Wesham members were into the final week of their November club virtual challenge for a 5 and 10k run of their own choice with a 5-miler with the final mile the fastest. The final results will be collated at the end of this week and reported next week. Going into December the new club challenge leading up to Christmas is a “12 Days of Christmas” with a daily distance in miles or kilometres starting at 1 and building up by 1 per day to 12 with a completion deadline of Christmas Eve, so 12 running days and 12 recovery days. There will be a prize draw for those completing the challenge for a Christmas hamper of club goodies.
In international news the mountain ultra-running world phenomenon Kilian Jornet record holder over the English Lakes Bob Graham Round of 68 miles and Everest double ascent ultimate achievement is coming down to the track this weekend to see if he can top the 188-mile 24-hour record in Norway, the “Phantasm 24” event. His average pace will have to be greater than 7:38 per mile to achieve this which is much faster and far more regular than running on trails and mountain tracks, so some challenge with muscle repetition and fatigue.
With next week’s exit from the current lockdown there is some hope that training sessions will be able to restart at Wesham as there is promise that gyms and sporting venues will be able to re-open. However, with the return to the tier system there is still much uncertainty where the region of Lancashire will be placed and whether there will be any “Tier 3+” stricter restrictions imposed. The club has already cancelled the December Handicap due on Sunday 6th with the next run planned for January. So, for the time being the club focus will be on the monthly virtual challenges.
While the first few months of 2021 remain speculative for athletics there is some hope that even though restrictions are likely to continue through April it may be possible to host at least one socially acceptable cross country event in March but a lot will depend upon whether venue administrators will allow this even if the organisers can demonstrate their abilities. The Mid Lancs League remains open to offers and have also planned very tentative fixture and dates at their recent AGM for the outdoor track and field season from April onwards to August 2021.
Stephen Browne ran a (not)parkrun 5k last week and was recorded against his home parkrun at Lytham Hall with 24:10 for an M50 age graded performance of 63.03%. John Bertenshaw continued his regular training regime with 22:50 for an M60 grade of 72.77%. Nigel Shepherd ran a good 21:05 for the Preston parkrun and an M60 performance of 77.39%.
Mark Holton beat Daniel Shaw to the top of last week’s Wesham Strava training leader-board with a big 70.4 miles completed in 10:11:42 spread over just seven runs. Daniel completed a high 61.5 miles in 8:05:17 a speedier time with also 4,000ft of ascent in eight outings. Rob Danson kept up his effort with 56.1 miles over seven runs in 6:14:00. Steve Myerscough also kept his enthusiasm high with 50.5 miles in 7:13:27. Neil Gregson came in fifth ranked on mileage with 45.5 miles and a cumulative time of 5:32:11 and Peter Rooney 43.9 miles in 6:13:53, both with six runs over the week. Tom Crabtree topped the 40 miles with 40.8 in 4:52:24 and Troy Watson just below with 39.7 in 7:27:17 with 13 runs. On the women’s leader-board Kerry Eccles had the highest mileage of 31.3 miles in six runs in a time of 5:22:55 with Sue Coulthurst second with 31.2 miles over seven outings in 5:05:14. Lynn Brown who has headed the list over the past month ran 30.4 miles in 8:14:00 with six runs. Helen Lawrenson clocked up 26.4 miles in 3:43:58 to take fourth rank, and Debbie Myerscough completed 25.1 miles in 4:41:57 on five sessions. Daniel Shaw topped the mountain leader-board with 3967ft elevation gain over his 61.5 miles with Neil Whipp second with 3180ft climbed over 23.2 miles in a time of 3:53:33. Richard Davies was third with 2688ft over just 10 miles run