Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Neil Gregson, Helen Lawrenson, Mark Renshall and Alek Walker Hillside 24-hour Run

This week, a tentative restart of some athletic activity in the North West, with a series of Podium 5k races on Saturday evening an Barrowfold near Nelson giving the two fastest 5k road men’s time in the UK and the fifth fastest women’s time, and the first fell running event since March at the Lowther Castle run over an approximate half marathon distance. There were three Wesham members running at Lowther, there was a staggered start every 5 minutes from 10am with groups of six runners at a time. Steve Littler ran well starting at 12:10, and finishing with the 8th fastest time in 1:32:02, 2nd M40 and 12 minutes behind the winning time. He had the 4th fastest time over the final 5k split. Steve Swarbrick, with his Bowland identity came in 17th in 1:39:05, 4th M40. Carmel Sullivan starting at 12:05 pm finished 18th woman and 101st overall in 2:06:27, placing 4th W50. Anne Berry had an earlier start at 11:15, returning 60th woman and 12th W50 with 2:43:25, 207th overall. The course featured two summits with a river crossing in-between and there were three checkpoints on the course with a steady run back to the finish in front of the castle.

Four Wesham members completed a 24-hour relay through the weekend based at the club’s base at the Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club. Helen Lawrenson, Alek Walker, Neil Gregson and Mark Renshall took it in turns to run stages of an hour out around the lanes around Kirkham with support from other club members both camping on the field and running stages with the team members. Raising money for the Hillside Specialist School and College. Helen ran 6 hours with runs out through Wrea Green, Treales and a long 2-hours at 6am to Inskip and back she cloaked 40 miles. Neil completed also completed 6 hours with runs out around Wrea Green and Ribby Hall, and in the other direction with a 2-hour 13-miler to Newton and Clifton for a 50-mile total. Alek Walker clocked up 40 miles with three circuits through Treales and the others in the Kirkham town area and out towards Ribby.

Little wonder then that Helen Lawrenson topped last week’s Wesham Strava leader-board with 64.2 miles clocking up 10:06:43 time in action. Steve Myerscough came in second with 61.8 miles, completed in 8:17:29. Neil Gregson, also in the 24-hour relay team was third with 59.8 miles in 8:59:12. Daniel Shaw was fourth with 57.2 miles run in 9:44:24, and Mark Holton fifth with 54.6 miles in 9:19:39, and Lee Barlow made 47 miles in 5:35:16, supplemented with a couple of long runs with a 14-miler. Alek Walker notched up 46.3 miles in 6:08:51; Simon Denye 45.6 miles with a time of 5:50:22; Mark Renshall 45.2 miles in 7;17:42; and Stuart Clayton 44.9 miles in 6:32:08. Helen Lawrenson obviously topped the women’s leader-board; Angela Colby was second in tandem with Chaz again with 34.4 miles clocked in 8:42:53. Debbie Myerscough came in third with 28 miles in 4:56:48; Kerry Eccles was fourth with 27.1 miles recorded in 4:49:58; Tanya Shaw 21.8 miles in 3:07:07; and Kay Twist 17.4 miles in 2:41:49. Angela Colby topped the female Monarch of the Mountains with 4610 ft of climb. Helen Lawrenson was second with 3743 ft uphill, and Michelle Tickle was third with 716ft over 15.4 miles run in 2:23:13. Kerry Eccles racked up 639 ft and Tara Fisher 506 ft over 9.4 miles in 1:11:26. Daniel Shaw climbed a whopping 11066 ft to claim the male Monarch of the Mountains over his 57.2 miles; Angela Colby was second overall with Chaz Colby second on the male list with 4426 ft over the 34.5 miles. Helen Lawrenson was fourth overall with Steve Swarbrick coming in third male and fifth overall with 3476 ft over 39.4 miles in a time of 5:11:55.

