Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Stuart Clayton and Paul Lancashire celebrate in the 2018 Manchester Half.

As the country pegs down deeper into the escalating pandemic as the new three-tiered system came into force there was no athletics in the North West for our local clubs although there are a few races taking place in Cheshire this weekend. The inclement autumnal weather also made training a challenge although Wesham members managed to keep their motivation and keep active. This week there is a club 5-mile virtual challenge run and the second winter monthly handicap on Sunday.

In national athletics news this week Tommy Hughes took six and a half minutes off the M60 marathon world record in the Down Royal Marathon in Northern Ireland to win the race outright in 2:30:02. He had already taken the world M60 half marathon record of 1:11:09 last month in Antrim, a top-quality race won by Mo Farah. A trial cross country race was completed in Lloyd Park, Croydon in the East Surrey League with groups of 10 runners separated three minutes apart. There was a smaller seniors-only event at Chingford Plain in Essex with 20 women and men in separate races each one minute apart. This weekend sees the start of the European Masters Non-Stadia and Mountain Running Championships in Madeira but there will be small teams present and most likely socially distanced time-trial type events although the region has low levels of coronavirus.

Daniel Shaw topped his own leader-board mileage with 66.1 miles to head up Wesham’s Strava training logs last week for the fourth week in a row. He completed his seven runs in a time of 9:06:53. Lee Barlow upped his own effort to come in second with 52.9 miles in 7:13:32 across eight runs, and Rob Danson kept up the pressure in third with 50.3 miles in 5:32:49 also with seven runs. Steve Myerscough lost none of his focus in fourth place with 43.4 miles in 6:03:50, and Tom Crabtree notched up 42.7 miles in 5:06:01 over six runs. Lynn Brown regained the top women’s spot with 35.5 miles in a time of 10:07:03 with six runs, ahead of Michelle Tickle who is returning to fitness with 31.9 miles in 4:54:33 equal with six runs. Tanya Shaw kept her effort going with six runs over 27.5 miles and a cumulative time of 3:56:03, with Helen Lawrenson fourth clocking 26.5 miles in eleven shorter runs giving a time of 4:00:16. Kerry Eccles was fifth woman over 25 miles in 4:27:55 with four runs. Simon Denye put in 42 miles through 5:03:48, with Ugis Datavs completing 38.9 miles in 5:11:12 and Steven Gore 37.7 miles in 4:35:50. Daniel Shaw also had the highest elevation gain last week to retain Monarch of the Mountains with 4921ft, with James Green 3650ft over 35.6 miles in 4:02:05. Lee Barlow was third with his high mileage giving 2303ft of climb, and Steve Myerscough fourth with 2180ft. Helen Lawrenson was fifth and first woman with 2021ft uphill, with Lynnn Brown second with 1670ft. Michelle Tickle was third with 1486ft and Tanta Shaw fourth with 577ft. Kerry Eccles was fifth woman with 563ft of ascent. Rob Danson had the speed and topped the pace rankings with an average 6:37 pace per mile. Garry Barnett was second over 20.1 miles with 6:47 per mile in a time of 2:16:21, and James Green was third with 6:48 pace. Tanya Shaw was the speediest woman last week with 8:35 per mile, with Helen Lawrenson second with 9:04 pace. Michelle Tickle was third with 9:14 per mile and Sue Coulthurst 9:19 pace over 17.8 miles in 2:45:50. Long distance was tied by Ugis Datavs and Mark Renshall (25.7 miles in 3:44:01) on a single run of 15 miles each, while Rob Danson was just short with 14.9 miles. James Green ran 14.3 miles and Daniel Shaw 14.1, with Tom Crabtree, Andrew Harling and Simon Denye all completing a half marathon of 13.1 miles. Helen Lawrenson ran 11.5 miles; Antionette Holton 11 miles; and Tanya Shaw 10.5 miles.

There is still no prospect of parkrun re-starting in the UK but Phil Leaver had kept up to date with the (not)parkrun initiative and last week he completed his virtual 5km in 27:25. The previous week he had run 27:30. David Taylor had run the Preston (not)parkrun in 18:58

