Following the latest government announcement made 30.12.2020, we are disappointed to find ourselves in Tier 4. It is therefore inevitable that club activities continue to be suspended until further notice.
We will continue to provide our members with virtual challenges to ensure that everyone remains motivated during these unprecedented times. For January we present to you our MED Challenge (Move Every Day) All you need to do is undertake one of the following in order to move EVERY DAY: Run / Walk / Cycle – at least 1 mile OR a 30 minute workout of your choice 1 activity for every day – please annotate your activity each day with WRR – MED Day 1 etc.
Please keep an eye on your emails for further updates to club activities as we will continue to update our members as changes occur.
Despite the traditionally expected January blues after the festive period and the varied weather Wesham members have been fired up by the Move Every Day virtual challenge to do some activity of 30 minutes each day of the month. Over 60 members are now taking part in the Challenge which is intended to promote physical and mental good health in the depths of winter at a time that is usually dismal and exacerbated this year by the pandemic. Generally, the weather has been benign with some beautiful bright and clear days, but this has brought cold temperatures and slippery conditions with frost and occasional sleet and snow. With no wind though the cold has been kept at bay and with the sun out it has been very pleasant to be out and about.
Seventeen Wesham members completed the January Wesham Virtual Handicap over a 4.9-mile course of choice to approximate the course now used for the physical event through Treales. The result times are now being collated and the full results will be published next week.
What a year 2020 turned out to be for all of us and of course it decimated the sporting year after the first 12 weeks of relative normality. For athletics this meant that the domestic winter cross country and indoor seasons could be completed but presentations and awards evening could not take place and the follow-on global championships could not take place. Club training sessions came to an abrupt end and athletes had to train on their own although with the national lockdown there was at least plenty of free space and fresh air with no traffic, and more time to exercise with working from home or the less attractive furlough schemes.
Athletics had to adapt to keep participants and competitors interested and involved, and so activity at home schemes were devised, virtual gym and aerobic sessions, and Zoom conferencing became de-facto practice. Then virtual events were invented, starting with relays, and then developing to distance endurance events. Wesham members were given weekly virtual challenges at set distances such as 5 kilometres or miles or running a measured or “negative” split with a fast finish. Then the easing of restrictions began in June and by July Wesham were able to restart training nights, based outdoors at various venues and restricted to groups of six remaining socially distanced. With the prolonged hot summer weather the outdoor meets were refreshing and welcome, and some indoor socialising was available for a while. Wesham also re-introduced its structured training sessions, again all outdoors and in groups of six only. All members sessions were on a pre-booking basis only to maintain a contact trace.
This week the pandemic restrictions in the Fylde area have just been reviewed but Wesham had already made the decision that they were not going to attempt to restart any club activity until the New Year and to concentrate on virtual activities. The 12 Days of Christmas Challenge has proved extremely popular with around 50 members taking part. The challenge has a real Christmas flavour with members running each of the distances 1 to 12 kilometres or miles one effort a day within the 24 days before Christmas Day. There has been a buddy approach with volunteers to provide a pairing for members seeking assistance and motivation within the pandemic guidelines. This week the Wesham club coaches have hosted a Festive Fun Structured Session via video conference, and the week rounds off with a Christmas Live Update and Social on Facebook on Friday evening.
This weekend there is expected to be several pilot events staged by England Athletics as a tentative return to competition opportunities, although all events will have been subject to the government announcements regarding the various levels of local restrictions. This is mainly centred on stadium athletics and in the North West there is one for Pendle juniors in Colne and a meeting at the Streford track in Manchester. England Athletics are making more grants available to clubs in 2021 in four rounds to fund specific areas of support and development.
Wesham members got stuck into the club 12 Days of Christmas Virtual Challenge last week, individual runs taking in the distances 1 to 12 kilometres or miles, one a day between the 1st and 24th of December in the run-up to the festivities. Participation has yet to be evaluated but the club’s Strava and Facebook pages are inundated with members results. Lee Barlow is doubling up and running both kilometre and mile distances at the rate of two a day. On Friday 18th December, the club will host an online gathering for members to toast the festive season and catch up on news and socialise. There may be some freedom over Christmas itself and there is the chance to run the Virtual Race series 2020 which includes the Longridge 7, Boxing Day 10k and the Garstang 10k, between the dates of 13th December to 13th January, to replace the extremely popular physical events. Just run a 7-miler and two 10ks and submit your results to the link given on the UK Road races Facebook page.
