Alex’s Newspaper Report.

There was a mix of athletics last week with virtual and time-trial racing ongoing and Wesham members taking advantage of the opportunities. The closest to home was the Lancaster Jailbreak 10k, using a route along the new Heysham link road. David Taylor finished 3rd in 36:49 with Ray Edgar winning in 33:36 and Lytham’s Russ McKelvie 2nd in 35:51. Garry Barnett was 4th and 1st M55 in 38:26.

Last week saw a virtual 4-mile race to act as a substitute for the Red Rose Inter Club race in Leyland’s Worden Park, which attracted 244 runners each running a course of their choosing and submitting their time. Wesham had 43 runners, and finished 2nd team overall; 4th Ladies; they won the Vets Over-40 and vets Over-60; were 2nd in the M50 team and 3rd Ladies Vets (W40+). David Taylor led the team placing 6th in 22:21; Andrew Harling 11th in 23:15; Tom Crabtree 12th in 23:22; Mark Belfield 13th with 23:24; and Garry Barnett 17th and 1st M50 in 23:48. Lee Barlow was 19th in 23:51; Chris Hastwell 26th in 24:41; Steve Myerscough 28th in 24:47; Chris Haines 43rd in 26:13; and Simon Denye 47th in 26:38. Helen Lawrenson was 16th woman in 30:20; Tanya Shaw 23rd in 31:42; Kirsty Holland 38th in 34:26; Debbie Myerscough 41st in 35:10; Dawn Biggs 45th in 35:39; Sharlan Butcher 46th in 35:41; Pauline Eccleston 47th with 35:52; Anne Berry 48th in 35:57; Clare Belfield 57th in 37:04; Kerry Eccles 59th in 37:18; Liz Sharrocks 60th (37:29); Julie Paton 66th (38:23); Claire Axcell 68th (38:27); Tanya Barlow 76th (39:38); Vron Walker 91st (42:39). Mark Renshall was 49th in 26:47; Neil Whipp 50th in 26:53; Stuart Topping 51st with 26:54; Neil Gregson 54th (27:05); Paul Eccles 55th (27:06); Nigel Shepherd 56th and 1st M60 in 27:06; Alek Walker 77th (28:12); Steven Gore 82nd (28:56); Tony Leach 85th (29:19); Ryan Azzopardi 100th (30:41); Alan Hudson 103rd (6th M60; 30:50); Peter Rooney 108th (31:05); James Danson 130th (32:40); Dave Young 147th (34:20); Andrew Moore 152nd (34:39); Finlay McCalman 155th (35:13); James Birchall 159th (35:27); Peter Cooke 201st (39:45).

Wesham had a few runners in the Virtual Great North Run over the weekend, where competitors could run to an app giving location and atmosphere from the actual course. Rob Wallace finished 1130th in 1:48:34 in warm conditions as a late summer hit the UK. Tom Farquhar placed 1401st in 1:51:02 and Tony Leach 3681st in 2:07:52. Emma Wright finished 5490th in 2:20:28, Sharlan Butcher 5565th in 2:21:02; and Dawn Biggs 5664th in 2:21:48.

Mick Edge finished 84th in the Derwentwater 15k Trail Race on Saturday in 1:29:19 placing 3rd M60. Carmel Sullivan ran 1:34:22 for 105th place and 2nd W50 with Nicola Unsworth of Blackpool half a minute behind her. It was wet and windy but an exhilarating experience. Mick had completed the final Capenwray Triathlon in 14th place, with 10:07 for the swim, 36:18 for the cycle and 19:42 for the run giving him an elapsed time of 1:09:27 and 1st M60 position.

