Competition and club training are off the athletics calendar but there is now hope and expectation of a return to action in the new year, and although international cross country events have been cancelled there is hope that the English National will go ahead at the end of February and the final in the UK Athletics Cross Challenge, and the English Relays later in the year. There is an expectation that some domestic indoor competitions will be allowed in the spring although these may well still be without spectators or supporters. It is expected that the Olympics will go ahead next summer in Japan and there will be some qualifying events to stage, particularly a marathon in the spring, and the possibility that some of these will be televised.
While Wesham have had to cancel their winter club handicap events for both November and December they are running a triple virtual challenge through the month at 5km, 5-mile and 10k distances, with awards to be made at the end. Several members have already started submitting their results over measured courses of their choosing so the final listings will be welcomed.
There is a new 12-year development plan being formulated for athletics in Britain, with UK Athletics working together collectively with the four home nations for the first time to meet three aims by 2032: representatives in all disciplines of international competition; an infrastructure of clubs, coaches, officials and competition in athletics to gain 250,000 registered athletes; and 9 million participants with athletics the first choice for keeping fit. This is a scheme driven by these aims to attract financial support rather than being dependent on income and intends to establish a strong grass roots built on the clubs to ensure a strong input of athletes to feed into the international aspirations.
Last week’s Wesham Strava training log showing 73 members it was a busy week for running even though no interaction allowed except in pairs or family groups and no competition or organised training possible. It did not stop many members keeping up the action, and at the top of the leader-board Daniel Shaw kept up the distance to show 54.8 miles over six sessions with a cumulative time of 7:30:14. Rob Danson moved up to second ranked last week with 52.1 miles, seven runs in 5:39:31. Rob Wallace came in third with 46.6 miles, 10 shorter runs in 6:29:53. Steve Myerscough was fourth with 45.4 miles in 6:21:22, and club chairman Peter Rooney fifth with 43.3 miles completed in 6:51:21 over six runs. Lynn Brown again topped the women’s leader-board with 35.5 miles with six outings totalling 9:49:18. Tanya Shaw was second with 30.1 miles in 4:19:22 with eleven runs, and Kerry Eccles completed 28.7 miles in 5:00:52 in five sessions. Sue Coulthurst was fourth having run 27 miles in 4:24:36, and Karen Cook was fifth with 25.6 miles on four runs in 6:22:18. Daniel Shaw again topped the table of elevation gain with 4288ft climbed, with James Green second with 2856ft over 33.7 miles with a cumulative time of 3:58:43. Troy Watson picked up the pace to come third with 2695ft over 36.8 miles in 9:19:58 with a renewed challenge for himself. James Mulvany was fourth with 2411ft over 33.8 miles, and Karen Cook was first woman and fifth in the rankings with 1936ft over her 25.6 miles. Neil Whipp climbed 1908ft over just 16.5 miles in 2:32:21, and Helen Lawrenson was second woman climbing 1837ft over 23.4 miles in 3:43:00. Sue Coulthurst had 1173ft uphill in her 27 miles for third rank, and Michelle Tickle 1092ft elevation gain over 25.5 miles completed in 3:49:56. Lynn Brown was fifth woman with 1016ft over 35.5 miles. Looking at average pace last week Rob Danson had the speediest week with a pace of 6:31 per mile with Garry Barnett consistently among the leaders with 6:39 pace over 30.7 miles completed in 3:24:09. Jason Parkinson had a quick sprint over 7.7 miles at 6:55 pace, and Andrew Harling 7:04 per mile over 28.7 miles to record a total time of 3:22:49. Ugis Datavs maintained 7:05 pace over 33 miles in 3:53:45 and James Green also 7:05 over his 33.7 miles. Fastest paced woman was Tanya Shaw with 8:37 over her 28.7 miles, followed by Julie Kinsey at 9:00 minute pace on 9.7 miles in 1:27:18. Michelle Tickle was third with 9:01 pace over her 25.5 miles, and Alice Deacon was fifth fastest with 9:29 pace over 3.5 miles in 33:11.
There were a few Wesham members that ran a not(parkrun) virtual 5k logged on their home page at Lytham Hall last week. John Burns ran a swift 23:08 for an M65 age graded performance of 72.48%. Julie Rooney clocked 38:01 for W45 42.17%, and Phil Leaver 28:10 for M65 60.65%. John Bertenshaw returned a good 22:35 for M60 73.58%.
