Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Water splash at Yarrow Trail Race with Gemma Owen

With the tightening of restrictions in Lancashire due to the resurgence of the pandemic the prospects for athletic competition recede back into time trialling and virtual events with the season of country and regional road relays cancelled and the prospect of parkrun resuming at the end of October fading. Three of the most popular races at Christmas and the New Year, the Longridge 7, Boxing Day 10k and Garstang 10k have already gone virtual. There are some elite events being staged with by-invitation attendances and reduced spectators, and indoor athletics prospects are also being shelved until the spring. Training sessions however that have been set up with full Covid arrangements can go-ahead and Wesham’s Monday and Wednesday training meets are continuing with the full guidance already in place.

David Taylor ran the Podium 10k in Barrowford on Saturday and ran a new personal best in the “Sub-37:00” heat with an excellent 34:49 for 7th place, taking some 45 seconds off his previous 2-year old best time.

Mick Edge was busy at the weekend with perfect late summer conditions for the Epic Lakes Swim over 1 mile on Saturday clocking 32:47 to win the M60 category to finish 60th overall. On Sunday he completed the Epicman Windermere Standard Distance Triathlon in 2:52:31 with 29:18 for the swim (1500m); 1:22:04 for the cycle stage (40km) and 57:58 for the run (10km), finishing 3rd M60 and 67th overall.

There were 77 Wesham members in the Strava training leader-board last week and it was topped by Alek Walker with a tremendous 107.8 miles clocked in a total time of 25:47:11. This was primarily achieved by a 100-mile 24-hour challenge from home in Kirkham to Blackpool central Pier, back into Preston along the Ribble, then up through Garstang for a loop round Glasson Dock before a return through Great Eccleston. Back down to earth, Steve Myerscough came in second with a handsome 65.3 miles spread over 14 efforts in a time of 9:11:36. This was still clear of ultra-runner Ugis Datavs who recorded 52.7 miles in 6:26:28. Daniel Shaw was fourth with 51.2 miles in 6:07:47. Fifth on the overall list and first woman last week was Helen Lawrenson with 50.2 miles run in 9:53:12 over just 6 longer runs, with Angela Colby recording 31.4 miles in 5:37:02. Tanya Shaw was third with 27.4 miles with a cumulative time of 3:56:06; Debbie Myerscough fourth having totted up 22 miles in 3:48:56; and Michelle Tickle clocking 20.5 miles in 3:08:16. Fifth on the men’s list was Keith wilding building his mileage up to 47.6 with a time 7:14:45 over seven runs, and Simon Denye 46.3 miles in 5:54:12. Helen Lawrenson was the Monarch of the hills last week with 4980ft of uphill, with Paul Lancashire second with 3516ft over 19.6 miles run in 3:03:16. Steve Swarbrick climbed 3134ft over 11.2 miles in 2:10:29, and Alek Walker accumulated 2838ft over his 24-hour effort which included Nicky Nook. Steve Myerscough used his high mileage for 2414ft of uphill, and Angela Colby was second woman with 1742ft in tandem with Chas Colby. Michelle Tickle covered 955ft uphill and Tanya Shaw 538ft of climb. Liz Sharrocks recorded 462ft over 15.9 miles in 2:41:55, and Sue Coulthurst 454ft over 15.1 miles in 2:15:24. The fastest average pace was had by Garry Barnett over 22.1 miles in 2:30:17, equal with Andrew Harling who ran 21.4 miles in 2:25:31. Rob Danson was running at 6:57 pace over 43.5 miles in 5:02:19, and Chris Hastwell 7:09 pace for 16.4 miles in 1:57:16. Suzanne Leonard again had the fastest women’s pace with 8:29 for 7.5 miles in 1:03:37, with Tanya Shaw running at 8:37 pace for her 27.4 miles. Sue Coulthurst was third with 8:58, and Kirsty Holland fourth with 9:06 pace over 6.7 miles in 1:00:58. Michelle Tickle was on 9:11 pace for her 20.5 miles.