Steve Myerscough topped last week’s Wesham Strava training leader-board with 71.1 miles completed in 9:57:29 over 12 runs in the seven days. James Green was second with 48.4 miles in 5:53:19, a total of 6 runs, and Paul Eccles was third with 47.2 miles in 7:01:19. Daniel Shaw was fourth with 47.0 miles in 5:44;40 and Simon Denye fifth with 44.4 miles completed in 5:21:54. The  female leader-board was headed by Tanya Shaw with 29.4 miles in 4:12:21. Second was Helen Lawrenson with 26.8 miles in 4:15:30; Kay Twist over 23 miles in 3:36:12; Sue Coulthurst 18 miles in 2:54:18; and Kerry Eccles 17.7 miles in 3:19:25. James Green was last week’s monarch of the Mountains with 5015ft of uphill running, with Tony Leach second over 26.4 miles and 4321ft of climb in 3:44:50. Steve Swarbrick went uphill for 3410ft over 30.5 miles in 4:27:23. Helen Lawrenson was fourth and first female of the mountains with 2795ft; Simon Denye was fifth with 2533ft; second woman was Sue Coulthurst with 589ft; Tanya Shaw third with 545ft; Kay Twist fourth over 457ft and Kerry Eccles fifth with 411ft. Fastest overage pace was Neil Harrison, 3.1 miles (5k) at 6:39 pace per mile. Garry Barnett was second with 6:42 over 32.5 miles in 3:37:45, and third was David Taylor at 6:49 pace for 24.8 miles in 2:49:03. Suzanne Leonard was the fastest paced woman at 7:54 over 4.4 miles in 34:46. Second was Tanya Shaw at 8:35; third was Michelle Tickle at 9:01 over 5.1 miles 45:59.

The team lead by Wesham member Alan Taylor completed the Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle challenge over 9 days averaging around 100 miles per day in aid of Rosemere Cancer and Brian House Children’s Hospice. The team included Wesham members John Collier who at the age of 67 has the fastest time for his age for the distance, and Carl Groome and Chris Moss, assisted by Alex Rowe who drove the support vehicle. Contributions can be made to Lejoggers at Virgin Just Giving.

In 2007 13 years ago Alex Rowe added two world medals to his cache of international achievements on the Masters circuit. This time he claimed his first individual world medal in the marathon at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Riccione, Italy, on Saturday, clocking 2:43:50 for 3rd M50 and 26th place overall. Temperatures were at 27 degrees but Rowe ran a perfectly judged race storming past his rivals on the second lap as they wilted in the heat. Rowe finished tired but jubilant on the track in the main stadium to lead the Great Britain M50 team to silver medals behind the home squad Italy. Two days previously he had run in the M50 10,000m as a warm up in midday heat of 28 degrees, but having run 10 laps in medal contention he eased off the pace finishing 5th in 35:13.32 to save himself for the marathon. In the tough Langdale Half Marathon Steve Littler was on form to win in 1:17:52, some 3 minutes clear of his nearest rival. John Howorth finished 181st with 1:56:21, while Peter Cooke compared the course with the Oldham Half Marathon having run a faster time of 1:58:06 today for 196th place over an arguably tougher route here in Langdale. Kath Hoyer managed 2:02:17 for 45th woman and 235th overall. Peter Bartlett, who loves running in the Lake District, clocked 2:05:09 for 259th position. Michaela Dempsey ran 4.2 miles in the Graham Wright Cowm Reservoir Multi Terrain race on Wednesday evening from Whitworth. She finished 36th overall in 29:41 over the hilly course. In the Illuminations 10k Road Race on Saturday Lee Barlow was the first Wesham runner to finish 5th in a time of 35:31 with a blinding run. George Kennedy ran well in his new age category to finish 2nd M50 and 19th overall in 41:17. Barry Edwards continued his return to action after long term injury with 48:16 for 72nd place, and Paul Carter was 1090th in 54:15. Fiona Bledge ran well to place 11th woman and 3rd W35 in 49:54, and Sue Fearon began an impressive weekend double with 58:55 for 26th woman, 133rd overall. Stephen Wilkinson ran the Boggart Chase 10k in Middleton on Sunday for the 2nd consecutive year, recording 46:50 over the hilly course for 66th place and 6th M50. Peter Cruse was 15th in the equally hilly Stainland 7 near Halifax with an opening downhill mile compensated for with several uphill sections. Michaela Dempsey was 5th woman and 2nd W40 (39th overall) in 55:57, with Julie Cruse 12th (61st overall) in 59:19. Sarah Sherratt took in the highly scenic Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon in a race of 1337 runners, clipping away the 13.1 miles in 1:37:32 to place 3rd W35 and 264th overall. Conditions were warm in the Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham on Sunday with some disappointing performances. Graham Vickers finished 272nd with a gun time of 3:39:30, while Peter Waywell was close behind in 283rd position with 3:40:25. Simon Eaton ran 3:46:10 for 337th place in a field of 1059 runners. Sue Fearon was 67th in the tough Mileta 10k road race from the Princess Mary athletics Stadium in Cleckheaton, running 58:50 to finish 1st W40 and 18th woman.