In 2008 the main event of the weekend was the first Mid-Lancs Cross Country fixture in Burnley’s Townley Park in breezy and cool conditions. While it remained mainly dry, the underfoot going was very muddy over sodden ground that had started drying out and producing very sticky mud all the way round, making running more like skating. The women ran a two-lap 7km course around the fields in front of Townley Hall, and the Wesham women made a good showing with 7 runners and a great team result. Carmel Sullivan was the first finisher, with an excellent strong run to finish 15th and 6th on the Over-35 category, with a tine of 26:57. Joanna Goorney made a good return after an abductor strain to finish 40th and 12th Over-35 in 28:59. Michaela Dempsey ran well and came in 48th and 14th Over-35 with 29:35. Sarah Sherratt was close behind and came in 50th in 29:51, 15th Over-35. Kath Hoyer was 59th and 9th Over-45 in 30:24; Julie Cruse 73rd and 12th W45 in 31:21; and Marie Wyld finished 127th and 14th W55 in 41:16. Collectively the women grouped 2nd team in Division 2, an excellent result and a great start to the season, and were equal 6th in Division 3 with their ‘B’ team. The W35 team were 4th, and the ‘B’ team was 7th. The W45 team of Kath Hoyer, Julie Cruse and Marie Wyld were 3rd. Charlie Pass was on great form in the Senior Men’s 6-mile race, with the quality of the field swelled by the extra presence of several Greater Manchester and Cumbrian teams, and the fact that the Under 20 Men now run the same distance as the Senior Men. He strode out with the leaders and made light of the heavy going to come in 18th in 36:10, 3 minutes behind the leader. Les Cornwall had a good run, recording 38:34 in 50th position, and Barry Norman made a welcome return to the country with an excellent performance placing him 51st with 38:40, having been in front of Les for nearly half the race. In sight but a little way back, Alex Rowe came storming in over the last 800m after a frustrating race to finish 56th and 1st M50 in 39:05. Next in, John Collier and Derek Buckley were neck and neck and finished 85th and 87th in 40:24 and 40:30 claiming 5th and 6th places in the M50 category. Similarly, Gary Pendlebury, regaining his fitness after a calf injury and Graham Cunliffe came in together with Pendlebury gaining the edge over the last half mile to finish 107th in 41:46 with Cunliffe 108th with 41:49, as the pair placed 11th and 12th M50s. It was all about vet-50s, as John Bertenshaw came in 17th in the age category, 132nd overall with 43:15, and Men’s team captain Alan Glasgow was 17th M50 and 153rd in 44:21. Mark Midgley broke the pattern, coming in 171st and 66th M40 with 45:27 after his great run last week in the New York City Marathon. Mick Edge was 175th in 45:33; Nigel Shepherd 187th in 45:49; Peter Gleaves 202nd with 47:01; Jonathan Lawson 231st in 51:07; John Sharples 239th with 51:50; Brian Porter 244th in 53:02; Peter Cooke 26th with 53:16 and Dave Young 261st in 57:12. The men finished 4th in Division 1, a very good result considering the quality of the assembled field; and the ‘B’ team were 3rd in Division 3, another good score. The Vet-40 men were 4th in Division 1, and the ‘B’ team were 8th in Division 3. The M50 team were winners in their age category. In the Lancaster Half Marathon, in blustery conditions otherwise good for running, Steve Myerscough was the first Wesham finisher in a good quality race lead by Altrincham’s Dave Norman from start to finish. Steve came in 20th in 1:22:08 in a close finish with David Crayston from Ambleside. Graham Cunliffe had a great run after the tough Mid-Lancs cross country the previous day, clocking 1:24:40 for 3rd M50 and 29th overall. Son and father team Peter and Dave Waywell were next in, Peter clocking an excellent 1:25:16 for 33rd place and 8th M40 as he tops his 40-mile escapade with is sights on the 50-mile Rotherham Round next month and a 100-miler next year. Vet-60 Dave came in 2nd behind Southport’s Rick Bowker, placing 44th in 1:27:11 as he slowly gets himself back to fitness. The Wesham men were team victors ahead of Southport and HFRS. Peter Cruse finished 4th M45 in 1:28:11, and a couple of minutes behind was Wesham’s only woman runner Carmell Sullivan, who finished 5th and 3rd W40 in 1:30:02 having also run the cross country race the previous day. Mick Edge, another runner from the Mid Lancs, was close behind in 78th place with 1:30:28, and Graham Vickers was 113th in 1:34:48. Simon Eaton opted for an easier run after his finish in the New York City Marathon last week and came in 141st in 1:38:18, over two minutes slower than his halfway time in the Big Apple. Stephen Wilkinson was 217th and 6th M55 in 1:46:09, and Paul Carter turned his attentions to the half marathon after recent success at 10k, running 2:00:42 for 347th place. Dougie Brown was the first M70 in the 5-mile Dunnerdale Fell race, clocking 64:16 over the 1600’ climb to finish 184th overall.
This week in 2016 saw the latest round of the Wesham Club Championship took place in the Through the Villages race on Sunday, 8.45 miles of undulating country roads through Brinscall and Abbey Villages. Lee Barlow was the first Wesham finisher in 27th place and 8th M40 with a time of 54:17. He managed to hold off Paul Gregory who was on form to come in 31st in 54:52, three places ahead of Garry Barnett who finished 34th in 54:56, 4th M50. Peter Cruse was 8th M50 and 50th overall in 57:22. Nicola Unsworth finished 15th woman and 2nd W45 in 1:03:59 in 111th place overall. The weather was good and the autumn colours were spectacular, another feature of the Derwentwater 10-mile road race on a revised course with the start moved to the south of Keswick town centre and the finish cut short of the Grammar School to avoid crossing the main road to the north. In between a new stiff ascent and descent were added prior to passing through Swinside, adding to the severity of the course. Carmel Sullivan was in action and lead a Wesham quartet finishing 108th in 1:12:53, 11th woman and 3rd W50. Chris Moss was in good form and took it all in his stride, coming in 193rd in 1:20:05. Alan Taylor finished 246th with 1:23:56. Mick Edge was 327th with a time of 1:31:27. James Mulvaney ran in the Leeds Abbey Dash, now a very high-quality national race. He finished 160th with an excellent time of 34:10 in wet conditions that did not affect the running, with the Top 15 all finishing inside 30 minutes. Emma Lund ran the Lancaster Half Marathon on Sunday and she finished 120th in 1:40:23. She was 18th woman. Diane Blagden ran the Helvellyn 10k Trail race on Saturday and she finished 212th with 1:03:52. In the 15k Helvellyn Challenge Steven Gore was 6th in 1:09:59 with Helen Lawrenson 84th in 1:22:50. Jason Blagden finished 101st in 1:25:13. In the subsequent Helvellyn 15k Trail Race David Taylor had to pull out after he took a bad step and sprained his ankle just after putting a burst up the final technical ascent at 5.5 miles. Simon Eaton completed the race and came in 81st with 1:13:10.