Alex’s Newspaper Report.

One Virtual NHS Endure24 lap of honour squad in Kirkham

Last week’s challenge for Wesham members was the June Handicap over the summer 4.9 course. Members have to run the same course each month for consistency, with those local having the option to run the actual course around Treales, with date and time being totally open during the week.  On net positions, being actual time run, Ugis Datavs recorded the fastest time with 28:11 on a 20-minute handicap. David Taylor was second with 28:44 on 19 minutes, and Alek Walker 3rd with 30:04 (18 mins). Suzanne Leonard was fastest woman with 39:00 and an 11-minute handicap; Tanya Shaw 2nd with 40:41 (6 minutes) and Dawn Biggs 3rd in 44:40 (2 minutes). On elapsed time Phil Leaver was first across the virtual finish line in 46:28 (1-minute handicap) equal with John Burns on an 8-minute time lag. Dawn Biggs was 3rd in 46:40 just ahead of Tanya Shaw on 46:41 with 2- and 6-minute handicaps apiece. Nigel Shepherd was 5th with 47:26; David Taylor 6th with 47:44 and Lee Barlow 7th in 47:53. The remaining net time were Neil Gregson 31:12; Lee Barlow 35:53; Nigel Shepherd 36:26; Rob Wallace 37:51; John Burns 38:28; Peter Rooney 40:54; Andrew Moore 42:20; Dave Young 43:03; Robert Danson 43:18; Sharlan Butcher 44:49; Stephen Twist 45:25; Phil Leaver 45:28; Louise Lord 45:38; Jo McCaffery 46:18; James Birchall 48:11; Pauline Eccleston 49:05; Julie Rooney 51:29.

The big effort for Wesham last weekend was running a team for 24 hours from midday Saturday to Sunday in the Virtual NHS Endure24 event. The club have taken part for the last two years in the physical event at Bramham Park north east of Leeds and this year there was a virtual relay, with Wesham members running an hour each, with Peter Rooney, James Birchall, Kay Twist, Steve Myerscough, Kerry Eccles, Dawn Biggs, Sharlan Butcher, Pauline Eccleston, Sally Deacon, Kirsty Holland,  Ryan Azzopardi and Alex Rowe covering 76.53 miles up to midnight with the initially hot and sunny conditions giving way to thunder through the evening in muggy weather. Vron and Alek Walker shared the two hours to 2am, followed by Helen Lawrenson, Rob Wallace, Dave Young, Sue Coulthurst, Liz Beth, Louise Lord, Neil Gregson, Stuart Clayton, Debbie Myersough, and Mark Renshall on the final stage carrying on into one of several laps of honour with socially distanced group for 5 or 6 to bring the total mileage up to a staggering 249.88. Each runner had covered between 5 and 8 miles taking an hour each with a handover on the messenger group. The runs were undertaken all over the Fylde regions from home and the laps of honour were around Kirkham, Preston, Fleetwood, and Blackpool. The good weather made the atmosphere despite the evening rain. Next year the club plan to field several teams if the physical event returns.

The Wesham Strava leader-board was extended last week with all the activity, with 81 members listed. David Taylor was at the top with 60.3 miles completed in 7:04:37, with 10 runs at an average pace of 7:03 per mile. Daniel Shaw was second with 51.9 miles 7:39:22 at 8:50 average pace. Simon Denye was just behind with 51.4 miles in 6:22:04 at 7:26. Mark Holton was 4th with 44 miles in 6:32:20 and Rob Danson scaling back to 40.1 in 4:21:59 at 6:32.  Retaining her spot at the top of the women’s ranking was Kerry Eccles with 30.7 miles run in 5:13:39, with Sally Deacon second with 29.9 miles in 4:58:30. Helen Lawrenson was third with 29.6 miles in 4:29:22; Kay Twist 25.8 miles in 4:09:50; and Liz Sharrocks 25.8 miles in 4:28:19. Daniel Shaw capped the King of the Mountains with 5935ft of elevation, with Neil Gregson second with 2343ft over 39.1 miles in 5:11:30. Mark Renshall was third with 2201ft of climb over 32.4 miles in a time of 4:41:04. In the Queen of the Mountains leader-board Helen Lawrenson climbed 1814ft; Kay Twist was second with 985ft and Liz Sharrocks third with 832ft.

England Athletics have updated their advice and guidance and have a timetable for a start-up of training and competition over the next three months, which may possibly culminate in the traditional road relay events at the end of September and into October. This opens the possibility for local clubs to commence with small managed training groups with full risk assessments and guidelines in place. England Athletics are also opening up virtual events and are staging a Virtual 5km Road Running Championships on 11th to 13th July. There has also been much discussion to date about how it could be possible to hold socially distanced track and field competitions.

