Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Paul Eccles with support in his Virtual London Marathon run

The 40th London Marathon on Sunday was in two distinct sections, the elite races over a lap course of nearly 20 laps around St James’s Park with the traditional finish line on the Mall, or a world-wide virtual event open to all on a 26.2-mile course of each runner’s choice. With the excitement of a physical race in central London there was a 24-hour opportunity to complete the virtual run, and officially there were four Wesham members taking part on courses round the Fylde region. Paul Eccles had the fastest time with 3:46:46 giving him 3901st place, 666th in his race category of Senior Male. Rob Wallace finished 5591st in 3:58:56, 1688th Senior Male. Dave Young was 38th M70 in 4:47:46, 12407th overall. Heather Buckel was 11158th woman and 2327th W45 in 6:47:09, 25569th overall. Emma wright completed her own run in 4:58:55 and got a jubilant reception from neighbours as she sprinted down her street at the end. There were over 45,0000 entrants in the virtual event, so these are all good results achieved in isolation with little support en route. It was noticeable however, travelling around the Fylde on Sunday as to how many people were out with race numbers on. Anyone who entered the virtual event will have a guaranteed entry carried over for the next three years.

Helen Lawrenson indulged her double fantasy of long-distance trail running with a run in the Coniston Trail Challenge Marathon on Saturday, finishing 1st woman and 17th overall in 4:59:08 on the undulating route round Coniston Water. Paul Lancashire scored the fifth fastest time with 4:31:23 in the socially distanced event. Neil Whipp took on the Half Marathon Trail Race, finishing with 1:50:19 for 28th on the results list. The results exclude finish positions due to the time-trial nature of the start arrangements.

Wesham members had a double-header last week, with a virtual 5k challenge in progress all week leading up to the second Winter Monthly Handicap now taking place on a Sunday morning over the Summer Handicap course. There were some smart times at the head of the virtual 5k challenge, with Les Cornwall running the fastest time of 17:42 on a point to point run from Lytham to Wrea Green, closely followed by David Taylor 2nd with 17:58 around Preston Dock. Steven Gore was third in 18:49. Kay Twist ran the fastest women’s time in 25:00, with Tanya Shaw 2nd in 25:02. Maureen Danson was 3rd with 26:34. Mark Renshall was 4th male in 20:03, with Stuart Topping 5th with 20:28. Jason Parkinson was next with 20:35; Nigel Shepherd 7th in 21:27; Alan Hudson 8th with 22:42; Troy Watson 23:10; John Burns 23:31; Robert Danson 25:26; Peter Rooney 25:42; Stephen Twist 25:47; Martin Bates 25:58; Finlay McCalman 26:20; Andy Moore 26:22; Dawn Biggs (4th woman) 27:52; Phil Leaver 28:54; Claire Belfield 29:36; Sue Hopcroft 35:06; Kerry Eccles 35:13; and Julie Rooney 35:17.

In the Monthly Handicap on Sunday morning from Carr Hill around Treales, offering a socially distanced fully marshalled event with some feeling of participation and community. Ugis Datavs ran the fastest time of 39:27 (net time 28:37) just overhauling David Taylor who had 10 seconds less handicap and finished in 29:53 (net time 29:13). Catherine Shacklock was 3rd and first woman in 41:05 (net time 40:25), with Andy Moore next in with 42:27 (net 41:57). Lee Lawrenson was 5th in 44:50 (net 44:30) and Sharlan Butcher 2nd woman in 45:39 (net 44:49). James Green was 7th in 45:52 (30:32); followed by Tanya Shaw 3rd woman in 45:54 (40:14); Garry Barnett 45:58 (30:08); Kirsty Holland 46:04 (45:54); Tracey Hulme 47:43 (41:53); Jason Parkinson 47:47 (32:17); Dawn Biggs 49:47 (44;17); Chris Haines 49:53 (34:13); Anne Berry 50:09 (44:49); Finlay McCalman 51:54 (41:54); Sue Hopcroft 52:31 (on scratch with 52:31); Peter Rooney 52:40 (37:40); Kerry Eccles 52:52 (47:52); Robert Danson 52:57 (42:57); Sharon Cooper 53:00 (42:50); Andrew Wilkinson 55:08 (44:38), with John Burns on a virtual run with a net time of 38:36 and Troy Watson 49:47. Ugis Datavs also ran the fastest net time 28:37, with David Taylor 2nd in 29:13 and Garry Barnett 3rd in 30:08. Tanya Shaw has the fastest women’s net time of 40:14 closely followed by Catherine Shacklock with 40:25 and Tracey Hulme 3rd with 41:53.

