The pre-festive period rounded off in usual fashion with the Rudolph Red Nose Race at Blackpool’s De Vere and Marton Mere with the 5-mile multi terrain Santa fest and a very popular race on a favourable morning in warm still conditions with more than a hint of sunshine. There were Santas, elves, Rudolphs and snowmen out in abundance as all took in the spirit of the event. Wesham members turned out in numbers, with Rob Danson sharing the lead duties with eventual winner Paul Muller, coming in 1 second adrift in 31:00.
Sue Coulthurst was third woman and 1st W50 in 35:59. Mick Edge was 38th in 38:45 and Peter Cruse 43rd with 39:37. Helen Lawrenson was 10th woman and 2nd W50 in 39:45, 45th overall. Carmel Sullivan was 3rd W50 and 13th woman in 40:25, 49th overall, with Paul Lancashire 50th in 40:27. Stuart Clayton was 51st in 40:45. Kath Hoyer was 1st W60 in her first run in her new age category, clocking 42:11 for 18th woman and 63rd overall. Peter Rooney was 64th in 42:17 with Darragh Twist 65th in 42:19, followed by James Danson 66th in 42:33. Chas and Angela Colby were 80th and 81st in 45:08 and 45:11, and Suzanne Leonard and George Kennedy 82nd and 83rd in 45:12. Maureen Danson finished 87th in 45:31 with Louisa Denye and Sharon Cooper 89th and 90th in 45:38. Kay and Stephen Twist were dressed as superheroes and were 93rd and 96th in 45:54 and 45:57. Dave Young finished 2nd M70 and 98th in 46:20 with Lucy Neighbour and Martyn Taylor 99th and 100th in 46:45 and 46:46. Martin Allison and Jo McCaffery came in 104th and 105th in 46:54 and 46:55, with Paul Carter 115th in 47:37. Anne Berry finished 119th in 47:52 and Pauline Eccleston 120th in 47:52. Kerry Eccles was 144th in 49:48: Debbie Myerscough 147th in 50:19; Sharlan Butcher, Christine Fare and Dawn Biggs 181st, 182nd and 183rd in 55:33; 55:35 and 55:38. Gemma Owen and Anne Mayers-Smith were 196th and 197th in 56:21 and 56:22. There was hot mince pies and tea in the Forest Gate Fire Station after the race for the presentation and a great festive atmosphere.
Susan Hopcroft finished 50th in the Christmas Cracker 10k in Lancaster on Saturday, running 1:03:14 to place 24th woman.
Looking back at 2019 it was a very successful year for Wesham Road Runners, with two Couch to 5k programmes bringing on over 60 new runners and increasing the club membership to 200. Rob Danson had a mixed year, with an early selection for the Inter-Counties Cross Country and a great run in the Northern Cross Country focus on the Berlin Marathon in September that ended up with him below-par and needing a rest. Wesham had a good turnout at the National Cross Country in Leeds but finished the 2018-19 Mid Lancs season with relegations. The 2019-20 cross country season has seen a resurgence for the club and prospects of promotion at the end of the season in March. The Inter-Club series between the seven clubs of the Fylde and Preston district went much better, with the men in serious contention to win just being relegated to 2nd by Preston in the final fixture. The Wesham ladies did not fare well in the Inter Club but have put in a much better performance so far in the cross country. The club successfully fielded four teams in all of the Northern Men’s 12- and 6-Stage and the Women’s 6- and 4-Stage road relays in the spring and autumn. After a trial in 2018 the Leeds Endure24 2-day overnight relay in Bramham Park has become a firm favourite with the club, with 4 8-man teams taking part and more already scheduled for 2020. Ugis Datavs prepared meticulously for an attempt on the individual course record but the extreme heat saw him drop to 2nd place. The club had a very successful second Summer 10k and an expanded and sold out winter 10k in November with a good quality finish and sub-40-minute timings.
Despite the proximity to Christmas there were a good number of Wesham members out running parkruns on Saturday morning. Ian Garrod led the way at the Lytham Hall parkrun returning a great 20:54 for an M55 age graded performance of 74.80%. Ian Nicholls Hogg ran 24:20 for an M25 53.01%. Andrew Moore clocked 26:55 for M55 58.58% and Phil Leaver had an M65 61.50% with his time of 27:32. Jo McCaffery recorded 27:42 for W40 55.95% and Peter Bartlett had an M70 64.17% with a time of 27:49. Emma Davies ran 29:44 for 49.78% and Clare Belfield 30:32 with W35 30.32%. Mark Holton ran 33:48 with his son Nicholas. Steve Abbott ran the 4th fastest time at the Preston run in an excellent 18:54 for an M40 age grade of 73.28%. Nigel Shepherd ran 21:51 for M60 74.07% and Robert Brown 26:54 with an M60 60.66%. Linda Cartwright clocked 33:07 with W45 50.03%, and Lynn Brown 34:40 with W55 54.42%. There was a good show of Wesham parkrun tourists in Southport’s Hesketh Park, with David Taylor running the fastest time of the day with a good 17:29 for 74.64% and 15 seconds short of his personal best. Carl Groome had the 4th fastest time of the day with 20:15 for M50 73.42%, and Vicky Gore running 26:27 for W40 59.04% with Steven Gore 26:28. Sue Rigby ran 34:56 for W45 45.90%. Graham Cunliffe was in North Wales and ran the Conwy parkrun in 33:01 for M60 49.87%. In Blackpool’s Stanley Park Lee Barlow recorded 21:58 for an M45 age grade of 66.08 with Dave Marsland running 23:33 for M60 70.56%. Rob Wallace had 24:44 for M25 52.16% and George Kennedy clocked 25:51 for M60 64.27% with Suzanne Leonard recording 25:52 for W45 65.31%. Dave Young ran 28:03 for an M70 grade of 64.47% and Emma Wright clocked 29:21 for W40 52.81%. On Fleetwood Promenade Martin Bates ran 23:11 for M60 71.03% and Brian Jones 30:43 for M55 51.33%.