In 2006 14 years ago it was a big week with the Horwich Countryside Tour and the Freckleton Half Marathon. In the Tour Peter Cruse finished 16th overall and 3rd M40 in a combined time of 2:21:49. George Kennedy placed 30th in 2:34:30 at the end of the 5 races over 6 days. On Tuesday in the Lever Park Run over a 6km trail course, Peter Cruse was 21st in 26:35 and George Kennedy 43rd in 29:04. Wednesday’s Jubilee 5-mile race, the pair finished 38th in 29:43 and 84th in 31:48. They were joined by Lee Barlow (36th in 29:27) and Joseph Wilkinson 178th in 38:22, with the squad finished 17th team. On Thursday Peter and George were 39th and 96th in the Two Lads Fell Race over 5.25 miles and 900’, recording 39:27 and 44:49. Friday’s race took in a cross country course over 4.5 miles, with Cruse 18th in 27:49 and Kennedy 41st in 20:11. In the final Carnival 5km race on Sunday, Peter cruised home in 18:15 for 25th and George Kennedy was 30th in 18:38. Stephen Wilkinson finished 77th in 22:09. The Horwich Carnival on Sunday incorporated the British Masters 5km championships in a separate race. Alex Rowe helped the Northern Veterans to M40 bronze in the Inter-Area match finishing 29th (6th M45) in 16:29. Alan Hudson was 11th M55 in 18:37 (103rd overall). Les Cornwall retained his residents’ trophy in the Freckleton Half Marathon, running an excellent 1:16:46 for 6th place in unusually inclement weather. Russell Mabbett was second for Wesham with a great run in 1:21:45 to place 21st. Ian Garrod was next in one place behind in 1:22:54. Richard Davies ran a personal best by 5 minutes to finish 28th in 1:24:44, and John Burns was 2nd Freckleton resident in 1:24:54 for 29th place. Dave Waywell was off the pace and finished uncharacteristically 2nd M60 in 1:26:09, 42nd overall. Tony Robbins finished 2nd M65 in 1:45:20, 220th overall. In the 20th ladies race Joanna Goorney was 8th in 1:32:33 and first Freckleton Female resident. Kath Hoyer was 5th W45 in 1:40:13, 24th woman overall. Yvonne Russell was 36th in 1:44:32, and Julie Murphy was 65th in 1:56:07. Jennie Thompson was 2nd W55 in 2:00:42, 74th woman overall. Other men’s times and positions: John Bertenshaw (M50) 1:27:39 (55th, Lancashire Silver M50); Simon Eaton 1:31:43 (83rd); Martin Bates M45 1:33:06 (98th); Peter Gleaves M40 1:34:24 (98th); Stephen Hinde M40 1:34:46 (110th); Andy Divall 1:39:13 (143rd); Paul Gardner M40 1:40:44 (158th); Chris Whitlock M40 1:42:53 (191st); Nigel Shepherd M45 1:44:02 (206th); Brian Porter M40 1:46:45 (239th); Chris Moss M40 1:47:20 (248th); Paul Carter 1:51:50 (286th); Bernie Krawczyk M50 1:52:26 (293rd); Derek Goodenough M60 1:53:03 (299th); Keith Crebbin M45 1:57:41 (345th).