in 2:15:30. Steve Myerscough had 2571ft on the altimeter over his 50.5 miles with Helen Lawrenson topping the women’s leader-board and placing fifth on the overall list with 1598ft for her 26.4 miles. Lynn Brown was second woman with 1021ft over her 30.4 miles, and Sue Coulthurst was third with 978ft. Fourth on the leader-board was Michelle Tickle with 711ft over 17.1 miles completed in 2:39:53, and Kerry Eccles was fifth with 654ft. Troy Watson was sixth on the list with 1526ft over 39.7 miles and Mark Renshall lucky seventh with 1289ft in 32.5 miles in a time of 4:41:07. Rob Danson had the fastest pace with 6:40 per mile, with Andrew Harling steeping up to second at 6:45 per mile over 26 miles in a total time of 2:55:30. Steve Swarbrick put in some pace at 6:56 over his 14.5 miles in 1:40:32 with just 197ft ascent for the traditional fell runner. David Taylor averaged 6:58 pace over 25.9 miles in 3:00:26, with Garry Barnett on 7:00 per mile pace over 20 miles in 2:20:00. Tom Crabtree and Simon Denye both maintained 7:10 pace over 40.8 and 39.6 miles respectively. Helen Lawrenson was the speediest woman at 8:29 pace over her 26.4 miles with Tara Fisher second at 8:54 pace over 9.3 miles in 1:22:46. Tanya Shaw matched her at the same pace over 12.8 miles in 1:53:55, and Alice Deacon was fourth at 9:05 over 5.5 miles (49:58) with Antionette Holton fifth with 9:13 pace over 5.4 miles (49:46). Mark Holton, overall leader-board leader recorded the longest individual run, clocking a marathon distance 26.2 miler. Rob Danson had the second longest run with 16.2 miles and Daniel Shaw third with 14.5 miles and Tom Crabtree 14 miles. There was again a clutch of half marathons with Neil Gregson, Alek Walker, Andrew Harling, Simon Denye and David Taylor all notching up the distance. Kerry Eccles was top woman with 8.6 miles; Karen Cook second with 8 miles; Claire Marie third with 7.3 miles; Sue Coulthurst fourth completing a 7.1 miler; and Helen Lawrenson fifth at 7 miles.
In 2004 England men and women raced to victory in the British & Irish Masters Cross-Country International in Croydon on Saturday and were helped on their way by several Fylde men. Over a sapping 2-lap 8km course in biting conditions with driving sleet, there were 2 separate races for the 6 male age categories, and a 6km race for women and over-70 men. Preston Harrier Steve Smith finished 3rd Over-45 and 15th overall in the combined M40/M45/M50 race to earn him an international individual bronze medal. Steve ran 28:58 and was 2nd M45 for England. He was backed up Wesham’s Alex Rowe, who was delighted to run well to finish 5th M45 and 4th for England (19th overall) in 29:09. England took the team gold medals. In the M55/M60/M65 combined race, Wesham’s Dave Waywell immediately established himself as the leading M60, slotting into 11th place behind the leading M55s. However, Dave was tracked all the way by England rival Martin Ford in a nail-biting deadlock. The pair pulled way ahead of the chasing Over-60s, but it was only in the closing 200 metres that Ford made his move, out-sprinting Dave to the line to win in 32:22. Dave recorded 32:27 for an individual silver medal, his first international title, and team gold with Ford and ex-King Crimson bassist Peter Giles. Back home Paul Dunkerley returned to racing form after eight months out with a stress fracture with a good run at the Gill Pimblott Memorial 5km. Paul ran 18:40 to place 16th in a good quality field. Wesham runners flocked to the 23rd staging of the Preston 10-mile road race on Sunday, held over its usual fast 2-lap course at Hutton. Conditions were excellent for running, and there were several best performances recorded. Steve Littler held a race long battle with Sale Harrier Rick Hayman and Chorley AC Andrew Brindle, recently returned to athletics. Hayman pulled away to win in the closing stages, but Steve clocked up 53:45 for 2nd place. Peter Cruse clocked a great run with 58:25 to finish 20th and 6th Over-40. In 26th place, Lee