Alex’s Newspaper Report.

It’s actually Steve Myerscough in character on Halloween parkrun in 20

Wesham staged a virtual 5-mile challenge for members last week, to be run on a safe course of each runner’s choice, and sixteen members took part. Rob Danson posted the fastest time, an impressive 26:08 to surge ahead relatively of second placed Garry Barnett who recorded 32:33. Alek Walker was third with 32:38 close behind Garry, and Carl Groome was fourth ranked with 37:22 as he continues to regain his running strength after his ankle operation. Alan Hudson was fifth and well-placed as an Over-70 with his time of 38:49. John Burns placed sixth with 39:16, and Tanya Shaw came in as first woman and seventh overall clocking 39:58. Stuart Topping as socially distanced coach provided the pace coming equal placed with the same time 39:58. Peter Rooney posted 41:20 for ninth fastest time with Robert Danson tenth with 41:55. Completing the family trio Maureen Danson was second woman and eleventh overall with 44:16 in tandem with Sharon Cooper for third woman. Anne Berry was next in line with her time of 46:13 together with Kerry Eccles.  Dawn Biggs was sixth woman and fifteenth overall in 51:19 and Sharlan Butcher seventh and sixteenth in 51:30.

The Wesham monthly handicap cancelled last week due to the heavy rains and flooding around Treales on two low lying dips in neighbourhood lanes was postponed to this weekend but is now cancelled along with the December event due to the general national lockdown now in place once again. The latest advice from England Athletics in line with guidance that exercise can only be with one other person outside of a family group has put paid to all the club activity that had been permissible since July, so Wesham’s Monday and Wednesday social and coached sessions are once again on hold. The revised virtual club challenges staged fortnightly will be continued and extended over the next four weeks of the lockdown.

Despite the continuing pandemic and worsening weather conditions there were 67 Wesham members out training and recording their efforts in the club Strava group. Last week the leader-board was again dominated by Daniel Shaw who is unstoppable at the moment, racking up another 65.1 miles over ten sessions with a cumulative time of 7:53:43. Steve Myerscough was back as runner-up with 55.7 miles completed in 7:53:58 with eleven runs. Rob Danson was also hard at work with 51.3 miles in 5:58:50 with nine outings. Mark Holton returned to some high mileage with 48.5 miles over just seven runs to clock up 7:09:13. Simon Denye recorded 47.9 miles with ten runs in 5:41:41 and Neil Gregson 46.8 miles in 6:34:41 over six sessions. Lynn Brown kept her place at the top of the women’s leader-board with 35.5 miles in 9:51:04 with six runs. Helen Lawrenson was second over 30 miles in 4:46:30 and Sue Coulthurst third having run 28.2 miles in 4:30:15. Kerry Eccles was once again in the top of the list with 27.8 miles with five runs in 4:51:54, and Tanya Shaw was fifth woman with 27.2 miles and an overall time of 3:56:11. Nest down the list was Antoinette Holton with 24.8 miles in 3:56:01 over four runs. James green took the top spot on the mountains last week with 3634ft climbed over his 35.5 miles run in 4:02:35. Mark Renshall was second, with 2953ft over 32.9 miles completed in 4:46:47 in four runs. James Mulvany was third with 2945ft over 35.2 miles (4:57:26), and Neil Gregson was next with 2818ft. Helen Lawrenson was fifth and first woman with 2641ft; Lynn Brown second with 1103ft run uphill. Sue Coulthurst ran up 898ft; Claire Belfield came in fourth with 793ft over two runs totalling 6.9 miles in 1:49:08. Kerry Eccles was fifth woman with 738ft climbed. On the speed stakes Alek Walker produced the highest average speed pace with a swift 6:16 pace over 8.5 miles with a total time of 53:16 in two runs. Garry Barnett was second fastest with 6:36 pace over 10.6 miles in 1:09:58. Rob Danson was third fastest with 6:48 pace. Tanya Shaw was fastest woman with 8:41 pace over her 27.2 miles, with Kirsty Holland second with 8:44 pace, completing 6.9 miles in 1:00:16 in two runs. Julie Kinsey was third fastest with 9:17 pace for 8.4 miles in 1:17:59, in two sessions. Michelle Tickle was next fastest in 9:26 pace for 15.3 miles completed in 2:24:20. Antionette Holton returned an average pace of 9:31 for her 24.8 miles, and Helen Lawrenson 9:33 pace over her 30 miles.