In 2011 eleven years ago it was also the Freckleton Half Marathon, extremely competitive with 548 runners and there was a depth in quality not seen in many local races of late, although finishing times were slowed by heat and wind. Interestingly a dozen or so athletes were disqualified for wearing ipods and other offenses. Karl Lee was the first Wesham finisher, leading the men’s team to second place behind Preston Harriers. He ran 1:21:34 in blustery conditions to finish 13th. Les Cornwall started off strongly and then feeling the pressure, dropped back mid race but then came back strongly to finish 14th in 1:21:48, almost challenging Lee to a sprint to the line. Jason Barlow had been ahead earlier in the race but faded slightly to come in 15th with 1:22:15 and 4th M40. Brother Lee Barlow had a strong race and he finished 26th in 1:25:20, 4th M35. John Collier put in a determined effort and he was 33rd in 1:27:03, 1st M55. Martin Bates has been running well lately and he demonstrated this here with 1:28:00 for 38th place. In the ladies’ race Joanna Goorney was flying to come in 3rd woman and 1st W40 in 1:28:46, 43rd overall. Emma Lund was 9th and 75th in 1:32:53, and Helen Lawrenson ran well in 12th place and 4th W40 with 1:34:44, 86th overall. The Wesham women were the first ladies’ team ahead of Blackpool and Preston. Indeed, so strong were the Wesham women that the next three runners made up the 4th ladies’ team. Angela Colby was 24th woman and 172nd overall in 1:43:50; Nicola Unsworth 26th and 180th in 1:44:27; and Jenny Salt 35th and 216th in 1:47:47. Sara Ward finished 37th and 232nd in 1:48:40; and Laura Wilsdon 91st and 402nd in 2:05:25. Local lady Janice Copeland had a double victory with winning the W60 category, finishing 112th woman and 444th overall in 2:12:66. The Two Lads Fell Race on Thursday evening saw Charlie Pass finish 6th in 33:336 over 5.25 miles and 900ft climb as Wesham continued with their Fell Championship. Lee Barlow was 25th in 37:58; Steve Myerscough was 35th in 39:00; Mark Belfield 47th with 39:58; Mark Midgley 62nd in 41:20. Sarah Sherratt was 6th woman and 2nd W35 (101st overall) in 44:40; Helen Lawrenson 11th woman 3rd W40 and 124th in 46:26; Peter Bartlett 7th M60 and 138th in 48:05; John Sharples 148th with 48:48; Jenny Salt 22nd woman and 4th W35 (163rd overall) in 51:03.

In 2016 there had been the largest turnout of the year so far in the Inter Club Grand Prix race at Lytham on Thursday evening, 330 runners across the seven clubs. Wesham fared well overall although the women were missing a few key members and consequently finished lower down than they have been doing. Rob Danson was again a convincing winner by over a minute, completing the 5-mile course from Salters Wharf down to Fairhaven Lake and back in a fine 25:49. James Mulvaney finished 5th with a strong finish in 27:52 and Steve Waterhouse was 7th with 28:33, 2nd M45 and 4th Over-40. David Taylor put in a good run crossing the line 13th in 29:04. Lee Barlow strode out for 20th place with 29:43 and Jason Barlow and Paul Gregory battled it out through the course finishing 25th and 26th in 30:09 and 30:19. Not far behind Alex Rowe was 1st M55 and 3rd Over-50 in 32nd place with 30:28. Peter Cruse was 52nd in 31:45 and 7th Over-50. John Collier finished 58th and 2nd M60 in 32:15 and Andy Carey 65th with 33:05. The Wesham men placed 2nd team. Carmel Sullivan lead the women’s team in 4th place and 3rd for the women’s W40s in 33:56 (80th overall), with Nicola Unsworth 8th and 7th W40 in 35:53 (111th). Laura Taylor was 19th in 38:24 and Elizabeth Jones 20th with 38:29. Kerry Eccles completed the team in 30th place with 39:52. The W40 team (Sullivan, Unsworth, Eccles, Bernadette Dickinson (23rd and 40th woman in 41:37) and Maureen Danson (31st and 52nd in 43:51) were better placed in 2nd behind Blackpool. The men vets (Waterhouse, Barlow, Barlow, Rowe, Cruse and Collier) were also 2nd team, with the M50s (Rowe, Cruse, Collier and Nigel Shepherd (17th and 77th in 33:50) also 2nd, with the M60s (Collier, John Bertenshaw (4th and 83rd; 34:10) and Alan Hudson (8th and 102nd; 35:09) taking top team. There were three Wesham starters in the Bendrigg 10k on Saturday, a hilly circuit from the outdoor centre next to Killington Lake in association with the centre’s fair. Peter Cruse finished 19th in 40:54 nearly two minutes faster than last year placing 3rd M50 in a strong field. Sarah Sherratt was 7th woman and 1st W40 in 47:39, in 50th place overall. Simon Eaton unfortunately had to retire after 2 kilometres not feeling right. The winning time was 35:57 with the leading woman 37:57. David Taylor was 4th in the Catforth 10k on Sunday morning, running near his personal best with 37:02, a fine run. Troy Watson finished 5th M45 and 19th in 40:28, with Steven Gore 20th in 40:42. Stuart Topping came in 43rd in 42:45, with Nicola Unsworth 10th woman; 1st W45 and 62nd in 46:18. Ryan Azzopardi was 65th in 46:46 with Gemma Owen 12th woman; 3rd W35 and 66th with 47:01. Graham Cunliffe came in 71st with 47:41; Jonathan Lawson 73rd in 47:47and Kath Hoyer 15th woman 1st W55 and 81st with 49:55. Dave Waywell was 2nd M70 and 99th in 52:36; John Howorth 113th in 55:50; and Paul Carter 128th with 58:08.