Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Run in the sun at the Northern Road Relays two years ago

In a week that saw increased levels of pandemic in the North West region and higher levels of lockdown imposed again it was a further withdrawal of athletic activity, against a backdrop of some fine global performances and the publication of the first issue of Athletics Weekly since March, albeit as a monthly edition. In Valencia Ethiopan Letesenbet Gidey broke the women’s 5,000m world record in 14:06:62 and Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei set a new men’s world 10,000m mark with 26:11:00. Days later world 1500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hussan beat Paula Radcliffe’s 18-year-old 10,000m record and set a new European record with 29:36.67 in torrential conditions in Hengelo. Nearer home a new British record was set for the 68-mile Bob Graham Round in the Lake District as Ambleside man George Foster set the second-fastest time ever with 13hrs 44mins.

However, in terms of the North West the Tatton 10k went ahead with over 600 runners while the Morecambe 10k and Keswick Half Marathon were cancelled leaving club members to continue with training runs in small socially distanced groups. Wesham members were chasing performances in this week’s club challenge for a virtual 10k, with results available next week.

The Mid Lancs League has taken the tough decision to cancel all its three fixtures leading up to the end of the year with little hope that planned fixtures in January and February will be able to go head. There is conflicting guidance to have to be able to keep the general public away from the areas being used for cross country events in open parkland and this would prove impossible to marshal. There is hope that it may be possible to field an event in March on the final fixture date. Similarly, the County Championships on the first weekend in January are unlikely to be able to go ahead across the country, or not in meaningful numbers of participants for them to be a true championship.

Any resumption of parkrun in the UK has been put back but events are now running again in New Zealand, Australia, and the Falkland Islands with nearly 100 events now coming back over the coming weeks. Guernsey and the Isle of Man will hopefully soon become active in the UK.

Making it a hattrick Daniel Shaw headed up the Wesham Strava training leader-board for the third week with 54.9 miles completed in six runs with a total running time of 7:14:28. Rob Danson was second with 50.3 miles as he gets well and truly back into swing, with seven runs in a time of 5:44:33. Steven Gore stepped up to the mark with 44.5 miles in 5:19:40 over ten shorter runs, closely tailed by Ugis Datavs with 44.5 miles in 5:03:27. Mark Renshall totted up 40.5 miles in just four stages in 5:58:26 and Steve Myerscough ran 39.3 miles in 6:51:49 in seven runs. Lynn Brown was tope of the women’s leader-board again with 33 miles in 9:49:03 with seven runs, and Tanya Shaw was second with 29.2 miles in a time of 4:08:12. Kerry Eccles was third clocking up 25.1 miles in 4:35:16 in five runs, with Michelle Tickle fourth with 20.5 miles and a time of 3:05:32. Angela Colby came in fifth with 18.1 miles in 2:45:01 with three runs. Steve Myerscough topped the mountain category with 6179ft ascent ahead of Steve Swarbrick with 3825ft over 35.3 miles in 4:22:24 and Daniel Shaw with 3527ft. Neil Gregson was fourth with 2680 over 38 miles run in 5:01:28 and James Green, 1891ft in 3:59:22 over 35.2 miles. Lynn Brown was sixth overall and leading woman with 1803ft climbed. Michelle Tickle was second with 954ft uphill, with Angela Colby third with 607ft. Tanya Shaw was fourth covering 525ft and new member Karen Cook coming in fifth with 512ft over 13.8 miles in 2:39:37. In the speed rankings David Taylor averaged a 6:25 pace per mile over his weekly total 27 miles of five runs in 2:53:15. Lee Barlow came in second with 6:32 pace over 26.5 miles in 2:53:08. Garry Barnett was third with 6:33 pace in 26.3 miles in 2:52:16. James Green averaged 6:48 over his 35.2 miles and Rob Danson 6:51 over his 50.3 miles. Helen Lawrenson had the fastest women’s pace with 8:11 per mile over 9 miles completed in 1:13:39. Tanya Shaw was second with 8:30 over her 29.2 miles, and Kay Twist third with 8:45 pace over 6.5 miles in 56:53. Anne Mayers was fourth with 8:52 per mile for 12.4 miles in 1:49:57, and Michelle Tickle 9:03 per mile on her 20.5 miles.

