Alex’s Newspaper Report.

The Wesham Whippets on the podium for team silver at the Endure 24

Last week’s club challenge was another timed mile to see how well members had been doing during the lockdown. Lee Barlow had the fastest time in 5:28, just one second ahead of Garry Barnett, top M50. Neil Gregson ran 5:33 and Rob Wallace 6:04. Mark Renshall was 5th in the list with 6:21 and Stuart Topping 6th in 6:38. John Burns clocked 6:52 as the leading M60 and Peter Rooney was second with 7:44. Andy Moore had 7:47 and Sharlan Butcher was fastest woman in 8:01. Dawn Biggs was second with 8:06, and Dave Young ran 8:13. Claire Marie notched up 8:39; Kerry Eccles 9:15 and Liz Sharrocks recorded 9:52.

In Wesham’s Strava leader-board last week James Birchall definitely topped the bill as he completed the Virtual Race to the Stone 100k last week, with a massive 31.2-miler from Kirkham to Garstang and back, this stage in having run a 10k every day from Monday to Friday. This gave him 65 miles for the week in 14:09:28. Mark Holton was 2nd with 60.8 miles run in 8:46:51, and Steve Myerscough third with 57.7 miles in 8:26:07.  On the women’s leader-board Angela Colby headed the list with 40.5 miles in 6:55:47. Helen Lawrenson was back in action and high up the rankings again in second place having recovered from a sprained ankle to clock up 36.3 miles in 6:16:19. Tanya Shaw was third running 28.1 miles in 3:58:23. Heading up the mountains Daniel Shaw was king of the Mountains with 7602ft climbed over 53.9 miles in 7:57:55. Helen Lawrenson was second overall and Queen of the Mountains with 3691ft; Neil Gregson was second monarch with 3274ft having covered 32.6 miles in 4:44:10; and Troy Watson came in third with 2993ft over 23.1 miles in 5:10:19. Angela Colby was second Queen of the Mountains with 1742ft of elevation although strangely Chas Colby having exactly the same distance and pace as Angela only clocked 1647ft. Liz Sharrocks came in third with 784ft recording 20.4 miles in 3:31:29. Fastest on pace Alek Walker ran at 6:21 per mile for just one run of 6.2 miles in 39:22, while Garry Barnett was second fastest at 6:46 pace for 15 miles in 1:41:30. Rob Danson was next at 6:47 with 34.7 miles in 3:55:43 and Steven Gore 6:48 pace for 30.7 miles in 3:28:46. David Taylor ran at 6:58 for 29.3 miles in 3:24:07. Lizzie Nield was swiftest woman in 7:44 pace for 8.7 miles in 1:07:17, with Tara Fisher second at 7:47 for 14.7 miles in 1:54:25. Suzanne Leonard was third with 8:21 pace for 12.8 miles at 1:46:53.

Fifteen years ago in 2005 Wesham provided 54 runners of the 191 finishers as they hosted the 4th race in the Inter Club Grand Prix series on Monday evening from Salwick. In the open race, the men secured 2nd place behind North Fylde with Alex Rowe (3rd) grabbing an uncharacteristic victory over Charlie Pass (4th), Les Cornwall 7th and Lee Barlow 12th. With the masters’ competition becoming more competitive with fewer younger runners joining the sport, the Wesham team finished a surprised third with no Top 10 finishers behind Rowe who was 1st overall but were placed highest in the Over-50 category despite several of the top men and women missed the action, with John Collier (2nd), Dave Waywell (3rd) and John Burns (4th) completing the M50 squad winning. The women, also missing a few key runners, nonetheless finished a strong 3rd with a good score. On Sunday Paul Gardner ran both the Run Preston 10km and 5km races and completed both at the same pace despite the sweltering conditions. He ran 45:04 for the 2-lap 10km course from Preston market hall through Winkley Square into Avenham Park and back at 10am, finishing 94th out of 500 competitors. He then ran the single lap 5km at 11:30 over the same course, crossing the line in 22:33 in 46th place. Barry Norman was Wesham’s fastest runner in the 10km, finishing a fine 8th overall in 35:32. Peter Cruse was 12th in 37:18, finishing 3rd Over-40, and Paul Dunkerley was 14th with 38:11. Joanne Frodsham finished 9th lady overall and 1st Over-35 in an excellent 43:53, 72nd overall. In the 5km race Karl Lee was the first Wesham finisher in 16th position with a time of 18:42. M65 Brian Wilkinson ran his first road race in many years, finishing 2nd Over-65 and 187th overall in 32:57. Other results: 64. David Preston M50 43:21; 68. Graham Vickers M45 43:32; 87. Bill Brown M45 44:46. Paul Gardner M40 45:04; 111. Alan Taylor 45:57; 151. Stephen Wilkinson M50 47:51; 200. Michael Owen M55 49:37; 206. Nigel Shepherd 49:46; 218. John Howorth M50 50:16; 243. Paul Carter 51:27; 265. Kenneth Munroe M60 52:52; 407. Pauline Weller W45 58:18; 464. Jennie Thompson W55 1:00:46; 470. Pauline Mills W55 1:00:55.

