Despite avoiding the teeth of Storm Dennis at the weekend there was an active week for athletics in the North west. There were two Wesham runners in the Valentine’s Day 10k (two days late!) on Sunday in Lancaster. Garry Barnett finished 13th in 38:44 placing 2nd M50. Run from the Quayside up the Morecambe railway line to the Rugby Club and back, Neil Gregson was 17th in 39:37, 2nd M35.
Steve Littler finished a strong 3rd place and 1st M45 in the stormy Great North West Half Marathon along the unforgiving storm ravaged Blackpool Promenade on Sunday, clocking 1:15:52 in a close finish with the top 3 within 41 seconds of each other and 3 minutes clear of 4th place. This time last year Littler ran the far superior Village Bakery Half Marathon in Wrexham where he finished 13th in a much higher quality field in 1:12:50, 2nd M45. This year’s race had to be cancelled in the face of yellow and amber weather warnings. In Blackpool again Simon Denye placed 13th in 1:23:50, 2nd M45, and Neil Harrison was 17th with a good 1:26:03. Chris Hastwell finished 26th and 9th M35 in 1:27:15 giving the Wesham men leading club. Mark Holton was 40th in 1:29:21; Lee Nixon 112th with 1:38:26; Paul Lancashire 145th with 1:41:06; Rob Wallace 267th in 1:50:01; and Antionette Holton 448th in 1:58:37.
The Parbold Hill Race celebrated its 50th staging on Saturday over its 6.75 miles (10.86km) up the first hill out of Merseyside, which traditionally attracts large numbers of club runners north out of the cities and towns in its view. Kath Hoyer finished 32nd woman up and down the 700ft of climb and placed 1st W60 in 1:27, 232nd overall.
There were 11 runners on Saturday morning at the Lytham Hall parkrun, lead this week by Chris Haines who ran a new personal best time of 19:52 for an M35 age graded percentage of 66.36%. Nigel Shepherd ran well to clock 20:49 for an M60 age grade of 77.74%. Paul Eccles ran a new best time of 21:25 for an M35 age grade of 63.27%. Jonathan Lawson clocked 21:57 with an M50 68.26% with Sharon Cooper running 23:41 for W45 67.70% followed by Kay Twist with 24:17 and a W50 69.05% in her new age category. Stephen Twist was close with 24:30 for M50 61.70% and Phil Leaver 26:48 for M65 63.18%. Peter Bartlett ran 28:23 for M70 62.87% with Mark Holton supporting the kids ahead of his half marathon with 31:36 (M40 43.51%). Sue Rigby clocked 34:09 and W45 46.95% with partner Carl Groome side-lined after an Achilles operation. Tracey Hulme recorded another good time with 24:22 at the South Manchester run for W55 75.31% while at Southport’s Hesketh Park the Wesham parkrun Tourists clocked ultra-fast times with their new Nike Superfly shoes. David Taylor clocked the fastest time of the day and half a minute off his previous best here with a speedy 16:44 for 77.99%. Steven Gore took even more off his previous best with 17:47 for the 3rd fastest of the day and an M35 grade of 75.63%. Vicky Gore ran 25:51 for W40 60.86% and Stuart Clayton 26:58 with M50 55.56%. Steve Abbott sought shelter in the woods of Cuerden Valley as Preston was cancelled and he ran a good 19:44 over the 2-lap figure of eight with M40 70.78%. There was another big turnout in Blackpool’s Stanley Park, with Dave Marsland running 22:42 for M60 73.20 and George Kennedy 24:03 for M60 67.84%. Suzanne Leonard was just behind also with 24:03 for W45 68.88%. Rob Wallace recorded 24:15 with 53.20%; Andrew Moore 26:07 and M55 60.37%; Robert Brown 26:26 for M60 61.73%; Dave young scored an M70 grade of 66.44% with 27:13; Sharlan Butcher ran 28:18 a new best time with W45 58.73%; Finlay McCalman 27:27 with M55 55.98%; Dawn Biggs returned 27:33 for W50 62.37%; Colin Smy 27:48 a First Timer with M40 49.10%; Veronica Walker clocked 28:15 for her first time with 52.63%; and Lynn Brown 31:51 a new best with W55 59.24%. On Fleetwood Promenade Brian Jones ran 30:44 for M55 51.30%; Kim McGuire clocked 32:07 with a W60 60.40%; and Graham Cunliffe recorded 35:37 for M60 46.23%. Martin bates ran the Alexandra parkrun in Moss Side in an excellent 22:36 for M60 72.86%.