Daniel Shaw retained his slot at the top of the Wesham Strava training leader-board for a second week as he marginally increased his mileage to 57.8 miles, completing his six runs in 7:05:13. Mark Holton was second with 54 miles across 8 runs in 7:25:55, and Rob Danson was third again with 50.1 miles in 5:41:31 completing seven runs. Steve Myerscough was fourth this week with 49 miles with seven runs and a total time of 6:40:59. Simon Denye, consistently in the top ranks as well, ran 44.8 miles in 5:27:47 in six runs, and Tom Crabtree 42 miles in 5:04:30 (six runs). Lynn Brown topped the women’s leader-board with 39.7 miles in 11:04:19 with seven runs, and Kay Twist was second completing 31.9 miles in 5:03:35 in five runs. Helen Lawrenson was third placed with 29.6 miles in 5:30:02 over just two runs, and Sue Coulthurst fourth with 28.4 miles in 4:08:02 across six runs. Kerry Eccles made nine runs in 4:28:34 to tot up 25.7 miles. On the mountain leader-board there was a tie between Daniel Shaw and Helen Lawrenson on 3510ft, although Helen’s distance of 29.6 miles was around half of Daniel’s 57.8. Paul Lancashire rang up 3060ft over 35.4 miles in 5:39:15, with James Green on 3052ft over 32.3 miles (3:42:52). Steve Swarbrick climbed 2861ft (4:08:52 for 28.9 miles); Neil Gregson 2208ft (41.5 miles in 5:29:14); Tony Leach 2129ft (17 miles in 2:09:12); Neil Whipp 1475ft (19.3 miles in 2:47:16); Rob Danson 1444ft over his 50 miles. Michelle Tickle was second woman with 1191 ft over 25.6 miles in 3:52:58; and Tanya Shaw third with 988ft over 23.6 miles in 3:22:10. Kay Tweist was fourth with 946ft and Sue Coulthurst fifth over 893ft. Fastest average pace was maintained by Steven Gore with 6:45 per mile over 5k with 20:55. Rob Danson was second with 6:49 average, and Andrew Harling third in 6:53 over 32.5 miles 3:43:42. Suzanne Leonard was fastest woman again with 8:32 over 9.7 miles (1:22:46), with Tanya Shaw just behind in 8:34 pace. Sue Coulthurst was third with 8:44 per mile.

In 2004 16 years ago Wesham took the Garstang Half Marathon by storm on Sunday, fielding the overall race winner, the winning team and 20 runners in total. In-form Steve Littler took the hills on the tough course in his stride and stormed round to an impressive finish in 1:12:36, despite the wet and blustery conditions. Charlie Pass was close behind, coming home in 4th overall in 1:16:31. Gary Pendlebury was next in 5th place, the 1st M50 with an excellent run in 1:17:58. Peter Cruse (M40) clinched the deal on the team honours with 7th place and a clocking of 1:20:54. In the women’s race, Michaela Dempsey finished 3rd overall and 2nd Over-35 in 1:34:25, a superb run. Louise Williams (W35) and Bernadette Dickinson closed in the team in 83rd and 84th respectively, with 1:43:46 and 1:44:10. Louise was the 4th Over-35 lady, and Bernadette was 1st Over-40. Peter Cruse and Ian Sharples (1:21:35) were 1st and 2nd Over-40 men, and Martin Bates was 3rd Over-45 male in 1:26:53. The other Wesham male results were Lee Barlow (16th in 1:27:11), Andy Ball (53rd with 1:37:06), Graham Vickers (M45, 58th, 1:38:28), Alan Taylor (61st, 1:38:46), Barry Edwards (M40, 78th, 1:42:40),.Finlay McCalman (M40, 85th in 1:44:27), John Howorth (M50, 99th with 1:47:33) and Stephen Wilkinson (M50, 149th in 2:02:09). Race walking star Bill Newhill came 170th in 2:13:59. For the women, Jen Salt (W35) finished 96th in 1:46:11, and Pauline Weller was 158th in 2:04:36. Dave Waywell was the leading Over-60 in the Burnley 7, won by Sale Harrier Rick Hayman in 37:41. Dave finished 2nd veteran and 8th overall in 41:48 over the hilly 7-mile course out and back from the Burnley Fire Station. Alan Hudson finished the first Over-55 in 15th place, clocking a handy 44:33. Dave Preston (M50), ran 49:32 for 54th place, and Kath Hoyer had a great run, finishing 3rd lady in 69th position with 50:54. She was 1st woman Over-40. Last weekend Karl Lee took part in the second Blackpool and Fylde Medal meeting at the Stanley Park track. Karl excelled with two bronze medals, with 2:26.50 in the 800 metres and 5:07.60 in the 1500 metres. This was Karl’s second outing on the track in as many weeks, and he improved both of his performances over the first medal meeting. We will hopefully see much more of Karl next year on the track. Veteran Alex Rowe won the Northern Veterans best kept secret on Sunday, their Monthly Run in glorious surroundings at Edgeworth. This is a 2-lap woodland trail course around Turton Reservoir, shortened this year due to the circuit of the Entwistle reservoir being severed by flood damage. Alex clocked 36:18 for the 10.2 kilometres. Julie Murphy ran 50:00 in a women’s only 10k in Yorkshire, over a muddy multi-terrain course. Mark Wilson (M50) finished 154th in Larry’s Southport 5 Miler, in Victoria Park, Southport. He ran 37:35 in the windy conditions.