Great sadness this week to learn of the loss of Pete Bland, fell running great and founder and owner of Pete Bland Sports in Kendal succumbed to Covid-19 at the age of 79, a great loss to the athletics world of the North West and Cumbria.
Last week saw the culmination of Wesham’s virtual running challenge for November, to complete a 5km, 10km, and a 5-mile run, the latter with the final mile the fastest of that session. There was an option to run in pairs to add inspiration. The 5km witnessed 26 members taking part, with Tom Crabtree clocking the fastest time of 17:03, a swift solo run. Lee Barlow clocked 20:54 for second fastest with Nigel Shepherd third with 21:19. Fastest woman was Kay Twist in 25:27 with Sharlan Butcher second in 27:44 and Dawn Biggs third with 27:59. Karen Cook ran 28:18; Emma Davies and Julie Kinsey as a pair 29:43; Kerry Eccles and Tanya Barlow in a pair 35:36; and Julie Rooney and Sue Hopcroft paired up for 38:01. Carl Groome ran 21:47; Stuart Topping 22:07; Steven Gore 22:08; Troy Watson 22:17; John Burns 23:08; Tony Leach 23:42; Martin Allison 26:17; Steve Twist 27:34; Peter Rooney 27:39; Peter Cooke and Finlay McCalman paired in 30:46; and the Over-70 pair Dave Young and Peter Bartlett 33:05. There were also 26 runners in the 10k, with Ugis Datavs fastest in 34:45. Lee Barlow again clocked second in 42:57. Third was Tom Crabtree in 45:26. First woman was Antoinette Holton with 54.28; second Kay Twist in 58:06 and third Karen Cook 59:48. Julie Kinsey ran 1:00:03; Dawn Biggs 1:02:49; and Kerry Eccles and Anne Berry in a pair 1:02:52; Sharlan Butcher 1:03:24; and Julie Rooney and Sue Hopcroft as a pair 1:15:09. Carl Groome clocked 48:13; Peter Rooney 48:21; John Burns 49:30; Troy Watson 49:32; Tony Leach 49:46; Martin Allison 50:30; Stuart Topping and Steve Gore together 51:25; Nigel Shepherd 56:39; Steve Twist 1:02:53; Peter Cooke 1:04:21; and Dave Young and Peter Bartlett as a pair 1:07:04. The 5-miler proved the most popular with 32 members taking part, with Tom Crabtree again the fastest in 31:51 with Neil Gregson second in 32:37 and Carl Groome third with 36:22. Fastest woman was Sharon Cooper in 42:20, with Tanya Shaw in a pair with Stuart Topping second with 42:53. Kerry Eccles was third in 45:59, followed by Antoinette Holton 46:17; Kay Twist 46:47 Anne Berry and Pauline Eccleston in a pair with 47:35; Julie Kinsey 48:00; Dawn Biggs 49:06; Sharlan Butcher 49:22 and Julie Rooney 1:00:09. Alan Hudson ran 37:51; Lee Barlow 38:16; Mark Renshall 38:27; Rob Wallace 38:38; Tony Leach 38:41; John Burns 40:16; Stuart Clayton 40:33; Ryan Azzopardi 41:54; Nigel Shepherd 42:22; Martin Allison 44:08; Peter Rooney 44:36; Robert Danson 45:17; Steve Twist 48:24; Peter Cooke and Finlay McCalman a pair in 49:12; and Dave Young and Peter Bartlett 52:31. The two pairs Dawn Biggs and Sharlan Butcher and Dave Young and Peter Bartlett were the only ones to complete all three runs together Julie Rooney & Sue Hopcroft and Stuart Topping & Steve Gore completed the 5k and 10k together.