This week ten years ago in 2010 there was action last week on and off road with a lot of events to choose from spread all over the North of England. Joanna Goorney was Wesham’s first lady finisher in the opening fixture of the Mid Lancs Cross Country season 2010-11 at Thorncliffe School in Barrow over a two-lap 5.6km course. She finished 9th overall and 3rd W35 in 21:25, just 1:15 behind the winner. Starting off at the same venue where the last season finished Sarah Sherratt was 27th and 10th W35. The field was scattered with members of the upcoming England Masters women’s teams for the forthcoming International Masters in Dublin, and Tracey Hulme finished 55th and 8th W45 in 25:39. Kerry Eccles was 81st with 28:29 to finish 15th W45. The ladies finished 11th team overall and 3rd Women’s veteran team. The men were not so well represented with many of them with other commitments. Ever-present John Collier was the first team member to complete the 3-lap 9.8km course, placing 56th and 6th M50 in 36:29. Steve Myerscough was the second finisher in 83rd place with a time of 37:47, and Gary Moore was third with 39:07 for 107th place and 19th M50. John Bertenshaw came in 23rd M50 in 112th place with 39:32, leading team captain Alan Glasgow by one second and one place. Russell Mabbett who had made a superb bid to find the venue after a wrong turn having spent the morning on Blencathra ran a sterling 41:01 in 134th place and 41st M40. Peter Bartlett put in a typically gutsy performance; finishing 6th M60 in 444:20 for 166th position. Alistair Morris made a fine debut and ran 45:59 for 175th place. Brian Porter was 181st in 47:43, and stalwart Dave Young finished 12th M60 in 52:15 for 194th place. Together the men finished 12th team overall and 10th veterans, with a vets ‘B’ teams 21st on the provisional results. Steve Littler had a run out in the fine autumnal weather in Standish Hall on Saturday afternoon in the 6-mile trail race and won in fine style with 36:35, a minute and a half clear of the second placed runner, none other than top class veteran Paul Freary. Mick Edge finished 3rd M50 in a class field, 16th overall in 43:21 over the two-lap route along trails and through woods. Michaela Dempsey had a fine run to finish 3rd woman in 49:37, 2nd W40 and 63rd overall. Kath Hoyer also ran very well to come in 4th woman and 1st W50 with 52:50 in 80th position. There were 165 runners in all in this popular little race. Alan Taylor nipped over to Yorkshire early on Sunday morning for the Holmfirth 15, a two-lap road race with some awesome hills to ascend but nevertheless very runnable. He completed the course in 1:58:27 in 90th place. Paul Carter accompanied him and ran a very commendable 2:25:57 for 158th place. Alan finished 49th in the Anglesey half marathon some weeks back, clocking 1:40:32 to finish 16th M40. In the Accrington 10k on Sunday Dave Waywell was the first Wesham finisher in 42:23 in 56th place and 1st M65. Phil Leaver had a morning out and came in 122nd in 47:00. Kath Hoyer was 10th woman, 2nd W50 140th in 48:14, with Shaun Turner 169th with 50:06. John Howorth finished 195th with 52:12, two minutes clear of Stephen Wilkinson who was 219th in 54:19. Jon Hughes was 291st with 63:32 and Ruth Turner 293rd with 63:46.

In 2018 two years ago Wesham runners were out in force in the Fairclough Five mile race around the very scenic lanes of Stannah from the Wyreside Country Park, the event in memory of Bob Fairclough a much loved local runner from Cleveleys. With an undulating course Rob Danson was a clear winner in 26:08 but Blackpool’s Luke Minns was tailgating in 26:34. Paul Gregory had a good run as he targets a return to performance, finishing 9th in 30:22 and 2nd M40, just holding off a fast finishing Lee Barlow who placed 10th in 30:37 for 1st M45. Garry Barnett was running well again with 31:46 for 14th place and 1st M50. The Wesham men took the team win. Peter Cruse was 2nd M55 and 16th with 33:17 and Lee Nixon ran well in 19th place with his time of 34:18 and 5th M35. Rob Wallace came in 25th in 35:16, a good result. Carmel Sullivan finished 5th woman and 1st W50 in 35:40, 27th overall. Stephen Browne came in 36th and 3rd M50 in 37:25; Martin Allison 40th with 38:02; Sharon Cooper was 8th woman and 2nd W45 and 46th in 39:10. George Kennedy turned in 47th place and 3rd M60 with 39:11 dragging in Ben Wrigley with a good run for 48th place in 39:23. James Danson was 52nd in 40:32; Kay Twist 9th woman, 3rd W45 and 55th in 41:03; Finlay McCalman 59th in 41:36; Phil Leaver struggling in the cold and damp with 42:33 for 65th place but 2nd M65; Steven Gore and Vicky Gore 67th and 68th in 43:02 and 43:03 (14th woman and 2nd W40); Peter Cooke had a good run for 4th M55 in 71st place with 44:06; Jo McCaffrey 18th woman, 3rd W40 and 74th in 45:17; Tanya Barlow and Louisa Denye 19th and 20th women (78th and 79th overall; 4th W45 and 4th W40) in 46:17 and 46:18; Sally Deacon 25th, 3rd W50 and 84th in 47:34; Sue Rigby 30th, 7th W45 and 90th overall with 49:00. There were four Wesham members running in the Manchester Half Marathon in very wet conditions and Paul Lancashire and Stuart Clayton smashed their personal best time for the 13.1 miler.  First in for Wesham was James Mulvany who clocked 1:17:24 for 74th place. He came in 9th M40 in an obviously class international field. Paul Lancashire finished 1082nd in 1:36:43. Stuart Clayton was 1376th in 1:39:08 for 54th place in the M50 category. David Millar finished 4016th in 1:54:37, and Catherine Nicholls was 1481st woman and 5719th overall in 2:03:35. Kath Hoyer finished 6th woman and 51st overall 1st W55 in the Wilton Arms Serpent 6 trail race through the Smithills Country Park on a 6-mile distance from the Belmont Road in Bolton in a time of 50:15. Dave Waywell was 2nd M70 and 80th in 58:39.