In 2015 five years ago the warmest day of the year saw the fourth fixture of the Inter Club Grand Prix, hosted by Thornton Cleveleys using a new variety of the 5-mile course from Anchorsholme along the North Promenade to Ginn Square and return. With 252 runners, Rob Danson secured his fourth win of the season, a clean sweep, coming in over a minute clear in 26:04, a tremendous run given the hot and humid conditions. James Mulvaney and Steve Waterhouse made good work of the course coming in 8th and 9th in 28:56 and 29:36 respectively. Alex Rowe was fourth counter for Wesham with a solid run finishing 15th in 30:41. Steve Myerscough was 22nd with 31:21; Ryan Heaps 26th in 31:37; Peter Cruse 28th in 31:42; Garry Barnett 32nd with 32:05; Jason Barlow was 38th in 32:36 and Stuart Topping 53rd in 34:54. This gave the Wesham men 3rd place behind Blackpool and Preston. The women’s team fared better in 2nd place behind Preston with Carmel Sullivan 5th in 35:30; Sue Coulthurst 6th with 35:57; Alona Versinina in a great debut for the club finishing 14th in 38:31; Nicola Unsworth 17th with 39:15 and Sharon Cooper 20th in 39:41. The Veterans team of Waterhouse, Rowe, Myerscough, Cruse and Barnett finished 2nd behind Preston, and the M50s Rowe, Cruse, Mick Edge 19th in 36:37 and Nigel Shepherd 23rd in 37:18 were 3rd behind Red Rose and Preston. The M60s team of Phil Leaver 6th in 38:08, Peter Bartlett 13th with 42:20 and Dave Waywell 15th in 43:29 placed 3rd with Red Rose first and Blackpool second. Karl Lee finished 7th in the Seniors Race 6 of the Manchester Mile at Sportcity on Wednesday evening. He clocked 4:52.61 for the four-and-a-bit laps with a gutsy finish. Alex Rowe was 3rd in Race 5 with 5:16.22. Wesham had the men’s and women’s race winners at the second Catforth 5k on Saturday evening. Rob Danson won the overall race in 15:26 just two seconds short of his personal best and beating Lancaster’s Ray Edgar by 14 seconds. Sue Coulthurst won the women’s race in 25th place overall with 20:48. Steve Myerscough ran 17:51 finishing 6th and Ryan Heaps 18:28 in 9th place. Garry Barnett was 10th place with 18:51 and Paul Gregory 14th with 19:22, a very good run. Steven Gore was 15th in 19:29; Elliot Costello was 21st in 20:33 and George Kennedy putting an excellent effort to finish 22nd with 20:41 placing 2nd M55. Mick Edge was 27th in 20:55 and 3rd M55; Carmel Sullivan was 3rd woman and 3rd W45 in a time of 21:07; John Bertenshaw was 33rd in 21:15, 4th M55; Gary Moore was 35th, 5th M55 in 21:20; Stephen Browne 36th in 21:24; Sarah Sherratt was 6th woman and 1st W40 in 22:28; Sara Heaps 11th woman in 23:38; Graham Vickers 52nd in 24:59; Mark Dobson 53rd with 25:01; Debbie Myerscough 13th woman in 25:23; Andrew Heaps 64th in 27:56. Wesham had a good turnout at the 2nd Cuerden Valley Badger Run on Thursday evening, completed despite a tree falling across the course minutes before the start. The tangle of branches was safely negotiated, and David Taylor was the first finished for Wesham, coming in an excellent 3rd place with a time of 38:56 for the multi-terrain undulating course. Paul Gregory was 12th in 41:53; Paul Hetherington 14th in 42:10; Peter Cruse 2nd M50 and 20th in 42:39; Carmel Sullivan 6th woman and 1st W45 in 46:47.