In 2008 Wesham had a big turnout at the Garstang Half Marathon on Sunday as the club championships draws to its conclusion for 2008. Trevor Rayner saw the benefits of his marathon training pay off with his second half marathon in two weeks as he finished 11th with 1:26:05 for 3rd M45. Peter Cruse had a good run with 1:27:11 for 4th M45 and 16th place overall. Simon Eaton had another impressive performance after a recent run of good form with 1:28:46 for 22nd position. John Bertenshaw is getting back on track after a troublesome hamstring with 1:30:07 for 30th, but Lee Barlow eased off the gas with 1:32:36 for 35th place, finding it hard going after a great run in last week’s Great Langdale Half Marathon. Mark Midgley put in a solid run in 42nd position with 1:33:24, and George Kennedy came in 46th with 1:34:18. It was a battle between Wesham and Preston for the men’s team, with Wesham winning on a 4-man count but Preston taking it on a 3-man score. First lady for Wesham in 3rd place overall was Carmel Sullivan, 1st W40 and 46th overall in 1:34:26. Michaela Dempsey was 8th woman and 81st overall in 1:42:50, and Kath Hoyer was back on form with 1:47:54 for 1st W45, 12th woman and 106th overall. Julie Cruse was in good shape in 15th place (111th overall) with 1:48:38 for 3rd W45, and Nicola Unsworth had a great run to finish 24th (129th overall) in 1:54:38. Kerry Eccles was 32nd and 129th overall with 1:59:33. The women were easily the best team, winning over Middleton Harriers, Garstang and Carrefour Riversway with a mere 23 points. Just a week after his marathon run in Nottingham Graham Vickers was back in action over the tough hilly course at Garstang and finished with a creditable 1:36:26 in 55th. Nigel Shepherd ran a good 1:40:55 in 68th place; Tony Kemps was 94th with 1:44:54; John Howorth fresh after his run last week in the tougher Langdale Half Marathon was 122nd in 1:51:48; Mike Walsh was top M75 with 2:00:13 for 148th place; and David Wells was 190th with 2:31:08. Alex Rowe just scraped inside 35 minutes with 34:58 at the Sutton Six 10k race on the outskirts of Chester. He finished 1st M50 by the narrowest of margins, just nipping into the prime slot in a sprint finish over the final 60 metres. Earlier in the week, he ran in the Joe Moran Memorial Veterans Track and Field Meeting at Sportcity in Manchester, running 9:53.3 for 3000m and 4:47.6 for 1500m, winning the M50 category in both events. Dave Waywell ran in the Pennington Flash 5 mile trail race on Saturday to celebrate the opening of Leigh Harriers new track and clubhouse at Leigh Sports Village. Dave finished in 31st position, 2nd M60 just over a minute behind Horwich’s Tony Hesketh but over 2 ½ minutes ahead of the 3rd in the age group, running 33:06. Kath Hoyer finished 2nd woman and 1st W45 in the Brown Wardle Hill Race in Rochdale on Tuesday evening, running 44:09 for the 5 miles, amount of climb unspecified.

Four years ago in 2016 it was a quieter week with no main events close to the Fylde area. Steven Gore ran the Yarrow River Splash trail race on Sunday along the river valley through the woods south of Chorley with a water crossing at one point. He finished 4th over the 10k distance in 46:31. Paul Hetherington was 3rd M40 and 12th in 49:43, with Andy Carey 22nd in 53:23. Elliot Costello was 45th in 58:14, with Jason Blagden 49th in 58:53. Gemma Owen was 11th woman and 3rd W35 in 60:24 in 52nd place overall. Kerry Eccles was 23rd woman and 88th overall in 1:09:05. Diane Blagden was 30th woman and 105th in 1:13:02. Debbie Myerscough was 46th woman and 128th overall in 1:19:23. Julie Rooney was 56th woman and 143rd overall with 1:26:36. The Lancaster Castle 10k on Sunday offered an alternative route choice as some runners went of course due to sabotage of course markers and a shortage of marshals. Emma Lund finished 20th overall and 5th woman in 49:24 on the undulating route with a stiff finish back up to the castle yard. There were no other Wesham members running in either the 10k or the associated half marathon.