This week fifteen years ago in 2005 Wesham were delighted with their performance in the Green Drive 5 last weekend, as they turned out the biggest single contingent and went home with no fewer than eight Lancashire medals and eight category prizes from the open race in one of the most popular races in the region. On a glorious autumn morning the field of nearly 400 runners set off down Green Drive, one of Lytham’s most picturesque locations, and straightaway the Wesham team were among the forerunners. Along Preston New Road the race was into a stiff headwind but turning into West End Lane the wind was behind the runners and then the race was on. Alex Rowe, fresh from winning the British Masters marathon the previous weekend was the first Wesham man home, 8th overall and 1st Over-45 in 26:54, closely followed by Les Cornwall, who ran 27:19 for 11th place. Gary Pendlebury completed the Lancashire team with a fine run in 28:27, 1st M50 and 19th overall. The Wesham men were 2nd behind Blackpool & Fylde. Lee Barlow completed the Wesham team in third place in the open race, crossing the line 19th in 28:52. Peter Cruse took the Lancashire M40 bronze medal, finishing 30th overall in 29:31. Alan Hudson had an excellent run, as he came home 1st M55 to win both a Lancashire gold medal and an age category award in 29:52. Young Karl Lee and Ironman Ian Garrod narrowly missed out on a sub 30-minute time as they finished together in 30:06 and 30:08 respectively. Dave Waywell was just behind, finishing 1st Over-60 in 30:13. John Bertenshaw won the Lancashire M45 silver medal behind Rowe, and Peter Cooke took over 4 minutes off his 5-mile time this year with a fine 35:04. Nine Wesham women ran in the Green Drive 5, but none had entered the Lancashire championship. Jo Frodsham finished 10th woman in 34:22 and was 3rd Over-35 lady. Kath Hoyer was 3rd Over-45 and 12th woman in 35:38, while Julie Heslop was 17th in 36:13 and Yvonne Russell (18th) completed the ladies’ team in 3rd position with 36:43, finishing 3rd non-veteran woman. Jennie Thompson was 2nd W55 and 52nd woman in 43:24 just behind Pauline Weller (51st in 43:16). Full results – Men: 8th Alex Rowe M45 26:54; 11th Leslie Cornwall 27:19; 19th Gary Pendlebury M50 28:27; 23rd Lee Barlow 28:52; 30th Pete Cruse M40 29:31; 34th Alan Hudson M55 29:52; 37th Karl Lee 30:06; 38th Ian Garrod M40 30:08; 39th Dave Waywell M60 30:13; 41st John Burns M50 30:20; 50th Trevor Rayner M40 30:41; 56th Martin Bates M45 31:10; 58th John Bertenshaw M45 31:14; 63rd George Kennedy M45 31:25; 82nd Graham Ingham 32:38; 88th Simon Eaton 32:51; 89th Philip Leaver M50 32:54; 97th Richard Storey M 33:13; 101st Andy Owen 33:24; 104th Dale Wallis M40 33:32; 121st Peter Gleaves M40 34:28; 126th Graham Vickers M45 34:52; 129th Alan Taylor 34:57; 133rd Brian Porter M40 35:02; 134th Peter Cooke M45 35:04; 139th Paul Gardner M40 35:15; 144th David Seagrave M45 35:24; 145th Nigel Shepherd M45 35:26; 164th John Sharples 36:20; 175th Reg Chapman M55 36:59; 181st John Howorth M50 37:22; 182nd Stephen Wilkinson M50 37:25; 192nd Finlay McCalman M40 37:53; 212th David Hyland M40 38:46; 228th Michael Owen M55 39:37; 229th George Flanagan M55, 39:40; 232nd Derek Goodenough M60 39:45; 233rd Bernie Krawczyk M45 39:53; 357th Brian Wilkinson M65 52:49; Full results – women: 10th Joanne Frodsham F35 34:22; 12th Kathleen Hoyer F45 35:38; 17th Julie Heslop F35 36:13; 18th Yvonne Russell 36:43; 37th Mandy Ingham F35 40:59; 51st Pauline Weller F45 43:16; 52nd Jennie Thompson F55 43:24; 63rd Marie Wyld F55 44:57; 77th Pauline Mills F55 46:50; Dave Preston ran in the Standish Hall Trail Race on Saturday from the Hesketh Arms in Shevington Moor near Wigan, and ran 46:31 for the challenging 10km, finishing 48th. Gary Moore marked his comeback to competition after a long spell with injury in the Bristol Half Marathon on 2nd October. Gary tackled the world-class event in 1:28:26, finishing 313th position. Gary cracked the 1hr 30min barrier recently on the recovery trail when he ran 1:29:46 in the Great North Run (476th position).