In 2015 Wesham had a particularly good turnout at the Lancashire Road Relays hosted within the North West Relays shared with Cheshire, Greater Manchester and hosted by Merseyside at a new venue at the Edge Hill University campus in Ormskirk. The Wesham women’s A team finished 5th in the Lancashire stakes, 20th overall with Helen Lawrenson (21:30); Carmel Sullivan 10th fastest overall in Lancashire (21:02); and Tracey Hulme (32:08) clocking 1:05:40. The B team were 13th (41st overall) with Gemma Owen (23:33); Jayne Hurst (26:40); and Sharon Cooper (23:49) totalling 1:14:02. The C team were 15th and 46th fielding Bernadette Dickinson (25:33); Angie Kirkham (25:45) and Diane Blagden (26:58) clocking 1:18:16. Kerry Eccles (25:21) and Jen Thompson (25:22) made up an incomplete team. Rob Danson ran the fastest Lancashire time and 3rd fastest overall of 15:51 I  the men’s four stage, leading the Wesham Men’s A team to 12th place (32nd overall) with Lee Barlow (18:21); Steven Gore (20:16) and Steve Myerscough (19:05) making up 1:13:33. The B team were Mick Edge (22:35); Garry Barnett (19:45); Simon Eaton (19:54) and Elliott Costello (21:36) for 1:23:50. There was a C team of George Kennedy (21:15); Peter Cooke (25:19); Graham Vickers (24:10) and Robert Danson (Snr) (27:20) clocking 1:38:04. Alex Rowe ran the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in Betws-y-Coed in North Wales on Saturday on an 8.7km course with 450m of ascent in two big climbs on narrow zig-zag woodland paths with a descent in between on good forest tracks. Rowe made good work of the first ascent reaching the top 15th. Dropping to 16th in the middle section and up the second big climb it was all down to the big descent over the last kilometre gaining back his lost place to finish 15th in 44:53. Wesham had a good number of runners in the Garstang Half Marathon over a challenging course through the Bowland foothills east of the town. Gary Barnett was the first Wesham finisher in 17th place with 1:28:43, 5th M45. Lee Barlow was a little further back in 31st place with 1:34:41, 9th M40. Carmel Sullivan was 3rd woman and 2nd W45 in 1:37:57, 42nd overall. Sarah Sherratt was 7th woman and 3rd W40 in 1:43:32 in 62nd place. George Kennedy came in 66th with 1:45:40 with Helen Lawrenson 11th woman and 4th w45 in 1:46:22, 68th overall. Debbie Myerscough ran a personal best recording 1:58:06 for 103rd place, 20th woman and 3rd W50. Dave Young was 106th and 3rd M65 in 1:59:39. Emma Pass ran the Langdale Half Marathon on Sunday, one of the toughest in the country and she finished the 13.1 mile round through the Great and Little Langdale valleys in 33rd place overall in 1:43:15, placing 4th woman. David Taylor finished 223rd in the Great North Run in Newcastle and South Shields on Sunday running a very good time of 1:22:31. His 5k splits were very consistent with 19:13, 19:37 and 19:23. Laura Taylor was 3764th in 1:43:57 again with good splits of 23:42, 24:19 and 24:39.  Ben Wrigley was 9264th in 1:56:26 starting out with a 23:07 5k and slowing to 25:06 and 28:41 up the big climb from 9 miles. David Taylor tuned up for the Great North Run with a swift parkrun in Preston on Saturday morning, running an easy 20:04 for an age graded performance of 64.29%. Martin Bates clocked 24:12 for an M55 65.15%. Sally Deacon recorded 29:03 for W45 56.34% and Julie Rooney 31:53 for W40 48.25%.