Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Lee Barlow corners the finish at New Longton in the spring sunshine

It was a quieter week for athletics in the North West although with varied weather and a favourable Sunday, with the Inter-Counties Cross Country in Loughborough and the British Masters Indoor Championships in Enfield taking place. As yet, apart from the European Masters Indoor, Mountain Running and Non-Stadia Championships in Braga, Portugal and Madeira in March and April, there have been no athletics events cancelled or postponed.

Rob Danson had earned a second Lancashire vest and ran in the Inter-Counties at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough on Saturday. He finished a creditable 80th in the Senior Men’s race in a time of 42:13 scoring 4th for the county who came 8th overall. The only medals for Lancashire were bronze for the U17 Men.

There were five runners in the Irwell Valley 20-mile trail race on a 3-lap (1 small and 2 large) course from the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich on Sunday. Mark Holton was the first Wesham finisher in 2:21:42 in 14th place and 3rd M40. Paul Lancashire finished 59th in 2:44:52 with Rob Wallace 77th in 2:49:40. Antionette Holton was 143rd in 3:10:23, and unfortunately Kirsty Holland did not finish the race.

The New Longton 10k on Sunday was a new event in the Lancashire calendar. Lee Barlow finished 11th in 38:29 for 2nd M45. Sue Coulthurst finished 6th woman and 1st W50 in 44:26. Stuart Clayton was 45th and 3rd M50 in 45:25. There were 210 runners in this new event.

At the Lytham Hall parkrun on Saturday morning at 9am Ian Nichols Hogg ran a new personal best time of 21:24 for an SM25 age graded performance of 60.28%. Jonathan Lawson ran 22:02 for an M50 grade 68.00%. Helen Lawrenson clocked 25:53 for W50 70.20% and Lisa Minns a new personal best of 24:55 for W55 71.71%. Andrew Moore recorded 25:13 with M55 62.52% and Louise Lord ran 26:00 with a W45 grade of 61.67%. James Birchall returned 26:46 for an SM30 48:44 and Phil Leaver produced 27:29 for M65 61.61%. John Bradley ran 29:32 for M50 51.58% in his first parkrun, and Mark Holton ran with son Nicholas for 33:08 and M40 41.50%. Julie Rooney clocked 33:56 for W45 46.81%. There were three Wesham runners at the Preston parkrun, with Nigel Shepherd running 21:05 for M60 76.76%. Stuart Clayton warmed up for the weekend with 23:15 for M50 64.44%. Linda Cartwright returned 33:47 for W45 49.04%. Graham Cunliffe was in North Wales and took in the Conwy parkrun in 28:49, a definite improvement on recent form for M60 57.14%. At the Blackpool run in Stanley Park David Taylor ran the fastest time of 17:12 for a superb new personal best and an age graded performance of 75.87%. He is now 21st fastest on this course, with Wesham’s Rob Danson 5th (16:24); Steve Swarbrick 11th (16:55); and James Mulvany 15th (17:01). Tom Crabtree was 4th fastest in 19:14 with a grade of 67.07%. Dave Marsland ran 22:53 for M60 72.61% and Suzanne Leonard clocked 22:54 for a new personal best with a W45 grade 72.34% with George Kennedy having paced her with 23:01 and M60 70.89%. Martin Bates ran 23:32 for M60 69.97% with Finlay McCalman running 26:57 for M55 57.02%. Dave Young ran 27:15 for M70 66.36% and Emma Brook recorded 29:04 for W35 51.78%. Graham Brook ran 30:29 for M50 49.59% and Emma Davies clocked 35:07 for SW25 42.15%.  There was a good Wesham turnout at the Fleetwood Promenade run, with Steve Littler taking the 2nd fastest time of 16:16 with a new personal best and an M45 grade of 87.81%, one of the club’s best all-time performances. He holds the 3rd fastest time ran on this course. Simon Denye ran the 6th fastest time with 18:26 and an M45 77.49%, also a good performance. Peter Cruse recorded 22:37 for M55 69.12% and Sharon Cooper 23:44 for W45 67.56%. Robert Brown ran 25:11 with M60 64.79% and Brian Jones returned 28:30 with M55 55.32%. Lynn Brown clocked a new best time of 30:16 with W55 62.33%. Kim McGuire also ran a new best time of 31:16 for W60 62.05%. At the Centre Vale parkrun in Todmorden the Wesham Tourists Steven Gore was 4th fastest in 19:26, a new personal best here, for an M35 age grade of 69.21%. Elliot Costello ran 23:01 for 56.05% and Vicky Gore 26:33 for a new best time with a W40 grade of 59.26%. Sue Rigby clocked 44:38 for W45 35.92%. Alek Walker ran the Rothay parkrun in Ambleside for the 2nd fastest time of 20:19 with an age grade of 65.30%.