It was a very busy week last year for Wesham with the fourth round of the Inter-Club Grand Prix at Thornton on Tuesday evening, Witton Park Trail Relays on Thursday evening and then the weekend Endure24 event where the club had 4 large teams and one solo member taking part. In the Inter Club Wesham won the Open team, Masters and the M60 teams, with the women third and second Masters, led as is now familiar by Rob Danson, who on this occasion left no doubt by racing away from the field in the first half mile to win by a 1min 18sec lead in a fantastic time of 25:09. Steve Littler was on fire finishing 5th in 27:24 with Gareth Booth scoring this month with 28:11 for 7th place. Also Top 10, Steve Swarbrick finished 8th also 28:11 with Simon Denye capping the front runners with 28:26 for 10th place. David Taylor was 17th in 29:14 and Paul Gregory 24th with 29:49. Neil Harrison placed 25th in 29:51 and Steve Abbott was 28th with 30:08. Chris Hastwell was 31st in 30:12; Mark Belfield 34th in 30:34 and Andrew Harling 35th with 30:37. For the Wesham women, Carmell Sullivan was the first in with 34:27 for 7th place (96th overall); Helen Lawrenson was 10th in 34:57 (104th overall); Emma Lund 16th with 37:05 (138th); Leanne Nield 18th (143rd) in 37:21; and Suzanne Leonard 23rd (154th) in 38:04, placing the Ladies Team 3rd with Lytham 1st and Blackpool 2nd. Thursday night saw the Witton Park Trail Relays over a hill course of 3.6km and Wesham had several teams entered and had a great evening out. Team 1 was Paul Gregory (17:45); Garry Barnett (17:58) and Steve Gore (18:20); total time 54:03 (28th). Team 6 were Carmel Sullivan (21:09); Sharon Cooper (24:05); and Leanne Nield (21:51); time 1:07:05 (98th). Team 4 finished 100th in 1:07:40 with Martin Allison (23:46); Mick Edge 21:12; and Ben Wrigley 22:42. Team 2 Elliot Costello 22:02; Jason Parkinson 20:11; and Alan Taylor 30:23 were 109th (1:12:36). Team 3 Male Vets were George Kennedy 25:12; James Danson 23:33; and Graham Brook 26:14; 116th in 1:14:59. Team 5 of Ryan Azzopardi 23:42; Dave Young 24:52; and Paul Carter 27:21 were 118th in 1:15:55. Team Wesham 7 (Women) made up of Suzanne Leonard 25:13; Susan Hopcroft 32:29; and Kirsty Holland 27:25 were 127th in 1:25:07. The major event of the week for the club was the Endure24 Relay held in Braham Hall park over 3 days and with 4 Wesham teams running 8km loops from midday Saturday to midday Sunday, and over 50 members and family camped up for the weekend. Ugis Datavs set the event alight with a thrilling solo run to finish 2nd with 27 laps (135 miles) in 24:04:36, same distance but just 29 minutes behind the winner with his fastest lap being 40:18 and slowest only 53:31. In the Wesham teams fastest laps were run by Simon Denye (29:36); David Taylor (29:53); Neil Harrison 31:36; Thomas Crabtree (31:55); and Garry Barnett (32:28); fastest women were Helen Lawrenson (37:09); Sue Coulthurst (38:05); Kay Twist (42:37) and Angela Colby (43:18). Three teams were in the 5 to 8 runner category, with the Whippets running 43 laps (344km) in 24:23:47 to finish 2nd. The Wildcats ran 36 laps (288 km) in 24:27:52 in 10th place. The Wolverines finished 20th in 24:22:51 with 32 laps (256km), and the Wasps were 2nd XXL team (9 runners) with 27 laps for 216 kms.