In 2007 thirteen years ago Wesham finished second overall team and second ladies in the fifth fixture of the Inter Club Grand Prix over the 3-lap 4.6-mile hilly course around Astley Park in Chorley on Wednesday evening. Steve Littler set the pace for the 29 Wesham men, finishing 4th in 25:47. Alex Rowe was 9th and 1st veteran and M50 overall in 26:55, with Gary Pendlebury close behind and 2nd M50 in 11th place with 27:19. Karl Lee had a fine run to place 13th in 27:56, with Steve Myerscough 14th in 28:17. Lee Barlow (18th, 28:55), Russell Mabbett (25th, 29:37), Ian Sharples (26th, 29:41), Martin Bates (29th, 29:59), and John Collier (30th, 30:11) completed the team. The Wesham veterans (Rowe, Pendlebury, Mabbett, Sharples and Bates) were 2nd team, while Rowe, Pendlebury, Bates and Collier sealed the M50 honours. Dave Waywell was first M60 in 34th place with 30:48 but was not backed up by a full team. The Wesham Ladies (Joanna Goorney, 3rd, 32:05; Carmel Sullivan, 5th, 32:50; Michaela Dempsey, 9th, 33:19; and Sarah Sherratt, 11th, 34:43) showed their potential giving them a real opportunity to finish 2nd overall in this year’s series. The Mid Lancs Track & Field League staged its fifth fixture at Hyndburn on a glorious afternoon under threatening skies and blustery conditions, and Wesham fielded 3 competitors. Alex Rowe ran 2:13.1 for 800m, finishing 2nd senior man, and 4:29.0 for the 1500m, placing 4th. He finished the afternoon with a 3rd place in the 3000m, running 9:40.5. Graham Vickers turned his hand to the discus with his first throw since his schooldays. He recorded 19.36 for 9th place. He continued his progress in the javelin with a throw of 24.72 for 6th place. Joanna Goorney kicked off the afternoon with a fine run in the 800m, winning the senior women’s event by 3.9 seconds to run 2:39.70. An hour and a half later she hung on behind Blackpool’s Stasia Bligh to record a fine 5:11.9 for the 1500m just 0.3 of a second adrift. Joanna rounded off the afternoon with 11:49.5 for 3rd position in the 3000m. On Sunday Alex Rowe missed out on a win in the Worsthorne Fell Race by just one second in a time of 42:12. Dave Waywell completed a weekend double with another M60 victory in 49:19 for the 6.6 miles of trails and moorland placing 30th overall. Martin Bates was 38th in 51:08; Graham Vickers a fine 53rd with 53:52; and Nigel Shepherd 69th in 57:40. Sarah Sherratt was 6th woman and 55th overall, 3rd W35 in 52:58; Kath Hoyer was 16th woman, 92nd overall and 4th W45 in 59:08; and Helen Jolly was 28th woman and 122nd overall in 71:32. In the Bluewater ‘SheRunsHeRuns’ 10k in Kent, Dave Young ran 51:02 in a very popular race to finish 590th. Dave Waywell finished 15th and 1st M60 in the Arncliffe Fete 4-mile road race along the quiet lanes in the Yorkshire Dales of the original Emmerdale, running 24:52. Kath Hoyer was 7th woman and 2nd W45 in 30:04. Peter Waywell headed a Wesham group in the Isle of Man Half Marathon, finishing 11th with 1:25:54 for a challenging course. Yvonne Russell had an excellent run to finish 5th woman in 1:40:06, 51st overall, not far behind Simon Eaton who was 43rd in 1:38:51. Julie Murphy was 15th woman and 101st overall in 1:54:59. Chris Moss (M40) was 82nd in 1:48:08; and George Flanagan (M55) was 96th with 1:52:37. Alex Rowe contested the popular and high quality Sale 10 race last week for his 7th year, finishing 11th with 55:22 to win the M50 category, placing 3rd veteran overall. Peter Riley won the race in 48:18 in his preparations for the World Championships later this month. And full results from the Lowther Run last week: 1st Steve Littler 1:18:03; 3rd Alex Rowe M50 1:19:20; 7th Richard Davies M40 1:28:19; 12th Derek Buckley M50 1:30:35; 18th Martin Bates M50 1:34:36; 37th Carmel Sullivan W40 1:42:50; 39th Sarah Sherratt 1:42:57; 62nd Julie Cruse W40 1:52;26; 75th Dougie Brown (1st M70); 83 Finlay McCalman M40 2:03:26.

It was a quieter week three years ago in 2017, where in the 4th race of the Astley Park Trail series over 4.6 miles of parkland and woodland trail on Wednesday evening a good Wesham team staged the next leg of the new club Trail Running championship. Steve Myerscough had the fastest time finishing 30th in 28:10 placing 12th M40. Mark Belfield was 48th in 29:57 with Jason Blagden 66th in 30:57. Helen Lawrenson was 2nd woman and 1st W40 in 30:17, 52nd overall; Vicky Gore was 53rd and 212th overall in 39:26; Maureen Danson 66th and 230th with 40:37; Pauline Eccleston 68th and 233rd in 41:00; Nicola Ball 75th and 244th in 42:08; Anne Berry 85th and 245th in 42:10; Julie Rooney 85th and 259th in 53:38; and Debbie Myerscough 86th and 260th in 43:42. Stuart Topping finished 72nd in 31:20; Ryan Azzopardi 154th with 35:24; Peter Rooney 178th in 37:32; Alan Taylor 182nd in 37:37; Dave Young 190th in 38:04; James Danson 227th in 40:11. In the final Cuerden Valley Badger 10k on Thursday evening Paul Gregory finished 11th in 41:58 and Carl Groome was 29th in 45:24, coming in 4th M45. Steven Gore ran the Worsthorne Moor Race on Sunday and he finished 36th in a time of 51:31 for the 7 miles and 900ft of ascent. The Riverside 10-mile race in Lancaster saw three Wesham members competing. Peter Cruse finished 31st winning the M55 category in his first race in this age group, with a time of 1:06:50. Carmel Sullivan was 8th woman and 1st W50 in 1:15:42 for 76th place overall. Robert Wallace ran 1:29:29 for 151st place.