Barlow recorded a personal best with 59:01, some half a minute off his previous fastest time. Dave Waywell, tired after his long trip to Croydon the previous day, nevertheless ran superbly to finish 1st Vet-60 and 48th overall in 1:02:00. Kath Hoyer led the Wesham ladies with a huge personal best, as she shaved 2 minutes off her previous time to stop the clock at 1:10:47. In a high-quality women’s race Kath was 7th and 3rd Over-40. Michaela Dempsey ran her socks off, finishing 10th lady and 2nd Over-35, running 1:11:56 for 144th position overall. Jenny Salt made up the ladies’ team, finishing 20th (185th overall) in a fine 1:15:25. Expectant father Andy Yelland ran with his mobile phone in case of an urgent call from home, and with his eye on the clock scorched round in 1:04:16 to finish 67th. New member Dave Wallis (M40) set a good standard with for 126th place, just ahead of men’s’ joint captain who finished 128th with, a great run as he strives to lose weight and improve his running. Men’s times: 55. John Bertenshaw M45 1:02:33, 61. Steve Myerscough 1:03:56, 126. Dave Wallis M40 1:10:05, 128. Alan Taylor 1:10:16, 131. Peter Gleaves M40 1:10:24, 143. Barry Edwards M40 1:11:36, 154. Phil Leaver M50 1:12:55, 155. Peter Cooke M40 1:12:55, 157.Graham Vickers M45 1:13:06, 173. Jonathon Lawson 1:14:20, 180. Dave Preston M50 1:15:04, 206. Brian Porter M40 1:16:29, 227. Tony Robbins M65 1:18:20, 241. John Howorth M50 1:19:27, 269.Ken Munro M60 1:21:49, Women’s times: 295. Mandy Ingam W35 1:24:53, 321. Pauline Weller W45 1:29:55, 327. Jennie Thompson W55 1:32:09, 328. Julie Murphy W35 1:32:09.
In the Olympic year 2012 it was a quiet weekend for athletics locally but there were a few events out and about to attract Wesham members outdoors. Karl Lee finally came of age in running terms with a superb run in his third attempt at the Leeds Abbey Dash. A popular charity run, this year attracting 7,500 runners it also caters for the elite and the first 7 runners were once again clocking sub 30-minutes times this year. Conditions were perfect this morning with bright sun and warm temperatures with no wind. Karl ran a personal best of 34:35 to finish 158th. Alex Rowe completed his 5th year in this event with another age category win, this year his first in the M55 group with 35:00 for 176th place. Lee Barlow also had a great run after several weeks of hard training, clocking 36:17 for 256th place. The Preston 10-mile road race attracted a record field with being the final event in the Guild series and entries were in great demand. The weather was perfect for running on the two-lap course through Longton and there was potential for personal best times to be set. Wesham had only a modest turnout among the 661 runners, but Rob Danson was well to the fore and he finished an excellent 7th in 57:43. Joanna Goorney was 5th woman and 2nd W40 in 1:05:20. Nigel Shepherd was 66th and 3rd M50 with a great run in 1:06:57 and Troy Watson 69th in 1:07:09. John Bertenshaw backed off the pace when he realised he was still not fully recovered from the Preston Marathon and he ran 1:10:09 for 103rd place and 9th M55. Nicola Unsworth was 20th woman and 158th overall, 5th W40 in 1:14:27 and Phil Leaver 174th with 1:15:42. Peter Bartlett was 188th and 8th M60 with 1:17:08; Jenn Thompson was one second behind with a new personal best of 1:17:09, an excellent performance. James Davenport was 233rd with 1:20:11; Paul Carter was 256th in 1:21:28 and continuing to improve; Dave Waywell 261st and 4th M65 in 1:21:37; Mark Pattinson 280th with 1:22:43; and Dave Young finished 433rd in 1:30:46, as 7th M65. Paul Gregory finished 28th in the Arnside Knott fell Race, clocking 43:16 for the 5.5 miles and 919ft climb. Setting off from a campsite at Hollins Farm the route went over the heights of Arnside Park before descending to sea level and then climbing up to Arnside Knott, returning by the same route. John Sharples was 101st in 56:55 and Doug Brown 106th in 58:39, 1st M70 by 12 minutes.