In 2013 seven years ago Wesham’s Rob Danson and the Wesham men’s team were in winning form last Saturday in fine though overcast conditions around the Lea Town 10k while the club also had the winning men’s team and runners up women’s team at the Coniston 14 in the Lake District. Saturday was a day of action with unusually two road races taking place and popular with Wesham members. Rob Danson chose the Lea Town 10k including a circuit of Salwick and he was rewarded with a fine show of front running to win in a near personal best time of 34:31, finishing 40 seconds clear of second placed Jason Parker of Preston. Barry Norman finished 9th in his best run for a while with a time of 36:51. Paul Gregory was 11th in 37:42 with Steve Myerscough 16th in 38:07. Garry Barnett was recovered from his jaunt to the Loch Ness Marathon and he placed 2nd M45 and 20th overall in 38:50. Alan Hudson was 1st M60 and 29th in 42:30, his best run this year after injury. Phil Leaver was 2nd M60 and 36th in 45:20, with Kath Hoyer 7th woman and 1st W50 in 46:50, 42nd overall. Diane Blagden was 12th woman and 62nd in 51:40 with Peter Cooke in 71st place with 55:26. Conditions were blustery for the undulating Coniston 14 but it was bright and warm and fine autumnal colours on display and Wesham had a strong team in this popular race to win the men’s team category.. Alex Rowe found his strength in the closing stages and finished 8th and 1st M55 in 1:26:15 just one second short of fellow Wesham Dave Waywell’s age group course record set in 2005. Karl Lee ran with Rowe for most of the course after his marathon triumph the week before, just backing off at the finish to come in 9th with 1:26:46. John Collier was 2nd M55 in 34th place with 1:33:36, and John Bertenshaw completed the team as 6th M55 and in 99th place with 1:41:14. The Wesham women were followed this with second team with Emma Lund an excellent run finishing 6th woman in 90th place with 1:39:55. Nicola Unsworth was 21st and 3rd W40 in 172nd place overall with 1:47:38. Carmel Sullivan was 24th and 3rd W45 (193rd place) in 1:49:06, and Jenn Thompson was 38th and 9th W35 (274th overall) in 1:53:25. Paul Carter ran another personal best for 278th place in 1:53:30; Tracey Hulme was 45th woman and 319th in 1:56:01; Jeremy Horton 449th in 2:01:51; Chris Moss 556th in 2:07:45; John Howorth 563rd with 2:08:04; and Finlay McCalman 640th in 2:11:54. Mike Walsh was 1st M80 and 843rd in 2:25:26; and Linzi Young was 297th woman 924th overall in 2:38:51. Dave Waywell saved his effort for Sunday at the Fire Services Cross Country Championships held in the picturesque surroundings of Stowe in Buckinghamshire, finishing 49th and 2nd M60 in 46:17 over an 8km rolling country parkland course. Kath Hoyer made it a weekend double with the Lea Town 10k with a run in the women’s race at Stowe, finishing 5th and 1st W50 in 21:21 over a 4km course. The Lancashire squad unfortunately failed to field a complete team and so did not score. Paul Carter ran the Vernon’s 4-mile race on Sunday, finishing 37th with 30:28. Michaela Dempsey finished 68th in the autumn Breaker 10k in Blackpool on Sunday, running 46:20 to place 11th woman and 2nd W45.