYRE and JOSHUA RODGERS. In the girls U11 race our team of IMOGEN HILL, IZZY HALL and AVA BYGRAVE finished third out of 22 teams only five points behind Northern Champions, Liverpool.  FRANCESCA HEWISON, KATIE ROBERTSON, AMBER WEBB, MOLLY IRWIN, GEORGIE CONROY, JAMILIA SCHOFIELD, HANNAH FEATHERSTONE, ANNA WILSON and ZARA LATHAM all made their league debuts.

SARA CLOUGH ran a great race to become NW Champion in the U13 girl’s race at Liverpool and led her Sale Grammar team to victory.  In the MACCL our U13 girl’s team of IZZY APPLEBY, MADDY HOLT, HOLLY NOLAN and ASH GILMORE ran well to finish 6th out of 18 teams. FREDDIE MEREDITH having won the last MACCL, finished runner-up in the NW Schools but we still managed to dominate at Kenworthy with LUKE CARRINGTON winning from OSCAR SCHOFIELD and, with FINLAY GODDARD as our 3rd counter, we were comfortable winners and will hope to add the league title to the three Northern team titles they currently hold. Our B team of MATTHEW GARDNER, FIN DAY, ALFIE CLARE and THOMAS LANGTON-CLARK were comfortable winners in their category.

Our U15 girls had great strength in depth and our winning team of IZZY BURKE, LUCY DIXON and JASMINE REED all finishing in the first seven whilst the 2nd team of AKIRA EDGSON, LIBBY HILL, CARMEN SAFRANAUSKAS and OLIVIA NOLAN finished 4th (1st B team) out of 17 teams). Our boys were missing a number of key runners but managed to finish 5th out of ten teams. Well done to JACK SPARK, CHARLIE TITTENSOR, GEORGE NOBLE, JOSH COLQUHOUN-LYNN and BEN EDWARDS

The club’s fourth team victory came in the U17 girl’s event where we also finished first B team. Congratulations to LAURE KIDUKULA, GEORGIA HEATH, ROSENGELA TERIM, LUCY ARMITAGE, CHARLOTTE LORD and JASMINE STOCKTON. We are currently in first place in the league championship with a narrow lead over Northern champions Salford. We finished 5th team in the U17 men but only eight points behind the winning team and we were the first B team. Well done to GEORGE SAFRANAUSKAS, CHARLIE HOBSON, ZAC GAILLEMIN, AIDAN LYNCH, JOTHAM BENABENI and BEN DARGAN.


In the senior women’s event CHIARA YOUNG was 5th in the 17-19 category. In the 20-34 age group we were well represented with LYDIA BRIGGS, JANE THOMAS and SARAH GOULDEN earning valuable points. Although some top performers were missing like Danni and Sophie. 35-39 year old women had EMMA FINNEY in 4th place followed by HARRIET HAMILTON in 14th. In the 40-44 group we had CLAIRE McCARRON in 8th and SUZIE SMITH in 10th whilst ANNE CHINOY was 2nd in the 45-49 section followed by SIMONE FISHER in 19th and JULIA REYNOLDS in 21st place.

Ladies teams.

The senior ladies team of Emma, Anne, Lydia and Chiara came a very respectable 4th. Our B team came 16th consisting of Jane, Clare, Suzie and Harriet. The vet’s team were also 4th with Emma, Anne and Clare.


17-19               Najib Hassan was 3rd.

20-39               James Wignall 5th, Nick Barry 9th.

james wignall

40-44               Matt Harrison 15th, Richard ‘Eddie’ Edwards 19th, Ben McIntyre 20th.

45-49               Steve McCarron 4th, Elton Davies 29th

50-54               Richard Brown 6th

70+                  Mike Curley 1st beating most of the 2 age groups below him.

mike curley

Mens Teams.

Our senior men were beaten by Salford to take 2nd place. James Wignall, Nick Barry, Nijab Hassan, Alex Bradford, Ken Hunt and Dave Rich. The B team were 10th just behind Salford’s B team. The Sale C team however were just ahead of Salford’s C team.

Our vets team were 6th thanks to Steve McCarron, Matt Harrison, Chris Donnelly and Richard Edwards with the B team 10th.

Full results can be found at Race-results.co.uk

See more photos at Darkstar photos


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It is with great sadness that we report the sad passing of a very popular helper at Sale Harriers, Margaret Smith. Margaret ran the kit shop for many years, and was a main organiser of primary section presentation nights and Christmas tombolas. She had left Crossford Bridge to look after her husband and then took ill herself. She was a huge part of Crossford Bridge life for many years and will be sadly missed. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.