In Olympic year 2012 the biggest local race last weekend was the Run Preston 10k and 5k on Sunday morning taking over the city centre and adjoining Avenham Park with a spectator thrill course. Barry Norman re-emerged from injury with a great run, clocking 37:20 for 13th place for the challenging 2-lap course from the town centre into Avenham Park and back in reasonable weather before the heavy rain set in. Karl Lee was a little below par finishing 15th in 37:28. Joanna Goorney was just 5 seconds off an outright win in the women’s race with 39:49 for 2nd place and 1st W40, 39th overall. Garry Barnett was 48th with 40:12, 8th M45. Simon Eaton came in 58th and 12th M40 with 40:37, and Nigel Shepherd was 91st and 4th M50 in an excellent run with 42:34. Tara Fisher placed 203rd with 46:16. Phil Leaver was 214th and 11th M55 in 46:44; Peter Bartlett 3rd M60 in 47:05, a creditable result in 222nd place overall. Jenn Thompson was 19th woman, 3rd senior (non-veteran) and 236th overall in 47:33 and Paul Boustead 291st with 49:14. Sharon Cooper was 32nd woman and 7th W35 in 321st place with a time of 49:58. Paul Carter was 358th with 50:52; George Flanagan 569th and 13th M60 in 54:42; Mark Pattinson 595th with 55:06; Peter Cooke 643rd in 55:48; Dave Young 5th m60 and 665th with 56:21. Joanna Goorney then ran the 5k race and finished 2nd woman again with 20:51 in 17th place overall and 1st W40. Dave Waywell was 42nd and 1st M65 in 23:01 and Jenn Thompson 11th woman and 62nd in 25:40. Paul Carter was 68th in 26:19. Helen Lawrenson finished 167th and 17th woman in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon on Sunday in good conditions, placing 8th W40 in 3:21:02. Brian Jones was 426th and 40th M50 in 3:39:46, with Nicola Unsworth 452nd and 59th woman in 3:41:15, 16th W40. George Kennedy was 110th and 8th M50 in the River Ness 10k clocking 41:33 for the 6.2 miles of good running. Mark Bellfield ran the Berlin Marathon and scored 3:27:16 for 4798th place with a superb display of regular intervals, just dropping from 4:50 per km to 5:02 with regular 5km splits of around 24 minutes. His chip- time was 3:24:28. Russell Mabbett headed to the Cleveland Way along the North Yorkshire coast on Friday for the 60-mile Hardmoors 60 ultra distance race. With a cut-off time of 16 hours he was a little apprehensive but he needn’t have worried as he completed the course into the Saturday evening dusk in 14 hours to earn a further two points for his next attempt on the Ultra Tour de Mont Blanc. He accompanied training partner Stuart Williams from Blackpool who completed the stunning route in 12 hours. Wesham had a good turnout in the fifth and final Lancaster 5k on Saturday evening with the sunset along the river front at Salt Ayre. Alex Rowe managed a good run after his afternoon cross country race with 17:21 to finish 17th and 2nd M55 behind the incredible George Thompson from Carlisle who ran 16:15. Alan Hudson was getting back to good form with 19:26 to finish 38th overall and 2nd M60 40 seconds behind Lytham’s in form Graham Webster. Alan Taylor was 54th with 21:54. Alex Rowe ran the first Red Rose Cross Country League as a guest earlier in the day, running 37:05 for the 3-lap 10k course at Leigh on a glorious sunny afternoon, finishing 26th and 1st M55.