We continue to hold our Monday Club Evening and also make available the opportunity for members to take part in a social run on a Wednesday evening. There will be no limit on attendees on either evening at the Cricket Club as we are operating in a Covid-19 Secure Environment, however there should now be no socialising before or after a run. With this in mind, we ask that those who are joining us do not come onto the cricket field area before 6.55pm and if you do arrive before this time you should take the opportunity for a warm up lap around the field. The evening’s run brief will take place at 7pm promptly and then runners will set off in small groups of no more than six, ensuring that social distance is maintained at all times. It is essential that, if you are attending either evening, you must book in advance by using our online booking system. If you or anyone in our household has any virus symptoms, you must not attend. Please note that the cricket club pavilion is currently closed and there is no access for any facilities.
Wednesday evening structured sessions will continue as at present and details of the appropriate session for the week ahead will be updated on our website – the maximum number of participants will be 5 for each session.
All sessions will be available for booking over the weekend in readiness for the following Monday/Wednesday and you will be able to check the website for details . The calendar on the booking page will give details of who else has booked on a session in case you wish to train with runners of similar ability and as far as Wednesday structured sessions are concerned the relevant coach will make contact with you in advance to confirm the precise location details
To book sessions please visit www.weshamroadrunners.com/booking. Your confirmation email will set out the protocols that we have adopted to keep everyone safe, and you are requested to follow these.
Please do keep on running as we are encouraged to keep fit and healthy.
As the country pegs down deeper into the escalating pandemic as the new three-tiered system came into force there was no athletics in the North West for our local clubs although there are a few races taking place in Cheshire this weekend. The inclement autumnal weather also made training a challenge although Wesham members managed to keep their motivation and keep active. This week there is a club 5-mile virtual challenge run and the second winter monthly handicap on Sunday.
In the last fortnight the challenge for Wesham members was a virtual 10k race with each member choosing a 6.2-mile course of their own and declaring their result. Rob Danson ran the fastest time with a time of 33:31. Trying to achieve an optimum race pace in a solo run is a real challenge. Chris Hastwell was second fastest with 36:18, and Stuart Topping third in 43:06. Tanya Shaw was the quickest woman as she refines her training and put in the effort for 51:38. Second woman was Maureen Danson with 57:18, and third on the clock was Dawn Biggs with 59:40, with Sharlan Butcher five seconds behind in 59:45. Jason Parkinson was fourth overall in 44:27; Carl Groome returning to running after his ankle operation and also 900 miles cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats with 45:43 for the 10k. Tony Leach was sixth in 46:25; 70-year old Alan Hudson next in with 47:32; and sexagenarian John Burns eight in 48:24. Ryan Azzopardi ran 49:24 for ninth; Martin Allison 50:49 in 10th rank; Dave Young the second Over-70 12th with 55:41; Peter Rooney 13th in 55:52; Robert Danson 14th with 56:17; Stephen Twist 15th in 57:10 with Claire Marie coming in fifth woman in 59:49. James Birchall was 20th in 1:01:10; Phil Leaver Over-65 21st with 1:03:00; Pauline Eccleston sixth woman in1:03:30; Troy Watson and Karen Cook 23rd overall with 1:04:52 in a social bubble; Peter Cooke 25th with 1:05:31; Steve Myerscough taking it very easy with 1:08:46; and Tanya Barlow, Kerry Eccles and Julie Rooney in a socially distanced group run for 1:14:24 apiece.
In a week that saw increased levels of pandemic in the North West region and higher levels of lockdown imposed again it was a further withdrawal of athletic activity, against a backdrop of some fine global performances and the publication of the first issue of Athletics Weekly since March, albeit as a monthly edition. In Valencia Ethiopan Letesenbet Gidey broke the women’s 5,000m world record in 14:06:62 and Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei set a new men’s world 10,000m mark with 26:11:00. Days later world 1500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hussan beat Paula Radcliffe’s 18-year-old 10,000m record and set a new European record with 29:36.67 in torrential conditions in Hengelo. Nearer home a new British record was set for the 68-mile Bob Graham Round in the Lake District as Ambleside man George Foster set the second-fastest time ever with 13hrs 44mins.
The 40th London Marathon on Sunday was in two distinct sections, the elite races over a lap course of nearly 20 laps around St James’s Park with the traditional finish line on the Mall, or a world-wide virtual event open to all on a 26.2-mile course of each runner’s choice. With the excitement of a physical race in central London there was a 24-hour opportunity to complete the virtual run, and officially there were four Wesham members taking part on courses round the Fylde region. Paul Eccles had the fastest time with 3:46:46 giving him 3901st place, 666th in his race category of Senior Male. Rob Wallace finished 5591st in 3:58:56, 1688th Senior Male. Dave Young was 38th M70 in 4:47:46, 12407th overall. Heather Buckel was 11158th woman and 2327th W45 in 6:47:09, 25569th overall. Emma wright completed her own run in 4:58:55 and got a jubilant reception from neighbours as she sprinted down her street at the end. There were over 45,0000 entrants in the virtual event, so these are all good results achieved in isolation with little support en route. It was noticeable however, travelling around the Fylde on Sunday as to how many people were out with race numbers on. Anyone who entered the virtual event will have a guaranteed entry carried over for the next three years.
With Blackpool joining the rest of Lancashire in pandemic lockdown the possibility of activity in the field of athletics faded again against renewed hopes that things might pick up and tentative plans to restart parkrun now scrapped probably until the new year. Revised guidelines for cross country and road and trail events was issued last week, but there are serious challenges for local cross-country leagues that would just be getting started next month. Many venues are out-of-bounds to large gatherings, and the guidance stipulates that the general public must be kept out of the boundaries of sporting events, very difficult for cross country with courses winding all over a parkland venue. Similarly the gathering of athletes and their supporters must be minimalised and managed, with health declarations necessary and full contact tracing. Mass starts to races are technically acceptable with a time limit, as much spacing as possible, and low numbers. Further to this, finishers must disperse immediately and transport to and from venues should be undertaken individually and not in groups. This all makes for too much effort by already hard-working volunteers and reduces the sociability and enjoyment of such events for all. While fully understandable, it has produced a new wave of cancellation of plans and any return to realistic competition.
With the tightening of restrictions in Lancashire due to the resurgence of the pandemic the prospects for athletic competition recede back into time trialling and virtual events with the season of country and regional road relays cancelled and the prospect of parkrun resuming at the end of October fading. Three of the most popular races at Christmas and the New Year, the Longridge 7, Boxing Day 10k and Garstang 10k have already gone virtual. There are some elite events being staged with by-invitation attendances and reduced spectators, and indoor athletics prospects are also being shelved until the spring. Training sessions however that have been set up with full Covid arrangements can go-ahead and Wesham’s Monday and Wednesday training meets are continuing with the full guidance already in place.
David Taylor ran the Podium 10k in Barrowford on Saturday and ran a new personal best in the “Sub-37:00” heat with an excellent 34:49 for 7th place, taking some 45 seconds off his previous 2-year old best time.