In 2007 Wesham fielded three men’s and two women’s teams at the English Cross Country Relays in Berry Hill Park in Mansfield on a glorious autumnal afternoon in summery conditions. The ladies were first off, and the Wesham women had their most successful performance at these relays having only previously competed in 1999 and 2006. In the ‘A’ team Julie Cruse was 84th in 13:24, Yvonne Russell 72nd with 13:24, and Carmel Sullivan 62nd in 12:13. Their cumulative time was 38:44 for the 12km. The ‘B’ team was Tracy Hulme (94th with 14:24), Anne Docherty (84th in 15:25) and Julie Murphy (75th in 14:47). Their total time was 44:37. Carmell Sullivan’s run was the fastest time by a Wesham woman in these championships. In the men’s race over the 2-lap 5km course the Wesham men’s ‘A’ team had a good group effort to finish 77th in 1:11:52, with Charlie Pass (82nd in 17:00), Lee Barlow (82nd with 17:56), Steve Myerscough (87th in 19:16) and Alex Rowe (77th with 17:39). The ‘B’ team was John Collier (146th in 19:23), Alan Glasgow (133rd, 20:05), Graham Vickers (131st, 20:59) and Mark Midgley (123rd, 21:08), placing 123rd with a total time of 1:21:37. The ‘C’ team kept themselves off the back of the field and came in 142nd in 1:31:06 (Brian Porter 161st, 22:47; John Sharples 152nd, 22:47; Dave Young 153rd, 24:36; Dave Waywell 142nd, 21:17). John Bertenshaw sharpened up his autumn 10-mile performance with 1:07:16 over the undulating Guy Fawkes course in Ripley near Harrogate on Sunday to finish 48th overall and 5th M50 in a popular race of 868 runners. In the hilly Through the Villages 8.4-mile road race on Sunday from Wheelton on a beautiful morning Barry Norman had a fine run through Brinscall and Abbey villages to finish 16th in 50:14 in a good quality race. Trevor Rayner began his long winter campaign due to culminate in the Rome Marathon in March with a great run over the hills to record 54:38 for 49th place. George Kennedy was just over the hour with 60:13 in 101st place, just ahead of Wesham’s first lady, Michaela Dempsey, who finished 9th woman and 102nd overall in 60:14, 2nd W40. Michaela has placed first W40 in the Lakeland Trails series that culminated in Coniston on 6th October. Sarah Sherratt was the 2nd Wesham lady on Sunday, coming in 18th with 64:22, 143rd overall and 6th W35. Kath Hoyer was 22nd woman, 153rd overall and 4th W45 in 65:11, and the Wesham women claimed 2nd team behind Southport Waterloo. For the men, Graham Vickers ran a weekend double after the cross country the previous day, finishing 119th in 62:03, and John Howorth was 5th M50 and 150th overall in 64:52. Stephen Wilkinson was 6th M50 and 159th overall with a time of 66:08, and George Flanagan ran 73:21 for 236th position. Pauline Weller was 47th woman (271st overall) with 76:25, and Jenny Gomery was 49th (277th overall) in 77:03. Lee Barlow was out on the roads on Sunday to follow up his excellent run in the cross country relays with another great performance to finish 27th in the hilly Derwentwater 10-mile race in spectacular surroundings at Keswick, recording 59:56 for his efforts. Peter Cruse was 66th with 564:28 for 8th M40, and Peter Waywell was one behind with 64:45. Martin Bates ran 68:20 for 112th place, and Julie Cruse also managed a weekend double with a strong 77:17 to place 30th woman and 2nd W45, 248th overall. Derek Buckley finished 34th in very good conditions in a quiet part of Lakeland, running 47:23 over the 6-mile course with 1600’ climb. Dougie Brown was 1st M70 in 63:05 for 170th place. Nigel Shepherd was attracted by the name of the Shepherd’s Skyline fell race and duly finished 196th in the 65:30 over a 6-mile course with 1150’ of climb after suffering a pull in his calf during the race.

In 2015 It was unseasonably warm last weekend with the warmest weather for the time of year recorded. It did bring some heavy fog, and there were several Wesham members out following Halloween at the Through the Villages 8.45 mile road race, and roller coaster of a run uphill from Wheelton, down though Brinscall and Abbey Villages coming back down though Withnell. The Wesham contingent was lead by Lee Barlow gearing up the action to come in 18th in 54>14, 7th M40. Peter Cruse ran well close behind to finish 2nd M50 in 56:57, 40th overall, leading Paul Hetherington who came in 14th M40 and 44th with 57:21. Paul Gregory was 55th in 58:46. The Wesham men finished 5th team after a very close match between the first four clubs, Darwen Dashers winning by 2 points from Chorley AC. Carmel Sullivan finished 6th woman and 1st W50 in her first race in this age category, clocking 1:00:03 for 67th place overall. Nicola Unsworth was 13th woman and 4th W45 in 1:03:03, 104th in the race overall, and Michaela Dempsey was 34th and 8th W45 in 1:10:55, 177th overall. Debbie Myerscough was 46th and 9th W50 with 1:14:10, 200th overall. The Wesham women were 4th team with the winners Burnden Road Runners beating Darwen Dashers. Nigel Shepherd ran 1:02:20 for 92nd place, 8th M55, with George Kennedy 102nd in 1:03:01 placing 10th M55. Mick Edge was 14th M55 and 122nd with 1:05:06, and Graham Vickers was 251st and 25th M55 in 1:23:31. It was a stunning weekend for taking in the autumn colours and the Derwentwater 10 mile rod race out of Keswick was the perfect opportunity, attracting 435 runners with the same idea. Chris Moss completed the round in 182nd place with 1:17:18 and Alan Taylor worked his way round the hilly course to come in 213th in 1:19:42. Anne Mayers-Smith ran the Lancaster Half Marathon on Sunday from Salt Ayre utilising the old railway tracks and riverfront and she finished 288th, 73rd woman and 11th W35 in 1:54:17.