Unpredictable winter added an extra element to running last week but this did not deter Wesham members who managed to anticipate the coming spring on what is perhaps the traditional start of the athletics year for sure. The traditional “twin peaks” of later winter athletics in the Alsager 6 mile in Cheshire and the Dewsbury 10k in Yorkshire attracted the usual high quality and in-depth competitors although few from the Preston and Fylde region, but nearer to home there was plenty of action for our local teams.
The Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k from Witton Park sems to have adopted a multiple lap course in the park itself rather than its historic loop up and around Billinge Hill and through Pleasington but there was still a challenge to be had looking at the finishing times. First home for Wesham was Steve Littler in 6th place overall a good time of 34:51 placing him 1st M45. Garry Barnett finished 40th and 4th M50 in 40:21 with Ian Garrod 7th M55 and 88th overall with 43:16. Helen Lawrenson was 14th woman and 2nd W50 with 46:05 in 142nd place overall and Mick Edge finished 183rd in 47:59. Alan Hudson placed 2nd M70 and finished 210th overall in 49:09; Kath Hoyer was 3rd W60 and 43rd woman with 50:50 for 250th overall; and Lucy Neighbour was 73rd woman and 7th W40 in 54:47 in 352nd place. Finlay McCalman was 407th in 57:07, 31st M55, and Elizabeth Johnson finished 117th woman and 442nd overall in 58:32. This was the latest round of the Wesham road running club championship for 2020.
Heather Buckel daughter of the sadly lost Graham Vickers ran the Aintree Half Marathon on Sunday, finishing 74th woman and 15th W45 in 2:25:37, placing 291st overall in this event run around the outside of the historic racecourse. In Parkrun on Saturday morning at 9 am the Lytham Hall venue saw the greater turnout of Wesham members, with Lee Nixon running 20:00 exactly for an M35 age graded performance of 67.75%. Alek Walker was right behind by 1 second in 20:01 and an M35 grade of 66.28%. Ian Nichols Hogg clocked 21:45 and a new personal best time for SM25 grade 59.54% Jonathan Lawson ran 22:13 for M50 67.44% and Martin Bates 22:35 for an M60 grade 72.92%. Ben Wrigley returned 24:40 with an M35 54.93%; Gary Moore had 25:03 and M55 63.47%; Andrew Moore 25:31 with M55 61.79%; and Finlay McCalman 26:55 for M55 57.09%. Peter Bartlett ran 28:32 for M70 62.56%; Sharlan Butcher 29:40 and W45 54.04%; Veronica Walker 29:49 as a First Timer and her first parkrun for a SW30 49.86% performance; and Susan Hopcroft returned 30:49 with W50 56.52%. Mark Holton ran with son Nicholas to give him JM10 47.67% with a time of 34:25 for his own M40 39.95%. Leah Birchall clocked 34:42 for SW30 42.70 with James Birchall an SM30 37.27%. In the South Manchester run Tracey Hulme recorded 24:30 for a W55 74.90%; in Preston Steve Abbott ran a good 18:41 for M40 74.75%. Nigel Shepherd returned 21:06 for M40 76.70%; Stuart Clayton 22:53 with an M50 64.97% grade; Robert Brown ran 26:08 for M60 62.44%; and Lynn Brown returned 32:53 for W55 57.37%. In the Nonsuch parkrun in Cheam near Sutton in Surrey Peter Rooney ran 26:10 for M60 26:10 and Julie Rooney 34:33 with a W45 97%. Nearby at the Crystal Palace run Emma Lund clocked 21:52 for W35 68.60%. Emma Brook ran the Riverside run in 27:53 for W35 53.97% while on district home ground in Blackpool Darragh Twist ran another course personal best with 22:18 for SM20 58.45%. Dave Marsland recorded an M60 71.42% with a time of 23:16; Stephen Browne ran 23:38 for M50 64.46%; Suzanne Leonard clocked 24:19 for W45 68.13% with George Kennedy in the same time with M60 67.10%. Rob Wallace ran 24:23 for an M25 52.90% performance; Sharon Cooper 24:32 with W45 65.35%; Kay Twist ran 24:40 for W50 67.97%; Stephen Twist produced 26:20 for M50 57.41%; and Jo McCaffery 28:59 and W40 53.48%. At Clitheroe Castle David Taylor ran 18:52 for the2nd fastest time of the morning with a 69.17%; Steven Gore clocked 22:08 for M35 60.77%; Elliot Costello ran 24:23 with M25 52.90%; Vicky Gore recorded 28:15 and W40 55.69%; and Sue Rigby had 36:48 for W45 43.57%. On the Fleetwood promenade Kim McGuire ran 33:15 for a W60 grade of 58.35% ahead of Graham Cunliffe with 33:55 for M60 48.55%.